We moved recently to a new rental house with quite a nice garden. Part of my rental agreement was to maintain the garden. The landlady was quite apologetic to begin with, but after seeing my interest, she was quite happy to let me plant some new things. I have a lot of leeway in replacing dying (er...probably prematurely) bushes...just she didn't want the place turned into a vegetable plot ("yes Ma' am its an ornamental plum, *very ornamental*)
I am in the coastal region of South Carolina. Z7b/8. sandy soil. Some light shade in the back with loblollies. A lot of the area near the front of the east facing house has been blighted with <shock horror> landscape cloth. I plan to get that out ASAP and replace with grass/leaf mulches.
I was wondering what people here would nominate as their first 5 plants to get established? Would I go for some of the larger plants such as a fruit tree, or perhaps look into N2 fixing ground covers to get going first thing in the spring?
I would be interested in hearing any suggestions.
I have some ideas and a few questions... first is how long do you plan to stay? It is not a good idea to spend too much time and money on a rented place, but if you plan to stay a while it may be a good investment for you and a great investment for the earth.
How about some photos?
I would suggest looking around at what grows well in the area and try to get starts from there. I grew sweet potatoes as a perennial in Alabama, zone 8. Starting with the biggies is a good idea, but before that draw a plan, hate to move a tree. Lots of trees, as many as you can get away with. In another thread I metion my new love of BiColor... a pretty nitrogen fixing shrub...but with no browsers it may need too much trimming. (something new to me to even consider no browsers/grazers....
hey do you plan geese, rabbits, chickens, or any other workmates?
Unfortunately with the way the economy has trended over the last 10 years I am unable to get work for much longer than 24 month stretches.
I tend to find an outlet for my gardening instincts in guerrilla gardening (I have left behind a trail of Dunstan Chestnut seedlings all the way down the east coast ). However this time we have a rental with some space. I am not so worried about seeing anything get to maturity. I get a kick out of leaving something useful behind.
Generally I have worked off a shoe-string budget. I may purchase a plant but strip it for cuttings. I currently have ~30 eastern blight resistant filberts. Would have been expensive to purchase but grown from the seed less than a meal out for the family (mind you it was very hard keeping the squirrels off them).
Something I have noticed about this land. Its very sandy, well drained. There are vetches everywhere, so presumably low in nitrogen. I don't think the land is very fertile.
I would love to have chickens, but this place is within the city limits. I grew up with hens and miss them dearly. Very social animals.
Sweet potato sounds a good idea, and I know it does well in this area. Never grown them though. I have heard people talk about growing them from "slips". Know anything about this?
I ate them all winter and come spring the ones left started to sprout... I planted them too.
No one bothered to harvest this year and I didn't get to go last week so no idea what they all look like but that when I asked I was told "oh yeah, they grew all over".
Also I found my luffas grew like crazy and are so handy. I have not yet tryed to eat them but a friend says she has and likes them. In fact she was suprised I wasn't growing them to eatI
Can you say the fruit trees are Japanese style gardening, the absolute latest fashion? You could play at seeing how many things you could hide among the flowering plants. Permacultlurists are meant to grow lots of decorative plants among their vegetables in case they are useful to the vegetables.
A decorative plum is more decorative than good at giving plums. What about kiwis with their beautiful leaves, blueberries are meant to be really pretty. Artichokes are lovely and fennel plants are also decorative. green beans growing up things are decorative melon plants are really lovely and if you can train them up a frame or pergola and have hanging melons, really attractive.
Does she recognise plants? Would she know what you were gardening, would she know that the potatoes weren't going to have some wonderfull blossom would she know they were vegetables if they weren't planted in lines?
I put in trees first because they take a long time to grow if you have clover you have a nitrogen fixing cover, does the clover have little white balls on their roots, nitrogen fixing ones. agri rose macaskie.
I then thought to look up "cornus forage browse" and cornuses are used as forage the Cornus Mas and the Siberian, i think it was, i thought of Jennifer Hall but she says she does not have any browsers now. What has happened to your horses?
The goggle searcher turns up lots of articles on browse plants when you search under "cornus forage or browse" though you would probably get there with lots of other combinations of words. I thought Leah Settler would also like to know about it. Agri rose macaskie.
