A few weeks ago it was announced that the country needs more hedges planted, both for air quality and for wildlife.
Well I am happy to say that since moving into this house I have planted 8 fruiting trees that are all doing well. I have also planted a new hedge, albeit small, of blackthorn this has edible fruits known as Sloes.
There are 2 honeyberries which the birds are enjoying though they are too sour for my taste.
I leave all the dropped fruit for the creatures that want them and my resident hedgehog dines well on some of the visitors. Nature is cruel but well balanced.
I am currently looking for a place to plant a crab apple, a John Downie, of course I will want some of the fruit but there will be enough to share.
There are some spindly hawthorns and an elder tree at the very back of the garden, these were festooned with Ivy, that has been removed to give the trees a boost. I do have some of the fruit but the birds have a good feast from the high branches.
I see gardens around with manicured lawns and regimented flower borders, no wildlife welcome there. On the whole though most of the gardens have a wild area, some shrubs are left to grow up and out providing shelter and possibly food.
The council have the verges cut but leave swathes to grow and allow wild plants to flower and set seed.
I am more than happy to be contributing, even though it is in a small way.
Now for the knitty pretty bit.
The beginning of my Reyna Shawl, a free pattern on Ravelry by Noora Laivola. I love the colours in the Sugar Loaf yarn from Stylecrafts Head over Heels collection and this pattern was written specifically for yarn dyed in this way.
I have stretched this section out slightly to show the mesh section, once finished and blocked it will look amazing.
I am already planning to make another using 2 complimentary skeins and making it larger for cool weather wear.
I will knit on this tonight and then will go back to my cardigan over the weekend. The fronts should not take too long as it is a deep v neck and cropped to waist level. I want this to wear with dresses when it gets cooler and as I generally wear a scarf will not need a round neck, it would make me far too warm.
The new meal arrangement worked very well, eating that hour later meant that I did not feel peckish in the evening.
The rice salad was glorious, just adding the garlic, ginger and spices lifted it to another level. I will be doing this again, possibly as a hot dish and maybe with pasta as well.
I sweated off the garlic and ginger with finely sliced leek and red onion in a little coconut oil, then added 1 tsp each of ground cumin and turmeric, stirred them through and cooked for another few minutes. I added them to the rice when cold and then stirred in diced orange and red peppers, celery, cucumber and some baby plum tomatoes just quartered lengthwise. A grinding of salt and pepper and a rinsed and drained can of mixed bean salad and dinner was done. No cooking, minimal washing up and a very tasty dinner. Winner Winner no Chicken Dinner.
Now it is time for me to have a coffee and then get the days chores done.
Have a great weekend, whatever the weather brings.
I am a big fan of shawls and that one is soooo pretty.ReplyDelete
The salad looks so nice and sounds extremely tasty. I could eat like that all the time if it wasn't for the resident meat monster-x-
The nearer I get to the end of the shawl, the more I want to cast on another. I have to finish the cardigan first though.Delete
The rice salad looks right up my street, delicious.ReplyDelete
When we moved into our house the garden was totally overgrown. Over the past few years we've been cutting it back and making into a garden rather than just a mess. This means the birds don't have quite as much of a tree jumble to nest in as they did before, but we are still doing what we can for wildlife in our little suburban way. I read that ivy was good year round for birds so I've left some large clumps of that, and behind the compost bins up one side of the garden I've left an area of brambles, which used to cover the garden, it's very popular with insects which is great. It's my little contribution.
Brambles and nettles are perfect habitat and food source for many creatures, and you can rot the nettles down in water to make plant food and harvest the blackberries. The leaves of both make excellent tea as well.Delete
I love a bit of a higgledy piggledy garden - the birds and wildlife do too! We have some cherry?? trees - longstanding over 40 years I think - they have gorgeous blossom but the fruit is just too sour but the birds love them. Also we have various log piles to try and attract a rare hedgehog or two - but none as yet. If a weed looks pretty I just leave it to grow. Most of our plants and flowers attract the bees and butterflies too. We've had to cover the water butt though - sadly I found a blackbird had drowned in it last week - only a young one too - very sad.ReplyDelete
I think I need to tweak the times of our evening meal - we normally eat at 5pm and then that's it til breakfast at around 9 the following morning. By 8pm I'm ravenous and it's a hard job to reist the cupboards!! However, as recommended by the diet I'm following, fasting in big chunks is actually good for you - especially if you're a type 2 diabetic like myself.
