Garden Speaks

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Gardening Proverbs, quotes and sayings

Many gardening proverbs, quotes and sayings relate to everyday living. I guess it all dates back to when we were obliged to grow our own vegetables or we didn’t eat….now THERE’S a thought!

The great thing about gardening is that there is so much history, tradition and vats of knowledge and information available.

Since humans walked on 2 legs they’ve been gardening in one form or another, so I guess we all should have a little of the gardener in us somewhere – and maybe even a few gardening proverbs!

Here’s a quote that used to confuse me terribly when I was a child!:

“As the garden grows so does the gardener.”
There is a wealth of knowledge in a growing space. It’s always a good idea to chat with an ageing gardener. Pick their brains! Most of them will love sharing their expertise in the garden. And a lot of gardeners will quote gardening proverbs in the form of traditional sayings as a way of life.

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“Friends are flowers than never fade.”
I love this quote. I lived overseas from my family and friends for many years and this quote has particular significance for me .

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“From tiny acorns mighty oaks grow.”
This wonderful gardening proverb even appears on new baby greeting cards.

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“A garden is a work of art in progress.”
Having spent more than ten years renovating a neglected acre of woodland, I can honestly say this quote is true! Gardening not only provides you with plenty of exercise, it’s also a superb outlet for your creative imagination. And maybe the creative juices will come up with some gardening proverbs of your own.

proverbs book

 

I looked around for a good proverb book and kind of got stuck on the dictionary style! This one is on Amazon (UK link)

Back to the Garden Speaks……

 

 

 

“Reap what you sow”
This very well known gardening proverb can be applied to just about every single aspect of your life, from building a business to washing the dishes. I guess it could also be a gentle reminder to be nice to each other!

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“As fresh as a daisy”
This is a nice sunny quote! And one of many ‘flower’ quotes. One of the great unanswered questions of all time must be ‘how does a flower grow?’ – and as they are so beautiful, it’s no wonder poets throughout the ages have been inspired to write one-liners through to whole encyclopaedias’ of flowers.

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“Can’t see the wood for the trees.”
Oh, how many times I’ve spouted this neat little saying over the years. When we took on our acre of neglected woodland, this gardening proverb took on a very literal meaning!

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“Digging a hole for yourself.”
I’m not sure if this was originally a ‘gardening proverb’ or ‘building’ quote, but reminding yourself of this quote at emotionally charged moments, can save you a whole heap of trouble!

molehill

“Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.”
I had to throw this one in. Molehills can be a pain in the garden, but we’ve found the soil they dig up has been so finely worked by the mole’s expert paws, that it’s good enough to grow seeds in! So we learned not to make a problem of the moles, but used what they so generously provided. πŸ™‚

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“The grass is always greener on the other side.”
Well of course it appears that way. In looking further afield, we focus our vision and fail to recognise all sorts of glitches. Your grass is green enough, now let’s add some colour!

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“Stop and smell the roses.”
Remember to take time out in your busy schedule for the good things in life, whether it’s playing games with your kids or relaxing in your scent-filled garden.

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Happy Gardening!

Linda x

Garden Plans

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Make your garden plans before you dig your holes!

“If you fail to prepare you prepare to fail”….

..well, ye-es, BUT sometimes we go overboard with our planning and when it comes to the garden, we can let nature take it’s course sometimes, if we ‘keep an eye on it’ πŸ™‚

When my partner and I took on an acre of bramble / woodland that hadn’t been tended for more than forty years, garden plans didn’t come into the equation.

After using an earth mover and creating a rough drive and parking space for our camper van, the budget ran out for ‘the garden’. One thing we did discover though was that we had bluebells – a bluebell wood is just so romantic!

We took on the challenge metre by metre and discussed – sometimes for hours, days and even weeks – a particular nook or cranny, tree or flower bed. Garden plans were being made – piece by piece…but this helped us to really get to know our space.

It’s impossible to get the most out of your garden if you have no idea where the sun is fullest and at what time of the day.

Every aspect is different. South facing gardens are not necessarily in full sunlight all day. Walking around, or fighting our way through the brambles as we so often did, made us aware – without really knowing it – where the darkest, sunniest and even breeziest parts of our garden were.

The land sloped severely in parts and had to be cleared to be safe – it took us almost two years to get an exact ‘lie of the land’ and still we were making plans. With such a natural landscape, untouched for so many years at our disposal, we instinctively worked with the land rather than against it.

