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AVANT-GARDENING: CREATIVE ORGANIC GARDENING
Welcome !  " You Can Grow "


"Permaculture"

“Permaculture is a way of living which promotes a harmonious
balance between all forms of life within the ecosystem.”


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PERMACULTURE (permanent culture) is an approach to everyday life that integrates plants, animals, landscape, structures; people who purposely design all the facets of their lives to enhance environmental sustainability within a permanent, sustainable agricultural and cultural system - a diverse, complex eco-system, where the all of the elements interact in mutually beneficial ways to produce a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts. The art of designing garden areas that are modeled on the relationships found in natural ecologies.

Permanent is from the Latin "permanens" - to remain to the end, to persist throughout. Culture is from the Latin "cultura" - meaning the cultivation of land, or the intellect. It is a philosophy, an ethic of caring for the earth and working with, not against nature with an attitude of thoughtful observation, an action-meditation - rather than undirected and thoughtless labor.

Permaculture is sustainable land use design. This is based on ecological and biological principles, often using patterns that occur in nature to maximise effect and minimise work. Permaculture aims to create stable, productive systems that provide for human needs, harmoniously integrating the land with its inhabitants. The ecological processes of plants, animals, their nutrient cycles, climatic factors and weather cycles are all part of the picture. Inhabitants’ needs are provided for using proven technologies for food, energy, shelter and infrastructure.

Elements in a system are viewed in relationship to other elements, where the outputs of one element become the inputs of another. Within a Permaculture system, work is minimised, “wastes” become resources, productivity and yields increase, and environments are restored. Permaculture principles can be applied to any environment, at any scale from dense urban settlements to individual homes, from farms to entire regions.

Permaculture is a way of looking beyond a single-product system, and a means to leave the earth richer than we found it. Its aim is to create self-maintaining, efficient, and highly productive agricultural eco-systems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural eco-systems.
pollintion at giannangelo farms southwest


By observing a natural eco-system, we can learn to imitate nature and create a man-made eco-system, a symbiotic relationship, that is productive, non-polluting, and beneficial to the whole environment, where everything is interconnected, sustaining all living things within the system. When correctly designed, such a system will become increasingly diverse, resilient, and self-sustaining, conserving soil, water, and energy.

Permaculture is a conscious design and maintenance of systems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of a natural eco-system. It is a harmonious integration of the land with people - providing food, energy, shelter, and material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.

formal perennial garden at giannangelo farms southwest


Permaculture is a practical and creative approach to the problems of diminishing resources and threatened life support systems now facing the world. It is a holistic approach to human culture - an integration of biology, ecology, agriculture, architecture, technology, and building.

It requires that what is learned about biology, energy, physics, eco-systems, water flow, and climate be applied in everyday life - providing us with shelter, food, water, income, and community, giving each of us an aesthetic and spiritual fulfillment within a beautifully balanced and healthy biological community - a sustainable and secure place for all living things on the earth - growing in richness, aesthetic beauty, and productivity.

Permaculture is not an end, it is a means - a way that can lead us towards a sustainable, ecologically sound, self perpetuating systems that will produce an efficient, low-maintenance, productive integration of plants, animals, humans, commerce, and structures. The ultimate result: a balanced eco-stability and food self-sufficiency in the smallest practical area.

Planting a Permaculture Garden

The use of patterns found in nature are key to permaculture design. In permaculture seven layers can be identified:
1. The canopy - contains the majority of the largest trees
2. A Low tree layer like dwarf fruit trees
3. Shrubs - plants with multiple stems and lower heights, usually less than 5–6 m (15–20 ft) tall.
4. Herbaceous plants - a plant with leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level.
5. A Rhizosphere area - the narrow region of soil that is directly influenced by root secretions and associated soil microorganisms
6. A Soil surface area - plants for the general low growing areas - lettuce, carrots, and other home garden plants
7. A Vertical layer - climbing plants and vines

Plant to maximumize the use of vertical space and the resources that are available (nutrients, water, light). Mulch the plantings to conserve water and retain a consistent soil temperature. Start small, and as you learn, you can expand. Enjoy!

A Sphinx Moth on a morning glory on a trellis at giannangelo farms southwest

"There is hope if people will begin to awaken
that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt
knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet.”

Brooke Medicine Eagle

Resources for Permaculture Plants, Seeds, and Information
The Uses of Wild Plants
Permaculture Institute
Planet Natural
High Country Gardens
High Mowing Organic Seeds
Seeds Trust
Mountain Crest Garden
Mesa Garden
Santa Ana Garden Center
Plants of the Southwest






Website designed and maintained by Vicky Giannangelo
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Created by Frank and Vicky Giannangelo, copyright (c) 2001-2013

Home Page    About Us    Mossy Knoll Garden/San Juan Island    Botany Basics    "You Can Grow!" Workshops    Composting    Soil Building
Hardiness Zone Map   WebRings    "You Can Grow" CD's   "Tid-Bytes" Insights   Garden Pests & Organic Controls
Biodiversity and Genetic Engineering    New Mexico    Companion & Intensive Planting     Permaculture    Labyrinths
Seed Starting Guide    Creative Garden Design    The Greenzbox    Culinary Herb Gardens    Xeriscape
"Growing with the Seasons"    Photo Tour I    Photo Tour II    Photo Tour III    Photo Tour IV    Photo Tour V
Organic Products    Gardening Books   Gardening Supplies     Recommend This Site    Resources


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