Thanks Crafty Green Poet for your kind comment on the last post.
Just been reading Rebecca Hosking's blog on the Permaculture magazine site (here). Very interesting article on holly. Lots of holly around where my mum lives in Wales, and we have a big shrub in the front garden, and it's nice to know that there are some brilliant uses for such a common plant that I once thought was only for decoration (and wildbird food - they love the berries, particularly the blackbirds). The Permaculture magazine site (here) is full of inspiring stuff. Check it out!
Also been reading the magazine, and considering whether to buy Sepp Holzer's new book about his permaculture practice. He's a self-taught expert, absolutely inspiring guy. But I have no money, and want to invest in a LegMaster (probably not terribly eco-friendly, but at least it doesn't plug in and waste leccy, like so much gym equipment), so it will have to wait. Holzer's hugul beds - big sloping raised beds full of organic matter - are a really interesting idea, and one that when (in a million years) I have my dream permaculture smallholding I will definitely try. Highly recommend Permaculture mag - always something interesting, and full of really inspiring articles by inspiring people, who are practising permaculture in all different ways and on all scales. Reading the magazine is like connecting with like-minded people and sharing good ideas and exciting news. Every issue brings a smile to my face and renews my optimism for the Big Scary Future.
The garden is looking lovely, I will post pics tomorrow. Birds singing at the tops of their voices - pigeons getting jiggy with it on our roof, and sparrows nesting under the eaves for another year. Things are in flower - forget-me-nots, violets, lilacs, the viburnums have just finished, aubretia, dandelions (NOT a weed, NEVER a weed! Tortoise fodder!), currant bushes, primroses, citrus bushes just forming litte creamy-white buds...and every apple tree we own (around 13, I think) is just popping its magenta buds to reveal beautiful snowy white blossoms. I predict a bumper crop this year.
Pabi Bach and I went for a walk today along a canal, too. Lovely weather. On our way there we saw a whole bank absolutely covered in cowslips, and along the canal the banks were studded with primroses and violets. I absolutely love these spring flowers.
Interestingly the blossom has all been late this year. It means that we've all been having to keep on surviving the winter for a bit longer, but there are up-sides. For example, the bees are well and truly buzzing now, especially with today's warm weather, and the blossom being a bit late has meant that they get all the benefit of it.