Permaculture Design Principles V
Design For Diversity

Permaculture design aims for as much diversity and variety as possible. It is the exact opposite to conventional agriculture, which relies on huge monocultures and struggles with all the associated problems.

To mix and match as many different plants as possible has many advantages:

Permaculture design for diversity.

And that are just some of the benefits of diversity in your garden. The more variety a design has, the more successful and stable the system will be.

Have a look at nature, a forest, a wildflower meadow, a wetland... There is no single area that has only one plant species. It's always a mixture of species that are suited to the conditions and support each other.

I think the hardest thing to do when starting with permaculture design is to let go of the idea that a food or vegetable garden has to be a separate plot, away from the rest of the garden, that things have to grow in rows or in their allotted beds, that the orchard is a different part again and has only fruit trees... and so on and so forth.

Forget all that. It doesn't make sense!

Permaculture design is not about making a vegetable garden. It's about integrating food plants into your garden while creating a healthy and balanced ecological system. Because it's the much smarter and easier way to grow fruit and vegetables.

I don't have a vegetable garden. I do have a kitchen garden though. It's the area of my garden that is closest to my kitchen door, hence I call it my kitchen garden, which sounds nicer than zone 1. (That would be the proper permaculture term, but I'm not that hard core).

Sure, all my most used herbs and vegetables grow in that kitchen garden area, saves me running around more than necessary.

But there are also a few native trees that are always full of birds. There are flowers that I grow just for the sake of having pretty flowers, a beautifully scented vine climbing up one veranda post, some shrubs with berries that the birds like, some wildflowers that I leave alone to do what they like, two smaller fruit trees...

It wouldn't make sense to separate the food plants from the others. It works a lot better like this, for the vegetables, the birds and for me.

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