permaculture of the ditch

Stephanie Colombo st.colombo at
Wed Aug 11 20:38:38 EDT 2010

It might be worth checking out other varieties of impatiens. Jewelweed is a
common native plant of the upstate ny region and its essential oil is
amazing as a remedy for poison ivy. The Himalayan
Balsam<>, though not
native, is beautiful and is one of the remedies of Bach's
flower remedies <> for those of a high strung

That's just my quick, untested muse.

On Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 3:47 PM, Simon St.Laurent <simonstl at>wrote:

> I'm wondering if there are visible and perhaps useful things we can do with
> the edges of property most exposed to the public.  This list is usually a
> little more meta than that, but I wonder...
> In a hot year when we planned to do very little gardening (we had a newborn
> and have a two-year-old), I've found myself doing lots of work between 6:00
> and 8:00am.  Even more to my surprise, I've been doing a lot of that work
> near the road in front of my house, Route 366.
> I have a short hill (10'?) sloping down to a ditch before the road.  The
> state DOT mows from the road into the ditch once or twice a year, and that
> area also gets lots of salt and salt spray in winter.  Occasionally the
> state scrapes out the ditch, though they've skipped my stretch for a while.
>  There's also the unfortunate regular appearance of pollutants, from oil and
> gasoline to antifreeze and litter - even occasionally concrete if a truck
> has to stop there for some reason.
> Josh Dolan and I refrained from planting food crops on the hillside, though
> some elderberries have appeared and I'm content to leave them there.  I'm
> mostly doing decorative shade garden work (and poison ivy removal) on the
> hill, though the Edible Forest Garden has been a helpful guide even for
> that.
> My hard question is the side of the ditch that goes to the road.  Cars
> don't get much of an impression, apart from the whiskey barrel of impatiens
> the Varna Community Association put there, but pedestrians certainly see it,
> and I'd like to create some kind of reward for their patience in walking
> that stretch.
> Are there plants more appealing and perhaps productive than goldenrods,
> ragweed, teasel, and garlic mustard that currently survive in that
> environment?  Are there examples of work people have already done that I
> could consider for inspiration?
> I'm not looking for serious design here, just a rough idea of whether this
> is possible enough to be worth investing some time.  I'm happy to
> experiment, and share the results.
> Thanks,
> --
> Simon St.Laurent
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Stephanie Colombo

Professional Model
Go Figure!
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