Whether it is flowers, foliage, fruit or seeds – every part of every plant’s life is precious with a unique place in the never ending cycle of life. As forest gardeners we are here to watch as this marvel unfolds, giving every plant the opportunity to live out its own life and to feed the lives of other beings.
The calendula has been flowering for months and is not finished yet. It will no doubt re-seed itself in situ and I have also collected some ripe seed and scattered it around the garden to multiply its loveliness!
This fuschia lives in a shady part of the garden and is late to flower. Others in sunnier spots are bearing a few ripe fruits, our five year old granddaughter, who loves to scour the garden for edibles, pronounced that “fuschia fruits are lovely“.
This chicory plant seeded itself this summer, it must have grown from seed deposited by a plant that was close by several years ago. A friend is eagerly awaiting this year’s seed so she can grow some in her garden.
I have long wanted autumn crocus and found a pack in the local garden centre a few weeks ago.
I planted several guelder roses in a new border about two years ago to provide autumn colour and berries for the birds and this resplendent bush is the reddest and ‘berriest’ of them all.
Two years ago I visited the kitchen garden at Chirk Castle and fell in love with the brilliantly coloured crab apples.
Never have I seen such a shiny apple! The tree was positively luminous with them all glowing away! However this year, along with all the fruit, it is late to mature (it should have been ripe in September) and the flavour is a bit disappointing. I am blaming the cool and relatively sunless summer months. Nonetheless I am always profoundly grateful for every morsel of harvested food.
Late frosts took a heavy toll on the pear trees which had been absolutely laden with blossom. However one pear bore plenty of fruit which ripened whilst we were away in September, but the neighbours enjoyed them! There were about a dozen pears on each of the other two pear trees.
This is the first year the blue sausage fruit tree has flowered and fruited. I am waiting until the pods are a little bit bluer before investigating their taste.
The acer came from our previous home where it grew in a pot and is unashamedly decorative and beautiful all year round.
This is a wonderfully colourful kale plant and (like all the others I have tried) it is well able to resprout at this time of year, despite being munched back to bare stalks by caterpillars.
A medicinal herb with gorgeous yellow daisy headed flowers and ultra attractive to bees – elecampane is spreading around the garden courtesy of these adorable, fluffy seed heads.
As far as possible the trees and plants in a forest garden should live for their full life span and reproduce themselves naturally and unaided.
Support nature’s transformational magic.
Whether in abundance or not, harvest only enough.
Demonstrate appreciation in meaningful and tangible ways.
“We need to understand that forest gardens work because of their internal ecology and their links to the ecology of their neighbourhood via visiting insects, birds and mammals. Everything about their structure, their functions and their benefits derives from this fact. Therefore, all aspects of their design, their planting and subsequent care must link fundamentally to this ecology and allow for natural processes to do much of the work conventionally done by the gardener. The forest garden principles guide, support and enable the gardener to trust the garden and to make ecologically sensitive
decisions.” the garden of equal delights page 59.