Sunday, 30 April 2017

Through the garden gate April 2017

This is not my garden gate unfortunately, but one I noticed while out walking in the countryside this month. It immediately reminded me of the children's book The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Having shown you a glimpse of the garden I had to show you what was behind the door, didn't I! The blue flowers were Camassia. I have never seen them planted in this way before.

Back into my garden and the borders are full of spring flowers. The mix of tulips I bought from Sarah Raven - this is the third year they have reappeared.

This is a perennial honesty plant Lunaria rediviva we bought from East Lambrook Gardens two years ago it has been very feeble until this year when it has created quite a show.

Tavi posing amongst the forget me not and the annual hop plant!

The leaves on the grape vine on the pergola has just started to open.  We have had a cold snap this week and vineyards in France and England have tried to protect the vines by lighting up candles  hopefully it worked and the crop will survive and produce a good crop later in the year. Luckily living by the sea it is milder and we don't have to revert to such drastic measures.

Favourite plants of the month include Aquilegia  (Granny's bonnets) and  Euphorbia  Wulfenii , the  pink blossom from the step-over apple cordon. Geraniums feature strongly in the garden, one of the first to appear is the small purple flower at the front is know as Mourning Widow or Geranium phaeum.

The white honesty is still flowering in profusion - and Tavi has got into the picture again, at least he was looking quite white for a change!

There is more white honesty in the cutting garden .....

 and displayed in the home too!

The fruit border is also full of promise and the green house is full of seeds, dahlias and tomato plants. Looking back at last months post it is amazing to see how the plants have come on. Today we have seen some rain, the first for about five weeks. It was a welcome sight as our three water barrels ran dry towards the end of the week and it was even enjoyable to sit tin the conservatory and listen and watch the rain!

What is your favourite plant in your garden at the moment?

If you would like to join in with Through the garden gate each month please let me know in the comments below and I will add your site. Those participating this month so far are :-

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Spring has sprung!

Spring is well and truly here and  I really need to sit down and appreciate it before it has passes me by! The pace of life is not reducing as new projects replace ones that are now complete!

Last weekend we took a short trip up to London to enjoy a lovely Easter lunch with my sister followed by a wander across Hyde Park to the Royal Albert Hall to attend the 25th anniversary concert by the folk group 'Show of Hands.'

Back home in Dorset everything is looking so fresh and green accompanied by beautiful spring blossom and flowers.

Our annual Good Friday Hike this year took us into the countryside, even a field of dandelions was a delightful find.

 In a hidden valley, a pretty cottage and barn were surrounded by hedgerows, which had splashes of the white blossom of blackthorn and leaves in various stages of emerging. 

While the wild garlic and bluebells scented the air.

 A green field of wheat grass.

 and empty winding lanes in the Bride Valley that head back to the start of our walk.

Hope you all have had a wonderful weekend too.
Sarah x

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Living a greener life

One idea can lead so far........

Our town hall clock is an important feature of the town.  The clock face has occasionally turned different colours for short periods for celebrations/commemorations.. When I originally came up with the concept of creating a fortnight to celebrate all the green initiatives in the town, the clock was an important part of this idea.  The idea of the fortnight was also to encourage the community to look at their lifestyle and take further steps to make it more environmentally friendly and reduce their carbon footprint. When I previously mentioned the fortnight on my blog some of my followers asked what they could do too, so here are some suggestions......

1) Reduce the miles that food is being transported by buying locally produced items. Fresh seasonal food tastes better, you get friendly expert advice from the growers, there is less packaging and it helps to support local jobs and the local economy. Just by shifting a percentage of your weekly spend from supermarkets to local businesses can make a huge difference to their livelihoods.

2) Grow your own vegetables and fruit and create a wildlife friendly garden.

3) Reduce your energy consumption when you need to buy a new equipment choose the most energy efficient models. Energy efficient light bulbs have improved so much over the years they now come in wide range of sizes and fittings and warm white and daylight versions. If you need to replace any light bulbs the LED ones are the most energy efficient.

4) Consider a car free day or use your car for one less journey a week. Going by bike or walking can turn into a pleasurable experience by bringing you closer to nature.

Winter storms in 2014 at Portland, Dorset.

5) If you are concerned about the effects of climate change and want to do more consider joining a group where you can work with others to improve things in your locality too, or just find out more about the issues.

Suggested groups include :-

Transition Towns (they started in Totnes and Ireland 10 years ago and now have groups  in over 50 countries.
Other environmental groups also have local groups e.g. Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth,.

A French film called Demain - 'Tomorrow' has just produced an English version. If you ever notice that it is showing in your area I would strongly recommend that you see it. It is a documentary that instead of focusing on the environmental problems highlights the positive work that ordinary people have done  in 10 countries to live a greener life.

The greatest hurdle is to make that initial change to your habits and do things differently. Is there anything you think you could do to live a greener life?

Sorry for not much blogging activity here or visiting others, normal service will resume soon!
Sarah x


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