BY THE CROSSWAYS
A holistic philosophical garden
Todays visit took us deep into Suffolk, to Kelsale near Saxmundham. Those of us who live in Norfolk had a real treat today as we seldom get the chance to be invited to visit gardens in Suffolk, and its just great for those members who have been making the long trek up to the northern regions of Norfolk to see a garden on their own territory.
Visiting gardeners and Hardy Planters need to re-evaluate their outlook on gardens and gardening, this is just such a thought provoking garden, it poses so many basic questions. Why garden: how to garden: is what the “Gardener” calls a weed really not wanted? Should we attempt to bend nature to our will or just go with the naturalistic flow and encourage this re-wilding movement? This garden embraces lots that is good and many things which are forward thinking with the future of the planet in mind.
It is wholly organically based, so no chemicals are used and even water is restricted to helping with the establishment of newly planted specimens. Should a tree die, it is considered as a wholly natural part of the garden's cycle and is not replaced, but begins a new life as a support for ivy which in turn creates a new habitat for the wild life in the garden.
The visitor may be aghast at first viewing the garden, seeing the mown paths thorough the long grass surrounding the naturalistic beds containing not only cultivated flowers, but wild ones too (weeds) with the thought that they too are of interest both to add colour to the beds, but also to provide pollen and nectar to the bees and butterflies, and shade and cover for the many of the other denizens of the garden, the grass snakes and slow worms, voles, frogs, newts, worms, beetles, and a myriad of insects and creepy crawlies. In short it is a garden of many delights that your run of the mill gardener would usually run a mile from!
Prunings are stacked neatly to rot down over time whilst providing shelter and comfort to the hosts of insects, long grass paths are alternated with short grass on alternate years or maybe longer which encourages more “wilding” to take place with the result that colonies of bee orchids are becoming established!
A huge amount of thought has gone into this project, even to the production of their own electricity from photovoltaic cells, hot water from solar collectors, and even compostable cups and plates at tea time!
Definitely a garden to visit to learn about gardening from another viewpoint, and to enjoy the fruits of years of planning and deep thought that has gone into its creation.
Words by John Wilson, Photos by Irene Tibbenham