...whats happening with it now
Last fall i wrote about starting a keyhole garden. The term, keyhole, refers to the garden's shape- it's designed to maximize growing space while minimizing pathway. Specifically, a continuous three sided bed wraps around a central pathway. More growing space means you can grow more plants, and less path translates into easier maintenance.
Last fall's post gave step by step instructions for creating sheet mulch. The sheet mulch becomes a growing medium for plants. This is a way of starting a garden bed on top of sod, or sand and rocks as we have here. No digging, no tilling. We've done this many times to make our raised beds.
Anyway, I ended the post with no idea of what to plant there. And since, I've thought about it. In a series of three posts: Perennial, Vegetable, Forest gardens I noted a few differences about these three different areas. For me, it stands out that the annual veggie garden is really unsustainable. I want things to be simpler- gardening is not my only passion! Wouldn't it be great to grow food plants in a way that is simpler, less fussy, easier to maintain? Like, say, the perennial flower garden which, here, anyway, seems to thrive on total neglect. And so, an idea hit me: the keyhole will be a perennial food garden.
Well, this was either revelation or inspiration, not sure which. Or maybe both. So off I went with a shovel and a bucket digging up pieces of food perennials that we already have- chives, perennial onions, lovage, and rhubarb. I'm not putting asparagus in this garden because the layers of mulch may not be deep enough.
|This is one side of the keyhole- as you can see there's not much happening here yet.|
And, I'm putting in some reseeding annuals to scatter themselves in and around the perennials. I figure that if a plant is hardy enough to be there from one year to the next, then it qualifies for this garden. On that note, I scrounged for whatever is coming up and found upland cress, giant red mustard, claytonia, mache. Turnip, rhutabaga, kale, and parsnips are some more options I may add later.
|The keyhole from the stone wall in the back of it.|
And, finally, I planted seeds for Good King Henry, perennial kale, and New Zealand spinach- plants that are suggested for permaculture. These are new to us, and we'll keep you posted on what transpires with them.
The plants and seeds were stuck in with no particular plan. I'm very sure that plants will be arranged and rearranged until it all gets right. And that is a big difference from the veggie garden- those nice neat rows do not fit this space. -jmm