Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Grand-ish Designs!

 Okay family and any others who have expressed an interest as to the goings on down the bottom of the garden....

The overview as a starter! You can't actually tell from this angle how much flatter the garden is in that area now, as opposed to the originally sloping aspect. You can see the two chicken houses on the right (one is empty at the moment but we intend to buy some more chickens in May/June )and matching greenhouses on the left. Some ideas we have are to try and create different "rooms" in the garden and to discover more about introducing Permaculture into our thinking as we continue to plan for the next stage. The earth in the foreground will be grassed over for now.

Railway sleepers made into stairs and walls, creating a rustic feel.  By the time I am at the bottom of these, I can hardly be seen from the house!

The area with the sun dial is going to become a pond which we hope will encourage frogs who in turn will eat the slugs on the vegetable patch....we live in hope!!!

We won't get the glass into the second greenhouse, this year, but it will still be used for climbing peas and french beans in the meantime. You can see the Columnar apple, pear and greengage trees now have their own raised bed.  This area in the foreground will be grassed over.

A little path created so that we get walk between both chicken houses. We will be buying a water butt to catch the rain off the roof which will be used for the chicken's water. It will be situated on the far paving slab where the roofs meet. I'm hoping that the sweetpeas I've planted in the pot will climb up and look beautiful as well as smell divine!  They are supposed to be highly fragrant.  I never seem to be that successful with them, but every year I try again.   They are my favourite summer flower!

Rhubarb is on its way, as are the climbing peas, just about visible!

Three redesigned deeper than before (to redistribute some of the extra soil) raised beds.

A few bulbs to start us off.  We will buy a sack in the autumn and get planting for a really beautiful show next Spring.

The Gunnera has been repositioned, it is already thriving on the new site.  It will look like this:

Well hopefully not nearly as huge!!!!!

Dolly our Cream Legbar who lays blue eggs.

Connie, our Silverlaced Wyandotte and Xena our Light Sussex, aged 6 years and still laying most days!

The sundial that we found in the garden when we moved in, back in 1987, at last has a place to stand after all this time!

The sweetpeas beginning!

And finally, Mabel who now has a retirement home where she can keep a beady eye on what we're watching on TV! Not too impressed when she decides to wake us up some mornings...our bedroom is just above!

Hope this gives you a little idea of the beginnings!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

"We making a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give"

Apparently someone called Norman MacEwan said those words!

Picked up a book in Oxfam recently. You know when you hesitate over a book and put it back on the shelf, then reach for it again, flick through a few more pages...return it to the shelf...wander off..but you can't quite put it out of your mind? This was the scenario and I knew it was a book I needed to learn from, so I listened to the inner voice amd paid the £2.49 knowing that it was an investment in understanding a subject that held important challenges right across every area of life. The title?

"The Power of Generosity" by Dave Toycen (President and CEO of World Vision, Canada)

Such Chapter headings as:

Generosity: What is it?
Who are the Generous?
The Power of Generosity to overcome obstacles
  "          "           "     stimulate Personal Growth
  "            "         "  Does it make a Difference?
"          "            "       on the Road to Justice
"           "         "    to make Peace
"            "            "    What Lies Behind?
"              "         "    : Money
Failure:    A Personal Testimony
The Power of Generosity: How to get it
"              "        "   in a World of Change

Challenging and timely stuff indeed! I've just finished the Peace chapter and the poem below is quoted from there. Just thought to start the day with it!

"He drew a circle that shut me out-
Heretic , rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him In !

From the poem " Outwitted"
— Edwin Markham

Sunday, 6 March 2011

What is enough?

On the road to simplicity and contentment, there are always questions to be asked.....

 The story of the Mexican fisherman

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos.  I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”


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