The most sunniest but sheltered spot had been chosen for the vegetable garden and that’s when gardening started getting serious!

Through trial and error, we found that keeping the vegetable plot as defined and organised as possible made it a lot easier to:

**keep an eye on any pests in the garden – caterpillars, slugs, mice etc;
**keep up the morale with the digging chores. It’s much more emotionally acceptable to tackle small plots rather than one large one for example.
**Keep up with weed control
**And most of all, the more organised we were, the better our harvests.
**Planning the vegetable garden is a must!

For the rest of our garden, we were finally coming up with a design we enjoyed – we built a wooden house to live in, and made some of our garden plans around that.

We decided to use laurel hedging around our vegetable garden. The hedgerow protects against many airborne pests and viruses, and it makes an excellent windbreak. We collected the small laurel saplings coming up around the older laurel trees and replanted them. Within eighteen months we had a solid hedgerow.

Behind the hedgerow, we have a long terrace. We thought this path was a metre wide when we first started uncovering it. Turns out it’s big enough for badmington, paddling pools, toddler trike racing and all sorts!

Our garden was created by my partner and myself with very little machinery… it is, however, a work in progress.

We long ago realised garden plans should never be considered ‘finished’. Even if you don’t make any further moves, the living plants in your garden will have garden plans of their own, believe me!

Take your ideas and designs and make your garden plans slowly and surely. The benefits are enormous. Not only for your land, but also for your well-being. Letting your creative imagination flow with nature uplifts your spirit and kicks ‘stress’ and ‘depression’ down the drain! Try it…it works πŸ™‚

If you need a little inspiration, pop over to Amazon and browse their gardening products – grab a cuppa first. It’s addictive!

gardenplans-amazon

Amazon Gardening Category

Happy Gardening!

Linda x

P.S. When you make your vegetable garden plans, remember there are some crops that will need a permanent spot. Asparagus is a good crop to grow if you intend to stay with your veggie garden for a few years. Asparagus will produce year after year in the right conditions. And there are many more perennial crops you could grow which means less work and more good organic food!

Political Overload

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What with Brexit and various political leaders (?) coming and going, us Brits have had a huge dose of political stuff over the past couple of years or so.

Some of it has a ring of truth, some of it is obvious propaganda and even more is pure mud-slinging. All this gets a bit tedious.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still voting for my chosen party, and although it’s probably best I don’t reveal my vote, it certainly wasn’t in favour of a party who obviously doesn’t care about the people of their nation – the people who pay their wages by the way….

Anyway, while all this is going on, there are some wonderful souls out there who are consistently helping those in need and helping to save our beloved planet.

And the media coverage for these ‘real-life’ people who are making a ‘real-life’ difference is practically non-existant.

Yes, we have a climate crisis, a political crisis, a financial crisis and all sorts of other crisis’ happening but moaning about it won’t help change the situation.

So, ranting aside, I am putting my money (=time in my world) where my mouth is and preparing to launch a new project that will help unite us all in our quest for a better lifestyle for all sentient beings here on earth.

Sounds like a plan ay?! It’s going to take a few more months of organising and planning but I’m hoping it will be ready to go in April 2020.

*It will highlight eco-sound and humane projects all round the world
*It will have a no-whingeing policy – that includes pointing fingers. No time for blame.
*It will be easy to get involved with, without leaving your comfy chair
*And it won’t have any advertising – or political propaganda!

So, I’m going to get my head down and hopefully share a dose of the good-stuff in the Spring… Hang in there!

Linda x

New Writing Platform

Been busy building a new website. It started with an interest in a very well-known company and suddenly I found myself building a whole site! Still a freebie but time enough to upgrade.

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It’s a new writing platform with writing articles and a few well-being tips for good balance. And it’ll be a perfect platform to showcase the course I’m building, designed to help anyone who wants to write a non-fiction book get started, finished and published.

I’m going to try the course locally and see where I go from there, although in the meantime I’ll be working on the online version so that I can reach more writing students and keep it affordable. I’ve never presented a course before, let alone with actual real people listening to what I have to say.

That is, without me yelling at them or resorting to the occasional bribe – mum persona πŸ™‚

So, fingers crossed this will be a new career move for me and more to the point, I’m going to love helping people go from ‘I’ve got a great idea for a book’ to actually doing it!

