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A twist on tradtional landscapes  RSS feed

 
brandon gross
Posts: 213
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books duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur tiny house trees urban wofati
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Hi,
This is the first time I’ve really started an original post, but for a little more than a year I’ve spent as much time reading others conversations as possible. I was working on my agriculture education degree for a while at a university with a great reputation, but I got burn out on all the same thing over and over again (chemicals and gmos will solve all problems, organics can feed the world, ect). I began to read books by members of this site as well as books suggested by members of this site, and have learned more in my last year of personal study than I ever did at the university.
This growing season I was able to install and managed a successful organic garden, with roots in much of what I had learned through studying permaculture. My girlfriend wanted to start back to school, which caused us to move and start anew. While she was at registration I learned that the tech school she was attending actually had horticulture program. After talking to the instructor I decided I would take all of his courses. One of his courses, and the one that excited me the most, was landscape design. Though the course is geared toward ornamental design, I was not discouraged, I saw this as a chance to learn how to put my ideas on paper.
Since I started the course I’ve attempted to explain foodscapes, forest gardens, herb spirals, and the such. The instructor cannot conceive that these landscapes can be designed to be fairly low maintenance. Despite his urging me not to design my landscape with permaculture in mind, he seems to finally accept that my landscape design will be geared in that direction. He seem to be simi ok with the idea now as long as my client has the time to maintain it, the features are ascetically pleasing, goes along with some basic design principles (which we have yet to learn), and have the three basic areas.
Service
Private
And public views.
To sum up all my long windedness is that by December I hope to have a well thought out design to present with as much permaculture influence as he can stand. But I need help/critique. There are four basic steps we are expected to present:
site and needs analysis(finished),
Bubble diagram,
rough design
and final design.
I hope to post each step along the way to get as many opinions as possible. Though this is just a landscape design course I hope that it can be my first real step in understanding permaculture design.
Truly thanks
 
brandon gross
Posts: 213
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This is my site and needs analysis. The instructor gave us guidelines and the questions to be asked. The picture I was trying to paint was to fulfill the maintenance needs that my instructor was considered about and secondly make it seem like my “client” longs for a permaculture garden to supplement his needs.



Ron Guee
Jus' Our Rv Park
96 Watermelon Road
Andersonville Ga, 31711
Part I: Site Analysis
 Color Of House: Green with natural wood facing boards, window frames, and boarders.
 Architectural Style: Traditional Small lake home, lots of “industrial” steel works, with a hint of asian/zen influences.
 Undesirable Views: There are no undesirable views at the moment, but the owner would like the south end of the property to have a thick screen. This will be the owner’s residential home, but the property is adjacent to a campground he owns. He prefers there be an entrance at east end of the property for vehicular traffic and a foot path through his southern screen.
 Unique Features: Gentle downward slope from south to north across the property, with a potential pond at the most northern portion of the property.
 Soil: The soil on site is a sandy clay loam with rust tented pebbles throughout.
 Are there any elevation differences? As previously mentioned there is a minimal slope throughout the property which should be an advantage to the overall design.
 Are Retaining walls needed? No
 Are there any existing walks? There are no existing walks. The owner hope that the walkways on his property can serve a second function as swells to catch/slow the waters movement downhill. These walkways/ “deeply mulched swells” will follow the contour of the land as much as possible.
 Preferred level of maintenance: High. The property owner has been very successful in his career and now hopes to retire soon. He longs for his retirement to be spent on property maintaining his newly placed gardens and managing his small seclusive campground. He hopes that his gardens will not only provide him food, but also provide a different atmosphere to the campground; in hopes that his landscape will be a selling point to potential visitors.
Part II: Family/ Business Needs
 Who will use your yard? Mr. Ron will be using this property to supplement his own food needs, as well as, be a tranquil, esthetically pleasing, and inviting atmosphere for himself and visitors to the campground.
 Preferred Style: The property owner hopes for an informal landscape.
◦ Theme: Will be a permiculture based garden full of beauty and food.
 Preferred Shapes: Curving free flowing line appearance based on the natural contours of the property.
 Type of front entryway: Curving drive lined with trees large enough to eventual form a closed canopy over the drive.
 Desired outdoor structures/features: This landscape will require many additional outdoor features including:
◦ A closed in patio,
◦ Connected miranda for vining annual plants to grow on
◦ Mounds, berms, terraces, and swells
◦ Dry creek
◦ Grey water reed bed ◦ Miniature bog garden
◦ Rain water management systems
Chicken, goat, and duck runs
◦ Compost pile
◦ Hidden service area
Frog pond

