This week I introduced a zone map for planning the placement of elements in the landscape. A zone map starts in the center like a target with zone 1 being closest to the center and zone 5 as the outermost ring. Your house would be the center, with zone 1 being the yard immediately around your house, the place for things that need the most care and attention. Each zone going out from there is visited for maintenance less and less often until we get to zone 5, which is the natural landscape left intact. We don’t maintain it, we just go there to learn.
After we learned the zones, I had the kids help me with placing elements on the map where they thought they might fit best. Strawberries and raised bed gardens found their place in zone 1, chickens and apple trees in zone 2, all the way out to 5 where we put the deer and juniper trees. A favorite thought was that we didn’t want the deer to be in zone 1 eating all our food plants, nor did we want strawberries out in zone 5 where we couldn’t look out the window to see them ripening.
This is just another tool to help you catch and store energy that might be wasted if elements are designed without thought for their needs and placed in areas that are too far away to care for them properly. I think the kids understood it quite well. Some spent a little time with the maps and element cards and rearranged them into many configurations.