Thursday, 9 March 2017

Glorious Gardens From Above

I am watching the above named documentary produced by the BBC and presented by Christine Walkden. She flies over these British gardens in a hot air balloon. So far I've had a birds eye view of gardens in Cornwall, Essex and Mid-Wales. You get to see grand gardens in their context, amongst the surrounding landscape and climate of the region they are a part of.

Which brings me to permaculture design principle 8: Integrate rather than Segregate
Many hands make light work

Many of these gardens have head gardeners and a team of volunteers who help out. Christine talks to these volunteers who remember playing in such gardens as a child and then return as adults to look after them. In terms of permaculture, often these volunteers are animals! Pigs fertilise the soil, dig up weeds, rabbits, of course, eat excess herbage, sheep graze, chickens scratch, bees pollinate, worms do earthworks, and cats, well, they get stuck up garage roofs. Ok not cats. Perhaps they keep the mice and bird population down. Can't have too many birds after all, they will eat all the fruit.

Integrate rather than segregate. Plant perennials with fruit trees. Plant flowers with vegetables. They will help each other grow. No plant is an island..

It's a dull day and the rain is now refreshing the garden. My clovers green manure crop is starting to sprout. Perhaps my chamomile and thyme won't die after all, they will regenerate and I'll have my herbal carpet.

I planted two Black Beauty passionfruits by the garage in hopes that THIS time they will grow. Right plant, right place right? According to Beth Chatto, yes. They will get plenty of sunshine with room to grow now I've sheep manured the bed. They can climb on top of the garage, and perhaps next time Mummy Cat goes up there looking for people she can harvest some passionfruits at the same time. She had the right idea though, get the birds eye view of my glorious garden from the garage, pretty clever for a cat. Pity she couldn't figure out how to get down.