 What size patio/deck do you need? 4-8 people
 Do you want walkways connecting parts of your yard? Yes. Stone and heavily mulched pathways.
 What items need storage space? Garden supplies and equipment.
 How will you water? The owner plans to water by hand but wants drip and sprinkler irrigation for needy plants.
Part III: Plants
 The owner plants to spend most of his time gardening during the growing season. He spends most of his time off cultivating food and ornamental plants, and hopes to spend a lot of his retirement hours in his gardens.
 What types of plants do you like?
◦ Most anything edible; annual or perennial.
◦ He would like a few good shade trees to sit under and would prefer a multi purpose tree. A multipurpose tree, such as a pecan, that can offer more than just shade.
Fruit trees with proven genetics
◦ Spring, Summer, and Fall annual beds for flowers and vegetables.
◦ The owner has experience with blueberries, blackberries, Raspberries, and peaches.
◦ Herbs both medicinal, fragrant, and culinary
◦ The owner has previously grown “buckeye” trees and hope to incorporate one into his new landscape.
◦ Bog plants, wetland plants, and watercress nut if possible.
 Do you like fragrant plants? Yes
 How Much lawn do you want? Small
 Is anyone in your family allergic to specific plants? Poison Ivy
Bees? NO
 Are deer a problem? Yes
 What specific garden areas do you want?
◦ Vegetables
◦ Annuals
◦ Herbs
◦ Fragrance
◦ Wildlife/native
◦ Orchard (food forest)
◦ Herb Spiral
◦ Asparagus and Bamboo beds (using control techniques)


 
brandon gross
Posts: 213
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THe red is the are I will be working on I will post the exact measurments soon.
https://maps.google.com/maps?safe=active&q=391+Watermelon+Rd,+Andersonville,+GA&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x88f24d8ee3833647:0xaef5cb0a8bf8185d,391+Watermelon+Rd,+Andersonville,+GA+31711&gl=us&ei=DVMvUvSVEZTS9gSRsYHYBg&ved=0CCkQ8gEwAA
landscape.png
[Thumbnail for landscape.png]
 
Andrew Millison
Instructor
Posts: 112
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
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Brandon,
That's really interesting, thanks for posting. I think to some degree your instructor is correct about the maintenance involved.

Even in a self mulching, self fertilizing and low to no water system planted in perennials or self-seeding annuals, there is huge amounts of work in the harvest and processing of the yields! I don't do a whole lot of maintenance on my more established guilded orchard areas, but right now it's practically raining fruit and nuts out there, and a lot of work is required to put up and even to give away the food, right at the time when the teenagers return to school and don't have time to help.

So the idea of no-maintenance may apply to the growing, but your instructor may be thinking about the stage when your yields go off the hook.

Thanks for posting, looks like an interesting project.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1318
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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I love the way you took this course! Is your girlfriend doing the same course?
I did not think people were still so reluctant with permaculture, though I did not understand well what was the problem to get your project accepted by the instructor... Is it because it is not oriented only to beauty with ornamentals?

I have always seen that people did not like it when I said I did not look for any ornamental....

So, I try to do something that is surely not a new idea but that can be interesting for your project:
What useful plants are ornamentals?
 
brandon gross
Posts: 213
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Thanks for your comments Andrew and Xisca. Andrew I guess I thought very little about the work involved in a bountiful harvest. I guess I have thought mostly about work of maintaining and not the harvest. I’ve always felt that an excess harvest is a chance for extra organic material to be added to the soil. That is of course what I couldn't store or give away but I have very little experience with a larger scale permaculture "garden". Thanks so much for the food for thought. I’m still waiting for his remarks on my site and needs analysis to determine which direction my project will go.

Xisca, I wish Nikki (my gf) was taking this course but she is taking cosmetology. Which means one day she will trim a better hedge than me. I tried to use very broad terms in my site and needs analysis, ie, I said that the property owner wants a "thick screen on the southern part of his property aka a chance for me to draw in a food forest. I said he wanted to have a drive with a closed canopy aka large fruit or nut trees to line the drive. Like Mollison’s "watch out for falling food" on your way in. And for the hedging throughout the land scape I hope to use a food hedge like Geoff does in his urban design.
"What useful plants are ornamentals?"
Blueberries are one plant I consider very ornamental with their pale leaves an i feel could make a great hedge. But what plants can’t be used as ornamentals if properly placed?

