Spring at Lillie House

It’s springtime and we’ve been busy planting our final round of intensive plantings in our forest gardens. This year, we’re adding dozens of new perennial and self sowing species to our collection of edible and medicinal plants and we’re pretty excited about them. 
We also re-dug part of our ditch and swale system that handles water from the down-spouts that drain half of our roof area. 
In the four years this little water system has been in place it has created a massive amount of soil, which had completely filled the drains and swales, causing them to stop functioning properly. What’s interesting is I mean SOIL, not just mushroom compost (the swales were filled with logs and wood chips.) There was no distinguisng the original compost material from the surrounding soil. It had been thorougly mixed with our Ostemo Loam to create a beautiful, rich black soil with amazing texture. 
K was able to dig out this ditch and swale system in about 1 hour. 1 hour of work every 4 years isn’t bad, especially if we harvest a huge pile of beautiful soil each time we do it. 
We’re also busy planning a series of forest garden tours for this summer so we can share what we’ve learned. Hopefully at this point our garden is starting to enter into some predictable stability, so we can keep things looking good for visitors with minimal maintenance. 

And of course, we look forward to sharing some of our exciting plants, sch as this miner’s lettuce, a self-sowing annual that seems to be natralizing in our forest garden. 
So, how’s your garden doing this spring? 

2 thoughts on “Spring at Lillie House

  1. Hi. I am looking for resources regarding permaculture here in Kalamazoo. For several years I have been fighting a losing battle on my large urban lot here in the city. I am trying to maintain a pretty yard without using all of the chemicals that the former homeowner used. If you could possibly contact me by replying I would be very appreciative. I am becoming desperate 🙂 Thank you so much.

  2. Hi Courtney,I sent you an email so you can get in touch with me. I'm happy to give advice to anyone who wants to take the DIY path, and I also offer my services as a Permaculture Designer and ecological landscaper. There's no reason why you can't have a pretty yard without chemicals, as well as a yard that's architechturally informed, that enriches the ecology of our biome, sequesters carbon, provides your family with recreation and better connection to nature, and even provides some amazing fruit and vegetables, if that's interesting to you.Give me a call and we'll talk it over. Mike

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