The Guilds in Foam's Garden in Amsterdam

The central elements in our garden are three low trees: an Apple tree, a Mulberry and an Elderberry. Those three trees do tolerate each other very well. The idea is to make a guild or community around each tree and over time these guilds can slowly blend into each other. Other possible trees are for a central elemaent can be for instance: pear, cherry, plum…

About 1/3 of out garden was filled with white sand, we took it out and but black earth instead (from neightbours a bit further on, who wanted to get rid of it). To make the soil alive we'll put in this ground many seeds of nutrient accumulators such as: Yarrow - Duizendblad - Achillea (L.), Chamomile - Kamille echte - Matricaria recutita, Fennel - Venkel - Foeniculum vulgare; tweejarig, Chirory -(Wilde Chirochei) - Chicorium intimus, Dandelions Paardenbloem – Taraxacum officinale (perennial) and many more…

Most of these plants are considered as weeds; and they make their living ass pioneer species: tough sundependent, fatgrowing and short lived.These early colonists invade bare or depleted soils. where one of there rolls is to accumulate nutrients in their roots and leaves. Each fall these plants die and rot, pumping a fat load of minerals into the soil. The enriched earth is then ready for the next successionary phase of less emphemerial, more fastidious plants such as perennial herbs, shrubs and trees. succession is the progression from bare earth to short annual weeds to perennials.

One can intercrop nutrient accumulaors in between one's crops or cover bare aerth for two years with nutrient acuumulotots before planting fruittrees etc.

The central element is a small Appletree - Appelboom - Malus domestica which is there for about 8 years now.

Companion plants for the apple tree are.

  • Chives - Bieslook - Allium Schoenoprasum
  • Marigold - Africaantjes of Goudsbloem - Tagetes (L.)
  • Garlic (aswell against caterpillars)
  • Onion - Ui - Allium
  • Dill -dille: host predatory wasps and tastes great with apples raw or cooked)
  • Horserasdish - Mierikswortel - Armoracia rusticana
  • Lemonbalm - Citroenmelisse - Melissa officinalis (L.) -
  • Mustard – Mosterd - Sinapis –
  • Nasturium – Oostindische kers - Tropaeolum; ( a climber) determineert codling moth [wollige plantenluis]
  • Spinach - Spinazie - Spinacia oleracea
  • Tansy -Boerenwormkruid - Tanacetum vulgaire
  • Yarrow - Duizendblad - Achillea (L.); aswell good for living mulch
  • Wallflowers - Muurbloem - Erysimum (L.)
  • Daffodils -Narcis - Narcissus (L.)
  • Rue - Wijnruit - Ruta graveolens (L.)-

[★ it doesn’t go with potatoe]

This community include daffodils, irises, or other early-flowering bulbs. While blooming under the fruit tree, they provide beauty for us and attract pollinators to the tree. Dill and onions planted under the drip line of the apple tree repel pests that are otherwise attracted to the tree. Beans, Peas, or Purple Clovers fix soil nitrogen, improving the quality of the soil in which the tree is growing. Comfrey and Borage are herbs with many human uses. In addition, they grow quickly and can be cut back and used as mulch around the tree.


  • Passionflower - Passiebloem – Passiflora caerulea
  • Bramble - Braam - Rubus fruticosus (L.)


The central elements are a Mulberry - Moerbij - Morus (L.) (which is just planted in january 2009 as a young tree) and its standing close to an Elderberry - Vlier- Sambucus (L.) which is standing on the ground of the neighbours. The both can stand each other very well. Onder the elderberry we digged a big hole to put the dead old tree (branches) under and covered it with eart. In this way tress can slowly over years compost under the ground. And when it rains it can absorb huge amounts of water; so in this way it can serve a reservoir. And so onder the elderberry and on top op the burried wood is our compost heap as it assists in breakdown soil. Elderberry is a natural Antiseptic, the leaves encourage compost fermentation and makes excellent topsoil. The flowers are very attractive to insects and the fruit is very attractive to birds – pigeons hang upside down in autumn to pick the berrys. It’s a general insecticide, the flowers and berries make lovely wine, pancakes, juices etc. The companion plants for the Mulberry are:

  • Chives - Bieslook - Allium Schoenoprasum
  • Marigold - Africaantjes of Goudsbloem - Tagetes (L.) (for pest control)
  • Garlic - Knoflook
  • Grapevine - Druif
  • Lemonbalm - Citroenmelisse - Melissa officinalis (L.) -
  • Nasturium – Oostindische kers - Tropaeolum
  • Mustard - Mosterd -Sinapis nigra
  • Spinach - Spinazie - Spinacia oleracea
  • Silverbeet - snijbiet
  • Tansy - Boerenwormkruid - Tanacetum vulgaire -
  • Yarrow - Duizendblad - Achillea (L.) (living mulch)
  • Comfrey - Smeerwortel - Symphytum spp (living mulch)
  • Clover - Klaver (nitrogin fixer)
  • Cat-mints - Kattekruid - Nepeta: (groundover - Flora)

A special mixture for the groundcovering for under fruittrees is known in Germany under the name “Wolff Mischung”. The mixture consists many nutrients giving plants, gives protector for birds, attract bees and misleads verminous (ongedierte). composition: 7,5% Egyptian Clover - Alexandrijnse Klaver - Trifolium alexandrinum (L.), 25% Holly Clover - Esparcette - Onobrychis viciifolia , 7,5% Italian Clover - Inkarnaatklaver - - Trifolium incarnatum (L.) 5% Reversed Clover - Perzische Klaver - Trifolium resupinatum (L.) 2,5% Red Clover - Rode Klaver - Trifolium pratense (L.) 10% Alfalfa - Lucerne Klaver - Medicago sativa (L.) 25% Vetches - Wikken - Vicia (L.) 10% Beemixture - Bijenmengsel 7,5% Herbmixture - Kruidenmengsel –


  • Brambles - bramen - Rubus fruticosus (L.)
  • Raspberry - Framboos- -Rubus idaeus 'Autumn Bliss' and another specie.
  • Rasberry - name is unknown…
  • Gooseberry – Kruisbes - Ribes -(Hinnonmaki Rod)

Groundcover and Greenmanure

  • wild strawberry


  • rubarb - rabarber- perennial and a good greenmanure.


  • Fern - Varen- Dryopteris Atrata

Edible Flowers

  • Yellow Iris -Gele Iris - Iris pseudacorus
  • Wild Angelica - Engelwortel - Angelica sylvestris
  • Rosemallow - Stokroos - Althaea Rosea
  • Feverfew - Moederkruid - Chrysanthemum parthenium L.


  • edible_guilds.txt
  • Last modified: 2020-06-06 12:00
  • by nik