If you have a minute, pop over to the new writing site and see what you think. Not an awful lot of content yet, but you’ll get the picture.Β  It’s even mobile phone optimized! New Writing Platform

To your success

Linda x

The Herb Factory!

Notherbfactory sure if the headgear is very becoming but, hey, this isn’t a fashion statement happening. It’s a new and exciting venture my grandson and girlfriend are starting.

They’ve spent weeks researching, organizing and getting the relevant certification to launch their new business ‘Gaia Remedies UK’ – from my kitchen…..

For me this means peeling potatoes in the sitting room and stamping sell by dates on 300 bags!

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But soo excited for them.

They’ve done all this preparation alongside their University studies. Between them they’re doing degrees in horticulture and environment issues – I’ll probably have to ask them AGAIN exactly what courses they’re taking but I’m definitely in the right arena πŸ™‚

 

They’re still working on their trademark and sales platforms but it’s all coming together. If you’d like to know more about this project, drop Beau and Claire a quick email and they’ll get back to you as soon as their tutors let them out!

GaiaRemediesUK@gmail.com

To the magic of herbs
Linda x

Writing of Course!

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I’ve been writing professionally for years; published and self published several books. Now I’m looking to help others write their books and get them published.

I can’t guarantee an agent or publishing contract – Getting my own ideas looked at often involves a marathon of research and email rejections. πŸ™‚

But, I do know how to put a non-fiction book together, write a proposal and self-publish a book on many different platforms and retailers websites.

Marketing and making a reasonable living is another ball game entirely!

So, my next project is going to be a writing workshop for aspiring writers or people who just have something they want to share, either locally or with the whole world.

I’ve started putting the course together and over six weeks I’m hoping my students will be inspired to keep on writing and with a little luck and effort, actually make some well-earned income.

My very first attempt is going to be off-line. Writing tends to be a solitary occupation and I’ve spent the last decade and more glued to my laptop, hardly speaking to anyone outside my immediate family and friends, so that’s about to change!

I’ve been studying coaching, course creating and writing for a while now so I feel I’m ready. Absolutely terrified of getting it wrong, but that’s par for the course when we start anything new πŸ™‚

I’m looking at local venues, drafting flyers and working out costs at the moment. There’s going to be a lot of leg work involved when I get the flyers printed but I could probably do with the exercise! Although, come to think of it, I might be able to persuade a couple of my grandchildren to help.

This won’t actually happen until next March – lots to do beforehand – but feeling good about the project and lots of positive feedback coming my way, so fingers, toes, ears and eyes crossed.

In the meantime, another project is in development, which is going to help me develop my own writing and editorial skills and also be a positive force for the whole planet. Yep, big dreams and optimism on overdrive, but I’ve had a meeting with a business connector who I’m hoping will help me get the idea moving to the next level… watch this space!

Enjoy the moment πŸ™‚

Linda x

P.S. If the workshop goes well, I might fall in love with my laptop again and create a virtual course.

Making Space for Clutter

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Have you started filling your home with Christmas clutter yet?

During the festivities, whether it’s thanksgiving, Christmas or any other festival, we tend to clutter up with all sorts of decorations, gifts, food, alcohol and even huge trees! But making space for them all can be challenging. Have a quick tidy up now so you don’t get overwhelmed or over cluttered.

Then, in the new year, when all the festive stuff has been consumed or put away for next year, the house won’t feel too much like a tornado has gone through it…

So, here are a few tips for getting through it all with a minimum of disturbance to your peace of mind πŸ™‚

1. Schedule a couple of hours at the weekend or in the evening if possible to go through the children’s rooms. Throw out any broken toys, dried out pens and general rubbish. Encourage the children to help. It’s probably the easiest time of year for bribes to work anyway!

2. Avoid shopping for the sake of it. The shops are full of ways to decorate your home, your Christmas tree and even yourself. Although some of the products are fun and some are stunningly beautiful, ask yourself if you really need it. One way to encourage a little frugality is to go ‘plastic-free’ – easier said than done but reducing the extras can help save the planet and your bank account.

3. Use re-usable gift bags and wrapping paper. Avoid sellotape and go ‘old-fashioned’ with string and brown paper. Or tie coloured ribbon round your parcels. The ribbon or string can be used for craft projects later in the year or kept for next Christmas.

