Being respectful of our environment is paramount to the force behind CAR Gardens. Being friendly to wildlife in our designs, planting and construction are all important. But what is the reality of it all?
We were challenged recently by a customer who asked us to put a little order into her ‘natural garden’. So we used reclaimed bricks. Good for recycling. We created a pond. Great for wildlife. We planted British native wild plants. Great for our environment. We refrained from pruning the Buddleija, so as not to disturb a wasps nest, (and we didn’t feel like getting stung that day)!
We helped set up water butts to harvest rain water, and transplanted the existing plants. Organic waste was composted. Well done. We gave ourselves a pat on the back!
But what about the wildlife that we couldn’t see? The micro organisms and smaller normally unseen insects? When we were stopped to think about it we realised we have a massive effect on the immediate environment with every step taken on the soil, with every stone upturned.
Our customers soil had not been disturbed for 40 years in places. That’s a lot of lovely healthy leaf mould and natural decomposition. A ‘white mushroomy smelling thing’ was found in the soil. At first we were cautious, but on reflection it was most probably an extremely healthy mycorrhizae fungus that naturally occurs in active soils. (We have even bought it in at great expense on other poor soils to increase the fertility).
Plenty for us to reflect on here, as wildlife friendly gardeners!