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Posts from the ‘Natural Gardening’ Category

The importance of a good hay rake

As you may know from some of my recent posts (especially “Rows and rows of windrows” last year), I cut the grass in a large part of my garden using a scythe. Why, you might ask? There are many good reasons including effectiveness, exercise, no pollution, no noise and low expense. One extremely important thing that goes along with my scythe is a good hay rake. I didn’t know or expect this a few years ago but a good, traditional hay rake has become one of my best friends in the garden – it makes the work so much easier and is very effective even though the design is simple.

I like buying things that are handmade by local craftsman (part of “Use 10 Percent Less” and trying to keep things simple and local), and back in 2015 I found what I was looking for in a company called The Natural Gardener (I have affiliation with them at all – I just like their stuff). I’ve bought a few things from this company but my favourite is their “Handmade Wooden Hay Rake” (you’ll find a good story about how these rakes are made on the their web page). Read more

My friend the pheasant

The year has been the year of the pheasant in my garden. Almost every day, my friend the pheasant is somewhere around and I’m really surprised that he’s not afraid of being quite close to me as I do my work. Obviously, he understands that I’m not a threat and just continues on with his search for food. The following four photos are the best shots I’ve been able to take of him. Such a beautiful bird. Click on them to see them full size.

my friend the pheasant Read more

More veggies than I can chew?

I’ve been busy in the garden lately. Real busy. So much of my spare time (which is quite limited) is now being taken up with the garden. Of course, it’s a problem all of my own making yet, I have to admit, I enjoy it a lot (most of the time). 

My last post was on April 10th (where has all that time gone?) and was called “Things are growing“. In that post there was a photo of young tomato and chilli seedlings in a plug tray. It was great to see them all start growing, but now I’m asking myself “why did I plant over 40 tomatoes?” and even more chillies? Have I bitten off more veggies than I can chew?

There’s one thing with nature, it doesn’t procrastinate. It just progresses. I can’t say I need a rest for a few days when there are seedlings that really need to be potted on. So the garden is actually setting my schedule and pushing me. That’s a good reason why I wish I hadn’t sown so many seeds (last year not so many of my seeds sprouted, so I thought the same would happen again, but it didn’t). Read more

Things are growing

With all the COVID-19 pandemic stuff going on these days, I am very, very grateful to have some land around my property where I can grow things. And, at the moment, things are growing! It’s great to see. For all the lockdown rules, social distancing and death statistics we hear about all day, it’s lovely to see that some parts of nature are just getting on with what they normally do.

As I said, I’m glad to have some land around my house and to see that things are growing. I feel sorry for people who are locked down in a house or a flat that isn’t large enough to do this comfortably. Thinking about this makes we wonder how we created a society where the result is that a lot of people can’t afford accommodation with enough room that everyone can be inside together comfortably. How did we create a society where so many people have accommodation that has no (or very little) land? How did we lose this connection? Read more

Stones, Woodchips and Seeds

Last weekend, I did a few things in the garden and I’m posting a series of images below with comments to describe what’s going on. You’ll see why stones, woodchips and seeds are the main things on my mind. Here in the UK, the grass is just starting to grow again after winter, and things are starting to move in the garden. My aim is to build a natural, diverse garden and I’m part way through this multi-year project. I’m not an experienced gardener, I’m learning little bits from friends and the web, and then just using instinct. In fact, it’s using instinct that’s the most fun. It doesn’t always work out, but it’s fun.

Also in the UK at the moment, as in the rest of the world, it’s coronavirus disruption time. We’re trying to stay at home almost exclusively, so gardening is a good pastime and a good form of exercise, but I’m a bit worried to see so many people disregarding the instructions of the government. That’s sad. 

Ok, let’s see what happened last weekend. (click on any of the images to see them full-size) Read more