Garden / June 4, 2018 / Oriane.
The art of edible permascaping involves planting food bearing perennials in areas where ornamentals would traditionally take up space. In fact, many popular ornamentals are edible, so turning your landscape into a food-bearing paradise is easier than it might sounds. When looking at your entire property as possible ground on which to grow food, your potential to increase your yield goes up accordingly. Lawns, for instance, can easily be transformed into garden plots, flowering perenial gardens can often accomodate plants that are both beautiful and edible, even forested areas on your property can produce food and in some cases might already have something wild worth harvesting.
Keyhole gardens are designed to maximize space by eliminating the need for walkways as found in traditional row gardening or with raised beds. The design is also intended to be draught-resistant and deliver nutrients via compost throughout the entire growing season. Keyhole gardens are a raised style bed that take the rough shape of a circle with a keyhole shaped path allowing access to the entire garden. In the center of the circle is a vertical tunnel that houses many layers of compost. As the compost breaks down it delivers nutrients and moisture directly to the bed. Certainly an efficient way to grow, keyhole gardens can be constructed with many different materials as a quick Google search of the term will confirm. If you have space for a circle roughly 8 - 10 feet in diameter you can use whatever appropriate materials that are easily accessible corrugated siding, cedar posts, landscaping rock, bricks or any combination thereof. We have a page dedicated to keyhole gardens for more details.
A community garden is also a great way to give kids exposure to food production that they might not otherwise get. We will face many challenges in the future around the issues of natural resources and food production, so the ability to grow food in one capacity or another is a skill that may be quite valuable for future generations.
With the right amount of sun exposure it is even feasible to successfully grow small fruit trees or bushes this way. In my day I have seen both lemon trees and blueberry bushes thrive in above-ground planters. Container gardens are also extremely space efficient as every ounce of soil in your container will count as no growing space will be wasted underfoot as you care for and harvest your plants.