Edible Gardens

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    Eric Galvin

    Edible gardens seem to be popping up more and more in public discussions about residential landscapes. I have never designed one, but am interested in trying it with the right client. Does anyone know of good resources (books, websites) that you have found helpful on this subject?

    Les Ballard

    I am feeling a bit embarrassed about the number of replies I am making but, on this topic, I have to say that I am really aware of geographical and cultural differences. Nevertheless, there are so many book titles from the past like Your Veg garden thru the Year and so on I feel sure there must be some available, wherever people are, from 2nd hand shops. Dating back to the 50’s and 60’s – in Britain – and often still quoting banned chemicals the basics are all there.

    I would like to say that there are fads in gardening and moves relating to smaller home gardens. Science also reacts to need and so there are now great tomato plants for hanging baskets. Anyway, the skinny is (prepare smelling salts for the aged) you can plant veg. with cash crops between and still grow flowers, over or between those. It is even possible to plant, in spring, autumn flowering bulbs, mark their positions and tween plant veg. which, by then, you will have harvested. Finally, ever since someone popularised the great truth that carrot fly do not attack beds over 18″ high, raised beds have become more popular. Sleepers (not as cheap as they used to be), old telegraph poles and the like secured to the ground and each other can also be rustic, blend in well with surroundings and make a raised bed suitable for gardening from a wheelchair by, for example, old folks home residents. Beds can also punctuate parking spaces. Gardening at school, from age 3 upwards, is also catching on and ground level, as well as raised beds, can aid both variety of view / shelter for tender species and practical teaching opportunities. If anyone is interested I will be pleased to discuss anything in more detail.

    In respect of internet sites contact the social sections of local authorities and see who is doing what for whom, probably at a charitable level, including attacking the property of those who will pay with a bunch of trained special needs people to make something neat out of a wilderness for some remuneration. Church groups (don’t just think Christian) may also have folk prepared to donate time and effort to clean up an area and/or keeping garden areas tidy where residents cannot. All such groups will have websites where a lot can be learned.

    Luv n Lite

    Les Ballard

    oh dear it’s another long one – dang

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