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Mediaeval Gardening Organically for the Benefit of Wildlife

Updated on December 5, 2016
Nathanville profile image

Working with nature is a key aspect to my method of growing nutritional healthy fruit and veg for the family.

Working With Nature

Growing your vegetables medieval style, akin to the original Elizabethan English Cottage Gardens, can be easier than conventional gardening practices in that you're working with nature rather than against it, and its fun. This is especially so if you incorporate a wildlife pond (as opposed to a fish pond) into your gardening scheme, and then sit back and observe as the eco-systems find their own natural levels.

Gardening organically is eco-friendly; its good for the wildlife, its good for the environment, and its good for you and your family if the vegetables picked fresh from the garden (and packed with nutrition) are prepared and served healthily. Best of all, fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden are packed with flavour that you just don't get from supermarket bought produce.

Creating a Forest Garden: Working with Nature to Grow Edible Crops
Creating a Forest Garden: Working with Nature to Grow Edible Crops

This method of gardening is natural and productive with the minimal of maintenance; and it’s great for the environment. Just like the medieval style gardening techniques discussed in this article it’s a managed ecosystem. This system of gardening is modelled on the structure of young natural woodland with a diversity of crops at different vertical layers and unlike traditional gardening nature does most of the work for you.

 

Mediaeval Gardening

AKA English Cottage Garden

Across the known world the Middle Ages, also known as the Medieval period began with the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century and continued until the Renaissance which slowly rolled-out across Europe from the 14th to 17 century.

When the Romans left Britain in 410 AD we declined into the Dark Ages and didn’t join the Middle Ages proper until the Norman Invasion of 1066; and then the Medieval Period continued in England until the beginning of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in 1558.

The style and principle of what we think of as an English Cottage Garden was first practiced in England during the Roman occupation 2,000 years ago and abandoned when they left in the 5th century; not to be revived again until the beginning of the Agricultural revolution in the 16th Century. So it’s in this context that the concept of English Cottage gardens didn’t emerge until the Elizabethan period (at the end of the Middle Ages). Although there is speculation that its roots stem back to the Black Death of the 1340s when out of necessity labourers utilised what little space they had in small personal gardens to grow much needed food and herbs. And it’s these peasants of the medieval period I’m thinking of when I refer to this gardening technique style so as not to confuse it with traditional Renaissance gardening which is far more formal and grandeur.

Cottage gardens of English origin are typically random and carefree in form. Originally, these gardens were created by the peasants (workers) who lived in village cottages to provide themselves with food and herbs, and flowers planted in for decoration (companion planting).

The more common flowers in cottage gardens, in addition to flowering herbs, were hollyhocks, delphinium and daisies. The method of planting closely packed plants reduced the amount of weeding and watering required.

Today, a cottage garden is often primarily flowers and completely free-form in nature. Many gardeners attempt to use traditional varieties of plants in their cottage gardens to preserve the antiquity of the method.

Foxglove in Medieval Garden
Foxglove in Medieval Garden

My Medieval Style Gardening with Flowers and Vegetables

Click thumbnail to view full-size
ClematisDigitalis (foxglove)Medieval Style Vegetable Garden
Clematis
Clematis
Digitalis (foxglove)
Digitalis (foxglove)
Medieval Style Vegetable Garden
Medieval Style Vegetable Garden

Companion Planting

Flowers and Vegetables Working Together

In the Medieval Style vegetable plot companion planting vegetables with flowers is an essential component in mediaeval gardening. The flowers, if well chosen, can transform a vegetable plot to make it more attractive and pleasing the eye while at the same time help to project your vegetables from pests; pot marigolds because they repel aphids and poppies because they attract the aphids predator (the ladybird) as two prime examples.

Some companion flowers, including pot marigold, borage and sunflowers, as well as being attractive and making a fine display in your vegetable garden also provides for an excellent addition to your herb collection. The petals of pot marigold and borage are edible and if picked fresh adds great colour to your salads. You don’t use the whole flower for pot marigolds, just pull the petals off and use fresh when required; just gently pulling on the centre of the blue borage flower and the whole flower comes away from the plant in one piece. ‘Sunflower seeds’, if you can separate the seeds from their husks which is an art in itself, are rich in vitamins and therefore provides an excellent nutritional food source for adding to your recipes.

