Blog posts

Hazel guild - forest garden underplanting

Submitted by tomas on Thu, 02/21/2019 - 16:47
Two years ago this part of our kitchen garden was overrun with nettles and other volunteers. I am optimistic that this summer we will have turned it into a productive and pretty patch near the garden gate. The hazel is well established and produces a wealth of nuts most years on the spreading branches. The side effect is a lot of shade underneath, which was mostly colonised by nettles, yellow archangel and a form of chicory. The chicory is rampant in this garden if left to itself and I found it completely inedible when I tried. I decided to rein it in and create a shade guild underneath the hazel, as part of my retrofitting experiment. Last pring, in preparation I forked out the nettles and a profusion of chicory roots. I decided to leave the yellow archangel in the corner it had made for itself, as I quite like its yellow flowers and variegated leaves. It's not particularly tasty, but it has its uses in keeping the nettles out of this area. Next I moved four rhubarb plants from a different part of the land, where comfrey and nettle always seemed to get the better of them. They are now thriving in their new location at the South side of the hazel - showing their tips over a month earlier than in their previous location. I then planted a selection of hostas in the more shaded areas behind the rhubarb. They took well after their late spring planting last
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