garden

Ruffled youngster

Ruffled youngster

August 13, 2020
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Pop the cat.
Lying on the bench underneath the apple tree, with the airs of one who Knows (!) the comfy cushion was brought out by me earlier in the day for his sake (and not for me to take a mid-afternoon nap on).

A dove lands beneath the black mulberry-tree, having me up out of my chair, shooing it away, not wanting to share any ripening mulberries with him (her? How can you tell?). Sit down again, only to hear more dove-commotion, together with the distinct tinkling on Pop’s bell, the small one attached to his collar, giving him a telltale signature sound when he’s approaching. Look over towards the garden beds filled with kale and squash plants, and there’s Pop with two dove’s, one of whom appears ruffled.

Rush over there, shoo at the trio, making the unruffled dove fly away, with Pop running after it. The ruffled one –looks like a youngster– hops away, perching on a stone next to the lime-tree arbor where I have set up my outside office. I sit down and continue to write, but before long, that same telltale sound informs me Pop is approaching.

Snatch him up, going into the house to give him his evening meal, and leave him eating. Closing the door firmly behind me, to give the little one some time to recover from the shock of the ordeal, hopefully, able to take off before long. So I sit down again, and lo and behold, all of a sudden it sets off, hopping, underneath the garden table, onto the small stone wall separating my garden from the neighbors, and makes a jump for it, landing, after a few flaps of its wings, in the neighbor garden, hopping away across the lawn.

I don’t particularly care for these doves.
They eat most of my red currants. Some of the gooseberries at that, probably mulberries as well (even though that might be me badmouthing them as I’ve never actually seen them in that tree), and generally poop all over the garden furniture.
But I don’t want them hurt.
Having a free-range cat running loose in the neighborhood, that’s a hypocritical stance to take, as cats are wont to snatch birds and small rodents of varying kinds, but hey… I still don’t have to be an accomplice in the actual deed, do I?

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I deserve being nourished

June 25, 2020
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I don’t do thirty minutes of gardening daily.
But I do some gardening, most days.
Sometimes for hours. Sometimes nothing at all.
It evens out, but what’s apparent is how nurturing it is for me, especially after a long day at the office.

Coming home, running low on energy, even though I mostly just want to lie down on my bed and do nothing for an hour or two… if I don my garden clothes and step outside into the garden – the recharge starts immediately. And it’s definitely a significantly faster charge happening than the plonking-down-on-the-bed-scrolling-through-SoMe-feeds is.

So, I am vowing, yet again, to gift myself the joy of gardening, because that is what it is.
It is a gift. For me.

I sometimes forget that it is a gift (thinking it’s a burden).
I sometimes forget how nourishing it is (opting for the mind-numbing SoMe-scrolling instead).
I sometimes forget how the weariness just falls off me, when I bend down to remove some weed, when I put a few more seeds in a garden bed, when I get out the watering can and feed the thirsty plants (mistaking it for a chore). 

I sometimes forget.
And I want to remember.
Because I deserve being nourished.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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The nudges of inner wisdom

May 23, 2020
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Woke up Thursday morning with a strong urge to stay put. To not make sure I got my normal daily ten kilometers in my body. To not step one foot outside of my property. I just didn’t want to leave.

Now.

This isn’t unheard of, sometimes I get into a reading marathon and simply stay at home… but I don’t think I ever actually felt such a strong sensation, telling me, whispering to me, to stay put.

So I did.
Had lunch in the garden and then spent hours out there.
Reading. Weeding. Reading some more. Repotting plants and seedlings. Reading some more.
Just being.

The day after I had the same sense, but went by car with Mr D to fetch some soil for the garden. Much needed and a good little excursion. One that definitely didn’t make me get any 10K in me. 

And today, I had the same sense… until it was four o’clock when, all of a sudden, I wanted to go for a slow barefoot walk.
So I did.

Listening within.
Hearing the nudges of inner wisdom.
Telling me to slow down. Let go. Just be.

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Garden TLC

May 14, 2020
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Monday. No gardening. None. 

Tuesday. No gardening. Not even a chance at it, except if I’d done it before leaving home at seven am, or after coming home at 10 pm. And not even I am that bonkers…

Wednesday. Cold as h*ll, especially so after a weekend of Swedish summer temperatures, which immediately had me acclimatized. Donned cap, gloves and winter coat before headed out to water my garden beds. So yes. 30 minutes – check.

