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 and Graham Burnett (see

My favourite permaculture book at this stage of my pathway is Patrick Whitefield's 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:

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.

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


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

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