Herbalscaping is landscaping with a medicinal plant twist. The main object of herbalscaping (at the family level) is to provide herbal medicines specific to the family’s needs. One of the hallmarks of permaculture is complex polycultures, often multi-layered canopies. This workshop will discuss trees, shrubs, berries, vines, herbaceous perennials and annuals. What grows well together? How do we design, plant and manage polycultures?
Medicinal plants can serve multiple functions, as well as producing medicines and food. Medicinal plants can be used for stunning ornamental landscaping. Herbalscaping can provide hedgerows for visual and/or animal barriers and/or windbreak protection. It can include long-term planting of medicinal trees for botanicals, shade trees, specialty wood products, timber, fruits, etc. They can also function to feed pollinators and wildlife food and habitat. Medicinal plants lend themselves well to polycultures, forest farming, permaculture guilds, agroforestry and urban landscaping. Medicinal tree arboretums and herbal botanic gardens are still all too few.
Michael will discuss where to site and how to plant and grow many medicinal herbs. Students are encouraged to ask for specifics if they have particular herbs they want to know about. We will look at native and non-native plant species adapted to Whatcom and Skagit County conditions. Home use and commercial. Plants for shady sites, sunny sites, dry, wet, seashore, rocky, various soil types, etc.
An “herbalscaping” business partnership includes a clinical herbalist who interviews families and comes up with a list of plants that meets each family’s specific health needs (and that can grow in this climate). The landscaper/designer part of the team would design medicinal plants into the family’s yard to meet the aesthetic and functional desires of the client. This can involve integrating plants into already existing landscapes or starting from bare soil. The client could hire the designer to install the plants, hire in a crew, or have a do-it-yourself project.
Fragrancescaping. During the workshop we will also touch on how herbalscaping can be integrated with “fragrancescaping” which I define as landscaping with fragrant plants so that there is fragrance throughout the year. During the growing season we have flowering plants which are fragrant during daylight hours and a different set of species which are fragrant at night. In winter we have plants with fragrant bark or evergreen foliage such as spicebush (Lindera benzoin) or Japanese pepper-tree (Xanthoxylum piperitum). Luckily both are medicinal plants so fit into both categories.
A one-day workshop for home-owners, gardeners and landscapers.
MICHAEL “SKEETER” PILARSKI is a plant enthusiast whose farming career started in 2nd grade and whose organic farming career began in 1972 at age 25. He has been commercially farming and wildcrafting medicinal herbs for the last 20 years. He has worked with over 1000 plant species during his years of experience with farming, horticulture, wildcrafting, seed collecting, tree planting, nursery sales, permaculture, forestry, agroforestry, and ethnobotany. Since 1988 he has taught 36 permaculture design courses in the US and abroad. He is the founder of the Northwest Herbal Fair, the Montana Herb Gathering.
We will design an herbalscape for a residence’s yard in Bow Washington.
Bring your own lunch.