A little domestic wildness

It’s June so it’s time for #30DaysWild , the campaign run by the Wildlife Trusts to get everyone to spot a little bit of wildness every day in June. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years and most years I treasure the chance to stop for a few minutes before or after work or over lunch to notice the wildness in the city around me. This year it’s a little different, with the wildness restricted to my daily walks or my own garden. Working from home, I can nip out with a cup of coffee or over lunch … Continue reading A little domestic wildness

Counting bees

For yesterday’s #SixonSaturday I was counting bees, or at least counting the flowers that the bees like in my garden. I found my six: foxglove, sage, chives, comfrey, yellow poppies, cotoneaster but there were more: raspberries, wild roses, rocket, red campion, clover, nearly all self-seeded and thrown around the garden. The sage and the raspberries and the chives grow where I planted them, providing us with food and flowers and more bees I sowed the rocket last spring and it lasted valiantly over the winter, growing tough and woody, now flowering with abandon and attracting bees The others, although chosen … Continue reading Counting bees

Sowing seeds of hope

We are living in strange times. Plans are being cancelled, people are worried. Yesterday, I tried to keep a focus on the future by sowing seeds. Here are some I sowed earlier, some mixed salad leaves, in a pot in the seed palace, just germinated but ready to grow into something exciting in a few weeks: Yesterday I made a start on the more delicate seeds, sowing tomato seeds in a little propagator indoors. I’ve started with two varieties: Tigerella and San Marzano. I have some others in packets but I’ll sow a few at a time to see what … Continue reading Sowing seeds of hope

Apples, onions and a toad in a hole

I’ve been wondering again about getting a pear tree for the garden, to grow my tiny orchard. I already have three apples and a plum and there is a cherry in the front garden. The plums are all finished now but there are jars of whole plum jam to look forward to. The apples are looking great too.  The earliest, Sunset, has been dropping fruits for a few weeks and I picked the last four today. I hadn’t thought much about the name of these apples before but you can see from this picture why they are called ‘sunset’: The red … Continue reading Apples, onions and a toad in a hole

Autumn tidying

Today was a tidying up in the garden sort of day. I cleared all the tomato plants from the raised beds . The tomatoes have been pretty good this year but some had succumbed to blight. The green ones should ripen indoors and I’ve left a few in the seed house as well These are all Tigerella which are very beautiful when they are still green. I sowed broad beans and phacelia in the tomato beds in the hope that it isn’t too late. I also sowed some late lettuce, replacing the seeds that I’d sown about a month ago … Continue reading Autumn tidying

Nesting bees

It was one of those days when you are sitting having your lunch, pondering the nature of utility and beauty and realising that your garden is not quite passing the William Morris test: ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’ – for more see here , where I argue that the test does not apply to the garden. In the garden there are many many beautiful things but also some that are not beautiful but are useful, mostly old plastic buckets and odd bits of wire caging which keep cats … Continue reading Nesting bees

Paradise reclaimed

This blog takes its name from Joni Mitchell’s song Big Yellow Taxi. My front garden is a reclaimed car park where previous residents parked their cars in front of the house. For more on this story, see my about page. Instead of parking cars, I grow plants and welcome the wildlife. Today I did a big tidy up in the front garden, updated the labels in my herb garden and revelled in the plants and creatures that would not have been there had I been parking cars instead: I also found this frog in the back garden, lurking in the … Continue reading Paradise reclaimed

London flowers

I’ve been away again and not gardening or blogging as much as I should. I was in London for a family event but I sought out some floweriness even in the big city.  As part of #30DaysWild I tried to find some wildness in the city parks and found these glorious (if not actually wild) foxgloves. There is a bee in the white one on the right, making it a little bit wild:The highlight though was my adult son’s suggestion to go and look at the roses in Regent’s Park. He’s always been a flower lover and it was entirely … Continue reading London flowers

Thirty days wild

It’s June, so it’s time for #30DaysWild – an annual event run by the Wildlife Trusts  to encourage people to get outside and enjoy nature. I try to appreciate nature every day, not just in June, but the 30 Days Wild event makes me try that little bit harder. My busy city life doesn’t usually allow me time to do some of the more adventurous things suggested by the Wildlife Trusts but I try to find some joy in nature in my garden, my allotment and in the urban landscape. While it’s easy to find wildness in the garden and allotment, … Continue reading Thirty days wild

Renewal

I don’t know about you but when I go out to spend a day in the garden, things never go quite according to plan. I did make a list, mostly concerning seed sowing, but, once I got outside, my mind turned to other things. First of all, it’s been the most glorious day – cold but with a with a spring tranquility. There was lots of birdsong, daffodils still in their full glory, some contended cats, taking it in turns to enjoy the flowers with me: While admiring these lovely primroses with Bella, I took a closer look at the … Continue reading Renewal