I was awoken this morning by my partner with a cup of tea. As I sipped it (appreciatively) and looked out of the window I saw several birds darting about in the undergrowth outside the window. I think I saw a bullfinch, I definitely saw a robin, a great tit and another one that went so fast I couldn’t say what it was. They sat on the fennel – where the seed eaters often breakfast – they perched on the tiny trees and then dipped onto the ground to forage about between plants and beneath leaf litter.
It was a ‘misty moisty morning’ as my mother would have said. In other words, dull and damp and typical for a November day. Usually you can see the hills in the distance behind this hedge but today you could hardly see past it. Of course this is the time of year when more traditional gardeners will be thinking of (or actually doing) the tidying up before downing tools for the winter.
As you can see there is a lot of greenery in the polyculture beds despite having had a few frosts this week. I need to leave the oca to tuberise further and the kales will probably do us all winter – I have just picked a big bunch to go with tonight’s meal.
If there were no fennel stems and flower heads, no leaf litter; if all the plants that were not strictly there for a harvest or were past their ‘best’ had been removed; if the ground were therefore bare and there were no places to dart in and sit on and eat the odd seed – what would the birds, beetles, spiders, hedgehogs and other creatures do?
For all their sakes the garden is best left as it is – nice and messy, but beautiful as well.