Gardening in a changing world by Darryl Moore part 2
Plants as panacea
There is a phase ‘plant blindness’ which is used scientifically to describe those people who do not notice or acknowledge plants, think animals are more important than plants – including humans – and who don’t recognise their use in our world. Plants are non-threatening, unlike some animals, and can usually be easily removed. There are some that can’t. Just talk to people with Japanese Knotweed on their property. They therefore are less able to fight back and we then enter a vicious circle of not living amongst plants, becoming distanced from them and then relying on the natural world to help heal us. Just think of prescriptions for gardening, forest bathing and other methods of becoming immersed in nature. There is an irony here that we rely on the very thing that we mistreated to treat us.
There is a lot of talk about rewilding or regeneration agriculture and its misuse to ‘sell’ a product. Those who are undertaking this work over time alongside the scientific community are doing sterling work but it is hard to rewild in a garden – difficult to have animals with hooves in a small city plot. Another term that might be more useful is ‘reconciliation ecology’ where the idea is to discover how to modify human areas of habitation to include as a wide a variety of species as possible. This is probably what I am aiming to do on the wildlife plot, I just never had a name for it.
Green plants are the starting point for all terrestial food chains and many insects are confined to one food plant or group of related species – diversifying plants generates many different food chains.
. . . the ecological value of the management of gardens is an important tool that can be used to increase biodiversity and ecosystem functions in the face of the climate crisis. The questions is: how can these benefits be maximised most effectively, and are gardeners up for the challenge?p47
This is my problem with this book. I thought we were going to find out how we could do this. Nope. Not yet. At present it still reads like a series of articles for an academic journal put together in a book.
Of course, gardeners are not ‘plant blind’, quite the opposite in many instances but their actions can have a very negative effect on the natural world. It’s that trifecta of plastics, peat and pesticides. We have to give them up.