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update on my food forest garden (added photos link) 2009/2010

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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Well my order arrived, short 4 trees. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

seems like I just can't win, i've tried for years to plant paw paws and of course my order was short 2 paw paws and 2 elderberries..wah.

well so i changed my plans in my food forest garden as what would go where, naturally since i'm tired of ordering paw paws, things are going to be planned differently.

Well now my food forest begins on the north end by the woods with 3 walnuts (black, carpathian and butternut), then 20' south is a hedge of 4 wild plum, 6 hazelnuts interplanted with 3 mulberries.

then south of that are two areas of circle gardens, the two on the left are separated by a hugel bed and those 3 beds have dwarf apple tree guilds in each bed under planted by herbs, perennial and annual fruits and vegetables.

to the west of this set of circle beds now are 2 chestnuts, one large fruited hawthorn between them, one buffalo berry and about a dozen or so raspberries (gold, red and black) and some blackberrries. Between the circle beds and the wild plum hedge is a huge bed with coles, tomatos, lettuces, carrots, beets, etc as well as another rhubarb (all over) and a few herbs.

to the south of this section is a hedge that now has 9 blueberries and 2 serviceberry trees.

to the east of this entire combination is another circle garden that has an ornamental red canadian cherry in the center of a lawn surrounded by 4 curved beds with paths going out to each direction N S E and W. The two northern curved beds each has a dwarf pear tree, a goumi, a lilac, a climbing rose, a grapevine to go over an arbor with swing, jerusalem artichokes, several squash plants, tomato plants and other annual vegetables and herbs as well as morning glories going over the southern arches and luffa.

the two south beds are each different, the one on the west has another dwarf pear and a goumi and the morning glories, luffa, herbs and squash and tomatos as well as cucumbers and a childs swing over boards with sedum, and a grape and climbing rose over the arbor and the west bed is larger than the others going off to the south another 16' and it has a mountain ash, goumi, as well as the morning glories and luffa and grapes and clilmbing roses, but also tons of asparagus planted with a mulch of pumpkins, tomatos, peppers, and rhubarb, as well as some coles..and a sweet cherry tree dwarf...and iris and herbs.

there are two more beds south of the one with the pear in it, one has a matcing dwarf sweet cherry, onions, more jerusalem artichokes, and some melons a rhubarb and some iris. The next bed to the south is hugel bed and it has potatos, corn, melons, bush beans and a few onions, and south of it is horseradish

Other than the one ornamental cherry and the asparagus, horseradish and rhubarb, this bed is all new since last spring, so nearly all of the trees and shrubs are tiny babies, but I'm very pleased with the way it is working out.

Last year the chestnuts had leaves on them, but so far this year there are no leaves on them, so those might not make it. and a few of the other small trees were just planted yesterday and last week (mulberries), so there are some ifs on those too.

I also have perennial flowers planted here and there in these gardens as well as some annual flowers and lots and lots of baby herb plants, daffodills and some minor bulbs like crocus and grape hyacinths..There are onions and marigolds and chives and garlic chives planted throughout.

It was a big project, but it is nearly finished now (well if a garden is ever finished) . Basically now it is maintaining, replanting annuals as they are harvested, moving in a few more perennials, allowing some of the hardy ones to reseed, and see where we go from there..

Surrounding these areas are a woods I'm developing into a managed forest garden, as well as a 175 x 75 pond that I'm planting around to make a lovely setting and south of that is a grove of aspens that i've still yet to develop and a windbreak to the west that will need a few more trees..and then of course the dozens of perennial mixed beds (trees, shrubs, flowers, herbs, etc. ) all around our house and property besides this new area..but this new area has been my 2009 and 2010 project garden...and I'm very happy to nearly have the permanent plantings done. I'll still be bringing in perennial division as i'm able..but mostly i'm fairly satisfied with it. May also have to replace some dead trees if they don't do their thing..this year.
Just wanted to share.
 
