Author Archives: Helen

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.

Day lily flowers

The other day, I noticed that not only the globe artichoke was in flower but that the day lilies had also added their flowers to the tableau. I got these plants as seeds – nine altogether, of which three germinated … Continue reading

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A flower on the globe artichoke

One of the joys of growing a plant I have no horticultural experience of is the suspense. What will happen when? Thus, early this morning, whilst out with the watering can, I saw the beginnings of the first globe artichoke … Continue reading

Posted in edible flowers, Gardening, perennials | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Backdoor strawberries

I went for a lovely walk with a friend in Meanwood Park yesterday. Whilst rhododendrons are no longer encouraged, I can see why they were once all the rage. Suffice to say, I wouldn’t think it wise to plant any … Continue reading

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Grow your own jeans

This morning, my ears pricked up when I heard the final news item on the Today programme. There is a project in Blackburn, where flax and woad have been sown with a view to showing the world that we can … Continue reading

Posted in Crafts, Good for the environment | Tagged | 18 Comments


I recently bought a collection of non-wool fibres to experiment with. The first one I chose to spin was ramie (from a type of nettle not found in Europe). I really enjoyed spinning this fibre. Something about the activity hit … Continue reading

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What to do with the wool insulation

After a degree of searching I came across an organic farm shop which sells Cumberland sausages that to boot contain no nasty nitrites. It was also great to be able to get some organic Brie and feta cheese, so for … Continue reading

Posted in Crafts, Good for the environment, soil management | Tagged , | 7 Comments

A not-so-impressive flower

Last week, I noticed a huge flower bud on the yukka in the front garden. Then we went away and I completely forgot about it. I didn’t even look up when we returned from our travels on Tuesday evening. So, … Continue reading

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A weekend in Suffolk

At last, we were able to go far away from our village and explore a completely new part of the world for us. With my daughter being on her half term school break and my having an extra day added … Continue reading

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A distraction from work

Somehow my ironing board, aka my desk, has repositioned itself across the front window. This means the curtains need to be closed if I am teaching, so the students can see me on the screen, but otherwise it gives me … Continue reading

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Hirst Wood

On Friday morning, I was out of the house for three hours, which felt such a novelty. I have actually been out for as long as that on other occasions but clearly I needed more. So, the chosen spot for … Continue reading

Posted in Days out | Tagged , , | 14 Comments