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Garden Observations: Spring 2019

  • Saved seed has a lower sprout-rate than fresh seed. Probably about 60% sprout-rate compared to 90%. I’m putting this down to only the best seeds get delivered to my door by the growers, whereas I am more soft-hearted – I’ll give any undersized, malnourished nubbin a chance to sprout XD
  • However, this might be my imagination but it seems that saved seed sprouts earlier than fresh/packet. Especially true after a couple of generations of propagation. I would hazard that even after a couple of yrs, we’re creating location-specific plant families more suited to the vagaries of our micro-climate. Must remember to diversify the seed stock every few years to encourage disease resistance.
  • Aquilegia families default to dominant yellow-white, recessive purple-blue. Over the years we’ve encouraged the Aquilegia’s wherever they come up, and our little population is becoming more yellow-white than it is purple-blue.
  • La Familia, our resident gang of some 20+ House Sparrows will resort to more finch-like behaviour – eating dandelion seeds when they do not have access to easy bird feeders.
  • Cows love eating Jasmine hedges. Sheep love eating Jasmine hedges. Every creature with a stomach loves eating Jasmine hedges.

Mother Ocean

Llangrannog Second Beach

I’ll let you into a secret: I can’t swim. Which is crazy considering that I live on an island, and that I grew up on an estuary (or Thames Delta, as it’s coming to be known). But here’s another secret: I love the water – or maybe I should say the sea, I love the sea.

Recently me and the angel of my better brain have taken to driving across to the Welsh coast as often as possible and diving in. She swims like a mermaid, you wont be surprised to find out. Me? Not so much. I flounder. I gasp. I bob with the waves and skip-float crablike with every crash of saline. But I still love it.

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On the Footsteps of Forgotten Saints

Where I and my partner currently live in Wales we have a lot of saints. So many in fact, that it seems impossible to walk down a street without tripping over a chapel, shrine, hermit’s cell, a holy well or a place where a saint worked, knelt, prayed, cried, or was generally displaying mutant super-powers. A testament to this is the Isle of Bardsey a little way north of us – called “the Home of 20,000 Saints” because it’s dirt is so stuffed full of their relics. As you may already know, one of my hobbies is being an amateur history nerd – and I am constantly fascinated by this intersection between history and mythology.

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