7. Design of Functionality beds in Healing Garden

This design is moved to https://annemoloneypermaculture.wordpress.com, my permaculture portfolio site, here it is ready for presentation and first assessment.

For this design I have used
Design Web
and a little bit of SADIMET (base maps)
I did the main part of the design together with Lou Langdon.

The use of the Design Web points towards the need of information for the guests of the garden, which connects this design with the design of the information strategy. The Design Web also points into the 5th element, regarding the social, economic, and community and ethical aspects of the garden, where as the OBREDIMET point into the first four elements: wind, earth, energy and air, which are the land based and actual physical parts of the garden.

The functionality beds are apart of The Healing Garden on Fejø. The full Healing Garden design consists of functionality beds, medieval beds, information strategy – and even more. For a short presentation of The Healing Garden on Fejø you can watch this 3min22sec movie:

I started out with this timeline, which showed to be completely unrealistic.
Timeline is this:
March-April 2015: Base map 1
April – May – June: Design web used as learning proces with woof´ers
July 2015: Scaled drawings
September 2015: Observation, barriers, and resource analysis, and evaluation.
October 2015: Designing and implementing
November 2015 – August 2016: Maintaining
September 2016: Evaluating
October 2016: TweakingDesigning the functionality beds – and also the the signs and information – serves as a tool for the guests to be able to better orientate themselves in the garden and make use of the plants even when there is no guide around.

Should I write here what actually happened?

We have 5 categories in the functionality beds:
Serve Yourself Bed for the guests of the garden – the guests are welcome to serve themselves and take plants (leaves, petals, flowers, and seeds) for further experiment and try outs at home)
Tapas bed (with tapas we mean plants that have a fairly nice taste for most people and that can readily be used to eat raw as well as cooked in various ways, such as pesto, smoothie, salad, tapas, tea, soup, stuffing, bread
Tea bed – plants and herbs good for teas
“Snaps” bed – which means plants that are good in alcohol
Poison plants – we keep the poisonous plants in one bed in order to better be able to identify them.


This drawing in scale and Lou´s drawings from the spring og 2015 work as base map 1

Photo of Lous drawings

On an overall view level we want in all the beds that the garden works together with nature as much as possible, inspired form the forest garden concept:
– trees and/or bigger shrubs
– smaller shrubs
– lower herbs
– ground cover
– insect attractors
– nitrogen fixers
– mineral accumulators (Lou kan lave en liste over disse, det er fx. kulsukker, brændenælde, havesyre (lange rødder), lucerne)

All the beds face south/north and they get sun throughout the day.
The soil is in general very dry and hard (heavy clay soil). The colour is light, not dark as when there is a lot of humus and the topsoil is more mouldy. The soil is even dryer and harder the more it faces south. We observe that the beds that have beeb thorougly mulched for several seasons have a much better “soil health”. It is hard to see if there are nutrients enough or whether the Ph of the soil is right, either too sour or too basic – but since the perennial plants seem to thrive quite well we guess it is ok as it is. We could choose to check this out by soil analysis, but we found it unnecessary for our purpose.
The soil is dry when not mulched. The spring season, when we sow, is with hardly any rain and most summers have a very dry period in July. So we need watering of the annuals in these periods. We have rain water collection on the greenhouse and we will establish roof gutters and rain water collection on info cabin, mulch toilet cabin and tool shed. We must monitor how much water we collect and how much we need.
We have a lot of wind from the south and the east and we are pretty unprotected from these winds
The western wind is bending the trees
WE have some protection from the north wind, which is harsh during winter.
The time available for planting/replanting is short. In the autumn there is a period of 3 – 4 weeks from the plants “sleep” and till the soil is too wet and heavy. In the springtime the soil is ready around mid april; after this the the heat comes quickly so there is only about 3 weeks, that are really good for moving the perennials.
The paths are partly overgrown. They must be thoroughly weeded and straightened with new barrier material.
The material needs renewal and the beds must be remeasured and the straight lines drawn anew.
From the lawns the grass seems to be wandering into the beds. We need to think of some kind of protection, it could be maybe comfreys.
Unluckily not all the healing plants of the garden are perennials. To achieve the plant variety that we want we need annuals as well as biannuals. We find that this need is best met by making beds exclusively for the annuals and biannuals, primarily because of the need for watering the newly sown and potted annuals and biannuals.


From Design Web:
Opium poppies in clusters

More or less all of The Healing Garden on Fejø is established by spontaneous impulsivity. We have not had the basic knowledge about the soil, the wind, the plants. The garden gives a premature impression and has a lack of being well and thoroughly designed.

There is a lot of yield from the garden already, plants for give away, loads of seeds, plants for pestos every day, plants to be dried for teas, soaked in oils for cream and in alcohol for tinctures. Not to talk about the pleasure and happiness you get from staying in the garden, resting in hammock or floating in deck chair.
Birds and hedgehogs live in the brushwood fence and a family of pheasants are thriving in the southern beds of the middle age beds.


We have most of the plants. The basic beds and paths are done through a no-dig strategy and loads of mulch has been applied to most beds. We have tools, working gloves and wheelbarrows. We have an indoor facility for tea breaks during the working days and for the planning and permaculture designing processes. We have paper, worksheets, pens and pencils, competitors and internet access. Especially Lou has a knowledge of the plant´s needs and an overview of high plants, low plants, nitrogen and mineral fixers, long roots and flat roots, annuals, biannuals and perennials.

The basemap 2, in scale


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