Backyard Forest

Small front forest garden with text 'The Backyard Forest'

Creating a forest garden from scratch

Course slideshows & notes always available at

Whatever the size of your garden, you can create a lush food forest using forest garden techniques. Step-by-step, you’ll learn how to work with nature to grow edible crops, all the while creating a haven for wildlife.

  1. Observe & plan
    Where you observe, measure and document your garden to start the planning process, then on to create the map to enable the design process.
  2. Structural planting
    Establish the windbreaks & protective structures, start a productive perennial veg bed and plant the canopy tree layer.
  3. Fill in the structure
    Prepare the ground so that you can plant the shrubs and the ground cover. A forest garden emulates the edge of woodland, working with nature to reduce the amount of watering and maintenance, with a permanent living ground cover and a self-sustaining ecosystem of nutrients & pest control. Mostly perennial plants are used, in all three dimensions, as they are more resilient, lower maintenance and more nutritious.

The full course outline, with links to slideshows:

  1. Introducing
  2. Plan
  3. Design
  4. Protect
  5. Perennial Veg
  6. Canopy layer
  7. Ground Preparation
  8. Shrubs & Ground Cover


“Very informative, organised presentation and easy to follow!”
~ Kartini Clapham, June 2021

“I would highly recommend this course for anyone interested in wildlife or permaculture”
~ Courtney Saunders, June 2021

“So much interesting information here. Am filling my notebook rapidly!”
~ Louisa Ferrante, March 2021