It’s been another busy week, with the temperature rising, and my Six on Saturday this week isn’t just about the garden.
But first up is this fantastic frog that visited our wildlife pond.
It startled us by hopping out from behind the bullrushes as my lovely husband was topping up the pond with a watering can. The raised pond is now about one year old, and there are lots of baby damselflies in there, lots of little snails, the water’s clear, and it’s becoming a popular spot for visiting wildlife.
The pond is about 90cm deep at its lowest point, so any overwintering wildlife won’t freeze to death. It’s made with ‘stepped’ levels, to suit different plants and wildlife, and we’ve not added any fish, mostly because of the cat. Putting in a pond has been one of the best things we’ve done in the garden.
The yukka is in flower, and it’s HUGE!
The veg beds are doing nicely.
The peas are good.
The ‘seven sisters’ companion planting of squash, corn and beans is coming along. Most of the squash plants were munched by snails, but I have four ‘spare’ squash plants that I saved just in case that happened – and I’ll plant them out here when they’re a bit bigger and stronger.
It’s getting hot.
The Meteorological office has put out a ‘red’ warning about very high temperatures coming soon.
Even the usually climate change denying Daily Mail has published: ‘UK-heatwave-explained-hot-climate-change-actually-factor.html’. I won’t link to it because the Daily Mail is awful. But it’s scary.
Yesterday I went to the Green Healthy Future conference in Frome, to represent Shared Earth Learning forest school, and join discussions about how the health of people and the planet are deeply connected.
Frome Medical Practice, with Frome Town Council, and the social enterprise Edventure, were joint hosts of this conference. The Medical practice works together with the council and local social enterprises (including Shared Earth Learning) to help people get involved in projects that encourage good health for people and the planet – eg gardening as therapy, active transport for health, outdoor family playgroups to tackle loneliness. This focus on ‘social prescribing’ has been very effective, reducing hospital admissions, and gaining international coverage as an example of an effective new approach to community wellbeing: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/15/business/england-city-fights-isolation.html
The conference opened with an analogy about human health and planetary health.
I think the highlight of the day was an impassioned speech from climate activist Grace Maddrell, about the disparate impact of climate change, and the urgent need for system change.
During the ‘active travel’ tour of town, we saw some rubbish cycle lanes, and discussed options to encourage people to walk and cycle more, and reduce car use. I chatted with visitors from Totnes and Glastonbury, about town centre pedestrianisation. When Frome Town Council closed the main road in the town centre for a ‘green breather day’ the reaction was very negative from some drivers, and there was congestion in other parts of town while the centre was closed to traffic.
The ‘breather day’ idea was dropped in response to the criticism. We chatted a bit about ‘old farts’ until an objection was raised about discriminatory language and attitudes towards older people. The conference was encouraging and inspiring, but also terrifying.
On the plus side, we’re hoping to get some bikes for Shared Earth Learning, with help from the active travel group that I met at the conference. We want to have a few bikes that we can lend out to young people, to give them opportunities to get out and about on two wheels.
Apologies to those who would prefer six actual things in the garden, instead of three garden things plus three climate change related things. But I’m increasingly pre-occupied with the FUCKING PLANET BEING ON FIRE. Still, climate action is the antidote to climate anxiety, so I’m going to upload more speeches and info from the conference to try to increase its reach, and get on with a few more plans to help Shared Earth Learning do more to nurture a love of nature (and get some bikes).
I also have to plant out a few squashes.
I hope you have a super week. I’ll end with a few simple tips for coping in a heatwave:
- Stay hydrated
- Wear loose fitting clothing in naturally breathable fabrics
- Overthrow capitalism, defund billionaires and dismantle the fossil fuel industry
- Treat yourself to an ice-cream