Designing an edible flower garden: Zoning and relative placement

Despite the diminutive  size of the garden, and the fact that it’s right outside my front door, it still made sense to think about zoning.  Zoning means thinking about the placement of elements in a design.

In Permaculture there are usually five zones.  All of the elements that need constant human attention go in zone one.  That could mean plants like salad leaves or chickens.  Zone one is usually closest to the house.  Zone two would have elements that still need attention but a bit less – the less high maintenance vegetables would go here, and the compost heaps.  Because of the size of my garden, I am only going to discuss zones one and two, but you can read about the rest of the zones here.

What I am doing here is really ‘micro-zoning’ (yes, that’s a word I have just coined).  The whole of the space I have available could be described as zone one, but there are I think micro-zones within it.  You can’t see it very well in the picture above but behind the bed there is a strip of concrete which runs beneath the whole window.  It’s really quite difficult to get to without stepping in the bed, and the windows open above it meaning that nothing with any height could go there.  I’ve designated this area (micro) zone two and I am going to put less high maintenance (and squat) plants there.

Another micro-zone two is the area with the wood store in it  (have a look at a tour of my garden if you’ve not been following the other posts). It’s pretty dark and not much use for growing things so we tend not to really go into it in the summer.  In the winter, it’s a different story – we go out there to collect wood for the woodburner.  That’s reminded me of a passage from this wonderful book – read it, you’ll see what I mean.

All of the other areas are zone one, I think, as they’re accessible and I will walk past them every day for one reason or another.  It would make sense to put salad leaves (which needs lots of attention) and things that are required for cooking (like herbs) right by the front door where I really really can’t miss them.

Coming up next – the design…

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