You may have heard the term regenerative gardening floating around. A budding practice, it is one that I have connected with and sought to employ in my own garden. Today, I want to share with you my story of how it resonated with me and how I created my own regenerative garden…and why I wrote a book on it.
One day as I was writing the book, it dawned on me. A regenerative garden is circular, like a wheel. Leaves fall and create compost. This feeds the young, shallowly rooted plants. The sun and water help it to grow strong. Wildlife eats the plants and pollinates the flowers. The plants grow older and mine minerals deep in the soil to bring up to the surface before dying, composting, and beginning the cycle again. As I was writing this into a book, I noted how much everything is interconnected. And that is how I designed The Regenerative Garden.
Truly, this happens all on its own. Without any human intervention. It means allowing your garden to return to what it once was and embrace a natural ecosystem that can thrive on its own. It’s about creating healthy soil, cleverly managing water systems, and celebrating biodiversity.
For many years, I’ve been using the concepts of permaculture to create my own regenerative garden. And now, I’m thrilled to share it with you in my book, The Regenerative Garden!
But before we get to The Regenerative Garden, let’s start at the beginning…
In this post, we will cover
- My First Garden
- My Garden Now
- Why I Decided to Write The Regenerative Garden
- Projects for Regenerative Gardening
- Pre-Order The Regenerative Garden!
- Frequently Asked Questions About Regenerative Gardening
- More Posts to Read
My First Garden
By now you may have heard my story. even though it’s so deeply a part of me, I didn’t grow up as a gardener. More than 15 years ago, I got a headache. This headache morphed into a disability that has continued to affect me to this day. I became bedridden overnight and my world completely flipped upside down.
A year and a half later, I turned to the garden as a way to heal. What started as five minutes outside a day turned into trips to the library to get as many gardening books as I possibly could. I started off learning through trial and error and experimenting with everything I possibly could.
While creating my first garden, I began to get into herbalism and learned all kinds of recipes and concoctions. I got crafty and made many projects which turned into one of my earlier books, Garden Made.
At my first house, it was a dustbowl of a backyard. I was starting from scratch and could completely change it into something new. As I got to know the garden, I slowly realized how it all works together. From the soil to the tips of the leaves on the tallest trees, everything was working together to create a tiny haven for me, my family, my community, and the wildlife.
My Garden Now
When I moved into a new house, it came with a highly landscaped garden. Quite the opposite from the barren wasteland I started with before! While the garden was structured nicely, the plants were all extremely overgrown and sick with diseases and pests.
I was greeted with a wall of perennials, including lots of prickly roses and raspberries that were 5 ft high. Suddenly, I was working with a “forest” in which I had to peel back the layers and see what was working and wasn’t working.
The soil was another major issue. Whoever originally landscaped the garden cheaped out on the soil. They buried the construction equipment right in the soil. Can you believe that!? I had to carefully remove all the garbage and fill the soil with compost, more soil, fungal matter, branches, and just about everything I could to help out the world beneath our feet.
My garden needed to become a community. I cleared the way for the ground plants to have room and light, took away the diseased plants, and planted new plants that could help. Before, the garden suffocated because everything needed to compete with each other, and certain plants weren’t allowed to thrive.
After a couple of years, my backyard turned into a garden. To some, it may look wild. I’m no longer living in a manicured, wall of plants. Instead, I have turned my garden into a self-sustaining ecosystem that I barely need to work on. Every part of my garden has its role to play and I get to sit by and enjoy the show!
Why I Decided to Write The Regenerative Garden
What began as gardening as a way of healing turned into a passion for healing the earth as a way of saying thank you. When I first began getting into permaculture practices, I found the books to be extremely in depth. They’re textbooks written by super smart people who have lived off the land for many years.
As a home gardener, that can be very intimidating.
My style is all about finding quick and easy ways to change your garden to promote joy and healing. I wanted to make regenerative gardening accessible for everyone. Almost all the projects in the book come from my own garden, with a few from friends. They’re practical ways you can slowly change your garden to be self-reliant.
Projects for Regenerative Gardening
For everyone who wants a tour of my garden, The Regenerative Garden is it! You’ll find all the tools and methods I apply in my own garden with pictures to prove it. Along with a few projects from friends, here are just a few of the projects inside the book:
- How to Amend Soil with Green Manures
- Sheet Mulching
- Olla Water Catchment System
- Build a Wicking Bed
- How to Reclaim Weedy Soil
- Planting a Guild
- The Art of Espalier
- How to Use Thermal Mass
- How to Build a Windbreak
- Integrated Pest Management
- Worm Hotel
- Seed-Sharing Library
- Butterfly Pathway Gardens
- And many many more!
Beyond the projects, I threaded in the idea of the regenerative garden all throughout the book. Everything within your garden is interconnected, from the sun rays to the nitrogen in the soil.
I wanted to visualize this connection with a circular concept that brings it all together. In the book, you’ll find the theory behind what it means to be a regenerative gardener and apply the projects to help get you there.
Order The Regenerative Garden!
The Regenerative Garden is out in the world and available to order now.
Order at any of these major retailers:
Frequently Asked Questions About Regenerative Gardening
Rooted in the principles of permaculture, a regenerative garden brings your garden back to the way that nature intended it. It’s a style of managing your garden so that it thrives in its own natural ecosystem…even when events like forest fires take place. Once established, it requires minimal effort from the gardener as it takes care of itself. It’s full of plants, houses plenty of wildlife, and has become self-reliant.
A regenerative garden does not need to be wild and unmanicured. You can implement the concept and systems into a modern-day garden. You work on building a good soil base, choosing biodiverse plants, caching and storing water, working within your microclimate, reusing waste, and connecting with your community.
I’ll see you very soon for this upcoming regenerative gardening season!
How can I practice regenerative gardening with my potted citrus plants. Do I continue to fertilize or do something else?