The shelter at the gardens is slowly developing over time.

The aim is a few common buildings as well as self contained accommodation.

Many disconnected buildings are planned, allowing a variety of styles and to show the various views and microclimates of the property.

Modified shipping containers

The first structures are shipping containers. These give a nice, sheltered, strong place to start.

The first living container was premodified.

The others will be done on site.

Overtime the block nature of the containers hopes to be softened with vertical gardens, art and merged with the natural building methods building off the strong, steel containers.

Natural building.

earthbags and cob

The majority of construction will be by natural building techniques. Using building materials from the site.Cob, wattle and daub, earth bag, making use of the many rocks from the old quarry.

Insulation will be be mud sealed strawbales and thermal mass will be provided by cob.

Tree shaping

A technique being attempted is tree shaping. Slowly trees are shaped by training and pruning to create the shelter. Like using bonsai to create a room.

This is mainly using 'weeds' that were already on the site and would otherwise need to be removed. New plants will be added, especially more fruits and 'food forest' trees and those that lend themselves to shaping such as willows.

This may be combined with Wattle and Daub construction, the trained plants acting as the lattice for the Cob.

In a related manner trees, hedges of berries, espaliers and orchards will be planted to provide shade and block wind.


The best of modern and ancient engineering techniques will be considered in the shelters to make efficient, comfortable places.

Sunrooms, Insulation of walls. Warmth from passive solar or cooking stored in thermal mass. Indoors plants to give clean air, Water drains to processing systems

Many of these concepts are shown by Earthships

elf house