Forum home Problem solving

A gardeners role in ecology.

bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 202
Ecology can be taken too far.  And sometimes we miss the whole picture.  Is this the place for a debate?


  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,291
    You will need to explain what you mean before we can have a discussion.
    This kind of thread normally goes in the potting shed category but it doesn't really matter as most of us just look at recent discussions
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,896
    No idea what that is supposed to mean, have you?
    How can you take ecology too far, that is meaningless, or it is at least to me.
    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 15,476
    I would say not to bother starting a “debate” if you are just in the mood for an argument.

     Wildlife threads and gardening with a wildlife focus are a significant part of the forum. 

    Questions are always more interesting than answers. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,204
    edited August 2021
    The proposition is utterly nonsensical … it makes no sense  … illogical.
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,620
    edited August 2021
    I think it's more the case that people can sometimes do stuff for the sake of 'improving the ecology' of their garden, which actually doesn't provide the benefits they were imagining.

    For example does it really help to plant nettles? They are valuable for wildlife but are also already pretty plentiful everywhere so you might not really be adding much by including them.

    Or, are ornamentals worse than natives? There are specialised insects that rely on native plants, but in a garden context it seems to be the overall diversity of flowering plants, and the availability of nectar when native flowers are scarce, that makes gardens valuable. There's also plenty of research suggesting that native insects can adapt to make use of ornamental species, especially ones from the same genus as native plants.

    And the habitat that gardens provide is made up of a diversity of different gardens, each gardened differently, sitting next to each other. Some full of flowers, some mainly lawn, some with lots of gravel, some with ponds, some derelict and full of nettles and thistles and so on. Trying to do it all within one garden isn't really necessary. But fine if that's what you want to do.

    I can recommend this book: No Nettles Required.
  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 202
    Fire: My wife confuses the word "argument" with "quarrel".  I see a clear distinction.
  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 202
    edited August 2021
    Dove, Now who's the one with the closed mind. 

    You might be lost.

  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 202
    B3:  Actually. I was called for lunch before I had time to develop my opening comments or the debate.  But it interesting, to me, to see how it has started.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,117
    Well, its somewhere to start!
    Tnings could easily go haywire though... 
    There's facts and there are opinions. I want and needs must. Ignorance and wilful ignorance. Known unknowns and unknown unknowns.
    It can be very difficult to make a reasoned decision, even with the best will in the world.
    I live in the Peak District National Park. I have a couple of fields, that have been grazing land for a very long time, quite possibly hundreds of years. There was a property here, and others around that still exist, named in a tenancy agreement in 1664. 
    The fields have a wildflower population, but parts of them are boggy and given over to rushes. My sheep graze the fields, so they prevent natural regeneration. If that did occur, the increasing tree and scrub cover would wipe out the harebells, eyebright and creeping cinquefoil that grow there now. Some creatures would gain, but some like the hares, curlews, lapwings and skylarks that live there now would lose out.
    Our drains, and those of all the other farms feed into little streams that join a bigger stream that links into a river that leads to the sea. Water that springs from our land will be used further downstream for many things including drinking water, but the people there don't want too much of it at once. We have dug ditches and laid drains to make some parts less waterlogged.
    For re-wllders this is a wrong thing to do. The boggy bits should be left as they are, the rushes given free rein, but as they hold back water, this would decrease floodfng risk downstream but also reduce the water supply. It would also affect diversity as the rushes spread inexorably. 
    I try to tread lightly on the land and conserve what I can, but am sometimes at a loss to know what is best. How do you balance all these different things?
    Would more native woodland really be of more value ecologically than what is there now? Which 'wild' is 'better'? Is it right or wrong to dig a ditch to improve a soggy area, or to dig up rushes to give the grass and flowers a chance?
    Will any of it make the slightest difference when the sea levels rise and the dispossessed billions come looking for a home?

  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,004
    Loxley said:
    For example does it really help to plant nettles? They are valuable for wildlife but are also already pretty plentiful everywhere so you might not really be adding much by including them.
    They make a lovely cup of tea and are useful for plant food though. Thanks for the book recommendation, I'll add that one to the reading list.
    I'd be interested to know how ecology can be taken too far though? I know lawn shaming seems to be a thing now* and I don't think people should be pressured to do more in their garden than they're comfortable with but encouraging people to do what they can and showing them the benefits can only be a good thing. If you want to have a garden full of wildlife though is there really a 'too far'?

    *generally justifiably in the case of plastic grass.
    A great library has something in it to offend everybody.
Sign In or Register to comment.