The garden we did the permablitz on last weekend had the perfect orientation. The growing areas were to the east and north with the house protecting the garden on the hot western side and the shady and less productive south being where the front driveway was located.
The yard was not very large and as space was at a premium one of the solutions is to grow vertically. We attached mesh to the fence for the owner to plant edible climbers on. And because the fence is metal (Colourbond) climbing plants will also shade it and cool the yard by reducing the radiated heat. Additionally, the mesh went higher than the fence so as to offer privacy from neighbours that overlooked the back garden. Food. Cooling. Aesthetics. Privacy. Attracting wildlife and insects. A pretty good result.
We had several fruit trees to go in the ground so the best plan is to first pick spots for your evergreens as they will need the winter sun and most small gardens have limited positions where you can put them. We planted the mandarin next to the house where the thermal mass of the wall would keep it warm and cosy in winter. The cold and unproductive area to the south of a hedge was utilised for the deciduous fruit trees. They don’t need sun in winter – and in fact may fruit better if we can manipulate the number of chill hours the tree receives. The hedge can also be trimmed back if that becomes necessary.
Can you see the permiculture principles at work so far? Obtain a yield (Holmgren). Each element performs many functions (Mollison). The problem is the solution (Mollison).
We also had several other smaller jobs (weeding, pruning, tidying, pulling up pavers, etc) and I am grateful for the hard working volunteers who, without them, I would not be able to make this happen.
Now run outside and create your oasis!