Other benefits of companion planting includes camouflage, weed control and moisture retention. If you have your cabbages hidden by flowers they are less of a target from the air for cabbage butterflies (white in colour) than if you have then laid out in neat rows with nothing around them other than bare soil. Also, growing flowers between and around your vegetables makes it more difficult for weeds to take control and helps to keep valuable moisture in the ground during hot dry spells.

And above all for the benefit of wildlife bees love companion plants.

Companion Planting
Companion Planting
Ferry Morse Large Organic Vegetable Garden
Ferry Morse Large Organic Vegetable Garden

Great starter pack for organic vegetable gardening. Organically produced seeds include Beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, corn, lettuce, okra, onions, peas, peppers, squash, tomatoes and watermelon; substitutions may be made for varieties that are out of stock.

 

Organic Gardening

For the Benefit of the Wildlife

Organic gardening aims to sustain and enhance the health of ecosystems and organisms from the smallest in the soil to the wildlife and to humans. Wildlife benefiting from Organic practices in the garden includes foxes, hedgehogs, squirrels, and birds, all of which can help with pest without the need for the use of chemicals.

Organic pest control involves the cumulative effect of many techniques, including:

  • Allowing for an acceptable level of pest damage.
  • Encouraging predatory beneficial insects and animals to flourish and eat pests.
  • Encouraging beneficial micro-organisms.
  • Careful plant selection, choosing disease-resistant varieties.
  • Planting companion crops that discourage or divert pests.
  • Rotating crops to different locations from year to year to interrupt pest reproduction cycles.

Organic gardening also helps to reduce pollution, is healthier for the soil, aids water conservation and can extend the growing season all of which is beneficial to wildlife.

Bee on Hibiscus
Bee on Hibiscus

My Organic Gardening

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Statue Overseeing Vegetable GardenGrowing Organic Marrows in GreenhousePot Marigolds in organic gardenHarvest of organically greenhouse grown MarrowsOrganic Garden patio and BBQOrganic Vegetable GardenSunflower in Organic GardenAn old chamber pot posing as flowers potFoxglove in the vegetable garden
Statue Overseeing Vegetable Garden
Statue Overseeing Vegetable Garden
Growing Organic Marrows in Greenhouse
Growing Organic Marrows in Greenhouse
Pot Marigolds in organic garden
Pot Marigolds in organic garden
Harvest of organically greenhouse grown Marrows
Harvest of organically greenhouse grown Marrows
Organic Garden patio and BBQ
Organic Garden patio and BBQ
Organic Vegetable Garden
Organic Vegetable Garden
Sunflower in Organic Garden
Sunflower in Organic Garden
An old chamber pot posing as flowers pot
An old chamber pot posing as flowers pot
Foxglove in the vegetable garden
Foxglove in the vegetable garden

Wildlife Gardening and Wildlife Ponds

Toads, Frogs, Newts (But No Fish)

Wildlife gardening aims to create an environment that's safe for and attractive to native wildlife such as birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects and mammals.

A wildlife garden is generally informal, often wild, and will usually contain a variety of habitats that have either been deliberately created by the gardener such as:-

  • Ponds to attract frogs, newts, toads and dragonflies
  • Nesting boxes for birds and hedgehogs
  • Log piles which can provide shelter for lizards and slow worms
  • Dry-stone walls for frogs during the winter months and
  • Native plants to attract 'beneficial insects' such as ladybirds; in America known as ladybugs.

