• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
stewards:
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
  • Dave Burton
master gardeners:
  • John F Dean
  • jordan barton
  • Carla Burke
  • Leigh Tate
gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
  • Jay Angler

Shade-loving plants for Brooklyn school planting project

 
Posts: 13
5
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Permies!

My children's school installed a bunch of concrete planters around the exterior perimeter of the building. They were part of a security measure to make sure that cars don't ram into the building (there are several classrooms below street grade).

They are ugly and sterile at the moment - and starting to fill up with trash deposited by our neighbors!

Most of the planters are on the north side of the building -which means they will never get full sun - even in the peak summer months.

There is a bus stop on this part of the street, so whatever we plant I was thinking to either turn a few into benches, or install some benches in between the planters for people waiting to rest and cool off.

I was also thinking about leaving one or two as rain catchment basins.

So can any Permies help me figure out what to do with these ugly concrete planters???
IMG_0645.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_0645.JPG]
IMG_0644.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_0644.JPG]
IMG_0643.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_0643.JPG]
IMG_0642.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_0642.JPG]
IMG_0641.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_0641.JPG]
IMG_0640.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_0640.JPG]
IMG_0639.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_0639.JPG]
IMG_0638.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_0638.JPG]
 
gardener
Posts: 1263
Location: Longbranch, WA
234
goat tiny house rabbit wofati chicken solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It appears that they have drains on the back half way up the sides which is good. For ease of watering put a flexible drain pipe in the bottom coming  up to the surface on one end, Fill around the pipe with gravel and then sand up to the drain holes then planting soil. That reservoir of water in the pipe, gravel and sand will last a week or more. For the shady North side I recommend New Zealand Spinach. It is a vine with leaves that look like the spade on playing cards. The leaves get larger and more edible in the shade.  It produces an abundance of seed all along the vine at each leaf node so it can be kept going after the winter freeze. Flowering bulbs can be interplanted in the fall to come up first in the spring. I have bluebells that have come up and multiplied for 10 years with only 2 hours of sunlight one at sunrise and one at sunset..  
 
Posts: 3
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Don't think of them as ugly. Think of them as blank canvases. So first get the kids to paint the outsides. Then fill them with soil, of course. Get really good soil. I would install some sort of trellis on the building and grow plants that will use all of that vertical space.

There isn't enough room there to actually change people's diets. But you're in a school, so you can change people's minds. A lot of children in cities don't have any experience of food growing out of the soil. Igniting that spark in the children is the best permaculture output from that small space, and it's worth more than an acre of good farmland.
 
master steward
Posts: 16331
Location: Pacific Northwest
7483
4
hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My (and my kids) favorite shady edibles are:

-- chives

-- wild strawberries (delicious tiny strawberries)

-- french sorrel

-- perennial leeks (I thought I had ramps and planted them in the woods. Turns out, they're leeks, and they do just fine in the shady woods!1)

-- mint

-- parsley

-- hostas (yes, they're edible! My son munches on them in the garden, but they're better cooked)

-- pansies (the flowers and leaves are edible and quite good, and they do fine in part shade)

I have a thread about shady edible in the Pascific Northwest here. Our climate is quite different, but you still might find some other useful plants in there!
 
Please do not shoot the fish in this barrel. But you can shoot at this tiny ad:
Building Your Permaculture Property | Free Permaculture Summit | April 23-25
https://permies.com/t/159045/Building-Permaculture-Property-Free-Permaculture
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic