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This may have been suggested before. But as the sun hardly ever moves, any ponds would need to be in partial shade by trees.
Some plants also need shade to grow, and some need partial shade. For those, and top protect your more delicate herbs from heavy rains, might I suggest trellises with climbing plants? with a little work you could grow them to cover a nice large area, so you could provide shade, as well as protection. I think there are some edible flowers that are climbers.

For things that I'd like to see in the Garden.. Why not mint and vanilla? Mint could be grown along the shades edges of ponds as they need both abundant water, and slightly darker places. It's also a pretty hardly plant that will hold the ground in place during some heavy rains, and should probably survive a little flooding.

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Mint is a very persistent plant and can occupy a lot of space if left untended. Of course, the nature of a garden is to be tended, so perhaps we needn't worry. Some plants require more time and energy than others. Mint, like running bamboo, crown vetch, and many other plants will occupy a lot of ground quickly with persistent root growth. This characteristic means additional maintenance is required, and as Pothos suggested, also makes for strong erosion control on hillsides. It takes minimal care to establish these plants and additional care to establish and maintain the plants around them. Like everything else, the trick is to find the appropriate balance. There is, without question, a place for these type of plants, and we would be wise not to overuse them. In addition to containment within pots, there are many types of physical and biological management practices which can keep these in check. These include water containment, animal control, regular harvesting, and biochemical boundaries among other means.

side note: i use mint on the sides of hillside contour swales for erosion control in a school garden i have been working on all summer. It needs to be cut back almost every week and that means a lot of mint tea :) Simplified example drawing below.


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  • 1 month later...

[quote name='Amoran Kalamanira Kol' timestamp='1311490596' post='88733']
Plant suggestions, if they have not already been suggested:

[u]7-layer forest garden[/u]
[b]upper canopy:[/b]
-Pecan trees
-Willow trees
-Apple trees
-Peach trees
-Pine trees
-Maple trees
-Birch trees
[b]lower canopy[/b]
-'Japanese maples'
-Plum trees
-Crepe Myrtles
[b]shrub layer[/b]
-Gold Leaf Spirea
-Dwarf Crepe Myrtle
[b]herbacious layer[/b]
-French lavender
-White sage
-Mint either spearmint or peppermint.
-Ornamental Peppers
-Dwarf Hibiscus
-Cat mint
[b]ground cover[/b]
[b]root layer[/b]
[b]vine layer[/b]

I will add more suggestions to the list when I think of more.

My apologies for the LOOOOOOOOONG delay in addressing this suggestion for the community garden. I like a lot of these suggestions and I hope many of these plants continue through to the final design.

A few thoughts. Some of the trees you have selected for an upper canopy would be more appropriate for low canopy trees, such as apples. Fruit trees almost always fill the role of low canopy trees, which are easy to harvest from. Nut trees more often play a role in the high canopy, which is fine for a harvest which takes place after the nuts drop, rather than still on the tree like many fruits. Willow, maple, birch, and pine are also appropriate high canopy trees. I'd like to see this extended out to some ideas about yields from these trees. For instance, maple yields maple sap (and thus syrup and sugar) in the right climate. Do we have that climate? Similar questions about yields of the other high canopy trees.

Low canopy trees and shrubs recommended could have some recommended yields. Many of these woody plants are used in ornamental landscaping, and don't always play a role in an edible/medicinal garden. I'm interested to see how you might use some of these plants and I might like to see more edibles. Definitely berries.

You have some good suggestions for the herbaceous layer. The herbaceous layer should not be confused with a layer of culinary/medicinal herbs. In this case herbaceous means non-woody plants. This would include just about every annual vegetable commonly grown. Ideally, we are looking for perennials and self-seeding annuals for the forest garden. A few types of plants which fit this niche well are ramps, jerusalem artichokes, and non-woody berry plants.

I'd like to see some suggestions for ground layers, root layers, and vine layers. This is a good start and I think we can work with it.

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  • 4 months later...

I'd like to take Amoran's contribution and collaboratively develop it into a full plant list/design for the forest garden area of the community garden. This will not be a quest and there are no rewards, and everyone is encouraged to give some input.

I think it makes sense for use to start from the top and work our way down, so let's begin with a combined examination of upper and lower canopy trees.