4. If you have the time, make some decorations – there are hundreds, if not thousands of ‘how-to’ craft videos online. You could collect holly sprigs and fallen logs from a woodland walk. Clean off the bark first while you’re still in the woods so any insects get a chance to re-house themselves and you don’t bring any unwanted bugs home. Then arrange holly, dried flowers or pine cones into a decorative centre piece for your Christmas table. These decorations may not last until next year but they are organic and will degrade safely.

5. We’re getting a little close now for home-made gifts, but again, if you have time, a home-made gift is always welcome. If you knit or crochet, a pair of gloves or mittens can be made fairly quickly and could be the answer for the person who ‘has everything’. Use up oddments of yarn and create a colourful gift. – Double benefit here is that you can de-clutter your yarn bag.

And a couple of ways to survive without tearing out your hair…….

6. Do you do a lot of cooking over Christmas? Check out your menu and snack plans now and try and get some baking done and in the freezer. If you have children around during the day, I would suggest doing this in the evenings, otherwise it’s unlikely your tasty mince pies will get as far as the freezer!

7. If Christmas is going to be a whirlwind of activities, visitors, outings and lots of meals to get through, create a Christmas journal now and schedule some time beforehand to freeze stuff, wrap gifts and organise outfits if necessary, so that your Christmas is as enjoyable as everyone else’s.

Have Fun!

Linda x

Penguin Pattern

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Get those needles out folks and knit up some fabulous stocking fillers. This easy knit pattern will delight the youngsters!

If, like me, you always want to change a pattern and put your spin on it, create the penguins – and snowmen if you like – in bright colours. I made some in the summer and called them penguins of paradise. The only difference from the pattern was that I used bright colours and added a tuft of hair.

I’ve lifted the penguin from the Winter Knits pattern book and copied it here for you, so no excuses please! All you need is a pair of 4mm knitting needles, scissors, small amounts of yarn, a scrap of toy filling and a darning needle to sew them together.

Penguin
A little intarsia needed here. If you’re not sure about intarsia, (knitting with more than one colour in a row) check out the intarsia notes below.

Double knitting yarn required: (approx. lengths)
12metres of black
3metres of white

Method:
abbreviations used in this pattern:
B: Black yarn, W: White yarn.
st/s -stitch/es
st.st. – stocking stitch (knit one row, purl one row)
NR – Next row

Back:
*With 4mm needles and black yarn, cast on 8sts.
Start with a knit row and keep to st.st. throughout.
Increase 1st at each end of first three rows. (14sts)*
Starting with a purl row, st.st. 17 rows.
Work 2 sts together at each end of next 3 rows (8sts)
Cut yarn, leaving a length for sewing up and thread through remaining sts. Fasten off by using a darning needle and sewing the end in to tighten the sts

Front:
Work as for back from * to *
Then, starting with a purl row, follow intarsia pattern:
NR: 4B, 6W, 4B
NR: 3B, 8W, 3B
NR: 3B, 8W, 3B
NR: 3B, 8W, 3B
NR: 3B, 8W, 3B
NR: 4B, 6W, 4B
NR: 5B, 4W, 5B
NR: 6B, 2W, 6W
Carry on in black yarn only, and starting with a purl row, st.st. 9 rows.
Work 2 sts together at each end of next 3 rows (8sts)
Cut yarn, leaving a length for sewing up and thread through remaining sts. Fasten off by using a darning needle and sewing the end in to tighten the sts.

To make up:
With right sides facing, sew round edges leaving a gap at the cast on edges to stuff. Turn right side out, stuff gently and sew up gap.
Using embroidery cotton or silk, sew features.

Intarsia Notes

If you’re unfamiliar with intarsia knitting, these tips may help;

*When joining a new colour, fold the new colour round the old, and work the first stitch using two strands of yarn. When you work this stitch on the next row, make sure you knit it as one stitch, not two.

*Always make sure you cross your yarns at the back of your work when changing from one colour to another in a row.

In this image, the next stitch to be purled will be red.

changingcolour

*Wind the yarn along the row by crossing yarn over at the back of work but carrying on in the same colour. Do this every 2-3sts to avoid pulling too tight.

