Ivy lures birds into the garden…

gardening, Uncategorized

Ivy makes a good climber to lure birds into your garden!


Any holiday in London never ends without gifting me this inner enchanted island made up of ivy magic! On my first five or even ten trips there, many years ago, the local people looked astonished to find me picking up ivy cuttings from wherever I could get them. They even donated their own stock to me, since it is so plentiful there. But alas none of the cuttings came up in India! I now buy ivy here as it is available in a few designs and colours.

In London now I just enjoy its designs and patterns and its faithful reliability to be always there to gawk at! Either it covers up houses like a very gorgeous dark green dress, sometimes a pale yellow, green and white tunic, often turning a garden ledge into a serene necklace, or a window into a secretive love letter.


But best of all Ivy, Hedera helix is a good five star plant for birds, as the berries carry on right through winter when food is short. It is also a good cover for nesting!

IMG_1569IMG_7263 - Version 11 – Version 14

Tips from an ancient gardener!

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ORGANIC TIPS FROM AN ANCIENT EXPERT: One of the most interesting gardening books was written in the 14th century by an elderly middle class man Menagier de Paris (Householder, or Goodman, of Paris) for his very young wife. He wrote a book filled with instructions for his clueless bride to manage his house, marketing, cooking cleaning, entertaining and gardening! It gives us a very enchanting picture of domestic matters in the Middle Ages.


Here are some interesting tips on gardening: he told his wife not to water in the heat of the sun, to thin young lettuce plants, to throw saw dust on anthills to get rid of ants, to place cinders under cabbages to kill caterpillars; and not to let greens go to seed!


Make leaf mould to attract wildlife!

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Make plenty of leaf mould to attract wildlife


Gather up leaves and let them rot down to make leaf mould. Break them down by running a mower over them. Then keep them in a wire cage to stop them blowing away or put them in bin liners with a few holes for air circulation. Neatly arrange them in a shady corner of the garden and water them and wait for a year or so till they turn into soft useable compost. Meanwhile they will attract wildlife like spiders and beetles!


From: The Natural Garden Handbook Caroline Foley



Dress up your compost heap prettily!

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If you don’t want your compost heap looking grubby by edging it with black polythene, cardboard or plastic, grow DSCN1000honeysuckle around it and trim it to the height of the heap. It makes a lovely border and is easy to grow.

I tried planting the ever generous, quick growing, philodendron, which also grows on water and watery soil! So when the rains wetted my compost heap the philodendron put out several fresh strands and glowed like a bronze necklace while the compost did its work underneath!




The Cat-Cleaning Day Arrives

gardening, Uncategorized, weekly photo challenge Rearrange

When it becomes Cat cleaning day



When my day turns carnivorous,

Which for a vegetarian like me, it

Means, alas that the day is planning

To gobble me up, crunching me and

clawing, then Trumping down Tweets!


for all the messes, mistakes, mangles &

Maddening memory losses, that have

Sickened my life into stupidity and sloth!

Then I know it has to turn into the Cat-

Cleaning day! Which never fails to

Frighten me out of my fallen –into- the

reddened mouth of the tiger, feeling!


First I pounce on the vomit that Chunri

The gorgeous Tortoise Shell has deposited

On my fat red cover book of Rumi’s poetry!

I scold her furiously and she looks ashamed

And I feel better. Then I go into the garden


And pick up some of the cat shit from where

It had no business to be, and put it in the trash

Then I remove the cat hairs from all the sofas

And all the pillows and all the books and all

The places where it should not have collected

And put it in the compost heap which is cool


And as I clean, the cats watch as watching is

Their prime time treat as if they are enjoying

Their own personal Netflix! With their own

Favourite show like Fargo is mine, along with

Narcos and House of Cards and CSI New York

Then I shudder to find my rare yellow Ivy in

The water garden where only the water lilies


Should be, but one of my Cat Gardeners has felt

It needs to be inside water, then I rescue the

Red and white polka dot from the paws of this

Same gardener who does more of ruminating

Than restoring, repotting, repairing or watering!


By the time I have done with Cat-Gardening, and

Cat Cleaning, the carnivorous crooked Calamity

Has slunk away under the glare of several golden

Orange Cat Stares and left me to fall into peace!