A guide to permaculture in your garden

Permaculture is a blend of "permanent agriculture" and "permanent culture" – a term used to describe a sustainable philosophy. This means creating a garden that works with nature to create a self-sustaining ecosystem.

The idea is to create cultivate a resilient, productive, and eco-friendly space that requires less maintenance. The benefits of this include improved biodiversity, less garden waste, saving on costs and time and boosting energy efficiency.

Here are some tips on how to start to use permaculture principles in your home garden.

Take time to learn about your garden

The first step in embracing permaculture is to observe and interact with your environment. Take time to watch how sunlight moves through your garden, where water collects, and how plants and animals interact. Understanding these patterns helps you design a garden that works with nature, not against it.

Catch and store energy

Efficiently capturing and storing energy in your garden enhances sustainability.

When it comes to the sun, position plants to maximize sun exposure. You can also look into installing solar panels or solar-powered garden lights to make more use of renewable energy.

Solar light in a garden


Water harvesting

Collecting rainwater is an important step in embracing sustainable gardening methods.

Use a water butt or a dipping tank to store water for use in your garden beds. This conserves water and ensures your plants have a consistent supply.

Read more on how to conserve water in your garden.

Rainwater harvesting with a dipping tank water butt


Grow your own

Wherever you can, select plants that benefit both you and the environment.

Edible plants are a great way to do this. Try incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. This not only provides food but also supports biodiversity and local wildlife benefits too.

The Royal Horticultural Society have some advice on how to starting growing your own fruit, veg and herbs.

You can also maximise growing space by considering garden furniture that has a living roof.

A living green roof on a garden bin and recycling box store


Encourage self-maintenance

Try to think about a garden that manages itself to an extent.

For example, making your garden more attractive to birds and hedgehogs will help manage how many slugs and worms you get. So a bird table/feeder and hedgehog house could be helpful additions.

When it comes to waste, composting is a smart way to begin a loop system where garden and kitchen waste is getting repurposed and minimised.

Read more on how to start composting.

Garden composting with a beehive style stackable compost bin


Use edges and make the most of space

The borders and marginal areas in your garden are often the most productive.

Use garden borders for herbs, flowers, and ground covers that attract pollinators and beneficial insects.

You can also utilise walls, fences, and trellises for growing climbing plants. This maximises your garden's productivity and also gives it a wonderfully natural look. Take a look at wall planting systems for ideas.

By bringing permaculture principles into your home garden, you can create a self-sustaining ecosystem that is both productive and environmentally friendly. What's not to like!

Living wall planting system for outdoor or indoor use