These only need to be planted once as do
readily self-seeding annuals and biennials e.g. Honesty, pot marigolds,
nasturtiums. Also, grow plants suited to the conditions you have. We
planted damp-loving bistort at the lower wetter end of the garden.
In this case after the initial heavy
weed suppressing mulch, all the plants have grown together to cover and
in effect mulch the soil (you rarely see bare soil in nature) to reduce
the need to water, suppress weeds and adds organic matter to the soil -
weeding takes this valuable resource away.
This keeps a good pest/predator balance.
Certain plants grown together in certain groups benefit each other in
many ways from pest control to encouraging healthy growth.
Minimum intervention - why work if you can sunbathe!
Why disturb anything if it's unnecessary
- it leaves a better pest/predator balance, the soil stays covered and
more wildlife stays in the garden.
This involves layers of plants as they
might appear naturally e.g. a woodland edge, or here the cherry tree is
under-planted with witch hazel with a carpet below of meadowsweet,
lentern rose, and bistort. This fits more plants in less space i.e.
shade lovers in gaps and sun lovers at the edge.
· Dynamic Accumulators - weeds as mulch!
The weeds and vigorous annual seedlings
are pulled out, including their roots and used under the plants to rot
down and feed them. Some plants in particular are useful e.g. docks
store minerals from deep in the soil due to their long roots. These
plants are called dynamic accumulators.
A term used for how the soil’s
surface exists naturally. Keeping the soil covered with vegetation we
get natural conditions of living soil, like plenty of organisms making
nutrients more available to plants. Growing fertility on the ground,
reduces time, effort and stops the need for compost.