Rob Sigg
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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I'd love to see pics!
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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well the goumi i planted yesterday were about 2" tall or less, the other trees are mostly dormant sticks or have a few leaves just starting to come on (i live in Michigan and everything just arrived this week or last and are dormant baby stock, i can't afford larger trees so i buy the babies and let them grow). Not much to take photographs of, but i'll snap some photographs today and see if i can't give an IDEA of what is growing..even my squash and beans are just putting out their second sets of leaves here in Michigan..I know people that live in other areas have things much farther along than we do, but i still am planting seeds here of some items..

will try to get a few photos though so you can kinda "visualize" it when it is grown, it is a totally immature baby right now...as i said, all of the trees except one are less than 2 years old
 
                          
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@brenda,
It sounds wonderful... even tiny sticks.

I just planted 6 trees and in 2 weeks only the plum has leaves.
The rest are still completely dormant, and I too am wondering if they are alive.
I am in western Washington in the temperate rain forest, and it seems way warm enough for sprouting to me.

I am wondering about this growing season.
Is it cold still in MI ?

jeanna
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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ok here is a link to some photographs of my forest gardens including some of the baby trees
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=22539&id=1846485863&l=e05859fdc6
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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jeanna, we had the warmest spring on record in Michigan, however it has cooled down and we had overnights of 34 and then 35 twice this week so far, so it is kinda scarey. The entire apple crop in Michigan has pretty much been destroyed, a few places are getting a few apples..we lost our apples, cherries, pears, some strawberries, and all of our lilacs froze when it dropped to 20 on Mother's day weekend..but that isn't unusual when you have a very warm spring ,, cause everything buds out early and then gets zapped by late season frosts.

we are predicted to have a cool summer though.

i listed a link above to some photos..most of my perennials are still not flowering but the poppies and some lupines are in bloom, i sure hope my fruit and nut trees make it but i'm not unfamiliar with losing trees around here.
 
                          
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Brenda,
Your gardens are beautiful.
They are more orderly than mine, which are stuck in the forest clearing. 
Thanks for sharing the pics.

We have had another week of stormy rain, which translates as late winter-early spring weather.
I assume the rest of the country will not be having frost danger, but it could.
So, I am just saying this as a warning to keep the covers nearby if you still have fruit.

I think I will plant more peas and wait on the beans for now.
Maybe there will be some summer soon.
I sure hope so.

jeanna
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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well it will officially be summer in a couple of weeks, our weather has turned back from hot to chilley and now going back to hot i guess..but storms moving in for the weekend and part of next week..so maybe our drought is behind us..by the photos you can see my lawn/patsh are pretty much brown or weeds..as the grass in them just doesn't like not getting water...also you can see soaker hoses in my gardens..i use those only when i have to, but they water the most important things..that i don't want to lose
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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was very excited to see leaves on two of the three mulberries today and the mtn ash that I planted..my food forest garden is growing so well with the new rainy and cooler weather ..the drought and 90's was a bit much for it.

Here in Michigan i was taking a chance on planting early, but i'm pleased to say that i have nearly  everything i planted growing well and even have some cool weather crops hanging on now that it got wetter and cooler, blossoms coming on my tomatoes (generally we don't even plant tomatoes here for another week)..everything is ahead, and i'm eating out of my garden every day now ..again..which is so nice on the food budget.
 
Chelle Lewis
Posts: 424
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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A little piece of paradise! Really nice job, Brenda. Congrats. Truly inspiring.
 
rose macaskie
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  Wow, i wonder about all those lists, if you could really plant so much and there in the phtos are is all that wealth of trees . All the trellis work and objects to are great too. It is interesting to see what others do. What a lot of creative force and get it done ishness. rose
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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thanks  Chelle and Rose, I know sometimes people don't believe me when I say what i'm doing around my property, as it does seem like alot..but basically that is all I have to do anymore is work on my house and property since my husband's head injury in 1985. If I didn't have my gardens, I would likely go mad.