Wildlife Ponds
Wildlife Ponds

My Wildlife Pond with Water Features and Alpine Plants

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Robin in pond birdbathAlpine plants next to the wildlife pondSaxafraga (Red Pixie)
Robin in pond birdbath
Robin in pond birdbath
Alpine plants next to the wildlife pond
Alpine plants next to the wildlife pond
Saxafraga (Red Pixie)
Saxafraga (Red Pixie)

Wildlife Pond and Water Features in Action

Night Lighting and Fun with My Wildlife Pond

A short video clip I made of our wildlife pond and its water features showing the pond during the light of day and the pond lighting at night. This video was made shortly after we had a BBQ party and a neighbour humorously left a family of yellow plastic ducks in the pond to keep the pond wildlife company.

Wildlife Pond Lighting Revamp

During the winter months (while the wildlife were in hibernation) I recently replaced the old halogen pond lights with waterproof LED RGB strip lighting, placing it around the back of the pond, and concealing it with decking screwed to the back wall.

The default setting (as shown in the video below) is to cycle between green, red and blue; albeit with the remote control you can get it to cycle through seven colours of your own choosing, or set it to auto where the lights do their own thing randomly.

LED RGB Lighting Suitable For Wildlife Ponds

Raised or Terraced Beds

Favours Plants over Weeds and Extends the Growing Season

A raised bed is a planting area above ground level to a convenient height. The sides can be made from many materials durable enough to hold in the soul, wood or stone (bricks) are frequently used.

Raised beds have a number of benefits, in particular they extend the growing season because they are warmer and offer good drainage, they reduce the need to rely on poor soil and if properly designed can reduce weeds.

Natural dry stone walling raised beds can be particularly beneficial for wildlife as it provides them with additional natural habitat, and during the winter months provide a protected place where toads, frogs and newts can hibernate in safety.

Raised Vegetable Bed
Raised Vegetable Bed

My Raised Flower and Vegetable Beds

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Robin Redbreast (The Gardener's Friend)

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

As any British gardener well knows the Robin being relatively unafraid of humans is a friendly bird that likes to come close when the soil is being dug, in order to look out for earthworms and other food freshly turned up. And when the gardener stops for a break the robin is known to use the handle of the spade as a lookout point. In this photo the Robin stayed within a few feet of me, sometimes only a foot away, while I was clearing and tidying up parts of the garden, and was more than happy to pose for the camera.

Robin Redbrest
Robin Redbrest

Other Wildlife Visitors to My Garden

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bee on HibiscusFrogs on PatrolHedgehog visiting the gardenBritish Urban Fox passing through the gardenBee on SunflowerBee hovering by flowers for nectar
Bee on Hibiscus
Bee on Hibiscus
Frogs on Patrol
Frogs on Patrol
Hedgehog visiting the garden
Hedgehog visiting the garden
British Urban Fox passing through the garden
British Urban Fox passing through the garden
Bee on Sunflower
Bee on Sunflower
Bee hovering by flowers for nectar
Bee hovering by flowers for nectar

HERBS

Herbs in the Mediaeval Garden

In the newly built raised back border, and in containers by the wildlife pond, herbs are being grown to add to the diversity of the garden and for kitchen use. The herbs include Mint (black peppermint, lemon mint, Indian mint (Satureja), Sage Icterina, Parsley, Bronze Fennel, French Marjoram, Feverfew, Laurus Lobilis (Bay Tree), Lemon Balm, Rosmarinus (a trailing form of Rosemary) and Thyme including Doone Valley and Thyme Silver Posie.

Culinary uses of wild Dandelion and Nettle, and making herbal teas from the garden are also covered in the Herb Garden.

Details of these and other herbs can be seen in my 'The Herb Garden' article on HubPages.

Borage herb
Borage herb

Herbs Grown In My Garden for the Kitchen

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bronze FennelFeverfewLemon BalmMarjoramMintMint and statueParsleyRosemarySageThyme
Bronze Fennel
Bronze Fennel
Feverfew
Feverfew
Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm
Marjoram
Marjoram
Mint
Mint
Mint and statue
Mint and statue
Parsley
Parsley
Rosemary
Rosemary
Sage
Sage
Thyme
Thyme

Hanging Baskets

Rather than just use hanging baskets for summer bedding plants I use them for herbs and alpine plants instead, in a novel approach to using hanging baskets, in an attempt to work with nature.

