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Permaculture, Forest Gardening and the Middle Way

April 22 @ 18:00 - April 29 @ 10:00

At Tirylan House, we’re in the process of creating a forest garden: that is, a sustainable and low-input garden designed to produce food for the retreat centre using a diverse mixture of mainly perennial plants. Some of the plants (trees, shrubs, and herbaceous perennials) produce food directly, but many of them have a range of other functions that help to create a self-sustaining system in the long term, as well as adding to the general biodiversity of the land. We’re only two years into creating the garden, and are learning a lot as we go on.

The forest garden was conceived as an application of the systems view of life, the Middle Way, and the principles of permaculture, all of which provide highly compatible ways of looking at the world. The systems view of life focuses on seeing relationships rather than only separate objects, whilst the Middle Way is a principle of judgement intended to help us make the most of our experience by avoiding absolute dogmatic assumptions. The principles of permaculture (see https://permacultureprinciples.com/permaculture-principles/) focus more on the practical implications of learning from experience in our interaction with the environment, and of avoiding seeing organisms (or anything else) as isolated objects in the longer term.

On this retreat there will be discussion of the relationship between permaculture, forest gardening and the Middle Way, supportive practices such as mindfulness meditation and the arts, and the opportunity to work directly in the garden. Chris Day, a qualified horticulturist and experienced permaculturist, will lead discussion of permaculture, whilst Robert M Ellis will relate this to the Middle Way and to practical tasks in the forest garden he has been developing.

Everyone is welcome on this retreat who has some interest in permaculture, forest gardening, or Middle Way practice, even if your background so far is only in one of these and not the others. Those primarily interested in the gardening and ecology perspective will be offered a wider context of practice complementing those interests. Those interested in the Middle Way, meditation, the arts, or systems thinking should be able to develop their understanding of some practical applications of these approaches for growing food.

To book on this retreat please go to the costs and booking page.


April 22 @ 18:00
April 29 @ 10:00
Event Category:


Tirylan House, Gwynfe Road, Ffairfach


Robert M Ellis
Chris Day