zil
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 8:25 pm

Small scale permaculture

I am looking for some help in creating a permaculture garden in an urban rowhouse environment. I am very lucky in that we have garden space both front and back - about 60x16 in the back and about 40ft in front, although a large area in the front is paved with bluestone. I have never had a garden before, and also, since I grew up in the UK am not familiar with the local plants (we are in the NY/NJ meto area) or climate. So all advice is greatly appreciated!

To start with the front, which is the most easily accessible: The front gets sun from the south and west. There are 2 areas of soil, one around a huge black locust tree, and then a patch of about 10x14ft that gets a lot of sun. I am thinking of growing the majority of my fruit and veg in the back as the front is close to a busy road and gets a lot of exhaust fumes as well as rubbish blown and thrown into it (not too appetizing!) My thoughts so far were to create a guild centred around the black locust including clover, rye, yarrow, dill and fennel, and then in the larger area of soil create a herb spiral about 5ft in diameter, and a rockery to catch water and shelter snakes and other animals. I already have planted a buddhlia along the front fence and was planning to add a couple of rosa rugosa to attract birds and insects and screen the street a little. The inbetween areas I was planning to fill with inesct attracting flowers and possibly some edible companion plants.

Opabinia51 had suggested that if I am going to include a water catching rockery I should provide some shade trees such as cedars. Given that the black locust is already so big, if I plant a cedar will I end up with too much shade? So many of the flowers I have looked at seem to need full sun? Also is there any rule of thumb that tells you how roughly how many different plants you can plant in a certain amount of space?

I am sure these are only the beginnings of my questions! I would love to hear the thoughts of you experienced gardeners out there!

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

I'm sure that some people out there have experience with permaculture other than me, what do you think?

I will reccommend that you read Gaia's Garden by Jon Hemenway and there are other good books out there on the topic. I have found this book both at the local library and at books stores. Never can have to much information.

Anonymous

I go along with the idea that you can never have tooooo much information. I can recommend Linda Woodrows Home Permaculture Garden book, you could follow the basic ideas and blend them into your climate, for example a worm farm for your workmen... :D and companion planting is a great idea of producing both flowers and edible vegetables...im going for heirloom vegetables and heritage trees but I live in the southern hemisphere..sorry but the book has great ideas and inspirations. Suzi

Anonymous

:D I'ts me again, I was thinking how my partner & I went about researching ideas for our 'plot' lots of library searches, then we hit book the second hand book stores they have some great books on this. I have Organic Gardening by John Fedor which is a good guide for plants, trees & vegetables. I use a note book for interesting handy hints..retentive I know..but how else will you remember?? I hope this is helpful.
:oops: Suzi..

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Hi Suzi, thanks for the information.

In the organic forum their is a companion plant list as well as beneficial insect list with plants that attract the various insects.

Anonymous

:D The other important things to mention... :wink: is everyday be aware of the little things..where does your rain water run off, where is the sun.Find the dry & wet areas of your plot. How far are you going to have to walk to get things?? that sort of thing.
I have found leaving the paddocks alone for the end of summer, autumn & winter I have a better idea of these things. I have drawn a plan of the exsisting paddock marking undulating slopes,dips, ridges, trees & buildings as they all stand now. I have also got a year planner on the wall in the hall way and everyday I make a note of the weather patterns & how many eggs we get. :lol:
Reading different peoples trails & errors helps give an overall view in your mind which you can ponder on. Hope this helps..Suzi

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