From the beginning….

So as I begin another chapter I am sure they will still be by my side as trusted souls should be. Guiding, supporting, energizing and providing as always. Giving me the energy I need to breathe, live and create so naturally. Potting Shed Direct is my creative space, now virtual but never more so real as now. To dabble, ponder flit like a butterfly being creative naturally, is the life for me. Ever inquisitive and wondering. What if….. x

Life never quite goes according to plan for me. Well for a start I was born in the city of London, whilst my heart seemed intrinsically attached to the countryside! I mean countryside , to a point where off grid and wild and windy Scotland crofts came into virtual grasp! Well, I didn’t make it that far. As i say, life has other plans. However, I do and have for 12 years lived in a remote ish dwelling, by my standards at least. Off grid no but it’s own water supply with plenty of stories to tell for a later post, hilarious now but at the time disastrous. It has its own sewage too. so no quite dry compost loos as of yet! Being on the end of a telephone and electricity lines bring their own challenges to a modern growing family but hey we survived, just about. Idyllic and blooming hard work.

Four children have grown with me into and for some of them out of the love with this magical forest dwelling. 2001 being 7, 4, 18 months on arriving and adding to the brood in 2003 made four. We are unfortunately coming to the end of our magical existence here and go forward with real experience of the unbelievable good fortune, experience and delight of being here and also the challenges faced of pursuing the ‘good life’. We have grown, harvested, kept various menageries of animals, facing all the ups and downs that mostly could not even be imagined as part of this existence. many, many times it felt a privilege and a few times perhaps more than i wished it to be; an enormous burden.

The city lives in me. My roots i cannot ignore. I adore the culture, the arts the diversity of it all. I lived amongst bohemian lifestyles, ghetto existences almost, high rise blocks and trade unions strikes, standpipes and sugar mountains. I collected driftwood by the boatrace bonanza of Putney Bridge and scraped diligently for clay pipes and roman remains of yesteryears in sites of new estates. I learnt to drive in the chaotic merry go rounds and rides of the Hogarth Roundabout and Chiswick Flyover. I leisurely flooded my moped in the parks of Richmond during a torrential summer storm because I was past caring how wet I could become. I was soaked through to the innermost garments of secrecy!

The natural elements have always played their part with and in my life. City or countryside I gravitated to nature.

So as I begin another chapter. Potting Shed Direct the Gardening business I began in 2008 has  now become my creative space. To dabble, ponder with nature creatively. Ever inquisitive and wondering. What if….. x

Lichens: A Cautionary Tale


Do they look dead to you ? No seriously they could be mistaken could they not for having been blown off from somewhere higher perhaps further afield and given sanctuary in the branches of these trees.

Please protect the lichens

Lichen has been associated with the highlands of Scotland for those walkers and observers of nature will inform us ‘they’ – these seeming dead bundles do indeed purify the air! They are here to in abundance in the Welsh Valleys too; So valuable they are deemed to be that they are not to be plucked off the trees which they are actually attached to, living from. Are they right? I have upheld this idea this notion and accepted as a fact and felt incredibly guilty when faced recently with a deluge of blustery produce after an incredibly windy night. It was just laid there. Surely that must be ok. It surely must be dead now. My conscience be clear for I am a great environmentalist in my own way and would never wish to harm or interfere with natures life to the detriment and to be truthful I don’t think many would intentionally, except for profit but that is a different soapbox for me to write about!

So here it is. A dilemma Do I know for fact that I am ok to take and use in a very natural way, to use for dyeing fleece, that lichen which has fallen to the ground. I took it. I reasoned that it was lying on a road to be muddied and run over. Even if it did survive thereafter being blown off (still attached to the branch) as I had somewhere read it to be able to, Could it survive that trauma to, well no. However, it has lead me to ponder the truth of the lichen life!  Continue reading “Lichens: A Cautionary Tale”

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