Creating a Forest Garden

Creating a Forest Garden : Working with Nature to Grow Edible Crops

4.38 (236 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Photographs by 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 1 business day
When will my order arrive?

Not expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas Not expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas


Forest gardening is a novel way of growing edible crops - with nature doing most of the work for you. A forest garden is modelled on young natural woodland, with a wide range of crops grown in different vertical layers. Unlike in a conventional garden, there is little need for digging, weeding or pest control. Species are carefully chosen for their beneficial effects on each other, creating a healthy system that maintains its own fertility.

Creating a Forest Garden tells you everything you need to know, whether you want to plant a small area in your back garden or develop a larger plot. It includes advice on planning, design (using permaculture principles), planting and maintenance, and a detailed directory of over 500 trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, annuals, root crops and climbers - almost all of them edible and many very unusual.

As well as more familiar plants you can grow your own chokeberries, goji berries, yams, heartnuts, bamboo shoots and buffalo currants - while creating a beautiful space that has great environmental benefits. In the light of our changing climate it is important that we find new ways of growing food sustainably, without compromising soil health, food quality or biodiversity. Forest gardening offers an exciting solution to the challenge.
show more

The Best Books of 2018

Check out the top books of the year on our page Best Books of 2018. Shop now .

Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 220 x 275 x 33.02mm | 1,769.01g
  • Totnes, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1st
  • full colour illus
  • 1900322625
  • 9781900322621
  • 7,149

Looking for beautiful books?

Visit our Beautiful Books page and find lovely books for kids, photography lovers and more. Shop now .

Table of contents

Foreword by Rob Hopkins


Part 1: How forest gardens work

1. Forest gardens

2. Forest garden features and products

3. The effects of climate change

4. Natives and exotics

5. Emulating forest conditions

6. Fertility in forest gardens

Part 2: Designing your forest garden

7. Ground preparation and planting

8. Growing your own plants

9. First design steps

10. Designing wind protection

11. Canopy species

12. Designing the canopy layer

13. Shrub species

14. Designing the shrub layer

15. Herbaceous perennial and ground-cover species

16. Designing the perennial/ground-cover layer

17. Annuals, biennials and climbers

18. Designing with annuals, biennials and climbers

Part 3: Extra design elements and maintenance

19. Clearings

20. Paths

21. Fungi in forest gardens

22. Harvesting and preserving

23. Maintenance

24. Ongoing tasks


Appendix 1: Propagation tables

Appendix 2: Trees and shrubs for hedging and fencing

Appendix 3: Plants to attract beneficial insects and bees

Appendix 4: Edible crops by month of use

Resources: Useful organisations, suppliers and publications
show more

Review quote

"The ultimate book on the subject... extremely thorough and beautifully illustrated" * Let's Talk (East Anglia) * "This book is a magnificiently produced and massive tome that is sure to become every forest gardener's horticultural toolkit and bible." * Grow It * "Marting has produced a book that is not only visually beautiful but very practical, offering advice on planning, designing, planting and general maintenance." * Positive News - Summer 2010 * "If you are seriously considering the creation or maitenance of a forest garden then you would do well to have this book on your shelves. Even if you are only looking for novel ground cover suggestions in shaded areas or approaches to inter-planting trees, then this book offers bountiful food for thought." * Green Prophet * "Creating a Forest Garden is a fascniating read for gardeners interested in how to plant communities that work." * Gardens Illustrated * "Martin Crawford has produced a spectacularly useful guide to new horticultural and ecological terrain of great importance." * Permaculture Activist * "This semina piece of work is not only visually entralling, it's incredibly easy to use and it contains a level of detail and explanation that makes it, I believe, a must read for anyone who is serious about building a truly sustainable forest." * WWOOF Ireland * "Martin's book is visually stunning with beautiful photography and illustrations, accompanying very informative and well constructed text." * Self Sufficient-ish Website - 11 June 2010 * "This book is a must if you are interested in producing food from your garden, becoming more self-sufficient or just curious about plants and their uses." * The Cottage Gardener - June 2011 *
show more

About Martin Crawford

Martin Crawford has spent over 20 years in organic agriculture and horticulture, and is director of the Agroforestry Research Trust, a non-profit-making charity that researches into temperate agroforestry and all aspects of plant cropping and uses, with a focus on tree, shrub and perennial crops. The Trust produces several publications and a quarterly journal, and sells plants and seeds. See for more information.
show more

Rating details

236 ratings
4.38 out of 5 stars
5 50% (119)
4 38% (89)
3 11% (27)
2 0% (1)
1 0% (0)

Our customer reviews

Very well written, so anyone can understand the process of planning and establishing a food forest. Mayn things are explained in detail and there are lots of pictures and data on several different plants you can put in each layer. The book is divided into logical successive chapters which makes it easier to understand individual steps. I was (positively) surprized of the amount of information and experience of the author. I recommend buying it. It's worth much more than you will more
by Tadej
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X