Eugene Weekly : Coverstory : 3.26.2009


Nesting Green Home & Garden Special Issue

Seasonal Salads What to plant for tasty greens year-round

Small Space, Big Tastes Ten herbs you can grow in your apartment

Not a Yolk Backyard chickens produce

Eco-Paint the Town Environmentally friendly options

On the Wing Plants that attract birds and butterflies

2009 Spring Planting Guide


Conserving Water,
Anticipating Surprises

Deborah Brady has been gardening for more than 20 years. She started out working on organic farms and then did a gardening internship with master gardener and permaculturalist, Ianto Evans. Talking about her current garden in Eugene’s River Road area, Brady says: “I am blessed with rich clay loam soil that I have been working for 16 years. For my spring and summer garden nowadays I avoid disturbing the soil whenever I can by doing spot fluffing for transplants or seeding. I then mark paths by scuffing along in the dirt. I don’t do full-on raised beds in the hot season in order to avoid the water loss that happens along the edges of the bed. I like to conserve water as much as possible and also favor deep infrequent watering. That said, when we have a really hot spell I give my lettuce a quick spray in the afternoon to help keep it cool. 

“No matter what I sow in my garden, I never know what the final bed will look like because I let many plants go to seed. This is part of the magic and joy of my garden. Plants come back true to form or cross breed with a close relative — you never know what you’ll get or where you’ll get it.” Brady adds: “My back yard is like a bird sanctuary because of all the forage I leave for them. It never fails to amaze me that people can revere nature when they go hiking and somehow think they’ve left it behind the minute they get home.” — Rachel Foster