The World Domination Gardening is a trilogy of DVDs created by Paul Wheaton. This is a comprehensive collection of videos that last for over six hours. These DVDs capture a workshop that took place in California. They show you the step-by-step process of building a pond, a swale, and a hügelbed.
The DVDs provide a lot of valuable information, although sometimes there is repetition that could have been edited better. But as Paul mentions at the beginning, don’t expect a fancy Hollywood-style production. I think people who are genuinely interested in permaculture are probably not looking for flashy Hollywood glamour anyway.
You can pop over to the Richsoil website if you want to buy this DVD set.
What I found most interesting about these DVDs is that they show how even experienced people face unexpected challenges and have to change their plans. One major take-away for me was that it’s normal and important to adjust your designs based on the actual environment and situation you’re working with.
Building a Pond
The first DVD focuses on building a pond. We get to see the whole process, from planning to finishing it, even with a surprise rainstorm. Seeing how the design changes during the project shows how important it is to be adaptable. We learn different techniques for making a pond. But even after watching the DVD, I still feel unsure about building one by myself. I think I would need to be there in person to feel more confident about working with large bodies of water.
Building a Swale
In the second DVD, we get to see how a swale is built. The first part of the DVD shows the process in detail. And in the second part, we go back to the site a year later to see how it has changed. We also hear interesting conversations with different people. Geoff Lawton, amongst other, share his thoughts on the project’s results and offer ideas for making it even better. This part of the DVD really captures the essence of the entire workshop. It explores different options and emphasizes that there’s no one right way to do things. It all depends on what each person prefers.
Building a Hügelbed
In the final DVD, they show us how to build a hügelbed. Here we learn important things like how to choose the right angle for the sun, using materials like stone that hold heat, and even adding a deep pond to the design. We also get to see how Paul tries to grow a lemon tree outside all year long at his place in Montana, taking inspiration from Sepp Holzer’s success in the Alps. To wrap it up, we go back to the hügelbed in California one year later to see how it’s doing.
Each DVD can be watched independently, catering to viewers’ specific interests. However, after watching all three DVDs, which I think most people would prefer, I found it a bit confusing to track the project’s progress due to significant changes in the plans during the workshop. Nonetheless, it was truly satisfying to have Geoff Lawton offer his commentary on the work presented in each DVD. Additionally, seeing how the site transformed after a year was a delightful addition.
These DVDs are packed with lots of helpful information and tips. Just by listening to the conversations, you can learn many clever techniques. I have definitely gained a lot of knowledge and ideas that I can use in my own permaculture projects, even if I don’t plan on building ponds right now. However, I feel confident that I can make swales and hügelbeds successfully in my own garden.
Watch the trailer to get you a sneak peak!