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on 3 May 2012
As an apprentice on the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design and a Gaia University Associate, no other book has come close to the amount of times I have referenced it as much as Aranya's guide to the design process.

I was fortunate to receive a pre-printed copy as part of a diploma support event I had attended with Aranya. Ever since I have continued to go back to the pages time and time again.

Aranya goes through the design process in a beautifully clear way - no other permaculture textbook really comes close to its logic and practicality. Always backed up with real life examples, Aranya brings the design process alive.

Whenever I've felt lost in a maze of analysis - whether its designing for my smallholding or for the community projects I organise with - Aranya's book helps me to get the process straight in my head. The flowcharts, key questions and design tools all help me to organise my thinking in a way that I can get the most out of the design process.

As a permaculture columnist for Positive News, I also get sent a whole lot of books to review for my permaculture pages. This has been one of the most useful books I have had to review in the job to date.

If you are new to permaculture, or you are completing the diploma or even if you are an experienced designer - get this book! It is a must and one of the most useful texts in the permaculture toolkit to date!

Even if you've never heard of permaculture before, make the most of these tools to help re-design your life or projects you care about, you will not be disappointed!
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on 29 January 2016
To me, this book maps the world of Permaculture. When moving from simple design to something more complex, particularly if planning to buy land and designing your future around sustainable permaculture principles, or advising someone else who intends to do it, complexity grows so quickly that 'design tools' become essential in getting a clear understanding of what to do. Aranya's publications have always been a delight to read and to follow and this one is a masterpiece from an expert in the field and his book-making team. A truly massive amount of data is packed into a 191 page A5 size book yet the contents are so clearly and logically set out that the contents are easily read and readily understandable and it covers everything very thoroughly but without the slightest feeling of being condensed - an amazing feat in itself! Anyone considering going beyond the small garden, or who wants an interesting read and enlightenment, should get this book. It is also a must-have reference book for anyone's Permaculture library and a guaranteed re-read for lots of years to come.
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on 17 March 2014
Well explained, briefly but sufficiently to get a good understanding of planning your garden. A good hand book for those who want to start their own garden or want some new ideas.
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on 26 April 2016
More how to plan a group than how to plan a garden.
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on 16 September 2013
Seemed a very good overview to me. I'm beginning to learn about this area, so not an expert yet, but would recommend it as worthwhile.
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on 21 January 2016
I was very very disappointed by this book. If you are a professional landscaper/permaculture designer then it would suit you but if you want a design book for your own garden, as I did, this is not the right book. Much of the book is about technicalities such as measuring land and resolving group conflict. I found it to be dry, not inspiring and I felt annoyed I had wasted my money.
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on 8 October 2012
First of all, it's a fun book to read; easy format, font and language usage (especially for someone who's mother tongue isn't English).

The book is more about general Design rules and how to teach designers to become teachers themselves, applied on Permaculture.
Don't expect him to hold your hands via the book, you have to grow as a person by reading this and make your own decisions.

Anyone who is interested in broadening their mind on gardening and the design thinking that goes behind it should read this book.

The only down point is a lack of in-depth information, raw data examples for instance but this would make the book a lot bigger and uncomfortable to carry around.

Enjoy reading it! I had a blast.
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on 31 May 2015
Aranya has a clear writing style that is engaging and easy to follow. Packed with useful charts, flow diagrams, photos and illustrations. It is a valuable reference guide for anyone designing anything.
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on 20 January 2014
Very practical handbook for all designers. Especially useful if you are studying or practising Permaculture, or if you just care about the planet and people.
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on 20 July 2016
I have obviously bought a book I am far too stupid to understand. If I had bought this book as a novice gardener, I don't think I would have ever started. This is not a book for people wanting to understand the principles of Permaculture and then applying them to their own gardens, If you want a book that explains things like building soil fertility, plant lists, and all the other things you really need to know, go and buy The Permaculture Garden by Graham Bell. This is a book written for people who have been on permaculture design courses who are now designing gardens for other people. On the other hand, if you love flow charts, mind maps and teeny drawings, this book is for you
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