Case Study: Scottish Forest Garden

I have been a little remiss in updating case studies to this site recently, but this is not because nothing has been going on but rather because there has been so much! Finding time to share what I have been doing has been a challenge, but I do still want to make sure that I share at least some of my projects.

This project is a design I completed recently for clients here in Scotland, who wish to turn an area of unproductive pasture adjacent to their existing home and garden into a biodiverse and productive forest garden.

The site, currently tussocky grassland with a poorly draining area to the centre and south west, has an almost amphitheatre-like topography, rising gently to the west, north and east, and gently dipping away to farm fields belonging to a neighbour to the south.

My design seeks to take advantage of this topography and manage water on the site to create a thriving ecosystem cram-packed with productive plants. the clients plan to use this place to grow their own food, with surplus for their local community, and also to use the space for recreation and relaxation for themselves and their family and friends.

As well as growing productive fruit and nut trees, and plenty of other edible crops in lower tiers of the planting scheme, interestingly, the clients are also interested in exploring the potential for creating flours from perennial plants. Taking advantage of the drop in elevation to the south of the site, a small watermill will allow water to power these efforts.

Finding perennial staple crops and alternatives to annual grains is a fascinating subject, and one which could be very important in future as we seek to find more sustainable alternatives to current agricultural systems.

Acorn flour, and hazelnut flour are two gluten free flours that the clients propose to experiment with on this site as we wait for research projects on perennialization to find the perennial cereal crops of the future.

2 thoughts on “Case Study: Scottish Forest Garden

  1. Interesting design and layout Elizabeth! I’m working on a forest garden, small orchard and ornamentals mixed in zone 8 North Carolina at present. My lowest point will be a frog/amphibian pond to support local habitat for these endangered species using filtered storm water and drainage. Well water will irrigate but we have healthy rainfall in this area – lots of natural green!

    Liked by 1 person

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