Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Garden update

After a few days pruning and clearing the overgrown bushes, the fruit trees are showing promise. The plan is to work from the walls back towards the lawn and create plants that fulfill a variety of purposes. The trees will not only provide fruit later on in the year that is edible ( hopefully) but they cast shade and can be used to grow climbing vegetables such as beans and squashes. Underneath the fruit trees I aim to encourage plants that create natural mulches such as rhubarb and comfrey although there are others that might suit. I am looking to create a garden that requires little maintenance and where nature will do most of the work and I will sit and enjoy. Can it be? I base this on the fact that in forests, no gardeners till and work hard, not ones you see anyway. I also would like to incorporate plants that will provide me with dyes to enable me to colour yarns that have been spun on my spinningwheel.

At this time of the year, colour is limited but bulbs are peering through the soil such as the yellow crocus I spotted this morning. In the churchyard, white snowdrops can be seen in small patches in and around resting places.

The aim of the garden is for all elements to live in harmony ; people, insects, plants and wildlife. Instead of a garden that focusses on my needs only, I want to look at the requirements of the plants, the wildlife and the insects in the garden and harness their potential. This means putting myself in the picture not as in control of my garden but as an integral part of its being.

The cuttings are being shredded to reintroduce the nutrients in the garden, and any compostable material is being composted. There are 2 bins already and I hesitate about introducing another one, but currently I am creating a lot of waste material. If I take it off the property I will need to reintroduce resources into the garden by way of bought compost.

This is a labour intensive way of dealing with waste material. I want to see if comfrey, nasturtium and rhubarb can provide a mulch for the fruit trees that provides the necessary nutrients without me having to shred it, slash it, compost it, turn it and put it back on the land. No idea if that will work but we will find out.

1 comment:

Katie in Minneapolis said...

It's amazing that we're both in the northern hemisphere, and you're further north than I am. Here in the southern half of Minnesota, USA, we've endured the last week with temperatures mostly below zero, Fahrenheit! Eeek! It's lovely to see the picture of the blooming crocuses in your garden. Thank you.