Working with Nature in My Medieval Organic Garden

For the Benefit of Wildlife

Many organic gardeners being sympathetic to the philosophy of wildlife gardening will often incorporate some aspects of the wild garden into their own gardens to both act as a means of biological pest control, and for its value in promoting biodiversity and generally benefiting the wider environment.

Some exotics planting may be included but the wildlife garden will often feature a range of native species and managed in a way that enhances rather than damages the natural eco-system.

As with other forms of gardening, aesthetics plays a central role. Wildlife gardens involves working with nature rather than against it and are therefore generally water-wise gardens achieved by using plant species native to the area and by adopting other good practices to improve the micro-climate and reduce the dependence on watering e.g. ground cover plants, growing plants close together and mulching.

The Frogs on Patrol in the photo are welcome inhabitants of the wildlife pond which is an intregal part of my medieval style organic garden.

Frogs on Patrol
Frogs on Patrol

Flowers in Bloom in My Garden

Click thumbnail to view full-size
ClematisPinks Dianthus plumariusPoppyPoppyPoppyMarigolds
Clematis
Clematis
Pinks Dianthus plumarius
Pinks Dianthus plumarius
Poppy
Poppy
Poppy
Poppy
Poppy
Poppy
Marigolds
Marigolds

Automated Lawn Maintenance

Geeky Robo Lawn Mower

This is one gadget I would love to buy. A few years ago we were asked to trial this geeky Robotic Lawn Mower for a week for a local newspaper article; which we did gladly. And what great fun it was too while we peacefully sat on our patio, drinking a cup of coffee or having a small glass of beer with a ploughmans lunch, and watched the robotic lawn mower do all the work in my garden.

This video is what I filmed at the time as the Geeky Robo Mower randomly meandered around the lawn keeping the grass short for us.

How Green is Your Gardening (Organic vs Chemical Gardening)

Heathers
Heathers

Do you (or if you had a garden would you) garden organically - or do you use chemicals to control pests and weeds?

See results

Your Say - Add your gardening tips or comments here

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    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      I can only give thumbs up. Well written with a lot of information. I like term Mediaeval Gardening it is so romantic. This garden is very much different to my world. It seems so much easier to garden than our harsh hot dry summers, but then the grass is always greener on the other side - is it not

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 10 years ago from Detroit

      This will be a wonderful lens to link to when I finish my Mary Gardens lens! Mediaeval Gardens are interesting, beautiful and I think sometimes, the only kind of garden that makes sense! Fabulous job!

    • profile image

      ericat 10 years ago

      I gave my Burb above I would just like to explain my vote. Your obtion only ask yes or no, my answer is yes but.. We have a mainly aloe, succulents and lilies garden. We can not use chemicals to kill weeds as it will kill the plants, but we use some chemicals against certain pests.

    • profile image

      ericat 10 years ago

      I gave my Burb above I would just like to explain my vote. Your obtion only ask yes or no, my answer is yes but.. We have a mainly aloe, succulents and lilies garden. We can not use chemicals to kill weeds as it will kill the plants, but we use some chemicals against certain pests.

    • SPF profile image

      SPF 10 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks for the information.

    • pondlady lm profile image

      pondlady lm 10 years ago

      Thanks for all the info on mediaeval gardening. It is not so much different than the way I garden today. Love your lens.

    • Barkely profile image

      Barkely 10 years ago

      Great information, and a wonderful lens. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for the nice comments you left on The Virtual Garden.

    • one SquidAddict profile image

      one SquidAddict 10 years ago

      Welcome to the Group! I have rated you 5*

      Save the Planet

    • MeganCasey profile image

      MeganCasey 10 years ago

      fascinating stuff. thanks!

    • profile image

      oddsend03 10 years ago

      organically fun lens Wonderfully done 5*

    • profile image

      giddygabby 10 years ago

      Another superb 5-star lens, Arthur. I nominated it for the April By Invitation Only Contest. Hope you get lots of votes!

    • SPF profile image

      SPF 10 years ago

      Keep up the great work. I've added a section on flowers to my southwest garedning lens that you might find interesting. Love your lens.

