edible landscaping

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If I could, I would replace all my grass with thyme.

I have seven different cultivars growing now, with outstanding features like lemon and pineapple flavours, variegated or brightly-coloured foliage, and creeping or bushy habits. I can really never have enough thyme.

Thymes (Thymus spp.) are in the mint (Lamiaceae) family. They’re beautiful, small-leafed plants that attract all sorts of pollinators with countless small blossoms.

I take chunks off of the thyme plants I have growing in the herb spiral to start areas of groundcover elswhere in the garden. They form patches easily from a small rooted stem.

I plant strawberries in a bed of thyme to repel pests, which allows the fruit to lay on soft, hygienic leaves, instead of soil.

My plants that need a little winter protection over the root ball are often planted under a bed of thyme, allowing them to be insulated during the colder months: tarragon, for example, springs up reliably every year from underneath a patch of golden thyme.

Under foot and between paving stones, thyme holds weeds at bay, and releases a sweet scent into the air when stepped on.

In essence, it’s a perfect permaculture plant, because it fulfills numerous functions: it’s edible, aesthetically-pleasing, labour-reducing, and insectary.

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Hi Tumblrs! Happy Sunday. I haven’t been posting a lot of food pictures and recipes lately because I have a job now. I’m a landscape designer and installer. I’m growing more food than ever though, at 4 different houses including my own. It’s the best job I’ve ever had. This is my work from the past month. These photos are of a back yard garden makeover. My crew is doing an awesome job. They’ve been working so hard and so have I. I built the brick labyrinth patio in the center mostly by myself. My friend Sarah helped me with a few rows of bricks, as did the homeowner and her friend Courtney. My crew installed all the DG, the bender board and hardscape lines, framed out and installed the big pavers for the dining patio, created drip irrigation everywhere, helped me plant everything, and made me laugh a lot which makes the day go by fast. 

In the first picture is a huge raised vegetable garden, one of two. These vegetable beds have really taken off! We’re growing peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, basil, squash, cucumber, malabar spinach, arugula, thyme, and beans. Yum! I also planted California native plants and succulents in garden beds throughout the yard, and big drought tolerant shrubs and trees in pots. The second set of pics you can see the property before, it was basically a big rectangular dirt patch with a massive stack of bricks in one corner. The picture next to it is after the hardscape elements were finished. We used the bricks to create a labyrinth-esque patio around the fire pit. You can actually walk this labyrinth, I made a bunch of turns in it. Now it’s after the after there’s furniture everywhere and a few more plants. I love the way this garden looks and feels. In the last set of pics is a green frog fountain that was sitting in three different pieces scattered about the yard. My crew set it up and we bought a small pump and got it working. My crew is amazing. I have to go there today to plant a vine and check on things. I can’t wait. I love my job! I would do this for free. Don’t tell any of my clients I said that.

Dear Seattle,

A team of awesome individuals and I are creating a map of forageable sites in Seattle neighborhoods. The idea is to connect with home and business owners to gain permission for a team of volunteers to harvest their viable produce-bearing trees, vines, etc. and donate what the owners don’t need to those in our community who need help getting fresh produce.
Also seeking folks who will let us plant edible landscaping in their yards/parking strips for the same purpose.
Are you into it? Know anyone who is? Connect me!

Spread this idea around, share it however you see fit. This is an important project! We can help our local homeless and impoverished in huge ways with a little effort and teamwork!

ALSO: those who already have gardens and actively harvest their permaculture, please consider letting me know if you have excess you want to donate! Someone from my team will come pick up, or we can connect you with a list of drop-off points.

And gang, this is a project that I am personally spearheading. If you want to be involved, contact me! If you have any input, let me know!

Thanks, you are all champions!

Love,

Friday

🌿Nick standing in front of the elementary school garden he designed and planted.💛We planted this garden/edible landscape in April of last year, and it has been so rewarding to watch it grow and flourish🍃✨So proud of him, for manifesting such a meaningful project!💞it will continue to be such a fulfilling learning opportunity for the children, community, and for ourselves; to be able to observe a living example of a symbiotic, sustainable, sustenance providing ecosystem!💫

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Just a year ago, these were just little single unrooted sempervivum rosettes I plucked off the side of other plants, to fill the spaces between the bricks of the herb spiral.

Now, they have cloned themselves with more lateral rosettes, and have begun to bloom! I am hoping that in a few years, I won’t see the bricks at all.

Arugula Strawberry Nasturtium Flower Salad 

This salad was 100% grown in our garden. It has two kinds of edible flowers, nasturtium petals and arugula flowers. Arugula flowers are delicious, they taste like arugula only a little bit sweeter because they have a bit of nectar inside. Arugula is very easy to grow, it grows like a weed. I like to spread the seeds a few weeks apart to keep the harvest coming. It likes to grow in cooler temperatures. It’s also the one type of salad green I’ve noticed that doesn’t get bitter and tough when it goes to flower. In fact, the leaves get bigger and more flavorful, and the flowers are quite delicious. The nasturtium petals are delicious too, they have a very soft texture and are quite peppery tasting. This was dressed with a light dressing made from Meyer lemon juice (from our tree!) along with honey, olive oil, and salt and pepper. I rubbed the bowl with a cut garlic clove before adding all the greens and dressing. I can’t wait to make this again! 

Yum! Happy Spring everyone! 

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Upcycled potting bench

I’d like to think I’m not materialistic, but it’s safe to say this is now my most prized possession. A relative gave us a large, high-density cutting board they had no use for. I mentioned it would make a great top for a future potting bench. 24 hours later - there it is. Clay is a magic man.

Most of the wood was shed-building scraps. The cutting board is fitted on top and is removable for cleaning. One new item: a kitchen faucet sprayer that’s perfect for watering in seedlings.

On tap for today’s planting:

Sweet William(Soapwart), St. Johnswort, Valerian, Bergamot, Pennyroyal, and Feverfew