We Don’t Do Composting
We recently visited a garden that is open to the public only twice a year. The owner kindly allows the public to invade his space for a small sum of money that is then donated to charity. Visitors are free to wander through the grounds, through the formal gardens, the park and a wonderful wooded area with the biggest rabbit holes I have ever seen. I noticed that there was a 3-bin compost system under-way and chatted to the gardener who was ardent about the work he was doing. Strangely, he was not a huge enthusiast of composting. Said that really, he did not have the time and that anyway, it always ended up full of seeds and that he had stopped using it for mulching for that very reason.
He said that that there was a worm farm up at the house, but that it was pretty useless and really smelly.
I have read and heard so many passionate words about composting over the last few weeks, that it was rather a shock to hear a professional gardener being rather dismissive about the whole idea. Everything I have read lauds the whole concept of producing compost for the garden – so what went wrong? When will reality meet the ideal? Does it, in fact, ever meet the ideal?
I have approached all the home gardeners that I know (there are not many yet) and to my surprise, not one is composting for their garden. Most look a bit dazed when I pose the question and mutter about a lack of time. No one volunteered that they had any intention of starting if indeed, it had even crossed their mind. Strange, really. I had always thought of England as the home of the small gardener – allotments and all (see previous blog) and to me a gardener naturally has a compost pile.
Ah well, live and learn!