So many variety of insects and birds love our garden. Ladybirds hide here and there and birds fly in, in droves to be fed on and around the bird table. The bluetits sometimes seem to line up and chatter like some WW2 ration queue. Thankfully they’re not like the daft old 1960’s Hitchcock horror film The Birds and also thankful that they’ve ignored the purple sprouting broccoli.
The strong and tall broccoli stems seem like walking sticks held in a bunch, all tied carefully to a few bamboos to stop them falling over in the winds we’ve had here. These plants are from last year’s sowings I’ve left in the ground. There’s some new purple sprouts on top and a still a good few new leaves below again. This batch been producing leaves and leaves and leaves… and I’ve pulled them off as and when needed, from the bottom going up. I’ve so far left the topper most part to grow on, but that the sprouts coming out from the sides are starting to look tasty.
Leaves gathered have been enjoyed by our chicken friends (they’re friends, not food and not sure I see title “pets” as accurate). These old exbatt girls have relished and benefited from the greens and have ignored the plants when they’ve been out with me in the garden foraging. Perhaps being tall plants, the hens have been unable to get to destroy the growing part. This is all part of letting the garden winter and mostly the layers of the soil alone, with no dig, letting the roots of plenty of old last years stuff stay. I feel the ecosystem of this garden is thriving, but in places looks tatty. Tidy isn’t always successful for nature and we are one tiny part of nature. Why if I had pulled up that tatty broccoli when it had got scruffy, we wouldn’t have had that hiding place for that one ol’ ladybird I saw and all that extra crop.