green space supplies, easy tree trimming, an interesting green micro-enterprise, saving money by growing your own plants from cuttings, and the tools needed, growing native trees and other plants from seed, collecting vegetable garden seed in permaculture, vegetable bed preparation hacks inspired by permaculture, foraging indigenous African food such as berries, greens and other foods locally from nature, making hot compost (aerobic), as a wonderful organic garden fertilizer, and anaerobic compost done at home, making liquid organic fertilizer from water and weeds, an article series on companion planting, designing with flowers and growing in containers and more. The guidelines for permaculture design in the 12 principles of permaculture and Yeomans keyline system will also be discussed, as well as two days of inspiring permablitzing and a comparison of permaculture and biodynamics.
Growing plants is such an ancient craft, it seems all language surrounding the subject carries a symbolic burden, is a metaphor of a metaphor. Some say the first job we ever had was linguistic, to name things, and it is a necessity in order to be able to think and communicate at all. But after this, the first work we were given, the first sweaty work, was to tend a garden, and it is to this activity that the naming process was first intensely applied. Others say that we were hunters for a very much longer time before we began to grow plants. Hunters observe the natural environment and green things with a special acuity.
Planting things seems instinctive, but in the sense of the planned space, displaying plants for enjoyment, is not inevitable. This idea did not exist in western Europe until it was brought in as an exotic piece of intellectual property. In China and in the middle East, the idea of a planted space, planned for beauty, began. Its roots were profoundly textual, and the planning on four quadrants with water and fruit trees was based on the description of paradise in the Koran. Human use was never quite separated from the idea either. Absorbed via the human biome’s interconnectedness, nonsense, the violent contact of the crusades, it transmogrified into the paradise of the cloister and spread with middle Eastern skills like grape and olive, rose and fruit cultivation,
grafting and pruning and training of plants, via the monasteries of the Benedictines, to Europe.
Farmers in northern Europe turned from growing solely cabbages to experimenting with cabbage roses. When and only when they were liberated by surplus, from growing food. Thus gardens were owned by the nobility in Europe, and many of the most famous ones are pretty well connected, to this day.
Growing plants seems basic to our make-up as human beings, it seems, and thus being able to grow something green can be deeply satisfying, and one may tend to find this satisfaction as others recede. But horticultural display is a privilege, and noting its prevalence is socio-economically informative. Noting the urge that defies the straight jacket of economics is also informative. Not everyone cares about or likes to grow plants, but those who do cannot be held back by anything. They are not restrained by the current prices at retail stores, water shortages, sand, rock, major social disruption or blistering heat. They snip and clip, root and graft, sow germinate and fertilize, collect and barter, cart and pour, by whatever means available, against the odds, because they must, and because their passion does not have to cost anything. If you are held back by cost, this website is for you. I prefer the way that costs nothing. Not only do I not have much choice, but it took a long time to learn, and it is the soundest, healthiest, greenest way to go. One of the gardener's best friends is a worm bin.
I want to share this “green” secret, and hope you will share yours, for the sake of a greener earth, because gardening pulls the rest of life into harmony with itself. For my picture rich green diary and previous blog posts, and advice on xeriscaping or water wise landscaping as we call it here, please visit the link below, or return to the home page at my green centre for other ideas on green living.
Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or stories to share on gardening, permaculture, regenerative agriculture, food forests, natural gardening, do nothing gardening, observations about pests and diseases, foraging, dealing with and using weeds constructively, composting and going offgrid.
We all know about home gardening. Tell us about your successes, challenges and ask about issues that bother you. You may have the luxury of a back garden, but there are other ways we learn. Few people age without growing something or buying vegetables during their lives ! It is absolutely guaranteed that you have learned things which can help others on their gardening journey.
We invite you to share your stories, ask questions, because if a thing has bothered you it will bother others too. Someone may have a solution ! No question is too small. There is learning for everyone involved, for you, for me (yes, I learn from every question), for us all. Exciting stuff !
We are starting on a new journey. Every week we will profile your letters ! The best stories and questions we receive.
Check out our selection of ecological designs printed on T-shirts, accessories and decor items. The designs are about soil regeneration, indigenous Cape wild flowers, wild African animals and other fauna, as well as bible quotes and geometric patterns.
Oct 21, 21 12:27 PM
Growing against extinction. Some of the many reasons why one should garden for wildlife all around the world using native food plants
Sep 03, 21 06:37 AM
can an established, large, wild plum tree Harpephyllum caffrum be pruned in order to try shape/reduce the width of its canopy? I have a huge wild plum
Aug 31, 21 12:08 PM
Caroline, thanks so much for the valuable information in your blog. I also try to garden in Cape Town in a garden that is battered by the Southeast in