Creating a green garden
Today’s carbon fast is an interesting idea to me. It reads
“Have a truly “Green” lawn and garden by avoiding use of toxic chemicals.”The bizarre thing is, I’ve never done anything other than avoid the toxic use of chemicals.
But it’s not ‘polish my halo’ time; this didn’t always have its roots in being eco friendly!
When I first left home I didn’t know one end of a garden fork from another so my ‘garden’ was an overgrown patch of weeds, or perhaps I should be kinder to myself and call is a natural, wild paradise for wildlife.
When I got a bit more au fait with the fact you could actually grow things in the garden I was too tight to spend my hard earned money on weed killers, fertilizers or anything else.
Now I wear my green heart on my sleeve, it wouldn’t dawn on me to use anything on my garden at all, apart from that which nature provides.
I’ve stopped potato blight in its tracks by using the horsetail that grows in the vegetable beds. Check out my horsetail anti fungal spray for blight. I use comfrey to make fertiliser. Read our 4 tips for using comfrey in the garden. I have a rabbit who will happily nibble the dandelions; plus they just look so pretty hanging around in the grass. And I NEVER water the grass; I cannot understand anyone who does that – have you ever actually tried to kill grass? It’s impossible!
My garden will never appear on a make over programme or be open the public but it provides us with food and we have masses of butterflies who don’t judge me for the untidiness. I know people think there is a bee crisis and they are all dying out, but I’ll let you into a little-known secret; they’re actually over here at Chez Green enjoying our natural paradise!
What about you? What do you do to keep your garden as ‘green’ as possible?
I miss having a good garden. As a child we had a huge garden and my dad grew fruit and vegetables that I’d help tend. I remember shelling peas, wrapping onions and cooking apples for storage, picking strawberries and digging spuds! Our house is a new build with a postage stamp sized garden that has little direct sunlight. It’s all laid to lawn and very shady. It’s such a shame 🙁
Our foray into “green” gardening was also driven more by economics and practicality. We had no mains water, sewerage or power on our campsite. The need to conserve water led us to install waterless urinals and composting toilets and gave us the additional benefit of an abundance of natural fertilizer. This year we managed to “harvest” over 700 litres of sweet smelling compost from our toilets (A big thanks to all our guests!). At local prices that amounts to a saving of around 100 Euros! The liquid fertilizer (Aka compost “Tea”) we also capture from the waterless urinals and toilets is used to feed the trees and gardens (which need all the help they can get as they recover from last years plague of Gypsy Moth caterpillars). The final benefit of not producing “black” water from our toilets is that we can re-use all our “grey” waste water to irrigate the gardens and grounds.
We take daily walks near a river and the area is largely natural. At this time of year, there are truly lovely flowers growing … weeds to most people. The birds and butterflies love them. And here’s the thing … they are nice, compact plants that require no maintenance. When I see their beauty … well … I can’t help think that it’s a bit foolish to spend so much time and money to force a lawn to grow when we have these absolutely lovely plants to enjoy.
I have to share a story. I feed birds, squirrels and any other critters that come to the area just outside of my patio. We live in an apartment and there are lawn maintenance people who come by once a week. I have a bit of a reputation in my neighborhood for growing things (people literally drop sick plants by my door) … once a corn stalk grew and produced ears of corn (it came from some squirrel food I was using). Everyone in the area, including the maintenance guys, watched that stalk grow … fascinated that it was happening. Consequently, the maintenance people left my little spot alone … they turn a blind eye and don’t spray or anything. This year, for the first time, we have bees. I’m so excited to see them and happy that, perhaps, they aren’t going to be eliminated. I believe they are here because the guys stopped spraying in my area. 🙂
@Inside the Wendy House: Sounds like you have some wonderful childhood memories. There are Some plants which will tolerate shade such as kale, salad leaves, radish and some herbs – it might be worth trying a couple of pots?
@Steve: Sounds fantastic Steve and such a great use of valuable resources. Inspiring stuff!
@Small Footprints: Oh I just love your story, thank you so much for sharing, caring and being an inspiration 🙂
I love this post. I have just moved and finally have a slightly larger garden with some sun and not too overlooked so am hoping to start thinking about planting in it. Like the idea of organic pest control very much. Wish I had greener fingers!
@nazima: Sounds like a lovely location hon – there are some things that are easier to grow, so start with those 😉