The Eden Project Cornwall

We camped close to The Eden Project for our summer holiday in August. We loved it there so much that we visited twice in ten days. It was lovely seeing so many people exploring ideas about sustainability and gardening. However the site does tend to get very busy, so a good tip is to arrive just as the doors are opening at 9.30am. Not too difficult a task when you are living in a field with children who wake up at the crack of dawn! We had been before about ten years ago soon after it opened, so it was great to go back and see how much the plants had established and the site had expanded. We had a buy one get one free ticket from Gardener’s World magazine, which made it a very good value family day out. Highly recommended.

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The Eden project was really fun, but Coco was scared of the dinosaur. I thought the dinosaur was lovely, it had a baby one that walked around on someones hand everywhere as well. There was a bare-foot walk that I liked. I found a big fat caterpillar on our walk. Miss E aged 8

I didn’t like the dinosaur, he was scary, I did have a dream about him once.                     Miss C age 4

 

My garden in July

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I am a little late with this month’s garden update as we have been away on our hols. We spent a week staying on an Organic farm in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It was a great break. The sun shone (some of the time) and we ate well, walked lots, saw family, visited an island and swam in the sea. We returned to an overgrown garden heaving with produce and weeds popping up everywhere. I have been picking, cooking and eating all week and hacking back some of the exuberant vegetation that was threatening to takeover!

Harvesting Since my June post we have harvested the following crops; black, red and white currants, strawberries and wild strawberries, yellow and red raspberries, gooseberries, cherries, peas, mange tout, spinach, broad beans, beetroot plus its stalks and leaves, spring onion and welsh onions, blueberries, new potatoes and shallot stalks.

Planting I have been planting out a few more bits; butternut squash plants, cutting celery seedlings and kale plants. I have been clearing some spent plants such as the broad beans, peas and potatoes to make space for these.

Thinking The garden has run away from me. One minute I felt like I was almost on-top of things, then it only took a week away to lose control! While we were away the peas and sweet peas went over, the ‘meadow’ area turned into a nettle-filled wilderness and the lettuces ran to seed. I am ok about all this thought, its part of the great cycle of life! I am enjoying the summer hols a lot but only have limited time to garden as I need to devote most of my time to the children. The poly-culture areas are still working well, they look beautiful and are productive. I am trying to get a few more autumn/winter crops in over the next few weeks to attempt to extend the season somewhat.

Feeling I am feeling proud of the produce that the garden is providing us, although I would need heaps more space if this produce was to put a real dent into our weekly fruit and veg shopping bills. The two square areas in the mid part of the garden that I had envisaged as keyhole beds were a dead loss this year really. They are difficult to access, greatly shaded by overhanging trees and full of weeds. I need to re-think these areas in my plan for next year. We use the garden everyday, for the majority of the day. So its full of kids bikes, scooters, hoses, cushions, dens, shoes, drinks and books! I love it.

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Weather stats

Thursday 24th July 2014

Another bright and sunny day with light warm breezes

Sun rise 05.12  Sunset 21.09

Max Temp 26  Min temp 15

Twelve Principles for twelve months- July- Use edges and value the marginal.

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The place where two ecosystems meet is a place rich in life and possibilities. Consider the seashore, the edge of a wood or the margins of a pond. In these areas, one type of environment meets another and provides a bountiful ecosystem that provides more niches for life than either of the environments do singularly.  Edges are exciting and active places and if we can learn how to use this for our own benefits, it can have great effects, both in the garden and in our lives.

I find edges very beautiful. Last autumn I took lots of photographs of edges, looking at lines of textures and colour meeting and blending with others. Here is one example.https://nurturegreen.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/image1.jpg

You can see more in the original posts here. https://nurturegreen.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/use-edges-and-mark-rothko/ and here https://nurturegreen.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/more-edge-photos/ I’d like to pick up this project again and take more edge photographs this month while I am on my travels.

On days when I am short of time, I like to concentrate my efforts in the garden on the edges of beds next to paths that I walk along most often. I have planted a diversity of crops on these edges, one bed has strawberries, Calendula, lavender, mint and tomatoes. These are plants that I like to brush past, touch and smell or admire. I want to keep on planting up edges to make my garden beautiful, productive and a joy to spend time in.

I also want to think about the edges in my life. Three aspects spring to mind.

1. The edges of my days and how to use these effectively to fulfill my personal goals. I want to find just a few minutes each morning for some yoga and exercise. I want to use the hour after my children have gone to bed to catch up on Permaculture work, read and plan for my nutrition course and spend time outdoors in the garden enjoying the light evenings while they last.

2. The edges of my comfort zone. I think you can learn a lot about yourself when pushed to the edge of your comfort zone. I have recently been pushed to this edge and found it a very difficult experience. I think its good to keep pushing but not topple over that edge! I have learnt more about my future aspirations by being at the edge, even though I pulled back from breaking down my boundaries in the end.

3. The edge between myself and others. The children break up from school next week, so I will not have a moment to myself. I always find that rather difficult. So I want to try to explore why I find this hard and try to carve out a way of everyone getting what they need from these family relationships. Likewise with my husband, we very rarely get time to be together just the two of us, so I’d like to find this time and make it special. We have been talking about doing the 4 questions together. I think that would be really good for us to really hear each other without being able to but-in with our own opinions!

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Seaside

To celebrate my birthday we spent a relaxing weekend with friends by the seaside. The weather was glorious, blue skies and sunshine but freezing cold winds. We spend much of the time snuggled up in the cottage in front of the log fire, chatting, playing and eating. When we did venture out we went to see the wild winter beaches. Norfolk has a special bleak beauty in winter. No crowds, just big skies, seagulls overhead and the peaceful sound of flowing water. Exceptionally high tides were forecast but we didn’t see much evidence of this apart from the odd sandbag outside a fisherman’s cottage, just-in-case.

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These photos were taken at midday on February 2nd. Check out the length of shadows!

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I found that I was very drawn to the patterns left in the sand by the receding tides. I have been noticing patterns in nature more and more. Branching, spirals, ripples and curving lines are everywhere once you begin looking for them.

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Travelling west at sunset

My Grandparents and Great Grandparents lived in Lincolnshire. We used to visit them for weekends when I was a child and set off for home in the late afternoon. I remember they always used to give us a shiny pound coin, a packet of Opal fruits and a tube of Smarties. On the way home, traveling west, we used to eat our sweets while gazing out the windows of the car at wonderful sunsets. The skies filled with colour and the views across the flat fields were beautiful.

Yesterday we retraced this route as we headed home from a weekend with friends at the seaside in Norfolk. I always feel nostalgic traveling these roads following the setting sun.

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