Tag Archive | garden

Not doing tidy!

I’ve had a fabulous Sunday. sundaygardensundown 001

I was outside from breakfast till sundown thanks to a jewel of an autumn day. Not to mention a dashing set of thermals!

The garden needed a tidy. Well – that’s not strictly true. Tidy is not something I do much, either in the house or out.

In the house I don’t do tidy because we need things around to inspire and stimulate. I found this out when home educating, when the children were far more engaged and busy when there was an array of projects, constructions, toys, creations and craft stuff, left about to stimulate them into action. Very useful when the tendency is for them to lay glossy eyed in front of a screen and be entertained. That’s useful too, at times, but they need to be building alternative skills too and nothing like a bit of inventing or creating to get their brains going and practical skills improving.

Little hands just can’t resist when there’s bricks asking to be built, sticky bits asking to be stuck and something to be experimented with. A tidy house with young children in it is not good.

Mine doesn’t have young children in it any more so I leave stuff around to stimulate myself – good excuse that – have you tried it?

And a tidy garden is not much good either. Not only for the children – they love den making with all sorts of junk you’d rather wasn’t out there, and mine was obsessed with digging child sized holes, so the garden never looked that great.

But now I still don’t tidy because under those piles of shabby leaves and rotting logs there is shelter for all the creatures who need it to survive the winter weather, who need rottings to eat and things to hide under. So I leave the garden untidy with autumn fallings to protect and shelter any wildlife that wants to over winter with us.

But, rather than tidy, I had to do some cutting back. This is so we don’t get drenched with overhanging shrubs as we go out the gate, or have our eyes gouged by lashing rose stems that have quadrupled in length over summer, which I can’t see as I go out to the compost heap in the dark and forget to duck.

So this has been my delight today; to be out there. Hard work it may have been – there was an awful lot of it when I looked – but happy-making being outside with nature. And now I can walk about unlashed and keep upright too, as I removed a few of the slippery leaves that slide my feet from under me when I’m least expecting it.

Then, when my arms got too tired to do any more, I shuffled off out the garden at sundown towards the marshland where I get the final sun-shafts right down to the last remaining minute, as there’s nothing manmade out there to obstruct its descent to horizon. The wild geese keep me company and finally an owl as I turn homeward in the dark.

And joy; I pass down paths without any scarring to the face and come inside to see what the untidy house has to offer for the evening!

Nothing but nature to obscure its descent

Nothing but nature to obscure its descent

Random….. helping the planet but sadly not the rats!

birdtable 014

Thought I’d use this picture for my random weekend post: I’m trying to help the planet by putting the dog’s veterinary collar to reuse. But I’m afraid the rats will be losing out as I’ve erected it to stop them shinning up the bird table and nabbing all the birds’ food!  Good idea? What d’you reckon?

(Funny blurry picture from the window  – I never clean them!)

Anyone got a Tit like mine?

  I’m woken in a sweat of alarm. Something’s tapping incessantly against our bedroom window from first light. And first light at this time of the summer is not an hour I wish to be awake.

I couldn’t work out what it was. Couldn’t decide how an intruder – or an admirer says she thinking wishfully? – could reach our bedroom window one floor up and a mass of thorny overgrowth to get through. I sat rigid with listening for ages. Then it all went quiet but sleep was impossible after such an adrenalin rush of alarm.

But I caught it later. It had started again, this time the curtains were open and guess what it was? A belligerent little Blue Tit peck, peck, pecking on the glass and then glaring in the window as if we had no right to be inside. Hammering again as fiercely as a woodpecker. Not even me walking over to the window half dressed seemed to deter it and that’s usually enough to distract most people.

You’d think it would give itself a headache. It’s certainly giving me one, rousing us with its drilling impression before we’re ready for consciousness. Perhaps it suffers from OCD and it’s got a thing about panes.

I armed myself with the camera and tried to snap it. But it flitted back and forth so fast I ended up with fifty shots of an empty window before I managed it.

I wondered if it was after greenfly but the roses are clear – apart from the fact they’re covered in bird poo now. And it does seem to be the window that it’s tapping on.

Has anyone else had experience of this, or is it just us who has a Tit with some kind of condition?


Sitting tricky!

  It’s going to be tricky sitting at the computer today. There’s not a bit of me that doesn’t ache!

I’ve just spent the entire weekend in the garden – I wasn’t wasting a second of this wonderful weather by being indoors, we’ll have the whole of the winter for that. So I’ve been digging and slashing and sawing and yanking and heaving.

You’ll guess I’m not exactly a refined gardener. In fact gardening was never really my thing. But I just love to be outside and to be busy. And this garden we inherited is so mature it verges on jungle so most of my tasks are taming overgrowth and reclaiming lost corners.

I’ve unearthed snail valley under stones and relocated earthworms. I’ve prised endless grassroots from what was supposed to be a strawberry bed. And I’ve wobbled up the top of too-short ladders hacking back rampant roses as thorny as barbed wire. So today I am scratched, stiff, stung and sore. But actually I feel great; far better than if I’d been trapped in the house all weekend. I even managed to coax the fork into rock hard earth and plant a few more bulbs and, even more surprising, managed to coax the teenager from out of her fug of technology.  I think pestering her by throwing pebbles and bits of twig at her bedroom window did it.

And this morning, perching in a funny position on the chair trying to ease aching back and shoulders, I have a cluster of little late roses sitting on the desk, which I discovered still flowering among the overgrown ivy. They bring a bit of the outside in and their scent reminds me that the pain has been worth it!