The overhead design (http://magicduel.invisionzone.com/topic/9566-community-garden-design/) shows ten trees in this section, four on the bottom swale, and three on each of the upper swales. However, trees grow to different sizes depending on species and how vigorous the rootstock is. These ten trees shown are slightly smaller than the tree by the road, which I would consider a large upper canopy tree. That said, I would say there might be enough room for each swale to have one upper canopy tree, and three to four smaller low canopy trees.

We can figure we're looking at three upper canopy trees total and perhaps ten smaller fruit trees. Most (not all) fruit trees require two trees of the same species, but different varieties for best pollination and production. This is called cross-pollination. Trees which do not require this are called self-fertile. This means that we could probably have one to two species of upper canopy trees, and five to seven species of lower canopy trees.

There are quite a few species of fruit trees that would be great to have in this space, and we need to collaborate to determine which would best suit our needs.

I would like to hear input from everyone as to which species of fruit trees they would like to grow, and why they choose those species. You can request a number of different species, although for now I ask that you list a single species (and your reasons for choosing that species) with each post. Everyone can use the +1 rep button to show your support for a requested species and we can see which are the most popular choices.

Thanks all for your participation!

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  • 2 weeks later...


One of the first to be domesticated, apple trees are highly symbolic for beauty, wisdom, and immortality (cut an apple in in half crosswise, and you will see a five-pointed star).

For those who dare to venture beyond the mortal world to benefit those around them, they offer protection, strength, and safe passage. For example, when Mya was murdered I performed a ritual with a member of the Tainted Warriors who visited her spirit in order to communicate with her while she was dead.

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Cherries (would fit for upper canopee tree).

A few reasons for that choice:
- I've grown amongst cherry tree. I can't imagine a garden without one of those
- It is self fertile
- It can grow very old
- The flowers are beautiful in spring
- The fruit are delicious and are coming in large numbers, and we could have enough for pleasing evreyone
- Birds love cherries

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  • 1 month later...


The sensual experience of biting into a fresh warm fuzzy juicy peach and savoring the taste as the sweet juice drips down your chin is unique unto itself.

Peaches also grow true from seed. I can eat a delicious peach and plant the pit into the ground and a tree will grow that produces equally tasty peaches. With many other types of fruit trees, decent fruit from seed is a crapshoot, and most cultivated varieties come from cuttings and grafts. A tree grown from seed will grow in natural form with wide spaced leaf and branch nodes, giving natural disease and pest resistance.

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Plum trees, like peaches, are stone fruits and will grow true from seed. Proper care, cultivation, and breeding are generally required to produce decent sized fruit. Small fruits are tasty too, but have a higher ratio of sour skin to sweet fruit.

Plum trees are among the earliest of deciduous trees to blossom in the beginning of spring. Plum trees are often found in Japanese artwork blossoming in the snowfall, a beautiful dichotomy which represents this phenomenon. The hardy blossoms of the plum tree are more tolerant of cold conditions and are far less likely to lose an entire crop due to a late frost.

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  • 4 months later...

[b]Community Garden Scarecrow Contest[/b]
Bonus: Plants that go well with pumpkins

Though I have limited knowledge on herbology, I think companion plants should embody two different things. One is a functional quality in that these companion plants can facilitate the growth of pumpkins. Another should be an aesthetic quality in that these companion plants should look good next to the pumpkins. I will start by talking about functional plants before moving onto aesthetic plants

To start, pumpkins are often susceptible to pests. So in order to solve this problem, plants such as Catnip and Peppermint should be grown next to the pumpkins as these are natural pest repellents. Catnip repels many kinds of insects as well as roaches, mosquitoes, beetles, ants, aphids, and mice. Peppermint on the other hand can deter a number of pests, including rodents, like rats and mice. It also keeps ants, fleas and ticks away. Another functional plant would be grapes. As grapes are grown with a scaffold above ground, it provides a structure for pumpkins to grow upon. Knowing that pumpkins have lots of shoots that like to climb, by planting grapes next to the pumpkins can facilitate its growth.

As for aesthetic plants, I think most plants will do so as long they are of specific colours like red, yellow, orange and green. As these are colours that represent autumn (the season where pumpkin is harvested) these colours also go well with the orange colour of pumpkins. Another consideration would be the shape. I think an angular shape can complement the roundness of pumpkins very well. Therefore, I would pick orange lilies and poinsettia as the perfect plants that could complement pumpkins. Not only are they the correct colour, they have the correct shape, thus truly embodying the aura that pumpkins emanate.

