Articles

  • Small plants in the border between a grass path and a polytunnel

    Boundary plants

    Thick, clumping boundary plants prevent grass paths creeping in to borders

  • Tree mulched with comfrey leaves

    Chop ‘n’ drop

    Plant comfrey by your fruit trees, then chop the leaves once or twice a year and mulch in-situ. This is the chop ‘n’ drop comfrey mulch technique, no composting required.

  • Natural wild pond

    Clay lined pond

    Nick Balmer wrote a fantastic summary of creating a clay-lined pond in the closed Facebook Forest Garden UK group, reproduced here with his kind permission 🙂

  • Close up of purple knodding flowers of comfrey, stupid white dog in distance

    Comfrey

    Different techniques for creating comfrey feed

  • Nature Works logo

    Conduct

    Code of Conduct for all Nature Works courses and social media groups

  • Open trumpet flowers, yellow to dark brown/maroon

    Daylillies

    Edible flower heads that last a day, true edimentals

  • Orange dotted butterfly on white umbellifer flower

    DBIF

    An invaluable tool in the wildlife gardeners’ toolbox, The Database of Insects and their Food Plants details scientifically corroborated interactions between insects and plants

  • Dead hedge in field, made out of posts and old branches

    Dead hedge

    A dead hedge, made from posts and scrubby branches, is an ideal temporary windbreak and wildlife habitat.

  • Misty view of mature trees in middle distance, foreground young trees in grass in garden

    Definition

    A self-nourishing wildlife orchard underplanted with edible shrubs and perennial vegetables. Productive, sustainable and low-maintenance 💚 🌳

  • Group of people outside gathered by man talking about a tree

    Diversity

    Notes for those who want to take positive action to improve the diversity of people involved with forest gardens and horticulture

  • Raspberry bush and strawberry ground cover

    Emergency

    A forest garden works with nature to grow edible crops, which is why it’s good for combatting Climate Emergency and Mass Extinction. Here are 11 reasons why.

  • Freshly mulched bare soil in forest garden

    Estimate

    Approx time & money estimates for different forest garden jobs, per 100m²

  • Page from reference book for footpath widths
  • Solitary black mulberry on a tree

    Fruit colour

    Most attractive fruit colours to birds

  • Small retaining gabion wall
  • Screenshot of Forest Garden Gallery

    Gallery

    A gallery of forest garden plants run by volunteers, with instructions on how to help

  • Bright yellow flowers of mustard by a grass path

    Ground cover

    A step-by-step guide to establishing a living ground cover: to protect the soil, create a habitat for wildlife and provide you with a harvest. Win, win, win.

  • Illustration of construction of tree guard

    Guard

    Cheap method of creating substantial deer proof tree guard

  • Slate roof on a stone filled gabion

    Habitat

    List of diverse wildlife habitat ideas

  • Green curled mass of hosta shoots

    Hostas

    Many hostas are used as vegetables, list from Martin Crawford’s ‘Creating a Forest Garden’

  • Rolled up metal label

    Label

    These plant labels keep on expanding with a growing branch

  • Latin

    The Meaning of Latin Names from The Seed Site

  • Tree shrubs crowded up against each other

    Layers

    A quick reference for the seven layers of a forest garden, because I can only ever remember 3 of them (see my logo)…

  • Bird nesting box in evening sun on back of big sycamore, polytunnel in the distance

    Nest box

    Make a bird nesting box for your garden. All you need is 4½ feet of 6"x1" timber, a saw, half a dozen screws, a bit of old inner tube and a hole saw.

  • Yellow pea-like flowers of Broom

    Nurse tree

    A nurse tree is a temporary shelter plant for a newly planted tree

  • Purple flowers of comfrey

    Nutrients

    Summary of how to create a nutrient budget for your forest garden

  • Legs of man standing next to green vegetable

    Perennial veg

    Perennial vegetables are less work and more nutritious but it’s a big cultural shift to adopt new veg. Here’s a simple table of perennial vegetable equivalents to annual vegetables to help the process.

  • Ground cover around small gooseberry bush
  • Polytunnel & plants in pots on pallets

    Protection

    Plants need protection to survive, particularly in their early stages

  • Inside of book Creating a Forest Garden

    Recommended

    Recommended books, suppliers, websites and podcasts. Saving you time and enlarging your brain 🧠

  • Greenish water in small reservoir

    Reservoir

    Reference for constructing Martin Crawford’s gravity filtered reservoir

  • Illustration comparing different rootstock heights in relation to person

    Rootstocks

    Fruit varities are grafted on rootstocks, which determine the trees height and vigour. This is a quick reference for the different rootstocks available.

  • CAD plan drawing of trees, showing two examples of spacing

    Spacing

    The gaps between tree canopies should be about ¼ to ½ of the average tree canopy diameter. This is to allow enough light to reach the understorey plants.

  • Screenshot of online spreadsheet

    Spreadsheets

    Sortable spreadsheets to help you find suitable plants more easily

  • Dead hedges on a winter hill

    Stacking functions

    A permaculture design term for elements with multiple functions

  • Screenshot of sun angled map

    Survey

    Checklist for surveying your site

  • Rusty red handled secateurs held in green glove

    Tools

    These are my most favourite tools, really here for my own reference!

  • Green florets on cabbagey plant

    Top 10 perennial veg

    Inspired by Backyard Larder, Incredible Vegetables and Martin Crawford, here’s my ‘it could change at any moment’ top 10 perennial veg

  • Screenshot of online course

    Walkthroughs

    List of practical walkthrough videos to accompany online forest garden course

  • Yellow buttercup flower
  • Scruffy, muddy, wildlife pond

    Wildlife features

    Checklist of invaluable features for your wildlife friendly garden

  • Cornus windbreak hedge, view over valley

    Windbreak

    Protection is critical in the forest garden and windbreaks provide habitat and food as well as protection from the wind.