The Easy Part

The easiest part of the gardening year, at least for many of us, is winter. There are books on winter gardening, and I politely chose to ignore them altogether. There is little I can or want to do in my freezing garden between November and March. All the same, a good garden should provide shelter for all overwintering insects. A good basic design might interweave the entire garden with dwarf conifers and evergreen shrubs… These plants provide numerous protected places such as twigs and dead leaves on the ground to serve as overwintering sites for all those insects we so desperately want to keep in our gardens. And we especially need to have the predators and parasitoids ready to spring forth to feast on all the plant-feeding insects. The worst possible scenario we gardeners create with our bare-earth policy is that of decoupling the predators and parasitoids from their prey. We don’t want to race into gardening season having to battle the tides of imbalance, there is enough to do already.

Eric Grissell–Insects and Gardens: In Pursuit of a Garden Ecology

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