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?”

Elaeagnus in a Forest Garden

I am soon going to be taking hardwood cuttings of some of the Elaeagnus in my forest garden. While Elaeagnus varieties can be invasive in certain regions (of North America, for example) I find that they can be very valuable additions to polyculture planting schemes in a range of settings. In my gradually evolving forestContinue reading “Elaeagnus in a Forest Garden”

Case Study: Terraced Site

This plan is for a domestic property in Port Townsend, Washington.  The Site The property is in USDA planting zone 8b. The frost-free period is typically 225-250 days. The area typically has lower precipitation than is usual for the state. There are typically around 21 inches per year of rainfall, and 2.1 inches of snow.Continue reading “Case Study: Terraced Site”

Retrofitting Suburbia For a Sustainable Future

Suburbia, in some ways, exemplifies much that is wrong with modern society and the way many people live their lives. It was designed around the car – not around people or the environment. Suburbs can often be sterile seas of little boxes, manicured lawns, driveways, garages and roads. But here and there, oases are appearingContinue reading “Retrofitting Suburbia For a Sustainable Future”

Integrate Don’t Segregate

In our gardens and in our lives, integration can be integral to positive change. Lockdowns have left many of us feeling isolated and cut off from others. But in some ways, facing challenges together has brought people closer. Communities have come together – even as we have physically been kept apart. In a world ofContinue reading “Integrate Don’t Segregate”

Reasons To Lose the Lawn (And What to Replace it With)

There are plenty of reasons to get rid of the lawn in your garden. When I say lawn, what I am referring to is a manicured, perfect grass mono-crop. Of course, grass cover is not always a bad thing. Grass cover can protect the soil, feed livestock, and can be very practical. It can alsoContinue reading “Reasons To Lose the Lawn (And What to Replace it With)”