A boon companion is one’s close or closest friend, especially someone with whom one enjoys spending time or sharing activities. This post is a brief photo essay how some boon companion plants have been making good progress at Dreamland.
The photo above shows the sunrise over Dreamland – a glorious place to be experimenting with companion planting.
Pumpkins and squash
Well, at Dreamland pumpkins and squash have become boon companions for a lot of fruit trees. Patricia liberally put in various heritage pumpkin and squash seeds wherever she saw a gap. Normally squash and pumpkins take up a lot of space in the garden, so could be quite a little challenging to find plants that work well with them. They tend to be heavy feeders and require regular, even watering. But in these early days at Dreamland, that seems to work very well for us. We have to water the young plants regularly anyway, and the pumpkin and squash vines and leaves cover a lot of ground pretty quickly, which in turn suppresses a lot of early settler weeds.
Pumpkin growing vigorously out of a pear guild next to the pond. It is partially covering a Penny Royal and Creeping Boobialla ground cover, but maybe that is giving the ground covers some good protection until they become established.
A guild of Apricots, Yarrow and Calendula with the obligatory squash vines.
Pumpkin, squash and flowers
Corn, sunflowers and pumpkin and squash vines
Flowers and herbs
In many other places our first phase of companion planting included beneficial perennial herbs and flowers.
Cherry guild with Horseradish, Oregano and other herbs
Plum guild with Lemon Balm, Nasturtiums and the obligatory squash vine
Persimmon, Peach and Raisin trees surrounded by many different types of Sage, Oregano, Thyme, and many other herbs
Cosmos, Alyssum, Sage and other flowers and herbs around fruits
Peach, Apple, Persimmon with flowers, Sage, Echinacea
We also have pumpkins growing vigorously around our young grape vines over at Homeland, but that’s another story for another day…
Although not a guild per se, the entrance to the “secret garden” coming on nicely, with Wisteria growing up the posts and many other nectar producing perennials on the terraces to attract and feed the bees year round. There are 8 fruit trees around the “secret garden” that will obviously benefit from this arrangement. Mandatory pumpkin vine in front right corner!