Symbiont Gardens

Catherine Griggs zoologist and conservationist, Permaculture Educator and Designer.

I am offering my services as a Education facilitator and i also provide garden designs and project implementation for homesteads, retreat centres and community projects. I work to close loops in systems like nature does.

I create grey water systems, water retaining landscapes, forest gardens, ponds, wetlands, herb gardens and integrated animal systems. I can also design your veg plot and make you chickens happy to work. I aspire to create habitat for wildlife, this is my priority, whist fostering human symbiotic connection to the earth.

A symbiont Gardens Design

Are Permaculture Gardens for you?

photo 18 A symbiont Gardens Hurricane proof green house
Permaculture gardens are a synergistic system. They provide food, water, timber, money, sequestration of carbon, pollution treatment, education, habitat for wildlife, beauty and pleasure. Conventional gardens or agricultural systems generally have a lower initial investment in planning than permaculture gardens, but the yields decrease over time, as the health of the system diminishes.  Permaculture gardens are regenerative, they require more initial investment of planning, but the yields increase exponentially and human inputs decrease as the system becomes self-sustaining. This is thanks to soil health, ecological balance, and water retention.

Cynefin Permaculture Project

A symbiont gardens flower, salad and herb garden

Permaculture is a holistic practice which is most useful as a tool for regenerating degraded landscapes. Its success can be measured not only by an abundance of human natural resources but also biodiversity, that is heralded by the sound of bird song, the buzz of insects, or the sweet smell of the soil life, and the return of the wild beasts that were once displaced by human activity.DSCF2580

Symbiont gardens endeavours to create gardens that work with nature not against it, the house or dwelling places of humans transform from a burden on the ecosystem to a key asset, by synergistically integrating into the landscape starting with water. Waste water is recycled back into the garden and utilised and cleansed by plants and fungi before filtering down to the water table. The garden is also landscaped to harvest rainwater passively so that it can be stored in ponds, soil, plants and trees minimising the need for irrigation. Freshwater springs can even be created!

Photo May 13, 11 03 05 AM A Symbiont Gardens Aquaculture pond

Like in nature permaculture gardens cycle their own nutrients through beneficial plant, fungi and animal relationships, domestic farm animals can also be woven into the system to support this process and receive mutual benefits.


The gardens also take care of their own pest control by providing habitat for pest predators or diversion strategies to send them away. Pollination is also taken care of by ensuring there is habitat and food for pollinators.


As a human being within the system, your job is actually to bring a little destruction now and again once the system is established. A widely recognised principle of conservation biology states: “Intermittent disturbance increases diversity”. So, you can do what we do best naturally, agitate nature, disturb the system. Pruning and dropping foliage, this helps stimulate growth, and make more light, promoting higher yields and care for the soil health, helping to keep the balance. If there are animals, moving animals around the system so they can help with weeding, pruning, pooping, eating pests, building soil and tilling. You will also need to harvest!, which is big work and often underestimated, get ready for a yield!!

IMG_1397And aside from these essential jobs, it is likely you will continue making adjustments and finely tuning your system to suit you, becoming an expert with time.

Permaculture gardens are not for you if you want to see tidy ordered edges, naked soil, neatly mowed lawns, no “weeds” no snakes, birds, lizards insects, and you don’t want to hunt for you food to a certain extent, and you do not see beauty in chaos.

Permaculture gardens are for you if you can accept humans are not the intelligence but part of an intelligence, if you want to form an intimate relationship with nature, if you’re willing to come into a place of service to nature, and are willing to recognise order in chaos by seeing the roles of the individual species within your garden. If you’re ready for the adventure of foraging for your food and want to learn how we are already in Eden. Then permaculture gardening is for you!

Symbiont gardens provides support internationally and has been operating mostly in Britain and Guatemala for the last eight years, currently i am operating in Britain.

A Symbiont gardens wildlife pond

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