Permaculture is concerned with the design of sustainable human ecosystems. On the one hand, there are natural ecosystems and, on the other, both rural and urban ecosystems created by mankind. An expert in permaculture creates and designs spaces in which humans play a part. By contrast, ecology is the science that studies the relation between living beings and the habitats in which they live. Ecology is the basic guide for those specializing in permaculture. Their sources of inspiration are natural systems such as forests, plains, lagoons, etc., and the natural ecosystems that have adapted successfully to a given habitat.
At the end of the 19th century Archduke Ludwig Salvator provided a detailed description of the wide spectrum of flora found on the Balearic Islands when he wrote his book Die Balearen (1869-1894). He described the different habitats he found as well as how the flora changed over the entire year, listing all the species he found and even describing the typical plants found in inner patios and corrals of the homes of his time.
Based on the information about Archduke Ludwig Salvator gathered through the NIXE III project (www.nixe3.com) and collaboration from the expert in permaculture, Julio Cantos, we were able to create the “Archduke’s Forest” found in the Factory’s inner courtyard.
The forest consists of five thematic parterres representing the following landscapes found on the Balearic Islands: mountain forests, fruit tree orchards, scrublands, vegetable gardens, and fields of aromatic herbs, each parterre featuring representative plants. This project, in addition to serving as landscape, is also a bio-refuge for associated fauna such as bats, geckos, and different types of birds.
We’ve prepared a detailed guide describing both our initial inspiration for the forest as well as the decisions we made about its development and the selection of the different habitats and species. The guide is not only a description of the Archduke’s Forest but also a teaching tool for those who might be interested in copying this project. You can download the guide directly from our website.
Classes can be organized in the Archduke’s Forest on natural habitats, the typical flora found on the Balearic Islands, the creation of similar spaces, and caring for plants. These classes can be targeted at both schoolchildren and adults interested in the subject. Similarly, the Archduke’s Forest is also an ideal space to organize other types of events.