While I was getting to grips with gardening on a small shady Parisian balcony my ‘other garden’ was left more or less to its own devices. Here’s the account I wrote in January 2016.
‘My ‘other garden’ was designed with wildlife in mind but I didn’t anticipate leaving nature in charge for so much of the time. While we’re away in Paris, our lodger mows the grass and pulls out the most conspicuous weeds but by and large the plants, whether deliberately planted or self-sown, are left to their own devices.
I spend a few days every four to six weeks catching up. At first this was a frantic weeding session, trying to make the garden look as it had been, when I was doing a morning round before breakfast each day. Now I’ve learnt that I’m not really in charge here any more. I need to work with the plants that thrive, whether old-established, self-sown ornamental or native wildflower, to achieve a self-sustaining, wildlife-friendly balance that still looks like a garden.
Not all the native wild plants have been allowed to make the transition from ‘weed’ to ‘wildflower’ and for some the classification is different in different parts of the garden. Ground elder is stealthily spreading through the garden and I thwart it where I can. It’s impossible to eradicate in an established border (without taking all the plants out and starting again) so I do my best to check its advance. Most other ‘weeds’ have their place somewhere in the garden.’
Click on any photo to view that gallery and here for a post about the apple trees in the garden. More about this increasingly wild garden can be found in the older Garden Diary posts.