How Does Your Garden Grow?

Sunflowers

 So how have your gardens faired during this hot dry spell?  I know we have been flat out early in the mornings, sometimes Hubby has been on the plot at 5am watering while I join him a little later. Watering is a two hour process most days, carrying watering cans back and forth from the cistern tanks that are placed at 100-yard intervals down the length of the allotments. It’s exhausting work.  

 

 But together we have managed not to let too many things shrivel up in the unusually hot Summer here in the UK… Not to mention those driving HOT winds?

Farmers in Lincolnshire have said how their potato crops are dying. And despite our watering our potatoes they are now starting to die off early and the main crop hasn’t even flowered yet.

It’s the same all around the globe for one reason or another it seems there is an assault on crops, and whether it’s the transportation or the chemicals used to grow them, it seems that shortages are a real threat.

People who have any sort of land I feel in the future are going to have to think really hard on how they are going to grow their own food supplies and look at ways of sustainability. We can already see a recession looming on the horizon as food prices shoot through the roof along with Energy Bills which are set to quadruple, they have already doubled here.

So new initiatives will be needed I feel as people I see are already coming together in small groups of pooling ideas of community gardens and ways and means of pulling together resources.

One thing that have flourished is the Gladioli. We replanted them the other year to form a line near the cold-frame which has afforded them some shelter from the winds we get that blow across the valley.

Gladioli and Biscuit

Here is a vase of freshly picked Gladioli, along with some of the Dahlias.

Our Cat Biscuit is at home here on the plot, he follows us there and back most days and it is his hunting ground for mice. Very often we will have two or three gifts waiting on the patio in the morning as he brings home his hunting trophies.

I will leave you with some more images and hope your Gardens are surviving and thriving.

Click the Images to make larger:

The waterlilies in the small pond with have with our fish, have done well too. Click Images to Enlarge

Our gardens take a lot of effort to maintain, but the joy in abundance and pleasure they bring is worth all the aching muscles and hard work..

The green thumb is equable in the face of nature’s uncertainties; he moves among her mysteries without feeling the need for control or explanations or once-and-for-all solutions. To garden well is to be happy amid the babble of the objective world, untroubled by its refusal to be reduced by our ideas of it, its indomitable rankness.

Michael Pollan

Happy Gardening

Dandelion

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

With Locks of Gold today;

Tomorrow Silver Grey:

Then Blossom-bald.

Behold,

O Man, thy Fortune told!

J.B. Tabb~( 1845-1909 )

 Most of us will know what a Dandelion is,  many see them growing wild, they are also found in our gardens, especially our lawns.

We are often encouraged to kill them in those weed-killing adverts, as they show us how to zap them dead with one squirt of poison.  

Hare and Dandelion painting
~Sue Dreamwalker

Yet the Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has tremendous health benefits, perhaps that’s why big pharma linked with the chemicals companies of weed killers want you to keep zapping them.  Because it grows in abundance and is free and it aids our health.. Like some other plant-based medicines I could think of.

The dandelion root has been used for hundreds of years to treat a wide range of health issues, so it is no wonder that it’s regaining popularity as people discover how easy it is to grow and harvest.

The Dandelion has many health benefits, the root is where most of the medicinal properties are. But you can eat the leaves and the flowers along with the stems, they are all edible, and can be added to salads and stir fries. Or you can dry it out and use for making tea.

Here I hung out Dandelions Drying for making tea

Dandelion derives from the French ‘Dent de lion’ ( Lion’s tooth ) a reference to the jagged leaves pointing backwards. Which to the imagination look like a lions jaw.

Dandelions contains 12 times the amount of vitamin A than a lettuce, and about 3 times its vitamin C.

I pick younger leaves as the older leaves tend to be Very, very bitter if using them in a salad. Or steamed like spinach.

Note: Make sure that your Dandelions have not been sprayed with any chemicals or weedkillers, and are picked away from the roadside where they will pick up contaminants from vehicles exhausts etc. Wash well.

You can also make Dandelion Wine  I am sure many of us can recall the taste of Dandelion and Burdock Pop or cordial … One of my favourite fizzy drinks as a child and still is… 

 

Studies have been found Dandelion is very good for our hearts, and can lower bad Cholesterol, it can fight Free Radicals with its powerful Antioxidant properties, called beta carotene.

It can help stabilise blood sugars, and some research suggests it may be helpful in treatments of type ll Diabetes.

 Also Blood Pressure can be lowered naturally with dandelion root. Potassium has been proven to help lower blood pressure and dandelions are rich in potassium. Also Potassium increased in your diet will help relieve muscle cramps, you can also get this from Banana’s too.  

