Seven Worlds, One Planet

Not for the Fainthearted

For anyone who’s watched any of Seven Worlds, One Planet, Sir David Attenborough’s latest collaboration with the BBC, I think it’s fair to say, it does not make easy viewing. Having said that, in my view, it’s not supposed to. It is meant to wake us up to the reality all around us. It is meant to jolt us into action.

And not before time.

As hard as it is to watch and to see the devastating effects of climate change on every continent on the planet, I strongly recommend that any adult who says that they care about animals, nature and/or the environment takes the time to do so. But I warn you, it is not for the faint of heart.

Just this morning, whilst I watched Episode 2 with growing horror at the destruction of habitats and how this is already affecting numerous animals living in Asia, my husband turned to me and asked how I could watch things like this. My response? It motivates me to try and do more about it. For me, that is reason enough.

Unfortunately, the time to bury our head in the sand and wait for others to save the planet has come and gone. Turning the other way and pretending it isn’t happening doesn’t mean it isn’t happening right now. If I have to sit through a programme showing me the stark reality of my actions and the actions of all those around me to guilt trip me into doing more, then frankly, it’s the least I can do.

I get it – for some the harsh reality is just too hard to face. For those people, ignorance really is bliss – for now. If those people can be motivated to do more for the planet without facing facts then great, don’t watch it. Get on with saving the planet today. But as harsh as it is to face watching a programme, climate change is encroaching on our lives one day at a time. Wait until we’re living it, as our current culture and behaviour is forcing these animals to do. Ignorance won’t be bliss then will it? Will you wish you had done more then?

Whilst I know that these days I do more than I used to in an effort to make a difference, at heart I know that there is more that I can do than what I am doing, and, if we’re being honest with ourselves, it is this fact which makes watching this programme difficult to do. If every single one of us, whether having watched this programme or not, did one thing new towards helping in the fight against climate change today, then this would be a step in the right direction.

There will always be the sceptics out there who question the point of it given the pollution being produced by certain countries. Leave them to it – for some the responsibility is too great to bear that they are defeated without trying. Me, I intend to work harder at what I can do, starting with watching programmes like this and educating myself as to the true, terrible state of our planet and what I can do now, today, to help in the battle.

If you want to learn more and are ready to face up to the challenge, you can find out more here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07dzjwl

Another great source with tips on how you can begin fighting back can be found here: https://www.wwf.org.uk/thingsyoucando

What will you do?

Vegetables

In the Garden: September 2019

September Gardening Tips

As very much a novice gardener, I often find myself trawling the web trying to find out what I should be doing in the garden each month in a language I understand! There’s a lot of terminology to learn with gardening I’m discovering, to be able to make the most of the vast amount of information out there.

One of my favourites is the RHS website (link below) which has a ton of articles for all abilities, including monthly tips for how to keep the garden looking grand all year round if you’re based here in the UK. If you’re a beginner too, this might be an excellent place to start:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/in-month/september

It’s definitely given me plenty of ideas to be getting on with – September seems an especially busy month! Here’s what I plan to get on with starting tomorrow and throughout the rest of the month:

Harvesting

Time to reap the rewards of the last few months by harvesting any ripened fruit or veg from the garden. In my case, having only moved into our home last year, I haven’t done that much with the garden this year other than to maintain it. We are still lucky enough to have already had strawberries yield fruit earlier in the year and now raspberries and blackberries to pick too so this is where I plan to start!

Give the Garden One Last Good Once Over

We had a crazy amount of wet weather throughout most of August here in Manchester so the lawn is well overdue a good trim. There’s also plenty of plants to be pruned/deadheaded or divided. If you have a pond then this would be a good time to have it netted to avoid it becoming clogged with leaves and other debris. Get the kids involved on an “autumnal treasure-hunt” to gather materials to use in an art and crafts session. My youngest did a great job of starting us off today:

Autumn leaves, plants, berries, feather
Our hoard from our Autumnal Treasure Hunt today

Rainy Day Jobs

Rainy days are the perfect days to get into greenhouses, sheds, garages and summerhouses to get them winter-ready too. Get all your gardening gear, cleaned, tidied and put away, including any used pots, to avoid unwanted pests and to keep equipment at its best. We don’t yet have a greenhouse (though it’s on the wish list!) but do have a garage and summerhouse that could do with a bit of TLC before winter arrives, so next rainy day they’ll be all tidy and sparkling clean.

Up Your Eco-Warrior Game

As I’ve become more interested in gardening, one of the many positive effects of this has been a greater desire to be more eco-friendly. We already have a fair amount of animal garden visitors including birds and squirrels so my husband does a fantastic job of keeping our bird-feeder well stocked but this might be something you decide to invest in if you don’t have one already. Starting a compost now is also perfect with all the autumn leaves about to start falling. At the very least, if your local authority provides a “composting bin” for food and gardening waste, make sure you’re using it. Water butts are also an excellent investment now and something I’m adding to the wish-list!

Start Planning Next Year’s Garden

Start taking accurate measurements and notes now on how your garden currently is and think about how you would like to improve it. Maybe you’d like a herb garden next year or a vegetable patch. This is the time to start thinking about what it is you would like to see growing in your garden next year and planning for how you can achieve this. This is one of the rookie mistakes I made when I first got interested in gardening. At the start of Spring, I’d get terribly excited about the garden and then realise I probably should have started in the previous autumn. There are loads of great gardening apps and tools out there to help with this so if you’re interested, try a Google search on “garden plan” and you’ll be spoilt for choice!

