Our Mission:

Our Mission: To enable individuals and communities to take an active part in the cultivation of systems that provide the highest quality fruits, vegetables, herbs and other yields, in a way that benefits themselves, cares for the land and environment, and provides a surplus to use, share and reinvest into the system.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Best of Houzz 2023

Thrilled to share that Abundant Design is a Best of Houzz 2023 winner!

We’re so proud of all the team has accomplished and honored to be recognized for the hard work we put in on behalf of our clients.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Epic Permaculture Backyard Retreat p2

Not many projects bring in so many elements onto one property.  This was an ambitious project and one that checks a lot of boxes by integrating stormwater management and permaculture guilds with traditional landscaping elements!

Permaculture design provides a wonderful toolbox to integrate all of these elements into one cohesive design.

Part 2 of this project summary will focus on the productive parts of the backyard.

From the deck you can see many of the elements in the backyard-

    • Fruit guilds 
      • trees and berry bushes with productive and/or beneficial perennial plants
    • Annual garden, compost bin & herb spiral
      • rain barrel (for the best water) right by the garden
    • Patio & firepit
    • Waterfall
Overlooking this new productive and relaxing backyard space

The site had a very challenging slope that was difficult and dangerous to mow, with poor soil quality, erosion and soggy areas.  We finished this amazing residential project last season.

If you missed Part 1, read that here

Enhanced rain garden and dry stream bed.

This water feature is a feast for all the senses and could provide a drink for pollinators and beneficial insects like dragonflies.  The surrounding prairie planting provides habitat and attracts pollinating insects necessary for fruit and vegetable production.

Pondless waterfall with prairie planting behind

Moving down the slope, the stream separates the lawn from the peach and bramble guild.  Bee balm and thyme are companion planting powerhouses; they attract pollinators, are a beneficial part of foraging bees' diet and have antimicrobial properties that may help prevent diseases in vulnerable fruit trees.  The yarrow in the understory also attracts predatory insects, like lacewings and syrphid flies, that keep pest species in check.

Peach trees with black berries, raspberries and other
companion plantings.

Constructing the herb spiral-
 also high on the customer wish list

Herb spiral with historical salvaged bricks, rain garden
overflow stream in the background.

Herb spirals are often found in permaculture gardens and something the customer really wanted to include.  A spiral pattern is one that repeats in nature and depending on the herb spiral's size can induce microclimates that can be targeted with herbs that appreciate them.  Herbs are generally quite resilient and do well in these raised systems which can be too dry for typical vegetables.  We positioned this one near the edge of the lawn for easy access and near the annual vegetable garden.

Looking across the raised keyhole garden beds
as the sod was being finished.  With the amount of
earth sculpting, sod was needed for the small lawn.

Before - Garden space
The vegetable garden was originally located where the new patio is.  It was moved to open up the center of the yard while still keep it accessible.  It also allowed us to move all of the gardening space together.  The "keyhole garden bed" was rebuilt trying to salvage as many plants as possible.

Keyhole garden beds with composter behind.
A rain barrel is on a stand behind the stairs.

The composters were moved from the shed/rain garden area here where garden and kitchen waste are easily added; and finished compost will be handy to amend the soil in the garden.  

We also moved a rain barrel from the other side so that rainwater from the downspout is captured under the deck right near the garden for use.

Native pollinator beds were already established, we just added the 
planting space on the hardest to mow areas - between the tree guilds.

Apple guild view from below

The apple guild includes rhubarb, gooseberries and currants.  Strawberries were used as a productive ground cover, along with pockets of clover for nitrogen fixation.  The tree spacing allows a good deal of sun through for fruit production but does provide shade in the afternoons which strawberries appreciate.  The swale on contour captures runoff from above hydrating the plants below.  The access paths (dark mulch) also follow the contour to prevent erosion and make them easier to navigate.

Apple guild, view from the deck -
you can just see the compost bins and garden at the bottom

Now for the understory plants to fill in!  I'm really looking forward to revisiting this yard as it develops.

#fruitguilds #raingarden #prairie #pollinator #herbspiral #keyholebed #compost