A rattle in the undergrowth

After receiving a lungwort from one of my colleagues many moons ago, every year there was just the one plant, which then moved to the front garden. Except that it must have read my mind and decided to self-seed beforehand.

I was pleased about this as it is a beautiful plant. However, in the last year, the lungwort seems to have got the hang of self-seeding rather too well and the forest garden doesn’t need several. Especially too close to the trees.

So, the time has come to start removing them. But not before all the seed heads have been picked off and disposed of in the bag I keep for garden waste to be taken to the tip.

It was thus whilst I was picking the seed heads off that I discovered that they rattle. And I would have remained in a state of wonderment, had it not been for my neighbour coming out to talk to me about the pigeons sitting on the fence and leaving their droppings on her plants. She was not happy about this and went so far as to ordain that I should come up with a solution.

Now, I haven’t discovered a way of controlling nature but after removing the first of the lungworts growing underneath the Reinette Orléans (see the photo above) I was really pleased to see the condition of the soil. It is years since it was last disturbed and has a completely different texture from the soil elsewhere in the garden. Hopefully, with a no-dig strategy the rest of the soil will eventually also be in this condition.

In the meantime, I’m thinking about having the soil in various parts of the garden tested for carbon. On my travels through radio programmes and podcasts, I recently heard a farmer talk about how his soil carbon had gone from less than 2% to approximately 6% through adopting a no till strategy. In other words, my soil should one day similarly be more carbon-rich and thus healthier.

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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11 Responses to A rattle in the undergrowth

  1. Clare Pooley says:

    Does your neighbour think it is your fault that the pigeons leave their droppings on her plants?
    I like lungwort, too and so far, I have only one plant. It has been prevented from scattering its seed about by rabbits that enjoy eating the flowers. This year, however the rabbits have left it alone and I hope I might get a few seedlings.

  2. How exciting to see your soil growing healthier by the year. I hope you will have it tested. I’m so curious as I’m sure you are, too. Neighbors can be so funny and sometimes tiresome. Perhaps you can let her know that the birds are doing her a favor by fertilizing her soil?

  3. Going Batty in Wales says:

    Have you read ‘Dirt to Soil’ by Gabe Brown? He is an American Farmer who focusses on improving his soil and has built an amazingly productive farm which supports several families instead of barely one. Well worth a read even though his advice has to me modified for a garden.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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