PDC Llanrhaeadr & Llanfyllin 2020

Plans for the final 2 weekends for the Llanrhaeadr PDC

We are suggesting we attempt distance learning on Saturday and meet outside at the Llanfyllin institute for survey phase of the design challenge on Sunday.

I have booked the hall there. It has full facilities and indoor and outdoors working space. I will be there from 10.00 am and we have the use of the hall from 12.00 – 4.00

For those who choose not to attend we will be sharing all the materials on this page, and you will be able to take part remotely. We will be doing a live survey for the design project on Sunday afternoon and posting all the interviews and photos here afterwards. You can use the intervening 2 weeks to work on your designs and communicate with your design team partner(s).

Let us not pretend we are not only at the beginning of a global crisis, but also at the start of a period of intense change predicted for many years. The poem below, ‘Imagined letter from Covid19 to Humanity puts it very well.’

In permaculture we are reminded that the problem is the solution; somehow this terrible crisis and the damage and pain it causes must be the catalyst that propels us to the low carbon, ecologically regenerative future we know has to come.

We may all have a chosen Covid19 video, this is mine, not least because it places it into a global and biological context. We are all in this together. I consider this essential watching.

PDC Design activity
This is the bit where you guys have the chance to apply what you have been learning to a real situation, a chance to flex your new permaculture muscles and see what you can come up with both individually and collectively.

SADIMET is the acronym of the design model we will follow
A key thought: SURVEY and ANALYSIS, the first two stages are where all the information collecting and then thinking happens before we even think about design.
Avoid making the error of jumping to design decisions at this stage

The first area to survey is the client group itself. So think about what questions you might like to ask to reveal the FUNCTIONS of the space and the limiting factors for the design. Remember, Form always follows Function. So over the course of the weekend we will be building up to doing a survey for the design project we will work on together.

I often share the Summerpool Garden design, done my a group in Hertfordshire many years ago, visualising the process to plan and develop a community garden for their community. Its no great work of art, or intellectual masterpiece, but sets out clear steps towards a clearly identified goal, so this is the the kind of output we are looking for.

To be clear your design can be in any format, spoken word, slideshow, PowerPoint, chalk drawings, a clay model, anything that conveys the intention and informs the audience; draw on your own skill set here. It is the process we are interested and that is the object of the exercise, to give you the experience of being part of a team to develop a design using the process/ model we have given you. It is not assessed in any way, it’s purely an exercise which I hope you will enjoy.

Quick explanation of the idea of zones in permaculture

Recap of zones and sectors, this is for the analysis and design phase

More in depth exploration of sectors in design

Patterns to detail, this is the presentation we spent a lot of time on on day 7 and there is much content in this to review

We did not complete the design presentation on days 7 and 8 as it covers days 9 and 10 as well. I refer you back to it, and ask you look through the whole presentation again and consider the key points.

Limiting factors in design
Design within limitations.
How can your design address, lessen or make assets out of the limiting factors identified.
Here are some areas to think about and some examples. There is no point in designing a £50,000 garden if we only have £50, or a tropical garden in a temperate area. Either your design can cleverly resolve limitations or work within them.

We have a new limiting factor to work with, that we might not be able to be in the same space as each other, for quarantine, for distance for reducing car travel, how can we take the best from this limitation, can we modify it with good design?

Tree system diagram. This is a reminder that we are trying to build an interconnected system like an ecosystem. We want our garden to have as many connections within as possible, as well as many connections to the surrounding community. Permaculture design creates relationships and designs so that the relationships help self regulate and manage the designed system.

Geoff Lawton revisits a design site from 12 years ago

We began working on the Garden a few months ago and have kept a record of all our activities at www.brace.cymru

In January we submitted a bid for £2,600 to the National Gardens Scheme. It is a competitive area but we just heard that our grant was successful. We took a chance and spent some of the money in the hope that it would pay off, investing £400 into the timber for the raised beds, £40 for builders sand and £40 rent. Our remaining budget is £2,000.

This introduction to permaculture presentation is a resource created from S39 work for general talks, might find it interesting/ useful for your design thinking.


The transition to a better future

If we try to stay on the path of never ending growth the inevitability is collapse, or as Holmgren calls Lifeboats, that us trying to survive without a functional global economy
As a community we can work as earth stewards to take responsibility for the environment around us
As a bio-region or city we can invest in larger scale longer lasting green tech projects
The nation state becomes responsible for de-industrializing and shedding the reliance on damaging and high polluting brown tech economy

Site survey and commentary

Using the images and Yossi’s commentary you should get a good feel of the site. I will produce a base map of the front garden area next. Sorry if the commentary and images don’t totally map together, but you will get the feel for the space and layout. It was a clear bright day when we were there so you can see how the light falls on the garden well.

Suncalc: handy site that lets you see the solar angles of any given site at any time of the year.

Design project one: the welcoming garden, edges, remembrance, invitees

The front garden area is going to be demolished and we have the opportunity to lead on the replacement garden. Think about functions of this space, the hard landscaping and structural plants and other elements. Can it whet the appetite to see more and draw in interest? Can you link to the rear garden in as many ways as possible, choice of certain plants, colours, ways.

Design project two: communication and signage

  • We have a sign, what must we put on it?
  • What is the name of the garden
  • images, icons, styles
  • information, front and back
  • Breaking down barriers and making everybody welcome

Design project three: the detail, raised beds, cabbages,

Learn the lessons from the Dragons front garden. What is working well and can be copied, what is not so great and can be improved? What else do we need to make it better?

Theme: integrated pest management

  • welcoming garden,
  • edges,
  • remembrance,
  • invitees
  • cabbages

Design project four: where to put the green house?

This placement decision will affect the placement of many other elements in the back garden, tool shed, picnic bench, wildlife pond.

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