The year of 2019 has come to an end on the land and we wish to summarise it like we usually do, with a photo from each month. It is a huge privilege to live in close proximity with the natural word and we would like to celebrate that here with a photographic journey through the year from the small patch of earth that we are guardians of.
I just had to reblog this post from my daughter’s blog. She is on the Autism spectrum and used to be terrified of bees and bumblebees. It is wonderful to see her now, getting close up to these beautiful creatures. 🐝💚🐝
I used to have a fear of bees because I thought they might sting me. In order to overcome this fear I went outside with my camera to search for bees and take photographs of them on flowers. This helped me to stay calmer around bees because they won’t sting me randomly. Bees are very good pollinators and they take nectar from each flower. We have a lot of flowers in our garden and we wouldn’t want the population of bees to decrease and disappear.
Stupid people who spray chemicals all over the place are killing the bees and they are killing themselves.
We are just over a week into the beautiful, bountiful month of May and it is high time to sum up the last month on the land.
As many of you know we are involved in setting up the local Community Garden. Last summer we planted an area close to the entrance with flowers and other plants that attracts wildlife like bees, birds and butterflies. We did not remove plants like dandelions, daisies and clover.
We would like to tell you about an easy way to increase your raspberry harvest for the year. We grow autumn raspberries in the garden and the usual advice is to cut down all stems to the ground after fruiting in late autumn and let the new stems grow up in spring to fruit again the following autumn. We wanted to try a slightly different approach after reading James Wong’s excellent book “Grow for flavour”. It is a book we can highly recommend because of it’s wonderful advise on growing a whole range of crops in ways that increase flavour and nutritional values.We cut down the canes from last year but only where they were crossing or were growing too close together. We should probably have done this in autumn but as quite a few jobs around the garden, we did not get around to it until early spring. The remaining canes we topped by about one third.
We are entering our fourth summer season on our land and it is fascinating to see how a balance is starting to form with all the plants, fungi, microorganisms and animals working together. The first couple of years we had thousands and thousands of slugs but now our newt and frog population has grown so much, the slugs are much less in numbers.
When we look back on the month of September we remember a lot of sunshine and warmth. Maybe it was only an average month, but after the cold and wet summer September felt like a very welcome change.
We continued to harvest potatoes, courgettes and broad beans. All our onions and shallots that we harvested at the end of August dried out in the shed and are now hanging in inviting bunches from the ceiling.
The garden has taken on a more muted palette; some gold, copper and brown amongst the flowers and shrubs. Because of the warmth and sunshine many plants have been putting on new growth. All the pollinators made the most of it, filling up their winter reserves. Our ferns have also benefited from both the warmth and the rain.
Our espaliered apple-trees have only been planted less than three years but a couple of them have already provided us with lots of apples for tasty crumbles. We notice a remarkable difference in yields between espaliered and un-espaliered trees. Considering the space you save and the way you eliminate congestion and bad air circulation, we cannot recommend espaliering enough. You get both higher yields and healthier trees.
In our circle the plants are still looking good, unfortunately we do not have a picture of what it looked like last year at this time but as we remember it, there were a lot less plants a year ago and they also finished flowering sooner. A blog like this is not only a tool to share our successes and failures with the world but also an important record for us. By looking back through the posts we can see how things develop and change throughout time. We do not have a lot of readers but we do very much appreciate the ones we have and we hope we are making a few small changes, ignite some sparks and inspire people to plant and create something beautiful things in their lives.
We are looking forward to the remaining days of October. We hope to finish our extension this month and move into it. We will tidy up the garden and bring our Pelargoniums inside for the Winter months. There is a lot of weeding and tidying up to attend to in the garden. We think we will be quite busy. September brought us a lot of joy. We hope October will too…