Don’t Neglect the Shrub Layer in a Forest Garden

The shrub layer in a forest garden is one that is sometimes neglected in design. Those new to forest gardening often focus on the trees, then their attention leaps to the herbaceous layer. If they do think about the shrub layer at all, initially, people’s minds tend to leap to typical fruit bushes like gooseberriesContinue reading “Don’t Neglect the Shrub Layer in a Forest Garden”

Rethinking Thistles

Many gardeners view thistles as problem weeds. But thistles (of several different varieties) can be extremely useful garden plants. There are lots of thistles where we live, but rather than trying to eradicate them entirely from cultivated areas, I consider them as a benefit and welcome them in my garden (at least to a degree).Continue reading “Rethinking Thistles”

Why Brambles Aren’t Always Bad

Many gardeners wage war on brambles. But blackberry brambles aren’t always bad. We should learn to recognise that we should not view them as ‘thugs’ that invade and take over, but as amazing and useful plants to embrace in our gardens. Many gardeners wonder how to get rid of brambles. They worry when brambles creepContinue reading “Why Brambles Aren’t Always Bad”

The Forest Garden in August

This is a time of abundance in the forest garden. Yesterday, we began to harvest some apples. Different apple varieties will continue to ripen in succession over the next month or two. And the plums are ripening up. They are not ready yet, but will be at some point next month. It is interested toContinue reading “The Forest Garden in August”

Tips for Choosing Plants for Your Garden

Sometimes, no matter how experienced we are as gardeners, it is a good idea to get back to basics. So today, let’s take the time to think about some of the important considerations in choosing plants for your garden. Choose Plants For Your Environment First of all, of course, it is important to select theContinue reading “Tips for Choosing Plants for Your Garden”

Case Study: Small Space Container Garden

What is you only have a small paved area to play with? Can you still garden when you have a very limited budget and don’t even have access to an area of soil? Permaculture provides solutions even for rather unpromising sites. The image above is a case study that demonstrates how we can make theContinue reading “Case Study: Small Space Container Garden”

Why You Should Not Be Too Tidy in Your Garden

There is a natural human instinct to want to control our environment. But in an organic garden, imposing too much control can be a negative thing. If we keep things too tidy and orderly, this can have a detrimental effect. It can reduce biodiversity and fertility over time. Don’t Remove All Brush/ Vegetative Litter ClearingContinue reading “Why You Should Not Be Too Tidy in Your Garden”

Borage – A Nectar Factory For Your Garden

Borage (Borago officinalis) is an excellent plant choice in many organic gardens. There are plenty of reasons to grow it where you live. A relatively hassle-free annual flowering plant, borage can be a great option for many temperate climate permaculture gardens. I have borage growing in my forest garden, where it self-seeds reliably every year.Continue reading “Borage – A Nectar Factory For Your Garden”

Reasons To Lose the Lawn (And What to Replace it With)

There are plenty of reasons to get rid of the lawn in your garden. When I say lawn, what I am referring to is a manicured, perfect grass mono-crop. Of course, grass cover is not always a bad thing. Grass cover can protect the soil, feed livestock, and can be very practical. It can alsoContinue reading “Reasons To Lose the Lawn (And What to Replace it With)”

Case Study: Losing the Lawn To Create a More Abundant, Productive Garden

In this case study, I want to share with you part of a design I created for one homeowner who wanted to overhaul her long, lawn-covered garden. It is designed to provide a restful and reasonably low maintenance space, which can be enjoyed by the family, and yet will allow for plenty of food production. Continue reading “Case Study: Losing the Lawn To Create a More Abundant, Productive Garden”