Round the garden in 80 days #53

Today was glorious – warm, relatively speaking, and sunny. After sleeping in and then reading, there wasn’t time to take advantage of the good weather but that didn’t stop me thinking about the garden.

In a departure from crime fiction, I am currently reading

which is so far turning out to be different from what I expected. Or rather, while the first chapter gave a brief explanation of how there has been a move away from traditional conservation measures, namely due to the realisation that it was not plants we need to be focussing on but animals, the second and third chapters have gone back in time to look at the creatures that used to inhabit the Earth and human migration.

Now, gomphotheres (related to the elephant) are unlikely to reappear any time soon but horses and camels could be helpful in bringing nature back into some kind of healthy order. Unfortunately, my little patch could not accommodate such, so I have to hope that what I might do could support smaller life forms.

I’m not sure how well I’ve been doing so far, though. Perhaps there has been an increase in insects, which in turn has brought in a wider variety of birds, but I need to heed more closely the advice that Jeff Ollerton gives in the following post:

First, do no harm!

On a simple level, I know to leave plant material on the ground rather than being too tidy. But what did I do the other day? Moved some dead fennel stems which were under the pine tree to the compost bin. The moment I had done it, I was annoyed with myself. They would have eventually fertilised the ground in situ without the need to decompose in a compost heap first. And any insects they were harbouring may not flourish in the bin.

Another example of how I affected the balance of nature goes back a couple of years, when I was constructing the original raised bed. In this case, I disturbed some slug eggs.

Of course, slugs may be the gardener’s curse because of the living plants they consume but on another level they are an asset. Their munching habits create organic matter to feed the soil and, as food for larger creatures, they attract birds, for example.

Thus, I am now considering what my next moves in the garden are. There is more that I wish to write on this matter but for now I’ll keep thinking!

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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6 Responses to Round the garden in 80 days #53

  1. Going Batty in Wales says:

    It is so hard I find to know what to do for the best! I am lucky enough to have a garden big enough to leave some areas to their own devices and I am surrounded by farmland, some of it under organic management, other parts not. I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a couple who have recently bought some land about planting and managing woodland and there are so many different strategies depending on the outcome wanted. Maybe I should write about that on ‘Going Batty in the Woods’!

    • Helen says:

      Yes, please do write planting and managing woodland.

      New information arrives all the time. It is only very recently that it was realised/discovered that the land was not just forest but large tracts of grass.

  2. nanacathy2 says:

    Fascinating post. By a different route I am interested in the birds and bees etc. In my case how to feed birds and not pesky rats, and the only way is not with bird feeders but berries etc. My crab apple tree which is for the birds has arrived now. Getting excited.

  3. I’m fascinated by all you’ve shared, Helen. That’s intriguing.

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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