These are Zone 2 gardens that is located on the hill behind our buck shed. The first one is a long hugelkultur bed, about 40' in length and 12' wide, and at its center is an canopy layer with an Oak tree - a tree that was originally quite small at around 2ft and growing in the middle of a buckthorn tree. After we removed the buckthorn, we weren't sure the little oak would survive, so decided to form a long hugelkultur bed around it to give it the right supports and nutrients. A sour cherry was placed to its left, and then elderberry on the right as understory trees (elderberry grows to be over 12' in height - ours is easily that now). Around those three, we planted anic bush layer of currents, black raspberries, blueberries, and gooseberries. Underneath those, we have spearmint, peppermint, burdock root, mullein, anise hyssop, basil, thyme, and many other herbs. It has grown into a rather large food forest area, and retains its moisture wonderfully! The second terrace garden was planted in the last couple of years and contain apple tree, medlar fruit trees, black locust, shasta daisy, blueberries, various beans and peas. The manure from the buck area naturally works its way downhill and fertilizes the beds. Chickens love to hang out in this terrace garden, and will scratch and dig while fertilizing the plants. Its honestly my favorite garden on our farm as you can really see all the components working so beautifully in harmony together. On the lower flatter area below the terrace gardens is mostly wetlands but we have been able to build hugelkultur beds there as well - there are plum trees, jostaberries, hazelnuts, currents, medlar trees, aconia berries, peppermint, yarrow, mints, comfrey, valarian root, various herbs and much more. On the wettest part of our lower area we left as untouched pollinator/wetlands for the wildlife, bees and insects.
Our backyard before growing food. It was just lawn, sloping hills where all the water drained to the lower section of the yard and stayed marshy, and covered in honeysuckle and buckthorn.
And now...our terrace gardens.
Bumper crop of sour cherries this year!
The boys are always happy to contribute their manure to help the plants below them grow!
Wide angle view of the hillside gardens.
Medlar fruit tree with companion plants below of spearmint, dandelion, yarrow, mints and also currents. This mound is covered in bees of all kinds while the spearmint is flowering.
Jostaberry bush layer under a plum tree.
Happy hazelnuts under a Honey Locust tree!
Aronia Berries! Great in combo with elderberries for making a cold/flu syrup for immune support in the fall!
Anise Hyssop - a wonderful aromatic for attracting the pollinators to the gardens!
Wetland habitat area. It's a work in progress as it is new this year! More plantings will be added to it.
Oak tree canopy with sour cherry tree and elderberry, burdock root, peppermint, currents and black raspberry, blueberries and many herbs all living in harmony like in a forest system. Weeds mixed in - as they say weeds are just misunderstood plants and have their place in nature as well.
For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. Isaiah 61:11