Designing Ecological Gardens at Master Gardeners Conference

April 8 to April 10, 2016

Where: Deerhurst Resort - Huntsville, ON

At the Canadian Master Gardener Conference


Designing Ecological Gardens

Practical tools and strategies from permaculture -- Workshop

Friday, April 8, 1:00-3:00pm

Bonita will describe design tools and strategies from permaculture for your own garden and for clients. She will briefly cover permaculture principles and the “scale of permanence”. Bonita will explain how to work with observation; sun, wind, noise, views; slopes and water; zones of activity and intensity of maintenance; soil conditions and species with multiple useful functions. 

She will briefly explain the use of windbreaks, suntraps, swales, hugelkulturs, tree-lines on contour, raised garden beds, sheet-mulching, double digging and edible forest gardens. 

You will practise design exercises to explore “problems” and “opportunities” on different types of sites and with different materials. Your aim will be to design using what exists as a resource; having everything serve multiple purposes; and creating beneficial connections.


Gardens that Work with Nature 

Design Principles from Permaculture -- Breakout Session

Saturday, April 9, 11:15am-12:15pm

What can nature teach us about gardening? How can we (re)design our gardens to optimize resources, make less work for ourselves and be more ecologically friendly? In permaculture, we learn to “design like nature”, drawing on simple principles from the natural world. Bonita will explore those principles and how to apply them.


Edible Ecological Gardens

Integrating Perennial and Annual Food Plants in Our Gardens -- Breakout Session

Saturday, April 9, 2:30pm-3:30pm

Conventionally, we keep “ornamental gardens” in a separate area from “veggie gardens”. Bonita will explore ways to blend food and flowers in wild/naturalized or manicured/cultivated gardens. In permaculture, we aim to mimic nature. When (re)designing gardens to add more edibles, consider preferred species for eating and aesthetics, existing site conditions, maintenance, harvest and permanence. Beyond food and beauty, our gardens can provide medicine and privacy; attract pollinators, build healthier soil and protect water.


More details about the conference program and registration.

Bonita is delighted to be a part of this year's Canadian Master Gardeners Conference.