a forest garden is gardened differently

Part 2 of  my forthcoming book – the garden of equal delights – is about how a forest garden is gardened differently.  Here are a few quotes from the first chapter of that section to introduce the topic.

Principle 2:  First stop; don’t do anything until you need to and, in that prolonged pause let go

“Starting out by stopping may sound like the strangest bit of gardening advice you have ever heard.  However it is not just important, it is vital.  It is the heart of the matter.  To be a forest gardener is to embrace a freedom unknown in horticulture.  First in theory, and then in practice.  It means giving freedom away – passing it on freely, directly, happily, willingly, with trust and in time with love, to the forest garden.  To do this the gardener stops what they previously knew as gardening.”

The injunction to stop is in effect introducing a prolonged pause into the forest gardener’s life.  This is a powerful principle, which I took on experimentally in my initial eagerness to find out how little I could get away with doing.  But I learned much more than simply finding ways to avoid work: I learned that the garden was much better able to become the garden I was hoping for if I let nature get on with what it does day in and day out.”

Choosing to do less is crucial because it allows complexity to evolve.  The forest gardener and the forest garden evolve together, so loosen up, lighten up, give your garden some space, some freedom, some independence, some respect, some credit.”

polyfloral complexity evolving in the triangle bed

About Anni Kelsey

I love forest gardens and forest gardening, nature, reading and everything good about being alive. I have written two books - the garden of equal delights (2020) - about the principles and practice of forest gardening; and Edible Perennial Gardening (2014) - about growing perennial vegetables in polycultures, which is basically forest gardening concentrating on the lower layers.
This entry was posted in a forest garden is gardened differently, Borderland Garden, Forest Gardening, polyfloral, Principles of forest gardening. Bookmark the permalink.

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