Thursday. Warmer, though no summer heat exactly. Donned garden garb plus cap, and went out at 7 pm, with a Zoom call scheduled for 8 pm. Put more soil onto of the potato shoots peeping up. Planted three squash-plants and four kale plants. Potted the remaining seven squash-plants (where on earth should I put these? They are up for grabs if anyone is interested!) as well as three of the nine tomatoes I bought from a neighbor the other week. The thirty-minute mark came and went, and I stayed at it for another fifteen minutes, before reluctantly putting the tools away in my garden shed, and brought my potted kale, tomatoes and squash plants back indoors with me, to continue their softening process tomorrow morning. This way, in case the kale, squash and tomatoes I planted outside today will not make it, I have some spare plants left.

Oh…
How I enjoy looking at my garden, witnessing its response to my lavishing it with tender love and care (and a dab of water or two).
And even more, the joy at realizing how important and nurturing it is to be in it. With it.
Plants, soil, water. The green color. The brown, the black, the budding flowers. 

What a grand source of wellbeing and connection to all that is.
And how happy I am to simply enjoy it. No Musts. Just Wants.
Once in a while, however much I want to, it just won’t be. And that’s as it is. Nothing more. Nothing less. Acceptance.

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Feeding myself and my garden

April 30, 2020
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–The gardening. How’s it going?

–Why, thanks for asking, it’s going fine!

After making the Sunday-promise of 30 minutes of daily gardening for the upcoming week, coming home Monday and Tuesday evening after long busy days at the office, I immediately donned my garden garb, taking my basket of seeds and the rough outline of the garden, set the timer to 30 minutes, and got to it.

Sowing seeds.
Watering.
Nipping at a little something here, and a little something there.
Picking a bunch of dandelion flowers to dry for tea.

Loving it.
By the time the timer alerts me I’ve not wanted to stop, but with an empty stomach and other commitments, I’ve put the gear and garb away, eager for the next day. 

Today is Wednesday, and as the afternoon progressed, it started to rain. Windy. Chilly.
Biked home in insufficient clothing, not being prepared for rain, I arrived home wet, cold, and hungry. So I decided on having dinner with some borrowed gardening books for 30 minutes of garden inspiration rather than go outside.

This way of honoring my promise, but not limiting myself to physical labor, makes it feel sustainable. And I am already starting to ponder keeping the promise going after the week. After my 30 minutes of gardening, I feel refreshed, recharged, grounded. 

And you know what?
Feeding myself with inspiration is as important as feeding the garden itself with new soil, fertilizer, seeds and plants. 


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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A peek

April 9, 2020
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Badly planned day.
Here I am, ten pm, and I’ve yet to write my blog post for the day.

And I am tired. I want to go to bed.
So instead of trying to churn something out, I will simply give you a peek at what my afternoon brought me:

Mr D (yeah, the Buddha) came over (yeah, actually came over. Sweden does this Corona-business slightly different than most countries, for better or for worse) to help me work the garden. We bought 18 sacks of soil, 6 of cow-dung and 2 bags of potatoes to plant.

We managed to get 15 of my planting frames prepped (with water, cardboard and a bag of new soil, which will be accompanied by sawdust, cow-dung and bloodmeal on top within the next few days)  – the difference it makes to not do this work alone (I wouldn’t have –done it I mean– so you can imagine the difference!).

And then. This little geezer came on over, curiously checking out the newly spread out soil. There’s something special with bumblebees. Just love ’em.

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Just Being.

March 14, 2020
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Completely blank calendar.
24 hours of naught.
That does not happen often, and the only reason it happened today was the cancellation of my trip/course this weekend.

Not a cloud in the sky, almost no wind, 6 degrees Celsius and the warmth of the sun.

Slow morning in bed, reading, tindering with an interesting bloke, did my morning seven’s (two of them) before my three-round Wim Hof-deep breathing, breakfast. A 15 km bike ride, left-over lunch of the loveliest Jerusalem artichoke soup and now… headed outside for some gardening.

Dry leaves, withered stalks.
To be gathered and collected, tossed in the garden bin.
Filling up a few bags of firewood to bring inside, for those sure-to-come stormy and cold spring evenings. And if not… it will be very ready to burn come the fall dito’s.
Perhaps a bit of weeding as well, even though very few plants that are considered weeds in my garden.

Just Being.
Being.

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Working together!

May 25, 2019
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As I waited for two friends to come over and help me with the garden, I wandered out in it… only to stumble upon the first giant poppy in bloom.

Oh!

Lavish.

Lush.

Lovely!

Lucky me; There are at least another 30 buds or so just raring to go!

In a few hours time, we worked the garden, sowing sugar peas, parsley, dill and kale, moving a few Jerusalem artichokes, watered and weeded, and started to get the berry patch in order, which it truly needs, not having seen a lot of love these past few years.