Potassium also helps osteoporosis and kidney stones too, so a cup of dandelion root tea every day will provide the potassium your body needs to stay healthier.

Dandelions have antimicrobial and antiviral properties in them, that work to strengthen the immune system. Vitally important at the moment to keep our immune systems topped up. I also use Echanechia drops this helps our immune system fight cold and flu symptoms!.

 What is there not to like about the Dandelion, for they improve digestion, help reduce inflammation, which is why I drink dandelion and root tea on a regular basis, along with nettle tea, I will go into the benefits of nettles another day.  Dandelion leaves are rich in vitamin A.

Dandelion picked and washed

Here I picked tender young leaves and roots from my allotment, I washed and scrubbed the earth from the roots and then hung up to dry, once dry I then crushed to store in an airtight jar to use as in a tea.  Lots of methods can be found on the internet of how to prepare and add to recipes.

Dandelion Tea

So next time you think of zapping a dandelion or pulling it up from your garden…. Think twice on how it may aid your own health and benefit you,… all for free… 😊

 I will add a link here so you can see for yourself all of those health benefits

Happy Gardening!

Mid June~ On the Plot.

Here we are in mid June, and we have been busy. While we have had some odd heavy showers here and there, the allotments have needed watering most every day..

We do this from the water tanks that are dotted about every One hundred yards or so.. Thankfully our water cistern is only around twenty good steps from the top of our plot… But when you are carrying two 2litre watering cans back and fourth, which someone told me the other day is roughly about 40lbs in weight in total… Who needs a Gym to work out your arm muscles 🙂

The weather here has been warm and yesterday it reached up into the 30c… too warm for me.. Then today it plummeted down to 14c… with forecasts for thunderstorms this afternoon… I hope we do get some rain… It will certainly take a little of the heavy watering back and forth pressure off for a little while..

From left to right Beetroot Chard Red and green Lettuce Peas Potatoes

Its been ideal growing weather for Lettuce and the neighbours and family have been well pleased with what we have given away.. I spent an hour weeding out the row of Spring Onions, Space is always well used and here you see We planted between the cloches

Spring Onions- Before weeding and After weeding If you click onto the pointer in the image you can slide across.

If you zoom into left hand section, you will see the weeds, while we throw those into the compost bins if they haven’t got seeds formed… The are also edible! ... But make sure you identify anything you eat first to be sure.

We get hundreds and thousands of these weeds growing each season, the seeds get churned up every year from digging and hoeing etc. The weeds you see above go by several names as either lambs-quaters weed, or White Goosefoot. Also know as Wild spinach. A link here for a close image and more information including vitamin value.. If you do not pull up these when small like this, they can grow quite high and then turn to seed.

So many of our so called weeds, can be edible and I will touch upon some in a future posts… In the mean time I will just leave you with a gallery of what is growing. If you click onto individual images they should enlarge.

We are delighted that more and more people are taking an interest in growing their own food. And this is the first year in a long while that most of the vacant plots are taken. It requires hard work and people can soon get discouraged as they think they can dig a piece, plant it and leave it… Only to come back and find it covered in weeds again and if they have not covered their tender shoots that the pigeons have eaten the lot…

I have I think a little mouse that visits our strawberries, I saw the tiny hole in the ground beside the wooden frame… and Although netted I saw little teeth nibbles on the ripe strawberries.. You have to be prepared to Give and Take to mother nature and I dare say as food prices soar we usually get a few two legged human species helping themselves too and I feel this year we will see more of that happening.. Its unfortunate, as I would sooner give away than people take… But we grow more than enough for our needs, and we always give our surplus away to family and neighbours . But what ever, we hope they enjoyed what they take, they obviously were in need.

Hope you are all enjoying your gardens whether it be growing veggies or just sitting enjoying your lawn and flowerbeds.

Happy Gardening!

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.” 

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Creating With Mother Earth

I thought it beyond time I opened up my garden blog again. Some of you already may know I took a long-extended break from blogland. It wasn’t intentional, it just happened, as I swapped the computer for my crafts as I absorbed myself in my creations.  And the longer I was away, the harder it seemed to return here.  

 I have sorely neglected this my garden blog, and now more than ever, people need their gardens in which they can ground themselves, as they re-connect back with Mother Nature, along with her gifts of beauty and bounty.  We have so many wonderous gifts bound within nature, that many of us still take for granted. So I thought it about time I shared some of these precious gifts we all can learn to participate within, as we merge in nature, be it growing things or just relaxing in it.  

