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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

Privacy in a Garden

Privacy is a topic of interest to many people when it comes to garden design. It is of course particularly important in city or town gardens. In urban gardens, it is common for the space to be overlooked from the windows of surrounding homes, and from the road, or from the gardens of neighbouring properties.Continue reading “Privacy in a Garden”

What Will We Leave Behind?

I was thinking today about what we have found during our barn conversion project, and when digging ditches for drainage and for our polytunnel on our property. We have not found any treasure, unfortunately, and nothing hugely fascinating. But we have found a few interesting bits of Victorian or early 20th Century ‘rubbish’. We foundContinue reading “What Will We Leave Behind?”

Sustainable Spring Cleaning

Sustainable spring cleaning means taking care to make sure you maintain a fresh, clean home without causing environmental harm or doing anything which has a negative impact on the planet. When you adopt a natural and toxin-free approach, of course, that is not just the right thing to do for people and planet. It isContinue reading “Sustainable Spring Cleaning”

Wildlife Pond Tips

I have spoken before about how wonderful a wildlife pond can be, and what a good idea it can often be to add a pond to your property. I recently wrote this article for Treehugger on the subject – with simple tips for anyone who is thinking about creating a wildlife pond and would likeContinue reading “Wildlife Pond Tips”

Amazing Ecosystem Restoration

I am endlessly fascinated by the potential to restore degraded ecosystems – even when they have been deserts for a very long time. I have been involved with a project in Somalia, which some of you may already have seen, and several other smaller examples. But larger scale ecosystem restoration projects are possible, and offerContinue reading “Amazing Ecosystem Restoration”

The Cycle of Good Health

One thing that I thought it would be good to talk about more is the cycle of good health that ties us to the natural world around us. Sometimes, it is the simplest facts which are overlooked. And here is one of the simplest: Healthy soil grows healthy plants. Healthy people eat healthy plants. HealthyContinue reading “The Cycle of Good Health”

Cows Are Not The Enemy

In the arena of sustainability, we often hear a lot about cows – most of it extremely negative. There is a broad tendency to vilify cattle, and imagine that they are to blame for all that is wrong with our agricultural industry. Yes, we should all think very carefully before eating meat. And understand exactlyContinue reading “Cows Are Not The Enemy”

Case Study: Riparian Planting and Forest Garden

This plan is for a proposed eco-friendly architectural development in England. The proposed architectural plan seeks to minimise visual intrusion, and integrate a new home within the existing environment. This plan aims to show how landscaping on the site will further serve to integrate the natural and built environment, while also improving ecological benefit andContinue reading “Case Study: Riparian Planting and Forest Garden”

Signs in Nature

Where we live, the spring sunshine has given way to a bit of a grey gloom for the past couple of days, and it looks like we still have a few more days of this grey and rainy weather to come. But in spite of the grey skies, spring is still all around – fromContinue reading “Signs in Nature”

Big Data is Not Always Bad

After writing this brief piece recently for Treehugger: Using Data and Citizen Science for Gardening Success I’ve been thinking more about ‘big data’ and both the challenges and opportunities wide scale data gathering can bring. We tend to think of ‘big data’ in negative terms – as a tool used against us rather than somethingContinue reading “Big Data is Not Always Bad”

Case Study: Glamping Site

This permaculture design details planting and layout for a glamping site in Angus, Scotland. The site slopes gently down from the road towards a burn on the south east boundary of the site. Four camping cabins are planned, which will overlook the burn and neighbouring farm fields.  As you can see from the plan above,Continue reading “Case Study: Glamping Site”

Companion Planting Tips

First of all, it is important to note that much of the companion planting advice given online has little scientific basis. While there are undoubtedly benefits to combining certain plants, the ways in which plants interact with one another are surprisingly sketchily understood. So take advice like ‘X loves Y’ with a grain of salt.Continue reading “Companion Planting Tips”

Growing Brassicas

Those who already grow their own in a temperate climate will no doubt be familiar with brassicas – members of the cabbage family. These crops are important ones in temperate climates, and are often an important crop family in annual gardens. Where I live, March is the time to sow a range of Brassica plantsContinue reading “Growing Brassicas”

Camping or Glamping Sites

I am about to start work on a new permaculture design project, and it has got me thinking about camping and glamping sites in general. Offering sustainable accommodation on your property is one other way to diversify your income streams and make money from your land. A well designed site is not just an opportunityContinue reading “Camping or Glamping Sites”

Village Creation in Permaculture

One of the ways in which permaculture seeks to create a co-operative paradigm and upholds permaculture ethics is through creating communities. When like-minded people congregate geographically, they are better able to meet their own basic needs in ways which are consistent with a permaculture way of life, and benefit from collaboration and the pooling ofContinue reading “Village Creation in Permaculture”

Happy Valentine’s Day

Whether you are celebrating with a loved one, or spending time alone – I hope you are having a good day. My husband and I have had a quiet day. We went down to the local farm shop and have had a lovely meal. Other than that, we’ve just spent a little time in theContinue reading “Happy Valentine’s Day”

Growing Cities – Bridging the Gulf Between Urban and Rural

Around the world, cities are growing. This puts immense pressure on resources and requires a re-think of cityscapes to accommodate, provide for the food, energy and water needs of urban inhabitants. But the pressures inherent to growing cities does not only put strain on the cities themselves, but also poses a potential threat in risingContinue reading “Growing Cities – Bridging the Gulf Between Urban and Rural”

Sustainable Food Hubs – Why We Need Them and The Role You Could Play

Our current food system needs to be overhauled. Farmers and food producers will not need to be told that their efforts are often currently hugely undervalued. Environmentalists will no doubt be well aware of the problems inherent in current agricultural and food systems. Those living in food deserts will already know well the injustice inherentContinue reading “Sustainable Food Hubs – Why We Need Them and The Role You Could Play”

Market Gardening Tips

Making money is, of course, not the be all and end all. Permaculture food production can add value in many, more important ways. When trying to work out the value a permaculture scheme can add, it is important not to only think about money. It is also important to consider the environmental and social valueContinue reading “Market Gardening Tips”

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