family planting a flowers in a garden together

Ditch Your Spade, Forget Fertiliser, Listen to the Weeds: Alys Fowler’s Guide To Laid-Back Gardening

Ditch your spade, forget fertiliser, listen to the weeds: Alys Fowler’s guide to laid-back gardening
Itching to whip your flowerbeds or veg patch into shape now spring has finally arrived? Not so fast! Life’s much easier when you work with nature rather than against it

May 10, 2023 | Source: The Guardian | by Alys Fowler

After almost 30 years of gardening, several of those at fine institutions such as the Royal Horticultural Society and Kew Gardens, I’ve realised that much of what I was taught is, if not wrong, not exactly on the mark either. All that laboured effort – the weeding, the fertilising, the digging, the tending and pruning, the selecting and conforming – it’s not working. Not for the plants, the soil or the community around them, which includes you and me. Indigenous cultures everywhere have based their practices on observing and honouring the ecology, while we in the “developed world” wrote down our rules. Our attempt to control nature has perpetuated poor relations with all the beings in the garden, turning everything into some sort of battle, or endless regimes whether that’s mowing, hoeing, watering or attacking some critter. It is a lot of work and these days way more than I am prepared to put in.