allowing nature to unfold

Where once there was a global, strong, resilient, functionally interconnected nest of ecosystems, today in so many places life is clinging on and hanging together by a thread. In many places those fine threads have already broken and much life has been lost. Because ecosystems are (at least potentially) everywhere, a forest garden opens up the possibility to connect with life, and to enhance, sustain and protect it as a whole even beyond the garden boundary, with small local ecosystems effectively nested within larger and yet larger ones, such that all life is connected and interdependent. Thus every part of every place is an important part of the whole, every link is needed; and when any connections break everything else is impacted.

Each place – whether small or large – that can become a functioning, healthy ecosystem can make a meaningful difference. Size is not significant. Everywhere is significant because it is an intrinsic and indispensable part of the whole. We have been warned for years about the decline in honeybee forage plants and more recently about huge declines in insect numbers more generally. Because the earth-wide losses are so huge that every little bit of respite and repair that nature can get is disproportionately valuable and can have more, not less, impact.

The last animals and plants in any population are rightly deemed as supremely important. Why would we wait until we are down to the last remaining ants or dandelions to value them?
quoted from ‘the garden of equal delights‘ page 156

Forest gardening principle: first stop; don’t do anything until you need to and, in that prolonged pause, let go.

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 biodiversity, ecosystem, Forest Gardening, Polyculture learning, Relationship with nature. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to allowing nature to unfold

  1. colleeninmhd says:

    Ann, I am wondering how your already established fruit trees did after you lopped the later than the new whips? I have two cherries that are still dormant, but much too tall. I planted them last year this time as bare root dormant trees. I would love to experiment. I am concerned about canker.


  2. Chris Jay says:

    My garden is more enjoyable and interesting now I don’t try to control what lives there as much as I used to do. Everything is just making a living, and usually helping me it seems. Less killing and more observing works for me. I am always spotting new creatures, and weeds are mostly useful plants that rarely need to be controlled. Thanks for your thoughts you share here, they have certainly helped me let Nature into my garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. People say “but what can I do” and you can only say “what you can”. Exactly what is the what is the exciting part, finding where you can contribute and flourish. Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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