Lessons from Nepalese Forest Gardens ("Home Gardens")

(From Home Gardens in Nepal) I really enjoyed this great short video on a research/aid project focussing on the benefits of Nepal’s traditional forest garden system. I feel like I’ve learned a great deal from reading about these traditional evolved systems, so it’s great to see actual footage of the Nepalese version. Over the centuries, the people of Nepal have developed and maintained an incredible traditional forest gardening technology, or “Home Gardens” that are finally being recognized and acknowledged for their significant contributions to economic well-being, health and happiness. These gardens have long been associated with the well-off and wealthy … Continue reading Lessons from Nepalese Forest Gardens ("Home Gardens")

2018 Lillie House Perennial Guild Plants Collection

(UPDATED for 2018!) For 2018, our full members will receive their choice of two recommended forest garden trees to start their project (we particularly recommend Asian pears, chestnuts, and paw paws) as well as a selection of fruiting shrubs (including varieties of blackberries, black raspberries, currants, gooseberries, honeyberries, cherries, goumi, elderberries, hazel, cornelian cherry, American holly, roses selected for their high quality large fruit, etc!) In addition to their trees and bushes, our members get priority access to our large collection of perennial forest garden plants at a discount “members only” price. Since developing a high-value understory of perennial vegetables … Continue reading 2018 Lillie House Perennial Guild Plants Collection

How We Save the Savannas

Utterly miraculous – that’s what it must have been for the first European settlers who delved into the heartland. Can you even imagine it? We’re only now begining to understand how densly populated by humans with rich cultures the Americas actually were, when these visitors dubbed what they found “a virgin continent,” an “untouched wilderness.” A vast land with the beauty of the greatest old-country parks and gardens, a naturally growing cacophony of flowers in a broad, open understory where a wagon train could be easily driven straight through. Above, tall chestnuts, oaks, and maples built a cathedral as elegant … Continue reading How We Save the Savannas

Starting to Apply Permaculture in Our Lives

In a sense, “Permaculture” is a critique of the “sustainability” paradigm, which asks: “How can we change the destructive systems we use to meet our needs, so that we can sustain them into the future?” Instead, Permaculture asks: “how can we design new systems to meet our needs that actually benefit the earth, our ecologies and our communities, so that we actually grow heathier, wealthier and wiser over time?”  It asks us to look at our own needs and how we’re meeting them, and imagine new, better ways.  For most of us, that path starts in the garden, which is an … Continue reading Starting to Apply Permaculture in Our Lives

The #1 Most Shocking Reason for Weeds in Native Gardens:

(These are the shocking “pest” that cause problems in native gardens. Recognize them?) Last Spring, I went out to visit a large local “native prairie” planting around town and found landscapers there getting ready to till a large part of the garden. Just a few years eariler, this plot of land had been prepared for this native planting with a thorough regimen of multiple tillings and sprayings of herbicides to eliminate exotic weed pressures. Unfortunately, as is often the case, it wasn’t enough. A few non-natives still managed to survive and take hold. While the natives were slow to establish, … Continue reading The #1 Most Shocking Reason for Weeds in Native Gardens: