Here we are again a week later. It is nearly sixty degrees and the snow is on the run. This time last week the snow over the garden was knee high.

Today I would like to discuss balance between productivity and beauty where it pertains to the garden.

As you all know, I have no love for grass. It has nothing to offer and only consumes resources. With this being the case the primary goal should be to eliminate this plant as much as possible.

Personally I think the way to look at this balance is by the returns each side garners. Plants and features that return nothing should get less space than those that return something. Our end game should be to have everything provide something with the exception perhaps of paths and water features.

All of this is drastically easier when you have a ton of acreage, when you are constricted to one or perhaps two tenths of an acre the challenge increases greatly. Add to that a cold northern climate and you will have your work cut out for you.

All of your choices become constricted, the variety of crops the variety of herbs, and perennials they all shrink down. What also shrinks is the amount of planting that can be done. Instead of a hundred of a certain beet for instance you may be forced to slash the number to fifty or less. You may also be hindered like we are by power lines crossing your property. (That’s a whole other rant) this one’s not horrible it simply means more active pruning to keep trees from growing wildly up.

When all of that is considered the value of the space
in your garden increases exponentially. Every square foot must be considered carefully.

The way I see it is the bulk of the space needs tochart-1569213_640 be devoted to food crops, say perhaps 80% of what you have. 10% to trees and such 5% herbs 5% flowery type of thing.

  • 80% food
  • 10% trees/climbing/vining
  • 5% herbs
  • 5% flowery things


Within all of these groups we should be striving to increase the amount of perennial plants. Because of course we are working so we can work less.

As for the breakdown of use I would say 90% of the space for growing and 10% for paths/water features etc…


I’m interested to hear what your break down looks like feel free to comment below.


Until next time…


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