Sunday, February 25, 2018

2017 Growing Season in Review

There's a general concept in permaculture design (not a principle) that infrastructure is where you put in your effort, and once the plan is set, it should mostly self-perpetuate, requiring very little effort in continual management: just planting a little and harvesting a whole lot.

This was my year to inadvertently test that. Although I am still working on my personal landscaping, I had several events that pulled me away from gardening.

Oh no!

Did it all die?


I saw weaknesses where I need to work on my infrastructure, but I harvested lettuce through much of the spring, picked green onions whenever I wanted (and still do!), picked tomatoes late summer and half-way through December (ending the season in the basement), Still had an abundance of herbs for a local herbalist, still snacked on snap peas, black raspberries, pears, and the occasionally blue berry, still harvested enough herbs to get through the season, still made a dent in our garlic and onion purchases for the year, still got enough pumpkins to impress, still left some forgotten harvests on the land, and still watched most of the perennials grow larger.

This is why I offer the service of designing infrastructure. I have spent 10+ years working with the environment and design focused on edibles. Follow me on Facebook at

Friday, March 17, 2017

Where the problem is, so its the solution. It's a saying I've heard applied to life and to ecosystems. Where stinging nettle likes to grow, so lives the squelchy soothing mud. Where poison oak likes to live, so does mugwort. Where Mosquitoes like to live, so do dragon flies, fish, frogs, toads, newts, and many other predators to the little blood-suckers. Unfortunately, prestine ecosystems where this balance can be observed are hard to find, especially in an urban environment. Therefore, we have clouds of pesky parasites to greet us in spring.

Fortunately, human ingenuity can help save our skin, and without much effort. Many easy to grow, deer-proof plants are also mosquito repellent. The design below is for a living picnic blanket made to make hanging out in a mosquito infested area a pleasant, and fragrant experience. The plants are all listed in various places as mosquito repellent. By sitting or laying on them, you will naturally be covered with their scent. Rocks, polished granite in particular for its fast drying time, is added to lessen the impacts on the plants and keep bums dry.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

It's that time again, if you haven't done it already. Time to wake up the babies! I mean, germinate the seedlings. If they need cold stratification, then you may have to wait until next year or explain to everyone opening your fridge that: yes, the container of moist soil IS supposed to be there. The good news is that usually the seed you buy at the local garden store doesn't need that treatment. They only need some warm, moist soil to wake up. To grow strong, they need a sunny window and mild fertilizer. Liquid is best, if you are using organic, to avoid flies.

Here, some of my cold tolerant seedlings are up and getting used to the great out doors. What you see is: onions, elephant garlic from seed, Roman chamomile, cold tolerant lettuce, garlic chives, regular chives, alpine strawberries, and one leek from a cutting.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Reflecting on the Past Contemplating the Future

A Posting by: Imitating Eden
Garden Design
Specializing in beautiful, low maintenance edibles.

As spring approaches and seedlings start sprouting in windowsills, basements, and greenhouses throughout the Midwest, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on the past, and glimpse into the future with a few photos.

A grape Vine beginning to grow and hide the driveway and vehicles. The vineyard will also create an enchanted walkway, and produce three varieties of cold-hardy grapes.

Onions and shallots hang to dry on an arbor, adding a rustic country feel. Shallots have decorate blooms in June.

Fresh braids of garlic to decorate the home. Hard neck garlic can stay green during winter. Elephant garlic has a decorate bloom in June that rivals other showy aliums. The bloom does not detract from the yield.

Another edible landscape in the making. The deciduous fruit trees will provide a shower of blooms in spring, shade during summer, a show of vibrant color in the fall, along with a delicious front yard harvest. The walk will be scented with lavender, chamomile, thyme, oregano, echanacea, sage, and more, making gardening an olifactory buffet.