Friday, 22 March 2013

Last Day 0f Winter 2013

The last day of winter was a beautiful day sunny sparkling cloudless skies, warm enough to work on my allotment and to take time out to  meditate and have a cup of tea or two. The  daffodils and crocuses were flowering, while buds were swelling on the fruit trees and bushes.  There were occasional bumble bees lazing in a daffodil  trumpet or lingering on the open crocus flowers and then visiting the bellis daisies.

The rhubarb crowns were being to produce perfect tiny leaves which will soon be big enough to shade the bed.  The first thing I did when I got to the plot was checked my new apple tree, a one year old maiden James Grieve to see how it was faring in the wet and cold weather.   It is less of a tree more of a stick with lovely shiny bark the colour of  burnt umber brown, but still a stick! The water table has been so high this winter the young roots of the tree could be struggling to grow or even be rotting in the cold, wet and icy earth around them.  Here is hoping the tiny buds will swell and start the transformation from stick to a beautiful tree full of red apples which in a couple of years  will give in September beautiful cookers which if left on the tree will be by November sweet desert apples.. 

It was a perfect day at the plot and in the evening while walking Pops  there was a beautiful half moon in a star studded sky.  The night air was crisp but dry and Winter finished here in Hampshire with the gift of  sunlight and moonlight.

Wednesday was the Spring Equinox and dawn broke with clear skies and sunshine.  However, by late morning there was a chill in the air and growing cloud banking up and eventually obscuring the sun.  All the doors and windows which I had thrown open to welcome Spring were shut tight again  as the cold began to seep through the house.   In the evening on my walk with Pops  we faced icy rain and blustery squalls form a bitter north easting wind. Pops headed for home as soon as she could turn the right corner there was going to be no extended walk for her.  As soon as she came home she wedged herself against the radiator.

crocus flowering in my plot
The Spring Equinox brings equal day and night then gradually the light grows day by day until midsummer's day.   This  years Spring Equinox started  with Sunshine but as I sit at my computer I can hear the wind rumbling done the chimney and it is wet and very chilly outside, there may even be snow showers to come.  A disappointing start after such a long winter period of rain snow chilly winds and dull days. 

On the afternoon of the Equinox  I turned on the lights before sunset tonight as the cloud cover was so dense it obscured the light. Hey ho, sigh Spring will come and the seedlings in the greenhouse will grow straight and tall and not be leggy and weak. Whatever happens I will be growing and planting on my allotment and in the garden.  Today I snatched moments outside  to look at the beautiful daffodils shining through the gloom but  the crocuses were shut tight against the wind

So welcome Spring and the sunny days a head, and...

May the Long Time Sun

Shine upon you

All love surround you

And the pure light

within you

Guide your way home

With Reiki blessings


Saturday, 16 March 2013

Cooperation and Dissent

Ben, Michael & in the background Jenny
 filling the birds feeders
I haven't been able to get to my plot  for a fortnight due to having a cold, snow, freezing rain, North Easterly gales.

There are soooo  many jobs that need to be done before the start of the new growing season.  I managed to recruit Ben and Michael to help dig the two beds I am going to plant the potatoes in this year.  They were on loan to from my neighbours The Community Plot and they made short work of digging the beds.  Some how the path between the beds disappeared, but hey ho grass grows very well on my plot . All I will need to do is fork it over and  edge the the beds.  It felt so good to see the beds beginning to be prepared for planting.

The Allotments are less relaxing now as the previous Chairman at the allotments retired and the New Chairman is  a City Councillor and has not got his own plot yet!  The waiting list for plots here is over 500 people and the Council is keen to get this down quickly.  In April, May, June, July the number of Dirty Plot Letter quadrupled and anger grew as people whose plots were flooded for weeks on end got letters, Relentless every month these two people from the committee went round inspecting plots and drew up lists of dirty plots for the Allotment Officer to inspect and send out letters.  He  had no knowledge of horticulture and relied on the Committee Members to guide him. He is now assistant Parks Manager.

 The anger also grew amongst people  who worked as they had three months, from April to July  when they could rarely get on to their plots to work on it, because weekend after weekend there was torrential rain. To receive a  a Dirty Plot Letter in the post inflamed many of them.. Everyone had Crops fail because of the low light levels, the water table rising  higher and higher and finally an  army of slugs and snails emerged that ate  many of seedlings and plants that were growing!. A miserable Spring and early Summer seasons compounded by two of the Allotment Committee members not supporting the plot holders but the Councillors and their eagerness to get the waiting list for allotments down.

New Plot holders were expected to have a perfect plot in weeks. I blame Joe Swift's  TV program on Allotments, but that is another story, It took me eighteen months to get my plot fully productive after I took it over.  Now there is an expectation that the plots should be 79% productive at all times.  Errr last year I did not achieve that for more than a couple of months. Even the Potatoes had to be dug up early  because of a blight scare, which left three beds empty,

When I saw the dastardly pair approaching  with clipboard at the ready I felt tense and almost held my breathe until they passed without adding my plot to the list for a Dirty Letter. I became acutely aware of all the jobs I hadn't done at my plot and tt was a horrible feeling.  Fortunately the Council has now employed someone who has worked in horticulture and  I hope things will look up  this year. I also hope that  the weather will be much much kinder to all of us.

I love my plot and enjoy being there, surrounded by the fruit trees, bushes, plants,  vegetables.  I love the perennial and annual flowers I grow which draw in bees, and insects and wild life.  It is my haven and retreat,

My daffodils and crocus are flowering, my fruit trees beginning to bud and I enjoyed two sunny, if cold, days at the allotments this week. Happy days - more please Mister God!

With Reiki blessing and Light
Happy Growing
Merry B

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Snowed Under But In The Pink

I wrote a notebook entry on my website but decide I would expand on it here,  so hopefully this blog will grow.. Pop back again soon.

snowed under but in the pink
Every day I walk into my garden I notice changes the tight buds of the daffodils are unfurling, Today the buds of the wild daffodils have started to open amongst the snowdrops, one small tulip is flowering.  The days are  creeping forward to the Spring Equinox the beginning of  a new season.

The weather of late Winter has been cold,grey and gloomy.  More rain and even snow lies ahead in the next few days.  But when I see tiny daffodils, snowdrops and crocuses shining through the gloom my spirits lift.  

I had become quite gloomy in February as the weather had restricted my outdoor activity, walking, gardening and my time at my allotment.  I could feel the cold and gloom from outside penetrating my mind and heart space.  I heard myself complaining and muttering about  'Life the World and Universe' and struggled to emerge into the light.  Fortunately on my book shelf is Pema Chodron's teaching on The way of the Bodhisattva.  For three days I immersed  my self in the teachings. 

 On the fourth day I woke up feeling very strange, different, it was only gradually did it dawn on me what the change were, I no longer felt stressed, no longer felt exhausted and my mind had cleared.  All the negative and destructive emotions that had stifled me had evaporated and I felt cheerful and knew any problems that I still faced had solutions or would pass

With Reiki Light and Blessings

Merry B