With mulching playing such an important role in the health of the clay-based garden this summer, naturally thoughts go to the issue of mulching. I had time pressures this year and was forced to do two things I’m not fond of doing in the garden: spending money, and taking whatever was cheapest at the time.
I didn’t like it because I didn’t do due diligence about where the mulch comes from. Of course I checked for the sustainable tick etc, but to me that’s not enough of a guarantee, because my idea of sustainable and other peoples is vastly different.
I’m lucky enough to live close by ancient woodland. On the one hand, you don’t want to take more than woodland can spare – even collecting leaves from the ground needs to be done with caution, because that gentle coating on the ground is essential to the survival of growing things. But in late Summer, before the Autumn fall starts in earnest, I’ll skim a little litter for my garden, and that little goes a long, long way.
Free leaf litter, to ward off the late summer weeds – an experiment in mulching for roses
I’ll also keep the freefall from the garden, for a neat winter covering should the winter be a hard one. Waste-not-want-not, as my kin have always said.
It bears thinking about when selecting trees for a garden: evergreen is wonderful for screening and reliability and much-needed winter colour, but the deciduous trees should always be our friends. Without their seasonal changes, what would this time of year really be? Without the stark bare branches in Winter, would we still delve inwards so deeply, seeking inspiration of a less material kind? I like to think huddling around fires has done us all the world of good at some point or another.
Photo by Valmir Dzivielevski Junior
I already planted the first Spring bulbs back in early September, and the process goes on, like all Autumn rituals: a great gathering and planting plans for next year’s ease. Something buried for our emergence from the cold.
Autumn is my favourite time of year – coloured daubs of leaves, early mists, a wholesome chill in the air, and Halloween festivities. I wake up about this time of year – like the last five months have been a sluggish dream I can’t quite remember, and don’t much care about.
There are plans afoot now. The perfect meeting point between brash colour and natural darkness. Ritual fires and tender reflections – a harvesting of sleeping plans.
It’s all so very abundant, and that’s exactly what we want. Abundance is the perfect antidote to madness, sadness, stresses and grief.
vertical red and yellow abstract painting