Our gardens are our sanctuary, but when it’s perishingly cold outside or lashing with rain, (or in lockdown) how can we connect with nature on the inside.
With two small kids, I often have to be inventive. I scour Pinterest for inside ideas to find inspiration and an activity that will entertain for more than 20 minutes. But what about ME! How can I get some botanical benefits stuck inside? How can I extract some wellbeing out of nature when all the leaves have fallen off and the plants have gone underground?
I realized that I had most of the…
Every autumn, I hear my friends’ frustrations about how they have had to throw away a pile of summer bedding plants that have gone over, gone leggy, or just gone to their grave.
They bemoan the fact that they spent their hard-earned money buying these glossy glamorous looking plants in the nursery only to find that they only lasted a few months. Or end up with dried out unhappy plants at the end of the season.
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”
Well, that’s true if you have an organic garden.
If not, the chemical fertilizers will be killing the soil microbiome, insects, and pollinators. The peat-laden compost will be removing a valuable carbon-sequestering resource. And your herbicides will be poisoning the ground.
Have you ever watched The Magic School Bus? My kids love it. It’s an entertaining educational watch with no stereotypical ‘whatever’ girls and bullying boys. Instead, it features an inspirational and wacky teacher who takes her class to explore science — inside and out — literally.
I just happened to be awake for one episode, where the kids want to learn about decomposition. They travel into a rotting tree log to find it full of life. They then turn into fungi and trees. One of the trees is distressed and needs nutrients, so the other trees sent it some via…
I once spent an entertaining day on a secret mission in the Scottish wilderness with a man known only as “Dick the Shroom.” Along with a chef, we were on the hunt for mushrooms. We weren’t allowed to know where we were going, and I swear he drove about in a few circles to confuse us.
When we arrived at our destination, he pulled out a little black book and a compass and led us deep into the woods, Within minutes he was finding chanterelles, ceps, and even a Miller ‘sweetbread’ mushroom. …
I’d never heard of this plant until three years ago. To be honest the words “tastes like cucumber,” and “great in G&T,” and “good for bees” were enough to flex my ‘Buy Now’ trigger finger and purchase a tiny packet of seeds off eBay.
I unwittingly sowed them into some pots at the front of the house, and within a few months, these nettle-textured beasts emerged ready to devour the pot and the wall and the poor clematis beside it.
I had half a mind to pull them up.
David is a millionaire.
He doesn’t advertise and up until 2003, he only had a bare-bones website for his product.
Until 2012, he shunned all social media and until 2014, no-one ever went into his factory.
Now, there are 17k followers on Instagram. Celebrities endorse it, chefs rave about it, even astronauts are pictured holding it. Devoted fans make pilgrimages to the factory, their children wear outfits inspired by his product. The self-made community eats, breathes, sleeps and evangelizes about this product.
Today his product generates sales of over $1 billion - because David Tran is famous for making the…
From self-imposed digital obscurity to the social media light
Back in 2005, I was a researcher in BBC Religion & Ethics. My desk was piled high with a fortress of books, plants, and a Virgin Mary thermos flask. Instead of a little black book of contacts, I had a lever arch file of hard-won names and phone numbers of almost everyone across every religious denomination.
I was proud of my ability to find anyone. One-armed pagans, dodgy builders, radical historians, angry Scientologists, gypsies, glamorous astrophysicists. Even people possessed by demons!!
After spending a difficult week researching the Scientologists and freaking…
For the past year, my daughter has been obsessed with a spongy porous square chap by the name of Sponge Bob. His poor hapless rival, Plankton, spends most episodes searching for the Secret Formula to make the wondrous Krabby Patty (a type of burger for creatures of the sea). It is his unrelenting search for this secret formula that resonates with me every morning as I search about for the secret to creativity.
What shall I write about? Where shall I get my next idea from?
I’ve read hundreds of blogs and overloaded on infographics telling me to exercise my…
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