Spring in Anne's Garden


Wilding Lessons of Nature

If you like the ideal of wikkjaz wilding there are a few things you should consider.  You need to be a certain type of gardener. A relaxed constitution is essential. You will also need to have the type of motivation that is driven by laziness, a non-conformist attitude with an independence from style, a love of the natural, and an ability to listen to your green space.

For this type of garden will talk to you through intuition. Courage, trust and stamina to let go of all you believe is relevant in a wilding green space. Also, to welcome the opportunity to meet yourself head on, because what will develop from a little lack of input will be a reflection of what you are and how you are seen from the other side of the fence. 

Lesson One


Allow wood-vetch to introduce itself. 


May welcomes the beginning of lushness and wood-vetch is happily romping away. Resist the urge to pull it up. In fact, next year you will be planting this amazing plant all around your borders. 

Wood-vetch has a place and a higher purpose than your perspective on it. Left alone it will happily romp ahead and become the undergrowth your garden needs. Its colour pallet is pale-green, lavender and white with deeper tones of mauve. Its virtue should be very welcome through the long, dry summers of climate change.  This hardy, whimsical perennial is amazingly drought-tolerant. 

In the wild, wood-vetch can be found in hedgerows, banks and open woodlands and is spread by seed, easy to collect or purchased. This spindly gem is a natural highway nectar source for butterflies, including such varieties as the clouded yellow, the common blue, the dingy skipper, and the green-veined white which should always be welcomed. 

A benefit to the wilding garden, this genus is related to lentils and peas and there is evidence of its cultivation stretching back over 9,000 years. Once used for livestock fodder and green manure (natural) this amazing plant produces its own nitrates and is a great fertilizer. Brew your own because it protects the soil from erosion. 

Wood–vetch grows vigorously in spring and left alone after the season is finished it acts as a great mulch. In the summer it loves the full sun and will happily grow towards it and, due to its entangling nature, becomes a good companion for crop cover, helping to retain underground moisture. Its medicinal use includes treatment for eczema. The seeds are edible and are high in protein. (Always do your own research regarding different varieties.)

Seriously, who would not want this plant in their wilding space. Simply sprinkle seeds around the back of your border in spring and autumn then leave be. Obviously, should it become too prevalent, cut back a little, place your cuttings in a bucket of rainwater with lid on top, and after it has broken down slightly use the water as mush on your soil. Then leave it to soak in. 

This plant does have a mind of its own so listen to what it is saying. Watch and see what it does in a couple of years. You will be surprised by its spreading growth, knowingly going where the garden needs it most and avoiding where it is no longer required. 

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