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  • Julie

Adding layers and creating shadow

During the second phase of our forest-garden creation, we planted a fairly large number of trees and shrubs, mostly indigenous. We quickly realized that this first plantation, even if it seemed to us quite dense, was far from being sufficient to face the heat of the rays of the summer sun. We needed more shade to hope for a bountiful vegetable harvest. Unlike the magnificent "Nordic" forest-gardens of Martin Crawford in Devon or of our friends Charles and Perrine at the Bec Hellouin, for which the difficulty of design is to succeed in letting in light, our problem is rather that of protecting our lower layer, so as not to let them "grill" in the sun.

We have therefore chosen to install some older plants and fast growing trees (such as Pauwlonia) for these new plantings, capable of creating shade for other plants in a short time. In the choice of these trees we also thought of our bees, with a pretty mimosa which will provide them with nectar and pollen at the end of winter and a second almond tree which will already bloom at the beginning of March, shortly after the mimosa. With these new trees, the upper layer is now well advanced. The shrub layer has also been supplemented by pomegranate trees, hazelnuts, feijoas, roses, as well as Eleagnus Ebingei which have the capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen in the ground. As for the herbaceous layer, it is far from over, but our forest-garden is still very young ...

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