Hooke Court History & Permaculture Garden

Aranya completed this design in early 2001 as one of ten for his Diploma in Applied Permaulture Design. Here is a summary of the full design, which can be found, along with details of the design process, costings and full planting plan at www.aranyagardens.co.uk.

I was invited to design an area of the Hooke Court School garden, using and demonstarting permaculture and also as a tool for for interactive history learning. The school, in a small Dorset village, also runs field studies courses for children.

History Garden
I have grouped the history gardens around a central Mulberry tree. The Mulberry was introduced by the Romans; being an unusual & delicious fruit it should attract the children as well as the wildlife, and will provide a shaded place for teaching. Apart from the Medlar & the Service tree, none of these gardens will contain any very tall elements, so they do not cast any shade on those behind.

The simulated grass & cereal areas will receive the full sun that they would typically have been exposed to. The gardens to the south are all of curved & chaotic form. In contrast, I have placed the more formally ordered & squared-off gardens of the Romans & the Tudors either side of the circular central element, to try & soften their impact on the rest of the area. The alpines on the rockery are there to represent the ice age period.

Victorian Cottage Garden
The Victorian cottage garden borders the central area & surrounds part of the eco-building, which is the zone zero “home”. The 3 trees provide a certain amount of shade in the garden and go some way to breaking up the square edges of the tennis court fencing & the building. The cottage garden is a fairly chaotic affair & will be relatively low maintenance compared with the other History gardens. Because the list of plants popular in this era is so extensive, I am planning on mainly planting species here that also have permacultural uses. This way, the two gardens blend together here.

North End
Just beyond the patio area, but still in Zone 1 are the keyhole beds, designed to maximise the growing space & minimise paths, whilst also providing curved routes through the garden. These are planted up with a diversity of herbs, salads & vegetables, plus the occasional small fruiting shrub. This area will utilise techniques such as mulching, companion planting (guilds) & vertical stacking to demonstrate their value in the garden. I have designed the path to follow the natural flow of people over to the wattle & daub building in the south west corner. One detour takes the inquisitive student into a small series of living willow tunnels, one of the interactive teaching elements that the children will be involved in creating.

For more of Aranya's work see www.aranyagardens.co.uk/ and www.designedvisions.com

Other Designers (not members of PA):