For me there is no other option, organic gardening is a way of life; working with nature, being guided and inspired by the natural world - it is part of a holistic, spiritual way of living healthily. It is how our Grandparents would have approached the garden, and all our forebears, prior to the modern rash of chemical horticultural solutions being introduced.
When gardening organically there is no ‘quick fix’ answer to problems such as blackspot on the roses or aphids in the honeysuckle. Instead we accept that the perfect garden includes blackfly on the beans and ground elder in the orchard. The many rewards include a glorious abundance of hale and hearty wildlife that shares the world with us. Perhaps hedgehogs or frogs, blackbirds and robins, finches and wrens, butterflies, ladybirds and lacewings, interconnected with our own guaranteed sense of inner well-being, refreshing both mind and vitality.
During 26 years of muddy boots and dirty nails, I have never ceased to be delighted by my environment. Every day there is the potential for something new to be experienced or learned, from both the land and the people.
It has also taken me these years of trial and error, together with a Distinction in Organic Horticulture, to work through and resolve a variety of gardening problems. Nowadays there is a vast amount of information available to anyone wanting to tackle a project or objective, but it can be confusing, overwhelming even. Text books teach good principles and practice, however, all situations vary and sometimes it is necessary to adapt information to suit your needs and conditions - especially true when working with biology!
It has been so much fun during the last 3 months to work with many people who have wanted to grow vegetables for the first time. Amongst the many emotions the presence of Covid-19 has brought up in us all, the small joys found in everyday things, such as picking your own very first bowl of lettuce leaves, will be my enduring memory. The fear and anxiety and sadness will pass, but I shall always remember the gladness and wonder in people experiencing new things never before possible in a busy working schedule, and the appreciation of each other while sharing home-made elderflower cordial, a bunch of sweet peas or a glut of mini cucumbers.