Episode 46: Intro to Forest Gardening with Jake Rayson

This episode I’m speaking to Jake Rayson. Jake lives in rural Wales on a 2 acre smallholding, which is set up as a working forest garden. In addition to managing his own plot, he also teaches about and designs forest gardens in the UK and beyond. For a long time, forest gardening was one of those terms I’d heard but I’m not sure I fully understood the principles behind it, partly because the term always struck me as a bit if a misnomer. Essentially, it’s a common-sense and ecologically respectful way of organising a productive garden. Jake is here to explain exactly what it entails and how you can apply the principles in your own garden.

About Jake Rayson:

Jake moved to a West Wales farmhouse in 2015 to pursue his vocation as a forest gardener. In a time of climate emergency, he passionately believes that a productive garden can be sustainable, wildlife-friendly *and* ornamental. He divides his time between forest garden design and teaching, the relentless planting of 3 acres of hillside and his relentless young family.

What We Discuss:

– What is forest gardening?
– How much space do you need to practice it? Can anyone do it? Anywhere?
– What are some common things people struggle with when they’re starting out growing this way or are establishing their first forest garden? What are your top tips for success?
– Is it possible to be self-sufficient?
– Top performing plants in a forest garden
– How long does it take to establish a successful patch from scratch? Does it require a lot by way of maintenance?
– Essential features in a forest garden
– Where to find out more about forest gardening


Email hello@natureworks.org.uk
Twitter @NatureWorksGdn
* Facebook @NatureWorksGarden
* Free mini-course ‘Plan a Backyard Forest’

Further Reading:

Creating a Forest Garden by Martin Crawford
Plants For A Future – online database of useful plants
Orange Pippin fruit directory
RHS Plant Finder (with native filter)
Database of Insects and their Food
Backyard Larder and Incredible Vegetables for perennial vegetables

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