One of the principles of permaculture is to grow plants up , instead of letting plants scramble around the ground taking up precious space. Just looking around the garden, I have definitely taken that to heart! In actual fact the plants have done that on their own without my help. Take for instance this passionfruit vine:
When I first planted the passionfruit vine next to my little arch and alongside the fence, I knew it would ramble, but gosh, once it started to climb this happy plant it just continued to reach for the sky. It suits us very well as we have a rather ugly Telstra building behind there, and I would much rather look at a 30ft wall of green. When the passionfruit ripen, they just fall to the ground and I can walk around and pick them up. How convenient is that?
I planted pigeon peas as a green manure crop this year, and sometimes I miss the fine print when choosing plants - like how tall they grow! I read that they can be used as "living" stakes for tomato bushes, so have them on either side of the old table framework full of composting garden waste which is where I will be planting tomatoes later this year. A symbiotic relationship - I like that.......... plants helping plants :)
The other vines that I keep cutting back are the luffa and snake bean vines - I keep removing them from climbing over the roof and send them back the way they have just come, along the fence. They dont seem to mind. I ate a little luffa and have not eaten any more thinking that I do want some to grow bigger to use as bath loofas. Today I was scrambling around looking for passionfruit as I want to try a passionfruit jam recipe so need lots. What did I find? but this HUGE luufa - so excited :)
The beehive ginger leaf fronds reach way up into the leaves of the tree and when I cut them back as they yellow and die, I remove the leaves, then set them aside to dry. They make perfect plant stakes, and best of all, they are free!
another useful permaculture plant is chillies - you can crush them up with garlic to make a pest reppelant spray - these birds eye chillies are small but they pack a punch!