Friday, May 21, 2010

Hug It Out :: The Black Walnut Guild

When life hands you a black walnut, you have to make certain concessions in the garden. Black walnut roots produce juglone - and it is toxic to many plants. Not fun, when the main tree in your landscape is a walnut. But one can make-do. And so I must.

In the realm of permaculture, there are possibilities for cooperation and love under the canopy of the black walnut. It is called a guild and they are plants that work with the juglone and don't wither in its company.

My go-to book for permaculture ideas is Gaia's Garden by Tobey Hemenway. He suggests plants like mulberries, elderberries, currants and black raspberries (photo above from Wikimedia) in a walnut guild and that is the direction I am going this summer.

So - as of today, I have three elderberry plants and one black raspberry in the ground and I am hunting down currants and mulberries. I also just read somewhere that hollyhocks put up with the demands of the walnut- so those will go in this weekend as well - for height and color. Take that, juglone!


Lara Lewis said...

good luck! the birds are going to love you for planting all those berries. ;)

Southern Lady said...

I just learned something new from your blog! Thanks, and good luck with you new plants. Carla

NeverEverEmma said...

I love hollyhocks! I have had them at a few of my houses over the years. They remind me of Enid Blyton books I used to read - hollyhocks and crocuses always seemed to feature!

June said...

Berries and hollyhocks! Then, it's not all bad. Good for you!

pips said...

Thanks so much for the intro to permaculture - I raided Amazon to find Gaia's garden and others- and am inspired.!.