Month: January 2015


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Though seed banks are valuable, Landlife believes that beauty and liveability lie in releasing their potential, and unlocking public space to create living seed banks, even in the world’s most densely-populated cities, like New York, Hong Kong and Chengdu. As well as fields, spaces in waiting are exciting for their own spontaneous nature, and we can inject a little rhythm with deliberately sown and tended seed for the joy of the evolutionary dance. We sowed several areas in Liverpool with the glorious red poppy, which had evocative connections in different ways, in England for its connection to memories of the first world war, which its poignant centenary. But for many—both the Chinese community and passers by—it was the pure joy of the unremitting red.

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Raised Beds: simple solution

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Raised beds make tasks like weeding or harvesting simpler. The 3-foot height of the Finkelsteins’ beds lifts the garden to countertop level. But soil fills only the top 10 inches of space. Jeremiah Brophy, who built the beds for the Finkelsteins, explains how they are made:

1. A frame of 2-by-4s, clad in 1-by-12 planks, establishes the size of each bed. (In this case, the beds are 4 feet wide by 16 feet long.) Vertical 2-by-4s and cross braces provide stability at 4-foot intervals down the length of the bed.

high and mighty raised bed diagram

2. In most of the Finkelsteins’ beds, empty plastic milk crates stacked 26 inches high support the weight of the soil. In others, sturdy plastic barrels, cut to a height of 26 inches, do the lifting.

3. Atop the barrels or crates is a flat sheet of hardware cloth, a galvanized welded-wire mesh. The hardware cloth is bent upward about 2 inches at the edges and secured to the wooden sides of the beds with fence staples.

4. Heavy-duty, water-permeable landscape fabric rests on the hardware cloth to hold the soil in place. The fabric extends to the top of the frame and is stapled to the wood.