Spring, summer and winter 1996 Allotment 10 mins walk away
Involved with Brighton Permaculture Trust - no time to garden! Passed allotment to friends, got designing out of need for change! Limitations and imagination vied with each other for supremacy…
Zone 1 biodiversity, natural pattern, edge, layer, stacking in space & time, multi- function, self-regulating small scale, perennial no dig, cycling, guilds, incremental design, meets client need. Result...
- - - - - - - - - - minus Some really good mistakes, like attaching the waterbutt to the guttering forgetting the downpipe of the bathroom used it as well, and I didn’t have a grey water filtering system… smell! “ That’s int’restin’ ” I did a lot of observing, paper designs which were fantastical to start, not enough space etc. then decided to engage my enthusiasm for EDGE, and to limit myself to what I could do in the time! + + + + + + plus I spent a lot of time in the garden, moving things around, 3D designing, observing, sitting in the sun, have ‘deckfast’, watching TV gardening programmes and wondering how to make them PcD!
Essential criteria: Theory in action and design practice : This was a first step in using permaculture as a design process, arising from the Design Course. The ‘wait & see’ approach was, I found out, a PcD convention, though any gardening book will say to see a garden through for a cycle of seasons… very much anathema in these days of ‘ground-force’ style weekend transformations… what I observed was a gradual development & change in design practice from non-PcD to using the SADI cycle,observation, lessons from nature, trying out the options, such as identifying zone 0, 1 and 2, applying principles, etc. just like we were taught on the course! Complimentary criteria: Dissemination and Symmetry: As a first step my major dissemination activity was sharing what I was doing with gardener friends who were interested to see the sense of what I knew to be reasoned experimentation… but which, when I took the lawn up, were horrified at the mess! Evaluation - Yield Now I have a manageable garden, which looks interesting and includes diverse elements, including fruit and veg in a very small space. My outside ‘ room’ is used year round… it’s not uncommon to eat breakfast through from late March to early October, and I can use the deck for exercise and relaxation. Input costs Materials were the main expense. The deck cost £1k! - this was pre-PcD course. Having done a basketweaving course (£25) I tried out living willow first in the spiral but abandoned it after 2 years, as it dried & rotted. Pebbles and slate, though not local, are from environmentally-managed sources. Total c. £60 over 3 yrs earth fairshare people