Design Elements

A permaculture design is made up of many different elements, each element is designed to perform many functions

Our designs begin well before ‘pen is put to paper’ with a full survey of your site. The design process consists of several phases; following the survey an in-depth assessment takes place out of which the concept design, developed with full client involvement, will emerge. Once the concept design is agreed it is followed by implementation and finally any arrangements to maintain. Visit design process to see this in detail.

Design Plans

Design Example

Design plans are developed according to Permaculture ‘Ethics & Principles’. This ensures a fully sustainable, resilient, ‘more than organic’ result for your garden/land. Designs that work with nature, not against it; nature has all the answers if you know where to look.
Designs are constructed for your land, in your location, with your climate and situation. Built into the plan is room to work with the process of the design, to evolve as time goes on, to incorporate change as it happens and as your needs and what you want to get from your design change.
Permanence is not about everything staying the same. It is about stability, about deepening soils & cleaner water, it is about thriving.

For more information or to book a consultation please enquire

Get some inspiration from the small example of possible design elements below.



.... are vessels that seek to emulate the swirls of vortices of the mountain stream enabling water to reoxygenate, revitalise and rejuvenate itself to bring it back to its more natural state. The figure of 8 movement is one of the foundation patterns of all life.

Herb Spiral

Herb Spirals

A highly productive energy-efficient way to grow food & maximise space, easily accessible from all sides. By having the spiral raised in the center, spiraling down to ground level, different microclimates are created, enabling plants with different needs to be grown in a smaller space.

Swale Design


... are important water management tools for irrigating the land, mitigating stormwater runoff, and reducing erosion. They consist of a shallow trench dug along the land’s contour, with a berm on the downhill side. A trench along the contour slows the water and spreads it across the contour line, slowing and spreading water reduces erosion and retains more water where it is needed.

Forest Gardens

Sometimes called Food Forests, they are a low-maintenance, sustainable, system based on woodland ecosystems. They incorporate fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables grown in a succession of layers to build a woodland habitat. Their high yields make them worth the longer establishment time.

Chicken Tractor

Chicken Tractors

The chicken tractor (sometimes called an ark) is a movable chicken coop lacking a floor, so there is no need to clean them out. Chicken Tractors give shelter and allow free ranging; giving access to fresh forage such as grass, weeds and bugs, reducing their feed needs. Moved on every couple of days they echo a natural, symbiotic cycle of foraging through which the birds eat down vegetation, deposit fertilizing manure, then go on to a new area. A chicken tractor protects from predators and the hens lay their eggs in a nesting box rather than hiding them in the undergrowth.

Permaculture Zones


Zoning is a way of designing to maximise energy efficiency. Activities are put in different zones, depending on frequency of use, maintenance, visits etc. Zone 0 is the centre of activities, where things that have the highest use and maintence needs are located. As the investment of the time & energy that an activity or structure needs lessens, it is placed further away. Zone 5, the furtherst away, is where you find things that require very little time & effort.

A Seven Layer Guild


Guilds are functionally, ideally self-sustaining polyculture systems in which many plants are serving one another en route to a stable co-existence. The garden is mulched, the soil fertilized, the pests controlled, the pollinators attracted, the nutrients accumulated and the cultivators fed all from the plants within the guild that are serving one another. By working with guilds you build a lot more diversity with a lot of function and a much higher yield.

No Dig

No dig growing is just what it says on the can – NO DIG – every time we dig soil we destroy the filaments of the mycorrhizal fungi, the system through which the soil provides nutrients to our plants. This short video explains the concepts and reasons for no dig methods. Once a no dig bed has been set up (getting the soil weed free to start can be the hard part) it is self-sustaining and the only maintenance is a top dressing of compost or mulch once a year. Happy no digging.