Gaia's Garden A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture

ISBN-10: 1890132527
ISBN-13: 9781890132521
Edition: 2001
List price: $32.50
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Description: Permaculture is a verbal marriage of permanent and agriculture. Australian Bill Mollison pioneered its development. Key features include: use of compatible perennials; non-invasive planting techniques; emphasis on biodiversity; specifically  More...

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Book details

List price: $32.50
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication date: 4/1/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 8.25" wide x 10.25" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

Permaculture is a verbal marriage of permanent and agriculture. Australian Bill Mollison pioneered its development. Key features include: use of compatible perennials; non-invasive planting techniques; emphasis on biodiversity; specifically adaptable to local climate, landscape, and soil conditions; highly productive output of edibles. Now, picture your backyard as one incredibly lush garden, filled with edible flowers, bursting with fruit and berries, and carpeted with scented herbs and tangy salad greens. The visual impact is of Monets palette, a wash of color, texture, and hue. But this is no still life. The flowers nurture endangered pollinators. Bright-featured songbirds feed on abundant berries and gather twigs for their nests. The plants themselves are grouped in natural communities, where each species plays a role in building soil, deterring pests, storing nutrients, and luring beneficial insects. And finally, you--good ol homo sapiens--are an integral part of the scene. Your garden tools are resting against a nearby tree, and have a slight patina of rust, because this garden requires so little maintenance. You recline into a hammock to admire your work. You have created a garden paradise. This is no dream, but rather an ecological garden, which takes the principles of permaculture and applies them on a home-scale. There is nothing technical, intrusive, secretive, or expensive about this form of gardening. All that is required is some botanical knowledge (which is in this book) and a mindset that defines a backyard paradise as something other than a carpet of grass fed by MiracleGro.

List of Photos and Illustrations
List of Tables
Foreword
Preface
The Garden as Ecosystem
Introducing the Ecological Garden
Gardens that Really Work with Nature
Why Is Gardening So Much Work?
Beyond--Way Beyond--Natural Gardening
The Natives versus Exotics Debate
Making the Desert Bloom, Sustainably
How to Use This Book
Sidebar: What Is Permaculture?
A Gardener's Ecology
Three Ecological Principles
A Mature Garden
A Few of Nature's Tricks for Gardeners
Sidebar: Do Plant Communities Really Exist?
Designing the Ecological Garden
The Ecological Design Process
Natural Patterns in the Garden
Sidebars: Some Pear Tree Connections
A Summary: Designing the Ecological Garden
Building and Planting a Keyhole Bed
The Pieces of the Ecological Garden
Bringing the Soil to Life
Soil Life: The First Recyclers
Building Soil Life
Sharing the Wealth of the Soil
Sidebars: Woody Ways to Build Soil
The Ultimate, Bomb-Proof Sheet Mulch
Starting Plants in Sheet Mulch
Catching, Conserving, and Using Water
The Fivefold Path to Water Wisdom
Conserving Water with Catchment
Water Brings the Garden to Life
Sidebars: How to Make a Swale
Planning a Water-Harvesting System
Tips for Using Greywater
Creating a Backyard Wetland
Plants for Many Uses
The Many Roles of a Tree
Multipurpose Plants
The Roles of Plants in the Ecological Theater
Annuals and Perennials
Microclimates for the Garden
Nurses, Scaffolds, and Chaperones
Summary: Mixing the Many Functions of Plants
Sidebar: Weeds and Other Wild Food
Bringing in the Bees, Birds, and Other Helpful Animals
More Good Bugs than Bad
Attracting Beneficial Insects
The Gardener's Feathered Friends
Other Backyard Helpers
Sidebar: A Gallery of Beneficial Insects
Assembling the Ecological Garden
Creating Communities for the Garden
Interplanting and Beyond
Guilding the Garden
Sidebars: Ianto Evans's Polyculture
Jajarkot's Advanced Polyculture
Growing the Three Sisters Guild
Designing Garden Guilds
An Intimate Way of Guild-Building
Guilds for Bookworms
Creating a Super-Guild
Guilds Aren't Perfect
Sidebar: Using Natural Plant Communities to Guide Guild Design
Growing a Food Forest
Experimenting with Forest Gardens
The Seven-Story Garden
How the Food Forest Evolves
Sidebar: A Brief History of Forest Gardens
Pop Goes the Garden
Choosing the Right Pieces
The Garden Gets Popping
Assembling the Garden Revisited
Sidebar: Ecological Compromises, or You Can't Make an Omelet
A Sampling of Useful Plants
Glossary
Bibliography
Resources
Index

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