Logo primary
Logo secondary
Garburgh Gardens project
Garburgh Gardens project
Last updated:
Hinckley, Leicestershire, GB
Climate zone:
Cool Temperate

Petr Brhel Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper Thomas Wilkinson
View Updates

Garburgh Gardens project

Project Type

Urban, Residential

Project Summary

Turning a long lawn into a highly productive food growing system and a lovely place to be. This will be a document of my journey through the process.

Project Description

Garburgh gardens project

The mainframe design I have settled upon for this (my home) garden project is to be pretty functional and the majority of space is to be used to grow food. I have come under fire from my partner Sarah for it not being less angular but I am somewhat restricted by the fact that the space is nine times longer than it is wide. I am also fairly short of funds to implement the build and so it is a little more utilitarian than perhaps a traditional Permaculture design might be.

The way I have gone about building this design has come from an aspiration point of view. I drew a design that I would love to have a go at, not sticking to the constraints of what is already in place but rather what I would do if I had my way. This was done one day last summer when I was bumbling around with nothing much else to do. I talked to my landlord not too long after about the fact that he wanted to put the house on the market. I wondered about the possibility of buying the house from him and the question of the Leyland Cypress trees came up. He told me that our neighbours also wanted rid of them but lacked the funds to do so. I then decided to go and see what could be done and asked if they were serious and they told me that if I wanted to use their garden to expand what I wanted to do then I could. I said that I would like to remove some of the trees at the bottom and again they said “Do what you like!” So I dusted off the fantasy plan and began to look at it in a much more serious way. This is a design that incorporates lots of features. It has an annual vegetable garden, a herb garden, a reed bed grey water filter, a small forest garden, a fish production pond, an area for outdoor entertaining and cooking, a greenhouse and a chicken coop. I have a pretty blank canvas to go with and as mentioned in my last post have begun by removing problems. This has opened up lots of light at the east end of the space and in the Autumn. When the big Leylands come down I will have a really good space with lots of light. I do have some issues about taking these trees out. The prevailing wind comes from the south west and these trees block a lot of the wind out. I need to install a windbreak to help with this but it does not need to be 45feet tall!


I will try to describe the Macro design now. Please refer to the picture attached of the overview of what I want to do.

From the rear of zone 0 come pipes, These pipes carry away resources. We wash using the sink, the shower and the bath and this water just goes down the plug hole. Why should we use more tap water to water our plants in the garden? Do they require treated water to flourish? The water that pours down the drain after we wash contains our sweat and loose skin particles etc, soaps and shampoos so it is not potable. By running it through a filter we can clean it up before passing it on to our veggies which saves water and indeed money. I intend to use a reed bed to filter out the impurities. This system, once full, will discharge the same amount of cleaned water that we use every day in to an irrigation trough which will be part of a Mayan style growing system that I first saw in Permaculture magazine last year. The Article in the magazine uses the trough to water from below the soil and is maintained at a level that can be adjusted. The Mayan’s did this on a very large scale and they had small canals instead of troughs so they grew fish as part of their system. This is what I would like to do on a small scale in my garden. I can’t find any information on whether water coming from a reed bed system will be clean enough for growing fish such as Tilapia and Carp but I do know that these fish can tolerate relatively poor quality water. If anyone can help me on this I would be very grateful! I do not know which types of reed to grow yet either. I have info on fish stocking levels but I am not intending to go into the fish farming business so a fairly low level will be maintained so the fish remain healthy. Using the same system as mentioned earlier from Permaculture magazine, I hope to extend it to have one trough in the style of the article, just irrigating annual veggies, and another with a much deeper trough with oxygenating plants and probably a small solar array powering a water pump with a battery for night time. This will be around ten metres long with four beds of about one metre wide running along the middle section of the garden. This gives me just enough room to fit a small path along the outside edges. A wooden boardwalk will be built over the top of the roughly 600mm wide troughs. Another thin path runs down the centre to allow access to all sides of every bed. This gives me about 40 square metres of growing space which is irrigated from below and fertilized by the fish. I know that this type of pond needs to be kept out of the sun or Algae issues can arise so I would put the fishy one on the south side of the garden where it will receive shade from the hedge which already stands there.

