Using Natural Materials for Plant Supports
I’ve recently returned from a wonderful 2-week trip to England. It’s been fun sharing some of the things I saw with you through Facebook over the past few days. But I wanted to write about and share photographs from something I repeatedly saw in some of the beautiful gardens I visited: the use of natural materials for plant supports and/or keeping pests away from plantings.
Based on the overwhelming response I got to a recent Facebook post (showing the use of branches as an arch down the middle of a vegetable garden), I feel pretty sure you’ll find this interesting and inspiring!
Think about the amount of pruning we gardeners do, especially in late winter and early spring. It doesn’t take long to end up with a pile of branches, does it? Many of us either run them through a chipper, or we take them to the transfer station for green waste recycling. Or perhaps your friends have done a bunch of pruning and have branches they’re trying to get rid of.
No matter what the source, wouldn’t it be great to repurpose our prunings into natural plant supports? Take a look through the photos below, remembering that you can click on any of them to view a much larger image.
You will notice that many of the amazing gardens I visited were using branches to support plants like sweet peas, broad bean plants that get top-heavy, pole beans and perennials. You can see plenty of examples of this below.
Another thing I noticed is that some of the gardens used the branches to keep problem pests like rabbits or birds away from the plantings — so the branches were used as physical barriers. You might even have noticed, through my Facebook page, that I laid branches on two raised beds to protect sprouting bean and sunflower seedlings a few weeks ago. It worked beautifully.
The ideas are endless and my mind is already swimming with plans for next year’s garden!