Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Edible Landscape

Who needs a front yard? Grass requires so much water and really, can't that space be put to a better use? Second year goals for the Elephant House included sheetmulching the front yard and planting drought tolerant and edible landscape. Here's the before picture:

It started off with the herb spiral. It was made with recycled top soil, cardboard and found rocks.

First we piled the top soil about 2 feet high on top of the cardboard then weeded it. Next, we formed the spiral by pushing in the rocks and mounding the soil.

Planted it up with edible and medicinal herbs and wallah!

Next we moved on to creating 2 sheetmulched beds for edible and drought tolerant plants. We removed old borders, laid compost over the area, and then sheetmulched with burlap around some of the larger plants we had already planted.

More compost and soil was added on top of the burlap along with a layer of mulch. We planted quince, lavender, strawberries, thyme, chives, sage, and lots of edible flowers like yarrow and calendula.

Here's the second bed with an artichoke as the centerpiece, with more lavendar, sage, and several annuals.

We dug in found pavers and planted chamomile in between them to make a path from the walkway and around the herb spiral. Here's the after picture:

Notice the bamboo teepees on each side, these are our pea and bean towers. Next to these we started mounds for melons and squash. There are blueberry bushes planted along with huckleberry off to the right, and blackberry vines along the fence to the left. These will go well with the already established pear, nectarine, and orange tree. All in all there are now almost 30 new edibles growing in a space that before was all bermuda grass and weeds. The hummingbirds and bees will love it too!

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