Case Study: Family-Fun Garden

This design shows a garden for a family in USDA Zone 7, Virginia, who want to make the most of their space to enjoy time together before the oldest children leave home, with space to incorporate the interests of family members of a range of different ages, while also growing more food and other resources for a sustainable way of life.

There are five children in the family aged between 7 and 17. And this design aims to incorporate their wishes while also responding to the space and family needs.

Features for family fun include an outdoors dining and kitchen area, a turf-roofed ‘chill out’ and reading room ‘hobbit house’-like space, meadow areas for picnics, a fire pit and seating area, a treehouse, a wigwam den, a swimming pond, a stream for water play, and an obstacle course and adventure trails.

Amid these features, there will also be plenty of potential to extend home growing, with a greenhouse and kitchen garden, perennial polyculture beds, and a forest garden area with fruit trees and layered planting.

The garden has a steep slope over a section to the north western side and western corner, which the family would like to use to their advantage to create earth-sheltered structures to extend the time during the year for which the garden can be used.

The rest of the garden slopes gently to the centre and then down to a low point in the far southern corner, and is currently mostly lawn.

If you would like some help to incorporate all the ideas from your family members into a cohesive permaculture design for your space, please do get in touch.

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