Monday, February 28, 2011

the drainfield mound garden (for those of you that have asked about it)

We have a raised drainfield that is 4' above grade that we have turned into a lovely landscaped garden in our backyard. Many have asked about the garden and how it is constructed so here are some diagrams and photos as well as an explaination as to how it has been constructed and planted.

As you can see above, (although the diagram is cut off at the bottom) there is a central circular area of lawn, with a garden around the lawn . the garden is in the shape of a toilet seat..(fitting for a drainfield garden) wraps around the circle on the west, north and east sides..and though you can't see it here there are lawn paths that go down on both sides just south of this picture to the east and to the west.

you enter the lawn from the house by a lawn path, and the two little circle there are dwarf pole apple trees on either side of the lawn entry..the beds are equal size (imagine the letter C laying on it's side) on both sides of this lawn..with the arbor on the north end of the lawn with grapes, clematis and roses up the arbor to follow..then there is another section of lawn with a lawn path that goes to the east down to grade..and a deck with steps going down to grade on the north.

to the west of the arbor is another dwarf apple tree (gala) and to the north is a seeded apple tree down on the below grade and to the east of it is another dwarf 5 on one apple tree down on grade..

on the sloping sides of the toilet seat shaped and other surrounding beds are perennial plants, ground covers and shrubs as well as those dwarf apple trees..

directly behind the house are also 2 dwarf cherry trees on the slope leading down to the grade west of the drainfield.

This shows the circular lawn from the back porch of the house..this was taken during a drought in June last year. Where I'm standing here there is a lawn path that goes down to the ground level to my right and one to the left out of the picture.

This shows a little more of the path top where it goes down to the right and a little more of the slope off to the east of the drainfield top lawn. this bed goes down at about a 45 degree angle to the ground level grade..(to the east of this is a large pond).

this is a photo of the WEST side of the drainfield garden taken from the ground level looking up the 45 degree slope and toward the North from just south of the cherry trees. That shed you see North of the drainfield mound garden is a shed I made from salvaged 7' long pallets, worked out well.
this shows a few of the shrubs and perennials growing on the west bank of the drainfield garden

This is the NW corner of the drainfield mound garden, the poppies are planted on the north just west of the apple tree.
this photo is where the steps come down off the north end of the drainfield deck..the apple tree that was grown from seed is seen to the right of the steps in the photo.

this path goes down to the west at the south end of the drainfield lawn behind the can see a fairy ring that sprouted up in the lawn last year. If you know where to look you can see two very small baby dwarf cherry trees behind the house. They were just planted and were only a couple feet tall.

Looking through the arbor at the north end of the drainfield lawn ..path goes down to the pond on the east just past the arbor, there are now some baby graepvines planted on the arbor and later in the summer there are some clematis that bloom on it as well. You really can't see the deck but it is behind the roses..

I hope this gives you some what of an idea what you can do with a raised drainfield mound.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book Reports

OK, three more book reports..

Permaculture in a nutshell.Patrick Whitefield..a tiny little book, british, a cute little overall view of permaculture..a very short read..It's OK..but don't buy it.

How to Make a Forest Garden..Patrick Whitefield...same author a bit better book, still british. More complete than the previous one and more likely to recommend it but still think Gaia's Garden is a better read for North Americans

Forest Gardens by Robert Hart

OK this one is a lot too British for me, but OK. Still feel that  as I said above Gaia's Garden was a better read for North Americans but if you have the time to read it, go for it..but get it from the library.

Right now I'm reading Permaculture Designer's Manual by Bill far it is what I expected and contains a lot of information that I have already read in other permaculture books and phamplets by the same author. If you aren't familiar with permaculture it is a good book to buy, even though I haven't finished reading it..I'll finish this up when I have..later ..

I have added some book reports to the Ecologically Sustainable page at the bottom of the page. The reports are on the following books:
Gaia's Garden
Introduction to Permaculture
Plants for a Future
Perennial Vegetables
Edible Forest Gardens volume 1 and volume 2

please go to the Ecologically Sustainable page and scroll down for more information:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

some old time tools and helpers

Someone posted this site to the Homesteading forum today and I thought I'd add a link to it to the blog here as it has some really good old fashioned ideas, some might still be useful today.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Reading Edible Forest Gardens by Dave Jacke

I am half way through volume 2 of the two volume set of Edible Forest Gardens books by Dave a lot of words !

These are the most wordy books I have ever read, but some good information. Most of the information I was already aware of and it is quite a lot of words to read to get through the information, could have used a bit of editing in my humble opinion.

However, I do recommend reading it as there is some good information in the books that I haven't found in any other books that I have read (and I have read an extensive number of gardening books).

I also would recommend that you first get the books from the library and read them before you decide whether or not it is worth your $150 for the set, for me it wasn't but for those with more money it might well be.

I would recommend if you can't get it at a library to read or afford to purchase it you stick with Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway which has a lot of the same material in a less wordy and easier to read single volume.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Long cold winter

Brrr it is cold. We have a blizzard heading in for the next 48 hours and I can't really go shopping cause I have to wait for a UPS delivery.

Oh well. I read volume 1 of Edible Forest Gardens by Dave Jacke last week and volume 2 is waiting for me right now at the libraray, hope to pick it up before the storm hits, nothing better than reading about gardens when it is a blizzard outside.

Right now the sun is shining, it is beautiful, hard to believe a historic storm is on it's way.