    • profile image

      greengecko 10 years ago

      Really interesting lens! I read recently that organic methods result in 20% bigger crops in drought conditions because of the increased retentiveness of the soil. That will doubtless become a very relevant factor if climate change really kicks in!

      Check out my lens: "Why Organic". Please rate!

    • profile image

      ank 10 years ago

      Hi Nathanville , great lens . I really enjoyed articles on it. I'd love it if you would take a look at my lens on Container Gardening Tips!check out t

      Click Here.

    • profile image

      DeWayne-FilmFreak 10 years ago

      I am just getting into gardening and your ideas are extremely helpful! Great lens!

      DeWayne(FilmFreak)

      MovieDownloadMatrix.com

      Horror Movie Critic with Fangs!

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      Very stimulating reading-will read again in more depth. Thanks! Perhaps you ought to get a job as a professor at university with your computer,visual,communicative skills, or as a visiting lecturer on your favourite topics. Eddy

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 9 years ago

      What a great idea to do a lens on midiaeval gardening.

    • profile image

      tbfrascone 9 years ago

      Hi! Great lens. We love square foot gardening.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 9 years ago from San Francisco

      Excellent lens, Nathanville! I especially appreciated the Ground Under Overtown vid--well worth the nine minutes to watch. It's a miracle, how gardens can bring people together, how they feed us and nurture our souls at the same time. Thank you, and five stars.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I am getting back into gardening from a 10 year breakk because of my special needs kids, I could not garden as much as I wanted. So I need a lot of help I have lost all of my notes.I never had any books.

    • frances lm profile image

      frances lm 9 years ago

      Enjoyed your lens and your website. Thanks - and five stars! I also lensrolled you as this lens seems relevant to sundials.

    • SPF profile image

      SPF 9 years ago

      Just stopping by... Thought I'd say hi..."Hi!"

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 9 years ago from USA

      Great lens! 5 stars!

    • GrillGirl profile image

      GrillGirl 9 years ago

      Neat lens. I try to do organic. The people before me planted invasive wisteria, bamboo and privet hedge. There's also some awful grass that goes underground and eats up my garden.

    • profile image

      brookehudson 9 years ago

      Nice presentation on medieval and organic gardening. Valuable not only to the body but to the spirit. Very inspiring and informative lens. Great job. 5 stars

    • Karendelac profile image

      Karendelac 9 years ago

      Congratulations on a well designed site.

      This was most informative.

      Best wishes,

      Karen

      Karen at Karens

      Kinkade Art Store

    • joshman lm profile image

      joshman lm 9 years ago

      Hi I'm Joshua Ficarro and I'm learning how to make a website and my dad is helping me. i was wondering if you can tell me how you got high ranked?

    • Casey van B profile image

      Casey van B 9 years ago

      A big 5 star applause - and an invitation to join and grab an IMAD badge from I Make A Difference

    • profile image

      The O'Floe Sisters 9 years ago

      Wow 5* to you, lots of useful information, nice to meet a fellow organic gardener.

    • CliveAnderson LM profile image

      CliveAnderson LM 9 years ago

      Such a great lens, full of some top information, help and advise. It's definitely the way for gardening to be. Love all the different styles and options. Top Marks, 5 stars... Many Thanks. Clive Anderson.

    • profile image

      Petee 9 years ago

      Another great lens on organic gardening.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      One of my favorite topics. I've just finished 3 hours in the front yard and tomorrow will be another 3 in the back. We use manure, but absolutely no chemicals.

    • profile image

      containergardening 9 years ago

      Hey Nathan,

      Wow, this lens is awesome I had to add it to my favorites, rate it, and I even added you to my lensroll. I sure hope that's okay with you. Let me know if you would be interested in a link exchange somet too

      Simon

      container gardening

    • TriviaChamp profile image

      TriviaChamp 9 years ago

      Loved your articles. I'm going to try to apply some of your advice with my own garden. Thanks!

