The Organic Gardening Medley: Beginning

May 10, 2010

The pictures on the right were taken at the beginning stages of three community gardens located within the villages of Tallanstown, Louth and Kilkerley, County Louth, Ireland. The planning of all three gardens was based on a circular or curved theme. In each case all the planting areas are quite narrow. Each new garden area is a ‘landmark’ within grassy areas located near a church, village green and road verge. These gardens create a sense of ‘place’ within the  larger village landscape. Although created for community planting days, each design could be translated into domestic gardens. The essential idea is to create a shape that is distinctive, and yet easy to maintain. Drawing on nature to cultivate new areas of growing that can be added to each year, to ultimately generate a variety of inter-connected planting areas.

Planning the Design of Your Nature-Friendly Organic Garden:

Considerations

1. Cultivate dense textured planting to retain moisture and reduce weeds.

2. Plant with a variety of plants that offer food for wildlife and people and contribute to the greater natural landscape.

3. Incorporate native trees, wild plants and wild flowers whenever possible.

3. Consider colour throughout the seasons, by way of flowers, bark and leaf tones.

4. Plant for bees, butterflies and birds – include plants with sources of nectar, pollen and berries.

5. Create micro-climates or sheltered areas by planting mixed fruiting native hedges, live willow fences, or create boundaries with dry stone walls or woven hazel fences.

6. Plant vegetables and herbs in the front of your garden near to your house, to be easily harvested and tended throughout the year.

7. Incorporate height with trees, shrubs, and tall wildflowers and underplant with perennial flowers/vegetables, soft fruit, wild plants or herbs.


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