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A permaculture garden can essentially take care of itself. A combination of edible plants, wildlife habitats, and native landscaping along with organic gardening practices helps create a low-maintenance, productive environment. This self-sustaining garden serves many functions and provides numerous benefits. Permaculture gardens are designed for ease of use. They are not overly large and all available space is utilized. Raised beds, which are easily accessible on all sides, are commonly seen in permaculture garden design. Keyhole gardens are also popular, with beds taking on a circular or horseshoe shape. All areas within the keyhole garden are easily accessed from the center, or keyhole.
In addition to ease of use, a permaculture garden can be both productive and relaxing. Within a permaculture garden are multiple edible plants. Various fruits and vegetables are grown, which produce an abundant supply of food crops. An assortment of herbs can be found growing in the permaculture garden as well. Herbs are not only used for additional purposes in the kitchen, but they are also grown and utilized for medicinal purposes too. This garden not only provides us with food and medicine but recreation. It can also be used as a quite sanctuary for meditation or rest. Permaculture gardens are wonderful mood enhancers, appealing to all the senses. There are tasty edible plants, breathtaking aromas, and pleasant views. Water features create tranquil sounds and diverse plantings offer a myriad of textures to touch.
Wildlife creatures, from birds and small animals to butterflies and other beneficial insects, are especially fond of a permaculture garden. Within the native plantings and organic environment exists a healthy balance between wildlife and plants. As nature works together, there’s no need for harmful chemicals. Water features and habitat plantings attract a number of wildlife species, which feed on garden pests. The practice of companion plant also helps eliminate any unwanted pests. The layout of a permaculture garden encourages an abundance of beneficial earthworms as well. These soil-dwelling creatures are especially useful for keeping the soil loose and healthy.
One of the greatest benefits of a permaculture garden is recycling. Nothing within this garden is ever wasted. Each plant has a specific purpose and all materials from garden waste are put back into the garden for fertilizing and mulch. Compost is an important element used for soil amendment and fertilizer. Sheet mulching from wet newspaper or cardboard is used as an alternative to tilling. In addition, only organic mulch, such as straw, is implemented in a permaculture garden. Through the use of rain barrels, rainwater, which is filled with nutrients, is reused for watering plants. A variety of plant materials is also reused for wildcrafting projects and flower arrangements.
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