Drought resistant garden additions

The past three summers we’ve had have been incredibly hot and dry by Belgian standards. Many naturally occurring nectar producing flowers, plants and trees are feeling the burden of the changed weather and are blooming earlier than usual, or not at all. The effect this has on honeybees is easy to see for a beekeeper….

New garden!

During the last few months, my apiary and I have moved to a new location. Moving during a pandemic was certainly a bit of a strange situation, especially with lockdown measures in place. Luckily, these have lessened and I have completely moved. So! What’s this new garden situation we’re dealing with? I’ve ended up in…

Nature – All The Creator’s Craft…

Originally posted on Dimma's Ink:
Take a decent look at the nature surrounding me Look how perfect it is… With intent, look keenly at the scenery it creates… Tell me, what do you see? Tell you what I see? I shall! It rings in my bowels as a melodious sonnet, The art work of…

Spring update

I knew that the gorgeous February weather would mean we’d get punished in March or April. And I was right. The winds are so strong here that it’s not possible to really do anything outside. We have greenhouses where we can work if it rains or snows, but with strong winds they feel like rattling…

Species we’d love to have living near us

To me, homesteading isn’t primarily about farming. Homesteading is about making use out of the many resources your environment offers. So, grow your vegetables, chop firewood and raise chickens. You are human and you know you feel better in a natural environment. Helping life go on, regenerating the soil, and stewarding the spot where God…

Removing dying trees

Or property is lined with Japanese cypress trees (Chamaecyparis obtusa). These were planted in 1967 by the previous owners. In the past few years, more and more of these trees have started dying, getting sick and we’ve slowly removed them to make room for other trees. The summer of 2018 was very, very dry and…

Planning for next growing season

November, December and January are typical months to be planning your outdoor-activities for the next year. I will be doing the same and I need to be doing this for my garden, my small livestock and my apiary. In this post I’ll explain how I decide on new varieties to plant. I’ll limit myself to…

Planting flower bulbs when you’re too late!

Most flower bulbs, especially those that bloom in spring are planted in autumn before the first frost. In my area bulbs are planted onwards from the 15th of October into November. If you respect this time frame there probably won’t be any issues, most bulbs are hardy and will show themselves in spring. There are…

Planting for pollinators part 2

In part 1 of planting for pollinators, I focused mainly on plants that thrive in wetlands. Of course, not all valuable plants need a wetland to survive, many are more flexible. In this second part I’ll devote more attention to annuals and plants that grow on other soils.   Probably the two biggest assets to…

Statement autumn flowers

After getting in the leftover harvest from the vegetable garden and orchard, a part of me is always saddened at the prospect of the mostly dead garden in fall and winter. What makes the look of the faded summer splendor easier are a few flowers I’ve found bloom well late into fall. Most of these,…

Invasive species

Most ecosystems in the world today, have to deal with invasive species disturbing the natural balance of the system. Foreign plant species often get introduced through gardeners trying out something new in the garden, then losing control of what they planted. Some species, such as red oak and non-native honeybees, were introduced for commercial purposes….

Quince harvest

We are lucky enough to have an 8-year-old quince tree growing on our property. Today, quince fruits are a rare find in stores or even farmers markets, probably because you really cannot use quince fruits until you put work into them. Quince fruits were traditionally used in various dishes, mostly desserts, stews, jams, jellies and…

Apple varieties for permaculture gardens

The most important and rewarding area of a permaculture garden is probably the orchard. Although an orchard takes time to grow before you see any fruits, once established it will produce larger and larger yields, whilst demanding a minimum of care compared to a vegetable garden. I hope this list will help you choose varieties…

Thalictrum Delavayi

Thalictrum Delavayi, or Chinese meadow-rue, is a flowering plant I would love to introduce you to. This China native can be kept as a winter-hardy perennial in western Europe, although in harsh winters there will be casualties. It does not seed out easily and propagating is best done by collecting seeds and growing young plants…

Planting for pollinators: moisture loving plants

Do you live in a part of the world where water is one of the causes of trees dying and gardens failing? Does it govern what you can plant? Welcome to the club everyone belongs to! Most of the world, however, has a problem with not getting enough water! If you live in an area…