Posted in Gardens, lifestyle, self-sufficiency, environmental issues, adventure

The Buddha in my garden

There is a Buddha who sits on my patio. He appears to be gazing into my living room, meditating on the wonders of the universe. Or maybe he is just contemplating the weather and thinking, will this rain ever cease? 🤔

I live in what feels like the rainiest city in England. Now when one becomes a gardener, amateur or otherwise, one looks at what comes down from the sky differently to non-gardeners. Okay, during a dry spell, there will always be the odd complainer. It’s too hot, they will say, in an exasperated tone, fluttering a newspaper in front of them to fan their face from the relentless heat. (To be fair, it can get just a little too hot and then I am that person moaning!)

But most others will delight in such temperatures. What no rain, no cold, what’s there not to like?

I used to hate rain. What was the point of it? But when a myrtle dies slowly, leaves sadly curling up and falling off, because I, selfish person, forgot to water the plants on the patio during a rare dry summer, it’s time to rethink priorities. (Good news is, like Lazarus, my myrtle came back to life). 🌿

For most of the year, however,  there is no need to water my container plants thanks to the never-ending rainfall which appears attracted to my little haven. The clouds, very kindly,  prefer to water my lawn, which for the last five years has had rather a bog like appearance. ☔

My guinea pigs were eager to munch the grass. I was keen to be able to walk to the end of the garden without needing the help of Cedric, the Queen’s Guide to Morecambe Sands. At its worst, the lawn appeared as slippery and treacherous as the notorious sands themselves. And if I did get hens, they might well enjoy a wander and a nibble.

But at the moment, it was impossible.
Something had to be done. ☔

Posted in Gardens, lifestyle, self-sufficiency, environmental issues, adventure

From potboilers to potatoes

IMG_20170912_080521_BURST004.jpgI was once a rather different person. An avid bookworm, I could spend a full weekend absorbed in someone else’s world. More academic than practical, and much more a dreamer and thinker than a doer… This was who I was. And I still am that dreamer but since I was fortunate enough to acquire my first ever garden I realised practicality was a valuable skill to have if I wanted results. My garden is not large nor perfect. I have had a lot of help with it (thanks Dad and Simon!) especially during the bog years… And it has taken a long time to get to a point where I know what I want and what I want to do. Five years to be precise.

My love of all things connected to nature started with childhood walks with my dog Snoopy through woodland near my home. I lost interest in nature in my teens yet I would still love being around trees, plants and flowers. In my 20s, I always preferred rented accommodation with a garden to look out to or somewhere scenic nearby.  I turned 30 and discovered house plants, a gerbera was my first. And then one day I realised, despite protests to the contrary from my earlier self, it was time to put down my own roots. And so I had my little patch of land – decking,  a tiny boggy lawn, bamboo bed, two raised beds, stone borders. At the side of the house was a wild area of unknown weeds, a random ‘Christmas tree’, a derelict, falling-apart wooden shed and stones, lots of them.

My first ever garden.

Posted in Gardens, lifestyle, self-sufficiency, environmental issues, adventure

What is this all about?

This is a tale of a 39-year-old woman and her dreams of living the ‘Good Life’ in a small modern house in the suburbs of a once-industrial city. I am Clare (without an i) and I want this journal to inspire others in the same way others have motivated me. There will be elements of smallholding, gardening, adventures, green tips, thoughts on environmental, lifestyle and animal welfare issues and optimism in an often negative world. 😊🦋🌲🌻🐔