- The Wildlife Forest Garden
- This is the work
This is the work
Spain is wet, the UK is dry. The world is upside down.
Yesterday I was working at a client’s garden in the blazing sun and as I stepped beneath the canopy of an oak, I could feel the temperature drop. We need to build resilient ecosystems in our gardens around about now, which in the UK is shrubs and trees, native plants where possible, edible plants where you can.
At the moment, growing our own food for survival is unthinkable. The global network supplies us with foodstuffs from around the world which we can have delivered to our doors the very next day. A change is going to come though, and we need to start thinking about food security for everyone. A garden is a good place to start, and from there extend out into the wider landscape.
When I spoke with Farming Connect the other week about becoming a mentor, the question they asked was “What do you think is the biggest concern facing Welsh agriculture?” The Climate Emergency, of course! But there are no provisions in Farming Connect to provide more resilient agriculture (plant-based, perennial, low input) in the face of extreme drought and weather events.
We have to start somewhere, and the garden is a good place to practise growing resilient food crops and spread these forest garden ideas further. It is work, much like other gardening: weeding, tending, watering, moving, shielding, thinking, connecting. It is good work though, and it begins every day. This is the work. Get cracking.
Forest garden photos
Very orange Welsh Poppies (Papaver cambricum), glorious showing this year
Gabion pillar, filled with local stone, bee logs, bamboo canes, topped with recylced slates for shelter & bricks
Bugle (Ajuga reptans) is a brilliant UK native ground cover, here with Germander Speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys)
Thrutopia - neither utopia nor dystopia, a practical visioning proposed by Rupert Read
Native garden designs - a great idea, collecting examples of USA native plant garden designs. Be nice to have a UK equivalent…
Soft Landings - inverterbrates in keystone trees need soft landings and habitat beneath the trees if they are to flourish
Plant brains - yes, plants have “brains”
Soil history - soil didn’t just materialise, it co-evolved with plants