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Planting by the cycles of the moon

By Herald Express  |  Posted: December 05, 2013

  • cold: Frost collapsed nasturtiums

  • severed: Musk mallow seeds

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FOR weeks now, I have been ruled by an apathy which has curtailed my outdoor activities to a snatched hour here and there.

Most of those have been concerned with photographing the slow decline in the flower borders.

I discovered some severed seed heads of musk mallow I had left in a flowerpot for safekeeping about six weeks ago.

I found the delicacy of the net-like seed pods utterly astounding and took a picture to remind myself of why I love this garden for when I forget.

I get annoyed when I get annoyed in the garden, especially when I have been able to complete one job, but become tired and irritable when I discover another.

How is it that even in the quietest part of the year there is so much still to do?

I have noticed while digging in the raised beds the timber is rotting out, the posts holding the raspberry wires taut have collapsed and the little hooks holding the protective fencing in place have rusted away.

All remain unfixed.

With a lifestyle which is often at odds with the rhythm of the real world, turning your back on the few hours of available daylight seems like a terrible waste and means jobs have to wait at least seven days before they are revisited.

I find that thought extremely depressing.

And yet working with the natural processes is entirely within the remit of the organic gardener.

A book sent to me this week has urged me to go one step further.

The Gardening and Planting by the Moon 2014 published by Quantum provides a helpful calendar detailing when best to plant your roots, seeds, fruits and leafy plants according to the lunar cycle.

For author Nick Kollerstrom, 'a decision as to when to plant a tree should take such lunar cycles into account just as a sailor puts to sea only when the tides are right'.

It is a theory which has a scientific basis in that the lunar cycle has an effect on the metabolism, growth and development of plants.

He encourages gardeners to become more aware of the life rhythms of nature which connect the growth of plants with cosmic-time cycles. And what it does mean is a yielding on the gardener's part to a process that goes beyond the convenience or diktats of wet soil on a rainy day. But the sense there is an ordering in the world I have no part in is an appealing one and will no doubt attract my further attention during winter evenings.

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