John Elliott wrote:I would suggest ringing the outside of the circle with Egyptian walking onions, and inside that circle some blueberry bushes. And maybe even have some lower ground cover plants outside of the onions, like strawberries.
I don't have any bulblets for the Egyptian walking onions right now, but next time I get a flush of them, I could send some to you.
Jared Stanley wrote:John, would any bunching onion do, or is the a particular reason for using the Egyptian walking? Thanks.
John Elliott wrote:You said you wanted perennials. If you plant one stalk of an Egyptian walking onion, in a few months you have 6 stalks. And a few of those stalks will have bulblets at the top that are looking for a place to fall and establish a new cluster. They are kind of pricey if you go looking to buy them. I don't know why, anyone who has them established will have plenty to give away. I got mine from a woman up in Athens (GA) who was giving them away, I'm happy to pay it forward.
Alder Burns wrote:I would sheet mulch the whole area and plant annuals there for the first few seasons. Vegetables, cover crops, corn, whatever. That will get you out there and motivated to work with the space and provide you with some quick yields as a reward. As you then decide on, find plants for, or propagate your own from seed or cuttings; start adding the perennials and shrubs and trees into the space. These will benefit hugely from the additional water and attention primarily directed at the annuals. Keep on growing garden stuff there until the trees and such start to fill in the space and shade it....meanwhile your garden moves on to the next area. The word for this is managed succession, and it's much more successful than trying to start scattered trees, etc. in the midst of lawn, pasture, thicket or woodland....try to work in patches instead. If the whole area seems too big to tackle, bite off a manageable portion and leave the rest for future rotations....
Renate Haeckler wrote:It depends so much on what you like and what you've already got! It looks like the middle part is sometimes used for parking, would you need to reserve that for occasional vehicles?
With the fruit trees, assuming you already have a vegetable garden, I'd think some pollinator-feeding flowers would be good. I had lamb's ears I grew from seed that weren't too invasive and they did well along my old driveway. The ones that grow from seed send up flower spikes that are very attractive to all kinds of pollinators. When they've mostly died back you can cut off and compost all the flower spikes and the plants look attractive and the foliage provides shelter for myraids of life forms. You have to remember that whatever is right on the edge may be driven on from time to time (delivery trucks, visitors, etc.) and it's most likely to be peed on by any dogs that are passing through.
Under the fruit trees you'll want something you can walk on because they'll need pruning and when they begin to bear fruit, thinning, etc. so an area of clover or low-growing herbs like thyme that you can walk on might be best there, at least under the apple trees - cherries are usually done pretty early in the season and then you don't need to go under them much again.
The loop inside a driveway is the perfect place to contain something that could otherwise be invasive, too, like grapes or raspberries. But you'd want to keep them away from your fruit trees. I planted rugosa rose along my old driveway and they did stay contained (on the driveway side, on the other side they sent up shoots in the neighbors' lawn!) They're good as pollinator food, have fragrant petals for cooking, and very large edible hips as a good source of vitamin C.
If you'll be selling to the public you'll probably want an attractive entrance, but if you and your friends are the only ones who will see it you can get a lot more functional and do something like raised beds or hugel mounds.
A pond right there would be pretty cool tho and the ducks would like it.
yukkuri kame wrote:
This kinda looks like a zone 1 or 2 location ... maybe right in front of the house. It will naturally get a fair bit of attention from both residents and guests. So, this would not be the best spot for stuff that needs attending only a couple of times a year. This moves you in the direction of the annual veggies/kitchen garden, berries that need to be picked daily when in season, housing for small animals, etc. Also, perhaps a place for things that are vulnerable to pest pressure from things like possums or squirrels that may pause at going out in the open (especially if a dog is around).
Also, consider that the circular driveway creates a natural edge where lots of sunlight gets into the center. You could build your 7 layers inwards from the driveway towards a grove of small trees at center... or go with Renate's idea, pond in the center.
You could put a medium sized nut or fruit tree (chinese chestnut?) towards the north side of the loop to create a couple of nice shady parking spots for summer, without shading out other productive area.
Matu Collins wrote:The first thing I would do is to figure where the path through it would like to be and put a place to sit, like a bench, a couple of chairs or a big rock if I had it. I'd sit there and think about what I wanted to grow, what I wanted to see.
Do you have deer issues? Do you expect children to visit? Is it zone 1 or farther out?
It does look like the kind of area that thyme would like. I bet comfrey will have its place as well.