The image below shows my food forest in the Hugelbed in August of last year (2015), one year after the initial berry bushes and peach tree were planted. As you can see, there’s no visible peach tree, because the second one I planted in May (after Willy-dog uprooted and killed the first one) never leafed out and is standing there, just left of the orange ribbon, leafless.
Nevertheless, most of the smaller fruit bushes did quite well. In this view you can see on the left the white flowers of some self-sown Nicotianta flowers from the neighbour’s garden over the fence. Along the fence beyond them are rhubarb leaves. I got several pickings from them last year. Moving along the back fence to the right is a watermelon vine climbing over one of the Sea Buckthorn bushes. This one is the male (no fruit) and behind it are the potatoes that gave me quite a good little crop of giant bakers!
Carrying on to the right and below all the leaves of the Russian Striped Melons are garlic, Egyptian Walking onions and Lemon Balm followed by the gate out of this garden. I had to fence the Hugelbed to keep destructive Willy out. He, as I said earlier, destroyed the peach tree and nearly did the same to my female Sea Buckthorn. It survived, but it will take it another season or two before it will produce any fruit.
Growing up the two wire fences behind the photographer of this image are 2 grape vines and numerous gourds. The gourds did extremely well last year but I won’t plant them again as they took over and completely hid the grapes. Maybe this was a good thing as the grapes did very well in the shade for their first year.
Also out of sight are the Currant and Gooseberry bushes (2 of each) as well as Comfrey and Dock plants that I planted as green manure, “chop and drop” crops. There’s also a tiny dwarf Cherry tree about a foot tall that was smothered by gourd vines. It survived, got a chance to put down roots in its first year, and so should be ready to grow quickly this coming year.
This spring I hope to replace that peach tree if it doesn’t grow and plant climbing beans or something else less rampant than gourds on the new grape arbour that I hope to have built where the fence now is. Then I plan to prune down the grapes and begin training them. Eventually they will grow to produce shade for the flower border outside that fence and, of course, produce lots of grapes!!
I think I may scatter some flower seeds over the ground to see what does well there and to attract insects as well as to provide a few cut flowers for the house.
Next time we’ll move around to the other side of the house and into the Courtyard Garden, a much shadier area and the way to the Veggie Garden.