A wild weekend

Heart hands @Dani Cox.jpg

I’ve just signed up for the #30dayswild project, run by the wildlife trusts.  The project encourages everyone to do something wild every day in June.  This can range from going on a long trek in the countryside, to counting a few insects in your garden.  My involvement will be at this much more domestic end of the range.  But it gives me a reason to try and focus on something to do with wildlife or nature every day, even on days when I barely lift my nose from the keyboard or find myself stuck in meetings from 9 to 5.   I’ve been trying to walk to work most days and this usually gives me something to think about.  So far my wild days have included:

  • noticing the birdsong on my way to work
  • spotting some wild art on a building sitewild art

When I first saw this, I thought it was a mural and then I realised that it was just wild plants growing up beside a piece of painted wood. Wild indeed.

  • Then I had a rather wild weekend

On Saturday I woke up earlier than planned and watched sparrows flitting in and out of the sycamore tree, eating greenfly I think.  Then I went to the Meadows Festival, one of my favourite annual Edinburgh events. I was looking for bargains on the charity sales tables, picking  up leaflets for various good causes, listening to live music, catching up with old friends, drinking coffee and having a wee picnic on the grass. Surprisingly the sun shone and I came home with a 50p plastic watering can, a few herb plants and an underwater MP3 player.  I’ve always fancied one of these for my swimming activities.  At £2 it was worth a try.  The MP3 player works.  Whether or not it works underwater, I have yet to find out.  In the mean time the £2 went to an appropriately environmentally minded organisation.

On Sunday I visited the Gardening Scotland show at the Ingliston showground, just outside Edinburgh. I hadn’t been for many years. The last time I went I had two very small children in tow and we ate a lot of ice cream.  Otherwise I don’t remember much except that it wasn’t really my thing:  I don’t like crowds, I hate the overcommercialisation of gardening, thought it was too expensive and generally I’ve had other things to do, this first weekend in June. This year I thought, as a garden blogger, I should at least have a look at it. Anyway I got a tram out to Ingliston and walked the, considerably longer than ‘ten minutes’, from the tram stop to showground, passing some lovely roses on the way:


It was rather pricey to get in but once there, I found much to enjoy, especially the show gardens. I had been rather wary of these, having seen what was offer at the Chelsea flower show on TV and imagining over-designed plots with too much hard landscaping and temporary flowers.  Flowers that had been carefully planned to bloom for a couple of days and would be finished within hours of the show ending.  I fell in love with these though, especially the front gardens for the greening grey Britain campaign

These were gardens after my own heart, designed to replace paving and car parks in front gardens with greenery and vegetables.  I also loved the children’s wildlife havens, lovingly designed by primary schools all over the country:

As with the Meadows Festival, I drank coffee, had a picnic on the grass and picked up leaflets for various good causes and the sun shone again. I didn’t bump into any old friends and I didn’t buy any plants.

I came home and planted out my seed-raised tomatoes in my raised beds, drank some mint tea and divided up the mint plants so that I could have more later in the year.

All in all it was quite a wild weekend.  Today it rained all day.  This was much needed and watching it constituted my only wild activity.

I won’t blog every day in June but I’ll try and tweet about my wild activities and summarise my findings here. Follow me on Twitter  @GreenBeanJackie if you want the daily updates.  My tweets will usually be about urban wildlife and what I can find in the city centre.

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