The ultimate goal for many gardeners is to create a pest-free space, but The world of gardeners Presenter Adam Frost says we need to stop “interfering” with nature and just let wildlife take the lead.
Talk to country life From his home in Lincolnshire, the Chelsea Flower Show presenter told us: “How can I deal with problems in my garden? I don’t. Even if you catch a green fly on a plant, you can guarantee that within a week or two, something comes in and cleans it out.The moment you start interfering, you unbalance what’s going on.
Summer is the time to play and plan in the garden. From dead plants to hose washing the patio, we’re all busy bees as soon as the clocks tick, but what’s Adam’s advice for prepping our spaces? “Do not pursue perfection. You have to trust nature to do that. Sometimes we worry too much that wildlife-friendly gardening means having a dilapidated garden. You can always do it in a way that always gives you something beautiful.”
Adam is a firm believer in slow gardening, something he has dedicated an entire chapter to in his new book, The creative gardener. Plants, like the seasons, cannot be rushed: they operate on their own schedule, growing and moving at a pace that suits them best. We may want colored borders as soon as we get the seeds under the ground, but it’s time to be patient.
“We live in a world where everything is 300 miles per hour,” the Chelsea presenter tells us. “I think the last two years have shown us that there is actually another way. For me, the pleasure of gardening is the Do. This is the key. It’s all about patience. You must wait. Plants do what they do. You cannot dictate what happens. Things are going well, things are not going well. You have to slow down, wait, watch, listen and pay attention. We spend too much time looking for the perfect garden, whatever it is.
The prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show is fast approaching, from Tuesday 24th to Saturday 28th May 2022 at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The focus is on sustainability, nature’s return and nature’s adoption, and many of us are ready to take inspiration from its impressive show gardens (you can read all about them here ). If you’re looking for gardening tips ahead of the event, Adam recommends one thing to do: “Put the work in the ground. I would say that to anyone now,” he tells us.
“If you put the work into the ground, the rest starts to happen. I tend to only dig the garden once, then I tend to mulch, either once a year or every two years. Slowly, you create that balanced environment. It’s your foundation for building your garden. Take care of your soil, and the rest will begin to work out.”
RHS The Creative Gardener by Adam Frost is available for purchase now.
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