*Yarn can get easily tangled. Either untangle after every 1-2 rows, or use yarn bobbins to help keep it all in order! You can buy yarn bobbins on Etsy and, I suspect, Amazon and Ebay. Or make your own.

And last but not least – practice!

As with any new endeavor, intarsia knitting takes a little practice usually but it’s worth the effort. Start by making the penguins and work your way up to fancy Fair Isle patterns.

Happy Knitting!
Linda x

P.S. If you’d like to download the pattern so you can make the Santa Claus and snowmen toys as well, you can find it over on the Knits U Love page.

 

Making Purses

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These purses or mini-bags are perfect for giving small gifts, decorating the Christmas tree or simply using for coins or bits and pieces!

These three simple purse patterns are from ‘Fun Knits for Beginners’. They use only about 12m of double knitting yarn each- allow 15m for button purse.

And you’ll need a pair of 4mm needles (U.S size 6 and old UK size 8). Use lengths of ribbon, leather or plaited yarn for handles/straps.

 

**”Please excuse the dates on the photos – can’t believe it was two years ago we took these pictures πŸ™‚ Maybe time for another photo shoot!”**

PLAIN PURSE

plainpurse

To Make:
Cast on 16sts.
Starting with a knit row, st.st 30 rows.
Cast off.

Make Up:
Fold in half and sew side seams. Thread a length of ribbon through top of purse to form a drawstring and strap.

SHAPED PURSE

shapedpurse

To Make:
Cast on 16sts.
Starting with a knit row, st.st. 14 rows.
NR: K2tog at each end of row
NR: P2tog at each end of row
NR: Inc. 1st at each end of row.
NR: Inc. 1st at each end of row.
Starting with a knit row, st.st. 14 rows.
Cast off.

 
Make Up:
Fold in half and sew side seams. Thread a length of ribbon through top of purse to form a drawstring and strap.

BUTTON PURSE

buttonpurse

To Make:
Cast on 12sts
Starting with a knit row, st.st. 24 rows
Keeping st.st. correct, shape as follows:
NR: Work 2sts together at beginning of row.
Repeat last row 5 more times. (6sts)
Cast off

Make Up:
Fold up sides of purse to shaping point and sew together. Fold over shaped part and form a small loop of yarn to fit button. Sew button in place. Sew on a length of ribbon or plaited cord for strap.

Happy Knitting!

Linda x
P.S. Quick leap to your favourite retailer and grab a copy now! πŸ™‚

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Fun Knits for Beginners

Amazon US , Amazon UK , Etsy , Payhip , iTunes , Kobo , Barnes & Noble ,

 

Knitting for Christmas

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A couple of weeks ago, I collected all the Ekokid patterns published so far, edited like crazy and came up with a fabulous new book! With 10 patterns usually sold at Β£2 each, the book seemed far too expensive at Β£20 so I half-priced it at a tenner, but even that sounds far too much for a digital copy so halved it again! Now you can get all 10 patterns in one download for a fiver πŸ™‚ Cool huh?!

But more to the point, it’s just in time to get knitting for Christmas – create a whole collection of dolls and their wardrobes before the big day. They’re quick to knit and once you get going with the patterns, you’re likely to come up with some new ideas for fabulous clothes to keep your teenage dolls happy and played with!

You’ll only need one pair of knitting needles for the whole book and some yarn of course. Here’s a list of the bits and pieces I use when knitting small items like dolls or toys:
I pair of 4mm needles (U.S size: 6 and old UK size: 8)
A darning needle, or similar, for sewing pieces together
A pair of scissors
Paper and pen/pencil

Good to have:
*Large headed pins. These are useful for marking features and pinning pieces together before sewing.
*tape measure – for measuring yarn to verify you have enough, especially if you are using very small oddments.

Materials you’ll need for the basic doll:

25g. (about 60 metres) of flesh colour yarn
8m of β€˜boot’ colour or 4m of β€˜shoe’ colour
15g. (about 35m) of β€˜hair’ colour
Washable toy filling – non-allergenic toy filling is available from most craft outlets and needlecraft shops.
Embroidery cotton for features

Give them a go. These dolls are such fun to make and can be custom made for each child. And they are easy to dress and undress – no stiff plastic legs and arms to manoevre – so little hands can join in the fun too πŸ™‚

All the Ekokid pattern books including Ekoknits are listed here Knits U Love

Happy Knitting!
Linda x