Posts Tagged ‘Herbs’

Un petit jardin vertical.

May 15, 2020

 

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Now that the weather is promising to get cooler one way of staying warm is to keep busy. Living on your own the temptation seems to lure one into sitting or just standing and ponder. Not that the ponder goes deep into delving or questioning the philosophical side of things, but more into what I should do next.  The ponder into doing next can be tantalisingly close to a lot more of nothingness when at my age and my singular existence, time is of such abundance. I don’t have to catch the 401 bus at  6.30 in the morning to work or have urgent meetings to discuss a takeover of a multinational.

Of course, with the practice of social isolation the art of pondering can rise to much greater heights than ever before. ‘Singular isolation’ would be a better term than ‘social isolation’ which seems a contradiction or oxymoron. The word social means , group, community, collective.

Perhaps it is meant to sooth the right wingers amongst us in accepting the word ‘social’  when we all know that word for many to be a call to arms and arrest anyone who dares to even think of that dreaded word. We all know where that takes us. Morrison must have laid awake for hours trying to navigate around it. Alas, he could not get it past some of his more reasonable minsters, and so the term Social isolation was born.

To get out of my torpor during this isolation I undertook to do more gardening. The front yard faces a busy trainline and I get a kick out of waving to the passengers on the trains on their way to Sydney or coming from Melbourne. It is as close to keeping in touch with people without risking infections.. There are also numerous goods trains, some of them carry well over a hundred carriages all pulled along by just one diesel fuelled locomotive. I also wave to the locomotive driver.

My garden is perhaps about 100 square metres in total and my intention is to transform it into a small forest consisting of many birch and other deciduous trees. In between the trees will be small bushes and on different levels. I hope that eventually I will be able to take small walks between the trees with an occasional stop to do more pondering. I started to also grow my own herbs in the garden at the back of my place.

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Here is it,

Waiting for its first herbs. I bought a flat pack box which I thought was one of those that click together without nuts or bolts or the need for tools. When I opened the flat box, to my horror rolled out a small packet of screws and nuts, 36 in total. It was a job and half to put it together and I almost gave up. I had Helen here who comes once a fortnight to help calm me down and sane. She also gave me a nice haircut. Here it is.  But, never buy a flat pack that holds nuts and bolts.

Here it is; Haircut by Helen.

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The main job for the forest has started in earnest and I have bought four birch trees so far; and that is just the beginning. The metal box shown on the photo was a delight to put together and did not need tools or used any bolts or nuts. I put it together in 5 minutes. I bought a mixture of soil, turkey and cow manure but was surprised how many bags went into this metal L shaped box.

Here it is: metal box.

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It might be hard to visualise a small forest but believe me, it will happen! I sold my old place in Bowral and will have the money to indulge in this idea of creating a magic forest. It will happen for sure. As for my previous post in my wish for a possible liaison with a soft and friendly female to alleviate the solitude of bed and breakfast on my own.  Not many enquiries so far.

I’ll keep you informed.

 

 

 

The benefits and clean air of a good Spathiphyllum.

March 12, 2018

IMG_0001Helvi

If health and breathing clean fresh air is your aim, look no further than filling your house with the easy to grow Spathiphyllum, also known as Peace lily or even Madonna lily. We have always had those very graceful plants filling our homes. They are in every room in our house.  The latest count  has twelve with about half of them flowering. It is not just a beautiful easy to grow plant with graceful leaves and tall strong flowers, but this plant also has the benefit of filtering the air of many toxins.

The Spathiphyllum is the only plant together with the flamingo plant or Anthurium that are known to remove many toxic agents including Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene,  Xylene and Ammonia. I don’t know about you dear readers, but there is nothing as unwelcome than finding Formaldehyde hiding under your pillow, or Xylene in your lentil soup. There has always been a rather lackadaisical  attitude towards dust in Australia, even a good humoured tolerance, (think of all the asbestos houses) but with the advent of toxins including nerve agents now invading park benches in the UK one would be well advised to take nothing for granted and try and grow a few Spathiphyllum.

Nothing is safe anymore, not even in Australia, a country which is generally perceived as having a lovely sleepy ambiance with plenty of Lebensraum. Patrons at Zizzi restaurant in UK’s Salisbury, on the other hand, are now alerted and advised to wash everything they wore while dining out at that place during the nerve agent attack. A robust response is needed and special attention is focussed to thoroughly clean or throw out everything, even jewellery, that was worn during the ingestion of the pizza or eye fillet at Zizzis. Some of the furniture has now been burnt and I imagine many patrons being a bit nervous to eat there now, let alone sit down.

As you can see from the above photo, nothing is left to chance. Peace lilies feature everywhere. We actually have five in our kitchen-sitting area alone. And if those lilies are not enough to keep things clean, on the left-hand bottom corner you can see my own Hoover ‘Freedom’ at quiet repose, but not for long.  Soon, that equipment will be out foraging crannies and corners  with the help of its hepa filter and remove any particles that escaped the peace lily.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Clean_Air_Study

Think about it!

The story does have to include a disclaimer. The removal of mustard gas or any other nerve poison might not get removed by this plant. It would be preposterous to make that claim.

This is just an encouragement to include the lushness of the outside garden indoors. There is just nothing better than to be surrounded by greenery. We have plants in the bathrooms, on the stairs, everywhere. Herbs live on the kitchen bench. There is just nothing more satisfying than to have a tomato garnished by basil from the kitchen bench, or a curry improved by home-grown coriander.