Edible Garden Design

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Design an Edible Garden

A good garden starts with a good design. What veggies do you like to eat, do you have time for a whole edible garden or maybe just a herb garden. Then you have questions like, where is the right spot in my yard to grow veggies, what would be the wrong spot to grow a tree? Get it right and you can have a highly productive garden with a lot less work, get it wrong and it’s a complete waste of time and money.

There are a few simple strategies and rules of thumb that help make the process a whole lot easier, most of which come from my study of Permaculture.

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture a sustainable design system for helping us work with nature, rather than against it, to provide for human needs.

Permaculture practitioners look to recycle all waste, produce no pollution, protect the soil, value diversity, value edges and margins, store and infiltrate water, and catch and store energy. Usually we look more towards balance than control.

At it's core, permaculture is about applying common sense principles to design. Here's the permaculture design process:

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Concept Design Consultancy

The first stage to design is 'people analysis'. I will sit down with you, and ideally everyone who lives at the site, to get to know you a little and consider your time, energy and financial budgets. I will ask you a lot of questions like, what would you like to achieve (and why), realistically, how much time, skills, resources and enthusiasm do you have? What type of foods do you like to eat, what is your cooking style, what do you like things to look like? Then come up with a wish list of features you would like which match this.

Most people want some combination of the following:

  • A herb and salad garden

  • Larger cropping veggie gardens

  • Fruit trees

  • Chickens or ducks

  • A composting system

  • Lawn for kids

  • Some natives

  • Some flowers

Now we have a wishlist, we have list of elements. Much or our job as a designer when coming up with a design on paper is to come up with a base map, and move these elements around into the optimum positions.

We will then:

  • Walk around your property without you, and together observe the unique characteristics of the site (e.g., sun and shade, wind exposure, slope, soil, existing vegetation, feel)

Once back in the office we will:

  • Come up with a concept design and pencil sketch based on our site analysis and the design brief

  • Make a basic concept design diagram and list of recommended plants

  • Send a brief follow-up report by email summarising our site analysis, and recommendations of what to grow and where.

Although the Concept Design doesn’t sound like much, the juiciest and main ideas are delivered at this level of design, and nursery staff and others can often help you with the details.

Our fee for this consultancy, which allows one of us to spend up to two hours on site and one hour off site, is $660 during weekdays or $990 during weekends/after hours. To save time, we ask that prior to our arriving you consider and complete a list of the things you would like to include in your design, and the time you have each week to maintain the system. 

Please Note: Additional hours required on site will be charged at $154 per hour, extra time may be required for larger sites.