Firgrove Family Garden

An ecologically sound design and implementation of a residential garden for a family with very young children. The brief was for a low maintenance food producing space that would not only provide food for a household of 4 and their part-time staff members that varied between 2-4 people but also an explorative safe and natural playground for their your children.

As the soil had been completely expose for years, the first order of business was to add copious amounts of diverse decomposing organic matter to the beds, about 30cm thick.

We lines the walls with Granadillas, Jasmine and Japanese Honeysuckle. We then planted the border up with Chamomile, Creeping Thyme and Carpet Geranium.

Behind edge border we planted Ajuga, Daisies, Tuberose, Pennywort, Snapdragons and various Salvia’s and Fuchsias.

Then behind that, a taller layer of Artichokes, Perennial Basil, Hydrangeas, Comfrey, Vetiver Grass, Cornflower, Cosmos, Artemesia, Lemon Verbena, interspersed with Kumquat and Plum trees.

When all the planting was complete we  mulched the beds with well aged wood chips.

The aim was to bring the soil to life and to cover the entire soil surface with plants. Anything that get’s trimmed up in this garden is cut into smaller pieces and then dropped on the beds.

The most significant aspect of this project for me was that this family no longer remove organic matter from their growing spaces in the name of ‘neat & tidy’ but instead add to it, in the effort to keep feeding their soil. Their garden ‘waste’ no longer gets sent off the property to a landfill, but is added to their compost or directly applied to growing beds……..depending on how green it is.

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