Grow wild in the Country

The principal problem is a psychological one, about our need to control nature. We need to let it go, to allow nature recovery,”

Ben Goldsmith
Lupinus angustifolia and visitor

The Woodland border – pretentious name for shady border – is where the foxgloves I’ve grown from seed will be planted out. Currently there is Alfalfa Medicago sativa, Buckwheat Fagopyrum esculentum and Lupinus angustifolia, which is about to bloom. Never grown any of these before and given them hardly any extra watering. There are some Russell Lupins too; they needed a spot and are surprising me that they seem quite content over there.

I wouldn’t claim to be rewilding but I would say that I allow what appears a chance. The far part of the garden was – and some still is, completely wild.

Medicago arabica

The soil in this border is quite poor and prone to dryness, even the Alfalfa is finding it tough. I like to allow whatever sprouts to get to a recognisable size before deciding on keeping it. I did some weeding over there today and found these ‘clovers’, except it turns out they aren’t. The Medicago arabica fixes nitrogen in the soil – like the other green manures over there; it is the dots on the leaves that distinguish it. Can’t tell what type of Oxalis this is yet; the heart shape leaves are what distinguish it.


Apart from controlling the grass, the garden has been ignored for several years; time and inclination being lacking. But wanting to provide something for bees prompted the tray of calendulas that began this project.

The single tray was rapidly followed by filling all available windowsills with a variety of easy, robust plants that should be able to take care of themselves and self seed profusely. It wasn’t long before I was looking for a plastic garden tent (otherwise grandly called ‘the greenhouse’) with racking. The racking seems a bit flimsy for heavier pots but it’s fine for seedlings and cuttings.

The seedlings did better than anticipated and I planted them densely expecting some to fail but they all seemed to take. It looked rather crowded until the Borage fell over in the heat; it still has blossom for the bees so it is staying until it dies back.

So far, I’ve found two types of poppy, spurge, feverfew, scarlet pimpernel, forget me nots, chamomile. What else is going to appear?

There was no plan; it just evolved as plants needed room, more space was cleared for them with dirt paths weaving between and around so they can evolve with the planting. I feel well rewarded by my modest success. Not everything grew but most did. It is all better than anticipated.

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