      Best Wishes ~Jane

      Mona Lisa

    • KSamuel-Stevens profile image

      KSamuel-Stevens 9 years ago

      Nice job on the lens. Organic is the way to go.

    • profile image

      kateblogs 9 years ago

      Great lens! I totally agree, organic is *the* way to garden.

    • Gatsby LM profile image

      Gatsby LM 9 years ago

      5* will recommended this to a friend of mine. Best Natural Dog Food

    • DogWhisperWoman1 profile image

      DogWhisperWoman1 9 years ago

      5* WOW so much stuff I have never heard of. I will be back. Dog Whisper Woman

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 9 years ago from New York

      I am an organic gardener myself. Love this lens. 5 stars.

      Dog Halloween Costumes

    • SPF profile image

      SPF 9 years ago

      Just stopping by to say hi and see what's new in the world of medieval gardening. I love the robin picture. Did you take it? Take care!

    • profile image

      groupie 9 years ago

      Well done! Nice design and photos. 5*

    • Clairwil LM profile image

      Clairwil LM 9 years ago

      Fantastic lens- Thanks so much for joining the green/veggie group. *****

    • profile image

      Debt_Man 9 years ago

      Nice lens, I love hedgehogs lol, come check out my wildlife scene eteched glass lens

    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 9 years ago

      I LOVE to garden! Great lens!

    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 9 years ago

      Hi~ Check out my new lens on garden catalogs! www.squidoo.com/seed-and-garden-supply-catalogs

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 9 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Beautiful! 5 stars, favorite & lensroll.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      There is a new group being formed in Squidooville. It’s called A Walk in the Woods. Because you have done such a nice job with your Medieval Garden lens Whitefoot the Wood Mouse is inviting you to join him in this new venture. The exposure that your lens gets by joining will boost your lens rank and add to the number of web pages linking to your lens. Come take A Walk in the Woods.

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 9 years ago from Detroit

      wow, this page has really gotten better and better! Wonderful job on a terrific lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Very nice info. All medieval gardens were organic, because that was all they had. Of course, they had a lot of manure around in those days. I'm about 80% organic. I have to use chemicals to kill ants, especially fire ants, or I'd never be able to work in my yard. Also, weeds are a HUGE problem where I live, so chemicals help during the lush growth in summer. Other than that, I'm organic. My city just started letting us have compost piles, so I'll be starting one this summer.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 9 years ago

      As a birdwatcher, I understand the need to limit the use of chemicals. Its not good for the birds or for us!

    • Snowrose LM profile image

      Snowrose LM 9 years ago

      Great Lens! Organic Gardening Lots of work but results are worth it!

      Thanks

    • pyngthyngs profile image

      pyngthyngs 9 years ago

      What a great resource your lens is; I am inspired to try organic gardening this spring.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 8 years ago

      I have a diploma in agriculture, so am more into the use of chemicals, especially when doing things on a large scale, but am open to your suggestions and I also enjoyed reading your lens and a different point of view. Keep up the good work and the best of luck

    • profile image

      dannystaple 8 years ago

      I find that even in a window box garden, it is worth staying organic. However, where you are trying to attract Robins, I would like to attract Ladybirds. Never underestimate the effect of predators as organic pest controls. As FrugalWench points out, things have gone full circle, from chemicals being desirable right around to traditional organic methods being the better trend.

    • profile image

      lhiller 8 years ago

      Your lens is very informative. I love the English Cottage look and am trying to work towards that in one area. The English robin is beautiful. Thanks for all your work.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Hi,

      The tips that are described about organic gardening are wonderful.Thanks for the valuble info.

      Feel free to visit my pestcontrolaid blog

    • Granuaile profile image

      Granuaile 8 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens! Thanks so much for all this fantastic info.. I sure plan to put it to use here in West Virginia!

    • medicinewoods profile image

      medicinewoods 8 years ago

      This is a great lens. I love learning more about gardening and found your article very informative and well written. Thank you!

    • RobinForlongePa profile image

      RobinForlongePa 8 years ago

      Rosebud and lily, pinks and Sweet Willy

      The country gardens come to town!