Three people, three hours.
What a difference it makes, from giving it a halfhearted hour or two myself, flitting from one spot in dire need to the next, without actually making a lot of progress, to working together like this! And better still, they will be coming back to help me. <3 

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Going with the flow

July 12, 2017
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I haven’t officially declared myself as having started my summer vacation, but more or less, I have stopped working for the summer. Being self-employed with the type of assignments that I take on, I am fairly free to schedule my work the way it suits me best, so since the kids left school for the summer mid-June, I have been taking it fairly easy. Work wise, that is.

But yesterday was one of those days where everything just flowed, from one task to another, and as I seem to have loads of energy at the moment, I am just going with the flow.

Allotment aisle cleared of weedsIt started off (after blogging and doing my daily Seven of course) with a date at the allotment, where we cleared away the final patch of weeds, to return the plot to the city, as we are no longer interested in keeping it on. Last week we weeded the entire plot, and just had the aisle outside to clear up as well. Done deed. Felt good!

Got home, and immediately brought out the vacuum cleaner as there had been an accident in the kitchen involving a glass bowl breaking apart. Started to vacuum, and figured I might as well do the entire house. So I did. And while I was in cleaning mode, I took the time to clean the toilet, bathroom and laundry room as well.

Then I had some lunch out in the garden, reading the paper, before I decided to go to the library to return and borrow some books. So I took a long barefoot walk, enjoying the lovely summer weather. As I got close to home, the neighbor texted, saying she’d started to cut our shared hedge out front, and hoped I would be ok with it, as she’d been quite drastic in reducing the height of it. I got home, and high fived her, as we’d been about to suggest to trim it quite a lot, giving it a complete make-over, and the height was just what I would have suggested. As she was hard at work, it seemed fitting I joined her. So I did. Hours upon hours of hedge-trimming, interspersed with a Swedish fika at the neighbors to regain some strength for completing the job.

The hedge make-over

Managed to convice my daughter to make dinner for us, and as she was busy in the kitchen, I finished trimming the hedge from my side, just getting done when dinner was served. All in all, I would say the hedge has been reduced by half both in height and width! Give it a few weeks, and it will be all green again. grass cuttings

Earlier in the day, another neighbor a couple of blocks away, texted asking if I wanted some grass cuttings (the best fertilizer for the garden!), so after dinner, I rode my bike over there, took the wheelbarrow filled with grass cuttings for a walk, dumped it in my yard (that’s on todays agenda, to distribute it evenly in my garden where appropriate) and walked back, before taking my bike home again.

Absolutely beat, I just had one more thing on my daily-to-do-list: my twenty minutes of guitar playing. Got that over and done with (it’s coming along nicely I can tell you!) and then plonked down in the sofa, for a while, before dragging my tired body up to bed.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had too much sleep, as I’ve been severely bitten by whatever tiny winged creature resides in the hedge, all over my body, so I’ve been tossing and turning, itching like crazy, all night. So perhaps, today will be a day of gentler and less strenous flow?

Unless the neighbor decides to rent a trailer to haul all the hedge branches to the recycling station, because then I will join her in that endeavor as well, getting rid of the huge pile currently residing on my drive way. On the neighbor front lawn it looks as if there’s two hedges, so there’s plenty to haul away, that’s for sure. But compared to what got done yesterday, getting rid of it all will surely feel like a breeze.

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An absolute paradise.

July 7, 2017
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”In the symbiotic community of the forest, not only trees but also shrubs and grasses – and possibly all plant species – exchange information this way. However, when we step into farm fields, the vegetation becomes very quiet. Thanks to selective breeding, our cultivated plats have, for the most part, lost their ability to communicate above or below ground – you could say they are deaf and dumb – and therefore they are prey for insect pests. That is one reason why modern agriculture uses so many pesticides.”

Friendly gardenIt is sad to think about this, how we are robbing cultivated plants of their ability to communicate. But what makes me even sadder is that somehow, we humans have truly screwed up. I mean, my garden is an absolute paradise for insects of all sorts. It is filled with flowers blooming from early spring until late fall, it’s rife with decomposing leaves and plants, with plenty of possible holes serving as nests for both bumblebees and wild bees, no pesticides of any sort enter into it, and in all manners possible it is an extremely pollinator-friendly garden.

There’s only one thing missing: The pollinators.

Sure, there’s the occasional bee (but truly, occasional, not at all to the extent we had when we first moved here thirteen years ago) and bumble bee, sometime a butterfly wisps past me, and there’s a few more flower flies and such, but to a large part: it’s not buzzing and whizzing the way 1) I want it to be and 2) it used to when we first moved here.

And as the garden itself has only gotten more and more pollinator-friendly, I come to the conclusion that the surroundings aren’t?

When will we (human beings) realize it’s not a good idea to fight against nature, but rather something which we must work with, for the good of all that reside on this planet? Will we wake up in time, you think?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:

The book “The hidden life of trees” by Peter Wohlleben.

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