Creature Comforts

Silver Sebrights and crocuses

Silver Sebrights and crocuses

A crucial question in modern gardening is how the gardener views birds, insects and animals. Are they ‘pests’, ‘treasures’ or ‘threatened species’ ? The chosen attitude ties up, of course, with the question of organic practice. Do you reach for the poison chest, or concentrate on making your garden a naturally healthy habitat. What you do is a serious decision, closely tied to your philosophy and beliefs. In real life, following organic ways need not create difficulties. Growing plants where they do best, and feeding them well, gives them strength to resist diseases. Garden birds can be excellent pest-control officers. You can make your own compost, or benefit from your local recycling plant (often nowadays producing a wonderfully inexpensive soil conditioner). Nobody wants the damage some creatures can inflict, but nature is not all out to get us. Bugs and birds can be beneficial and fascinating, and add to our pleasures. After all, an intimate and lovely experience of your garden can be gained from something as basic as hunting slugs or vine weevils at night !