Written By: Ben DiFilippo
“Details matter. It’s worth waiting to get it right.”
The first six principles of permaculture design identify the components that create your garden environment. The latter half of the design principles are intended to connect the dots; identified from careful observation, formulating patterns and relationships that organize the environment. Thinking small and large scale is critical to understanding the organization of the system and allows us to create another design based on the organization of the system. Complexity, simplicity, and perspective are important terms in understanding patterns and details that will eventually paint your garden canvas.
Thinking small and large scale is critical to understanding the organization of the system
There are outside factors to consider that may affect an element organized by an observed pattern or interaction. Design with a degree of great complexity is a high risk, high reward scenario. A design with great detail and dissection of the subsystems that make up your environment can reward you for your hard work, or could lead you down a rabbit hole because you were too focused on certain interaction and you end up lost in your own ideas. A very basic simple design gravitates more towards the middle road of a risk/reward assessment. Less complexity, less thought put into small scale observation can leave you missing details in your design that could have ensured greater success.
“Designs from patterns to details” leads perfectly into the next principle, “Integrate rather than segregate.” To get the most out of the space and to remain aware of the interconnectedness of nature, applying any sense of separation to your garden environment will limit its potential. Permaculture design is defined as simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in the natural ecosystems. The environment cannot be segregated or factioned, as much as human behavior can emulate that notion through defining nature and human civilization as separate.
Permaculture is defined as simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in the natural ecosystems
Garden design, or the practice of gardening in general, is an ongoing process of tinkering and modifying what nature throws at your backyard. You must be sensible, flexible to what may happen. Be sure to always view the environment as interrelated components rather than separate entities. The art of gardening takes a great amount of discipline, awareness of the environment and everything within that environment, including yourself. Don’t get too stuck on details that may distract you from the bigger picture. Put yourself aside in your garden practice, be able to adjust your perspective in drafting your design, and don’t forget to breathe.
Be able to adjust your perspective in drafting your design; and don’t forget to breathe