In-fill Planting Vs. Total Makeover

Example of Infill Planting to an Existing Landscape. Original Plan, and Adaptation for Gleaning, by Leslie Wagle.

Example of Infill Planting to an Existing Landscape. Original Plan, and Adaptation for Gleaning, by Leslie Wagle.

Thinking about planting a glean-able landscape?  Here’s some questions to consider:

  • Does the current landscape meet the needs of the congregation? Are the majority of existing plants healthy and attractive?
    • If the current layout of the landscape meets the needs of the congregation, and the majority of plants are healthy and attractive, consider in-fill planting.
    • If the current layout of the landscape does not meet the needs of the congregation, or the majority of plants are not healthy and attractive, consider a total make-over.
  • How much money or manpower is available to create an edible landscape?
    • If money or manpower, beyond what the congregation already has budgeted for routine maintenance, is limited, consider in-fill planting.
    • If the congregation has additional money or manpower, significantly beyond what it already has budgeted for routine maintenance, consider a total make-over.
  • How much support is there within the congregation for pursuing edible landscaping?
    • If there is significant dissension within the congregation over replacing the current landscaping, consider in-fill planting
    • If there is general support for edible landscaping, but a few with strong reservations,  consider completing a makeover in smaller stages.
    • If there is broad support, with minimal reservations, consider a total makeover.
  • How expensive is the current landscape in terms of water usage or maintenance requirements?
    • If the current landscape is expensive in terms of water usage, or maintenance, consider a total-makeover.  There are plenty of plants that are edible, have low to moderate water needs, and require minimal care to thrive.
    • If the current landscape is already water-wise, or has low maintenance costs as-is, consider in-fill planting.

Finally, remember the design principal of “hidden in plain sight”.  Design the layout of the landscape for its sacred, social, educational, and recreational uses first.  Once those issues have been considered, complete the plan by choosing plants that: are attractive; have water, sunlight, or other needs that are compatible with the site; will require minimal maintenance once established; and finally, are edible.

About the Author

Our Executive Director, Stu Richardson, is a former teacher with 25 years in K-12 classrooms. Currently an MDiv. student at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary preparing for ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Stu has an M.Ed from Chapman University and an Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco. Outside of work, Stu is a beekeeper with 30 hives of his own set in an organic herb garden. He uses a Worksman Low-Gravity Platform Bike with Extra-Cycle Freetail and a 6 foot Bike-to-Work Trailer for most local errands.