Recent happenings in the Garden !
Recent happenings in the Garden !
Humans are drawn to nature. We feel better when we spend time in forests, gardens, or parks. It implies that an instinctive bond exists between humans and other living systems.
Similar ideas are echoed in the cultural practices of friluftsliv, the Scandinavian philosophy of open air living, and in shinrin-yoku, Japanese forest immersion (or “forest bathing”). And there’s science to back up those warm fuzzies. So, if you need more motivation to make time for a jaunt outside (or convince someone to join you), you’ve come to the right place.
1. Nature deficit disorder exists, and most of us have it.
Richard Louv coined the term “nature deficit disorder” to describe the social, behavioral, and health consequences of alienation from the natural world. Although scientists are just beginning to understand the health impacts of urban, mostly indoor living, one thing is clear — we need to put down our devices and get outside.
2. It’s good for your heart (literally).
Japanese researchers have shown that forest bathing, the practice of sitting in the forest, lowers your blood pressure, pulse, and heart rate variability. It has also been shown to decrease stress hormone levels.
3. You’re less likely to be overweight.
In both kids and adults, access and exposure to nature has been shown to lower the risk of obesity. This relationship is most likely due to increased physical activity. Additional studies show that forest bathing decreases blood sugar and cortisol, both of which are also associated with obesity.
4. You’ll be happier and improve your memory.
People who live close to nature experience less anxiety and depression. Walking in nature has been shown to improve mood and short-term memory in people with depression, as well as decrease rumination (repetitive, negative thoughts) and brain activity associated with mental illness.
5. You’ll fight off illness more efficiently.
Exposure to nature improves immune system function in otherwise healthy people, increasing the production of natural killer cells, an important part of our defense against viruses and cancer.
6. Your brain will work better.
In children, time spent in natural settings decreased ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) symptoms. In adults, contact with nature improves focus, concentration, and work productivity.
7. You’ll get more out of your exercise.
Being outside is good for your health, even without the benefit exercise. But if you do choose to exercise in nature, studies show that you’ll feel a greater sense of revitalization, energy, enjoyment, and satisfaction.
8. You’ll feel less pain.
Just looking at nature scenery in a photo or out a window can reduce our experience of pain.
9. You’ll sync up to nature’s rhythms.
Being outdoors, and away from artificial lights, helps synchronize your biology to natural circadian rhythms. Scientists investigating chronobiology, the study of biological rhythms, have shown that our connection to natural light/dark cycles helps to regulate our sleep, our moods, our stress levels, and our hormones.
10. You’ll practice mindfulness, naturally.
Setting aside artificial stimulation and immersing yourself in nature makes you more aware of your surroundings. You hear the rustle of leaves, the creaking of leaves, and the songs of the birds. It’s mindfulness meditation at its most simple.
You can get most of these benefits even with sporadic exposure to nature. Even if you can only get out of the city infrequently, it will improve your health in countless ways.
What are you waiting for ?
*This is a repost it was originally published on MindBodyGreen and can be found here: Original Post
“ad hoc – made or happening only for a particular purpose or need, not planned before it happens”
These shots were taken from a wildlife camera over a period of two months.
After the eleven days of the “Summer Slumber” August will see a return to six day weeks and very little spare time except for a day off and six days away at a naturist campsite in Cornwall.It’ll be our first naturist holiday since we visited Broadlands in Norfolk in 2014,but we’re both looking forward to the break and hopefully a return to the summery weather.
In between times I’ve been pottering around in the garden tending to the plants and the lawn and ruing the storms and gales that have battered our plants at various times this year. With the summer more than half way though I’m trying to plan ahead so not to get caught out and waste much of the hard earned cash,we’ve spent this year. These flower shots were taken by myself this morning and while they don’t actually illustrate the spring bulb text,they show how colour can add to your garden with nature experience
With the Spring bulbs due in the shops anytime now,its important to plan ahead to insure the garden looks it best throughout the year. There are a variety of bulbs available so is important to decide early which best suit your garden.
