Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Forest Garden Plants - Ground Cover Plants for Deep Shade

Ground cover plants play an important role in the forest garden, protecting the soil, providing refuge for wildlife at ground layer, preventing unwanted plants from establishing and can provide some food such as berries or leaves. Ground covers are easy to establish and can be very easy to manage. During this post, we'll take a look at some of our favorite ground cover plants with a focus on those that are suitable for deep shade. We'll provide an overview of the plants, how they are used, the wildlife they can attract and how to propagate the plants.


I'm defining deep shade here as those areas of your garden that receive two - three hours of direct sunlight each day. This may be areas on the north sides of buildings and walls (in the northern hemisphere) and under dense tree canopies.

 Bugle -  Ajuga reptans 


Overview: Bugle - Ajuga reptans is a dense, mat forming ground cover, spreading to 0.6m at a medium rate. It is in leaf all year, producing pretty blue-violet flowers from May to July on spikes that rise above the foliage at a height of around 30cm. The foliage can block the light from weeds inhibiting their growth. The plant is hermaphrodite and pollinated by bees and other insects. Easily grown in average, medium moisture and well-drained soils.


Uses: Excellent ground cover for large and shady areas. They spread freely with runners and establish themselves in areas that provide the optimum environmental conditions, ie, fertile well drained soil in partial to deep shade. Medicinally, Bugle has a long history of use as a wound herb, helpful in stopping bleeding.

Biodiversity: The flowers are highly attractive to bumblebees, some song birds and other beneficial insects.

Propagation: Through divisions if the plant becomes too crowded. Also easy to propagate with seeds.


Hosta -  Hosta app.


Overview: Hosta spp. - Hosta are herbaceous perennials growing to 0.3 x 1m at a fast rate. Dense, basal leaves that are striking and considered highly attractive, overlap each other and form a rounded and spreading mound of foliage. It is in flower in June - July - bell-shaped blooms growing up shoots, that look lily-like, in pretty shades of purple or white. The plant is hermaphrodite and pollinated mainly by bees. Grows well in evenly moist, well-drained soils.


Uses:  A highly ornamental plant, perfect for shady borders, woodland gardens or shade gardens. Effective in groups or massed. Can be planted as an understory to a shrub layer.

Biodiversity: The pretty flowers open in June to July and are attractive to a wide range of pollinators, including bees . Noted for attracting a wide range of insects. Slugs and snails are attracted to the leaves, but if grown in a shady area near a pond, frogs will appear around the plants attracted by the lure of a snack. Some reports of deers enjoying the foliage.

Propagation:  By division in late summer or early spring. Sow seeds in trays under glass from March to July.After around 2 weeks the seeds will start to germinate and can then be pricked out and grown on. using a half strength potting compost. Hosta seeds are best sown from March to mid July.


Spotted Dead Nettle -  Lamium maculatum


Overview: Spotted Dead Nettle - Lamium maculatum is a herbaceous perennial growing to 0.2 -0.9m at a fast rate.  The plant forms a mat of leafy stems with deep green-colored foliage, often with a striking white line forming in the center of each leaf. Flowers are shades of purple and delicate with a long bloom time from April - June, sometimes extending beyond this. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by bees. Does well in moist, well-drained soil.



Uses: Shady borders, woodland gardens or shade gardens.  Can be planted as an understory to a shrub layer.  It works well to cover dying bulb foliage and smothers many weeds. Great combined with other plants for textural contrast.

Biodiversity: Nectar rich pollen that is highly attractive to bees and butterflies.

Propagation: This plant is easy to propagate at any time during the growing season from cuttings of basal stems  or by division. It roots where the stems touch the ground and once established these can be cut away from the original plant and moved. It will also self-seed, but bear in mind that the cultivars will not come true from seed, and if volunteers are not removed they may overtake the parents.

Wood Sorrel - Oxalis acetosella


Overview: Wood Sorrel - Oxalis acetosella is a herbaceous perennial growing to 0.1 - 0.3m at a fast rate.  A creeping habit, with long-stalked, trefoil-shaped leaves. The dainty flowers bloom in April - May and are self-pollinating. The flowers do not produce much fertile seed , most of the fertile seed is produced from cleistogamous flowers during the summer The leaves are a light green color and very thin being only a few cells thick. Prefers moist, well-drained soil.


Uses:  Grows well under trees and well in woodland, on hedgerows, banks and in other damp and shady areas. Recognized as a useful plant medicinally. Apparently the juice of the leaves removes iron mold stains from linen!

