Growing Herbs For Culinary Use

If you are a keen cook, then you will no doubt be familiar with many common culinary herbs. You will know just how much difference using fresh herbs in your cooking can make. But buying fresh herbs can be expensive. So it is far better to grow your own. Many of you may be sowingContinue reading “Growing Herbs For Culinary Use”

Chickweed: A Weed You Want in Your Garden

I know that most gardeners moan at the sight of even a single weed, and rip them all out as soon as they appear. But my garden has lots of weeds – and I love them. Yes, even in the vegetable beds. While not all weeds, of course, are desirable, there are plenty of weedsContinue reading “Chickweed: A Weed You Want in Your Garden”

Companion Planting Tips

First of all, it is important to note that much of the companion planting advice given online has little scientific basis. While there are undoubtedly benefits to combining certain plants, the ways in which plants interact with one another are surprisingly sketchily understood. So take advice like ‘X loves Y’ with a grain of salt.Continue reading “Companion Planting Tips”

Growing Brassicas

Those who already grow their own in a temperate climate will no doubt be familiar with brassicas – members of the cabbage family. These crops are important ones in temperate climates, and are often an important crop family in annual gardens. Where I live, March is the time to sow a range of Brassica plantsContinue reading “Growing Brassicas”

Case Study: Family Garden Planting Plan

This is a portion of a recent project in Georgia, US, that might be of interest to some other home gardeners. This was a suggested design for polyculture beds to maximise productivity in an area of approximately 60 x 30ft. The goal was to produce plenty of annual/biennial crops in addition to cut flowers forContinue reading “Case Study: Family Garden Planting Plan”

What is a Polyculture and Why Create One?

A polyculture is a diverse companion planting scheme which incorporates a number of carefully chosen plants. In your garden, it is important to avoid mono-cropping. Just as on a farm, mono-cropping in a garden can increase the likelihood of pests and disease taking hold. And when you plant just potatoes in one bed, for example,Continue reading “What is a Polyculture and Why Create One?”

Bring Colour and Cheer to Your Garden

Most of us have had a difficult year, and are surrounded by uncertainty. But having a garden means we have the opportunity to shape our immediate environment to bring some cheer. Obviously, as a permaculture designer, I know that there are many other things that a garden can provide. But sometimes, it is nice toContinue reading “Bring Colour and Cheer to Your Garden”

Case Study: Small Space Garden

If you do not have much space, it is more important than ever to make the most of every inch. In this simple case study you can see my quick design for a small yard area of only around 8.5 sq m, sandwiched between a house and the pavement on the intersection of two streetsContinue reading “Case Study: Small Space Garden”

Edible Ornamentals and Ornamental Edibles

Many gardeners compartmentalise in their heads. They put edible crops into one category, and ornamental, flowering plants in another. But there can actually be a lot of overlap between these two categories. In a permaculture garden, we integrate don’t segregate. We grow plenty of flowers as companion plants in our polyculture vegetable beds. We considerContinue reading “Edible Ornamentals and Ornamental Edibles”

Case Study: Simple Example Garden Layout

This is one part of a series of garden layout plans I created recently. In this image, you can see a potential layout for a small 4×4 ft garden bed for USDA zones 7-8. (I also created sample layout plans for zones 5-6 and 9-10, for full sun and for more shaded spots.) The clientContinue reading “Case Study: Simple Example Garden Layout”