Rachel de Thame talks about Garden Organic Ryton
Rachel de Thame
While I was studying at The English Gardening School, my class were taken to visit Garden Organic Ryton.
It seems incredible now, but in those days the practice of organic gardening was still comparatively unusual among mainstream gardeners and many of us automatically used chemical sprays at the first sign of a pest or disease.
For me, the visit was utterly inspirational. It encouraged me to look at the whole process of horticulture in a new way and question some of the methods I'd seen practiced as a child and adopted myself. Ryton made me reassess how I wanted to tend my own garden.
By showing in such a glorious way how gardeners could work with nature to achieve a space that was wildlife friendly, environmentally sound and still create a breathtakingly beautiful and productive garden was an eye opener.
Here was the place to learn about traditional techniques, including the then neglected art of companion planting, and while I felt encouraged to embrace a live and let live attitude, there were also plenty of practical solutions to combating pests and diseases that didn't involve blasting everything with chemicals.
It is now some twelve years since my first visit and thankfully attitudes to organic gardening have changed significantly. However, the work done by Garden Organic at Ryton is more relevant than ever and I know that newcomers to the garden will be as impressed as I was. While return visitors, myself included, are sure to find something new to inspire with every trip back to Ryton.
Rachel de Thame
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