Stacking functions

Dead hedges on a winter hill

Dead hedges are an ideal example of an element with stacking functions

A permaculture design term for elements with multiple functions

When designing garden elements, it’s good to stack the functions, so you have a feature that is doing more than one thing.

For example, these are dead hedge functions:

  • Windbreak for young trees (until the live windbreaks grow)
  • A site for non-compostable brash, roots & prunings
  • Wildlife habitat
  • A marker for your trees

The same principle can be used for specific plants. Eg a Sea Buckthorn can be used for:

Orange berries and silver leaves

Sea Buckthorn fruiting, in a windbreak hedge

  • Windbreak hedge
  • Nitrogen fixer
  • Wildlife habitat
  • Edible fruit