No-Man’s Land

If this patch of my garden looks a mess, that’s because it is.

It’s a small bed situated next to a couple of small ponds, round the edge of the garden next to the wall, which I originally designated ‘for wildlife’ and have pretty much left to do its thing. There are frogs and other stuff in there – it’s so overgrown that it isn’t really possible to see what’s going on in there. What you can see though is that there are plenty of different species in a small area.

For the past couple of years I’ve made the effort to clear this small bed of weeds and seed it or plant it up with various things, mostly things like spinach beet or kale. But because the bed is so near the wildlife border, there are plenty of slugs and snails which soon devour anything remotely tasty. I’m not going to use any kind of slug pellets there as it is in the domain of the frogs and other wildlife. So the snails have free rein.

This year I think I’ve decided to give up trying to produce food from this part of the garden. But in leaving it to nature, I may actually end up with something which is far more diverse than what I had planned, and may even end up producing food nonetheless.

The spinach beet actually seems to have remained despite the slug assault, and is currently going to seed. The seeds will come up next year and give me spinach. But as well as the veg, a whole range of wild flowers have self-seeded there, including some stunning pink poppies, as well as Welsh poppies and a load of other stuff whose names I don’t know.

So by ceasing my energy input, I seemed to have actually ended up with an optimal solution for this patch of garden – nature has selected what should be there, and it’s a huge variety with a good balance of pollinator-friendly flowers and edible leaves for me.

Permaculture is in so many ways the path of least resistance. And nature has the best design just waiting for the opportunity.

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