Your Living Garden

When you create your healing garden, be sure to include as  many opportunities for encouraging wildlife as possible.  I don’t mean the unwelcome variety such as rodents, opossums, foxes or large predators (if you live in an area where these roam). However, I do mean birdlife, beneficial insects and small lizards. If you have developed a natural healing garden you will notice that it will be a haven for all sorts of pollinators, nectar feeders, pest predators, and beneficial creatures. If your garden has a good balance of herbal leys, spring blossoms, good soil as well as some shade trees, sunny spots and water features, then a variety of butterflies, birds, bees, hedgehogs and lizards will visit your garden. In return your fruit trees will bear healthy fruit, your vegetables won’t need chemical sprays, pest infestations will be suppressed and your soil will stay fertile and friable.
In my own garden where I have a home orchard and herb garden, I’ve noticed an increase in monarch butterflies after I introduced swan plants (see photo below).  The borage plants under my pear and nashi trees ensure that bees are plentiful in early spring during the brief pear blossom period. I have included flax, grevillea, tree ferns and renga renga lily in a woodland corner and now native birds such as tui and fan tails love to play there.
The more life you have in your healing garden, the more you will benefit from its healing properties.

Pomegranate Harvest

Growing pomegranates

I was pleasantly surprised to find one of the flowers on my newly planted pomegranate shrub, swelling promisingly into an actual fruit. Not only were the shrubs only relatively recently planted, but also we don’t have what I would call a Mediterranean climate! But sure enough one precious fruit was growing.  I checked on it every day for what seemed like many months until I deemed it to be harvest time. The glowing red hue, the uneven bumpy shape and the hollow sound when I tapped it – all signs that it was ready. I was rewarded with a bowl of delicious scarlet seeds which I added to fruit salads for my family.

Ripe pomegranate
Ripe pomegranate