On the Plots:
Now let's look again at the idea of a Forest Garden.
First requirement: Trees. In an area 10m by 12m there are a cherry and a plum, which are far from dwarf, a young greengage
which might well get quite large, two dwarf apples and an ornamental cherry with plum coloured leaves Tick
Second requirement: Shrub layer, ideally to give edible crops. Autumn fruiting raspberry canes planted
this Spring, Rosa rugosa for those luscious hips... could do with a few more of these, but they do sucker... blackberries on wires along the boundary, lavender and rosemary on the outer boundary where they get sunshine, plus sage BUT might get an Aronia, which
could replace a large sedge which adds nothing useful really
Third requirement: Perennials which are edible, soil enhancing or insect attracting. Rhubarb, comfrey, chives, swathes of muscari in the Spring, Will add
WIld Garlic from thr patch at the other end of #145
Fourth requirement: Climbing plants, again edible or otherwise useful. Clematis, trachelospermum and evergreen honeysuckle. This last has birds nesting in it every
year, and all provide plenty of nectar. Could do with more Half a Tick Probably try to introduce a perennial sweetpea from self sown seedlings
Fifth requirement: self seeding plants which feed pollinating insects.
Parsley, chives, calendula, love-in-the-mist, foxgloves, poppies, Verbena bonariensis, physelia, hedge garlic, honesty, feverfew, antirrhinums, toadflax, dill, fennel. Tick In addition, one bed is already now being turned over to wild flowers and one
to flowers for cutting. These last may not necessarily meet the forest specifications, but that is fine... it about doing what suits, not slavishly following "rules"
Sixth requirement: space in which root vegetables
and climbing vegetables can be grown, not necessarly as a mono-culture. OK, well here is where things are not ideal. There is however a space on the southern edge for carrots, and climbing beans will be incorporated. There is also a bed which I can use
for Autumn planted onions , then leaving some to flower . Quarter of a tick
So looking at al that, I do wonder why I have ben trying to grow vergetables in spaces where they are not best fitted, instead of embracing what is thriving already and
building on that
I am not however intending to abandon the bed rotation in other parts of the plots. I shall still have a large brassica bed for example, because in that way it s easier for me to protect the plants against flying pests of all
sizes. We shall have to see how it goes. One step at a time
Oh and the annuals sown in the cutitng -bed are mainly self seeding ones that will flower much earlier than those sown in the Spring, which will extend their flowering season.