Do you whisper to them, i have a small experience in thought tranmission because of yoga, maybe because my husband and his family dabble in it and i had got used to it with out relising but they don't talk about it, i maybe wrong that they dablble in it. Of course it is always a mute point whether your thought is yours or your horses, it is not like voices you know for sure where they have come from and recognise the voice, maybe with expertise you can recognise the thought as anothers because it involves the arguements of the others, this is a mad conversation. I cannot read thoughts except on very emotional occasions, things like i love you or i hate you, or if someone thinks very purposefully, an expert and of course there is never any proof positive that any thought has not been your own, still it can maybe be usefull with animals to think things to them, slowly and careflully.
Did you see the film or read the book "horse boy" Rupert Isaacsons, about a man with an autist child who starts to relate to a horse and the father, who earlier in his life rode a lot, decides to encourage the childs relation to the animal and gets the horses owner to let him ride it and later takes him to see chamanes in Mongolia who greatly better the childs condition. The father, as the journalist he was, had had experiences with chamans he had interveiwed for articles and thought that if he took the child to Mongolia, there he coudl take him to see chamans and to be with horses. The dangers of thought transmission are that you never know who wont try to influence you with thoughts, which can be sent from afar, so don't trust them. You can't know all about someone with thoughts, after all to know all about someone you have to have heard all the arguements they have heard from parents teachers, heaven only knows who and all they have read in books, there is too much material. The family now have a sort of riding school for autists, the last i heard of them, about nine mounths ago. My sister has two autist boys that maybe got me looking up about autist things. agri rose macaskie.
my photos are at
Growing up, behind all most all the stables was a huge pile of manure drawing flies... but not all. I have been to many many stables and such in my life and learned from each one. At a very young age I saw gardening and horses go together.
I was an astute and observant child...when it came to horses I was obsessed. As "the odd one" I spent a lot of time growing up out with the horses and gardeners, groundskeepers, grooms...the ones around the horses, and of course watching the horses.
I did not get a horse till I was 7 as till then we lived in the city. We moved to the country and my father and brother set about making a tropical paradise out of our dirt lot, just as my father had in our yard in the city. I remember him building the first pond there and my brother falling in it.
Here, in Ppain, they put a bit that really hurts in their mouth and if you so much as tighten the riens they walk backwards, you pull them up on their hind legs, though unwittingly, i could not understand howthe horse couñd react like that to my shortening the reigns and the horse fell over. I had never been able to stop them and here was a horse that fell over at a touch on the reins.
I once rode here everyday of one holiday and i decided to really get to know my horse, i had seen a boy puling him around the day before puliing at his mouth and kicking him on all at once which makes them nervouse, so that he pranced and showed the whites of his eyes and teeth and i decided to show what you could do quietly. It was quiet absorbing just walking the horse and trying to get to know him, i don't know if i got anywere but it seemed to go quite well. Here they take you on long walks and there is not much else to do except dream you are getting to know the horse really well. The last time i had ridden in England the horse had decided to run away with me over a hedge and i decided to just behave as if she was trotting instead of pulling at her mouth and getting worked up about it and it worked, she started just trotting. This was the beging of trying to have a freindship instead of a war of wills with animals but the only animal i have is my dog. agri rose macaskie.
Jennifer Hall wrote:
Rose, when I think of hunter I think of high strung horses and good riders... not the case with field trials.
Jennifer, I don't know if you've been to a hunter show lately, but typically, "high strung" isn't usually part of the desired picture.
This post continues in the "meaningless drivel" thread, because it's really off topic.
Glen Lyn has put something she wrote in "meaningless drivel" as it is really off topic and i should have put some of what i have written their too. Maybe training and attitudes to animals is not really so off topic at least permaculture topic, it is a lot off rental property topic.
I realize now that you both are referring to hunting animals on horseback, be they fox or whatever.
The post I've created in meaningless drivel has largely to do with showing hunters, which has it's roots in fox hunting. The sport of fox hunting is alive in the US (but I don't think they actually hunt foxes anymore) and I know of people in Okla. who participate in it with the same horses they ride in the show ring.
rose macaskie wrote:
"those who hunt in England don't mind how their horses behave and I train horses that are really expected to behave themselves".