When to Plant
If you want to fill your garden with colour next spring, plant bulbs from October to December, before the first frost. Daffodils, tulips, crocus, grape hyacinths and fritillarias are just some of the plants to choose from.
|1. Daffodils||3. Tulips|
|3. Hyacinths||4. Crocuses|
|5. Lilies of the Valley||6. Scillas|
|9. Dwarf Irises||10. Muscari|
Where to Plant
Choose bulbs according to location and soil type. Most hardy bulbs originate from the Mediterranean, thriving in a warm, sunny climate in freely draining soil. Good drainage and plenty of sunshine is key, since most bulbs are prone to rot while dormant.
Planting bulbs in a herbaceous border will help to fill in gaps and provide colour and interest before perennials and shrubs begin to grow in early spring. Plant daffodils, winter aconites, tulips and fritillarias for outstanding colour. Drifts of single species can be planted to blend in with the general planting scheme of the garden, or try mixing different varieties to create an even and striking effect of bright colour.
Tulipa ‘Angelique’When planted en masse, spring-flowering bulbs make a valuable contribution to formal bedding displays. Try growing groups of early-flowering tulips in a bed which will be occupied by annuals later in the summer. As a general rule, the larger, showy varieties are better suited to a formal position in the garden.
Many spring-flowering bulbs are ideal for brightening up the base of trees before they come into full leaf. The soil beneath trees is moist and light, offering the perfect growing conditions for scillas, anemones, erythroniums and crocuses.Naturalised bulbs such as dwarf daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops and winter aconites can transform a dull looking lawn into a wonderful display of colour. To achieve a natural look, throw bulbs up in the air and plant them exactly where they land in the grass. The aim is to make it look as though they have decided to grow there by themselves. Allow plants to die down after flowering before mowing over the lawn. Alternatively, plant bulbs in defined areas so that it’s possible to mow the lawn around them.
Bulbs in Pots
If you want a great patio display, try growing bulbs in pots. Keep it simple by planting a variety on its own or several of the same variety packed closely together for a bumper show. Several types can be planted together, but it’s tricky to get the flowers to appear at the same time.
How to Plant
Bulbs are some of the easiest garden plants to grow, needing only a well-drained soil and some sunshine. As a general rule, plant bulbs two to three times their own depth and around two bulb widths apart.
It’s important to plant bulbs with its top facing upwards. If unsure, plant the bulb on its side.
Replace the soil after planting, breaking down any large clumps and firm in gently, making sure there are no air spaces around the bulbs.
Bulbs in Lawns
Naturalise bulbs in lawns by taking a handful and dropping from waist height. Plant where they land with a strong trowel or bulb planter – these are ideal for digging into heavy clay soil. To use, push the cylindrical blade down, twist and pull up a plug of soil.Drop the bulb in, flattest side down, and crumble the plug into the hole.In order to save time, try planting a large number of small bulbs by lifting a piece of turf and planting a group of bulbs in the soil.
Bulbs in Pots
When growing bulbs in a pot, pick a container that is the right size and will complement your chosen bulbs.If you are using a clay pot with a large drainage hole in the base, cover it with a piece of broken pot.Fill pots with general-purpose compost, mixed with a handful of horticultural grit to improve drainage.Water after planting.
Bulbs in pots need more care than those in soil.
Keep the compost moist and protect from frost by wrapping with bubble wrap over winter. Cover with a piece of chicken wire to prevent squirrels, mice and voles from digging them out. Remove it when shoots appear.
Grow and attract wildlife !
Gardening advise supplied by the BBC
Enjoy the Summer,Enjoy Nature
We are constantly seeking balance in our lives. We look to our homes, jobs, and the environment and contemplate ways to find a connection that will bring peace, happiness, and harmony. Striving to become one with nature and the elements is a wonderful way to move toward this serenity, and tapping into the forces of the elements—earth, water, air, fire, and Spirit—can help to bring new perspective to our quest.All life has value and purpose, yet many of us do not even take the time to sit outside in nature and receive the healing qualities it offers our body, mind, and spirit. We are all a part of the web of creation, but we don’t always recognise its powerful influence on our well-being. We unconsciously think we are separate.
Think about this for a minute: Most of us already use nature for its healing qualities through the natural elements we select for our home, office, or outside in the yard. Do you have a water fountain? Do you have plants outside or in the house? How do you feel when you are able to sit down in a park or outside on the porch and just listen to the sounds of the birds or crickets as they create a harmony and dance the dance of life? Does this relax you? What do you do when you are juggling a million things at one time?
