Case Study: California Permaculture Design

This permaculture plan is for a property located in North Ridge in the San Fernando Valley, LA. The goal was to create a sleek and modern garden which could also provide plenty of edible produce without requiring excessive amounts of gardening work.

The Site

The garden is broadly typical for the area and climate zone. There are already many paths and paved areas which dictate the general layout of the site. The back garden, to the west of the property, also already has a number of trees, some of will be kept and have been incorporated into the design.

Though there are faucets providing water to many areas of the property, water is, of course, a primary concern in this area. The client intends to install rainwater harvesting facility, and to implement drip irrigation systems, as well as embracing drought tolerant xeriscaping planting in the front (eastern portion) of the property. I have also suggested wicking beds and a greenhouse aquaponics system for wise water use.


  • Produce a wide variety of foods currently enjoyed by the client (including common annuals and Korean edibles), and other climate-appropriate edible crops.
  • Develop a garden that can be tended with beginners, with relatively low maintenance needs. (Which includes drawing in wildlife for a resilient and diverse garden ecosystem.)
  • Appeal to a modern and simple aesthetic.
  • Create a lush, green appearance with minimal water use.
  •  Planting suggestions for different parts of the garden according to specific desires and requirements of the client, in addition to responding to the strictures of the site.
  •  Create shading in certain areas to reduce temperatures and minimise heat island effects from existing paved areas and structures.

On the plans, three different zones are shown which denote watering requirements. Areas within the red lines are those that will require the most water and will be most intensively managed. The areas within the orange lines have moderate water requirements, and will need some tending, but not as much as the red areas. Yellow lined areas are far lower maintenance, and drought tolerant.

If you would like to know more about any of the ideas that come up in this design, or would like a design for your own garden, please do get in touch.

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