Biodiversity: Wood Sorrel leaves are tart in flavor and this is due to their oxalic acid content. This protects the plant from predators such as insect grubs and snails. Large amounts are poisonous for humans, but a few Sorrel leaves make a nice addition to the salad bowl. Flowers are attractive to bees and other beneficial insects.

Propagation: Divisions in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out directly into permanent positions. Via seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in their permanent positions in late spring or early summer.


Lungwort - Pulmonaria saccharata


Overview: Lungwort - Pulmonaria saccharata is a herbaceous perennial of the borage family, growing to 0.3 - 0.6m at a slow rate. The common name of Lungwort was assigned to the plant supposedly because a likeness was made between the mottled leaves and human lungs. The leaves are variegated and hairy to touch and make an attractive display of foliage. The plant is hermaphrodite and pollinated by insects. Flowers bloom in April and May, funnel-shaped and an array of pastel colors of pinks, blues and purples. Spreads very slowly by creeping roots, but is not invasive. A very attractive plant for ground cover. Prefers moist, well-drained soil.



Uses: Excellent ground-cover plants, especially for shady borders. Best grown in groups or massed as a ground cover in shady areas. Also can be an effective edging plant for shady paths. Note that despite its common name, this plant has no known medicinal value in he treatment of pulmonary disease.

Biodiversity: The flowers are known for attracting bees and other pollinators and are nectar rich. Indeed they provide a valuable early source of nectar. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits.

Propagation: Best through divisions made in spring or autumn, or after flowering in the summer. Larger divisions can be planted straight out into permanent positions, whereas smaller divisions may benefit from being potted up and grown on.


Dewberry - Rubus caesius


Overview: Rubus caesius Dewberry is a prostrate deciduous shrub growing to 0.2 x 1m.  It's a species of flowering plant in the rose family, related to the blackberry and growing in much the same way. Leaves are similar to that of the Blackberry, although they often remain for a long time on the stems and can turn an attractive shade of red.  Bloom time is in March and April when the plants start to grow white flowers.These are hermaphrodite and pollinated by bees and other beneficial insects, eventually giving way to the berries which are a deep purple/blue when ripe. The berries are tasty but a bit fiddly to pick. Succeeds in well drained soil.



Uses: Understory ground cover. Fruit may be used in jam and pies, while the leaves may be dried for tea.

Biodiversity: Many garden birds enjoy feasting on the berries if grown in an exposed location.  The leaves are sometimes eaten by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including peach blossom moths. Flowers attractive to a wide range of pollinators and beneficial insects. 

Propagation:  Seed  requires stratification and is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Cuttings can be taken of half-ripe wood during the summer. Best through division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn.


Brief intermission to let you know we're launching our very first Regenerative Landscape Design - Online Interactive Course -  How to Design, Build and Manage Polycultures for Landscapes, Gardens, and Farms

We're super excited about running the course and look forward to providing you with the confidence, inspiration, and opportunity to design, build and manage regenerative landscapes, gardens, and farms that produce food and other resources for humans while enhancing biodiversity.

Regenerative Landscape Design Online Course

You can find out more about the course here to see if it tickles your fancy, and if you subscribe to our newsletter below or you already have subscribed you are welcome to a 20% discount on the full enrollment fees for this course.  Just use the promo code SUB2020 in the section of the registration form to receive your discount. We are looking forward to providing you with this unique online learning experience - as far as we know the very first of its kind, and if you are thinking of reasons why you should do this course and whether this course is suitable for you, take a look here where we lay it all out.


                                                                        


Ground Cover Comfrey - Symphytum grandifolum


Overview: Symphytum grandifolum - Ground Cover Comfrey is a deciduous herbaceous perennial growing to 0.4 x 0.6m at a fast rate.  This rhizomatous perennial is typically grown in borders and shade gardens for its dense attractive and crinkly foliage, and for its spreading nature.  It blooms in April - May, is hermaphrodite and pollinated by bees. Flowers are white and tubular, resembling a bluebell and appearing in clusters. They attract a wide range of interesting insects to the garden. Tolerates most soils and can grow in a moderatly heavy clay soil.


Uses: Shady borders, woodland gardens or shade gardens. There are some named varieties, selected for their ornamental value. Naturalizes in woodland gardens or cottage gardens  where plants can form an attractive ground cover. A dynamic accumulator gathering minerals or nutrients from the soil and storing them in a more bioavailable form - used as fertilizer or to improve mulch.

