Notes July 18 — Planting Your Medicinal Garden

Gardeners Exchange Group Meeting 18 July 2020
Location: Zoom!
Topic: Planting Your Medicinal Garden with Nicole Schauder

Nicky Schauder and her husband Dave promote “permaculture gardening” by teaching, coaching, and supporting people from all over on ways to improve their gardening, enjoy nature, and enhance their personal spirituality through gardening.

Nicky explained that permaculture gardening is working with nature, bringing back to the earth all that supports a healthy environment, going full circle from planting, to harvesting, to composting, and back to planting again.

In particular herb gardens support the idea that nature itself is the best physician.

Nicky stressed that herbal remedies are particular to each person and not all herbs are used in the same way in each person.

She introduced us to the idea of the “Herb Spiral,” a way of planting using a smaller area and planting “up,” sort of like a pyramid. The plants on top would be those requiring less water, those on the bottom requiring more.

Nicky touched on a few of the more common herbs which may already be known to most of us: thyme to release muscle spasms, sage to combat Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and high cholesterol, and garlic as a fever reducer.

Nicky talked about the need to plan our gardens and showed examples of paper and pencil charts, or setting up table on the computer to write out what is desired in the garden. She reminded us of an important rule of (green) thumb: Observe the location! Does it get sun all day; is it shaded?

Nicky asked the group to brainstorm about what types of medicinal plants would be planted in a permaculture garden, like a natural forest. We talked about the seven layers of every healthy forest and how that translates to our herbal gardens! One important “volunteer” plant in Nicky’s garden is often the one that most gardeners can’t wait to be rid of — dandelion, with medicinal value!

Submitted by Kathleen Dillon

Reference Information from Nicole Schauder

Nicky and Dave Schauder are passionate about helping families grow their own food. Together, they run Permaculture Gardens at, a website filled with garden resources such as free webinars, educational blogs and “Grow-It-Yourself/GIY” – garden mentoring program to help families grow abundantly!

Permaculture Gardens has received the “Most Sustainable Brand” award at the Green Festivals, and Nicky & Dave’s work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Permaculture Research Institute – Australia, and Green Until recently, they also volunteered at their local Title 1 school and started a permaculture garden after-school program for the elementary kids there.