The Pause I took, I know was due to something shifting deeply within, for while I was creating with my hands, I was taken into a place of bliss, where peace and calm ran like the threads of  yarn I was using to create, as I allowed my mind to drift into its own rhythm of creation, away from the chaos I was seeing unfolding in the outer world.  

I felt alive within the patterns I wove, absorbing each thought, each download of wisdom, as thoughts filtered through, as I tried to fathom out a world which to me was no longer making that much sense. For what I saw unfolding was contradiction after contradiction, and as our world and our rights dissolved with leaders whose strings were tied into their own dark tethers of intentions.   So, as each stitch was formed within my creations, I tried to sort out within my own safe haven the heartache of all I was experiencing around me.    

Did I succeed in clearing that heartache? In part yes, in part, no..

For we are all learning, each of us are all growing, and like the seeds we plant, we have to nurture and give them the right conditions in order for them to thrive.

So, within my creative quiet time, I saw ourselves each as small seeds, all cast down onto this Earth within our various circumstances. Some got planted in the rich earth of plenty, while others were cast upon the rocks, who often it seems have to strive harder than their neighbours to survive, as they send their roots out to find nutrients to sustain them, as they struggle in overcoming their various obstacles and circumstances.

But all of us, were here to learn how to grow.

Yet ALL no matter what conditions they find themselves in, they are each given that which enables their inner light to strengthen. For all are in need of the Light, no matter how deep in the dark they have fallen into the cracks of despair. We are all striving towards the light, no matter how hard or harsh some are finding it in their own dark shadowy places, we all need light in which to mature and grow. And we all started out in that dark lonely place at one time or another.      

 All of us I feel in the not-too-distant future may need to learn and start a garden, or at least support a local communities or farmers markets, as we see the value of how growing our own food and keeping our seeds pure will be so important in the future.

Many too who are awakening, are seeing the value of clearing and cleaning our energies centres, as we not only need food in the physical sense to sustain us, we also need to cultivate our inner garden, as we re-learn how to nurture and cultivate our inner world.

To do that we need to open our hearts, as we embrace and unify our fellow travellers who find themselves in troubling times.  We must also remember to also be very gentle with ourselves, as we learn to navigate newly ploughed ground which may still be rough and full of stones underfoot.  For we are all going to be walking upon newly turned earth as the old earth gets turned over ready for us all to plant new seeds, new ideas, new solutions to the broken systems we now see falling by the wayside.

Things in our reality may for a time feel more confusing, but a garden cannot be maintained unless we are prepared to put in the hard ground-work, clearing out the weeds, and thorns, as we lay new foundations, planting new seeds of truth, that are not poisoned by the chemicals which not only pollute our Earth Mother, but pollute the minds and choke our freedoms to grow and thrive within this God’s Earth we call Gaia. To which we were all born free to experience.    

   

 This garden blog has been dormant for far too long, its now time to open up this garden once again, as we plant our new seeds, new ideas, new solutions into BE-ing, as we bring our Dreams into reality as we walk our walk and talk our talk…

Dreamwalker’s Garden is now open for the growing season of New Earth.

Happy Gardening within and without

Nature and Crafting

As promised I will share some of my crafting over the last few months, and recent weeks along with how things are growing on the Plot.. April has been very dry here in the UK, and cold. With heavy frosts first thing in the mornings. So things in the greenhouse have been covered in fleece.. Tender plants are still vulnerable so holding back planting out some tender plants in the garden until later on in the month of May.

So here in picture format is just some of what is growing, If you click on the images they will enlarge .

So that is what is growing above. Below is what I have been creating . I have been painting, and creating knitting and crocheting. You will see a large crocheted blanket , and some small knitted and crocheted jumpers / sweaters/ tank tops for some teddy bears. And I recently had bought me a Mandala crocheting book from my daughter for my birthday and so I am now enjoying creating some mandala’s in crocheting.

The first is a bag I have done and crocheted the outside.. I made from a canvas back and created some pockets inside

So my friends, that is what I have been doing while I have been absent from blog land.. I feel the need to be creative. I hope you also embrace your creativity .. Enjoy ALL you create.. All you grow..

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will” – George Bernard Shaw

May you never stop Imagining into being that which you wish to create..

Garden Blooms In May.

 Hello my gardening friends. How have you all been?…

Here in Dreamwalker’s Garden, there has plenty to keep us occupied. And the big bonus here in the UK has been the weather has been exceptionally warm and dry over May.  It has meant lots of water carrying too and fro on the plot. But I have enjoyed even that, as we go early in the morning..  And it takes with both of us carrying water about an hour to water completely.. 

If you click the photos they should enlarge in a new window.

