lundi 26 décembre 2016

Seasons Greetings

Best wishes for a joyful and peaceful end to 2016, with an inspirational and hopeful start to 2017 to come.

Helleborus nigra

A Christmas rose in the Moon Garden, already in flower for the last week...more often flowering outdoors in February....    

A rose for Christmas...possibly the first year I've had plentiful garden roses still flowering....usually dormant between November and many changes to previously experienced gardens rhythms...still surprising and worth noting despite the frequency....

samedi 1 octobre 2016

dream traveller

30th September
Just heard sad news of Bill Mollison’s death last week…..though he’ll be much missed, his inspiring work to preserve and repare a planet worth living in will go on and on.
Thank you Bill, for all the living dreams you’ve helped to generate. Your legacy lives on with your millions of students who continue to strive for the permaculture ethic and their positive application of following nature’s creative cycles.
Sweet dreams.

mardi 10 mai 2016

Happy birthday

10 May
Happy Birthday to my 3 kitties, born a year ago with the help of their own midwife ! All flourishing, despite the plague of ticks biting into them…. tick numbers are up after the mild winter? Honey suckle coming into flower, a bit later than last year finally. The golden oriole has been in full song the last few days, but alas, no sign or sound of the nightingale.

One, Tigre and Pepy at 2 weeks
8 months
1 year old

7/8 May
Another successful ‘rocket’ event. A lovely group energy learning about how to build a rocket stove, and some fantastic finishing touches on the sauna rocket, and rebuild and snakey ornament of the barn rocket. Well done again Mika and ‘Lisières’, and many thanks Fanny. Now preparing for the construction of rocket 3 in Rose cottage…still a couple of places available if interested?!
Sauna Rocket Stove Oct 2015
Sauna Rocket Stove May 2016

Snakey barn rocket

ABC Rocketeers

Rocketing salad with wild weeds and Japanese wineberries

4 May
Helped to collect a swarm, a first for me to spend 30 minutes in a mini tornado of bees! The experience was just more awe inspiring than frightening, my legs were quite jelly afterwards. Thanks Pascal for all your help and guidance. The ‘mother’ hive looks strong and healthy, already building a significant reserve of honey.

29 April
A lovely day with sweet people, sauna and cake. Blossoms continuing and surviving despite the frosts, a pretty pretty time to be born!

26 April
-3°C this morning, forgot to take basil seedlings in, all frost bitten. Pears, peaches and plum trees in flower, hopefully that’s not the whole crop lost. Chill nights around 0°C in March and April have slowed down growth rates, so not so much is growing in advance after the mild winter…

19 April
Sichuan pepper seeds germinating, and first time I’ve noticed the akebia in flower. I’m curious to see what the seed pods look and taste like, after nearly 10 years of growing! Modest little redcurrant flowers in abundance, and the May berries forming nicely.

Akebia Chocolate Vine

Redcurrant Flowers

(unripe) May Berry 1st Fruit of the year

10/11 April
An action packed couple of days with many hands and hearts helping Le Blé go forwards. Various building and gardening projects advancing, and the first 3kg of Charlotte potatoes in the ground, well mulched with cardboard and straw. A time of rich exchanges of skills and experiences, great networking. Big thanks to all who participated.

29 March
Heard the cuckoo for the first time this year. Getting the mower and strimmer back in action, another noise heralding spring growth. 2 great advantages of the mowing action; keeps me in touch with the whole garden each week, and obliges a good clear and tidy up of things left lying on the grass through winter, logs and branches in particular.
Nettles growing well, making soups, beer and drying for herb tea. Wild garlic pesto chasing away winter bugs.

Hommage to Roger Philips

Cleaning the algae off the polytunnel plastic makes a significant difference for letting more light back in!

Spring clean

jeudi 10 mars 2016

Rocket News

Bonne nouvelle : J'ai allumé le poêle Rocket et le poêle du Sauna en même temps pour la première fois et tous marche très bien sans fumée.

Les 2 poêles partagent la même sortie du toit et jusqu'à présent je ne savais pas si tout aller bien fonctionner.

Le résultat c'est "YES" 

Chantier Rocket Mai 2015

8 March

Yesterday a pretty powder of snow laced the branches and lit the air, then faded into a sugared-almond sunset. Last attempts of winter to show face, as the green fuse of spring continues forcing through. Cornus mas in flower, one of the first fruits to blossom, one of the last to harvest, towards September/October. Each year begins again with promise and adventure, never knowing what will come to fruition…..

Last week I gave a talk on Permaculture to the Societé Pomologique at Neuvy St Sepulchre. There were about a hundred people in the audience, the most they’d ever had for a talk in their 30 years existence…and by far the largest group I’ve spoken to in 15 years of permaculture presentations!

Great to see that permaculture has arrived at village level locally, and the angle of my talk was about the importance of context in permaculture. Perhaps through gaps and misunderstandings in translation, I hear too often that people understand permaculture just as a gardening method, using raised beds. It is an ethic and philosophy, all about caring for our planet and its inhabitants, creating abundance and sharing resources….whether through gardening, or any other human activity…..its manifestations are endless, limited only by our imaginations!

And the seasonal cycle of sowing seeds begins again, trays in front of the kitchen window sill to avoid frosts and mice, until transfer to greenhouse and open ground…symbol and reality of hope and practicality, Eden is in our hands…

samedi 27 février 2016

Le Blé blog

This blog is a supplement to the bleenherbes website, with regular updates on activities/ workshops at Le Blé, aswell as garden snippets.
Many, many many thanks to JF for creating and maintaining the website since 2006, and the content & structure remains the base of valid info about the guesthouse and gardens.
With thanks to Claude for getting me started with this blog, and encouraging my tentative forays into social networking!
As I write, the garden is full of snowdrops, quite a lot of daffodils open, and for the last 2 days, I’ve watched crane birds flying from south back to north, a real signpost of spring. The Japanese quince has been in flower for a month already, the bees have hardly stopped their sorties all winter.
It is lovely to be ‘winter’ gardening in relative warmth and comfort….what will happen next to the weather, plants, insects etc, as the seasons shift???
This Sunday, there is still the chance to join the basketry workshop which has been put back from the 21st (2 places available)….
And in May, 2 opportunities to learn about rocket stove construction….

Ce blog est un complément au site bleenherbes, avec des mises à jour des activités et des stages au Blé en herbe, ainsi que des ‘mottes’ du jardinage…petites observations sur le calendrier de la nature…
Mille mercis à JF pour la création et l’entretien du site bleenherbes depuis 2006. Le contenu reste la base d’info sur la maison d’hôtes et ses jardins.
Merci à Claude pour son aide et ses encouragements à démarrer ce blog.
Le jardin est rempli de perce-neige et beaucoup de jonquilles déjà en fleur, et les derniers 2 jours je vois les grues revenant du sud vers le nord…un vrai repère du printemps ! Le pommier du japon est en fleur depuis un mois et les abeilles semblent être actives tout l’hiver.

C’est agréable de jardiner dans un tel ‘confort ‘ de météo douce…mais quelles seront les conséquences pour la faune et fleur avec les changements de saisons… ?
Ce dimanche, il en reste 2 places disponibles pour l’atelier de vannerie, reporté du 21 février….
Et en mai, 2 opportunités de participer sur le construction d’un poêle rocket….