Case Study: Small-Space Haven

This permaculture plan aims to bring a sense of space, nature and freedom to the small space around the home (which is currently being constructed). It aims to combine organic, natural materials with diverse living plants to create a tranquil haven and make the small space seem larger and more filled with possibility. 

First of all, in the small space to the west of the home on the plants is a mini forest garden area, with dwarf, trained fruit trees and lush under storey planting. A series of wood log stepping stones surrounded by bark will serve as a pathway through this area for harvesting and nature enjoyment. 

A boardwalk of reclaimed wood planks makes the main pathways, leading from the front entrance. Between the pathways to the west of the living/dining area I have suggested creating a small wildflower meadow, edged with native perennial wildflowers. This meadow could also serve as a seating area and could also potentially have a chiminea for chilly evenings. 

Above this area, I suggest creating a simple pergola type structure, planted with perennial climbers. And south of the pathway, along the southern edge of the property, planting a more shade tolerant bamboo.

In the nature bathroom and in the shower I suggest creating green walls and have provided some plant suggestions.

Along the south side of this part of the home, I have suggested creating raised bed planters to the north of the pathway where a herb garden could be created. I would suggest that the edges of these planters could also be constructed from reclaimed timber. 

South of the bedroom I suggest filling the heart of the space with a specimen tree, which will dominate and shade the space, giving a feeling of privacy and peace. The pathway will go around this tree, radiating out from it in four directions.

Four L-shaped raised beds are suggested around this tree. I recommended using these to grow a range of shade tolerant shrubs and herbaceous perennials to provide some food, as well as year-round interest. On the inner corners of these four raised beds are four small bench seats looking inwards towards the tree at the centre – spaces for nature ‘bathing’ and quiet contemplation. 

South east of this area is a small comfrey patch, which will provide vegetative matter for mulching and plant feeds, and screen the composting system. 

Finally, along the eastern edge of the property, alongside the waterway, there is a dense, lush shade border – great for wildlife as well as creating a private and closed in feel.

If you are interested in a similar design for your own small space garden, please do get in touch.

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