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Sir Albert Howard

March 22, 2007

Mercifully, this man is NO relation to our idiot PM. He is/was, however, an organic gardening guru/visionary. He took a wholistic view of plant growth and the soil. Soil health as paramount. His book “The Soil and Health – A Study of Organic Agriculture” has been re-released after about 40 years. It has been out of print for so long. I have been searching for  a copy for years.

Anyway, this is a new edition has an introduction by Wendell Berry. I’m also a fan of Wendell Berry’s writing – ok the deep christian stuff creeps me out but he takes stewardship of land seriously and writes with elegance and clarity. Got my copy of Howard’s book yesterday. Looking forward to reading it.

6821.jpgThis is a picture of the middle section of my front garden/yard. Some serious work is going to be started here soon. Last year, we cut down 3 huge radiata pines and that put a sizable dent in the gardening budget. Those trees were strangling the eucalytptus, taking all the water and light. The only things that could survive, in the deep shadow of the pines, were other invasive species. At this stage, the plan is to incorporate more rocks (dig anywhere here and you have heaps of them – crowbar territory) and grasses like Lomandra longifolia, Stipa and Poa sieberiana.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. lidna permalink
    March 22, 2007 7:59 am

    We’ve spotted a few dicksonia antarticas (which I’m hoping is what is in your photo) up here – they look most at home. And quite a few eucalypts – weird. Paul the doctor even has a calistemon in a pot and strangely it looks not unhappy!

  2. March 22, 2007 10:07 am

    I think the ferns would like that moist English air. Eucalyptus would be weird over there but they probably like the moisture too. Calistemon – go figure? Now I thought they liked heat and sun.

  3. March 22, 2007 9:07 pm

    Growing of callistemon in the British Isles is apparently something of a fad, as I discovered some years back. There are a few species that should be hardy enough, as long as you give them sun when you’ve got it and protect them from the worst of the iced soil of winter.

    I remember being up in the Snowys once and seeing a bottlebrush sticking up through about a foot of snow (not flowering, but still).

  4. March 22, 2007 9:26 pm

    Yes but the Snowys in summer are hot! Callistemon need heat to flower. A neighbour of mine planted enough to form a hedge. She planted the Sydney variety, not something for a cooler climate. No flowers and excruiatingly slow growth. No hedge style activity is to be witnessed.

    My little sister in London, finds it amusing that if the temps rise above a comfortable 25C for more than 2 days, it’s called a heatwave. Hah!

  5. March 24, 2007 10:10 am

    25C? Yesterday it snowed! Only for one day though. So no snowwave.

  6. March 24, 2007 1:14 pm

    Found out about the ferns, Linda – they are in fact, Cyathea australis – Rough Tree Fern. We planted a couple today right down the front, right on the street, with an underplanting of Blechnum Nudum. Then it started to rain. Beautiful.

  7. March 25, 2007 7:26 am

    Ah, I see. Mighty fast growing they be. We have three in our little garden going great guns (well they were last time I looked).

  8. March 25, 2007 7:54 am

    Looked at more ferns growing in Blackheath today and I may have been misinformed by the bush regeneration people….saw some Rough Tree Ferns and they look different to mine?????

    Confused now.

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