I had not thought of it quite like that but maybe. I don't travel outside the USA much.
So to get back on topic...
Planting trees from seed would be good as it could get a taproot and survive more neglect. What trees and plants take much neglect...you just never know who will come after you.
Blueberries are always a favorite as they are pretty and oh so yummy. How about some pretty flowering sweet onions?
All things I plan to grow.
Also, I plan to plant my tree seeds with a small protective bed of something like onion to keep it from getting mowed.
I am teaching my young horses to like carrots and hope to plant them all over and have them reseed. There I go again...a carrot topic anyone?
rose macaskie wrote:
If your "yes" meant, "i am not sure"
My yes meant "exactly, you get a gold star". To not excite the horse (thru pain and panic) and let her get tired enough to want to slow is a great first step to establishing a better/more correct relationship with the horse. We are not stronger but we are more patient/stubborn/insistant.
The whole cowboy bit must have come from Spain the clothing and the harnesses seen in cowboy films are all Spainish, here the horses have a good trotting gait, i suppose what your gaited horses have, they have a sort of very comfortable trot, in England the trot is uncomfortable, and the horses don't stop dead when you pull on their reins as they do in a cowboy film. Also here horses are used to round up cattle. rose.
This spot is for permaculture on rental property...and I think of this a lot as I have planted trees and such everywhere I have been.
I would not expend much energy on rock work, seems the guy on tv "the king of dirt" no matter what always tears out rocks if there are any or hauls them in if there are none. He bothers me.
Who has a list of the plants that produce most organic matter quickest the most airail matter and the most roots to make soils.
you would want a duck poind so as to have th e animals that permiculture approves both for attacking pests and for passign organic matter, that could be ornamental so your landlady did not get cross with you. and ornamental ducks for the same reason. YOu coudl plant Lea Sattlers special spinach that grows like a vine so the land lady would not know it was spinach,and beetroot for its pretty red leaves.
Ifyou are rich you plant a mass of plants, both trees and ground plants in a year and put in really big trees walnuts have really lovely leaves and are meant to protect against insects th efrench put on in each feild so the cattle can erst unpesterd by insects and fatten quicker. if you are poor you collect plants slowly you can collect seed of treesv pips and stones of all the fruit you eat put them in wet soil for two mounths in th fridge and then sew them. I threw cherry seeds in the garden and when i had forgotten them they started coming up which was nice. Maybe you can walk round parks stealing cuttings. it is bad to be a theif but if you aren't rich well permaculture is more important than other things, wha tthe hel we have the planet to save.
Make a small reaise bed you can cover with posts you can hang a cover on to protect it from cold and a too hot sun and put cuttings in there you will soon learn to get better at them. I start reading things up an dlearning when i fail at them. Start with willow cuttings they are easy. Seeds are expensive at one and a half euros they soon mount up, take the seds out of your tomatoes aubergines peppers melons hpe they ahve grown in a big feild full of melons not mixed with cucumbers and maybe your melons wont have a cucumber father this method its at least feels cheaper.
As trees and bushes bring up water from deeper in the ground and feed it to superficial roots if these are suffering from negative pressure which means losing water to the soil in stead of taking it up, the earth is so hot and dry then the roots of bushes and trees wil be keeping the soil humid an benefiting other plants.This is a new-ish bit os biological knowleg¡dge but it is true, look up HYDRAULIC REDISTRIBUTION TREES. the other advantage of roots apart from stopping erosion in the soil is that they improve drainage and the equal distribution of water.
If you plant a hedge in a mass it provides more protection for birds a round hedge a big bush i suppose.
If there are winds you need a hedge, it break the winds. A reallly good wind break is a whole wood with lower trees in the side of the prevailing winds and then higher and higher trees so the wind is lifted gradually . If you build a wall the winds come up and over it and form little whirl winds on the other side.
vegetation reduces heating bills and air conditioning ones lots of trees to break winds and creepers on your walls.
