Saturday, September 24, 2011

My philosophy to a tee...

"Instead of the determination to create a single soil type that is worth while and probably essential if you want to grow vegetables, there is an argument, if you want to grow ornamental plants, for being more relaxed about your soil and going with the flow. If you have sandy soil, embrace it, and grow plants from all over the globe that love just such soils; after all, some of the best wild-flower displays in the world are growing in seemingly nothing but sand. Would it not be good if, instead of the costly and back-breaking efforts required to transform our stony, well-drained banks into something they are not, we could just go along to our garden centres and nurseries, or read our reference books, and find out about all the wonderful plants that grow in very similar conditions in the wild? Learning directly from nature in this instance would be of really practical help for all gardeners, irrespective of whether they want a more natural-looking garden or not."

Keith Wiley, On the Wild Side: Experiments in New Naturalism, Timber Press, 2004. p. 26.

Wiley's aim is "freeing your own creative inner spirit from the straitjacket of horticultural tradition"


  1. Exactly. Should have been the case all along.

  2. and these concepts are just! Style and fashion leads garden makers by the nose..and the latest is to be'sustainable'..methinks more resources are squandered by the many who as per usual embark on garden making with next to no knowledge..of course organic mulch will save the world...its a wonder it is not on the breakfast menu!

  3. I have, to my delight, discovered that our newest National Botanical Garden, is devoted to conserving renosterveld. What would have been here, before our garden. Lots of 'appropriate' inspiration!