Background Bob lives in this house with his wife Sarah. They have been growing food on a small scale suited to cultivating in pots and containers for 2 years without making any major changes.
Vision The overall vision is for the garden to be part of a more sustainable lifestyle. To produce food according to permaculture principles. To act as a demonstration site to local people via the Transition Town network. To be attractive and welcoming to clients of the 'Your Space' yoga and holistic therapy centre . To be able to relax and entertain visitors.
Tenure Bob has owned this property for ten years. He am unsure as to whether he will remain in this property in the long term, with the likelihood that they will move on in the next five years.
Produce The aim is to grow a proportion of our own vegetables. The focus will be on 'zone 1' vegetables since they have a two 'allotment-type' sites a few minutes cycle ride from home. There will be scope for areas to use for experiments such as apple trees in containers and potatoes in tyres. The most important wants are greens and summer salad and fruits, and other items that require picking every day when in season and are at their best when harvested and consumed fresh. They would like to extend the growing season and raise seedlings by the use of a greenhouse. They would like to provide facility for food storage for personal use from harvests from other sites. Excesses of food are possible and will be preserved or given away / exchanged. Water storage will be key since most if not all produce will be grown in containers and there are some water butts currently in place. Keeping chickens should be considered as a possibility but not an essential feature of the design.
Shared Space There is access through the side garden to the entrance to a business where people come to relax and receive holistic treatment, so the space must always be accessible, be reasonably tidy at all times and have an element of beauty. Most current visitors have remarked that the current set-up of vegetable growing is appealing to the eye. There is a desire to show the site on an informal basis to those who may be interested in a permaculture set-up.
Relaxation There must be areas where relaxation can take place both privately and in groups of at most 30 people for summer parties and bbq's. Some lawn should be provided for sitting.
Aesthetics A small sacred space to greet visitors of YourSpace. E.g. a stone spiral, Buddha statue. Covering of the tarmac is some areas, e.g. shingle, wood chip. Tall plants and attractive perennials in the bed opposite Yourspace back window. Beautification of structures such as paintings on the walls, water butts.
Resources Time Implementation: Bob is prepared to spend 1 - 2 weekend days per month to implement permaculture projects, and this one must be shared with other projects. Maintenance: Bob and Sarah will be required almost daily to tend chickens and vegetables. Other than this, once up and running it is felt that and additional 1-2 per week on average should be sufficient to maintain this set-up.
Skills Bob is learning the art of horticulture but only has two years experience and therefore needs to do a lot of research. Sarah has a keen eye for design and aesthetics and prefers to incorporate some curves into the design rather than straight edges everywhere. Neither Bob or Sarah is particularly practical in terms of building and maintenance skills.
Money There is money for the purchase of a new structures: shed, greenhouse and chicken house with a preference for good quality and most appropriate size rather than second hand or adapting the design to what is available. There is a general preference for making do where possible and using recycled materials rather than buying brand new. However, if additional items are felt essential to the design that are required to be purchased then money is available.
General Likes Recycled style: bath-tubs, salad leaves in shower trays, potatoes in tyres etc. Current layout of vegetable area Bench under window of YourSpace and east facing fence Large passion flower shrub Ivy trailing over the walls from next door to South Grassy areas Red Robin Tree on the south wall
Dislikes The lack of any real soil The scragginess of the border There is excessive wood storage, compost / manure areas and storage behind the shed. Brick bbq The area at the front of the house looks bare and untidy and is dank, mossy and unwelcoming
What is better moved Shed so that bikes are nearer the front of house and the area where the current shed is can be opened out