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Discovered this one while out walking

 
Dale Hodgins
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I was working the neighborhood in search of tree work and found this. It belongs to a guy named Jordan. He's part of a group that may need my tree waste for future beds.

The photos were taken on January 01 2014

I'll add to this if any of his friends come for wood. Some burn wood as well.
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Lisa Paulson
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I think that plantings in yards could be both functional and a lot more aesthetically pleasing than this example. I can't believe some people have lovely gardened yards and have the bylaw enforcement after them and examples like this practically invite issue within an urban neighbourhood . It would have taken work to dig down and place the wood and covered it with soil in a more functional placement than that , planted nicely but it could have been executed far better in my opinion and should have been in consideration of the urban neighbours and perhaps elicit interest from them in transforming their own yards.
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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Lisa, rather than condemning it, perhaps it would be worth learning a bit more about what is being done. It certainly does not look like a finished project to me, at this point, and that might be worth taking into consideration.

Not many gardens look beautiful before the plants grow in.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3304
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Lisa Paulson wrote:I think that plantings in yards could be both functional and a lot more aesthetically pleasing than this example. I can't believe some people have lovely gardened yards and have the bylaw enforcement after them and examples like this practically invite issue within an urban neighbourhood . It would have taken work to dig down and place the wood and covered it with soil in a more functional placement than that , planted nicely but it could have been executed far better in my opinion and should have been in consideration of the urban neighbours and perhaps elicit interest from them in transforming their own yards.


It is WINTER. But I agree that we need to come up with a "best practice" to make the beds aesthetically pleasing (enough) as they go through their "awkward phase" to establishment.
 
Lisa Paulson
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I can see planted veggies growing in it , are you sure that is not the end product or are you making an assumption ? Point is this will not be a welcome addition in most urban areas where you actually want good community and to encourage urban local food production . And my second point is it could have been implemented much better , even if it is a tenanted property , with a little effort . Does it look like these people really made that effort ?
Bylaws for yard maintenance have been used to attack people trying hard to make lovely productive gardens where the norm is mowed grass and the more better examples out there, the more it might become accepted and standard practice.
 
George Meljon
Posts: 278
Location: Southern Indiana zone 5b
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With nothing else around it, it does sort of beg your attention as to what the heck is going on if you know nothing about hugelkultur. I agree it's too early to judge, though.
 
William Whitson
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Location: Washington coast
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I'll never complain about what anybody else does with their property, so long as it doesn't spill over onto mine. People can practically hear the banjos when they drive up to our place.

But that doesn't stop me from observing that this thing looks like a pile of brush was left in the front yard a couple of years too long.
 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 98
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
greening the desert
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To people not educated in permaculture, It looks like a great place for bugs, spiders, & rodents. Maybe it needs a sign describing what it is?
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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A truckload of woodchips and an ornamental or two on top would do.

The problem is everyone wants instant gratification. What do you mean plants need TIME to grow?
 
Dale Hodgins
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This is his first year at this location. I think the plan is to replace all grass which is well within the norm for the location. It's in the Haultain neighborhood of Victoria, where the majority of homes grow food and many do it in the front yard and on the boulevard. There's a neighborhood association that promotes urban farming. They convinced the city to allow boulevard planting. There is a community orchard with hugelkultur nearby.

It produced a good crop and is still producing kale in January. It's the first one that I've seen on private, rented property. He is moving to a larger property soon and his landlady and future tenant will take over the project. She's keen on this sort of improvement. It's easier to rent places that have garden spaces in this area. A grass desert without flower and vegetable beds stands out in this area. When I'm out banging doors, this area is the most visually interesting. There are garden sculptures, ponds, orchards and vegetable plots in front yards. One lady made a tea garden, with a little sign on the sidewalk inviting passers by to harvest snippets for making herbal teas. People do this and they haven't ruined her yard. She's a chatty one who also give out gardening tips and little plants for neighbors to plant.

I didn't expect to spark debate with these pictures which are phone quality. Everything about the bed is done right. Lots of big wood in the depths, then layers of other stuff. The southern exposure is curved to reflect heat. This look is typical for new projects in the dead of winter.
 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 98
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
greening the desert
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That's neat. I figured it was in an ordinary neighborhood since I've never seen an area like that.
 
David Goodman
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Location: Zone 9a/8b
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"Point is this will not be a welcome addition in most urban areas where you actually want good community"

Community: graveyard of visionaries.
 
Angelika Maier
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Location: cool climate
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He is only starting. With a bit of experience things will go better. Now that is very lucky to have someone in the neighbourhood to share gardening experience.
You may give him some flower seeds in spring.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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When I banged on that door, I knew that it would come to something. Today, one of his friends showed up at this job, --- http://www.permies.com/t/31726/green-building/Dale-drainage-customer-house-pictures --- to haul away a big load of soil for a hugelkultur bed on a one acre property that's right in the city. They are putting up to half of it into beds. The guy is eager, strong and smart and he has a really good truck. I will hire him to haul away brush from tree jobs. They need soil, clay, rock, plants, building materials and wood waste. I produce all of those things and I hate to dump any of it.
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