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Working with Nature

Where nature and design meet and mingle

Wil Akkermans, 1994

"Good gardening is being unnatural with nature's  consent"


Wild flowers  allowed to mingle...

Many self-seeded wild flowers (campion, herb robert, bluebells, foxgloves,  bedstraw etc.) are left to mingle with more traditional garden plants where they are managed rather than surpressed so as to be enjoyed by all, not least our wonderful wildlife.


Our  Wild Garden, where  'weeds' can relax...

Other wild flowers/plants (nettles, dandelions, buttercups) which would be more of a threat to the herbaceous border are left to their own devices in our Wild Garden. Here they offer important sources of food and shelter to all manner of insects and grubs. Our Wild Garden is situated in a beautifully secluded spot at the very bottom of our garden where it runs adjacent to the 'Bran' - a delightful, winding stream marking the border of our property.


The importance of native and species varieties...

Over time we have developed a tendency to avoid blousy cultivars and over hybridized varieties in favour of plants more closely related to their species type (although occasionally temptation does get the better of us!)

These more simply structured, more 'natural' flowers are preferred by wildlife and help build a buzzing garden.


 Recycle, re-use and re-purpose the natural way...

During the autumn/winter tidy up cuttings, clippings and prunings are left where they fall so as to provide a mulch for the border and shelter for whatever might need or want it; it’s always a pleasure to see the tell-tale signs of a hedgehog hibernating.


Log piles, the original 'Bug  Hotel'...

You may well spot several piles of logs around the garden. These came from trees we felled over the years, and have been left to provide a home for all manner of wildlife.


The simple joys of  a fuss-free lawn...

Our lawns have never been re-seeded, fertilized, scarified, sanded or rolled! They are quite simply the original farmland which, by now, has been mown countless times and are full of ‘weeds’ and moss. Grass cuttings are mulched rather than collected so as to be immediately recycled and we avoid cutting too short which helps with moisture retention. If any part of the garden is reverted back to lawn then we use tufts of grass, collected whilst edging, to “re-seed”. Despite what might be traditionally considered a rather cavalier approach to lawn maintenance we are often complimented on our lawn's visual and textural aesthetic, and the insects love it!

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