Urban Permaculture (In Japan)

lbarnes lbarnes at primeline.com
Tue Jan 27 08:27:15 EST 1998

Ken and Lisa, Your request for plants for intensive plantings reminds me
of an article I am beginning to write. You can grow a lot in a small
footprint, esp. if you take advantage of vertical space, plant in
re-used containers, or even plant in bags of soil(make them from scrap
plastic bags, etc. and fill with collected silt and composted leaves,
etc.) Here's a brief summary of my Pc Porch garden: 

Lee’s 1997 Permaculture Porch Garden
 (USA Zone 6, 0* to -10* F. Southern Appalachian Bioregion)

	While I’m still town-based in an apartment with little growing area, I
managed to develop a 45- 50 square foot bed -1.5 ft. by 20 ft. strip
along the front of my porch and a 5 ft. circular bed around a dying
dogwood tree.  I’ve added some large nursery containers (2-15 gal.), and
a 10 gal. container which I cut additional planting holes in the sides
like a “strawberry pot ”  which increases my planting area by  an est.
10 sq. ft. I only get 1/2 day of sun since the porch faces east, but I
have sun-loving plants in containers which I can move to maximize sun
exposure. I plant the  more sunloving plants on the sunnier SE end. My
goals were to experiment with plant guilds, both spacially and
temporally, and to shift to mostly perennial species and many
self-seeding annuals. While I have a little bit of a lot of things, my
garden partially feeds me (most of my herbs and edible greens) and is
beautiful. My goal is to save seeds or propagules from all spp. grown.
Next I’m going to focus on more root-crops, beneficial insect plants
(more umbels and composites), and gourds. I believe I have about 23
perennial spp., 5 biennials; and 13 annuals in +/- 75 square feet. I’ve
also got 2 cvs. of timber bamboo growing in 12 gal. pots so I can take
them with me when I buy permanent land. I’m also growing 6 cv. lettuce
in slits in two 40 lb. plastic bags of cow  manure, which can be moved
to sunnier spots and covered for season extension from light frosts.

1997 species
	vines - akebia, native clematis, virginia creeper, maypop (Passiflora
grown in bottomless pots which I lift and store over winter to save
half-hardy perennial root);.
	roots/tubers - ramps;  3 cvs. Jerusalem artichokes (planted in 1 gal.
pots with bottoms cut out to to control aggresiveness); chives;
variagated sweet flag; asian poke (ornamental/dye plant);
	groundcovers - yellow Archangel (Lamium galeobdolan ‘variagatum’, an
aggresive (controlled by harvesting/transplanting), semi-evergreen
edible “living” mulch which serves as an ornamental  background, under
which I add kitchen plant refuse to compost in place; spearmints,
pepperments; dandelions (cv. ‘Lionheart’ ); chives; oregano; 4 cvs.
thyme; everbearing strawberries; comfrey(contained in buried pot);
cucumber endive; 3 spp. native violets (E,M); globe thistle (Centaurea
macrocephala); sweet grass; plantains; 2 cvs. dayflower.
	herbaceous shrub-sized  - 2 cvs. jerusalem artichokes (grown in pots)
and trained with vines to maximize vertical growing space.
	trees- walnuts (planted by squirrels) which I may remove to avoid
alleopathic problems.

Biennials - elephant garlic; dusty miller; 2 cvs. parsley; pansies
(Viola X); ornamental cabbage in fall/winter. 

Annuals (many self-seeding - I save seeds, but let a few self-sow, many
volunteer in small 	silt trap) -
	vines - black-eyed susan vine (Thunbergia-), 2 cvs. cherry tomatoes,
2 cvs. cucumber; 2 cv. pole beans (purple, scarlet runner); red leaf
	half-hardy tubers/ roots - 2 cvs. Irish potatoes, 2 cv. ornamental
sweet potato;
	herbaceous shrub-sized  - cleome (long blooming self-seeder)
	groundcovers - celosia; salvia; lovage; 6 cvs. lettuces; 2 cvs.
dayflower; eggplant; basil; Smoky’s Rainbow Hot Peppers; yellow purslain
(plant source of omega oils).

More information about the permaculture mailing list