Gardening Nana — Keyhole Gardens
By Nancy Craig
In previous articles, I’ve mentioned how my daughter, Ann, is using permaculture ideas to start her garden business, Handful of Herbs, in Fort Collins, Colo. One of the concepts she is using is a keyhole garden, which is a great garden plan for dry areas like Colorado.
We have experienced several dry summers here in Indiana, so I plan to have my great nephews, Max and Eli (and their dad, my nephew, Donald), help me make a veggie keyhole garden.
From gardener Jeff Stafford on HGTV Gardens, “Keyhole gardens combine the best attributes of a raised garden with a recycling center and compost maker.” Check out the HGTV Gardens article on how to start up a keyhole garden. The page also includes a link to the website of Dr. Deb Tolman, Ph.D., who is an environmental scientist and landscape designer, and co-founder and director of the Silo Project, a nonprofit organization centered on sustainability.
This will be a great way to show the boys the importance of good soil and how easy composting can be since it will be in the center of our garden. As we use household gray water, it will make a “compost tea” and keep our garden well-watered and nourished. Maybe our veggies will grow even faster!
We will also experiment with making a “mud shake” from this book, Gardening With Children, by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It has a chapter called “Nature Recycles,” which explains how composting, soil and water interact to make plants grow. The boys still like to dig in the dirt and help their Nana plant seeds, so we will soon have a great keyhole garden.
The Gardening Nana
Nancy loves flower gardening almost as much as she does her great nephews and nieces. Her interest in gardening intensified while living in Holland and was perfected with Master Gardener courses.