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3560Re: Planning edible/ornamental garden in N Spain

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  • Jim
    Jan 7, 2009
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      A herb area is definitely a good idea - I'd make it a circle or
      sprial maybe...you can keep adding different plants to it, carefully
      weeding to ensure balance...fantastic in summer and then you can have
      fresh herbs for various uses including green leaves ro eat fresh or
      in cooked meals, and then dry load for winter use. Growing
      traditional meadow is good also, and will reward you with a seething
      mass of life effect. Start making a tree nursery of 'edibles' and
      take cuttings where possible for your own use and sharing. Make sure
      you map everything, including noting down on the map which are the
      original plants because you can take cuttings from many fruit bushes
      etc, and you want to take cuttings only from the original plants
      because they tend to degrade in vitality as you move further from the
      original plant...yes so fruit bushes are good I think, blackcurrents
      and the other currents, gooseberries, woosterberries, jostaberries,
      (these take cuttings reasonable well) plus the more unusual stuff and
      whatever they do locally to you. I'm trialing various species and
      cultivars of unusual fruit bushes and climbers currently in both Kent
      and Anglesey, UK... too early to declare results...mostly sourced
      from the Agroforestry Research Trust (ART):

      http://www.agroforestry.co.uk/

      I have found quite a lot of unusual stuff failed even when carefully
      tended in pots in the cold greenhouse for no apparent reason. 'Ben
      Hope' appears to the most vital blackcurrent...you might do better in
      your warmer climate. You're already growing grapes, these take
      cuttings well by the way. I start off most cuttings in the
      greenhouse, maybe in plastic bags..they need watching.



      --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Alcock" <ralcock@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi group,
      >
      > I need your advice. I'm planning the edible/ornamental garden around
      > our cabin. We are in Northern Spain, with a maritime climate that's
      > pretty similar to southern Britain but about 3 degrees warmer.
      Things
      > that grow well there will probably grow better here. The area where
      > the garden is gets full sun for most of the day. The soil is heavy
      > clay, but I'll try to make sure the garden has plenty of organic
      matter.
      >
      > I want plants that will take and stay there without having to be
      > planted again every year. I want the garden to produce a significant
      > quantity of tasty food for us with minimum effort (weeding and
      > harvesting, basically). I'd also like it to be ornamental, with some
      > attractively coloured plants and flowers in there. So I'm looking
      for
      > perennial or self-seeding annual herbs, shrubs and vines, which
      fulfil
      > these criteria.
      >
      > My partner has put in a specific request for a vine with showy
      flowers
      > like bougainvillea, but I'd like it to be one that's also edible!
      >
      > Because I'm not a very experienced gardener, I don't get much from
      > just reading a seed catalogue - even specialised ones like ART. I'd
      > like to ask members of the group to recommend some plants that they
      > grow and would suggest for use in a garden like this. Also, some
      > places to obtain the plants (in the EU, preferably).
      >
      > Here's a partial list of what we've already got growing there:
      >
      > Grape trained on pergola (2 vars)
      > Goji
      > Nasturtium
      > Marigold
      > Rosemary
      > Thyme
      > Stevia
      > Parsley
      > Coriander
      > Mint (2 vars)
      > Kiwi (m+f)
      >
      > Your suggestions are much appreciated!
      >
      > Robert
      >
      > PS. To see some photos of the cabin and the land, visit
      > www.abrazohouse.org/gallery2
      >
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