What about you – what will you be doing in these last few warm days of September in the garden?

Silhouette of setting sun through trees against sky background

Garden Art

Garden Photoshoot

With today being a grey and overcast day here in Manchester, I thought it would be the perfect time to brighten up the website with a selection of photographs taken by my husband, Lee, last week whilst wandering about the garden.

It’s surprising what you can do with a decent camera phone, a good filter/effect or two and a bit of spare time!

Of course, the garden does not look so bright and sunny today but if you’re someone who feels a bit hesitant about using your own photos on your blog posts why not try taking a few photos to filter and edit to accompany your next post – you might unearth a hidden talent too!

close up photo of blue bird perched on branch

What’s in Your Garden?

Who’s Your Garden Visitor?

We’re very lucky that where we live in our East Manchester town, our garden is frequently visited by numerous different creatures. Whether it’s birds, bees, bats or butterflies, there always seems to be something wandering around out there!

Baby Foxes

Earlier this year, we noticed a beautiful family of foxes visiting the garden. They still visit from time to time but tend to be alone now that they have grown bigger and are far more wary. Below is a video that I’ve posted before but it’s a lovely throwback to their very young days:

Baby foxes playing together earlier this year in our back garden

Collage Mix

Mouse Visitor

We even had a few visits off a local mouse:

Little mouse running about the patio

And these are just the ones, I’m quick enough to get a photo or video of – we also have a nightly visit off a small bat, a heron flying overhead as well as frogs jumping out at me whilst doing the gardening!

Keeping an Eye Out For

Personally, I’d love to have a visit off a hedgehog as I haven’t seen a wild one in years, or even a wild rabbit so hopefully one day (or night!) soon, I may get an extra special visitor.

Some animals do make me a bit nervous such as your general creepy-crawlies but I’m trying hard to warm to them these days – now that I’m getting into gardening more and more, it’s something I’m learning to live with if not quite love yet. Also, I have to admit I did jump a fair bit myself when that frog popped out at me whilst weeding. Then, later that day when I looked up and saw that heron flying over head and managed to get an appreciation of the sheer size of the thing, I may have let out quite a yelp too!

And just this weekend whilst round at my uncle’s home, my dad spotted what we think was a hawk feasting on something in the garden – take a look – what do you think it is? **Update: Have been informed its a sparrowhawk**

Are you lucky enough to have a particular wild animal come to visit your garden? Or have you any tips on how to attract and care for our wildlife visitors?

The Magick of Herbs – The C’s

The Magick of Herbs – The C’s

Feeling under the weather this week with a cold, I write whilst currently sipping on a lemon and ginger herbal tea which is most definitely helping when standard Western medicine (Sudafed!) really hasn’t. So whilst I don’t exactly feel like writing, I’m spurred on by the hope that some of what I write may help others understand, appreciate and make use of the magickal powers of herbs.

Continuing with our A-Z guide to herbal magick, this week we take a look at the C’s. To catch up with last week’s guide to the B’s, click the link below:

https://myholisticliving.co.uk/2019/06/19/the-magick-of-herbs-the-bs/

Cattail Seeds

Cattail is commonly used in passion and lust spells and carrying some in a charm is said to increase a woman’s libido should she wish to. It is particularly good as fire kindling which is perhaps where it’s associations with lust and passion arise from.

Chamomile

A herb still revered today for its healing and sleep-inducing qualities, often mixed with apple and used in herbal teas. Peaceful and tranquil it can be used in love spells or to purify ritual tools. It can be added to a bath to either unbind from an unwanted person/lover and their energies or to attract new love. It can also be used by gamblers as a lucky hand-wash.

Cinquefoil (Five-Finger Grass)

The 5 “fingers” of cinquefoil are thought to be useful in attracting money, wisdom, power, health and love so would work well in related spells and rituals. Medicinally, it has been used as a tincture for bruising and to reduce inflammation and fever. In herbal teas, it is thought to aid with digestive difficulties.

Cleavers

For those wishing to encourage commitment and fidelity in relationships, carrying cleavers as a charm or amulet is said to increase one’s prospects. It can be used in spells concerning difficult love relationships to bind another to you. Can be added to teas, soups and juices to reduce bloating and has also been used medicinally to reduce wound inflammation.

Conkers

A much-loved favourite of school children everywhere back in my day! Conkers, carried as a charm/amulet are said to bring luck and prosperity to the carrier and are especially effective carried in a green bag, wrapped in a money-note. Simply rubbing a well-looked after conker is considered lucky in itself. As the shape of the conker is similar to testicles, they are also said to increase fertility in males.

Coriander Seeds

If looking to draw in new love, coriander seeds carried in a red bag with the name of the person you are trying to attract, are said to bring in lust and passion and would be a powerful combination with cleavers (see above). They too are a helpful addition to fidelity spells as well as being a charm against illness. They can be added to a bottle and placed decoratively round the home to increase happiness as well as being used as a purifier in divination.

That brings our brief journey through the C’s of the herbal world to a close. Were there any surprises? Personally, I’ll never see conkers the same again! Join us next week as we move onto the D’s….

As with any remedy or medicine, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before beginning to work with any herbs listed.