Biodiversity:  Slugs and snails are attracted to the foliage. An excellent bee plant. Liquid feed can be obtained by soaking the leaves in a small amount of water for a week for an excellent source of potassium to use on other demanding crops.

Propagation: Easy to propagate from root cuttings or division of fleshy roots in spring. Even a small piece of root will result in regrowth.  Can be invasive. May be propagated by seed sown in pots in a cold frame in the autumn or spring.

Periwinkle - Vinca minor


Overview:   Periwinkle - Vinca minor - A herbaceous evergreen perennial growing to 0.2 x 1m. Trailing stems with smooth, attractive evergreen leaves, Periwinkle is one of the most popular and well known of the ground cover plants. Beautiful lavender-blue, phlox-like flowers appear in the leaf axils in early spring and may continue to flower intermittently throughout summer and into autumn.he species is hermaphrodite and is pollinated predominantly by bees. Roots at the nodes as they go along the ground forming an attractive ground cover quickly. Grows well in most soils.

Uses:  Versatile ground cover for shady areas. Good cover for bulbs. Effective on slopes or banks to prevent erosion. Highly valued medicinally. The stems are used in basket making.

Biodiversity: Few predators enjoy the leaves, but the flowers attract a decent amount of interest from insects.

Propagation: Division in recommened in spring just before active growth commences or in the autumn.  Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. Smaller divisions should be potted up. Cuttings of mature wood may also be taken of the current season's growth, 5 - 10 cm long. Generally, they root quickly.


I've hope you have enjoyed the post and please drop a comment below to let us know what are some of your favorite ground plants for deep shade.


If you are would like to learn how to  Design and Build A Forest Garden ,we have a webinar coming up on the 28th November 2020 - 19.00 GMT+3.  It's a live session where we'll go through step by step what you need to know to get started and end with a Q&A session. We'll send you a recording of the webinar when it is finished along with our design spreadsheets and plant lists to help get you started with your own Forest Garden Design.  

The webinar will be hosted on zoom and you can book your place here - Looking forward to it!

How to Design and Build A Forest Garden - Webinar



Welcome to our Online Store where you can find Forest Garden/ Permaculture Plants, Seeds, Cuttings, Bulbs, Rhizomes and Polyculture Multi-packs along with digital goods and services such as Online Courses, Webinars, eBooks, and Online Consultancy and finally we've added a Bulk Fruit and Nut Tree order form for Farms, Orchards, Nurseries, and Large Regenerative Landscape Projects. If there is anything in the store you would like to see but is not there, please let us know. We hope you enjoy the store and find something you like :) It's your purchases that keep our Project going. Thank you. Enter Our Store Here

Plants, Seeds, eBooks, Consultancy, Bulk Fruit and Nut Tree Orders for Permaculture, Polyculture, Forest Gardens and Regenerative Landscapes.



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Sunday, 29 March 2020

Spring in the Gardens, Early Pollenisers, Pruning Grapevine and some Forest Garden Plants - Week 2 - The Polyculture Project

It's been a cold week here in Shipka with snow and winds delaying some of the outdoor crop plantings we had planned. We're still preparing orders for our final deliveries of the season next week and if the weather warms up we'll finish the new shrub and tree plantings and push on with the annual gardens.


We've had a great response for our Growing Food in Small Spaces and How to Use Nutritional Wild Plants Free Webinar with over 150 people registered. We'll announce the date and time of the webinar on Wednesday 1st April and if you would like to join you still have time to register here.

So here's what we've been up to in the gardens this week.

Spring slammed on the brakes early in the week with a flurry of snow and sub-zero temperatures for a few days. It's stopped snowing but it's still plenty chilly out there.


Mahonia aquifolium - Oregon Grape in flower. These are great plants for shady areas and in the understory of a forest garden. They can spread quite fast via layering in some soils but can easily be controlled via pruning with the biomass used for mulch. Our plants seem to stay where they are in our garden. 


I managed to photograph four species of pollinators feeding on the flowers within a few minutes. Mahonia aquifolium - Oregon Grape is a great plant for attracting pollinators early in the season and features in our early pollenizer polyculture that you can find out more about here.


Here you can see how we use  Mahonia aquifolium - Oregon Grape along with a selection of other plants in our Early Polleniser Polyculture. We're offering all of the plants in this polyculture from our online store that you can find here.

Early Polleniser Polyculture

Wild Hyacinth - Hyacynthus sp. blooming in the gardens. Exquisite volatile organic compounds :)


the bees agree...


