This post is a breakdown of the final permaculture map. I broke it down into the four quadrants of the property with details of changes, plant lists, and stacking functions.
This area encompasses the west facing backyard as seen from the back door. Very little shade exists in this portion of the yard and therefore the afternoon/evening sun bakes the patio and house making this portion of the yard uninhabitable during the summer. Another issue is drainage off the patio – a portion of the patio drains into the shed.
Changes: I planned for the shed to be flipped around (thus opening into the workshop area). A french drain between the patio and back of shed will allow for proper drainage and will be planted with runner beans to create a living wall (that will be frequented by hummingbirds) along the back of the shed. Further plantings of herbs and hops will extend around the west side of the shed taking advantage of the roof water, providing fresh herbs close to the kitchen and providing an aesthetically pleasing area to socialize near. To the west of the patio a large plant guild will create both an edible landscape close to the back door as well as dappled shade for the patio allowing us to enjoy it’s use. In addition a trellised dining area will create a shaded nook. Leaving the patio is the main yard to be planted in drought tolerant grasses to provide an area for children to play games. To the south of the patio, along the west facing side of the house will be a chokecherry grove. This will provide an insulated thicket for the west facing wall of the house, in addition to being good forage for us and wildlife. In the far Northwest corner is the perfect area for a wildlife habitat as it is a portion of the yard that we do not visit often. In addition it is an area that receives very little water and thus I chose drought tolerant, many of which are native to our area. Bird houses from dried gourds, a bird/bee bath and an owl box will all provide good habitat for wildlife. Extending from the corner will be our bee hives, the cob cold frame and a clothesline.
Plants for wildlife habitat guild: Utah Juniper (wildlife), Golden Rain Tree (Nitrogen, shade), Utah Serviceberry (edible, wildlife), Apple (edible), Mountain Mahogany (nitrogen, wildlife), Fern Bush (insects), Milkweed (butterfly’s), Dwarf Yarrow (groundcover, insects), Bee Balm (insects), Utah Sweet Vetch (nitrogen, groundcover), Goumi Shrub (Nitrogen, edible, wildlife).
Stacking Functions: Northern wind screen, privacy screen, insect/wildlife forage, drought tolerant.
Plants for guilds surrounding back patio: Chokecherry (edible), Hops (edible), Wisteria (nitrogen, shade), Lavender (medicinal), Sage (edible), Russian Sage (insects), Scarlet Runner Beans (wildlife, nitrogen), Mimosa (nitrogen, shade), Pluot (edible), Pear (edible, Strawberry’s (edible, groundcover), Chives (edible, grass suppressant), Comfrey (mulch), Good King Henry (perennial green, edible), Daffodils (grass suppressant), Mint (edible).
Stacking Functions: Insulation for house, sunscreen, edibles close to kitchen, aesthetics.
This is the workhorse of the yard with intensively planted annual/perennial beds, and the rotating compost piles. There is no storage for tools and the annuals require quite a bit of irrigated water.
Changes: I added a small (150 sq. ft.) garden shed (will also provide privacy screen from neighbors). Other changes include espaliered grape vines against the south wall of the house (also as an insulator), and changing the raised bed system to be a sunken bed system to better capture rooftop water. This area also has an old apple tree which currently provides the only shade for my back yard. Due to this I kept the grass patch as this area will be the play/entertain area until other plantings are further established. After which I will keep the area entirely grass free and mulched.
This area comprises the front yard, sidewalk, and fire-strip. For aesthetics this is an area that is already well established. It is a mix of fruit trees, and herbs that I harvest for culinary and medicinal purposes. Also included are perennial flowers and grasses covering the ground and providing mulch.
Changes: These include more biodiversity of plantings, including nitrogen-fixing planting under fruit trees. I spend a lot of time in the front yard due to the lack of shade in the backyard and therefore I have kept a grassy area to play with my son in. The fire-strip currently has two large established ash tree’s that provide excellent shade for the front yard. I plan to remove all of the grass in the fire-strip and create a contoured ditch down the center of it thus allowing sidewalk runoff to drain into the center of the strip feeding a variety of non-edible (due to pollution) drought tolerant perennial plants.
Currently have: Yarrow, Hollyhock, Chamomile, Rockcress, Shasta Daisy, Poppy’s, Apple, Peach, Blue Fescue, Mexican Feather Grass, Karl Foerster Grass, Lavender, Sage, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, Coreopsis, Sedum, Rose.
Plan to add: Hyssop (insects), Penstemon (insects), Echinacea (medicicinal), Utah Sweet Vetch (nitrogen, groundcover), Passionflower Vine (edible, wildlife), Hardy Kiwi (edible), Jupiter’s Beard (insects), Sundancer Daisy (insects), Pineleaf Garden Pink (insects), Thyme (groundcover), False Indigo (nitrogen), Comfrey (mulch), Buffaloberry (chickens, mulch, nitrogen).
Stacking Functions: Increase biodiversity, attract more wildlife/insects, aesthetics.
Due to the proximity to the driveway this area is mapped to become my husbands work area. He is a wood worker and badly needs an organized area to build his business.
Changes: Include a large workshop, privacy screening hedges, a small (well contained) bamboo forest for harvesting, two wood sheds for drying and storing wood. The area will be mulched with wood chips and will be a low water area. A grape arbor will provide privacy for him as well as a doorway into his work zone from the family social area. To the west of the workshop will be a large plant guild containing edible perennials and annuals, all watered from rooftop water harvesting.
Plantings: Skyrocket Junipers (privacy screen), Pinyon Pine (edible), Flowering Quince (nitrogen, edible, wildlife), Comfrey (mulch), Butterfly Bush (insects), Bulbs (grass suppressant), verbena (ground cover), Siberian Pea Shrub (nitrogen, mulch), Grapes (edible)
Stacking Functions: Northern wind break, privacy screen, separate the yard into various work spaces.