Designing a Holistic Garden – Part Two

Things to Keep In Mind

  • Wildlife and existing native plants and their needs.
  • The sun’s movement through your property during the day and throughout the seasons. It’s helpful to know where the sun hits your house in the hottest months, so if you don’t have shade there, you can plan to create some.
  • The size that your plants will be 5 to 10 years from now. Will everything have enough room to grow without pruning?
  • Underground water/gas/electric/phone lines. There’s usually a number you can call to have them all marked for you before you start digging.
  • Pets– yours and your neighbors. How will they effect your plantings
  • Water usage and availability.
Potting Shed and Chicken Coop and Pen

List of Possible Features

Water storage – barrels, tanks, cisterns, etc.

Chicken/Rabbit/Goat/? housing and pens

Annual Vegetable beds

Greenhouse/hoop house/cold frame

Potting shed/tool storage/Utility area

Sitting area/picnic area/patio/meditation area

Fruit trees and bushes

Children’s play area

Rain garden

Butterfly/Pollinator/Bee plants or garden

Woodland Garden/Native plant garden

Fish or Frog pond

Bog Garden

Compost bins

Recycling bins

Bird feeder/birdbath

Fire pit

Wildflower Meadow/wild garden




Young Food Forest
Woodland hammock and sitting area
Frog and Azolla Pond
Kiwi Arbor
Native plant garden
Kiwi Arbor and Grape arbor

Make a list of the important features you want to ultimately work into your landscape. Think about each feature and its most logical placement. Try to place things according to how often you will visit them. You will need to feed and water and deal with animals a couple times a day, so you don’t want to have to go too far to do this. On the other hand the potential for odiferousness on warm summer days exists even with the cleanest systems, so not placing them next to a patio or sitting area makes sense. A birdbath and bird feeder are things you want to be able to see – even from indoors, so plan to place them in a very visible spot – but one that birds will feel safe visiting. In Permaculture they call this Zones. Most of it just takes common sense, but you also need to work with the space you have and the needs of the different features. List your priorities first and see how many your place will accommodate.

Possible features

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