I have long practiced the gardening technique of dense planting not only because I like the way it looks but also because I don’t want to spend my time weeding. Thick plantings keep weeds at bay:
An old pair of rain boots has been repurposed to house the only annuals I ever plant: marigolds. Marigolds repel nematodes and draw beneficial insects that prey on aphids. Here I filled the boots with soil and mulched in the top of the boots with grass clippings:
Visitors are invited to contemplate Scripture as they stroll through:
Perennials draw pollinators such as bees and butterflies, which is why it is important not to use insecticides in your gardens:
Here on a shady side of the house under some tall oaks and black cherry trees, I’ve put in a variety of ferns running down the hill toward the woods, trying to tie the cultivated and wild edges together. One tenet of permaculture is that the edges and boundaries are where the most interesting and productive things happen; many of these trees have wild asparagus growing behind them:
We’ve had a bumper crop of wild rabbits this spring and they’ve been feasting on my herbs at every opportunity; we stationed this little stone rabbit at the entrance to one of the children’s gardens to stand guard:
Being able to move through the gardens in a constrained way is a pleasing sensation; I’ve built two pathways this week. The first is shredded mulch with stone circles leading through a bed of ferns to an outdoor faucet:
The other is terracotta squares that I set into river pebbles leading from the front walkway to the walkway on the east side of the house. I moved 750 pounds of pebbles and squares by myself to make this but it will require zero maintenance, so it’s worth the sore muscles:
Plants that are both beautiful and edible are always welcome here. Matteuccia struthiopteris Ostrich ferns, which produce edible fiddleheads, grow well along the northwest side of our front porch:
We in the West dwell now in a spiritual Babylon. Whatever are we to do? Shall we withdraw and become bitter and hate-filled?
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
Plant your garden. Grow your family. Pray for Babylon.