May. 2nd, 2009

purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
[personal profile] purpletigron
Delighted to see this community already in existence!

I am on my pathway for a Diploma in Applied Permaculture, having completed the 72 Hour Design Course in 2007. I am based in the UK. I would be delighted to attempt to answer any questions which anyone may have about what those training courses offer.

I am vegan, so I am specializing in stock-free permaculture - this means that I do not include captive animals in my designs. Two leading UK vegan permaculturists are Aranya (see http://www.aranyagardens.co.uk/) and Graham Burnett (see http://www.grahamburnett.net/).

My favourite permaculture book at this stage of my pathway is Patrick Whitefield's Earth Care Manual (http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/the_earth_care_manual/) - focusing on temperature climates, it is the ideal starting place for many questions about creating sustainable human habitats in the UK.
loligo: (anemone)
[personal profile] loligo
Now that we're in open beta, it occurs to me that I never really did a formal admin post. I am totally in favor of all members using this community for whatever permaculture-related purposes strike their fancy, with the exception of advertising -- if you want to publicize your permaculture goods or services, please run your post by me first (and I am very unlikely to approve it unless you are a long-time, active member of the community).

Personally, I would love to read about unusual plants that have worked well for people in permaculture plantings, but I don't have much to report along those lines, myself! Intro posts are always encouraged, and requests for advice are totally cool, too.

A thorough, well-organized tag system warms my heart, but my own tagging skills are sadly haphazard. Not that this community is likely to be so high-traffic as to need really hardcore tags, but I would be happy to give admin privileges to someone with obsessive tagging tendencies *g*.
loligo: (anemone)
[personal profile] loligo
A couple years ago we bought a house that had originally been built by an elderly couple who loved gardening. They laid out flagstone paths and rock-edged beds and made some very nice plantings. But as they got older they had a hard time maintaining their garden, and then they sold the house to a woman who was a total non-gardener. She owned the house for five years, and she said that all the "gardening" she did was paying a mowing service to mow the lawn. They alternately ignored the flower beds or mowed them down to grass height.

So we have a real wilderness to revitalize! With the first bed that I tackled, I put down like six inches or more of sheet mulch (cardboard, compost, leaf litter, topsoil...) and then when I dug in to plant my plants, I discovered that the original owners had mulched all their beds with ornamental gravel. By the time the garden came into my possession, all that gravel was hidden beneath a half-inch to inch of soil. So I dug it out of each planting hole and did the best I could. But now I can't decide what to do with the other beds. Should I dig out ALL the gravel ahead of time? Or do I only need to remove it in the immediate vicinity of each plant, trusting their roots to grow out either above or below the two-inch layer of gravel, depending on whether it's a deep or shallow-rooted plant?

Some of the gravel is pumice, which might actually help the drainage of my very heavy soil, but some of it is some very smooth, dense rock that I don't know the name of, and the layer is very compacted.

Any thoughts?
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
[personal profile] purpletigron
I first encountered this self-seeding ('multiplier') biennial allium through the Heritage Seed Library of the HDRA - now known also as Garden Organic: http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/

Babington's leek

You can read more about the Allium ampeloprasum babbingtonii in the excellent Plants for a Future database, which has extensive information about thousands of useful plants which can thrive in temperate climates such as the UK.

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Allium+ampeloprasum+babbingtonii

Alliums are said to be good companion plants to fruit trees, Solanaceae ('nightshades' - tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, etc.), brassicas and carrots (e.g. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companion_plants). However, I do not yet have much personal experience of these claims regarding Babington's leek.

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permaculture: photo of a fruit tree in bloom (Default)
Permaculture: Food From Sustainable Landscapes

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