Dahlia’s now out of cold frame, waiting to be planted in their permanent position

I will start off with the Dahila’s… We had several over night frosts at the beginning of May and despite us having to move the Dahlia’s into the cold frame as we needed more room in the greenhouse as the Tomatoes were getting ready to pot on, The Frost caught the tops of several of the large plants… But they should bounce back.. 

We have now moved them out of the cold frame into a sheltered position between the raspberries and where I planted the sweet-peas, as hopefully as we near the end of the month fingers crossed we will get no more frosts…  Next week we intend to plant them into their flowering positions.  

Here you can see the Tomatoes and Cucumbers now in place in the Greenhouse

The Strawberries are the new plants we bought last year, They are now getting more established this year and already lots of fruit is forming.

Strawberries forming.. I have since put straw under the plants to help protect the fruit.  

 

The Peas in stages of growth, so Harvesting them is staggered You can also see the Lupins in Flower.. We planted these all down the side of the plot, as they attract blackfly, and aphids  and I would sooner them eat the flowers than be on my veggies 🙂 

On the Home Garden, I got busy with the paintbrushes and painted the sides of the garage with wood preserver.. We had this Charcoal grey paint left over from the garden fences we did last year.. So I painted the border in the dark corner near the garage as well as sprucing up the fairy doors with a new lick of paint…  And if you wonder how those fairies climb the distance from the ground… They fly of course!!! Silly… 🙂 

Fairy Doors

And last but not least, I made a little video of the garden blooms within my own garden in flower this month of May… 

I Hope you Enjoy and  Happy Gardening as I send Love and well wishes to All… 

A Video Update of April

Hello my gardening friends..  We have been so thankful for our allotment plot as a place of refuge in these strange and trying times..  So instead of lots of photos here, I have included  a video of how the plot looks and what has been planted in it..  

The good news is that vacant plots on  our site  are being taken up and people are getting back into nature and growing their own food..  I have high hopes for positive outcomes. 

With in our own community of neighbours I am seeing people helping each other, sharing resources etc..   We have been sharing extra veggies and in return they have been sharing back magazines, books, and other things. 

We are lucky in we have a wonderful hub of neighbours who are pulling together.. 

My wish is that we come out of this more united and stronger, .. That we unite and co-operate in kindness and sharing, rather than living in fear, lack, and separation… We each have the ability to turn our communities around should we choose to do so..  

Take care of yourselves and I hope All of you are getting out into your own gardens and enjoying the calm present moments of being out in Mother Nature… The birds are singing their joy and Nature too is taking a breath… 

Happy Gardening!

 

 

Easter Creations With A Difference..

Dear friends… So how are you all doing? Have you managed to get into your gardens, have you been creative with your hobbies…

I began a new knitting project, a cardigan… Though I chose to do a different stitch pattern to the one on the  pattern below

As you see the stitch pattern is different, but quite easy only for rows to complete one pattern..

We have been on our daily exercise every morning in our plot… And the weather here has been beautiful and sunny and dry…. So dry that we have already had to start watering.. Our nearest water cistern was quite close but its broken and now dry so I counted my footsteps yesterday in strides and it was 82 strides to the next nearest and 82 back.. When you are carrying 4 gallon in two gallon watering cans at a time… My arms were more than aching..  It certainly puts into perspective those who have no water in their countries who carry every drop in searing heat over long distances… My gratitude for water took on a whole new meaning this week.. 

So I decided to give you a little treat in my other creative skills I am still learning, and that is to share a short video I made of our allotment plot… Its far from perfect and I will add below the video new pictures taken today of our planting of cabbages and where I mulched after shredding some of our conifers and cutting back some shrubs we needed to clear for repairs to our garage roof..  You will also see how this week the Sun has brought out the blossom which I didn’t think was there on our apple trees when I made the video as we transplanted and moved  both trees in the autumn to a new position in the plot as they were not thriving where they were.. 

Enjoy your time my friends as much as you can in your restricted zones of lockdown… Create as much as possible… as you try to detach from the daily news.. Breath in Nature as much as you are able… And create your own inner peace in all you do.. 

Click onto the photos to enlarge..

Happy Easter Everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise on Lock-down~ Creative Time.

Another Month has gone, and either ‘Time’ is flying for you right now, or it is dragging out… So what are you all doing in your Lock-down time? Have you taken up your artist brushes, or you ladies, sewing or knitting. Or maybe you found some DIY jobs you needed to do if you had the materials in before the lock-down… If you are lucky enough to have a garden have you been busy in it enjoying getting out in it as Spring starts to bloom. 

