Forest garden design

design portfolio

People: a small group of residents at Hoathly Hill Community with a will to create a forest garden. Place: half an acre of land, used for grazing rams, in an intentional community owned by a charitable trust. This was a design to establish an environmental education project with the aim to connect people and place, and build community. A survey of the group identified how we wanted to contribute and the skill we brought to the project. A survey of the community identified resident’s concerns and wishes for the site and the community as a whole. Site surveying identified how we might best place the different elements of the forest garden. I drew on the amazing work of Martin Crawford in designing forest gardens: identifying aims and elements and designing the different layers (paths, clearings and structures, tree layer, shrub layer, herbaceous layer and ground cover layer). The people side of the design set out a process of establishing the project informing and inviting involvement from the community at different stages, for example in gathering observations, visioning, tree planting, social events and work days. We now have a young forest garden, a venue for educational and social events, and the prospect of abundant fruit harvests.