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Forest Gardens

Forest Gardens

Forests in nature are stable, productive, and biodiverse. The forest garden
emulates how forests grow, using the same principles. Forest gardens are not
necessary gardens in forests—one can be established in a small backyard—but
the model is the same.

The pioneer of forest gardening, Robert Hart, has identified the following seven forest
layers that combine to make a healthy forest ecosystem:

  • Canopy: Trees and shrubs are the backbone of the forest garden. The canopy
    consists of the tallest of these. Fruit trees are a great edible choice
  • Understory (low-tree layer): Dwarf fruit and nut trees.
  • Shrub Layer: Woody plants such as raspberries.
  • Herbaceous Layer: Herbs and perennial vegetables.
  • Vertical Layer: Climbing plants and vines.
  • Ground layer: Groundcover creepers, no more than half a foot tall.
  • Rhizosphere: Root plants such as carrots, beets, and Jerusalem artichokes.

While your forest
matures, your plants will change, just as happens in nature. To find species
native to your region, look in the native plant database at
The Wildflower Center.

 

Read more: Nature, Lawns & Gardens

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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64 comments

+ add your own
1:25AM PDT on Apr 22, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

1:55PM PDT on Apr 21, 2013

Forest Gardens are so basic and beautiful!

5:00AM PDT on Apr 21, 2013

ty

6:25AM PDT on Mar 21, 2013

ty

6:29PM PST on Feb 21, 2013

How peaceful place is the one in the picture! I love it!

1:07PM PST on Feb 21, 2013

Thank you Annie, for Sharing this!

4:46AM PST on Dec 9, 2012

Thank you Annie, for Sharing this!

6:21AM PST on Nov 16, 2012

We can't afford to make our backyard look like this but we try to have as many plants as possible to reduce pollution. Gorgeous green picture by the way.

6:50PM PDT on Sep 14, 2012

omg so cute. The whole world should look like this.

2:00AM PDT on Sep 3, 2012

thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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