Volunteer Hanna has been learning about plant guilds and especially the role of comfrey in the Cae Bodfach forest garden. We hold regular volunteer days at the garden, usually on Tuesday mornings, it can vary due to the weather.

This week at Cae Bodfach we divided some comfrey plants and potted them up to plant up later.
They look a bit messy now but they will soon wake up. We cut some of the leaves off the divided plant so the small roots can support the leaves that are left. Hopefully these can be planted under an Apple tree soon.
I first heard about comfrey at the BRACE Composting Workshop on Sunday the 26th of May up at the Llanfyllin allotments. There we learned what can and can’t be composted.

Comfrey is a useful plant as it gives nutrients to the soil and helps other plants grow and it especially helps the flowers and fruits grow.
I didn’t realise that you grew plants sometimes just to help support other plants. This is called companion planting or in permaculture a plant guild.
There are guilds planted under the fruit trees at Cae Bodfach.

Hannah, garden volunteer

Plants work in teams to create the conditions they need. Deep rooted ones like comfrey concentrate together and bring important nutrients and extra humidity to the surface, while others provide shade and ground cover. For pollinators you need a range of flowering plants that between them cover the seasons and keep the bees, hover flies and other beneficial insects busy and fed for as long as possible.

simple plant guild #permaculture
Sketch of a simple plant guild

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