A range of fruit and nut trees and shrubs from the nursery potted up for our Spring Plant Sale/Open Day that is unlikely to take place this year. Maybe we'll do a drive-by plant sale. 


Phlox subulata - Moss Phlox a sun-loving ground cover with cheerful pink blossom on display in early spring. The plant can spread to form an evergreen cover in hot and dry spots around the garden. Plant out young plants approx 40cm apart and they should form a decent cover in a few years.


Hippophae rhamnoides -  Sea Buckthorn  is one of the first deciduous plants to leaf out in the spring in our gardens. A hardy shrub/tree native to Europe, provides an abundance of highly nutritious orange berries in the autumn. A member of the Elaeagnaceae family, the plant associates with Frankia bacteria to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere. Hippophae rhamnoides -  Sea Buckthorn can withstand strong winds, tolerates drought, thrives in nutritionally poor soil and its thorny branches makes this an ideal plant for a windbreak or hedging.



Brief intermission to let you know we're launching our very first Regenerative Landscape Design - Online Interactive Course -  How to Design, Build and Manage Polycultures for Landscapes, Gardens, and Farms

We're super excited about running the course and look forward to providing you with the confidence, inspiration, and opportunity to design, build and manage regenerative landscapes, gardens, and farms that produce food and other resources for humans while enhancing biodiversity.

Regenerative Landscape Design Online Course

You can find out more about the course here to see if it tickles your fancy, and if you subscribe to our newsletter below or you already have subscribed you are welcome to a 20% discount on the full enrollment fees for this course.  Just use the promo code SUB2020 in the section of the registration form to receive your discount. We are looking forward to providing you with this unique online learning experience - as far as we know the very first of its kind, and if you are thinking of reasons why you should do this course and whether this course is suitable for you, take a look here where we lay it all out.


                                                                        


Pruning the Grapevines 


I normally prune the grapevines in mid-Feb so we're running a bit late this year. Last year we had some disease on the vines so this year I pruned out a lot more of the new growth and second-year-old growth  to leave fewer buds that should have more resources, less stress and therefore more resistant to attack. We'll see.


Here's a short video that Archie made last year on grape pruning and using the prunings for hardwood cuttings. It's easy peasy. Loads more on Grapevines if you are interested in a previous post The Very Fine Grapevine - The Essential Guide to Everything you Need to Know about Growing Grapes



Formicidae - Wood Ants (Formica rufa - I think)  busy as usual. We have 4 colonies in the market garden each one approx 1m wide and 50 cm tall. If our current belief system regarding the age of things is correct, these little creatures have been on the scene for at least 92 million years. The dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago and us hominids have only been strutting our stuff for 6 million years with the very latest edition Homo sapiens mere noobs at just 100,000 years old. Much to learn from these OG's 




Kale and Rocket (background) microgreens in the sunroom. 100's of little plants growing in 25cm wide 45cm long and 15 cm deep trays.


Zanthoxylum piperitum - Japanese Pepper Tree trunk looking pretty sinister 


New Daily Video Series from Dylan and Archie


Dylan and Archie have been posting daily videos on what they are up to in the gardens. 
Here's a few from last week 






Good luck everyone and wishing you well.



Welcome to our Online Store where you can find Forest Garden/ Permaculture Plants, Seeds, Cuttings, Bulbs, Rhizomes and Polyculture Multi-packs along with digital goods and services such as Online Courses, Webinars, eBooks, and Online Consultancy and finally we've added a Bulk Fruit and Nut Tree order form for Farms, Orchards, Nurseries, and Large Regenerative Landscape Projects. If there is anything in the store you would like to see but is not there, please let us know. We hope you enjoy the store and find something you like :) It's your purchases that keep our Project going. Thank you. Enter Our Store Here

Plants, Seeds, eBooks, Consultancy, Bulk Fruit and Nut Tree Orders for Permaculture, Polyculture, Forest Gardens and Regenerative Landscapes.



If you appreciate the work we are doing you can show your support in several ways.

  • Comment, like and share our content on social media.

 

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Our Change of Plans in Response to the Pandemic, what's Going on in the Gardens, Free Webinars and a New Daily Video Series from the Boys. The Polyculture Project Week 1 - 2020

It's been a while since my last post and it feels as though within that time span everything has changed. The optimist in me believes for the better, the realist believes not without a struggle and the pessimist would not be writing anything at all. It feels as if we have all suddenly woken up from a bizarre dream but can't quite tell what's the dream and what's reality. It's certainly testing times and I hope that you are all keeping well and using this time to benefit your family, friends, and neighbours as best as possible.  

