Forest Gardening (or agroforestry) is a way of growing edible crops with nature doing most of the work. A forest garden imitates young natural woodland, with a wide range of crops grown in vertical layers. Species are chosen for their beneficial effects on each other, creating a healthy system that maintains its own fertility, with little need for digging, weeding or pest control. The result of this largely perennial planting is a tranquil, beautiful and productive space.
This book is a bible for permaculture and forest gardening, with practical advice on how to create a forest garden, from planning and design to planting and maintenance. It explains how a forest garden is designed from the top down:
- the canopy layer first,
- then the shrub layer,
- the perennial ground-cover layer,
- the annuals & biennials
- next, the climbers and nitrogen fixers
- and finally the clearings, living spaces and paths.
Whether in a small back garden or in a larger plot, the environmental benefits of growing this way are great. Forest Gardens are a viable solution to the challenge of a changing climate: we can grow food sustainably in them without compromising soil health, food quality or biodiversity.
- store carbon dioxide in the soil and in the woody biomass of the trees and shrubs.
- enable the soil to store more water after heavy rains, minimizing flooding and erosion.
- boost the health of the ecosystem, ensuring a balance of predators and beneficial insects because mixed planting is crucial to the scheme.
- allows the soil to thrive because it is covered with plants all year round.
Creating a Forest Garden includes a detailed directory of over 500 trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, annuals, root crops and climbers. As well as more familiar plants such as fig and apple trees, blackcurrants and rosemary shrubs, you can grow your own chokeberries, goji berries, yams, heartnuts, bamboo shoots and buffalo currants.
Forest gardens produce fruits, nuts, vegetables, seeds, salads, herbs, spices, firewood, mushrooms, medicinal herbs, dye plants, soap plants, and honey from bees.
This book tells you everything you need to create your own forest garden with beautiful illustrations and helpful tips throughout.
Forest Gardening is a novel way of growing edible crops - nature does most of the work for you! A forest garden imitates young natural woodland, with a wide range of crops grown in different vertical layers, with little need for digging, weeding or pest control. Species are chosen for their beneficial effects on each other, creating a healthy system that maintains its own fertility, and also creating a beautiful space.
Creating a Forest Garden tells you all you need to know, whether you want to plant a small area in your back garden or develop a larger plot. It includes advice on planning, design (using permaculture principles), planting and maintenance, and a detailed directory of over 500 trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, annuals, root crops and climbers - almost all of them edible and many very unusual.
Foreword by Rob Hopkins
Part 1: How forest gardens work
1. Forest gardens
2. Forest garden features and products
3. The effects of climate change
4. Natives and exotics
5. Emulating forest conditions
6. Fertility in forest gardens
Part 2: Designing your forest garden
7. Ground preparation and planting
8. Growing your own plants
9. First design steps
10. Designing wind protection
11. Canopy species
12. Designing the canopy layer
13. Shrub species
14. Designing the shrub layer
15. Herbaceous perennial and ground-cover species
16. Designing the perennial/ground-cover layer
17. Annuals, biennials and climbers
18. Designing with annuals, biennials and climbers
Part 3: Extra design elements and maintenance
21. Fungi in forest gardens
22. Harvesting and preserving
24. Ongoing tasks
Appendix 1: Propagation tables
Appendix 2: Trees and shrubs for hedging and fencing
Appendix 3: Plants to attract beneficial insects and bees
Appendix 4: Edible crops by month of use
Resources: Useful organisations, suppliers and publications
A magnificiently produced tome that is sure to become every forest gardener's horticultural toolkit and bible.
Martin has produced a book that is not only visually beautiful but very practical, offering advice on planning, designing, planting and general maintenance.
This book offers bountiful food for thought. If you are considering the creation or maintenance of a forest garden, then you would do well to have this book on your shelves.
This seminal piece of work is not only visually enthralling, it's incredibly easy to use. It contains a level of detail and explanation that makes it a must read for anyone who is serious about building a truly sustainable forest.
Visually stunning with beautiful photography and illustrations, accompanying very informative and well constructed text.
This book is a must if you are interested in producing food from your garden, becoming more self-sufficient or just curious about plants and their uses.
The ultimate book on the subject… extremely thorough and beautifully illustrated.
This is a seminal piece of work on truly sustainable gardening, written with great spirit and soul.
Martin Crawford has worked in organic agriculture and horticulture for many years. He is director of the Agroforestry Research Trust, a charity that researches temperate agroforestry and all aspects of plant cropping and uses, with a focus on tree, shrub and perennial crops.