In permaculture planning it is useful to distinguish 6 zones:
- Zone 0: The built environment: house, garage, porte cochere
- Zone 1: Intensive gardening -- Annuals, finicky plants that need tending
- Zone 2: Perennial gardening -- Plants that produce year after year
- Zone 3: Food forest -- Fruit and nut trees, vines, understory plantings
- Zone 4: Forage forest -- timber (in 100 years or so)
- Zone 5: Wilderness -- leave it be
For planning purposes, I also think I will divide the property into three sections:
- The back: back yard, garage and area behind it, east side yard.
- The house: Front porch, trellis over porch, window plantings, indoor plants, back deck, rain catchment system.
- The front: planting strip, sidewalk, front yard, driveway, porte corchere and plantings west of the driveway.
With this division I can write separate articles focusing on one section at a time. Before I get into that level of detail, I should reflect on my overall goals:
- Produce a lot of food for ourselves and our friends
- Minimize inputs: fertilizers, purchased stuff, city water, labor
- Maximize diversity: nurture a rich interoperable mini-ecosystem
- Focus on natives: but allow for some well adapted species and strains
- Contribute beauty: try for a balance that will quiet the eye and calm the soul
So, with those as organizing principles we can proceed to plan the sections....