We might say, “I am going home and just turning it all off.” However, in this case we most likely will go within ourselves and use some aspect of nature to balance and recreate harmony in our being. Now is the time to become aware of this tendency and use it to our advantage ! All of us, everywhere. We are all totally naked under our clothes. While I accept feelings to the contrary, and respect social mores and religious beliefs, When on a warm beach, hiking in the back country woods in summer, or sailing out in the middle of nowhere, with no one around, it is such a freedom to feel released of all burdens and free from all constrictions.
However, the experienced naturist will tell you to still keep on sturdy foot wear, sunglasses, and maybe a hat, sun screen and bug spray to stay safe in the outdoors. There is an entire society dedicated to people who are relaxed in their own skin and feel a closer connection to the world without the barriers between themselves and nature.
Being in nature encourages us to see ourselves as part of the oneness of all Life and to live in sustainable ways that care for Earth, our home, and the well-being of all creation. Our ancestors relied on the rhythms and cycles of nature to survive—the change of seasons, weather, food crops, and animal migrations all provided signposts. They used the cycles of nature to enhance and enrich their lives. To feel connected to the oneness today, we need to feel the pulse of nature. We must feel in harmony with life and the world around us. Nature has no labels, no judgment. Take advantage of its unconditional acceptance and love!
The Elements of Balance
Within our environment there is a natural ebb and flow. It’s up to each of us to recognise when something has become unbalanced either internally or externally. So how does one achieve this harmony and homoeostasis? We must learn to know ourselves, which includes understanding when to make corrections using our mind and to recognise when it’s time to let the universe guide us to the solutions through intuition.
“The most difficult phase of life is not when no one understands you; It is when you do not understand yourself.”
As we step into the active phase of the year, learn to listen, to trust, and to act on your inner wisdom to bring your whole self back into balance. In this process we can look to the elements as our teachers, and connect with their ancient wisdom help open our being to its highest potential.
Earth is the foundation that holds and contains all of the other elements. A foundation is a starting point that everyone needs; it helps to ensure a good structure. Look to the body as the foundation for carrying out our life plan. Earth is the physical realm that can ground and root us to understand and learn about the world in which we live. Earth individuals are sensible and can be task-oriented. The trick is to leverage the earth but not to get “stuck” or too rooted so that you cannot or will not see the other elements or situations in life that will help us to expand and grow.
Water teaches us about the emotional realm. We learn to understand the depth of our emotions and how they can over run us to the point of no return. Water teaches us not to “react” but to “respond” to situations to help ourselves or those around us process their emotions. Water is the only element in which we can see our reflection, and it is a mirror to our soul. Water can help cleanse us physically and emotionally. It also can show us how to magnetise our desires! Water individuals need to “feel” their choices and decisions; if it feels right they do it; if it does not feel right they do not do it. Utilize water to help exercise your intuition.
Air teaches us about intention, communication, and the mental realm. It assists us in working with thoughts, focus, and eloquent speech. Air is an element that we cannot see but we can feel. It travels around the world; our thoughts can be communicated via air from one state to another or even from one country to another. Air is the breathing mechanism we all need. In a symbiotic relationship, plants produce and filter air for humans to breathe, and humans exhale carbon dioxide to help plants breathe. We become one within the web of life. Air individuals love to communicate with others and crave an expressive environment. Use air to connect with others and share ideas through nature!
Fire teaches us about transformation and balance. Its process is like the Phoenix rising up from the ashes to transform into a new and balanced being. However, beware of too much fire because it can burn us out; not enough fire and we do not feel warm, lacking the energy we need. Fire also is about action and having passionate energy. It is used to help us ignite actions with passion! Fire individuals need a constant balanced movement internally and externally. Changes can come in rapid succession when you tap into fire and individuals who hold its flames.
Spirit teaches us about our unique essence and what has brought us forth into this world. Understanding Spirit means we understand our own unique inner gifts and learn to work with them to guide us on our life path. Ask your Spirit to lead the way!
