One of the consequences of turning so much compost into the soil in my front yard is the beds are now raised! If you look at the beds from the side you can see what I mean - quite the mound! This will settle over time - I turned a lot of air in as I dug and that will eventually escape, but I am left with the problem of soil erosion. With nothing to stop it, water will run off the sides of the beds taking the soil with it. What to do?
The solution is to use perennial plants along the perimeter of the beds. The roots of these permanent plants will create a web over time, preventing loss of valuable top soil and helping with water retention.
|Common and Swamp Milkweed|
On the outside edges of the garden I planted milkweed followed by thyme on one side and oregano on the other.
Milkweed is not edible but is a native plant to Rhode Island and is a favorite plant for pollinators, especially the monarch butterfly (more on this plant in an upcoming post).
On the inside edges I planted black-eyed susans, which are not edible but are perennials and are one of my favorite flowers. They also bloom later in the season than many of the other flowering plants in the garden. The other half of this edge is planted with dwarf batchelors buttons seeds, which are edible but are annuals. I will have perennial herbs and strawberries planted in this bed and I'm hoping that will be enough to control the soil!
Along the bottom edge near the side walk I am going to plant lingon berries (if we can find them!). These plants are like the bearberry in that they are perennial ground cover. These will do an excellent job of holding in the soil, not to mention producing delicious fruit!
I spent a lot of time this holiday weekend planting in my edible landscape - I can't wait to share it all with you!
See you in the garden,
EDITED TO ADD:
If you are interested in following the list of plants I am using in this project, I have created a Pinterest Board about the garden. You can see it HERE.