Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Chill out

Daylight saving has ended and I'm finding that everything has started growing again, but I'm fearing the frosts will come soon and end all this nice new growth. For example lots of nasturtium seeds have decided to germinate, but, how much chance will they have to flower when the frost will kill them?

I finally got my second compost bin set up. It came in a box with instructions to screw it together with nuts and bolts, but, so far I have only put in the base layer of twigs and dried up muehlenbeckia vines, and a scattering of comfrey leaves, as dad hasn't mowed the lawns yet to put grass clippings in.

My garden seems a bit out of balance as I'm finding I'm always short of something...there isn't enough shade, there isn't enough soil, and there isn't enough material to make compost with. Which means, I have to still go out and buy materials, or scrounge. I am really loathe to buy compost in plastic sacks now. I just don't think they have any life in them. How can it compare with home-made compost? Why should I buy an inferior product when I could make a superior one for free?

I am also trying to put all the rubbish I learned in commercial gardening behind me. I come clean about commercial gardeners - they don't actually care for your garden. They 'care' only so they can make money from you. I am in absolute horror at some of the unsustainable practices they do,  only justified because of their 'bottom line'.

For example. None of the commercial gardeners ever make any compost from the garden 'waste' they remove. In all the gardens I've been to (called 'sites') all the green material is removed, sometimes not  even sorted, and put into the landfill or waste transfer station. It's never returned to the garden as compost. We don't know where it goes after that. Even if it is eventually made into compost, then it's sold to someone else so never actually returned to the land it came from. Top soil is removed too (from building sites) and new, dead top soil brought in. Nothing ever done to grow new soil, and what little soil is left is hoed to death. Bark is used as mulch rich robs a lot of nitrogen from the soil, so more chemical fertilisers need to be added.

Fossil fuels. Commercial gardeners expend a lot of time and energy just getting from site to site. They only spend a few hours on one site, and often not there for the entire day. Why because workers are paid by the hour. So the less they can pay and the faster they work better. But haste makes waste, and shortcuts are taken.

Pesticide use. Many of the commercial gardeners will spray for short term effect and not care that in the long term they are poisoning the land. One company admitted they sprayed roundup 35% of the time because they just couldn't be bothered weeding. Not enough staff. No matter even if there are children running barefoot on the land they are spraying. They even held seminars trying to convince workers that its safe, and call it earning your 'Growsafe' certificate. What rubbish! It's not 'grow safe'! It's bloody poison!

Worse than the 'spray, and walk away' attitude, is the 'wet and forget' mentality. I've seen trees planted in the most inappropriate places. Very expensive specimens languishing in planter boxes. Go up to North Westgate and you'll see what I mean. Dead pohutakawas, that might have looked great at first, but whoever didn't think to plant them IN THE GROUND because they grow into a huge tree, was not obviously thinking like a gardener who cares for plants, but as a designer who wants to play around with living things. Sure it will look good for a season, but then, plants grow. And when plants grow they need looking after. But someone obviously makes a lot of money planting plants in inappropriate places, and then leaving it for someone else to look after.

"Mow, blow, and go". This is not gardening. It's basically the equivalent of a tidy up job. Gardens are not places to be 'tidied'. So really think about whether you want a real gardener or just an outdoor tidy-upper. Because an outdoor tidy-upper will just poison all your plants so nothing will grow, and it will look tidy, but you won't have a garden. The funny thing is, it seems like some so-called garden companies are devolving. When I heard that the one I worked for was helping put in a carpark (instead of a garden) and facilitated this, I though, how suicidal is that. Are they in the business of growing things or killing things?

Before I get a headache from thinking about this stuff that makes me kinda angry, I will just write my rant in this blog and maybe put it out there because its stuff they don't ever tell you about the dirty trade of commercial gardening.

And I'm just going to chill out and put all that behind me, and thank God that I am free of bondage from commercial gardeners.