Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Edge

It occurred to me today, (as I trimmed and shaped my turf wall) that maybe I've got it wrong. The wall idea is kind of fun and quirky - it has a pleasing structure and tactile tuftyness, but perhaps I've not considered fully its more significant function. As the perennial (couch) grass has knitted together throughout the turves's, and a mixture of wild and cultivated seed have blown in and colonised little areas, gradually, from an unpromising barren mound of earth, life has emerged and a whole habitat has been created. And this I ponder as I merrily clip my little wall into a tidy and uniform shape, perhaps better suited to some designer space outside a British backdoor? Before it's too late, my reflection causes me to pause and really observe what's happening on my wall, and sure enough it is teeming with insects - mostly ladybirds, who are easily visible amongst the red dead nettle and chickweed engaged in what can only be described as a bug orgy!

Well good for them and good for me too. What better way to spend a sunny afternoon than bumping uglies. With any luck the result will be my own little army of predators to keep the pests under control and maintain that much needed natural balance. In permacultural terms it is what's known as 'The Edge' - the place where two ecologies meet. Such an environment supports biological activity from either side of this 'boundary' zone (for example - my wall) as well as species particular to it's own conditions, thus making it a highly productive region (certainly for the ladybirds).

I now feel somewhat reluctant to get the strimmer out and lick our shaggier areas into shape - but if not, then surely the entire plot would meet the same fate as our first attempted strawberry patch?

For further info on 'The Edge' or Permaculture in general, check out

1 comment:

Janice Horton said...

That sounds like my kind of gardening!