We have nearly broken the drought, although the pond is still down more than a foot water level, we have had light rains over night every few nights this past couple of weeks, so things are greening up and growing now..2 of the 3 mulberries have some leaves on them, the mountain ash has leaves opening that i put in last week, and the pears that were wilting really bad are nice and healthy looking now..thank God.. i hate to lose trees to drought or whatever.

also my annual vegetables have really taken off and are growing like gangbusters now, I picked the first of my sugar snap peas yesterday, oh that was wonderful. My greens are ready to pick and the coles are growing nice, the tomatoes have some blossoms now and the seeded ones are up and growing but still only have their seed leaves. Beans are up but no flowers on them yet, and  all of my squahs, melons, cukes, pumpkins, corn etc are up and growing well. My black raspberries have gobs and gobs of green berries, not sure when they'll actually ripen but there is cream in the frig waiting for them.

even the weeds are growing really well, so i have been pulling them to use as a mulcha round my plants, as mulch material is still being elusive around here.
 
Rob Sigg
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Location: PA-Zone 6
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Nice job Brenda! I enjoy looking at your pictures
 
Chelle Lewis
Posts: 424
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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Brenda Groth wrote:even the weeds are growing really well, so i have been pulling them to use as a mulcha round my plants, as mulch material is still being elusive around here.
It is amazing to me the different take on gardening when you see it through permie eyes...  I have come to even appreciate weeds now too!
 
Irene Kightley
pollinator
Posts: 383
Location: South West France
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I've just looked through your photos Brenda - what an amazing collection of different garden areas and plants !

I especially love the photo with the lupins - is the red leaved plant a Cotinus ?



 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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Irene, yes it is. Smoke bush dies to the ground most winters here in Michigan although it is hardy and will grow back quickly from the roots. Thus, we seldom get the "smoke" on our smoke bushes.

I however am smitten with colorful foliages and variaged foliages, as even when there are no flowers in bloom, you get a lot of color.

I have red leafed cotinus, barberry, cherry, plum, heuchera, jap maples and others. I have alot of golden leaf, white leaf and blue leafed plants too. I am a bit ashamed to admit I am a plant collector even though I really can't afford to be. I find it very difficult to not buy a new plant whenever i see them, have to control myself.

I also do try to have blooms in each of the gardens of some kind every time of year, except mid winter, but there is still winter color with blue gold and green evergreens.

thanks everyone for your nice comments, I hope to post a photo album to my facebook in other blooming seasons esp in later June when all the roses are in blooom, also my daylillies are one of my overwhelmingly large number of plants, so if we ever have a lack for food i can always eat daylillies
 
Jill McPartlin
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Brenda - I am really enjoying seeing your pictures too!  Bunnies ate all my beans but my cucumbers, zucchini, and pumpkins are doing really well.  My tomatoes are flowering and a few have baby tomatoes.  I really can't wait to enjoy those!  I'm excited to add some berries for next year.  When is the best time to add them?  I was thinking of buying some of the sad looking ones and seeing if they survive.  What are your thoughts?  We are in Michigan too - east of Detroit. 
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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here is a link to more pictures I took on June 22

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=23386&id=1846485863&l=500c304934

not much changes, but a little more stuff growing and different flowers flowering.
I always have something different flowering week to week, so things change practically every day here. This week my raspberries and strawberries are ripe, hallelujah..and i'm picking a lot of peas now that our weather has cooled back to normal ranges.

i have flowers on my summer squash and pumpkins and tomatoes now and beans should flower next week.

i have family and friends and neighbors in the Detroit area (our neighbor is a pilot out of detroit bought my MIL's house next door for their vacation home).

If you can come by some berry bushes you can still plant them yet this year, maybe in the cooler weather of the fall..if you can manage to save the primocanes intact.
 
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