Now in its second summer, the forest garden is bursting with life. At this time of year the gardeners’ main task is to keep a balance between species that may compete for space. Although we follow the principle of gardening with, not against, nature, the principle of “survival of the fittest” doesn’t always come up with the outcome we want. That is why we recently had to cut down a large clump of dockens that were about to set seed to ensure the next generation would dominate the garden. And of course there is the never-ending removal of couch grass to maintain.
In other developments we now have a path leading to the children’s play area, thanks to Craig and Ian, who laid the slabs. And we have rescued the new boundary hedge from the grass and other weeds that were threatening to take it over. We’ve also put down a thick mulch of woodchip, which should keep it more or less weed-free for another two weeks!
On Sunday 19 June PLANT held a one-day introduction to Permaculture at the community garden. It was facilitated by Carole Egner of Echo Earth Care, and was originally scheduled for June 2020, but COVID got in the way! Eight people attended and all found it instructive and enjoyable. The morning was mainly taken up with discussion, covering the importance of polycultures rather than monocultures, and the advantages of perennial crops. Other topics were the importance of creating a design to fit the particular plot that is to be cultivated and the wide range of factors to be considered, as well as the importance of covering bare soil as soon as possible, preferably with living plants, but if that is not possible, then with mulch. In the afternoon we got our hands dirty creating a Huegel bed.