Permaculture Info


What is permaculture?


The philosophical answer…


Permaculture addresses and solves many (if not all) the problems we face on earth because it covers all forms of human living.

(read more about this under 'why is permaculture important?')


The short answer…


Permaculture combines gardening, landscaping and horticulture into a holistic approach, using a set of design principles that observe and mimic the patterns and resilient cycles of natural eco-systems.


Permaculture’s roots are as ancient as our interaction with Mother Earth and need for food production, clean water and protection from Nature’s elements.  The word and modern practice, was famously pioneered by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the 1970’s by combining permanent agriculture into permaculture.


In its simplest form it means, as Bill Mollison states, “working with nature, not against it”.


Maximum outputs & minimum inputs = efficiency


3 Permaculture ethics and 12 design principles created by David Holmgren and Bill Mollison


(Unknown Source)

The not so short answer…


Many people perhaps are still unfamiliar with permaculture and its benefits and thus may not realize how transformative it is to our daily way of life.  Perhaps many still see it only as landscape gardening, aesthetically pleasing gardens and/or glorified gardening; not being aware of the holistic approach it teaches and offers. 

gallery/horticulture, gardening, landscape, permaculture venn diagram

Permaculture combines overall knowledge from horticulture, gardening and landscaping

Permaculture, gardening, horticulture (and even landscaping to a certain extent) are often clumped into the same basket and mistakenly considered to be one and the same.  While there are many similarities and cross over features between these areas that complement one another quite nicely, there are also some subtle yet important aspects that differentiate one from another. 


Horticulture is the art and science of growing plants while taking consideration factors that influence this.  A large aspect of horticulture is identification and care of plant species.  Horticulturists are experts in plant identification and care. 


Gardening is the applied practice of horticulture thus gardeners are experts in the physical application of horticulture. 


Landscaping refers to land modification for a specific functional or aesthetical purpose.  Landscapers are experts in earth moving and artistic presentation of landscapes. 


Each has their own value to add and requirement to fulfill.  Permaculture is effectively what brings these practices together into one, perhaps not an expert on each category, but taking a holistic approach to designing a self-sustaining ecosystem, (not only for your gardens, but your entire property) with what nature presents us with.


Using permaculture principles is extremely useful in home garden system design; from small urban block sizes to large farm lands.  By observing and replicating nature’s patterns, you optimize your outputs while minimizing your inputs.


Specific to your home garden and landscape design, it is a way to live more fully, healthy, freely, productively, efficiently and ethically.  Amongst the many benefits of a permaculture vs. an ornamental designed garden, is the strategic placement of elements and connected networks into the design.