We hear the phrase regenerative all the time, and it’s a concern because it’s important we don’t start using it as the next in word, like we have with the word sustainable. We spoke at an event recently where the speaker before was talking about sustainable oil fields and that’s just a contradiction in terms!!

So when we talk about regenerative gardening what do we mean? Well basically we mean gardening that gives back. That takes nothing from nature, that uses resources like seed, plants and compost responsibly, doesn’t use any chemicals, or artificial fertilisers and supports the eco system of the space we’re gardening in.

Which sounds simple doesn’t it?!? But it’s a challenge because it means being patient and waiting for nature and the ecosystem to catch up and help . The aphids will always arrive before the ladybirds, the slugs and snails before the newts, frogs, hedgehogs and thrushes, but they will come!! Patience will pay off and we have to learn to be patient!

A hoverfly lagoon at the Secret Garden in Avonmouth!!

There are some simple starting points. Dig out a wildlife pond, or make one in a container, feed the birds, create hedgehog corridors with your neighbours so the hogs can potter between gardens, create an area of dead wood where insects and amphibians can hide, and grow flowers for pollinators. Get rid of your garden chemicals. Leave some lawn to grow and become a meadow. Make a hoverfly lagoon, a big box, or a bug hotel. We’ll be sharing how to’s on all of these in the next few weeks.

But mostly grow for and with nature. The days of thinking gardening is about controlling nature are over and being regenerative is the way all gardeners can help support the climate and ecological emergencies we face. Obviously we can’t just garden our way out of these crises, but it’ll certainly help.

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