Sustainability

What do I mean by organic and why it is important?

One of my many reasons for starting a sustainable, cut flower garden was to minimise the environmental impact of cut flowers.  I have always gardened organically.  I define this by having a healthy soil (plenty of humus, bulky organic materials for compost), growing plants that suit the environment, keeping soil covered (weeds are permitted in this!), if any fertilisers are added will be plant/animal/mineral origin, having a healthy garden which manages it’s own levels of pests, manual clearing of weeds (no weedkiller/herbicides – in fact I use no chemical sprays in the garden).  I have found some slug pellets certified for use in organic gardening which I have found invaluable in the spring.  The rest of the year it isn’t really necessary to use anything.  I am experimenting with seaweed spray to see if that really helps.  Plant material cut down gets composted.  Basically I define my style of gardening as sustainable.  I don’t use any peat based products either.

You might wonder why bother with organic when we don’t eat flowers, but you are bringing them into your home, therefore a confined space.  Also organic gardening ensures that the soil remains healthy, and so doesn’t get depleted of, for example, fertility.  Good long term soil management is important for us all, (just think of the American Dust Bowl).

Good soil management is not the only consideration as wildlife and the wider environment naturally have a place in an organic system.

Use of the term “organic”

I am not organically certified and as I am so small scale this is unlikely to ever be in my reach financially.  (I have long been a member and supporter of the Soil Association and their standards however!)

I garden organically but most of the seeds and plants that I have bought have not been organically raised before purchase. Unfortunately there isn’t the availability locally or the cost is prohibitive to order in.

I occasionally use flower food/preservative when conditioning some cut flowers and haven’t got very far in discovering if this is “bad news” for the environment, or if there is a viable alternative, although clean water makes the biggest difference to vase life.

More information on organic gardening:

http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/growyourown/index.php

http://www.soilassociation.org/Whyorganic/Whatisorganic/tabid/206/Default.aspx

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