The Garden is an escape… when we are there it’s like everything else falls away, we focus only on hands into earth, smiling because we know we are producing our own healthful nourishment and returning home with dirty fingernails and clean minds…
Our 1/8th of an acre allotment in North Yorkshire was acquired in early April in ‘a bit of a mess’ but it came with two greenhouses, a polytunnel and A LOT of raspberries. We couldn’t resist. The bit of a mess was an understatement, but in truth – acquiring land that has been left untouched for a number of years is really no bad thing as it’s been left to itself; to soak up the goodness of the earth and expel any nasty chemicals that might have previously been used on it.
Our approach is to always work any patch we are looking after to a no-dig... minimum input, maximum output, approach. We imagine a forest, layered so that canopy over canopy self-delivers shade, water – company even… and to achieve this even with small plants we like to plant things together all overflowing and mismatched. I do read a lot of books about companion planting and forest gardening, but the truth is that when it comes down to it, we’re pretty slapdash gardeners tending to just shove it all in and hope for the best.
Well, today the best came… after several weeks in the South of England hanging out at our caravan, we returned wondering what casualties there might be. Prior to leaving there had been a mad rush to get the last of our lovingly-raised seedlings into the 3 no-dig (cardboard layered straight onto the land and covered with thick layers of compost and woodchips) beds we had managed to cobble together amidst our overgrown paradise and I have to admit, I figured that without the diligent watering and spraying/deterring measures we had noted our neighbouring gardeners doing, there would be a lot of dried up plants and pest damage. BUT! Everything was flourishing and our animal friends had happily munched on some areas of decoy leaves as well as our sacrificial garden set up for this purpose solely. I know people may laugh but seriously – treat those we share the land with, with love, and we believe all good things will come for all.
Dinner tonight included a humungous salad of rocket, amaranth (callaloo) leaves and 3 varieties of kale… and it was amazing.
Ultimately our garden must always require minimal digging/weeding/watering, as our gypsy souls cannot be trusted… so far so good!
Here I like to muse about life, share news of writing projects & wanderings, and showcase nature-inspired jewellery & gifts from my family micro-business, Little Loquat.