1.The top layer, the canopy, would be made up of fruit and nut cultivars such as apple, pear, plum, sweet chestnut and walnut.
2.The next layer, a low tree layer, would contain certain fruits of the canopy layer but grafted onto dwarfing root stocks as well as medium height trees such as hawthorn, elder, medlar and fig.
3.The shrub layer contained fruit bushes of black, red and white currant, gooseberry, quince and Rosa rugosa for edible hips and rose petals.
4.The herbaceous layer contained globe artichoke, chard, leek, sorrel, lovage. Shade tolerant herbs -lemon balm, mint, chives, sage, and comfrey mingled near the middle. At the edges were sun-loving herbs -marjoram, thyme, rosemary, lavender and fennel.
5.The ground cover layer was made up of creeping Rubus such as the Arctic raspberry and the Oregan thornless blackberry.
6.The rhizo-sphere layer was planted with root crops such as radish ‘Black Spanish’, Hamburg parsley, and salsify.
7. A vertical layer of climbing French and runner beans, vines (especially Vitus ‘Brandt’ ) and nasturtiums were supported on the trees and shrubs.
A friend recently moved to the country where her garden has five large and productive apple trees down one side. Planting fruit bushes under and around the canopy and following much of Hart’s seven layer plan would make brilliant use of the space without making a time-consuming vegetable patch. She’s considering red and black currant and gooseberry fruit bushes as a start. Once those are in I plan to arrive with a tray of seedling Swiss chard and broad beans.
Further reading: Creating a Forest Garden. Working with Nature to Grow Edible Crops http://www.greenbooks.co.uk
I am not good with house plants mainly because I have very few sunny windows with sills convenient to put them on. However I have managed to keep this orchid going for a good few months possibly because it doesn’t mind shade. There’s very little to pick in the garden for week 15 and I am very grateful for the orchid.