Maria von BrinckenComposting in a small space

Out the kitchen door, to the right off the landing, I’ve positioned the compost bin for easy access. I’m rewarded with views of my back garden and this one of my front. It’s a view ofthe front I only see from this angle so it’s a treat. Today I was rewarded by pink dianthus (cheddar pinks ‘Firewitch’) and pink rhododendron blooming with a bit of the bluish purple nepeta (catmint ‘Six Hills Giant’) and the chartreuse alchemilla (lady’s mantle). Even without the sun shining it’s lovely!

Here is the side view I see of my front garden when I go out on to the landing to get to my compost bin

Composting rewards me daily. I’ve been recycling kitchen and garden waste since I apprenticed in the now called Chadwick Gardens at UC Santa Cruz under the leadership of the legendary Alan Chadwick. It’s important for the health of the gardens. It’s the perfect way to ‘feed’ the soil and its web of life existing in the there that feeds the plants.

It also keeps the kitchen and garden waste out of the landfills and thus prevents the gases created there that we’d like to avoid. I’ve read recently of a major municipality that has banned kitchen waste from its trash pick-up. So more of us will be enjoying the benefits. When I lived in a larger space with room for an enormous pile I did that and trekked out daily as it was hidden by the shed. It got me outside for unexpected garden explorations. I still remember the stunning encounter with the single perfect brown oak leaf framed by the new white snow.

Now I use a small bin hidden by the side porch landing and easy for me to just drop off that odd bit of tomato, cucumber, radish from the salad makings in any time of year. Before I collected it in a indoor container holding 3-7 days worth depending on what I was cooking and what the children weren’t eating. Now I don’t need that. The bin’s small size means that I have to occasionally fill the ‘garden waste bags’ sold for this purpose for curbside collection. Another benefit that keeps me on track with this habit is that I don’t have smelly kitchen trash!

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Maria von Brincken

About Maria von Brincken

Award-winning landscape designer, garden journalist and lecturer, certified practising designer with the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD), former contributing editor to Landshapes magazine. Sudbury, Massachusetts. Read Maria's full blog at A Garden Maker's Notes

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