This morning with the bright sun up early and the birds singing the garden was shouting at me to come outside. However gardening by permaculture principles means I don’t have much work to actually do – no weeding, no digging, very little in the way of maintenance of the veggie patches at the moment. I am allowing things to just be. This includes getting the benefit of self sown forget me nots blooming wheresoever they will. The result is lovely – drifts of pale blue in every direction.
A “normal” gardener would probably feel the need to weed the surplus plants from my veggie patches but for me it is better to leave something growing and supporting natural systems than to have a clean slate, no plants, no growth, and no other life forms able to make a living either. In practice the garden is not over run with unwanted plants and I do selectively remove those that really would cause a problem if left (clove root, hedge woundwort, buttercup).
We are fortunate enough to have a small (very small) trickle of a stream bordering the front of the property. Despite its diminutive proportions it is very attractive. Today there are wild primroses, wood sorrel, wild garlic, periwinkle, bluebells, sweet woodruff, dandelion and the omnipresent forget me nots in flower and the ferns are starting to unfurl their soft fronds. I was able to spend a joyful hour in the company of these lovely plants re-arranging the rocks beside the stream to make a bit more space for flowers to grow in the summer.
I am spending quite a bit of time tending my perennial vegetable seedlings. I have learned from past mistakes to make sure I use good quality compost to sow them and grow them on, check daily or more often that they are in the best place to get sun, moving them to follow the sun, keeping them well watered. It sounds simple, and it is, but learning from experience and being attentive seems to be paying off. Most of the seedlings planted in February and March are growing well, some are pricked out into invidual pots and they are mostly looking very healthy. I have a range of different greens, onions and roots / tubers and hope to be starting to plant them out in the next few weeks.