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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Compacting Garden Part IV

Admittedly I have not yet read Food not Lawns by Heather C. Flores, so I will not be going into that subject. I will keep my front yard as is, manly because I have children and they need a place to play. Plus I like grass. What I will talk about is border gardening. This is something that I have done for years.

I do keep flowers in my beds, butterfly and hummingbird bushes and roses, I also naturalize my yard with tulips and daisies. We also decorate with more edible pretties as well. I have a whole flower bed dedicated to strawberries, mine is a flat bed, but there are products to make a tiered planter, or you can even hang them. Mixed in with my butterfly bushes are blueberry bushes. Melon grows along side my morning glory, and onions create a living border around my roses.

Herbs not only make a flower garden visually appealing, got to have curb appeal, but benefit you and your garden. I have aloe vera and yucca growing in a rock garden, basil planted around my deck to help repel mosquitoes and flies, borage borders my strawberries to attract honeybees, camomile is spread throughout my acreage as it tends to help improve the flavor of many different plants. I plant garlic around my fruit trees to protect them from borers. Hyssop has very pretty flowers and is used as a border around my grapes. And I have lavender growing outside [where they can't get to it] of the chicken coop to keep mice at bay.

Boarder gardening is a good way to have a productive yard that will not get you in trouble with your neighbors, or city codes.

The Compacting Garden Part I

The Compacting Garden Part II

The Compacting Garden Part III

Do you wish for me to continue to talk about gardening, or would you like to move on to something else?


Dancingfarmer said...

Keep writing about whatever interest you Phelan :-)
As to the food not lawns issue: A lot of people (not lumping you here) say they LOVE grass and HAVE to have a lawn---but if you really pay attention all they do is mow it. You never see them playing on it, sitting on it or hanging out on it. So in reality what they really want is what is traditionally considered "beautiful" and seen as lower maintenance than if they had to mulch all the time. People would rather ride a lawn mower/weed eat for 1 or 2 hours on every Saturday for 6 months or more a year than to spend two 6 hour Saturdays a year mulching---go figure. Wasting gas, emitting fumes and pollution etc etc the whole while they do it.

Phelan said...

I do like grass, I like to roll around in it and play with my kids on it, plus I have a few acres to plant food on already. The problem with turning a lawn into nothing but a large garden is that some cities and towns of ordinaces aginst such things. A wheat field in your front yard will attract mice and other types of little critters that your nieghboors will hate you for come harvest and cold weather. In the town closest to me, your yard, be it grass or weeds can not be over a certain hieght, of course you could plant ground huging edibles. Still, Food not Lawn type of things is not going to be feasible to everyone. While boarder gardening can be a great improvement on a urban or suburban persons quality of life. If you are concerned about gas powered mowers, than it is time to start a movement towards the sythe or hand powered mowers.

From what I have heard about the book, it seems it might be a little extremist. That will not get people to change their ways. Subtlety is always best. And you are right, many people do not use their lawns for anything but statis. Those people will never be convinced to change their ways.

I will stand by keeping your grass and boarder gardening. Grass is natural, mine is. Lawns help keep things cooler, a healthy dense lawn absorbs rainfall more effectively than a wheat feild, which helps prevent runoff and erosion, as well as trapping an estimated 12 million tons of dust and dirt. {I live in kansas aka the dust bowl} and the roots of grass help purify water.

Cheryl said...

It's great to hear a little more about what you have planted around your place.
I never tire of gardening talk!

Anonymous said...

I also like all the garden talk. I've been trying to plan out, partly, my own gardens for the spring. I need to remember to ask my landlady again about planting things in the garden - she said I could when we moved in, but I haven't seen her in a few months, and she may only have agreed because it was such a busy few days.

If I am allowed to do the things I want, I think I'll have a nice crop, and a lot of pretty flowers to look at, too, and if I'm not, then at least a lot of the things I have planned can be done with containers - except for the potatoes and carrots. Of course, one has to be careful up here about container gardening outside; I know that in some Canadian cities, planted containers are often targeted for theft.

Beth said...

Please do keep posting about gardening. I'm hoping to gain a slightly more green thumb by osmosis of reading other's blogs this year. Mabey I'll be able to harvest more then I kill off?

Anonymous said...

Yes, please keep talking about gardening. This is my first time ever growing a garden, even with the help of friends who know what they are doing. I have really enjoyed your posts.

Stephanie Appleton said...

I love the idea of mixed usage in your yard. Pretty with practical and some that are pretty and practical. If you have daylillies, They are edible too. You can eat the shoots, flowers and the tubers. We've only tried the flowers though and they were great!

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