[permaculture] Fw: Pemaculture garden design
sustag at eircom.net
Wed Jun 12 11:38:27 EDT 2002
I sympathise with your sentiment. However, as others have indicated,
there are no recipes or fixed plans as Pc is a *system* of design, a
design toolbox if you like. To stretch that analogy, you can be trained
in building houses, both theoritically and practically on the job, and
you can be given all the tools you need, but the design for your house
you will have to come up with yourself, based on your needs, the site
conditions, available / affordable material etc.
But of course you can draw inspiration from other designs, which
admittedly, are not all that easy to find, and where they are available,
they are often from other climatic zones if not continents.
Others have already pointed you towards the Permaculture Primer, pc
books etc. all of which are a good start.
Also, if you type 'permaculture' 'Permakultur' 'permacultura' and
whatever other language variants into the google image search engine,
tons of pictures will pop up, leading you to websites and providing
perhaps some ideas. A prescribed design would be useless if it didn't
exactly relate to every detail of your site (soil, water, wind, sun,
wildlife, climate etc.), your needs and wants, your time, financial, and
manpower resources for implementation, your tastebuds, your local market
and so on.
On the Permaculture online website we have compiled some good examples
and a couple site descriptions. Not a lot, but a start. see
Unfortunately our upload/download area has been disabled because of
security concerns. In there you would be able to find a thematic
checklist by R and L VAN RADERS. I hope they won't mind if I reproduce
Hope this helps.
THEMATIC CHECKLIST (R AND L VAN RADERS)
STEPS IN THE DESIGN PROCESS
1. Observation 2. Site Analysis
3. Brief 4. Draw Base Plan
5. Concept 6. Layout Zones
7. Earthworks 8. Structures
9. Species Selection 10.Timelines
11. Costing 12. Presentation
Spend time noticing what is happening on site. Use senses - listen,
smell, touch, taste and feel. Use intuition. Make no judgements - just
2. SITE ANALYSIS
Map, boundaries, property size, neighbours (what's happening upstream,
upwind and around), proximity to main roads, towns, cities, ports,
industries etc (external resources).
Topography: from contour maps, mark valleys and ridges, determine slope
Aspect (orientation), sun angles (including horizon points).
Wind: wind roses for area, damaging winds, desirable winds.
Climate: average rainfall and distribution, temperatures - max/min,
storms, hail, frost, humidity, light, altitude.
Soils & Geology: soil maps of area, agricultural studies, soil types,
depth, drainage and absorption, stability of site.
Hydrology: drainage patterns, springs, creeks and streams, surface
water, catchment - size & quality, flood levels.
Views: good, bad, where time will be spent (need to create views?)
Utilities: electricity, gas, town water, sewerage, telephone.
Council Activities: public transport, fire brigade, council rubbish
Traffic and access - existing roads, farm roads, new roads required?
frequency of traffic, heavy or light vehicles, pedestrian traffic.
Structures : house, shed, buildings.
Vegetation: flora, forests, exotic spp present, ground covers, poisonous
plants, rare spp - state of health of all of the above.
Fauna: - native and exotic/introduced spp. Local 'pest' species and
creatures causing fear (snakes, spiders, green ants etc).
History: logged, cropped, pasture, sprayed, farm dump sites (talk to
locals, study old books/maps/photos). Aboriginal history. Landmark
disasters (what years).
Rules and Regulations: Council constraints (and other govt agencies):
permission of land use, water use, easements.
Future plans for the area: subdivisions planned, industry, tourism
Problems and hazards: fire, flood, contamination, noise/air/visual
Potentials and assets: waterfalls, suitable windmill/hydraulic ram
views, rock outcrops, historic value etc
Resources in neighbourhood: sugar mills, sawmills, factories, hospitals,
shops, firestations, dump, free plant & seed sources, sand gravel,
timber, mulch, water, fodder, clay, stone, machinery
Imports/Exports: Food, building materials, fossil fuels, mulch, rubbish
IDENTIFY AREAS OF FURTHER RESEARCH.
3. BRIEF for all people living on site. (talk to them separately if
possible, do it on
Name and age of client. Ownership details. Address of property.
Names and ages of all other residents showing relationship to client.
Occupations: of all people on site.
Needs: Food requirements, shelter, etc. Dreams: Everyones' wish list.
Future plans: Goals for life/property.
Lifestyle: Likes, dislikes, values. How is each person's time
budget: What money do you have to work with?
Personal resources: Everyones' skills, knowledge, information resources,
Community contacts: Friends, acquaintances, organisation memberships.
Favourite foods/species: fruits, meats, veges, flowers.
4. Draw Base Plan
Put your observations and findings on paper. Your basemap should
contain everything existing on property. Remember to mark north,
and put everything to scale. Using overlays here and in the later
stages can be very useful.
What is your client wanting to achieve? Do they want to make money
out of their property? Do they want to be more
self-reliant/ethical/environmentally friendly? Why do they want a
permaculture design carried out? The more general the concept the
better - commercial orchard rather than mangos; some form of
income rather than a commercial orchard.
6. Layout Zones
Set out approximate areas of activity. The overall pattern. Remember
zones farthest away get the least attention.
Draw in and schedule any earthworks to be done i.e. house
excavations, dams, earth banks, swales, drains etc.
Plan location of the structures wanted - mark out all intended
structures so site can be designed accordingly (even if they are in the
9. Species Selection
Plan location for vegetation and animals, taking into account likes and
dislikes of clients and reasons for including each species. Remember to
plan for mature size of plants (plant sacrificial species to fill gaps
Schedule events. Remember to take into account seasons, budget,
personpower, plant growth etc. Specific short term plans and general
long term plans.
The client will need an estimate to suit their financial situation.
within their means.
This is an important time. If you have listened to and followed the
directions of your client, they will have a management plan that they
feel motivated to (and can easily) follow. Remember this is their
property - not yours (unless of course it is yours!) and it must suit
people who live there if it is going to be completed. The more detail
and direction you can give them, the more likely it is the design will
succeed, but the plan must be flexible. Make sure the client
understands the principles behind the design, so that appropriate
modifications can be made. Depending on the situation, your
presentation can be as professional or as casual as your client requires
- tailor it to them.
AND NOW COMES IMPLEMENTATION!!!!! WELL DONE!!!!!
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