Inter-disciplinary forest garden

A forest garden is a niche that falls between “traditional” gardening disciplines

Hand-drawn Venn diagram. Ornamental garden, vegetable garden & wildlife garden in circles, forest garden in intersection.
Forest gardening as an intersectional discipline

In my previous life as web designer, I attended the leftfield tech conference dConstruct back in 2012. Recently, in a random email search moment, I came across a quote from James Burke:

“The unexplored no-man’s-land between disciplines”

And I thought, a forest garden is very much an in-betweeny discipline, an intersectional discipline if you will. Almost Frankensteinian as it’s part vegetable, part wildlife, part ornamental garden. The focus is on creating edible crops; working with nature to encourage wildlife is an intrinsic part, as the garden provides its own nutrients, mulch and pest control; the ornamental aspect because it’s a garden to spend time in.

I also thought, I’m getting a clearer idea of my calling. Reading ‘A New Garden Ethic’ by Benjamin Vogt has reinforced the importance of native plants and creating resilient ecosystems in a time of climate and extinction emergency. And it all fits together: the forest garden is the ideal place to promote and integrate native plants into our gardens, as it relies so heavily on a healthy ecosystem for its own functioning.

My project for 2020 is to properly explore native plant design and create a native plant design online course. And this is immensely exciting 😀

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