So here's what we've been up to the last few weeks, and how the recent events have affected our project and what we are doing in response to what is happening right now.  


I was in Istanbul for the winter writing for our online course and book. Fortunately, I managed to get back to Shipka a day before the borders shut and feel lucky to back with my family and the plants in the gardens. It's difficult to imagine how that beautiful city will cope with the pandemic but every experience I've had with the people there leads me to believe they will face it with grace and dignity. 

Crossing the Bosphorous - photo by Georgi Pavlov who joined me in Istanbul for a week. 
Back in Shipka, it's been a super busy week as we work on getting our spring plant deliveries out to our customers. Most of the orders are on their way now, however, our courier is not delivering to Italy or Switzerland and the post office is only sending small packages without guaranteed tracking so we're looking for alternatives. With travel bans in place across the globe, our Polyculture Study Crew and European volunteers from the ESC scheme can't make it in April and it looks most likely that our April course and open day will not be possible under the current laws prohibiting groups of more than 2 from gathering. We're expecting that the travel bans will continue into early summer so perhaps we can pick things up in June/July. We will be running our online course starting in May and we'll be running free webinars on growing food intensively in the cities & foraging for wild plants over the next few weeks - more on that later.

Day to day life in Shipka is pretty much like it's been since we arrived 13 years ago, the people of our age and older accustomed to having to rely on the land and each other, and many people here still have fresh in their minds hyperinflation events and political collapse during the 1990's and are well equipped to take care of their basic needs. The main notable differences are that people are wearing masks, the social distancing rules in the local shops and in the nearby town of Kazanlak, and yesterday a large tanker vehicle drove through the village with two people masked up sitting on the back spraying disinfectant on the streets and pavement, a very dystopian scene. The schools have been closed but we've been home educating the boys for 8 years so that does not really make any difference to us personally. Normally when schools are off the kids and their friends take over the house but with the lockdown we've not seen any other kids the last few weeks.

Shipka

Our Plans for this Year 


Our plans have changed this year and most of our trials will be put on hold as we turn our attention to grow more crops. Given the uncertainty, we're going to use this situation as an opportunity to practice a life where the regular food supplies are not reliable. Although we have set up a life here in preparation for such events with perennial crops, diverse fruit and nut trees, and healthy and fertile soil all supporting a wide diversity of wildlife,  we along with probably most people on the planet all too readily take for granted the stability of our economy and supply chains.  We've ordered 40 kg of potatoes from an online vendor that we'll be planting out in Ataraxia. 80 potato plants should provide up to 6 months' worth of meals for a family of four with potatoes on the menu 5 or 6 days week but we've ordered more than we need in case there is a shortage later in the year and some of our neighbors can use them.  We'll also plant plenty of corn in May, and we will grow all of our regular annual crops highly concentrated in polycultures in our back garden. When the last of the spring plant orders are out of the nursery we will move the majority of the nursery plants into the market garden to make more space in the home garden for crops. The boys have already started to plant out nitrogen fixers Alnus cordata  - Italian Alder and Elaeagnus angustifolia - Russian Olive in the nursery beds in Aponia. We are growing our mother Corylus avellana - Hazelnut nut trees in this bed spaced 4 meters apart and will be harvesting division from these plants for new stock (find the cultivars we are growing here). In between the hazels, we are planting patches of the above mentioned Nitrogen-fixing trees and shrubs for a year or two before they go out to our customers.


From the forest gardens, we'll be focusing on preserving fruit and nut harvests this year via drying, and preserving in jars and dipping into the wild larder as much as possible for teas and salads. We'll be getting a batch of 3-day old chicks that Dylan will take care of, that we will grow for 10 weeks and process for meat, and a couple of piglets in May. The ducks are producing eggs for us and with 2 males and 3 females we can expect an expansion of our flock this season if all goes well.

New Daily Video Series from Dylan and Archie


Soph and I thought it would be a good idea to take this time to press the point to our two boys Dylan and Archie not to take things for granted and how important it is to at least know how to meet your fundamental needs. We've made an agreement that when they have finished their help around the gardens and completed a daily video on living off the land they can play as much computer as they like. Dylan and Archie will be making daily videos of what they are up to, the first and second of which you can find below.
Day 1


Day 2 



Forest Garden Plants 


First blossom from a Prunus cerisifera  'Nigra' - Purple Plum we planted in the Autumn, we're looking forward to the first fruits this summer. Somewhat tarter than the usual cherry plums, just how I prefer a plum.


