Forest Garden Primer

Purple flowers with a bumble bee

Bumblebee on a 'Bocking 14' Comfrey plant

A trip to see a client emphasised the need for a whistlestop primer on wildlife and forest gardening

I went to a mid Victorian stone farmhouse today, to discuss designing a forest garden. Really interesting people and an awful lot to talk about, and I came away with a sense of needing a Forest Garden Primer.

This will be a 1 hour class which is an outline of what I believe wildlife & forest gardening is about in a time of Nature & Climate Emergency. There are many threads to the story and I want to convey a sense of the narrative arc.

These are the four key areas I recommended they consider:

  1. Zoning & stacking - concentrate near house first, work outward, think of multiple stacking functions
  2. Windbreaks & dead hedges - protect young trees
  3. Tree spacing - ½ to ¼ of average canopy diameter
  4. Nutrients - nitrogen from eg alder, pea family; potassium from eg comfrey

I’m thinking the class along these lines.


  • Native plants where possible
  • Wildlife habitat in infrastructure