It’s been a while since the garden got much attention (though I’ll be writing about the harvest soon), but this is a little set of observations that’s been bouncing around in my head for a while.
Despite, or including, the slugs and creeping cinquefoil (this is what we thought was creeping buttercup), our garden is so alive with nature. Masses of it. It’s awesome! Everyday, English creatures that exist all around us that you start to notice once you get close to the ground.
Earthworms: There are masses of them in our garden. Hundreds…probably many thousands. They’re brilliantly camouflaged (yes, really, they look like plant roots!), live underground, and help to break down our soil and compost. Brilliant.
Frogs: We don’t have a pond but we do have lots of clay-y soil and it’s moisture rich. There’s also a large patch of our garden that hasn’t been weeded and has a thick layer of grass and weeds on it. This provides ample cover for the little amphibians and there’s lots of them around. Also brilliantly camouflaged, they give you a real fright when they unexpectedly hop out of the grass. You have to be careful not to step on them at night though!
Spiders: If you were reading last year you’ll know I love a good spider or two! And though we’ve moved house, we have plenty of arachnids in the new neighbourhood. Amazing co-ordination and web building skills. Awesome creatures. And there’s a surprisingly large amount of them that just scuttle around on the ground too.
Bees: I’m not a huge fan of wasps (of which we’ve not seen very many this year), but bees are more tolerable. They seem to defy physics by flying, elegantly drifting from one flower to the next. They seem to come from far and wide in little teams to visit our plants. And, of course, we wouldn’t have our fruits without their pollinating. Sadly, bees are rumoured to be in decline. We may well be setting up a little log or something next year to encourage bees to nest in our garden.
Everything else: There’s beetles, ants, slugs and snails, weevils, grubs, caterpillars, centipedes. Really a plethora of different tiny creatures who make up the eco-system that is our garden. Some of them we love, some of them we hate, but they’re all important in keeping the ground workable and fertile.
Nature is truly an awesome thing and when you get close to it you start to realise that even more. We praise God for the amazing things that has made, the detail of each little creature and the incredibly complex way that it all works together to bring us our food.