If you are rich you can get a specialist and put in water harvesting areas and swales for irrigation and ditches for drainage if that is necesary and make a pond to grow water chestnuts in and fish for the table and buy masses of mulch, dig raised beds or huglekulture beds but these are the sort of thing you can't do in your rental property except discreetly.
If you aren't rich you think of mulches that can just be picked up and digging and maiking raised beds by yourself, the cheapest i have seen was using corrugated iron as walls for the raised beds and fillling them full of earth and if you are poor were do you get the earth from, when buying a lorry full is a problem. Garden Girl has videos of making medium rich raised beds. she has good looking raised beds and vertical gardens and lots of other permaculture things she is a tv character but there are lots of her videos on youtube.
If you dig out a ditch at the side of your raised bed the earth you take out goes to make the raised beds, If you simply make a box with corrugated iron sides, then you hav eto think how to fill it wiht earth for the unrich this is the cheapest raised bed i have seen or you can make one of train sleepers piled up or with a stone wall if i you are rich, then you need to fill it full of earth from somewhere if you are poor or even just not able to hhandle lots of extra expenses you must find it in your garden, you had better think of were you would like low areas. and dig it out from these.
Raised beds protect the far side from the wind or maybe the sun and bigger ones would be better than smaller ones for this.
If it where not that your garden is rented you could plant a stand of trees to serve you as fire wood. and a stand of chestnuts which coppiced provide you with stout wands that you can use for furniture using the split wood method or chair and fence making.
agri rose macaskie.
concentrating only on fruit trees has its dangers.
Here in spain, particulalry when i arrived there were a lot of places were there were not any trees to interrupt your vision, you could always see as far as the next highest bit of land, this was normally really beautifull, as deserts are beautifull, but in the next twenty years trees started to appear everywhere because there had been a great emptying of villages, everyone had migrated to the towns and all the high lands grew whatever would grow on them, in some places oaks and in others junipers and also the fashion forbeing green meant that people planted trees round their houses and factories now the trend is reversing and they are pulling up woods on hills to plant wheat.
Well i was told that villagers hated trees, and indeed they always complained about the growth of trees in the villages. They say it brings bad weather . All this was suprising for an English woman because most of the English people i had known, as far as i new, were tree mad.
Later on i found lots of people who boasted of planting fruit trees and it was related to the bible, a sort of i have taught lots of people, their nasty sort of christianity, people who preach gods words give fruit as far as they are concerned and unfruit full trees are to be pulled up and burnt. Some times it is rather hard to know sometimes if they are talking symbolically or about somthing concrete. anyway i saw they took Jesuses story of pulling up the unfruiting fig very seriously and decided it had influenced their attitude to trees making them only really like fruit trees. I decided that religion had contributing to despising the tree for the trees sake, and so lead to desertification.
Well when people are only planting the trees they find usefull it incredible how many places remain bare of trees to judge from the Spain i new when i first arrived here. So an important reason for insisting on the importance of all trees and maybe for broadcasting their importance for other things than food, such as oxygen, we can live a week without eating but only a few minutes without breathing so as to make sure there are lots of trees anywhere not just enought to give us fruit..
Shelter and breaking the wind is another important reason for planting trees and while it is convenient to have small fruit trees that allow you to pick fruit easily there is no need to have small shelter trees and if some of these are fruit trees, well we can get some nice fruit wood and there will be fruit for the birds because we can't reach it, and if there are lots of peaches for the jays, they were in my garden at the bottom out of sight eating peaches, maybe they will be good and eat our tent worms. agri rose macaskie.rose macaskie.
Coastal Carolina is also the home to the only commercial tea plantation in the continental US. Camellia sinensis is a great plant ... and Carolinians love camellias. I have a row of tea camellias (occasionally harvested for green tea). The bees love this plant when it blooms (a half-dollar sized, simple white blossom filled with lots of yellow stamens).
In the backyard, I would experiment with hardy bananas. Dwarf Orinoco is hardy to zone 7b. It's fruit can be picked early for use as a plantain, or allowed to ripen on the plant and eaten sweet. 'Ice Cream' is another cultivar of hardy banana worth considering. Having bananas peeking over the fence add some landscaping allure, but they shouldn't be front and center as they tend to get battered by wind and freezes.