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Raised beds for our public library

 
Ashley Handy
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So I have been told I am to be in charge of some raised beds we have created here at our local library where I work. I'm a little nervous, because I imagine their idea of a raised bed isn't going to be exactly like what I have at home....

Also, I am expected to keep it "pretty" all of the time? My first thought was, "Well I guess we could give it a good cover of clover." Haha!

So I suppose I was going to see if any one had any experience in melding together both their principles with the principle of a business to make a sustainable, pretty raised bed. I'm thinking we're going to be planting it ASAP, and I'm thinking that we're going to start out with some vegetables...maybe?

Anyhoo, I'm to receive more details later today. Any ideas?
 
John Elliott
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Here in the South, Korean red mustard and ornamental kales are common for winter plantings that are both pretty and edible. This time of year though, they go to seed, so the summer vegetables need to go in. Peppers are attractive plants, and bear all through the season. Colored chards are another possibility, more of a winter vegetable for the South and a summer vegetable further north. Tomatoes get less "pretty" as they sprawl all over the place, but with constant maintenance, you can keep them within bounds and looking good. That advice goes for other vining plants as well: cucumbers, squash, small melons, nasturtiums.

I get the idea that people expect landscaped public spaces to produce a lot of flowers and "look pretty", and they don't have the permaculturalist's eye for how things grow and change through the seasons. I have to be vigilant to collect seed from landscape plants, before the property owner complains to the landscapers about the looks, and then they go out and deadhead all the plants. I try not to deadhead in my garden spaces, not unless it is a weed that I am trying to suppress, like nightshade.

Bottom line, my garden wouldn't make for a pretty raised bed at the local library. Similarly, I wouldn't want to forage for dinner among the raised beds that look pretty in the public spaces around town.
 
Ashley Handy
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Bottom line, my garden wouldn't make for a pretty raised bed at the local library. Similarly, I wouldn't want to forage for dinner among the raised beds that look pretty in the public spaces around town.


Ha! Same! They actually do want me to plant vegetables. And as far as pretty goes, the way they explained is that they just don't want it to ever look abandoned. So I'm sure I can work with that.

Thanks for the advice. I have all sorts of things in my garden bed, but the ideas you gave me helped me put my limited space into perspective, so thanks for that! I have a tendency to just put things all over the place and just see what happens, and I don't get the impression I'll be able to do that here- haha!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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