“I did not think people were still so reluctant with permaculture, though I did not understand well what was the problem to get your project accepted by the instructor.”
Let me say first that I like my instructor a lot, he likes to grow his own food, and he is not as extreme in support, as most people in the south, of excessive use of chemicals. He doesn’t mind my concept as much now but is still under the impression that most of the population would not like the living landscape that permaculture offers, plus he wonders who would want to by a property that they will have to spend all their time in gardens.
Thanks again yall
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1318
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Well, what is called "landscape design", if profesionals must learn to design a garden without owners going on gardening!!!?? ??
If they do not do "living landscape" but ...dead ones, then it is a stoney landscape or what!!!

All plants are ornamentals yes, but the main criteria I can see in catalogues of plants is FLOWER.
I did buy some medicinal plants, and got some surprises when I saw them flowering, as I could recognize some ornamentals I knew!

Leaves colors are also considered as "nice" in the garden. Some chards and some cabbage are called ornamental for their specific colors.
Some aromatics have variegated foliage like thyme...

Hope your design will convince your teacher to get more interested...
 
brandon gross
Posts: 213
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I guesss living land scape was a bad choice of words. Just a vibrant one. A land scape that non only provides for its human residents but a habitat for local species.
I'm hoping this design will forse me to study more medicinal as well as culinary herbs to iintergrate into the landscape. I'm very much so new to this. Ive studyed and read litature but this is the first time I will have to actually make enough sence out the concepts I've ran across, to put them down on paper. And even then this is just a paper design that will mostly likely never be fullfilled, but should offer some insight when I finally get my own land.
Hey thanks again for helping me work through these initial step and please don't go to far my bubble digram should be posted in the following weeks.
 
brandon gross
Posts: 213
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So Im stuck on house placement> Ive found a plan just to be able to work the land scape around. Its a 30x28 foot structure. I want the front oriented south or atleast the side with the most glass. And planted shade trees or trellis on the south facing side but im kinda just stuck. I dont know if i need to dead center it or leave more room on the south side or the north side. I want a food type forest of sorts on the south side and on the north end with beds outside the shaded areas. Idk Just fishing for ideas I guesss. SOrry I dont have spell check on this post.
 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 2044
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
174
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A patio on the south side, with deciduous vines screening it from summer sun but letting the winter sun in, wou ld be nice. A screen porch on the north side, that is mostly used in the warmer weather (hence the screen) then functions as a mud room in the winter.

Have you heard of the Golden Mean? I would place the house about that far across the property, with more room to the south, but that's me speaking as a northerner.
 
Rufus Laggren
Posts: 479
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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Your analysis in early posts seems very useful.

One thought related to the visual aspect (which I assume is pretty major in the landscaping concept): Sight lines. This might not be as easy as it seems because stuff grows to different sizes at different speeds and leafs out differently depending on, well, just about everything.

A harvest left to compost in place might produce unwanted side affects like insect and animal issues. OTOH, it might bring in photo ops if you consider deer and small varmint critters as cute and fascinating... But in any case, significant amounts of organic stuff decomposing everywhere will probably impact the process next spring - might be good and might not.


Rufus
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
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I guess I am a bit confused by the instructor's view that the permaculture garden is "too much work". Seems to me that any landscape requires work to maintain it. A permaculture design should incorporate a number of things that make it lower maintenance than a conventional landscape design - or you have not done it so well
I do appreciate that gardening or farming involve loads of work, but part of the difference between perm design and conventional is what kind of work and when.

For example, weeding is a constant for conventional, while a minimal issue for a permie design. Conventional often rely on lots of annuals, permies try for perennial and/or self-seeding. But you don't have to deal with a harvest from an ornamental garden, so that's more work on the permie side.
Still, get a good permie system going, it keeps itself rolling along and your major workload might be harvesting.

So, still not getting the instructor's view.
 
brandon gross
Posts: 213
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Hey sorry y'all I haven't. Been able to get on but hopefully I'm about to post my bubble digram/ base plan. I hope to set it up acording to zones but less than I would use for my own property. He's been a lot my understanding since my plan follows the " landscape outline" that I had to. I'm more conscince of north and south orintation than he liked but the bubble digram turned out pretty cool I think. Thanks for all the compemts. Btw I'm posting from my phone so no spell check
 
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