Thursday, July 5, 2012
Hugelkultur With A Willow Tree
Fallen Dead Willow Tree and Stump
What is Hugelkulfur you might ask? I'm not sure if I'm even pronouncing it correctly! But it turns out this is another really cool method of natural gardening using a form of permaculture. The word itself is actually German for "mound Culture." Let me explain further.
Here we were with a fallen dead Willow Tree, pretty much right at our back door, stump and all. It is also right smack dab in the lawn part of the yard. This might sound crazy to some, but I really hate the lawn and we've been working towards killing it as fast as nature will allow. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to do just that.
I started out by taking pictures of the mess, looking for some inspiration. I decided to post one of the photos on our Thyme Square Gardens FB page and see what kind of inspiration some of our fans might find with this Willow Tree. Everyone that posted had the same suggestion. Hugelkultur!! HA!! This is why we love all of our readers!! We just want to thank you for all of your support!!
My Mr. Garden and his artistic vision seen the curve of the tree as the perfect spot for nestling the stock tank. We use our stock tank as a swimming hole for the grand kids as well as a rain water collector.
We decided to create another natural habitat area by simply planting up around most of the trunk with Canna Lilies that will help improve the soil, a nice Castor bean tree that will make shade and will yield us more organic matter and a bunch of 4 O'clock plants for a slash of color.
We left the one end open where the kids are using it as a place to sit with their towels to dry off. By adding a couple of flat rocks in front it makes it easier for them to climb up into the tank.
So this isn't exactly burying the tree trunk in compost and soil. But then, we are not exactly the digging kind of folks. Especially in our hard clay soil. It will gradually decompose, but we can have fun with it while nature does its thing. The whole concept of permaculture is to work with nature instead of against it, right?
As for the tree stump, it is now a rock garden filled with moss rose.
I have to admit it is really becoming quite a jungle out here!! But think about all that organic matter we will have to put back into the earth! We are transforming our land that was once a piney wood forest, stripped of all its trees by ranchers and farmers years ago, back into the oasis it once was.
It takes nature time to heal, but by working with it instead of against it we can win in the end.