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Elizabeth Waddington

Permaculture and Sustainability Consultancy

Permaculture design, sustainability advice and environmental consultancy for individuals, businesses and organisations.

News and Inspiration

What Makes a Sustainable Home?

There are many different schools of thought in sustainable construction. Some favour an approach which maximises insulation and does not worry too much about the carbon cost of materials used. Others favour an approach where the sustainability of materials comes first. There is, of course, also a middle way, which involves treading the balance betweenContinue reading “What Makes a Sustainable Home?”

Be Aware of Natural Dangers

We tend to sanitise and tame nature to such a degree in our parks and gardens that many people have forgotten just how ‘wild’ the wild really can be. But when we spend time in natural surroundings, it is important to think about how fragile we are as humans, and never underestimate the natural world.Continue reading “Be Aware of Natural Dangers”

Stocking the Pantry – The Redcurrant and Raspberry Harvests are Here

I recently wrote an article on preserves in my pantry for Treehugger, and I am now anticipating another busy weekend picking and preserving. While the raspberries outside are not quite ready yet, there are still lots of wild raspberries to pick in the polytunnel, I’ve picked the first few red currants and will be pickingContinue reading “Stocking the Pantry – The Redcurrant and Raspberry Harvests are Here”

Garden Visit

Yesterday we had a day out and went to visit a local garden in our area – Cambo Gardens. Not everything is perfect and the place is definitely a work in progress at the moment, but as you can see, there are still some lovely views. Some areas are mulched ready for new planting, andContinue reading “Garden Visit”

How I Spend My Summer

I know that many people are keen to get away, yet many will not be enjoying their usual summer holidays away this year. So I thought that some people might appreciate learning a little more about how I typically spend my summer, for some inspiration about how to enjoy summer breaks in a more sustainableContinue reading “How I Spend My Summer”

Sustainable Picnic Ideas

Picnics are a wonderful way to enjoy time outdoors during the summer months. So whether you are planning a picnic in your own garden, or will be taking a picnic to a natural beauty spot in your area, here are some sustainable picnic ideas to consider: First of all, take a look at the foodContinue reading “Sustainable Picnic Ideas”

Sustainable Coffee?

Fairtrade? Rainforest alliance?… where should you turn when looking for a sustainable coffee for your morning cup? It can be challenging trying to navigate the minefield and find the most sustainable options for all the foods and drinks you enjoy. And when you do not live in a coffee producing area, it is worthwhile alsoContinue reading “Sustainable Coffee?”

Vermont Fruit Tree Guilds

I do not usually share details of planting from my designs on this site. But today, I thought I would share a recent project which involved creating fruit tree guilds for an existing orchard. The above image shows my concept for the fruit tree guilds in this orchard, in Bennington, Vermont, in Zone 5a. WorkingContinue reading “Vermont Fruit Tree Guilds”

Using Trap Crops in a Garden

There are many different forms of companion planting which can be beneficial in managing pests in an organic garden. Trap crops are one type of companion plant which can be an important part of integrated pest management. Trap crops are plants which are placed alongside, around or between the plants which you wish to protect.Continue reading “Using Trap Crops in a Garden”

Permaculture Design: Collaboration With Architects

As a permaculture designer, I often work closely with architects on new build or renovation projects. I feel that it is very important that designing the build environment go hand-in-hand with designing for the surrounding site. Unfortunately, all too often, architects only give cursory consideration to landscaping. Though sustainable architects are expert when it comesContinue reading “Permaculture Design: Collaboration With Architects”

Lilac in the Garden

Today we spent some time relaxing in the sunshine enjoying the scent of the lilacs close by. We really enjoy the look and smell of the lilacs in the garden. There are two mature lilac trees on the border of the back garden which were here when we moved in. One is a lilac lilacContinue reading “Lilac in the Garden”

Fruit Tree Guilds

Working out guilds for fruit trees can feel like a complex business. It can be challenging to work out the best combinations of plants if you are trying to establish a new productive garden, improve an existing orchard, or boost the yield of an existing fruit tree. Working out the most beneficial combinations of plantsContinue reading “Fruit Tree Guilds”

Visitors on the Blossom

The apple trees are in full blossom now, finally, after a very late start this year. And the cherry blossoms are just going over. Now that fine weather has finally arrived, over the last few days, the forest garden is really buzzing with life. Over the time that we have lived here and managed ourContinue reading “Visitors on the Blossom”

Case Study: Artist’s Garden

This case study shows a design for a back garden in Scotland. The client is an artist of many talents, and wanted a garden that could provide for her needs while delighting all the senses. The garden is around 20m x 45m, oriented almost North-South. Of course, I also delivered more comprehensive planting plans, butContinue reading “Case Study: Artist’s Garden”

Creating an Artist’s Garden

A garden can obviously be highly aesthetically pleasing and still be useful and productive. I always work to make sure that I consider aesthetics in all my designs. But in one recent project (which I will share as a case study tomorrow), aesthetics were particularly important. This project was a garden for an artist –Continue reading “Creating an Artist’s Garden”

The Parts of Common Vegetable Garden Crops People Don’t Know They Can Eat

Are you accidentally composting parts of common vegetable crops from your garden that you could be eating? There are many plants which offer secondary yields – and other parts of a plant beyond the main harvested parts can often also become a part of your home grown diet. Some parts of common vegetable garden cropsContinue reading “The Parts of Common Vegetable Garden Crops People Don’t Know They Can Eat”

World National Bee Day

Bee kind. Think about bees and the crucial role they play in pollination and our ecosystems, and take steps to attract and protect native bees in your garden. Large or small, you can make your garden into a haven for bees. Make sure that you garden organically and don’t use any polluting chemicals that harmContinue reading “World National Bee Day”

Case Study – Rain Garden

This is an example of water management in a small front garden in England. The garden is currently a scrubby area of lawn, with an old driveway and a few overgrown shrubs around the edge. The primary goal for the design was to prevent a small issue with water-logging to the side of the driveway,Continue reading “Case Study – Rain Garden”

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