Friday, 26 April 2019

Laundry Line

Our garden is so pretty.

Today, the breeze from the sea is blowing and the birds singing, the day is bright and clear and full of sunshine. It's just lovely.

We planned it with loving the Earth in mind. We have a little pond for the amphibians. We feed the wild birds and the foxes and squirrels  and they love our garden and feel safe here. We keep the wild plants in check, but we do let them grow — for the health of the soil and for the diversity and for the pollinators, but also for ourselves. Bittercress, cleavers, dandelions, plantain, feverfew and so many other plants are good food and good medicine. We have planted as many trees as we can cram in, because trees are the angels of life, slowing down the movement of water through the landscape, protecting against drought and flood, protecting us against extremes of wind and sun, moistening the air in the summer heat. What would we do without trees?

I've never had a lot of money, and every home I've lived in has been chosen with a view to having a Plan B in case I completely ran out. So in our garden here we grow apples and pears, plums and blackcurrants, gooseberries and blackberries, ramsons and different kinds of herbs for teas and seasoning and medicine, as well as the vegetables we plant year by year. And we always have laundry lines, water butts (and filters for the rainwater so we can use it for ourselves as well as for the garden and the toilets), an open fire and a wood stove. We set all our cardboard packaging aside to make short temporary fires so the house walls stay dry, the rooms aired and the chill taken off. Our house is old (Victorian) and damp, with shady rooms so we can stay cool even in the hottest summer without air conditioning. We have an attic room which is sunny and hot, good for drying washing when it's raining outside. We have solar tubes to heat our water on the roof and solar panels for electricity (both for our own use and to sell to the government).

It's not a great big garden, just a modest urban plot. I think it might be eighty feet long, maybe less. We save pee and use bokashi bran to make humane composting safe, as well as composting any food scraps we generate. So our garden is well fed and lightens the burden we place on the watercourses and landfill sites.

Every day when I go out into our garden, all year round, every day of every season in any weather, it lifts my heart and fills me with joy and I think, "This is so, so beautiful."


Bean said...

Something so restful about sheets blowing in the wind on the washing line. As I child we loved to run through the sheets on the washing line and pretend they were billowing sails on a ship at sea.
As I was out running this morning I so enjoyed all of the various blossoms emerging, the bright, brilliant, green of the grass, the abundance of bird song, rainy puddles, newly emerged leaves, spring is so full of hope, and of what could be..
I love your back garden, and that it is earth/eco friendly, we strive for the same in our little patch of the world.

Blessings to you,


Pen Wilcock said...

Hello Bean — I'm glad Indiana is through the winter and blossoming now!

Elin said...

Your garden sounds lovely and I have never understood how someone can hate dandeloins, they are like a thousand little suns in the grass on a cloudy day...

We have a little cabin on an island in a lake my husband's grandfather bought many years ago and we try to spend a couple weeks there every summer. There I am trying to create a low maintainance garden of sorts because we cannot take care of it as intensively as a garden but it would still be nice to have something there that generates food or beauty. I planted some perennial herbs there last year and this year I am probably going for wild strawberries and gooseberries. We already have wild raspberries and some wind strawberries but they only generate a couple handfuls of berries so some more would be fun. Ideally I would like to plant some more flowers too but I don't know what right now.

Pen Wilcock said...

The plants you've chosen for your island cabin sound just right, Elin. I think herbs make a brilliant choice.

Sandra Ann said...

Loved this video! Nothing like the smell of line dried laundry and your garden is beautiful x

Bethany said...

So lovely! Our little refuge here at the edge of the woods is greening and yesterday it was finally warm enough for the first of the outdoor dinners we enjoy as long as we can (even if it means bundling up and lighting the firepit).
I love thinking of you there in the sun and the salt air and the freshness. Thank you for sharing a little taste of your garden.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello, San! Waving! x

Hi Bethany — I love a firepit supper! Something we only discovered this year, in our ongoing search for vegetarian BBQ options, is the joy of barbecued cauliflower. Even indoors we always roast it in the oven instead of steaming it now. It's delicious.