This year some might say I’ve got a little bit over board, as I’ve planted 24 trees and shrubs in my back garden. It really isn’t as silly as it sounds as we have a rather large garden and I have about half an acre that I’m trying to turn into a lovely natural garden. I’ve been planting trees and shrubs over the past 3 weeks and have plenty of photos to share on this page.
I’m finding it fun to gradually work on this natural garden and to try and imagine how it will look in the future. It’s a bit like a really long term art project that will take many years and has the added complication of needing to work with Nature to achieve the final, living result.
Back at the end of October we got our first frost of the year and I had no idea what it would be like scything with frost.
I know, you’re probably thinking “scything!” Cutting grass with a scythe? Yes, it’s all true and it’s not as crazy as you think. Back in 2015, our back garden had hip-high grass and I was wondering how to get it under control. I went on a scything course and learnt how to go about it. It’s not as hard as you might think and it’s a nice activity. And it’s not expensive. I costs only £118 for a beginners kit that includes everything you need and only about £150 for an advanced kit. That’s cheap compared to buying a lawnmower and a strimmer plus the fuel, etc. And a single scything blade can last 10-20 years if looked after properly.
While Kim was visiting us in the UK, I planted some cabbages and pumpkin vines in my new, fledgling garden, but they were attacked very quickly by slugs. Hmm. How annoying. I’m trying to keep the garden as close to organic as possible, so I don’t want to use any chemicals to kill the slugs. I started to look into garden diversity as an option and investigated which plants slugs don’t like, then went out and bought some lavender, rosemary, mint and garlic plants to spread around. Guess what? The slugs stopped eating my cabbages and pumpkin almost immediately. Wow!
Here’s a photo of the cabbages and pumpkins that I bought from a local horticultural market. This is how they were before planting. Two pumpkins and about eight to ten cabbages.
When I planted these in the garden, they were quickly attacked by slugs. One of the pumpkins was obliterated completely and the other was badly damaged – I couldn’t see how it could survive. All the cabbages were munched at severely and it looked like only 4-5 had any chance of surviving. Read more
Ever since I’ve moved to England I’ve learnt a lot of interesting (and weird) things. The people here think Australia is weird, but the UK has lots of weird things for an Aussie like me, and the latest one is a “Slow Worm”.
Some of you will know that I do scything in my garden to cut the grass. Ok, I know you think that’s weird but it’s good exercise, interesting and a very effective way to keep the grass under control without needing any engines, fuel, smelly fumes and all that stuff.
On Saturday, I was picking up some of the grass that I’d cut to put in my compost piles and I saw something that surprised me. It looked like a huge worm. Read more
Last Monday, just after the sun came up, we noticed three deer in our back garden. Have a look at the video below (you’ll have to “full screen” the video to see it properly). What a great view of nature. I’m not sure what mother deer was trying to teach her young, but she certainly was dashing around like a crazy old deer (sorry, pun intended).
After running around in the lower garden, they almost walked up to our back door looking for something to eat. See the photos below the video.
I love feeling a little like I’m embedded in nature, even though I’m living in outer-London suburbia.