Welcome Designers,   PLEASE READ!Courtesy of Gardens Illustrated

  1. If you don't find a plant you know, please send us the species and uses.
  2. The Database has over 2100 ecologically supportive, human useful plants and we are working continually to add more. If you are interested in helping, let us know. Use this excel template (blue link) to paste in your plant list export and it will automatically reformat your list to a better working experience. Check "Match destination formatting" in the box in the lower corner that appears after pasting in the new data.     PLANT LIST TEMPLATE
  3. YOUTUBE Tutorials here.
  4. Check out the air cleaning polycultures in the "about permaculture" tab.
  5. The Discussion page is alive on the members area! Ask questions, introduce yourself, share designs, and look for design partners. We do!
  6. Mobile apps are coming. For tablets, iPhone, and Android. Free to subscribers.
  7. Need a custom plant list. Contact us for assistance with developing your specialized site list.

BOOKS by Paula and Dan !!!    (Click on the titles for links)                   Scale courtesy of Gardens Illustrated



   third crops, blue earth, and the road to a restorative agriculture

  By Paula Westmoreland and Lansing Shepard

 This Perennial Land is the story of a beautiful and intensely farmed land that has been written off as a “sacrificial landscape”—a natural place ceded entirely to industrial use—even by many concerned about the environment. Through essays and photographs, the authors trace the natural and cultural history of the land, share stories of a new breed of pioneer farming with nature in mind, and a future vision of a restorative agriculture. They make a compelling case for changing what we grow in this working landscape and how and where we grow it in order to restore historic function at a landscape scale. Accompanied by a remarkable “opportunity map” it offers a rough blueprint—a conceptual starting point—for landowners, policymakers, and citizen who want a part in forging a new vision for returning health, beauty, and economic stability to corn and soybean country.


Click Here to order




    The Complete Guide to Polycultures and Plant Guilds in Permaculture Systems. 

     By Weiseman, Halsey, and Ruddock.

  This book is the first, and most comprehensive, guide about plant guilds ever written, and covers in detail both what guilds are and how to design and construct them, complete with extensive color photography and design illustrations. Included is information on:

• What we can observe about natural plant guilds in the wild and the importance of observation
• Detailed research on the structure of plant guilds, and a portrait of an oak tree (a guild unto itself)
• Animal interactions with plant guilds
• Steps to guild design, construction, and dynamics: from assessment to design to implementation
• Fifteen detailed plant guilds, five each from the three authors based on their unique perspectives
• Guild project management: budgets, implementation, management, and maintenance.

Books and Bundles


Click here to ask a question or comment. Check out the discussion forum under the database tab.

In the city, what can you grow in small spaces?

Popular with urban farmers are the smaller urban cultivars. Many urban farmers grow smaller vegetable cultivars and use vertical beds to increase the variety and relay the harvests, so plants mature at different times. Any south facing wall can become a green wall of vegetables using planter trellises and hanging baskets. Look for smaller annuals and some that may be shade tolerant.


What types of food forest work best for the city?

Fruit trees can be sized for about any yard. You can get a 10 foot or 16 foot dwarf apple tree. Cherry trees fit well into an urban setting. Kiwi vines, grapes, and numerous fruiting shrubs can fill a yard in no time. Underneath the taller plants are layers of edibles. There are seven layers to an edible forest.   Each protects or supports the others. This is the structure for building the plant list with the database.

Robert Hart's Seven Layers:
  1. ·  Canopy layer’ consisting of the original mature fruit trees.
  2. ·  ‘Low-tree layer’ of smaller nut and fruit trees on dwarfing root stocks.
  3. ·  ‘Shrub layer’ of fruit bushes such as currants and berries.
  4. ·  ‘Herbaceous layer’ of perennial vegetables and herbs.
  5. ·  ‘Ground cover layer’ of edible plants that spread horizontally.
  6. ·  ‘Rhizosphere’ or ‘underground’ dimension of plants grown for their roots and tubers.
  7. ·  ‘Vertical layer’ of vines and climbers.

        8*. - "Mushroom layer" Added by some designers as a layer for fungi.


Can you grow any Food in shade?
Certainly, that is what a rain forest does.  Here we have many plants that can photosynthesize in low light. Many are leafy greens like Miners Lettuce, but also Broccoli, Potatoes, and then others that will grow in partial shade, Pumpkins, Beets, Squash, Kohlrabi, and Chard. 

Companion planting.  I went to one of your workshops, explain strawberries around our fruit trees.
Fill the understory of the trees with smaller plants, fruiting shrubs, and perennial. The biggest competitor to trees is grass. Use the trees closest to each other to create a curvy planting bed and fill it with perennials and small shrubs. This connects the trees, reduces competition and creates a unifying element in the landscape. It also creates beneficial habitat for pest control. Depending on your soil, in my bias opinion, anything is better than grass.