Last summer my hubby and I were able to take Geoff Lawton’s permaculture design course. It’s a great learning experience, one I recommend to anyone. One a-ha moment for me came with the concept of niche spaces.
Niche, or micro spaces are exactly what they sound like- those tiny little spaces around your yard that are capable of growing a plant. Usually these spaces have what we call weeds, like edges of a rock border or between the stepping stones or sidewalks. Yes, these spots are small! But if a dandelion can grow between rocks, imagine what you could put there. Short little flowers like johnny jump-ups, wildflowers for the butterflies, vines to crawl along the rocks and add color, the list is endless. Think about it- herbs growing beside the sidewalk and flowers growing up your fence instead of weeds and grass would add nice curb appeal.
In this photo, I scattered a wildflower mix from the dollar store in between these two fences hoping for a nice bit of color instead of sticks and dirt. The flowers have been stepped on a bit, unfortunately, but they’re there! And looking much better then bare dirt, in my opinion.
So look around your yard, whatever size it is. If you haven’t thought of a micro space already I’m sure you will find one just by looking at the edges of the designated ‘areas’ in your yard, for example: the edge between grass and side-walk, fences, buildings, patio, etc. You might find there’s more growing space then you originally thought.