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 elaborate bird table

This morning, I noticed that the birds had been fussing with the straw over the beans I’d sown yesterday. I wasn’t sure if they were after the one or the other, but as we were off out I kicked the … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, Permaculture, Social, Wildlife | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A new way of sowing beans

Way back at the beginning of lockdown, I was alerted to the fact that the Permaculture film ‘Inhabit’ was free to view at the moment. As I’m not great at watching things, I’d not got round to watching it till … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, Permaculture, soil management | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Baby rhubarb

I can’t believe it is a month ago since I last volunteered at my local organic farm. And here I was once again, this time first potting up basil seedlings, followed by rhubarb transplants. I’d always wondered why the farm … Continue reading

Posted in Days out, forest garden, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Yorkshire Post to the rescue

Over the weekend, I did some work for Zero Waste Leeds. They had asked if I could make a video of my composting system – and upon hearing that I wrote a blog, they asked if I could do a … Continue reading

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


Last week, the car battery needed topping up again, so to get 45 minutes continuous motoring in we drove to Tadcaster. Once upon a time, between teaching jobs, I’d done a spot of nannying for the nephews of Bear Grylls … Continue reading

Posted in Days out, Gardening | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Didn’t expect more purple

Usually, I kill sage before it has chance to flower. This year is different. As I had never seen sage flowers before, I had not known what to expect and was totally charmed when the buds burst yesterday. With purple … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, herbs | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

The first good feed in years

Ever since we’d started going to Red Lodge Farm near Wakefield for our raw milk, we’d pass a stables which offered ‘Free Manure’. The first time, I lodged it in the back of my mind for future reference; and thereafter … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, soil management | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

A new skyline

As long as I’ve lived in my house, I have muttered with dismay as the leylandii in neighbouring gardens get taller and taller and thus block more and more of the sun from my south-facing garden. Then this week, a … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, Wildlife | Tagged , | 11 Comments

At last, a name!

In the beginning, there was a plant at my gran’s house. It went to my parents’ and then to my sister’s, by which time it had become confused with lamb’s ear. My daughter had fallen in love with lamb’s ear, … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Life in the pond?

My daughter’s school has been sending out a weekly newsletter with, amongst other things, a list of activities the pupils can undertake in addition to their regular online/paper lessons. She herself has turned her nose up to these but one … Continue reading

Posted in Pond and bog garden, Wildlife | Tagged , , | 6 Comments