There is no set formula for developing this type of permaculture garden design, but there are some permaculture best practices:
1. Copy nature’s blueprint and enhance it with useful plants and animals. Think of the structure of a forest and try to mimic it with your plantings. A canopy of tall trees will give way to smaller ones, flanked by large and small shrubs and, finally, by the smallest plants. Edge habitats, where trees border open areas, are perfect for fruiting shrubs, such as currants, and for a variety of useful native plants, such as beargrass (xerophyllum tenax), which is used for weaving baskets. Mimicking these natural patterns with permaculture provides for the greatest diversity of plants.
2. Stack plants into guilds. A guild includes plants with compatible roots and canopies that might be layered to form an edge. As you learn more about your site, you’ll discover groups of plants that work well together. For example, pines, dogwoods, and wild blueberries form a guild for acid soil.
3. Make use of native plants and others adapted to the site (but defintely not these plants).
4. Divide your yard into zones based on use. Place heavily used features, such as an herb garden, in the most accessible zones. (Here are 7 backyard weeds that are actually medicinal herbs in disguise.)
5. Identify microclimates in your yard and use them appropriately. Cold, shady corners; windswept spots in full sun; and other microclimates present unique opportunities. For instance, try sun-loving herbs like creeping thyme on rocky outcroppings; plant elderberries in poorly drained areas.
Related: 5 Ways Your Garden Can Support The Local Wildlife