Forest Gardens – with Robert Guyton

Inspired by Permaculture principles, the forest garden mimics many of the features of a natural forest ecosystem to create an ecologically resilient landscape where food for humans is produced whilst providing a biodiversity rich habitat for natives such as birds and insects. The oldest forest garden in the South Island is thought to be in Riverton, initiated by the Guyton family approximately 23 years ago. This forest garden has now matured into a rich ecosystem where food producing perennials flourish alongside native wildlife. It attracts many human visitors too – who are keen to learn about this biodiversity friendly system. Visits can be arranged through the South Coast Environment Centre in Riverton.

I spoke to Robert Guyton about FOREST GARDENS. To listen to this podcast, please contact Maureen on

Robert in the forest garden with apple (peasgoodnonsuch??) picked there.

Robert picks an apple from the forest garden.


Cow parsley – this plant is a great groundcover as it will out compete grasses which compete for nutrients with fruit trees.


A hardy variety of grape that fruits well in Southland. Here it is growing up a hop.

A variety of apple (??) with supporting guild species.

A variety of Southland apple called Lady Sudly with supporting guild species such as cow parsley, comfrey and alexanders.


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