Wednesday, April 14, 2010


When we look at a piece of degraded and bare earth, it looks like a wounded gash in the green mantle that the Earth dresses herself with. 

I always marvel at how quickly this is colonized by rapid growing pioneer plants. We call them weeds. And most traditional gardening is wrapped around how to prevent their presence in the neat brown spacing between prized plants. They are seen as messy and unwelcome, but are, in fact, an essential start to the healing and restoration of the land. They rapidly cover the nakedness of the earth, thus protecting from erosion the life of the soil as they draw up nutrients, sometimes from great depths, to the top, and distribute this wealth in the form of leaf litter. They also act as nurses for more enduring herbs, shrubs and baby trees by creating a protective niche for the next stage of succession; one plant succeeds another in ever growing size and longevity.

The Earth is constantly marching toward productivity; she is obeying the original instruction to produce after her own kind – once given and forever obeyed. There seems to be nothing she does not seem to want to break down and use for more productivity; even that neglected and rusted garden gate, or forgotten pile of discarded bricks. And the march is toward forest bio-diversity or wet-land abundance. There is no holding her back. Step in line or be worn down by her persistent endurance; each niche set to creating succession and increased bio-diversity.

I have chosen to step in line and watch and learn. It is a wonderful movement of glorious life demonstrated in over-correction and modification in a determined attempt to bring order out of functional chaos. Watch her cover the land, and then reach for the skies with larger and stronger plants, to cover our Earth in generous abundance. Slowly and incrementally “wonderful” unfolds. Have we the eyes to see these wonders?

Until next time,


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