Often considered as a weed by gardeners, Ficaria verna, the ground cover formerly known as  Ranunculus ficaria L. common name Lesser celandine, is welcome in our gardens where it forms dense mats in the understory of the forest garden. The flowers provide great early fodder for bees and the leaves can be eaten when cooked but are poisonous if ingested raw, and potentially fatal to grazing animals and livestock such as horses, cattle and sheep.


Here we have the first-ever blossom from a Prunus domestica - Plum 'Angelino' that we planted a few years back. Hopefully, the fruits will follow this July. I love the suspense of trying a new fruit for the first time, but I have noticed that with fruit cultivars the first blossoms do not always produce fruit. 


Dipsacus laciniatus growth leftover from last winter. This native to Europe and Asia is a perennial herb that may grow up two to three meters in height. The erect, branching stem is hollow and prickly and although I have not investigated the inside of the stems yet it has the potential to serve as overwintering sites for invertebrates. The flowers are much loved by a wide variety of bees and we always encourage this plant to grow in our gardens.



The incredibly potent Nectaroscordum siculum - Bulgarian Honey Garlic  coming up through Vinca minor - Lesser Periwinkle ground cover   


Cornus mas the first trees to flower in our gardens 


Scilla forbesii a bulbous perennial from west Turkey is new to our gardens and we'll be offering it from the nursery next season. Glorious little flowers!


Dylan found this beauty under a strawbale when planting out some boundary trees in the market garden.


The ducks are still free-ranging around the garden and do not make any problems for the emerging garlic plants. We'll likely keep them in their pen when we start sowing the leafy greens as they are partial to the emerging seedlings.  


Looking more like a Starfish at the moment than a plant, this is one of the new Allium plants we are growing for the nursery and around the gardens. Allium atropurpureum is native to our region and a popular ornamental given its beautiful flower. 


Allium sativum planted by the boys a few months ago will be ready for pulling and drying in late June.


Forsythia x intermedia a common ornamental shrub and a native to Bulgaria and Eastern Europe. Makes a great hedge and produces plenty of biomass. 


Salvia growing well during the mild winter we had this year.


We're launching our very first Regenerative Landscape Design - Online Interactive Course -  How to Design, Build and Manage Polycultures for Landscapes, Gardens, and Farms.

We're super excited about running the course and look forward to providing you with the confidence, inspiration, and opportunity to design, build and manage regenerative landscapes, gardens, and farms that produce food and other resources for humans while enhancing biodiversity.

Regenerative Landscape Design Online Course

You can find out more about the course here to see if it tickles your fancy, and if you subscribe to our newsletter below or you already have subscribed you are welcome to a 20% discount on the full enrollment fees for this course.  Just use the promo code SUB2020 in the section of the registration form to receive your discount.


                                                                        


We are looking forward to providing you with this unique online learning experience - as far as we know the very first of its kind, and if you are thinking of reasons why you should do this course and whether this course is suitable for you, take a look here where we lay it all out.


Prunus dulcis cv. - Almond in the blossom in the foreground with Alnus cordata  - Italian Alder in the back. Both plants provide early nectar to the bees and on sunny late winter days are full of pollinators. 


Hedera helix leaves looking stunning. I'm going to use the leaf vein patterns from this leaf as the path design for our next forest garden. 


Prunus dulcis cv. - Almond  blossoms in the rain


Sedem telephium - Orpine regrowth 


The last of the flowers from Galanthus gracilis - Snowdrop . We have these planted under most of our trees to mop up nutrients during the winter and turn the spring light into biomass while all the other plants are still dormant


Free Webinar - Growing Food in Small Spaces and How to Use Nutritional Wild Plants Webinar 

Seeing as everyone will be cooped up over the next few weeks I'll be happy to share what I've learned over the last few decades and connect with those interested in how to grow some of their own plants and learn about some super useful wild plants that can be commonly found growing all over the Temperate, Mediterranean and Subtropical areas of the world.

If you are interested in joining the webinar please fill out the registration form below and when/if we have 50 people registered I'll set a date and look forward to the meeting. Please share this around so if people are interested we can get it going as soon as possible. Here is a link you can share - https://forms.gle/cLJ2fnmEqQ9DNRhZ6


Good luck everyone and wishing you well.



If you appreciate the work we are doing you can show your support in several ways.

  • Comment, like and share our content on social media.