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This, the third of the “Greening” discussion papers, is the outcome of a fascinating and impassioned consultation. It has resulted in a very lengthy document, rightly so as it lies at the heart of the resurgence of the living tradition of herbal medicine, and touches it at all levels. Equally, gardening is a complex subject even given a specific environment or context. For those of us confined to a scrape of barren and neglected urban soil, huge efforts will be required to create humus and fertility, correct deficiencies, reduce infections and infestations, and so on. More rural folk blessed with a deep and fertile soil are hardly bothered by any of these considerations – nothing needs to be added or changed, herbs will happily push their way in gay profusion through the weeds, and the winter die-back can be left for the wildlife to enjoy. We may experience extremes of alkaline or acid soil. We may choose to use simple organic husbandry, raised-bed systems, companion planting, permaculture, biodynamics, gardening by the moon or just our own idiopathic approach. We clearly can never be comprehensive and certainly not definitive – nevertheless gardeners are fascinated by gardening and all opinions are gratefully received and duly considered. For this reason we have included a “Hot Tips” section at the end of the document which we expect never to stop growing.

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