I had no idea!
Reading about soil today has enlightened me…no, transported me…into another world, seriously!
The world beneath my feet.
I have always had a fascination with Fairies and the world of Nature, but was never fully cognisant of the facts about our soil…that deep, dark, rich matter that gives forth all we eat.
Facts like, a gram of soil contains about 100 million bacteria.
A square metre of fertile farmland can be inhabited by something like around 55 million worms and about 50,000 small insects and mites.
Monoculture diminishes all this, of course.
A monocultured ecosystem is very weak and may not be up to withstanding disturbance…hence the severe erosion and dust storms seen throughout places like the mid west of America.
A complex ecosystem, such as can be found here at Bealtaine Cottage, is better able to adapt to disturbance.
Permaculture has a healing effect in a very short time, allowing the soil to build up a strong ecosystem relatively fast…a few years in the case of this monocultured 3 acres!
Homo sapiens, means, Wise Man.
A Wise Man would not be sieving life out of our Eco-system, or interfering with our food chain and supply by patenting seeds.
A Wise man in Government would not allow that to happen.
Where have all the Homo sapiens gone?
Buddleia are in full, heavy, nectar perfumed bloom all over the gardens at Bealtaine Cottage.
This is one just opposite the front door.
The purple coloured blossoms droop expectantly, waiting for the seasonal Butterflies, but there are none…
What has happened is the fault of humankind, weather, pesticides, corporate greed and ecocide happening all around me.
If the Butterflies had to rely on the Bealtaine gardens alone, then the world is mad.
I fear, in this area, they do.
Flowers like these Perlagoniums hold nothing for Bees or Butterflies.
Colourful they are and I love the vibrancy and traditional look of them, but they are just that, traditional ornaments.
There are no others like this at Bealtaine Cottage.
Yet, parks are filled with these plants and others that are of no value to the natural world around us.
Gardens the same…
There is only one neighbour who tends a garden.
Only really one other garden in bloom with plants so loved by Bees and Butterflies.
The pathways in between are now cut as the silage machines level the meadows of meadowseet and buttercup and all the wild flowers much beloved of the humble Butterfly, whose days in the sun were always few and now, it appears, none.
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Just pictures today…of the Water Garden here at the permaculture smallholding.
This is the Lower Pond in the Bog Garden.
It is a haven for wildlife…sitting by the Lower Pond on a summer evening surrounded by dragonflies is one of the pleasures to be enjoyed after work.
The ponds, for there are two, are filled with Wild Mint and Watercress, among other delights.
Buttercups, Celandines and Meadowsweet abound.
This is one of the grass pathways leading down to the Bog Garden and the ponds.
It is planted out with Willow, Yellow Loosestrife, Monbretia and the weeds are all really flowers as you can see!
One of the wild Orchids growing in the damp ground of the Bog Garden last summer.
Gunnera Manicata growing beside one of the ponds…
There are many wildflowers that can be included when planting an informal pond to attract wildlife.
It is important to include Native plants as these provide a vital food source for many insects, which then encourages more birds to your pond and garden.
Many Butterflies will visit your water garden if native plants and wild flowers are allowed their domain!
Butterflies that are first to hatch here at Bealtaine Cottage is the Orange Tip, and though it will feed from a range of plants it only lays its eggs on Ladys Smock.
Ladys Smock is one of the wild flowers that grace the wet conditions in the Bog Garden.
It is really vital that we do all we can to protect native habitats, for as these are threatened it becomes more important to provide alternative safe havens for birds, insects, Bees and native plants within gardens.
Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 120 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.