      That's the version my mother's choir used to sing. Many decades ago. She was organist, pianist, and conductor at the Roslyn Presbyterian Church in Dunedin, New Zealand. She has her own page on the Genealogy Wikia now. Linked to mine, of course, and to Dad's page and her parents' pages, all very easily, as you may find from my easy introduction lens. I think Nathanville has more relatives on that site than I have.

      But I digress. My mother was a great gardener too. And talking of Robins, we have related birds in New Zealand. I've used a picture of the North Island Robin, with incontrovertible logic, to illustrate my user page on the New Zealand Wikia and on the Birds Wikia.

      Carry on gardening, Arthur, keep it all shipshape and Bristol fashion!

    • profile image

      Medicinemanwriting1 8 years ago

      I don't garden, but it seems to me that the purpose of gardening is to raise quality food. So chemicals would be out of the question.

    • easy home clean profile image

      easy home clean 8 years ago

      Great lens! And just what I need. I just started my first 'real' container garden this year. It will be great to see if I can incorporate some of these tips. You can follow my garden on my blog => http://www.homemakingorganized.com/blog/

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 7 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • roamingrosie profile image

      roamingrosie 7 years ago

      Great lens! Lots of really nice photos, too.

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 7 years ago from London

      I love it when the robin hops around my feet or sings so sweetly from the bushes nearby. Carry on spreading the organic good news.

    • davemin profile image

      davemin 7 years ago

      wounderful lens, nice picture of the beautiful little robin that visits your garden, love your wildlife pond such a great idea to have in the garden,

    • profile image

      teakbenchesqtb 6 years ago

      nice lens....learned so much from it.

      _________________________________________

      get the perfect teak furniture for your garden and dining room

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 6 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      Informative and beautifully illustrated lens - blessed by an Angel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens very informative, i really enjoy reading , looking forward for more lens of yours.

      pest controllers perth

    • myraggededge profile image

      myraggededge 6 years ago

      I am very impressed with your lenses. Have another blessing!

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      What a lovely garden and made so much more fun and interesting by the presence of all of the wild creatures! Blessed by a Squid Angel

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love your mediaeval gardening ideas and taking care of the wildlife is certainly a benefit well worth the extra work involved...the results speak for themselves in beauty, blessed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love your mediaeval gardening ideas and taking care of the wildlife is certainly a benefit well worth the extra work involved...the results speak for themselves in beauty, blessed!

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 4 years ago

      Just loving this lens! I am a huge fan of organic gardening, and my own little 1/4 acre is doing a good job of helping wildlife and the environment while it feeds my body and soul!

    • KandDMarketing profile image

      KandDMarketing 4 years ago

      Great lens! It's given me some ideas for around our gardens.

    • VicPalombo profile image

      VicPalombo 4 years ago

      I love gardens and orchards, and I know a couple of secrets about the wise use of herbs that help control pests. Your lens has made me think of sharing. Thanks!

    • LaurenIM profile image

      LaurenIM 4 years ago

      Medieval gardening lol that's great! It must be a sight to see people dressed up in medieval garb mowing the lawn with the geeky Robo Mower!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a very small garden of herbs at my parents, since i don't live in a house. All the herb plants are BIO, since I often use them for my cookies (like lavender cookies etc ...). Loved your lens.

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      Carolan Ross 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Very interesting "medieval garden" info, was not familiar with that term so had to check it out. Had this vision in my mind of knights in shining armour digging in dirt, planting seedlings & weeding. I also noticed two different spellings here 'medievil' and 'mediaeval' and had to scratch my head on that, but maybe intentional since both were repeated.

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      poppy mercer 4 years ago from London

      Great topic. A good reason for sourceing older varieties of plants is that they tend to be more helpful to wildlife. The more a plant gets bred to be fancy, with extra petals, unusual colours, etc. the less access the flower offers to pollinators. I fpersonally find the older varieties generally are hardier as well, and somehow, however plainer than their fancy decendants, far more beautiful.

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 4 years ago

      Nice lens, love the Robin photos!

