Hedgerow Design

This website shows how to create beautiful landscapes for rural, semi-rural, suburban, urban and industrial areas. Small-scale organic farming is integrated with simple design and building guidelines to create attractive “Hedgerow Landscapes”.

What is “Hedgerow Design”?

Hedgerow Design is a design philosophy.  Our goal is to enable people to create and maintain beautiful landscapes.

What is “beautiful landscape”?

A beautiful landscape is any collection of land and buildings that is a pleasure to live in and a pleasure to visit.  If we look at traditional beautiful landscapes around the world, such as the cities and villages of Provence, Tuscany, Bali, Yunnan, Bhutan, we see that they have a few things in common. The buildings look good, are made artisanally, and are made of natural materials.  The land is farmed on a small scale, which gives local produce, pretty views, and lots of flowers, birds, bees and other wildlife.  And the layout of buildings and land creates a livable feeling – for example, houses built around a square with a café and a small shop.

The secret to a picturesque  landscape is to take a few simple and attractive elements and to repeat them in infinitely varying combinations, according to local needs and conditions.   The recipe for making Hedgerow Landscapes is called the “Hedgerow Landscape Code”.

How can we make Hedgerow Landscape?

We can make Hedgerow Landscape by forming what we call a  “Hedgerow Association”, which combines small-scale organic farming with simple design and building guidelines.  In general, a Hedgerow Association is any entity which agrees to maintain its buildings and lands according to the Hedgerow Landscape Code.  A Hedgerow Association may be any size, purpose, price point and legal structure – as long as its buildings and land and layout conform to the guidelines of the Hedgerow Landscape Code.  It could be a housing development, a school, a factory, a resort, an entire town, etc.

For example, we can turn a conventional bland housing development into a Hedgerow Association by making the following changes:

  • Buildings: Replace cookie-cutter houses with local traditional styles, artisanal construction and local materials, at the desired price point.
  • Layout: Replace the grid layout with clustered housing surrounded by farmland.  Add a village square, a café, a small store, a covered market, and other people-friendly elements.
  • Land: Replace the grounds maintenance team with, for similar cost, an organic farmer.  Add local farming elements such as tree-lined roads, hayfields, orchards, pastures, woods, ponds, vegetable gardens, vineyards.  Raise chickens, cows, bees, horses, etc.
  • Structure: This can be structured however the owners or developers wish, as long as it follows the Hedgerow Landscape Code.

By doing this, we create a simple Hedgerow Association which provides a number of benefits.  The residents now “own their view”.  The combination of beautiful landscape and attractive traditional-styled housing enhances property values.  We create a small farming job. We preserve local rural traditions, increase the local tax base and foster good relations wtih the local community. By managing the land well, we increase biodiversity, reduce overgrazing and increase resistance to drought. We grow local produce such as vegetables, milk, cheese, eggs, honey and fruits.

A Hedgerow Association like this integrates the farmer, who creates the beautiful farmland, with the homeowners, who enjoy the benefits of this farmland.

Of course, there can also be urban or industrial Hedgerow Associations with very little farmland.   However, this website focuses on suburban, semi-rural and rural Associations.

The Hedgerow Principles

  • Everyone should live in a place so beautiful that it could be a tourist destination.
  • Food and products should come from lovely places that it would be fun to visit.
  • People should own their view and this view should improve over time.