Assuming this all goes to plan I am going to need somewhere for the excess water flowing out of the troughs to go as fresh supplies come in from the reed bed. I want to dig some trenches through the end of the garden to allow this water to irrigate the major trees in the planned forest garden. This could prove interesting as half of this forest garden is in next doors garden and is slightly uphill from mine. I might be well advised to hire a mini digger for a day or two and get all the heavy work done in one fell swoop. There is quite a bit of excavating to be done for this design to work. All water flow is to be done via gravity (obviously) so careful planning and surveying is required to get the mainframe design right.

I won’t go into any more detail this time but if anyone has any helpful advice or spots any glaring oversights on my part then please do let me know. Please check the pictures attached to get a better idea of the system and the layout I am hoping to achieve.

Until next time.

P.s.  Just a little note on something I did today that I thought was a nice. I was looking for something to tie a bean plant to a stake and saw my pampas grass, which is cut back. The curled dried blades made me think. This turned out to be ideal for the job as a natural spring loaded tie!


Error report

I must check my information more carefully and not rely on my dodgy memory.

Posted over 13 years ago (0 comments)


The pics from my last post that i forgot to attach! sorry.

Posted over 13 years ago (1 comments)
Courses Taught Here!
Project Badges
Urban Residential
Gordon Landsburgh - Admin
Team Members

Report Garburgh Gardens project


or cancel

Hide Garburgh Gardens project


or cancel

Legend of Badges

Note: The various badges displayed in people profiles are largely honesty-based self-proclamations by the individuals themselves. There are reporting functions users can use if they know of blatant misrepresentation (for both people and projects). Legitimacy, competency and reputation for all people and projects can be evidenced and/or developed through their providing regular updates on permaculture work they’re involved in, before/after photographs, etc. A spirit of objective nurturing of both people and projects through knowledge/encouragement/inspiration/resource sharing is the aim of the Worldwide Permaculture Network.



A member is a permaculturist who has never taken a PDC course. These cannot become PDC teachers. Members may be novice or highly experienced permaculturists or anywhere in between. Watch their updates for evaluation.

Male memberFemale member

Permaculture Matchmaker

One of these badges will show if you select your gender and the "I'm single, looking for a permaculture partner" option in your profile.



People who claim to have taken a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course somewhere in the world.


PDC Verified

People who have entered an email address for the teacher of their PDC course, and have had their PDC status verified by that teacher. Watch their updates for evaluation.



People who’ve taken a Permaculture Research Institute PDC somewhere in the world.


PDC Teacher

People who claim to teach some version of PDC somewhere in the world.


PRI Teacher

With the exception of the ‘Member’ who has never taken a PDC, all of the above can apply to become a PRI PDC Teacher. PRI PDC Teachers are those who the PRI recognise, through a vetting board, as determined and competent to teach the full 72-hour course as developed by Permaculture founder Bill Mollison – covering all the topics of The Designers’ Manual as well as possible (i.e. not cherry picking only aspects the teacher feels most interested or competent in). Such teachers also commit to focussing on the design science, and not including subjective spiritual/metaphysical elements. The reason these items are not included in the PDC curriculum is because they are “belief” based. Permaculture Design education concerns itself with teaching good design based on strategies and techniques which are scientifically provable.

PRI PDC Teachers may be given teaching and/or consultancy offerings as they become available as the network grows.


Aid Worker

The individual with this badge is indicating they are, have, or would like to be involved in permaculture aid work. As such, the individual may or may not have permaculture aid worker experience. Watch their updates for evaluation.



The individual with this badge is indicating they are, have, or would like to do paid permaculture design consultancy work. As such, the individual may or may not have permaculture consultancy experience. Watch their updates for evaluation.


Community Project

Community projects are projects that help develop sustainable community interaction and increase localised resiliency.