Friday, October 18, 2013

Designing Gardens for a Better Future

What I do is hard for most people to understand. The idea of growing food at home seems to have a hard time getting beyond the idea of the back yard raised planter. Much of that problem is caused by the concept that food production must be something that is hidden in the back yard, or put where the neighbors are not going to see it.

Many Americans have gone even further and decided that growing food is the job of professionals far away and that anyone trying to do it themselves is a menace and should be stopped. This is not far fetched if you look at city ordinances and HOA bylaws.

Since I am taking a step or five in the opposite direction of those trying to prohibit gardens, and since that still puts me a few steps away from the average gardener, I can see why there is a gap in understanding. To help clear up this gap here are some of the ideas I work with:

  • Food and support of food should be the primary goal of the yard and home landscape.
  • Plants do better with different types associated together.
  • Planting different food crops in layers prevents waste of energy and plant nutrients.
  • Food plants are beautiful.
  • Perennial flowers are good for the food garden.
  • The right balance of animals in the garden are better than trying to kill all the insects and critters.
  • Perennial flowers are good for balancing the critters and insects.
  • Fertilizer creation should be done at home whenever possible. 

To achieve these goals, thinking and design have to be stretched further than most people have the experience to do themselves. So, I try to do it for them.

Now that you have my ideas, what do you think your landscape should provide you?

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