We often get asked for gardening tips, so have decided to do a weekly post describing things we do to keep our garden going well with little effort.
Here’s this week’s…
Some creatures would consider the lovely lady in the featured image (Jelina, of course!) to be the most dangerous thing in the garden. Strange though it may seem to the folks who know and love her, it is a valid perspective. Read on to find out why.
A garden is an artificial ecosystem and, try as we might it’s almost impossible to turn it into a 100% natural one. Some might even argue that, given the amount of influence and impact we as a species have had on the planet, there are no purely natural ecosystems anymore.
Like any wild ecosystem, a garden has its producers, it’s herbivores, omnivores and predators. It has its detritivores, decomposers and scavengers, all trying to get by and, hopefully achieving a balance. The garden gets its value and resilience from the diversity contained within and the connections that it has to the world outside of its borders.
Predators always get the top press, they are sexy, dangerous and exciting as they hunt down their innocent prey. I would hesitate though to suggest that those are the thoughts of their victims though (yes, I am anthropomorphising a bit here)!
In your garden, assuming you’re taking a fairly natural approach, you would have hoverflies, dragonflies, spiders, scorpions, lizards birds, cats and dogs (no, not Athena!) and many many more. They have been attracted by the pests in your garden and are here to relieve you of them.
But there is one omnivorous species that takes the position of top predator, top grazer, top everything.
And that’s us! People. Gardeners in fact, including Jelina! We choose who lives and who is consigned to the compost. We harvest, trim, stamp and pick and squish pests. We are ruthless predators of slugs, snails and earwigs…anything that will compete with us for our food or visual pleasure. I reckon that our veggies, our peas and lettuces consider us predators too. People are one of the very very few predators who, often, don’t even eat their kill, though a mindful gardener will repurpose that life through composting or at least burying it to return it to the garden that it grew in.
We are the ‘top dog’, as it were, in the garden. At least until nature comes up with something better!