Dark CAD forest garden design

Outline design for a keen forest gardener

Having a keen forest gardener as a client is actually a boon for a forest garden designer! It means I get to talk about plants and forest gardens for much longer than is normally socially acceptable. I created an outline plan (which is the canopy, windbreak and shrub layers) for Daniel and Sara for a 1 acre site in Ceredigion.

CAD garden design

The Grass Circle, central to joining the areas

The key to the design was to link up the garden with a split level patio and an existing orchard and vegetable bed to the south. The trick was to supply enough detail as planting suggestions without restricting options further down the line.

The planting is dominated by the two beautifully architectural Stone Pines (eventually providing a crop of pine nuts), and the Sweet Chestnut ‘Marigoule’. I squeezed in a pollinating partner ‘Belle Epine’ into the hedge!

Nestled within the trees is levelled grass circle for exercise.

Grass circle illustration

Cross-section of grass circle, illustrating level area for exercise

The field slopes gently upward to the northern boundary, a substantial Autumn Olive and Sea Buckthorn windbreak hedge. Shelter is provided for the Date Plums and Asian Pear by another productive and substantial windbreak consisting of Aronia x prunifolia ‘Viking’.

Close-up of white blossom

Aronia x prunifolia in full swing in its first year

Jake worked through our requirements and helped develop a comprehensive vision of what we wanted. The plans were meticulous and Jake was patient, knowledgeable and client led throughout. It was a pleasure working with him.

~ Daniel Richards

The area to the South of the property is filled with pollarded trees for leaf crops (Small-leaved Lime, Chinese Cedar, White Mulberry) plus plum and cherry trees to supplement the well-established apple trees by the picnic area. Protected by a dead hedge, this area adjoins the annual and perennial vegetable plots, and the polytunnel