What makes you happy? Regular readers may be familiar with one of my passions: making compost, especially when the process is going right.

So, I was very pleased the other day when I went to turn the contents of the Green Johanna. It was actually quite a cool morning, so it came as a surprise when I noticed what can only be described as steam coming out of the heap as the stirring stick brought up the compost from the middle of the bin. It was also a surprised because I had only recently put in quite a few woody cuttings, which I’d expected to slow things down a bit.

Some of the woody cuttings came from pruning the wormwood in the front garden. It was looking decidedly leggy and encroaching onto the path which leads to the front door. I didn’t mind jumping over the branches to get in the house but I wonder how much the postie enjoyed the experience when trying to get a piece of mail through the post box.

However, I had been a little concerned about setting my secateurs to the the bush. There seemed to be so much conflicting information about when to prune on the internet. Still, the RHS website says quite clearly that the best time to do the job is in the autumn. Further, it suggests cutting the branches back down to the base.

This second point sounded a little too risky. What if I killed the plant? Thus, I decided upon a slightly more cautious approach: cutting off the branches hanging over the path but not all the way to the base. I can revisit the situation another time if it feels appropriate.

Besides the issue of not wanting to harm the plant, there is also the question of how much can fit in the Green Johanna. After all, its primary purpose is to compost kitchen waste, so if there were no room for this, especially with neighbours now contributing their kitchen waste, I could be in a bit of a fix. Somehow, I doubt it is going to come to this, though, if the steam continues to rise from its contents over the autumn and winter months.

Readers may notice that I am recycling a photo from another, recent post. At the same time as cutting back the wormwood in the foreground, I dug up a patch of or red campion in order to plant the kniphofia, featured in the centre of the photo.

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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4 Responses to Steam

  1. Steam is an inspiring sign

  2. Such satisfying steam

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