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It sounds like the plants n the garden are supposed to be for well "hepful" things I guess. But I was wondering if other types are acceaptable? Like carnivoriues plants or unusual ones

I been thinking about adding in the two kinds of "coprse flowers", yes they both smell dead and often attract flys and bettles

One is [i]rafflesia arnoldii[/i] - it is a parasitic plant (attaches to vines mainly in the grape family) that emits a horrible order, but it looks pretty cool, and does grow in the rainforest ground layer.

[i]Amorphophallus titanum - [/i]this plant grows in the "standard" way most plants do. With light, water, and nutrition, it flowering is rarely seen untill recently.

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  • 4 weeks later...

[size=6]Study to find companion plants to the pumpkins patch[/size]

[b][size=5]Community Garden Scarecrow Contest[/size][/b]

[b][size=5]The pumpkin patch will be companion planted with corn and pole beans. Suggest some other companion plants for a pumpkin patch and explain why they make a suitable plant guild.[/size][/b]

[size=6]First lets have a look at what is planned[/size]

Corn, pole beans and pumpkin is an old proven plant guild used by native american from ages.

corn provides beans with a trellis protects against wind, sun
corn is protected from predators and dryness by pumpkin

Pumpkin has deep roots, beans are shallow and pumpkin smothers weeds and provides a living mulch.

[b]Pole Beans[/b], Hosts nitrogen-fixing bacteria, a good fertilizer for plants, and repel or distrac California beetles

[b]Corn[/b] is a heavy feeder and the beans fix nitrogen from air into the soil however the beans do not feed the corn while it is growing. When the bean plants die back they return nitrogen to the soil that was used up by the corn. A win-win situation

so we see that its a very good guild as support, fertiliser, some pest repelling, wind cover, sun shading, ground cover for dryness are intervoven to mutiall good of those plants.

[u]But if one want as primary crop pumpkins, some care should be taken
The corn and pole beans should be planted such that they dont rob pumpkins of sunlight.[/u]

[b]Zuni Waffle like Garden[/b] would be a good exemple as necrovion can be seen as a dry and hard climate.

The Zuni live in the Four Corners area of the Southwestern United States. This arid climate at altitudes over 7,000 feet makes gardening a special challenge.

the focus of this garden is water conservation. The waffles are about 12 feet by 12 feet. Each individual square is indented and surrounded by a high rim. In each square, a single crop or combinations of crops may be planted (see Figure 8). This garden design will work anywhere in the country where dry summer conditions are experienced.

Traditionally, the crops are planted intensively with five to eight corn seeds in each hole to create clumps of corn similar to those in the Hidatsa garden. Corn seeds are planted 4-8 inches deep in light sandy soils and about 4 inches deep or less in heavier clay soil. Beans and squash have the same planting depths and spacing requirements as corn (8). The same number of beans (4-8 seeds) are planted around each clump of corn, one seed per hole. Only one or two squash (Pumpkin) plantings (4-8 seeds in each hole) are added to each waffle (see Figure 8)



pumpkin will benifice from corn , as corn will be a sacrifice crop for the corn worm that can attack the pumpkin.

[size=6][b]Adding companion plants to the pumpkin garden[/b][/size]


Grow oregano near your pumpkin patches Oregano is a general pest repellent in the garden



repels aphids, asparagus beetle, cabbage looper, Colorado potato beetle, cucumber beetle, flea beetle, imported cabbage worm, Japanese beetle, squash bug and the whitefly.



Companion plant Deters tomato hornworms and cabbage worms. One of the best bee and wasp attracting plants. Adds trace minerals to the soil and a good addition the compost pile. Borage may benefit any plant it is growing next to via increasing resistance to pests and disease. It also makes a nice mulch for most plants.



Radishes can be used as a trap crop against flea beetles

A trap crop is a plant that attracts agricultural pests, usually insects, away from nearby crops. This form of companion planting can save the main crop from decimation by pests without the potential issues and controversy involved in using pesticides.

Trap crops can be planted around the circumference of the field to be protected, or interspersed among them,


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