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Small permaculture project in kindergarten back yard!?

 
Stanescu gabriela
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Been reading this forum for over 1 year. Made the courage to build a mandala garden instead of my lawn and now I want more.

First of all, I am based in Romania, city of Sibiu, which is quite cold (max minus 20 in the winter, plus 35 summer).

I want to get the community involved in two projects this year:

1. Make a small garden with trees and a small raised bed in one of the kindergartens of the town. The backyard is quite big, has some old trees that probably need serious pruning and some old toys.

My questions are:
Is there an online free software that I could sketch the garden and show it to the town administration?
What trees could I use for the back that would create a bit of shadow and not attract too many bees?
What shape of raised bed would be attractive for the kids and what I could plant in it? (would think of some fruits like the berry family to get their attention).

2. There is a huge park in the city and part of it is lacking trees. Most of the trees existing by the walkways are pine trees, which are tall. I know that they create a serious acid soil so I would not know what to suggest to plant near them.

What type of trees could we plant in between the pine trees?
What herbs could we plant to keep away ticks from that area?

Thank you,

Gabriela
 
David Livingston
steward
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Near where I live a kindergarden used oil drums , painted faces on them and used them as planters . The plants being the "hair" This hair included leeks , Tomatoes, yellow courgettes .
For this age kids I would be happy if they knew where the veg comes from and by having their own plants would be encouraged to eat more veg

David
 
Stanescu gabriela
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David thank you for the reply!

The idea is wonderful and we could use drums for veggies.
But the main problem remains with the trees and what to plant around them.
 
Andrew Schreiber
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Location: Zone 6a, Wahkiacus, WA
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Hi Gabriela! looks like you are in the same hardiness zone as we are. (-20 to 40c).

The only free program(s) I can think of that have the power and capacity to create maps for landscape architecture is a combination of

Google Earth http://www.google.com/earth/
Google Sketch Up http://www.sketchup.com/

Here is a website I used to learn about how to do this:
http://www.arch.virginia.edu/computing/training/online/faculty/stiles/pages/sketchup%20new/sketchup_google_earth.html

You have to download it to your computer. You can always use a good old fasion pen and paper. That is my prefered way to start out. There is perhaps no better way to understand the ins-and-outs of a piece of land that to map it yourself.


What trees could I use for the back that would create a bit of shadow and not attract too many bees?

First off, Why do you not want to attract bees? how else are you going to get your garden to flourish without them?

It really depends on the size of the space you are working with, and what kind of yield you desire out of them.

Apples, Pears, Plums, Quince, Mulberry all come in a variety of sizes to suit your needs.
Some relatively small trees/shrubs include Hawthorn, Serviceberry, Sumac, Elderberry, Silverberries, Seaberry
Maple, Oak, Alder, Beech, Birch, Hazel, Willow, Bamboos are all pollinated by wind (hence, no bees)

What type of trees could we plant in between the pine trees?

Here is a list of plants, hardy to your area, that are tolerant of acidic pine needle humus

Achillea millefolium Yarrow
Actinidia arguta Hardy Kiwi
Adiantum pedantum Maiden Hair Fern
Alcea Rosea Hollyhock
Amelianchier alnifolia Saskatoon
Amphicarpaea bracata Hog Peanut
Apios americana Groundnut
Aquilegia canadensis Canada Columbine
Arctostephylos uva-ursi Bearberry
Asarum splendens Wild Ginger
Borago officinalis Borage
Caragana Arborenscens Siberian Pea-Shrub
Castenea mollissima Chinese Chestnut
Cornus avellana European Filbert
Diplotaxis spp. Arugala
Eleagnus mulltiflora Goumi Berry
Gaultheria procumbens Wintergreen
Gaylussacia baccata Black Huckleberry
Helianthus tuberosus Sunchoke
Lespedeza bicolor Bush Clover
Lupinus spp Lupines
Malus baccata, Malus ieonsis Crab Apples
Monarda didyma Bee Balm
Monarda fistulosa Wild Burgamont
Panax quinquefolius American Ginseng
Polygonum biflorum Solomon's seal
Ribes nigrum Black Currant
Ribes hirtellum Smooth Gooseberry
Robinia psuedoacaccia black locust
Ribes Spectabilis Salmonberry
Vaccinium spp. Blueberries


What herbs could we plant to keep away ticks from that area?

