Shauna and Dorothy talk to Stephanie Rose about her new book, The Regenerative Garden. The book beautifully covers 80 projects in developing your self-sustaining garden ecosystem. Stephanie lives in Vancouver, and Shauna and Dorothy had the pleasure of visiting her last summer to take pictures of her garden for a story in the Fall 2021 issue of Canada’s Local Gardener.
Stephanie comes to gardening as someone who wants to make it easier. She examined her garden while in recovery from a chronic illness, suffering from exhaustion, and thought, why not work with nature rather than against? Which led her to ideas around permaculture and herbalism.
In the book, she looks at things Shauna had never heard of, including the olla water catchment system, where you bury terra cotta vessels filled with water into the garden to seep out moisture as the soil needs it. She instructs on how to plant a guild, which is plants that help each other, along the lines of the “three sisters” of aboriginal planting. (The three sisters are corn, beans and squash, planted in a mound because the corn gives the beans a pole to climb on, the beans fix nitrogen in the soil and the squash leaves shelter the soil to keep water in and weeds out.)
Hurdles is another new concept (to our interviewers, anyhow). They are moveable windbreaks you can build and put in your garden. You can adjust the climate in your garden in this small way or in a larger way by building fences and walls or planting trees and shrubs in strategic places.
Stephanie writes about how to espalier fruit trees, how to build a tiny pond, start a seed library for the neighbourhood, even how to create a worm hotel! And if it sounds too advanced, don’t worry; there are different levels of things you can do in every section, from the easiest to the most complex.