Growing permaculture in the city

Permaculture is starting to make small changes in the way you live your life, and knowing that all these small changes add up and can make a big difference.

If we are to keep progressing as a culture which does not destroy itself by damaging the systems upon which its own survival depend on, than we seriously need to address certain cultural behaviour and outlook.
When it comes to Environment, and sustainability we need to think and digest it for a while, thus lets REDEFINE PROGRESS using some permaculture terminology.

Observation, Boundaries, Resources, Evaluation, Design, Implementation and Maintenance.
These are mere indication steps that one could simply use when doing just about anything creative with keeping progress in mind.

By merely observing with a watchful eye, one could start to actually see life through nature’s point of view. Observing the works of nature, the path of the sun, the dominant trees or plants, the season’s changes, the way the rain falls and the streams that follow, etc This could all be a good part to what we have been overlooking for many years.
Simply observing and taking notes of what we notice is a great lesson to be learnt from nature. In earth tribes such as the aboriginals and the native Americans, the elders are consulted and respected for they hand down their observations from one generation to the next.

We must always keep in mind to tackle a problem at a time and break it down as simply as possible in order to manage it better. Boundaries help us to define where we are working on and also protect our work from undesirable outside forces. In the example of a garden, a boundary is needed to protect that which you have worked on or plan to work on.

If we had to be strict, a community is not sustainable unless it can survive off its own land.

In a modern and industrialised world, our food, clothing, equipment, and even water (the main element supporting life) is more often than not imported from other countries while making negative ecological and or social impacts of some sort or other. These factors are mainly subject to political forces that dictate global commerce.
Thus resources are looked at very differently in Permaculture.

In a world of waste, over consumption and uncontrolled competitive growth, resources need to be valued and guarded as common heritage.

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but sometimes food does.

Through this process, evaluation is a constant tool necessary to see where the direction is going and what elements are yielding better than others. Once we evaluate, we have an outcome with better indications of what is actually progressive or most likely to be progressive.

Design for success.
Remember that Permaculture is a design process.
Whether it’s a school playground, a community garden, a farm, a forestation project, a roof garden, a building or an entire village, design with these steps is the key to putting the permaculture principles which will yield better results.

Implement the ideas
Implementation is the actual doing. Using the actual ideas and getting them to manifest from paper to shape is the next stage of work. It is very important to keep the permaculture community support and share the work experience. This is where we get the opportunity to experience that which is learnt from the points above.

By using Permaculture design principles, one could simply start at redefining progress in this way. Progress is a broad concept, but simply put, society needs basic standards of health and natural resources in order to sustain its existence.

Achieving quality of life within the means of nature is progressive in a way that:
· Does not decline biodiversity
·Increases and values the natural resources and common heritage

Simple tree planting is a way of increasing the natural heritage.
If a culture does not keep the points above as its indicators of progress, then it isn’t progressing at all. And it is here where hundreds and thousands of people worldwide have chosen permaculture as a strong community tool to become part of a progressive movement that recognises a re-defined progress.

Permaculture garden - a mixture of decorative and edible plants

A local Permaculture project Run by the lovely Ruth Robinson is
St saviours Community garden

Permaculture festival 2010



There are three generally accepted definitions of an herb. Botanically, herbs are non-woody annual, biennial, and perennial plants that die back each year after blossoming. Another definition describes them as any of the herbaceous plants valued for their flavour, fragrance, or medicinal properties. The third is actually not a definition but a distinction between the culinary herbs and spices.

There are hundreds of different varieties of herbs. Although you can buy them from any local grocery store, it is much better to grow them in your own backyard. By growing them in your own backyard you can assure the long lasting availability of garden fresh herbs. This will uplift the taste and flavor of any dish and will make your gastronomic experience more enjoyable.

The botanical definition includes many plants that we ordinarily think of as weeds (and even eliminate from the garden when they appear) and therefore never cultivate as we do marjoram or sage. Many vegetables and ornamental garden plants also fit this description, but they are not usually thought of as herbs. Excluded by the definition are a number of shrubby and woody plants such as laurel and rosemary, which for centuries have been two of the most distinguished herbs.

More flexible is the second definition which singles out herbs as being useful as flavouring, scents, or medicine. But, because our uses of various plants change as our needs do, a list of plants that could be considered useful will differ from culture to culture and from century to century. Also, this definition does not distinguish fragrant flowers such as gardenias from the fragrant herbs such as lavender and germander.

In cooking, a distinction is made between spices and herbs. Spices usually are considered to be derived from the roots, bark, fruit, or berries of perennial plants such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pepper; herbs are the leaves only of low growing shrubs and herbaceous plants such as basil, rosemary, and thyme. There are several plants, however - such as some of the roses - which are included in herb listings even though their fruit (rose hips) is used.

Because of these complications in defining herbs, it is perhaps easier to understand their nature through the ways they have been used and thought of in the past.

There are 3 different herbal plants types. Before going towards herbs growing tips, it’s important for you to learn about these 3 different herbal plants types:

These types of herbs live for only one season. This group of herbs includes chives, mint, lemon, oregano, sage, rosemary, basil and etc.


These types of herbs live for many years. Although in winter season they shake leaves but their roots remain alive and in spring season they again bloom into new foliage. This group of herbs includes balm, marjoram, catnip and etc.


These types of herbs live for two years. The first season is for growing and in second seasons seeds are formed. At the end of second season they die. This group of herbs includes plant like parsley and etc.

If you love cooking, you have to grow a range of herbs. With this selection in your garden or in your window boxes, your food will excel. Spring and summer:
Basil 'Sweet Genovese' (organic) - strongest, sweetest tasting basil you can grow
Chives (organic) - sharp, oniony flavour perfect for salads and cold soups and pretty edible flowers
•Marjoram 'Sweet' - the best herb with cooked tomatoes, invaluable, for pasta sauces and pizzas
Parsley 'Giant of Napoli' (organic) - the best flavoured parsley of all
Savory Summer - a lovely thyme-like herb to grow and eat with beans, beloved by Jamie Oliver Culinary
Thyme - the well known pretty and delicious herb, ideal to eat with any meat Autumn, winter and early spring
Chervil - lovely in a winter salad or in simple herb omelette
Coriander fantastic oriental herb which grows much better in the cold than the hot and dry
Sorrel 'French' - sharp, citrus flavour which will crop lightly in autumn and early spring as well as summer
Sage 'culinary' - lovely smoky flavour for eating in stuffing and with any pork dish

Some herbs look stunning in the garden and just like any other plant just grow what you fancy ,one of my favourite is Bronze fennel below