 Have you been creative??  Have you been bored? Why not give something new a try… 

I felt like creating something different, and found myself painting in aboriginal art form. This is just part of that watercolour painting

Or are you perhaps seeing this time as a time to reflect and put into perspective all our blessings..  Maybe you are volunteering your time helping others, or maybe you need help.  If you do need help, then do not be afraid to reach out to your neighbours, never be too proud to ask.. There are many who are willing to help right now..  I am witnessing some wonderful neighbours within my own community and a band of volunteers are organising through our neighbourhood watch scheme, and its heart warming to see..  What ever you are doing, where ever you are, I hope each and everyone of your are well, and stay well. 

Have you been able to walk the dog, keeping your social distancing? or have you found time to dig your plot and garden and prepare your gardens ready for the growing season?

We keep on Walking.

We count ourselves very fortunate in that our allotment plot is only a five minute walk away, and when we go early in the morning we hardly see anyone or meet anyone. When we do, we respect each others distance and get on with the job in hand of planting our crops..  ( If you right click the photo’s  you can open up to view larger ) 

We have been busy busy, as those of you know this is sowing time.  So In went the potatoes.. Hubby did this in gradual steps, digging two rows each morning, digging out the deep trench mucking/ putting manure it and placing potatoes in.. Covering up… Hard work, and when you are Three score year and ten plus it doesn’t get any easier.. 

Hubby has now put in Nine rows of potatoes. Two early variety is called Foremost, and seven main crop are Picasso.

While Hubby was busy digging in the potatoes, I got stuck in one morning and planted the onions and shallots..  The quality of the photo below is not good.. It was pretty cold that morning, as off came my gardening gloves to click the photo. 

Onions and Shallots setting, I planted Two rows of each and one row of red onions. Which are Turbo, and the shallots are Golden Orbit.

The next morning while the potato rows were growing, two by two 🙂  I set too and planted a row of peas.. Growing in the cold frame. 

First lot of Peas sprouting, It was the second lot which the mice ate..
These are Hurst Green-shaft.
My row of Pea planting.. I would be lost without the kneeler. My knees did take the toll. Hubby later came to the rescue with his rolled up jacket as a cushion on the kneeler.

 These I set in rows of three..  And boy did I know about it with my knees and back.

Once the row was set, Hubby helped me put metal steaks in and we put wire netting either side of them. This is for support when they grow

Peas now in neat rows with wire netting each side to help them grow up and support .

Remember the  sweater I was knitting and making up as I went along with left over yarns.. Well hubby took a photo of me wearing it as the peas we netted and I was raking the footprints we had made… 

Me raking up my messy footprints after the pea row is planted and covered with nets until they get a little bigger to flower… Otherwise pigeons and sparrows love young pea-shoots.

Another morning I put the nets in place along the trellis which was where for years we have grown loganberries.. But as these have not been there best for several years, so we decided to dig them out in the autumn.. And I had a plan to plant sweet peas along the row… Hence my dismay in my last post when the mice got in and nibble their way through them… But my new plants are now growing and in the cold frame. This is where they are going.

I mucked under the trellis work in the beginning of January, and now I put netting up for the sweet-peas flowers to climb up when big enough to plant out.

 The greenhouse on is still full of seedlings, brassica’s and leeks, lettuce etc. 

Seedlings and dahlia tubas. There really isn’t a lot of room.. But some now are out in the cold frame.
My Flower bed in the allotments.. Space for Dahlia’s at the side of the sheds.

Well my friends, that’s all for now Stay safe and well and See you next time.

Sowing Seeds.

This is the time when we get busy again with our plots and gardens, as we prepare the ground to plant our seeds and soon we will be planting our  early potatoes at the end of March..

Now I could have shown you rows and rows of seed trays we had set.. We set our pea seeds and I set my Sweetpeas in February. My hubbies peas were just starting to sprout, when we had a little visitor sneak into our allotment plot greenhouse and who merrily nibbled their way through every tray… 

So we have had to both resow again… And I alone set 100 sweetpeas, as I bought lots of different varieties this year… So we had to repurchase and start over… And its amazing how mice will nibble through the harder husk of the peas and take the tender centre and leave the husk on the surface of the compost…. Any how Hubby has found where he/she or them were getting in and so far so good.. But I am not risking my second sowing of sweetpeas being eaten again so they are now on my home window sill.. 

While the weather has been up and down, I have been merrily knitting.. And while it may look at the moment a mixture… I know what I am doing as I make it up as I go along… lol.. 

I know this looks a bit strange at the moment… But it my own made up abstract design.. lol

I just want to leave you with a little bit of Spring that is now starting to bloom, through the wet soggy days.. 

Take care of each other…

And Sow LOVE not Fear my friends…