Forest garden

A type of garden which imitates the layered nature of the vegetation in a natural ecosystem like a forest or wood. As in a forest there would be large trees, smaller trees, shrubs, climbers, perennials, ground-cover and roots. All plants would be chosen to produce edible crops, to have medicinal or some other use to us, or to support the ecosystem by attracting pollinators, fixing nitrogen or by bringing up nutrients from deep down via long tap-roots.

By Quercusrobur at the English language Wikipedia,

By Quercusrobur at the English language Wikipedia,

Once established the garden should require relatively little maintenance and provide a wide range of crops. The nature of the crops may be a little unfamiliar, but can be accommodated into ‘normal’ cookery quite easily. There are not many crops that produce a lot of carbohydrate – you might still want a potato plot.


A system of growing (and living) which seeks to remove waste and make use of all bi-products of a system, producing closed loops where the ‘waste’ from one activity is used in some way.

E.g. A compost heap might be put next to a chicken coop so that the incidental heat it produces in rotting is not wasted, but keeps the chickens warm. The chicken poo would be added to the compost as an accelerator to make it rot faster.

Or water collected from a roof goes into barrels to water plants, the overflow is directed into a lower area of the garden where water loving plants are happy to have excess water – this widens the range of habitats and increases biodiversity.


A garden made up of a mix of edible and productive plants and ones grown purely for their decorative value. From the French ‘jardin potager’. Which roughly translates as a garden for growing things for the pot.


Either -A compound word ‘fence’ and ‘hedge’, Or its a combination of ‘fruit’ and ‘hedge’ – ie, a hedge with fruit bearing plants.

Of the hedge and fence combinations –

This can be a living fence made up of willows  or other whips  planted in a row at alternate angles to form a mesh. As the plants grow the gaps will become less visible in summer and it will look more like a standard hedge, but when the foliage dies back the diamond pattern of the stems will be revealed again. See:

Or it can mean a fence and hedge combined – visit the St Philips recycling centre in Bristol for a prime example. The metal fence has the cut out letters ‘recycle’ as well as the daunting anti-climb industrial fence – but it is all backed with  a hedge of  pyracantha cut to allow the fence and lettering to show.

Or a number of companies supply either live ivy or plastic (ugh!) plants on a quick to install screen of mesh fencing.

so that’s made it clearer?



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