This is the title of probably my favourite book on gardening. I was fortunate to inherit it from my mother-in-law. It’s sadly out of print but it can be bought second hand via the good offices of Amazon. Follow this link.
Ethelind Fearon was a farmer’s wife in essex and ran a 4.5 acre Market Garden in the 1950s. She is of course not reluctant at all but she revels in how to garden with nature instead of against it. How to do less and accomplish more. She would probably never have heard of the principle of least action – but the whole book could be a sermon on it. There’s more wisdom in its 120 pages than in most of the other books in my study. And she writes so beautifully. Here she is on natural predators vs Spraying.
“In any case I personally am not one for strife and alot of warfare with sprayguns and insecticides – sprays which poison good and bad insects indiscriminately and a special new and very good kind that is toxic to humans as well.
Which all sounds very up-to-date and suitable for an atomic age, but I prefer to stand aside and on seeing a pest introduce it to another pest and leave them to fight it out.
It is also an unfortunate fact that insects are developing a resistance to the popular DDT. But I never yet knew an aphis which was resistant to a ladybird.
She covers all the bases of mulching, minimum digging, and growing the right crop in the right place – all written from the perspective of an intelligent middle class woman of 1954.
She is so much in the spirit of what I wanted to do with the Intelligent Garden that I have really only one thing to say.
Beg steal borrow or buy this book. You won’t regret it.