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.

An altogether better place

You Were Gone by Tim Weaver is perhaps one of the most intriguing books I have read this year. It was lent to me by a distant neighbour in Altofts, near Wakefield. Having now finished this book and duly returned … Continue reading

Posted in Days out, soil management | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Not used for a year

How often do you do a job and then wish you’d done it differently? In my case, the Green Johanna has turned out to be in the wrong place. First, I damaged to top growth of the hazel next to … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, soil management | Tagged , , | 6 Comments


I don’t always read my emails. There are so many that the majority reach the bin before they are opened. Then occasionally there is one which I’m glad I took the trouble to look at. One such the other day … Continue reading

Posted in Days out, forest garden | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

End of August (oops, that should read July!) flower round-up

My flowers might not be the magnificent display that I see elsewhere in the blogging world but they have brought a smile to my face when I’ve popped out for a breather this week. Overall, it seems there are a … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, Pond and bog garden | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Sewing an Upcycled T-Shirt Face Mask

Hurray! Today my face shields arrived. However, after reading the post below, I am almost envious of those who can wear a cloth mask. I’ve tried several patterns for face masks over the past few months, but the one I … Continue reading

Posted in Crafts | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Both sides of the border

This last week, we had a few days away, staying in Berwick-upon-Tweed. The original focus of the holiday had been to visit Bamburgh Castle after hearing about the recent finding of Viking remains and artefacts there. However, this turned out … Continue reading

Posted in Crafts, Days out, soil management | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Someone has a sense of humour!

On Tuesday, I returned to my birthplace. Well, not the hospital or a part of Stockton-on-Tees that I had ever been to before but RSBP Saltholme. We were on our way up to Northumberland for a short break and I … Continue reading

Posted in Days out | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Slow burn echinacea

I’ve lost count of how many years ago I bought a pack of echinacea seeds, sowed them and tended the seedlings till they were ready to go out in the front garden. Nothing happened, they appeared to die. So, I … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, herbs | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Thirty a week?

There seemed to be quite a lot of interest in the post ‘Over 60’ I wrote a few days ago. One question I couldn’t answer was how much fruit and veg should we perhaps be consuming in a given time-frame. … Continue reading

Posted in foraging, Gardening, Health | Tagged | 15 Comments

Nine-star broccoli

It’s a few years since I was introduced to The Backyard Larder. This is a specialist nursery which sells perennial vegetables. I get the impression that business has been booming since lockdown, which is undoubtedly one of the plus sides … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, perennials | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments