What the world will miss ~ Tuesday
Not only are gardens a source of great pleasure and often how children first encounter nature, but gardens are increasingly important as biodiversity reserves. Now that agriculture world-wide has become industrial and destructive to the living soil, to insects, birds and animals and development is ongoing at a breakneck pace, some gardens are reservoirs of biodiversity. Our garden is mostly native, much self-seeded and NO lawn.
The 2018 study of lawns conducted by the University of Western Australia and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences found that the upkeep of lawn such as high water consumption, the use of pesticides, and the gas emitted from mowing, were all factors that had a significant impact on the environment.[i]
Our vegetable garden is growing broccoli, sugar-snap peas, asparagus, strawberries, onions, tomatoes, celery, carrots, pineapple and raspberries.
Wordsworth designed a garden at Coleorton Hall for a friend, George Beaumont. He said Laying out gardens may be considered a liberal art, in some sort like Poetry and painting; and its object… to assist Nature in moving the emotions.’[ii] Wordsworth liked a garden to meld into the landscape and avoided hard boundaries. The borrowed garden does just that and can use naturalism or theatricality, depending upon what is borrowed, a famous pagoda, or a forest. We borrow a forest.
The Chinese pictograph for garden is a walled area isolated from wilderness and political, social demands. The word garden comes from the Old English geard, meaning a yard or enclosure. A garden was viewed as a place separated from wilderness and the living place, hut/ house. That is not how (rich) Japanese view it, or many Australians for that matter. Our garden is integral to how we see our home and how we live in our house.
And always something new. Today: Straw-necked Ibis riding the thermals high overhead
and a moth on our bedroom balcony, species unknown, bark camouflage:
Since I was a boy in southern England, collecting chrysalis and always on the lookout for moths and butterflies, where moth numbers are down by 40% (and 70% of butterfly species are in decline).
Each spring, billions of Bogong moths would migrate from their breeding grounds in southern Queensland, north and western NSW and Victoria to the Australian Alps. This year there was a vast failure.
There are around 30,000 species of moth in Australia compared to 400 species of butterfly. Moths and their caterpillars are important food for amphibians, small mammals, bats and birds, their caterpillars are especially important for feeding young chicks.
AND today, on the world stage, 16 year old Greta Thunberg told the UN Climate Action Summit:
‘You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. You are failing us. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us I say we will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line.’
And our Prime Minister and his mate Donald Trump, builder of golf courses, destroyer of the environment, didn’t bother attending, even though they were close by.
[ii] James A W Heffernan, The Recreation of Landscape, University Press of New England, 1984, p13.