Our daily routine starts at 5.30am. Going to milk the goats and feed the sheep is lovely in the summer, watching the beautiful sunrise. However, in the winter, it isn’t such a blast! Walking down the lane in the dark, muffled up in our waterproof coats and wellies, I often wish I could win the lotto. But then I see my darling goats and any negative feelings just disappear...
Recent events have meant that a lot of people are at home more than before. This means that without a daily commute, they may have more free time available. With the lovely spring weather we had, gardening has become a more popular pastime. Having to entertain children at home, many people have turned to the idea of growing their own vegetables. If you have never grown your own veg, the good news is that it’s never too late to start and you’ll always be learning something new.
Here are 7 Useful tips for growing your own veg:
Spring may seem far off in the future – especially with the stormy weather we’ve been having, but the sight of snowdrops this week gives us a delightful reminder that the end of the winter is in sight. Is your garden in need of a face lift? Or maybe it’s a completely blank canvas? This is the perfect time of year to get started. Here are a few important points to consider:
When was the last time you smelt the air? I mean, actually, consciously took a good lungful of lovely fresh air? Probably if you’re honest, it might be a while...
Mobile phones, i-pads and social media offer great convenience and 24-7 information. We can check our emails without having to be in the office, even at the weekends and evenings. However, although the advantages are numerous, we may never mentally switch off or have down time. This can be a contributing factor to stress related illness.
Mindfulness is a very simple method of switching off, even for 5 minutes in your day. It can be done anywhere at any time (as long as you aren’t driving the car!). It requires no special equipment or gym membership and is completely free of charge. All you need is time and space. Although it can be done anywhere, one of the best places is in your garden.
1. CLEAN PAVING: – to avoid dangerous slippy surfaces. Green algae will accumulate on any surface which doesn’t get much light. This is a great job for a lovely bright dry day. Avoid doing this on a windy day as the drift from the spray may kill plants and grass. Brush off any leaves or debris from the area. In your garden sprayer, mix 50:50 Sodium hypochlorite and water and spray it on. No need to wash off – just leave it to dry. You will notice the difference in a few days. If it was really green, you may need to do it again in a few weeks, but generally, once the area is clean you should only need to do this once or twice a year to keep it clean.
Now that autumn is here and winter is looming, our summer holidays seem a distant memory. So how can we shorten the winter and keep the memory of warm sunshine in the forefront of our minds?
One of the best ways to do this is to maximise the number of opportunities for sitting outside in the garden. Even if you only have a small area outside, it can be easily transformed into a sheltered haven. Firstly, find the best spot for your tranquil retreat. Next time the sun is shining, go outside and find the sunniest area in the garden. Even if this is at the front of the house, it can be screened from neighbours using low maintenance planting.
Vanessa Drew is a highly experienced garden designer based near Rathfriland, Co Down. Vanessa is also a part-time farmer, animal lover and owner of Ballyroney Cottage farmstay B&B. She enjoys hiking, mindfulness and is a wildlife and conservation enthusiast. In her blogs, she shares her passion for horticulture, animals and country lifestyle.