The permaculture process began in 2016. After a design was created during the winter of 2016, we have begun the process of including elements in the garden to create our permaculture space. The design is shown below.
As well as designing the garden, we have also designed other parts of our life here at Les Eaux Vives, including water saving/storage. There are 2 cubic metre farm style water containers. One takes water from the roof of the house, the other saves the water from the washing machine (as we use eco eggs for washing, not washing powder), which are both used to water the garden in the summer. We also have a small water gully running the side length of the garden (on the design it says natural spring water, which technically it isn't!), which can be used to draw water, and a small stream at the bottom of the garden, for the same purpose. The side gully dries up in the summer, but the stream doesn't and is a haven of wildlife. We have a bench down there under the trees, for warmer days to sit and watch the reflection of the sun on the water and the wildlife, which is extensive. It is why the house is called "Les Eaux Vives" which translates as "Living Waters". We also have the right to take water from a spring that comes up just up the road from us. Within the “deeds” of our house, we can take 3 litres per minute from this spring. The pipework to do so has been brought to our land, but we have not continued along this path. More work would be needed, but if it was done, it would be possible to be self sufficient in water we think. More information on this right will be given to the purchaser, as it was explained to us by the notaire when we bought the property. Also, in putting in a new bathroom downstairs, we chose a urine diverted compost loo, rather than normal loo, so that it is waterless. The urine still goes into the septic tank, via an underground pipe, that was used for the old loo, but that is all that is "wasted". And of course, there is no flushing, so no waste of water here. Please note, the design is everything we wanted to do in time, not all of which is here now. It would be possible to self sufficient in fruit and vegetables on this land. The fruit trees of course predominantly take care of themselves. We have had a huge bounty of apples (various varieties) that we make juice and cider from (plus eat, make pies, puree and freeze), elderflowers and elderberries, cherries (various varieties), peaches, plums (various varieties) quince, figs, walnuts, blackcurrants - all of which are well established and profuse providers. Obviously there is space for a polytunnel, chickens and bees. We know nothing about pigs etc, so don't know what space they would need. We did try just doing paths in the grass in our first year, which were lovely in the Spring, but became scruffy later on. We decided that we cared a little more than we thought about what we wanted to look out on, although the plan all along has been to have a forest garden and plant in between the fruit trees. The design shows the paths that were made, and I have photos of them in the Spring, which quite frankly were romantic.