The ideal garden is a healthy ecosystem where plants, insects, birds, microbes, lizards, ie nature, work together, as they did before people started interfering with the land.
A key part of a healthy ecosystem is the essential life in the soil: the microorganisms, insects, fungi and a heap of creatures we can’t see.
How the land gets damaged
When land has been worked and planted to create a certain look or function, essential aspects are removed over the years resulting in soil which can’t function properly and goes dormant.
Many factors contribute to dormant soil. For example, cultivation, earth works, chemicals eg fertilisers, mono-culture planting and bare soil . Also maybe no organic matter has been added to replace nutrients the plants use.
Some of these problems are unavoidable, but for others we can try different practices to get a result that works for us and our garden.
See Repairing the soil