Permaculture at the Gardens at HCP

Did you know that the Gardens at HCP have a Permaculture Demonstration Garden? Next time you are in the Garden please visit our newest Garden, located across from the Winter Garden as you walk down to the lower field.
About Permaculture – Solara Goldwyn, Hatchet & Seed
“Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labour; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system.” -Bill Mollison
Through the lens of permaculture, we first looked at the challenges and the opportunities for this garden site. The site has an excess of water where there is runoff from the upper slope, as well as an underground spring. It has ample sunshine in the summer months, and partial sun during the winter. There is a strong invasive species pressure (morning glory and horsetail), and has high visibility.
Some of the features demonstrated for visitors and learners:

  • Underground spring and stream day-lighted and planted with native species
  • Pond with overflow installed
  • Contoured garden beds
  • Perennial Polyculture & Guilds
  • Wood chip pathways for increased infiltration and absorption and to create fungally dominated soil ecosystem

The rain garden was planted to native reeds, sedges & grasses, and guilds of unique edibles were planted surrounding this amazing water feature, including Chilean guavas, elderberries, Asian pear, persimmon, goumis, nodding onions, chives, sorrel and more.
Pacific Horticulture College and Permaculture
The Landscape Horticulture Certificate Program at PHC first incorporated the Introduction to Permaculture course in 2015, in connection with the idea of a Permaculture Demonstration Garden at HCP. PHC strives to educate students about the most current gardening practices, and permaculture has become increasingly well-known over the past few years. Through this introductory course, PHC students are introduced to the principles of permaculture and the possible applications in their own future gardening endeavors. Students also are able to participate in the design and continued growth of the Permaculture Demonstration Garden. And for visitors to the gardens, the Permaculture Demonstration Garden provides an inspirational example of a small permaculture design. All in all, incorporating permaculture into the PHC curriculum has added another dimension to our horticulture education, while also benefiting the gardens and its many visitors!
The Gardens at HCP offers Introduction to Permaculture courses on occasion. If you are interested, please keep an eye on our calendar at or e-mail [email protected] to be put on an interest list.