Coronavirus Garden Safari

rambling ratz

As the UK ends the second week of lockdown in an attempt to limit the spread of the coranavirus, Covid-19, I count myself fortunate to have a garden. Spring has sprung and the increased warmth from the sun has induced flowers to open and insects to wake. Beautiful butterflies such as this peacock can be found sunning themselves.

Fluffy bee-flies with their improbably long proboscises are buzzing around.

The fabulously named hairy footed flower bees are flower bothering.

Bees are getting busy.

The birds too are busy building their nests, take care when trimming hedges. This pair of jackdaws have no need to keep to the 2m social distancing rules.

The blackbirds are stocking up on supplemental food such as the cat biscuits left over from the hedgehogs’ supper.

Fresh water is important for all of our garden wildlife such as birds and squirrels. A shallow dish on the ground…

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Year of the Rat Fabrics!

Paisley Power

The Year of The Rat 2020 is continuing to be a good year for sales of the Paisley Rats fabrics. The design was created by Patrick Moriarty in 2015. He drew the whole design by hand on paper, scanned the artwork and then completed the design using Adobe Photoshop. He was inspired by the punk rock band The Stranglers who used a rat silhouette as their logo in the 1970’s. Their debut album was called « Rattus Norvegicus » (the common rat). At the age of 12 in 1977, this album was a big influence on Patrick Moriarty, not just the songs but the rat imagery on the album cover. Patrick was also inspired by his travels to India. He surrounded the rat sihouettes by an intricate paisley pattern. Paisley patterns originate in the Kashmir region of India. In this post Patrick provides information about his range of Paisley Rats fabrics.

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Diary of a Designer

Paisley Power

I might have to make a return visit to Los Angeles for some fashion research. My agent has sold 4 of my designs to fashion brands there in 4 days (February 11th to 14th 2020). The last time I was there was in 1989. I’m sure the fashions have changed!
It’s important to get to know your target market. By visiting the fashion stores in LA, I will be able to gauge the styles and colors that are popular with fashion shoppers in the city. It is possible to do fashion research online but it’s much better to see what is actually in store. I will be concentrating mainly on the printed patterned clothing. I will establish the print styles that may develop into future trends. If I can establish the trends, then it will help me to make my own designs in styles that the buyers want.

View of Los Angeles
View of…

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Making Seed Balls and Scattering Seeds for Wildtending

The Druid's Garden

Dried seed balls ready for tossing! Dried seed balls ready for tossing!

This is the last post (for a while) in my series on wildtending. In the last month, we’ve explored the philosophy of wildtending as a sacred action, explored the refugia garden principle, I shared my own refugia garden preparation and design, and finally, we are ready to start scattering the seeds!  Perhaps these seeds were gathered from the wilds, given as a gift from a friend, or perhaps, they were gathered from a refugia garden.  Wherever you get them, now is the time to begin to scatter these amazing little balls packed with life, love, and magic.

Seed balls were invented by Fukuokoa and described in the permaculture classic, One Straw Revolution.  They have a number of benefits over other methods for scattering seeds.  First, and foremost, they are easy to throw and toss into spaces you can’t reach.  A lot…

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