Wildlife Gardening sounds like a bit of an oxymoron doesn’t it? As in if it’s not wild then it’s gardened – gardening can’t be wild.
However as any gardener will know, gardening is as much about what you take out as what you put in, in terms of plants. Lots of work carefully removing flopped over long grasses (minding the froglets to be found there).
Tearing up grasses by hand is hard work but fun. There’s not often a grass out of place in my little patch! (And no need for moving, while simulating I hope at least, grasses being eaten by goats etc!)
And then I choose to leave and let grow some fairly large ‘weeds’ like Rosebay Willow herb because they remind me of my childhood and I love their pink flowers. As do the insects!
Thankfully I have to report a huge resurgence of insect populations of all sorts here since moving in and gardening in this way. (Bees, flies, hoverflies, wasps, moths pretending to be hoverflies pretending to be wasps or bees!) But I must remove the seedheads in order not to alarm the neighbours who live at close quarters here. It’s a complicated business!
But nothing compared to the complexity of the ecosystems at work in nature. Though I hate slugs and seeing them on my fave plants, am becoming much more aware now of how they do their part removing waste (even other animals’ poops) and so I mustn’t knock them.
After all we humans are appalling at removing and processing our own waste – both natural and chemical, let alone our ridiculously huge and tragic plastic waste – now imported from this small country (UK) to other countries (who can’t cope with it either). Thanks to this Govt also – our raw sewage is being allowed to pollute most if not ALL of our rivers, as I was appalled to learn via @GeorgeMonbiot’s @rivercide_live documentary. Even worse chicken ‘factories’ are literally flooding the water tables with what is essentially poisonous chicken crap, and this is killing off all life in our rivers too.
Note to self – eat less supermarket chicken! God only knows what happens when this Govt allows in already poisoned chlorinated diseased chicken for us to eat…
These are sorry times indeed. As they get worse with Covid, I wouldn’t say I garden more frantically – but I am trying to focus in on what I can do here and now to combat the destruction of habitat all around us (what with overbuilding, unnecessary railways like HS2 etc etc).
Clearing out and pruning branches of overgrowing shrubs and wisteria is endlessly therapeutic! As is deadheading roses. Talking of roses, I have a new one, take a look at this:
No, it’s not a single dog type rose (like I should get for insects to access more easily) but it smells heavenly and again takes me back – to the 70’s (happier more innocent days, just getting over nuclear destruction fears rather than facing full on climate calamity as we do now!). Growing it 70’s style amongst the Teasels and dried grasses – do love this time of year with golden light and long dried golden swaths.
But I digress! Mean to say, though chopping and cutting back is calming, finding new discoveries of wild things making their home here, well that’s just wildly exciting! Or sometimes a huge relief – to see another baby Newt (or Eft, sorry) for example after a long period of seeing none (where do they all go??). And to have a hedgehog to stay under the baking tray roofed shelter I built for it, well that’s just wonderful Nothing beats that sense of privilege for this space to be chosen as habitat by wild things….