06. Land Stewardship- My Garden

I very much believe in being able to grow food in whatever space you have available.  When my boyfriend bought the flat there was a space for a garage at the back of the flat.  I could see it being productive and a more enjoyable place to sit in.  So we went about designing the first year of its life.  It proved to not only be productive but as a way to get to know the people in the building much better as well.

Holmgren’s Domain: Land and Nature Stewardship

The flat that I live in has a space for a garage at the back.  So using that.

Permaculture Ethics

Earth Care: rain water harvesting, composting, making liquid feeds, working with guilds, sheet mulching, using heritage seeds, self seeders, perennials, companion planting

People Care: created social space, made space beautiful and relaxing, lots of fresh food produced, interacted with neighbours,

Fair Shares: limited inputs including time, shared abundance of salad leaves and compost, shared knowledge and experience, now case study

Holmgren’s Principles

Produce No Waste- capture water from next door shed, minimal mains water used; re-use kitchen scraps, paper scraps, newspaper, confidential waste, cuttings; make compost, liquid feeds, share surplus,

Design Process

Survey: sun mapping, PASE: there, wanted, not possible, companions and antagonist plants, size of space, aspect, client interview, observation, resources that we have

Analyse: Functions and Needs: light levels, soil depths, height, support, price, suppliers, heritage, organic, plant families, nutrients needed; resources needed,

Design: Beneficial connections: location of comfrey;  Beds: position, depth, layout; Seating area and table: position and moveable; mixed planting, edible flower

Implement: get compost bin and start composting, connect water butt, build raised beds, move pots from old house, sow and sow some more, plant out, order seedlings, order compost, paint, buy table and chairs,

Maintain: harvest, turn compost, water occasionally, sheet mulch, mulch, cut out plants that have gone to seed and hang on washing line,  plant,

Portfolio Criteria

Dissemination: used on many Introductions to Permaculture, shared on blog, used in training,

Community Building: know neighbours better, inspired others to grow in small spaces, now creating a community garden based on this work

Symmetry: shared knowledge with tutors, to be used as part of presentation for participants on Introductions,

Evaluation and costings: high salad harvest, great self seeders; very little work input especially in year two; more resilient compared to others; plants protected from frost, devastating tomato blight,

Timeline: February- November 2010

Read more about my personal permaculture gardening adventure here.

It’s small but these are some of the things growing in there:

Berries: jostaberry; redcurrant; blackcurrant; raspberries, Wild Strawberries; Strawberries; Gooseberry

Onion: red, spring, Daffodil Garlic; Shallot; Garlic- pink Sicilian, tree

Legumes: Beans- dwarf french, climbing french, broad, peas, (sweet peas)

Beets: Chard; Beetroot

Cabbages: red veined kale, perennial kale, Radish

Herbs: Garlic chives; Chives; Sage; Marjoram, Oregano, Feverfew; Mint: garden, Spanish, Moroccan, pineapple, apple, spear, peppermint, chocolate peppermint; Blackcurrant sage; Thyme; Rosemary; Lemon balm, Vietnamese coriander, parsley

Salad leaves: Various lettuces; American Land Cress; Mustard; Rocket; Red veined sorrel; Chicory, red orache,

Sunnies: Potatoes; Tomatoes

Edible flowers: Day lily; Pansy; Viola, sunflower, calendula, chamomile

Other: Soap wort; Woad; Comfrey; Passion fruit, alyssum (bee friendly), rhubarb


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