Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day

It is Labor Day and I have my list of labor to dive into for the good of my garden. There are spent plants to add to my Hugelkultur planter(concept meaning "hill-culture"). This is a planting bed built upon tree stumps and branches; layered as one would a compost bin. I am on a wood chip layer right now, ready to add to it. I no longer use actual compost bins or a yard waste disposal can. I can use and re-use everything on the property.
The reason for this method is that it is built on wood which will break down, holding moisture and providing nutrients for plant growth. It is the ultimate in garden recycling! This planting area is a part of my new Permaculture food forest. 

I had help to build some terracing to better handle my sloping property. This is a view from my deck.

I added fruit trees almost before realizing what I wanted to create. In this area, I planted  'Pink Lady' and 'Granny Smith' Apples to be near an Apple of a forgotten variety, a 'Burgundy' Plum, a 'Bleinham' Apricot, a Nectarine, Peach, male and female Kiwi and Pomegranate. I had already planted 3 Figs, an Apricot, Quince and 4 'Meyer' Lemons in the front of my garden.
When it was clear that I intended to create a Permaculture environment, I began to add more vegetable starts, began underplanting the trees with Roses, Salvias, Lavender, Bee Balm, Lemon Verbena, Scented Geraniums and Herbs. I dug swales to catch water where I could. I planted 3 Leptospermum laevigatum and a 'Ray Hartman' Ceanothus as a wind break on one side.
My neighbors had Oak trees trimmed and the chips were saved for me. I felt secure in using them in my walking areas through the garden because they were from local healthy trees. My nephew-in-law spread them for me in a very respectful manner, as well as being a joy to be around.
I have some minor chores to do before putting the garden to bed for Fall and Winter, except for putting in some late vegetables and doing regular maintenance. I plan to continue in January, 2015. I hope to add a lot more vegetables and companion plants to act as natural fertilizers and pest control. I do have 4 bird baths and want to install a moving water feature and insect habitat.
It is wonderful to finally understand and implement how I want to live on this piece of Earth.

With this knowledge, my answer to how I want my garden landscape business of 31 years to shift, is clear. I will continue a full-service business at this time, but am adding Project Management and Garden Coaching. I have enough experience in these areas to offer my services to clients who would benefit from having their outdoor projects handled for them or simply learning how to properly care for their own gardens or having their maintenance crews guided toward better methods. I set my intention toward these positive changes.

Off to the garden, this Labor Day!

I will leave you with my new favorite Rose. It has not stopped blooming since I discovered it at the nursery in the "woe-begone" sale area and planted it! It is a climbing "Mermaid". Wear gloves!

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