9 September 2014

Creating ecosystems in the garden

Outside, everything seems to be trying to reproduce. The mizuna, broccoli and lupins are going to seed - and so are our broad beans, the seeds of which we shall eat. We haven't grown them before, so they're an adventure.

Flowering lupins in front.
Broad beans, garlic, parsnips and lettuce.
Then there are daily eggs from our chickens, and the tuis are chasing each other and singing their hearts out, no doubt getting frisky.

As I look at the garden photos I took today, I realise how much I''m now trying to create little ecosystems in the garden. Maybe 'recreate' is a better word, because everything in nature exists in ecosystems.

I'm trying out a combination of the three flowers that are apparently proven to be good beneficial insect hosts: alyssum, buckwheat and phacelia. Many more are said to be so, but according to the scientist that writes in NZ Gardener magazine, those three are backed by solid evidence. I've mixed them together in a jar, and simply sprinkled them over the soil, which I'm keep moist and watching hopefully. Alyssum and phacelia sprout incredibly easily - I know that from experience - and I expect buckwheat does too.

Blueberry bushes newly mulched with pine needles. The pine needles
acidify the soil a bit, and blueberries like it a bit acidic.
Buckwheat, phacelia and alyssum seeds are sown in between.
Strawberry plants. Peas are popping up under the trellis,
which will feed us and add nitrogen to the soil.
Radishes have sprouted between the strawberries,
and will hopefully be eaten before they bother the strawberry roots.
To the right of the strawberries are either alyssum or marigolds
- I can't remember which seeds I sowed!

A few more garden peeks, not 'ecosystem' related:

Purple sprouting broccoli. Divine stuff.
Tulip bulbs approaching flowering.
Tomato seedlings - are yours done yet?
Big, healthy mint leaves, sprouted from a couple
of manky roots from a neighbour's plant.

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