After what the weather forecasters say is the harshest December since records began a hundred years ago it is no surprise that some of my prized plants are dead. I have begun the plans to counter the damage with fresh sowings in the spring but am nevertheless sad to lose old friends.
My last minute sowing of field beans from late last autumn are poking their leaf tips cautiously through the soil surface as if peering out to see if it is now safe to emerge. I do not wonder at caution as the previous sowing earlier in the autumn have been left wilted and blackened. Like the other dead and dying plants they were defenceless against incarceration by deep snow and savage frosts that held onto them for weeks through December.
However the strongest plants remain, and show no signs of having endured an ordeal. Wild cabbage, wild rocket, wild beet and Welsh onion look fine. Perhaps it should be no surprise that the wild plants are proving to be the toughest.
Also good news is that the land cress and lamb’s lettuce are looking fine and I was able to harvest some for salad greens yesterday.
Principle: Everything the forest gardener does takes full account of the whole of the forest garden ecosystem – what has happened, what is happening and what they intend for the future.