Life Preservation Plants

After installing and maintaining gardens for 10 years, Matt Gravel saw reoccurring issues in garden design and plant selection. “You often install the same five to 10 plants and leave without having the client further connected to the space,” said Gravel. “These gardens we install are living and evolving and I want to get people excited about being a part of them and using them to their potential.”

Through Gravel’s experience with permaculture, he saw just how productive and regenerative natural systems can be. He decided to take these observations and all he’d learned and turn it into one regenerative business, Plant Buoy Nursery.

Matt Gravel, wearing a stanfield and hat, points to plants while clients look on.
Photos: Phillipe Nick

Plant Buoy focuses on propagating and using plants in landscapes that work with each other and all other living things while also educating and building community. Outside of plant sales, Gravel offers edible landscape and ecological design installation. These packages include education-based maintenance for the client so they have the knowledge to get the most out of their garden.

“All plants serve a function, often multiple functions,” said Gravel, mentioning food and medicine as just two. “It’s important to understand how to really use them and to make them work for you.”

Gravel grows the over 80 varieties of plants he uses in his garden designs from his 2,000 square foot workspace at a property in the heart of Victoria. Gravel began propagating seeds and growing plants in January. He educated himself in permaculture with an interest in sharing his knowledge with others around the city.

“I feel that some of the biggest changes one can make to their diet, lifestyle, community, and overall connectedness in the world can start in your windowsill, backyard, or vacant lot,” said Gravel. “I just wanted to dive in and start getting people as excited about it as I am.”

Along with edible landscapes and ecological designs, Gravel has also partnered with Fernwood NRG and Fernwood Helping Hands to curate hands-on food security and permaculture workshops. These classes add to the local food movement and promote sustainability, resiliency, and growing regenerative plants in an urban setting.

— Shayna Kuffert

Upcoming Events:
June 16-17, FernFest: Find out more about Plant Buoy and browse the selection of plants.
June 29: Introduction to Permaculture workshop. See the Facebook event.

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