Permaculture is a compound word that combines ‘permanent’ and ‘agriculture’. It is a system for working with a piece of land that creates a self-sustaining, low maintenance system or a ‘permanent agriculture’. It is one way of approaching gardens so that natural tendencies are used to support one another rather than a gardener engaging in a constant battle of tidying, digging, and replanting.
To make things even easier, a company that provides garden maintenance in Balham, like Town and Country Gardens, can plan and execute a strategy with elements of permaculture.
Permaculture was coined and developed in 1978 by David Holmgren and Bill Mollison. The system brings together 12 principles which, when applied to the world at large, have been revolutionary. They have been used to re-green areas of desert, for example, and produce high output gardens in areas where food is scarce.
The basic principles are:
- Observe and interact;
- Catch and store energy;
- Obtain a yield;
- Use and value renewable resources and services;
- Produce no waste;
- Design from patterns to details;
- Integrate rather than segregate;
- Use small and slow solutions;
- Use and value diversity;
- Use edges and value the marginal;
- Creatively use and respond to change.
The details of each principle are extensive and there are a multitude of ways to apply them practically. It takes a while to understand the implications of permaculture principles, but they are essentially about working with nature and the tools at hand.
So how does it relate to garden maintenance in Balham? Well, good examples of popular permaculture techniques include ‘no-dig’ systems, pairing plants so that they protect or benefit each other, and composting. These are everyday examples that reduce workload and produce high yields of vegetables and beneficial plants.
Another example might be keeping chickens. Permaculture promotes high benefit for low effort and seeks to use tools that have a number of positive effects on both the garden and life. Chickens provide eggs, meat and manure. They loosen the soil through scratching, eat slugs and other pests, plus they can be a family pet. That’s at least 6 benefits from one source with minimum input through garden maintenance in Balham, once chickens are established.