Archive for March, 2015

I figured out this idea mainly out of frustration, the basic story most of us have experienced is: You go out and buy a bunch of bamboo canes from your garden centre store and by the next season some of them have already molded and started rotting down!
This is not very sustainable and in turn ensures the consumer keeps coming back, the other thing to note (slightly deceptive too) is that these canes are sometimes painted or tinted a green colour, although it doesn’t say this on the packaging, I assumed this paint also served as a preservative / anti fungal coat to prevent rotting hence why I bought this in lots when I started Gardening before discovering Permaculture …. but no, it’s just colour to look enticing, has no real value at all really.

Eco Plant Stakes

Smaller Re-Useable Bamboo Stake supporting a Broad Bean on a very windy Permaculture Garden

Anyway, first off you need a supply of bamboo, bamboo does need thinning out and it can be spotted from a distance so you should be able to see which of your neighbours have a batch and you can go ask them! If they or their gardener don’t thin out you can ask if you can do it for them and payment will be all the felled bamboo!
Another thing is you should definitely reserve a space in your garden for a bamboo mini plantation if you follow permaculture methods or at least, if you are a keen gardener, instructions as follows:

Step 1, Making Re-Useable Plant Stakes

Step #1: Get Bamboo Canes (to your own length requirements), Pliers and Wire Cutters

Eco Plant stakes

Step #2: Measure out your wire length based on the eventual thickness of the plant stem you wish to grow, attach the wire using the pliers as above


I have termed this plant ‘Semi Beneficial’ mainly as it doesn’t really have many benefits when compared to my previous posts on beneficial Plants such as the Wild Teasel and Poached Egg Plant.

The main reason I am recommending Monk’s Hood is because it does show up on lists of plants that are ”good for bees” and I have luckily been able to observe this over a three year period, bees do swarm the plants and the best part is that the flowers are summer end when most plants have finished their flushes of flowers! It is perennial with bulb like roots and is related to delphinium, the difference being that some varieties grow the flowers closer together when compared with Delphinium which in my opinion is more attractive than the latter. The second reason is it really is an attractive plant with great ornamental potential!

Warning: The plant is highly toxic so be sure children are well aware!!

One benefit to it being so toxic (for people living in the countryside) is naturally, Deer and Rabbits etc. like to keep well away from them! So it is possible to have attractive flowering plants in your garden if you do suffer damage from Deer etc.

Monks Hood ( Aconitum carmichaelii ) aka Wolf-bane in flower

The plant is also known as Wolf-Bane, history says it was used to poison Wolves in the past

Monks Hood ( Aconitum carmichaelii ) in a mixed bed

The bees do absolutely love them! I am attempting to grow from seed at the moment, once I have a result I will give an update, these plants can cost quite a lot from a Nursery …

I just had to share this!

It’s very much like Permaculture in the way that, if a good system is in place on a piece of land, you could literally leave that system alone for decades, centuries even millennia … it will thrive on it’s own and continue to produce food crop for it’s natural inhabitants or visitors.

Bottle Garden Ecosystem: A little like Permaculture

Bottle Garden Ecosystem: A little like Permaculture

I recently came across this, looks like something worth watching regardless of who you are or what your interests are be it permaculture, general gardening or something quite the opposite!


If you have never heard of the Banana Circle, it may be because you live in a non tropical / sub tropical climate. They are a permaculture design and increase the yield of Banana and other fruits in this simple but very good guild.

Banana Circle 1

Banana Circle Guild with re-purposed sacks for mulch

The basic concept is to prepare a circular section of your area with a radius of about 2 meters (6 feet) plus, once you have measured everything out you start digging in the centre about 1 meter (3 feet) deep and placing all displaced soil around the edges of your measured out circle in a berm like fashion.
Once the centre ‘hole’ is complete and you have built the surrounding berm edge, you can plant 5-6 Banana suckers (baby banana plants) evenly spaced in the edge wall and throw in organic matter (vegetable / fruit scraps, leaves, wood etc.) into the centre hole.

Banana Circle 2

Newly dug out Banana Circle with green waste in the center cavity

The center hole is going to be constantly topped up with organic matter to break down and feed the bananas / other crops in the circle guild. The center cavity will encourage water absorption into the soil and the decomposing organic matter will prevent evaporation, any moisture from the decomposing organic matter will also seep into the soil and provide a nutrient rich liquid feed for all plants in the guild!
Many designers recommend planting Papaya (Pawpaw) trees between the Bananas, Sweet Potato underneath as ground cover, Lemongrass even Comfrey or other Herbs etc. where possible.

Birdseye diagram of a Banana Circle Guild design

Birdseye diagram of a Banana Circle Guild design

Once a mother banana plant dies or gets cut down after cropping, the results will be thrown into the compost centre and the baby suckers will be replanted right near where she was before and so on, therefore continuing the cycle and use of the prepared bed …
In many designs, people often have a greywater pipe leading into the centre of the circle as a recycling irrigation system, there are so many possibilities with this design I feel.

I hope that the pictures and diagrams are enough for those who may be able to install a Banana Circle, just in case, I’ve found a good 6 minute video showing the procedure:

Further Reading:

John Gibbons interviews Geoff Lawton, one of the most well known current Permaculture Guru’s worldwide.
I have been a follower of alchemy Radio for well over a year / or two now and highly recommend a listen (And explore the list of interviews), John is an excellent interviewer and his podcast also has many alternative view / media and health interviews with various individuals worldwide – I would call it Awareness / Conscious Radio to give an idea what the show is about …

Click Here for the Alchemy Radio Geoff Lawton Interview 2015

Follow Kerry as he shows you the beginnings of his Permaculture system on his rooftop in Corfu Greece, now I will admit that at first in the video, he comes off as a Permie Newbie but if you check his channel and scan through the videos at the music school and other sites you get the gist that he knows far more than he seems to!!

One of his other videos is quite interesting, it really shows the permaculture way when he goes around getting cuttings and seed. from locals for fruit trees, grapes etc.
Remember, something you can buy at your local garden centre type store you can always get for free from a neighbour! How many fruit trees, bushes, nuts, vines etc. can be propagated from cuttings? … many!! All of my grapes, figs & Blackberries are successfully grown from cuttings, the secret is Honey!

Let’s hope that one day when Kerry finishes the main part/s of his project at the school, that he gets the time to properly develop his rooftop garden into something that can inspire those who have no garden, I will definitely be keeping an eye out on his channel!

Today’s permaculture Site Tour takes us to Florence in Italy , the owner takes us through the food forest in the first video with various fruit trees, shrubs, annual vegetables etc. including Nut trees that have been on the property before he started the permaculture system on the land. in the second video he delves into his kitchen garden, greenhouse and around the fenced off garden showing the orchard.

Personal Observation Note: In video 1, you see his reasonably sized patch of Bamboo, out of all of the video’s I have seen over the last many months especially in Europe / North America, no one has been growing this great construction / useful resource until this video !
Although I do not have a Bamboo patch, I do have an unlimited supply of free Bamboo as an import resource, I highly recommend growing some if you have the space

Both video’s in English:

Part 1: Food Forest = 6+ Min’s.

Part2: Kitchen Garden and Orchard = 12+ Min’s.