Food Gardens

The history of the Interlaken landscape before river channel control was one of a swamp as the Lutschine and Lombach emptied huge Alpine catchments into this flat land adjacent to the Aare River.

Up the valleys Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Saxeten and Lombach where swampiness was not a problem, people have for centuries managed arable land to support their families. Particularly in the Grindelwald area, there are seven centuries of written records documenting how they managed the landscape.

So this region has a tradition of agriculture, crop and animal management in family scale over the lands from Alpine heights to valley floors. The following series of images show how the Interlaken neighborhoods now follow that same tradition of small land management and family food gardens today.

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Most families dedicate a patch for seasonal vegetables close to their house.

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Veg, flowers, and a place to sit outside.

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This ‘front yard’ is 80% mixed garden, with little strip of grass–maybe for a pet.

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A garden filled with healthy plants speaks of health and commitment to neighbors and passersby.

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When the yard is large enough, there will be found a fruit tree. If even larger, a nut tree.

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Each homeowner finds unique balance with the plantings of flowers, fruits, herbs and vegetables.

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Municipal water supply for allotment gardens for people who have no gardening space at home.

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In the allotments, beauty comes from sweat equity. Healthy allotment gardens are the best of public realm commitments–people and plants in harmony–heart warming it is.

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Past the edge of town is a rural landscape with small scale patches of crops.

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Small scale farming climbs up the slopes becoming pastures which are grazed and/or cut for animals.

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Villages are densely built in the foreground. Pastures in the middle ground with barns for storing hay.

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I just can’t stop including more images of healthy veg gardens next to homes–such a fulfilling feeling.

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In this image is a public path on the right–and one heck of a healthy veg garden to the left. Tell me that is not a beautiful and inspiring landscape?!

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Pasture in the foreground, veg in middle ground, flowers and home in the background. Nuf said.

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Fruit trees and crops right up to the edge of town, then each home with its own veg and flower garden. It is not ideology, not theory. It is fact. It is the result of people understanding plants, gardens and landscapes through their own hard work and intelligence.

Garden Design, Horticulture and Fog

Monochromatic: the transition from fall into winter has brought fog to the mountainsides and lakesides.  Only the foreground can be seen.

Monochromatic: the transition from fall into winter has brought fog to the mountainsides and lakesides. Only the foreground can be seen.

Fog in the literature of garden design and horticulture–I have always sought clarity in textbooks and popular writing from the fields of garden design and horticulture.

But unfortunately in both fields the more I read the more finely subdivided became the material of those fields–finer and finer until I became lost in a fog.

You may just write me off as another searching for the holy grail but…I have found lessons to be learned from the larger landscape that can inform those who try their hand at horticulture and garden design.

Fog is a monochromatic filter and winter is a gray scale reality.  Both lessen the detail and the variety our eyes have to interpret.

So in my garden design, I need only water, healthy soil, light, minerals, deciduous plants and evergreens.

Or is that just the folly of a desktop gardener?

Gray Scale: lessens the detail that our eyes have to interpret.

Gray Scale: lessens the detail that our eyes have to interpret.

 

 

Awkward Beauty: The 23 Club

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I have updated a teaser to the landscape novella I have written, The 23 Club.  Please take a look at it and tell me if it is attractive.

Not sure?

Well, if you like landscapes, gardens, plants, international adventure, problem solving, a dose or two of emotional uncertainty, and a good smile every once in a while…you might just give this teaser a try.

A Funny Landscape Quiz

You know, sometimes we are just _so_ caught up in our worlds, especially for business…giggles, chuckles and laughs are needed…maybe in regular dosages!

I made up this seven question humorous Landscape Quiz.  Try it!

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Gnomes, Chelsea 2013 or otherwise…

In 2013, the Royal Horticultural Society admitted Gnomes to the Chelsea Flower Show, but only by caveat that they be used to help grow funding to encourage younger people’s interest in horticulture.  This fit nicely into British tradition, well delineated by David Bowie’s 1967 single, The Laughing Gnome, available here on YouTube.

But the last word is, in a true Germanic sense, very serious, written by Franz Hartmann 1895, Among the Gnomes, An Occult Tale of Adventure in the Untersberg.  The Untersberg is a mountain on the border of Germany and Austria.  Within the Untersberg are unterwegs connecting…connecting to…Bonigen, Switzerland, where…

 

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I discovered these fellows doing their duties.