Good Planting in the Street + Compost Recipe
Wandering round the neighbourhood I spotted this gorgeous container of French lavender. The distressed paint on the bucket reflected both the green-grey of the leaves and the soft mauve of the flowers and all blended in beautifully.
Next to it was a crate of Geum ‘Mrs Bradshaw’ which looked magical against the wall of the house…
Further along the street the scented flowers of a rambling rose R. Bobbie James was cascading over a 2m high stone wall….
On a more mundane level here as promised is the ‘recipe’ for making an activator from the most common garden plants and it guarantees compost in as little as six weeks. It’s based on the method developed by an Irish woman Maye Bruce in 1935 and is derived from the biodynamic technique pioneered by the philosopher and educationalist Rudolf Steiner. I am very excited by the prospect of rich crumbly compost after only six weeks and even better it uses six common herbs and you don’t need to turn the heap.
Mix together the dried leaves of stinging nettles, ground-up dandelion root, the flowers, leaves and stems of yarrow (Achillea millefolium), a handful of flowers from chamomile (Chamaemelum) plus the ground-up root of valerian (Valeriana officinalis) in roughly equal quantities. Add one teaspoonful of the dry material to a pint of water and add 2 drops of honey then pour this mixture over your compost.
I had to wait for the chamomile to be in flower and I used a perennial yarrow Achillea ‘Moonshine’ from the garden here rather than the wild one found in the countryside. I will report back in six weeks but above is the before picture.
The sweet peas are in full bloom on the allotment with a very sweet striped maroon and pale pink petal on several of the flowers and all with a heavenly scent. Some navy blue ones sown rather later than usual and not yet in flower are clambering up the supports so hopefully this will extend the picking season.