Using Edge in Garden Design is essential for biodiversity — here’s how

In permaculture design we often talk about the use of edges. But this can certainly be a confusing concept for those who are unfamiliar with perceptional ideas. When we talk about using or passing edges, we are actually talking about ecotoons between two different ecosystems. Here are some additional information to help ease the way for general ideas.

What is Icoton?

Ecotoxins are the boundaries between two ecological communities or biological communities. For example, the boundary between a forest or forest and open grasslands, or terrestrial ecosystems where water and seas meet.

These boundaries can be solid fractions, blurred boundaries where one species suddenly moves to another, or one ecosystem gradually transitions to another.

These margins are often richly diverse.

Why the edge is important

We talk about maximizing the value of permeability because one of our main goals is to make the best use of biodiversity resources — not just for the number of species but also for the important interactions between species. The more important interactions between elements in a system, the more stable and robust the system becomes.

Therefore, permeability designers want to increase the stability and resilience of the system by expanding the edge areas and transferring one type of plant to another.

Edges provide access to species from two different ecosystems, and new species have been allowed to grow due to the unique environmental conditions of combining species from both ecosystems.

For example, say the forest area supports species A, B and C. And Grass supports D, E and F. , High water supply, or other environmental conditions).

Perhaps this makes it a little easier to understand why edges are so important to increase biodiversity in gardening. If you look at the edges of the forest or jungle, the river basin along the river or other examples of nature, this “tip effect” will be easier for you to understand.

Using edges in garden design

The use of edges in garden design simply involves using this natural phenomenon to increase the biodiversity and productivity of the garden.

Thinking about the shapes of beds and borders, paths, ponds and other features in garden design will help us increase the amount of edge area we can create. For example, instead of constructing straight paths, we can create curved roads with very long edges.

We can create the middle edges of food forests or forest parks, and perhaps the plants that love the mild and shady conditions can grow to create solar traps to the southern edge (northern hemisphere).

We can create fences and other planting plans between the garden zones, divide the space and create new micro-climate and growth conditions.

Instead of sticking to single rectangles or boundaries with straight lines, we can make beds with irregular or twisted, swaying shapes or keyholes. Or it may include more, smaller beds than smaller ones.

And we can build amazing zigzag rows instead of straight lines, increasing the number of plants that can be included in growing areas.

Plant rotation.
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Using natural designs helps us understand how to increase the edge. One key example of this is the spiral shape. This is commonly used, for example, to create a “plant vortex” – a concept that allows plants that love different conditions to grow in a small area. In a conical shape, this concept elevates both the growing space and the edge, creating a variety of micro-climates.

At the same time, you can create a pond with curved, curved sides larger than a simple round pond.

There are many more examples but the above shows that it can be useful to design a garden that is useful to understand in large natural systems.

Utilizing edges and valuing productive and plentiful boundaries between different biological societies will help us to make the most of our garden space, and to help us look at nature and the garden in a sustainable and ecologically appropriate way.

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