Alissa Shannon wrote:Welcome Tomas! I think your book sounds very interesting based on the title. I love the idea of Forest gardens, but it's the whole design part that bogs me down! There are sooooo many variables (like height, light requirements, pH requirements, water needs, pest and disease assistance requirements, and etc.)! I hope I can learn to understand it all better in time.
Alissa, you will find a whole section dedicated to planning and making your own forest garden at the back of the book. It takes you through all the stages from site assessment and goal setting to step-by-step planning, and also covers tips for the planting and maintenance phase. The main section of case studies gives you the stories of many people who have gone before you, who have been generous enough to share both their successes and frustrations so new forest gardeners like you can learn from them. On top of that there is a section on the ecological basics of forest gardening that explore some of the ideas behind it.
I agree the technical detail of plant selection can sometime feel daunting. Understanding the conditions of your site is key to making the right choices. There are some great online resources such as https://pfaf.org/user/Default.aspx I would suggest makign your shortlist of plants and then checking it against a reference book or website such as this.
On the whole I'd say start small, dare to experiment, stay flexible and be bold enough to remove plants that obviously don't work in your place, either because the conditions aren't right or because you realise that you actually don't like them. You can then find a replacement that is better suited to your situation.
All the best with your forest garden experiments!