Saturday, May 12, 2007

Gardening is for Everyone

Growing your own herbs, flowers and vegetables is a wonderful way to reconnect with Nature, relax, enjoy tasty, healthy food, and maybe even lose a few pounds. Gardens can be designed to match anyone's needs.

An accessible
garden creates an area where people of all ages and abilities can garden. All you need are a few simple adaptations to the area, methods, and equipment.

Raised beds are one way to increase your garden's accessibility. Build raised beds as large as possible, making sure that you can reach all areas of the bed. The increase in size adds minimal cost to the bed, while adding valuable garden area. Bed width should be a maximum of 5 feet if it is accessible from all sides, or 2.5 feet if used from only one side. If using extended tools, you can add inches to the bed. Seating ledges should be from 8 to 18 inches wide.

In the design do not forget to plan for dry conditions. The lack of water can delay the ability of a plant to develop the seeds that are essential for the next generation of plants to grow. Now, of course, you could just go out and buy new seeds every year, but if you are really interested in developing your relationship to the plants you grow and saving a few bucks at the same time, then I suggest that you need to ensure that a percentage of your garden produces seeds.

You can control the quality of your seeds because you will select the plants which have the characteristics you most seek and save their seeds.

A healthy ecosystem can take care of itself. The gardener's role is to develop a balance in the back or front yard, between food needs, need for flowers, and the needs of all the other creatures who may live there. You are not alone in your work, so be sure that you have created the conditions that lend themselves to long term survival and vital living.

Birds, bees, butterflies, earthworms and ever smaller beings are essential members of your garden community. Each plays a role and the health and longevity of your garden depends upon their presence.

If you wish to achieve or at least enhance your family's food security, then you will need to open your growing space to the creatures that enable you to create a naturally, thriving ecosystem. We thrive in co-operation and wallow in competition. Select plants because they serve%2

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