Each element adds power to help us achieve balance within the world and increase our connection with all existence. We all can awaken our inner gifts through nature and learn to work with these divine forces, which are both internal and external to our existence. Not only can the elements guide us to make choices and decisions for a better life, they can help us experience the eternal cycle of creation, which repeats the never-ending pattern of “as above, so below.” Embrace their essence and thrive with each coming season.
This is a re-post from: Becoming One with Nature by Dolores J. Gozzi
More adventures withe the camera !
“Salthaven Community Orchard”
“Food Fight in the Garden”
May was a long month and June looks to be too with me on 6 day weeks and only days of on a Monday. This has unfortunately scuppered our plans of doing anything together as I’m of on the Mondays and my beloved is off at the weekends. The month of May was unbelievable dry and temperatures often rose about 20c making some days very pleasant and others very sticky having to don clothes and go to work. Work in the garden has cracked on a pace and finally it’s nice to be able to see some results.
I’m most pleased to see our Asiatic Lilies come out but the hanging baskets look ok as does many other plants we have scattered around the garden. The latest additions include a hanging basket out the front and some other plants in the back garden. These include Penstemon Apple Blossom, Euonymus Emerald Gaiety, Garden Lily Apricot Salmon and a Acer Palmatum. I have to admit that in life I do like to get carried away buying lots of it’s Cheap but at least it keeps my mind stimulated and takes my mind of work.
It’s satisfying to make the garden tidy and even more rewarding to see all the bulbs we plant appear and then flower,some of the colours are glorious. I’ve been meaning to get the camera out again and go out but with little spare time and the garden to do it’s had to be given a miss. All in all it’s been rewarding and thanks to the supermarkets own brand tools and feeds thankfully it’s turned out quite cheap too. Even though we’re now in summer time my thoughts must turn to the winter and how we will have to store our plants keeping them away from the frost.
Preventing Winter Damage
Cold, wet, windy winter weather can damage trees, shrubs and garden structures such as trellis. Improving shelter, staking plants, mulching, wrapping pots and careful matching of plants to places will help to prevent this kind of damage.
Feeding: Avoid applications of nitrogen-rich fertilisers late in the season, as they stimulate sappy growth
Soil cover: Soil exposure, particularly in the vegetable patch, can result in leaching of nutrients. Green manure, such as mustard, sown in September reduces this leaching. Juvenile plants will retain nutrients until dug back into the soil in spring
Mulching: This can reduce compaction and soil erosion that can commonly follow heavy rain
Overwinter plants by wrapping: Plants can be protected from cold, wet weather by wrapping with horticultural fleece. For more on overwintering plants, see the links below
Plant in a sheltered spot: Your garden is a microclimate in itself. You will have warm spots, at the base of a south-facing wall, and cold or wet spots on the north side of the house. Choose plants carefully for each of these positions. Site early-flowering plants such as magnolias and camellias so that they are not exposed to the morning sun, as rapid thawing of frozen buds can result in blackening and bud drop
Containers: Keep containers in dry, sheltered areas, grouped together for mutual protection. Prevent roots freezing in containers by wrapping with bubble polythene or straw. Alternatively plunge (bury with the rim just showing) the pot into the ground
Structures: Before the start of winter, check all garden structures and replace or re-attach loose panels, roofs, posts and fences. Replace solid fences with ones that are 50 percent wind permeable to avoid gusting, turbulence and shaking
Plant windbreaks: A cold and windy site will often require windbreaks of additional planting such as hedges. Strategic placing of temporary woven hurdles, netting or similar materials on deeply embedded stout posts can help in the short-term
Drainage: Deal with drainage problems promptly, as wet soils can make young or shallow rooted trees more likely to uproot in the wind
At the moment I’m toying with making a cold frame as I have the glass so I’d just need the wood.
A cold frame is a bottomless box with a skyward-facing window. Like a miniature greenhouse, a cold frame lengthens the gardening season by protecting plants and seeds from the moderately cold temperatures and drying winds of late fall and early spring. With the addition of a simple heater, a cold frame can be used nearly year-round to grow cool-season flowers and vegetables, and to give summer plants an early start.
The low-cost, easy-to-build cold frame presented here takes one or two weekends to build and uses widely available materials. You can place it on a deck or patio to grow plants in pots, or you can place it over a garden bed.
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