February Notes 2018

Now that I know the reason I garden is to support the ecosystem it might be time to re-examine my growing category list and the first thing that struck me was the category,

How to Grow Good Things

This could mean anything depending on the person so I changed it to Ecological Gardening because that’s what I’m trying to do and hopefully is what I’m doing. Can the act of gardening even be ecological? As the landscape becomes ever more fragmented by agriculture, mining and development, I should hope so. I guess that’s my fascination.

And now for the other categories:

Landscape Restoration

It sounds good but what does it really mean? To what am I restoring the land exactly? The pasture of a hundred years ago or the forest of two? Would a small residential lot of forest surrounded by residential lots with no forest function as a forest anyway? Can the land ever go back to the way it was with all the changes happening now such as climate change, invasive species and fragmentation? I think I’ll do away with this category.


I’ve reviewed some of the latest big sellers on the subject and even if none have all the answers, all have interesting perspectives, applicable information and pictures to drool over. Definite keeper.

Garden Management

This seems to be the hip new word to replace garden maintenance. The idea being the gardener allows the land’s naturalness to be a bit more natural and less “maintained”. So instead of making a plan with a certain number of plants that go in a certain place and then maintaining that design, the gardener makes a plan and lets things go a little off plan and then sort of manages it. I happen to love this idea because the letting things go part is something I seem to excel at. However it also means asserting some control for both aesthetic and ecological reasons. And because an ecological garden doesn’t necessarily mean an attractive garden, I’ll keep this category.

Native Plants

Although I’m still unclear about the definition, it’s just such a great word! With so many nostalgic associations to place, I’ve just got to keep it. I suppose if I’m going to use a word with such a vague meaning I should also have a category for Weeds.

Natural Communities

Now here’s one I’m really into and what could be better than having more than a few no more than a mile away from my garden. Although I have to wonder, if the word natural means a place untouched by humans, how could anything on this earth still be called natural? Maybe someone should change it to naturaler?


This is a good one because it means I can ramble on about anything in any order because after all, it’s just a note.


Well since it’s the basis of growing pretty much anything I’d better include it no matter how chemically, structurally and organically complicated. And it’s got fungi!

The Vegetable Garden

Yes, I do from time to time talk about the old school vegetables. Especially about how to keep my various garden buddies from eating them. Rabbits and squirrels, I’m talking to you. But I also feel like it’s ecological because we need to feed ourselves and eating something out of our backyard has to have less environmental impact than buying food that has to be trucked in from somewhere. And at least if the stuff has some worms I’ll know where the worms come from. As long as I’m not allowing excess fertilizer to run off into the bay.

Wildlife in the Garden

Well, hopefully any ecological garden will have wildlife. Mine includes bugs, birds, squirrels, rabbits, bats, voles, chipmunks, mice with the occasional fox, deer, rat and once I heard a tree frog. A category must.

So that about does it for my categories. Now, if only ecological gardening were as easy.