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      CreativeGal 4 years ago

      An excellent site! I'm bookmarking it! Will return often as I put some of your ideas into practice!

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 4 years ago

      Some great stuff here- I like the info about marigolds and poppies! I wish you could come and give me more advice. I've got a tiny garden, more of a yard than a garden and I want to start doing some container gardening this year for veg, but I'm keen that it will be organic and I'm frightened of it all getting eaten up, esp by those dreaded slugs!

    • carocwn profile image

      carocwn 4 years ago

      Nice garden and a great lens.

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      cmadden 4 years ago

      I enjoyed your garden!

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      getupandgrow 4 years ago

      What a gorgeous lens. And beautiful photos, too. I learnt a ton-many thanks for putting this together!

    • BLemley profile image

      Beverly Lemley 4 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      A terrific guide to gardening organically, with great picts! I have featured your lens on mine, Create a Healthy Garden ~ Squid Angel Blessed! B : )

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      Your organic garden is incredibly beautiful! Love all your pictures!

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      drcarl 4 years ago

      Cool Lens! I replaced the plants I had to mow with those I am happy to EAT! The bugs and birds LOVE our garden now....it's really natural....some call it overgrown, oh well! I filter my garden water so that I'm not adding lean or burning the plants with chlorine. Check out my very first lens HERE

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      drcarl 4 years ago

      @drcarl: HmmmI guess html can't go into the comments? Here is a link (as if you can't find it - there's only one - lol - http://www.squidoo.com/garden-hose-water-filter

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      LadyDuck 4 years ago

      Congratulations on your lens; beautiful photos. I live robins, they really are the gardener's friends. I have one in my garden that like to hide in my gardening tool basket, it's so cute!

    • jayavi profile image

      jayavi 4 years ago

      I love Organic Gardening. Thanks for sharing.

    • JimHofman profile image

      JimHofman 4 years ago

      A wealth of good information here. Another great organic gardening lens!

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      Peter Messerschmidt 3 years ago from Port Townsend, WA, USA

      Lots of useful information here... we're working on "developing" a largely unattended garden the previous owners left... and we're going with a natural/organic plan. Bookmarked this for later reference.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 3 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I could use tips, more than I can give them. I learned a lot from this article. The idea of encouraging wildlife appeals to me. I love it when I see something scampering across my year.

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      Great lens, saw this featured on Editor for the Day: Bakerwoman Shows Us Some Great Garden Wildlife Habitat Lenses

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 3 years ago

      Really enjoyed my time visiting your gorgeous lens and daydreaming. Linked as related to my own lens: https://hubpages.com/politics/landscapingwithfruit... and pinned to my board Backyard Birds and Wildlife. I really enjoyed the historical focus.

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 3 years ago from Connecticut

      Your garden is beautiful, and I really enjoyed visiting. Our gardens a mixture of flowers, veggies and herbs, and we share willingly with the local wildlife.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I was attracted to read on with your putting a bit of history. I am now reading a book and am at the Norman rule in what was to become London. Love the garden, too.

    • ashleydpenn profile image

      ashleydpenn 3 years ago

      Some very sound advice here. Working with the natural layers of vegetation in a forest garden can greatly increase the productivity per acre.

    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 3 years ago from Virginia

      Cool Lens! It'll be featured on our Facebook page on 4.12.14.

      www.facebook.com/GreenThumbOnSquidoo

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      RinchenChodron 2 years ago

      Wow I have garden envy! You have a lovely healthy beautiful garden. Here in dry Colorado we have to grow differently due to being arid. What a fabulous lens!

    • Felicitas profile image

      Felicitas 2 years ago

      You have your own wildlife oasis. Absolutely beautiful. Just looking at the pictures from a computer screen gives me a sense of peace. It must be wonderful to be surrounded by it, for you and the amazing little critters. I especially like the wildlife pond. And, of course, your Guardian Statue.

    • Cynthia Hoover profile image

      Cynthia Hoover 2 years ago from Newton, West Virginia

      Very informative and inspiring! I look forward to testing my green thumb and trying many of the things I just read about!

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