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There are three concepts I would like to share with you that Michael highlighted on our tour.

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1. The importance of fungi in building soil: fungi are mainly decomposers; this feature enables them to attack cellulose and lignan in wood, cardboard. Many strains can digest toxic chemicals. They can find  phosphorus and other nutrients from organic matter and transport them to roots. Fungi can be found in mass amounts in the roots. Michael showed us areas of cardboard covered with straw, inoculated with mycellium and the resultant healthy soil.

 

2. Berms or swales: “earthen embankment: an earthen embankment or wall, usually erected to provide protection from the weather or to act as a landscaping screen.” 

Michael showed us how he observed the natural contour of the land. With this in mind he raised an area creating a berm, that showed where the water runoff drained or flowed. By placing a berm and the plantings on it, water is captured in the trough like area, which helps retain moisture especially at the roots. This decreases amount of water needed and watering time.

3. Herb Spirals: first pick an area where you want some plant focus; Judd herb spiralsmall, large doesn’t matter. Next outline the area’s spiral formation with stones. Fill the spiral with good soil. Plant. Mediterranean herbs love this configuration. Stones create even temperatures. He reminded us of the four directions when planting.  For Example, the south side (warmer in summer) is great for Mediterranean herbs; the east facing side is good for parsley which likes things a bit cooler. These spiral beds are great habitats too. Lovely, eye catching, easy to maintain are a great idea for a variety of spaces.

Michael Judd is a wealth of knowledge. He is in the process of creating a step by step guide for edible landscaping where one can see these designs in stages of development. His website, ecologiadesign.com, has beautiful pictures of lovely and practical landscape designs, that are inspiring, creative, show beautiful ways to showcase our land. This book should be published by October this year.

I enjoyed this tour. I hope you did too. Do you have any landscape design ideas you like? I would enjoy seeing and hearing about your ideas too.

Enjoy your day.

Judith

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