It’s a lot easier to see a picture of what a permaculture garden or plot of land looks like, as it gives you an idea of the difference between a garden that most of us with houses have, and a self sustaining diverse outdoor area, designed to work with the surroundings, weather and environment with a plot of land. The diagram below shows a drawing of how it can look when designed using permaculture design principles:
This illustration and Copyright is by April Sampson-Kelly inspired by PcSol.
As you can see, there are several areas or “zones” each of which have a purpose as part of the overall design scheme. Typically, you have several “layers” of plants, shrubs or threes in a zone, so that unlike many traditional gardens, there are no bare patches of soil under trees for example; here, plants that love the shaded area under trees would fill the under-tree zone leaving little exposed soil being visible.
This way of designing an outdoor area, also makes the most use of every available piece of land, which is another reason why you can grow so much more in a smaller space than with traditional gardens.
It is also possible to change the overall weather on your landscape, as it has been shown for example, that water can be brought to very arid areas, which means that there is no reason to have water shortages in desert areas. But that’s for another time!
All in all, once we get used to the idea that the more you put into a plot of land, but in such a way as to make the best use of the land with the rights plants, trees and shrubs using the correct permaculture design principles, the land will improve over time and become self sustaining and will need very little work to keep it producing fruit, vegetables and other crops over time.