Check out this post from Suburban Permaculture:
“These next images show the transformation from ornamental hedge to infant food forest. My neighbor and I took out the laurel, built a fence, and now, I have planted multi layered perennials on my side of the fence. The plantings imitate a natural multi story plant community. This food forest, designed by a highly skilled neighbor, includes trees such as mulberry, almond, yellow horn and English Walnut. Smaller shrubs include currants, sidulcea, gooseberry, sedum, oregon grape and lower growing herbs and perennials such as salal, musk mallow,yarrow, ox eye daisy, day lily and others. All the plants either produce food or have medicinal properties. Some claim a food forest can produce more food than a similar space of vegetables. They do not have to be replanted every year. I have also added domestic blackberry, a canadice grape vine and hardy kiwi.”
That’s the way to do it!
It is helpful that they posted photos at the beginning of the system and then four years later. The growth is amazing.