Our Gardens » Hillside Garden

Hillside Permaculture Garden

A Hidden garden at the Chancellor's House

In Fall 2012, UMass’s newly hired Chancellor, Kumble Subbaswamy, and his wife, Mala Subbaswamy, approached the UMass Permaculture team with an idea: to build a garden at the Chancellor’s family’s house on campus. The UMass Permaculture Committee had the opportunity to interview the Subbaswamys and integrate their goals with the results of a detailed site analysis to create a holistic site design. The garden was put in place in the spring of 2013 with the help of students, volunteers, and Regenerative Design Group.

​The Hillside Permaculture Garden features a wealth of Southeast Asian plants requested by the Chancellor and Mala to highlight their family’s heritage and home country of India. Guests who visit the Chancellor’s home, including new faculty and high-profile campus visitors, are treated to a view of this garden and a taste of the foods grown there in special meals made by UMass Catering.

Pergola with edible vining plants

Two large pergolas create structures for unique plants such as bitter melon, schisandra, and Chinese yam to thrive.

Heirloom and Perennial Vegetables

Rare edible perennials such as sea kale, prickly pear, and heirlooms such as Chinese noodle beans are staples of this garden

Mushroom Cultivation

The coniferous forest edges of the garden are stacked with shiitake and oyster mushrooms growing in inoculated logs.

Mandala Design

The garden itself is designed in the shape of a mandala to create visual interest and organic symmetry.