Welcome to the Permaculture Association Blog

You can find a wealth of news and knowledge that follows the work of members and partners.

I’m back where it all started for me – Glasgow, its pubs, the rain, Kelvingrove park, the persistent smell of fish and chips, and the nicest people I have ever met. I was a student at the University of Glasgow last year through the Erasmus program, and absolutely loved my time there. So after two months of travelling in the Scottish countryside, it was time for me to come back to my favourite city, to see friends and to volunteer with the Concrete Garden, a community garden based in the north of Glasgow which uses permaculture principles.

For about 15 years now I’ve been experimenting with fruit tree guilds: after planting fruit trees I like to underplant them with a diverse herb layer. Most of the plants I use are edible and/or medicinal but they fulfil other functions, too – some fix nitrogen or accumulate nutrients from the soil, attract beneficial insects or provide nectar for bees.

Here are some of my favourite plants to include in the herb layer and their functions.

By Nic Wilson

Sitting on top of the flowery mound with my bare feet in the chamomile I could be on a woodland hilltop, but beyond the medlar and hawthorn the bustle of Hampton Court Flower Show is just visible.

What Jon Davies and Andreas Christodoulou of Future Gardens have achieved with London Glades is a space which excites the senses whilst calming the soul. Designed for a client who wants to re-engage with nature in a beautiful and wild setting, this garden creates a quiet sanctuary in busy urban surroundings. Almost every plant is edible and most are perennial and low maintenance, relying on the surrounding ecosystem for support.

Making a bonfire out of willow

We're gathering inspirational case studies to help inspire you to organise your own local pemaculture gathering. Here's the first one from Somerset.

Market garden at Tap o Noth

I was very excited when I arrived to Tap O’Noth Farm, in Aberdeenshire, after a short trip from the Black Isle. James Reid’s project was the first permaculture farm I was visiting. That is to say, it was the first project where food was grown using permaculture principles, not merely to meet some level of self-sufficiency but also to be sold in his community.

After some years travelling in Australia, Portugal and Scotland, James found land at the bottom of Tap O’Noth hill five years ago. He first used the land as a permaculture demonstration site, affiliating himself with the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia, and later with the Permaculture Association when he became a ScotLAND centre. He hosted a Permaculture Design Course, and started a bigger garden in order to feed the students.