Permaculture Landscape Design
Working with nature creates functional landscapes that are low-maintenance and produce an abundance of food.
Let me design your resilient garden ecosystem so it is productive and low-maintenance.
I can offer advice and assist with your edible garden, design so that it’s functional and aesthetically pleasing. My garden designs are based on the Principles of Permaculture. The aim of my garden designs is to create an outdoor space that is
Your Permaculture Landscape Design Experience
Effective design requires analysis of the site and the people using it
1. Site Consult
Your initial site consult lasts for two hours. It gives you an opportunity to review past designs and discuss your project scope. During the consult I can discuss design costs and our current lead times. The two hour site consultation is conducted on site and is obligation free.
2. Client Briefing
I return on a separate visit to discuss your household needs and wants for the design. This includes discussing your lifestyle, the current use of the space, and lots of other relevant information. The client brief enables us to tailor the perfect garden design for your family. It is also a good opportunity to discuss your proposed budget at this point. This enables us to design an affordable landscape that meets your needs.
3. Site Analysis
Analysing the site conditions enables us to design a landscape that works with nature and the natural features of the space. This includes mapping and photographing the site. Looking at existing vegetation, soil structure and climate patterns, enables me to design a practical and low-maintenance landscape for you. Calculating sunny and shady areas at different times of the day and the year enable me to create a productive garden that you can enjoy during all seasons of the year.
The thorough site analysis of your garden helps shape the design for your outdoor space. My designs are inspired by nature and are low maintenance and beautiful. The design drawings include suggested plant species and highlight features of the proposed landscape.
5. Presentation of Design Portfolio
Your Permaculture landscape design process is documented in an A3 design portfolio. It includes a summary of the site analysis, drawings of the proposed design, proposed budget for implementation and plenty of information on relevant topics. The specific details of the design portfolio is very much dependant on the individual site and the needs of the client. The design portfolio is usually around 15 to 25 professionally bound A3 pages. I present the portfolio to you on site so that we can explore the proposed design together.
6. Design Refinement & Quoting
Once the design portfolio has been presented, I ask for feedback on the design. Our clients normally spend a few weeks reviewing our proposals and getting questions clarified. Often small tweaks are made to the design at this stage. I can then introduce you to our implementation team to have the work quoted on and carried out. You are of course welcome to implement some aspects, or all of the design yourself or with other landscaping firms.
7. Foodscape Implementation
I have a fantastic network of experienced landscapers with the skills, experience and equipment to bring your Permaculture design to life. I have spent the last few years mentoring and supporting my staff to run their own small businesses that work together a bit like a co-op. This team can help with edible forest gardens, wicking beds, netted enclosures, irrigation, chicken runs and even lawns to bring your design to life. The team are enthusiastic and very professional landscaping experts. Implementation can be done as one huge makeover, or in stages as your budget allows. We can supply you with many unusual and exotic plants that can be difficult to source elsewhere.
Leaf, Root & Fruit Design philosophy
Working with nature to create productive, resilient ecosystems
Permaculture is an applied science and ethical design system, based on observation and analysis of natural systems. By utilizing Permaculture design principles, your design helps you to reconnect with the earth, seasonality and nature. Your design works with nature, rather than against it.
By copying nature’s blueprint and enhancing it with useful plants and animals, I aim to create productive, edible landscapes that are as close to self-sustaining as possible. Reading the landscape enables me to identify microclimates, and to use them to your advantage to grow an array of food plants. Through the use of guilds and zoning systems, I create efficient landscapes, which require less energy and effort to maintain. These landscapes provide you with food produced with a smaller ecological footprint, and an informed knowledge, of what has been used in the production of your food.
What is Permaculture?
Permaculture is a word originally coined by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the mid 1970’s to describe an “integrated, evolving system of perennial or self-perpetuating plant and animal species useful to man”. They were both based in Tasmania at the time. After 50 years Permaculture may rank as one of Australia’s most significant “intellectual exports”.
A more current definition of Permaculture is “Consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fibre and energy for provision of local needs.”
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a Permaculture design cost?
My Permaculture landscape designs require an investment of 60 to 70 hours. This includes:
- client briefing
- site measurement and base mapping
- site analysis
- design conceptualisation in conjunction with site analysis and proposed budget,
- documentation of the design portfolio.
The costing for this process varies depending on the size and complexity of the site. Costs are usually discussed and agreed to, at the initial site consult and are in the region of $2500 to $3500.
I don’t think I need a Permaculture design to a high level of detail. Can I have just a basic version done for a lower cost?
I have tried very hard to work out ways to simplify my designs and make them more cost effective for you. However, simplifying the process can lead to unforeseen design issues when it comes to implementation. This can end up costing you a lot more money than the extra design costs you are “saving”. So I’ve decided to be firm about not cutting corners when designing.
I really like flowers. Can you add flowers into my Permaculture garden design?
The short answer is Yes! Your landscape design focuses on edible plants such as fruit trees, herbs and veggies. I use Edible Forest Gardening to ensure that your productive plants thrive in a resilient, low-maintenance ecosystem. Insects are an important part of your garden ecosystem and many of them rely on pollen from flowers to complete their lifecycle. A large proportion of the plants included in your landscape are flowering plants to assist with “Do-Nothing” pest control. If you have any specific flowering plants that you would like included in the design, I am more than happy to include them for you.
How much does it generally cost to implement a design?
I don’t dictate to our clients how much they should allocate to an implementation budget. Instead I ask you how much you’d like to invest in your landscape and work with you to get best value for money. Some clients have quite strict budgets, others have a relaxed approach and prefer to not let money influence design outcomes too much. I’ve been able to deliver great outcomes in both situations. During the initial site consult I can discuss your budget further. As general guide, implementation of your design will usually cost between $300 and $1000 per square metre of outdoor space.
The lower end of the budget may be for simple edible forest gardens, on relatively flat terrain, with no infrastructure to be installed.
Implementations involving wicking beds, netted enclosures, irrigation, stone paving, retaining walls and other infrastructure construction are likely to be towards the higher end of that range.
Tighter budgets may be better spent on smaller sections of the garden rather than being spread across the whole property. Other sections can be implemented later, as money becomes available. Your design can take all of this into account and give you a great plan for the future direction of the garden.
How do I go about organsing a Permaculture Landscape Design?
Start by booking a site consult with me. During the consult we can discuss your needs and decide if a Permaculture Landscape Design is right for you. If you go ahead with the design process, then the cost of this initial site consult is deducted from the design fee.
Get started by booking your initial site consult below
I ask you to select three possible appointments for me to meet with you.
This enables us to select one of those three options based on your geography and those of other scheduled appointments. Optimising my schedule and travel routes to different parts of Melbourne and Central Victoria reduces my carbon footprint and enables me to keep the cost of this service as low as possible for you.
Update October 2023
I am focusing on writing a new book and adding a huge amount of new content to my Substack Page. In order to do this, I am strictly limiting my time spent on other services offered by LRF. This includes Consults, Permaculture Design and Landscaping. For now, I am ONLY conducting consults in three Local Sire Councils (Macedon Ranges, Hepburn Shire and Mt Alexander Shire). It is anticipated that Melbourne residents will be able to book consults again in early 2024. Stay tuned to my monthly newsletter, for when Melbourne residents can again book consults.