First of all, I think I should give a little background about my self:
Im 24 years old and I live in Israel. 2 years ago I started to take interst on growing my onwn food. As the month went by I read more and more and took a course on "Bio-Intensive" food grwoing.
I opened a bussince - I come to people houses, mostly in the city, and build them a vegetable garden.
These days I live in a city but my childhood hom in a small vullage not far from where I live right now.
The community in my vilage is very strong and makes many activites.
Since I started, my dream was to make a community garden for my village.
Now...2 years after, I got the oportunity.
I started to design the site. I thougt about 2 long Vegetables beds.
Then I looked at the design and I said to my self: That is no nearly enoufg.
So, I went online, and after 2 days finished to read a 350 pages on permaculture.
Many things I already knew, but now I got a hole new prospective on how doing this, so I started to work a new disegn.
It is very important to me to do this right, so I hope people here could help me out, giving me a few tips and showing me errors.
I will start with the demands of the garden:
1. In the center of the garden there is monument for the death of one of the village members. Its need to be the center and be respacted.
2. It needs to be an edicationl place.
3. It will be a part of a contest that all the villages do and many people will vidit it, so it need to have many paths.
4. Needs to grow food.
5. Needs to have herbs.
I went to the site, and econogecly speaking, its horrible.
I did some ground test and here are the result:
Ph - 7 (ok thats good).
Nitrogen - very low.
Potasium - very low.
phospate - very low.
On the site are:
1. one very very close to die almond tree.
2. one healthy olive tree.
3. one Hibiscus tiliaceus ‘Sitriya' that look kind of ok but is on his side.
4. fifteen (!!) small Pomegranate trees that are way way to close to one another.
5. fifteen (!!) sage bushed.
6. four Lavender bushes.
This place sure need a hole lot of planing and earth-building.
Here a a few pictures to help understand before I continue.
The Site - pic 1
The Site - pic 2
The Site - pic 3
Dieing Almond Tree
Hibiscus tiliaceus ‘Sitriya' on its side
The row of to close Pomegranate, Sate and Lavander. You can aso see the Olive tree on the right
So here is what I thought:
a. Need to line up the Hibiscus tree.
b. Need to take out of the ground the dieng almond tree and take it to my nusury here I wil revive it.
c. Take out all the sage, lavander and Poegranate and put then in my nursury untill my vilage will find a use for them because they just to close, to much.
So, I started to think what can I do here.
I was looking for where to start and I found: why not to start with the three big things that will stay, and build up from there:
1. The monument - Make a path around it, and near it leave place forr many flowers.
2. Olive tree - build a guild around it.
3. Hibiscus tree - build a guild around it.
The shape and theam of the garden is going to be a curcle. Reasons:
1. Near by the garden site there is a big round concrete siting sit. So i thought to continue the pattern.
2. Save space.
Round concrete siting site - the enternce to the garden.
So I wukk show you now my design sketch. After I did it I went to the site and with rocks I drew it on the ground, so how can see how it looks. I will show you now all the pics and then I will expline and ask my qustions.
Keyhole Vegetable bed:
1. The garden has a 1.2m wide path that goes all around. this is that at least 2 people could go hand in hand (ahhh...) and view the garden.
2. When entering the garden the path is now 1m (to save some space). in the sides you can see the keyhole vegetables bed. after that comes the monument with a path all arounf itand near it a place to put flowers.
3. taking a left from the monument you get to the olive tree guild zone.
4. there is a small downword fall so im planing on puting a smale there.
Now my qustions:
1. In general, what do you think about my design? its my first time so just say anything I want to learn.
2. the olive tree is a fruit tree so I want to build a guild there that will bring bees, swaps that will kill the olive fly, mulch plantes a so on. I even know what plants to use (if you have any ideas I still will be ahppy to hear) but I dont know how to put them. What I mean is I dont know how to put them so people will be able to reach them. I mean how I make a guild and still leave space to people to come and peak the olive fruit and the hears and bulbs around it? same story for the hibiscus tree.
3. You can see I didnt even start the hibiscus tree because I think I need your help before I can. Here the hibiscus tree will give us bark. His bark is good for making all kinds of things because it is reach in fiber. So, the target of the guild here is to build bark. any one have ideas?
4. You see all the qustion marks? those are places that are not paths or beads. Now I know I could but all kind of things there: flowers, herbs, small fruit trees but the qustion here agian is about parth: I dont think people could get to them. Is that a problem? as you see Im having a real issue with this path thing.
5. about the swale: is it ok if people step on it?
If you finished reading, thank you so much for taking your time to read and help me.
I wish you all a great day!
Will you have volunteers to help or is it all just you?
Can it have a "messy" phase or does it have to look good pretty much all the time? In Philadelphia they had screening fences they could put around areas under construction so they could take them down for the big reveal when it was done. If you're able to be messy, I'd start putting in as much organic matter as possible right away - coffee grounds from local restaurants, etc. That soil has lost all fertility and needs it returned ASAP so the soil organisms can start to return. The bare soil all needs to be covered in something organic.
Other things about the site - is it windy there? (Is that why the tree was on its side?) Does it have access to water?
Some of those pomegranate trees that were too closely spaced might make a good windbreak to protect the other plants. The lavender would look pretty around the monument. I'm thinking someone planted and tended them, and it's better not to step on anyone's toes who could be an ally in this project. So try to honor the effort they've put in thus far.
As for the paths, what about putting in pathways in concentric rings, so the whole garden is accessible? If the paths are covered in something water can go through they can be a place to catch and store rainwater in the soil and be a functional part of the landscape. The other option is to have the round keyhole gardens surrounded by walking area - either a groundcover that can take foot traffic like grass or thyme or some sort of mulch that can keep moisture in the soil.
The biggest design flaw I see is, isn't it pretty hot there? Wouldn't shade be nice for the people? I think I'd use a park more if there were plenty of shade trees to cool myself under. In the pictures everything looks baked in the sun.
Yes, it is hot and you make a good point.
Maybe I can make the nothen side of the hibiscus tree a place to sit at and enjoy. any way right near the garden (50cm away) there is a bench with no shade but I think I could put a few trees there.
Will you have volunteers to help or is it all just you?
I will have 3 teenage boys (16 years old) that will help me about 4 hours a week. With me it makes 15 hours a week.
Can it have a "messy" phase
Other things about the site - is it windy there?
Some of those pomegranate trees that were too closely spaced might make a good windbreak
Kind of. Its very open so some strong wind can come in. Well the trees are at the north part where not a lot of wind comes in. Maybe I can move them to the east side a make a wind breaker out of them?
Does it have access to water?
There is a man made water system (pipes and computer)
The lavender would look pretty around the monument.
I'm thinking someone planted and tended them, and it's better not to step on anyone's toes who could be an ally in this project. So try to honor the effort they've put in thus far.
Well some one (with no experiance) did plant them but no one took care of them for years. So I try to respact but I still think I wil need to move some things around. In the begining I said I dont want to move them but the people that asked for the job (people in the village that pay me) asked me to move them.
Thank you for the parth tips! I will use them!
My first thought is to slightly trench and then mulch the paths to help retain moisture. Cut down on watering.
Grapevine covered trellis could provide more shade, moist air, food.
I believe that you can plant so many interesting things in your climate - Looking forward watching your progress.