The Forest Garden

The photos show the plot we’ll be developing into a forest garden over the winter. What we currently have is a mound of rubble and earth.

The plan is to map and mark the contours, then build retaining walls of rubble and buddleia branches (all available in quantity on site) to create terraces along the contours and to increase soil depth by minimum 500mm. 

Then we’ll plant….ensuring we add microrhiza to the roots to enhance connection with soil and optimise nutrient and mineral uptake.

In some areas, the system below is followed. We’ll adapt this to suit our site, making sure we optimise every available niche for growing.

Seven-layer system

1. ‘Canopy layer’ consisting of fruit trees.

2. ‘Low-tree layer’ of smaller nut and fruit trees on dwarfing root stocks.

3. ‘Shrub layer’ of fruit bushes such as currants and berries.

4. ‘Herbaceous layer’ of perennial vegetables and herbs.

5. ‘Ground cover layer’ of edible plants that spread horizontally.

6. ‘Rhizosphere’ or ‘underground’ dimension of plants grown for their roots and tubers.

7. ‘Vertical layer’ of vines and climbers.