Cherry Tree Guild

I got this from Toby Hemenway’s description of Jerome’s guilds in Gaia’s Garden.

  • Cherry Tree (originally Peach…but I’m experimenting)
  • Cosmos
  • Cabbage
  • Calendula
  • Sunflower
  • Horseradish
  • Nicotiana
I’m going to try these out. In order to give them a chance to grow I’m going to have to protect them with chicken wire. It will have to be a big area around the tree because some plants, like the cabbage, can grow to be quite large.

Horseradish Armoracia rusticana

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • tolerates some shade
  • needs some water
  • expands indefinitely with runners
  • tap root (like carrot)
  • can be 3′ tall
  • fast growth rate
  • very difficult to remove once planted
  • edible greens, though not great
  • of course you can make “horseradish” with it
  • all kinds of medicinal uses including helping sinus congestion

Calendula Calendula officinalis

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • blooms spring to early summer and in fall
  • annual
  • 1′ – 2′ tall
  • full sun

Cosmos Cosmos sulphureus

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • blooms summer and in fall
  • annual
  • 3′ tall
  • full sun

Cabbage Brassica oleracea

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • I purchased a domesticated cabbage, which is an annual, so I’m guessing that this won’t work. It needs more water.
  • It needs special care in order for it to get large. I have no intention of harvesting it, so we’ll just see what happens when we put it in the ground in late spring.

Sunflower Teddy Bear Helianthus annuus

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • tolerates some shade
  • needs some water
  • expands indefinitely with runners
  • rhizomatous (like bamboo)
  • can be 3′ tall
  • fast growth rate
  • bloom in late summer/early fall
  • deadhead if you do not want it coming back the next year
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