Strongly scented herbs such as Garlic, Rosemary, Yarrow, Sage, Lavender , mints will all have a tendency to repel ticks.
Conyza spp of asters are also said to repel ticks. But the best way I've experienced to control ticks is to keep a couple of Guinea Fowl around. Pretty much a total ground-dwelling tick control over a relatively large area. Then there are ticks that like to live on trees....

 
Stanescu gabriela
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Andrew wow thank you for the list of trees! Will start looking into them and see what I can find locally!

Will also look into the google app to see what I can do with it!

I want to keep bees away as much as possible, as the kindergarden has around 60 children. I do not want to get in trouble if they get in trouble with the bees! There are quite a big number of hives in the area so they will flourish, I hope

Ticks is a never ending issue here. Will try this year to plant in small areas specific herbs to see which works best.

Should I consider planting larger trees towards the fence and a smaller range of bushes in front?
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
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Location: northern northern california
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very cool project, good luck =)

figure i would add that most berry types love acidic soil, particularly blueberries, which should be a favorite for the kids. also blackberries and other berries. they also do ok in part shade, such as you would have under thick trees. i would suggest some "alpine" or "woodland" strawberries too. plums are one of the easiest and most cold hardy fruit trees
 
Tom OHern
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Location: Seattle, WA
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As a bee keeper, honeybees that are out foraging are of very little threat to kids. They know exactly where they are headed to (the flowers) and they aren't interested in kids. It is the hornets and wasps that are the issue. And the best way to keep them away from the kids is to provide a lot of other insect habitat that they can hunt in so that they will not be as interested in the kids and their lunches.

And even more to the point, some wasps are great at controlling tick populations: http://www.nytimes.com/1990/03/06/science/wasps-enlisted-to-fight-ticks-that-spread-lyme-disease.html

One thing you will want to point out to the council that a park/garden/yard that is lacking in plant diversity also has a lack of diversity of insect predators. Creating a habitat for insect predators such as wasps, ladybugs, mantises, lacewings, spiders, bats, etc., will be your best method of controlling pests such as ticks, flies, mosquitoes, and others.

As far as the pine trees are concerned, it is the pine needles that cause the acidification, so all you need to do is clear an area of pine needles, add in some compost to the soil and most plants will grow fine. The bigger problem will be the shade from the larger trees. To promote some diversity, you are going to need to remove some of those large trees to make sure there is enough room for new trees to grow.
 
Stanescu gabriela
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Blueberries grow wild here up in the mountains. I will try to move some bushes in their own soil in spring. Forest strawberries I have since this spring, also from the forest.

Plums are very popular around here but they become an alchoholic drink

I am thinking of around 6 trees in the back that would create a bit of shade. Second layer would be bushes of berries. A raised bed shaped as mandale with strawberries and borago officinalis.
The oil drums are a fantastic idea and I could also get the kids involved to paint them.

I would have to test the herbs to see which one works best for the ticks.

Still trying to work out the sketchup
 
Andrew Schreiber
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Location: Zone 6a, Wahkiacus, WA
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Stanescu gabriela wrote:
Should I consider planting larger trees towards the fence and a smaller range of bushes in front?


In general, planting a layered system in the pattern of shortest to tallest, having the shortest plants in front facing the angle of the sun corridor (In your case south.) In general, this pattern maximizes the productive light-filled edge of the system, giving all the plants optimal light. If you plant them in certian patters you can also create an effective wind break, trapping warm moist air in your system. Here is a diagram from Bill Mollison that is illustrates this on a large scale.



you can also think about staggering your plantings to get more plants into a smaller area. like this:



hope that helps give you some ideas.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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