I suppose that I am fasting in a way, my last meal is at around 7:00pm and the next is around 12:00 midday. My hedgehog has a house half sunk into the ground and it is shielded with brambles and a low willow fence.Delete
Sadly due to the storms and wind here on this Island there are very few trees that survive. Love the shawl such a beautiful pattern and array of colour.ReplyDelete
I am certain that there is a wealth of wildlife that has adapted to the local conditions. After all even the desert has life under the surface.Delete
Hi Pam :)ReplyDelete
Your salad looks so delicious!! We're trying to eat as many salads as we can while we have the fresh produce. Your shawl is very pretty!
I live in a mountain village, but you'd never know it from some of the manicured lawns around here. We're very much into Nature and we like to let things grow. We do mow the lawn, we don't want to live in a jungle lol...but we like things wild and woodsy here. We planted 6 cherry trees on the side of our rental property two summers ago. One morning we woke up, hearing a lawn mower. It was our neighbour mowing our side lawn...he took all the trees with him because they were still very small. We were so mad at him. His excuse was that he wanted to "help us out" but we saw through him quite easily! His manicured lawn was in danger of being on the receiving end of our dandelion spores when the wind blew. My bf made is super clear to stay off the property!
Nothing compares to a "helpful" neighbour on the loose. Luckily my neighbours are lovely.Delete
That salad looks really tasty. I always wonder why there aren't loads of fruit and nut trees in parks and along the grass edgeways. It is very shortsighted of our councils not to plant edible things. Perhaps a bit of 'guerrilla gardening' is in order. I could sneak a load of apple tree saplings into a few of the grass verges where we have tree copses.ReplyDelete
In parts of Norfolk and Lincolnshire there are lots of fruit trees planted. The councils had a policy of planting the breeders failures, some of the cherry trees had wonderful sweet crops but were a mix of colours on each branch. They were pretty in the fruit dish.Delete
Your shawl looks wonderful. It will be a winner when it's done. You can pick the sloe berries when they are ripe and make Sloe Gin. I had it once, tasted so good, I drank a quantity and then proceeded to get violently drunk. Never again. Nowadays it's Kentucky Bourbon.ReplyDelete
Our lawn is a deathtrap. The owners won't prune anything and there is no grass. On the front walk to the driveway is a huge overgrown bougainvillea that we have to walk on the neighbor's sidewalk to avoid. It's overgrowing the mail boxes so I am going to have my son get the hedge trimmer and go to town with it this weekend. Otherwise, the postal person won't be able to get to it.
Your salad looks wonderful. I am hungry for a 3 bean salad with a light vinaigrette and may do that tomorrow night. tonight is a late birthday treat with Colonel Sanders. I love their cole slaw.
Have a good weekend. It's the Independence Day celebration on the 4th so we'll be dealing with idiots with large fireworks.
Sloe Gin is fine but Sloe Brandy is food for the gods. It will be many years before that will happen.Delete
The shawl is lovely. I've got a couple of balls of Head Over Heels in my stash but I haven't tried it yet. I'm just about to start a shawl myself but I'm still deciding on which pattern to use, I see so many great ones on blogs, podcasts or Ravelry that I fancy having a go at, we're spoilt for choice really.ReplyDelete
I have a small folder of shawl patterns and hope to work my way through them.Delete
The shawl is gorgeous Pam. I try to plant butterfly friendly flowers and anything that attracts bees. Hugs.ReplyDelete
We have beehives in the area, I let a big patch of clover flower this year near to the chives. Some one will have tasty honey.Delete