Ara Murray

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since Jan 20, 2021
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Northern UK
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Recent posts by Ara Murray

Reading this, it occurred to me that I may have an addiction too. Not all my plants are bought; some are given to me by my husband, the most recent being two bay laurels. I also acquire them from other people, a recent swap being a marjoram plant which I exchanged for teasel seeds. I save seeds but my sister in law SAVES SEEDS so gave me a whole load last year which I planted this year and many more than I expected have germinated and are growing well both in the greenhouse and now out in pots in the garden until I decide where to plant them. Mr Ara recently asked me if I could get any more plants into the greenhouse (he was looking at his 2 (!) tomato plants.) My answer was: of course. I mean, at present there is only one hanging basket of strawberries in there. Luckily we have only lived with our new garden for 18 months or so and there is plenty of space for new trees, vegetables etc. as there is quite a large lawn. My aim is to gradually reduce the size of that with the introduction of useful plants. The fruit trees will be coming next winter so I am at the stage of planning and dreaming at present. My sons have not inherited the gardening gene (I think it must miss a generation as my mother doesn't have it but my grandmother did.) but I counter that by visiting them and planting my "spares" in their gardens.
1 day ago
Congratulations! Here's to many more years even if you never make it to 3/4. I bet every guest at the wedding remembers your poor brother in law's collapse.
2 weeks ago
Spiders. How can an adult woman be afraid of spiders which are so much smaller than she is? I remember being afraid of them as a child even though no one else in my family was. My husband and sons are not afraid of them and one son picks them up in his hands, even the big fat hairy ones. I can't read articles on phobias because there's always a picture of one on the page. One article (arachnid picture removed by Mr Ara) even said that arachnophobia only affected arachnophobes when they saw a spider, unlike agoraphobia which affects sufferers all the time. For a so-called expert to write that, I thought, how little they know about arachnophobia. Shiver, shiver, shiver, just thinking about them.
2 weeks ago
Yes to the in-polytunnel plunge pool! Makes our old polytunnel pond seem a bit sad.
4 weeks ago
My take on weirdness is that you are born with it. I was considered weird as a student when I grew herbs (culinary ones, not the strange type) on the kitchen windowsill of a shared house. I was considered weird as a newly-wed when I grew vegetables in the garden before it became popular. When, as a relatively young woman, I rented an allotment from the local council I was considered weird as allotments were then mostly the preserve of older men. Certainly some of my neighbouring allotmenteers looked at me rather strangely until they discovered I was serious about my veg growing. I think I appear less weird now, even though I still grow vegetables and would rather spend the morning in my greenhouse than cleaning the house, because veg growing has become so much more mainstream.
My input to you would be to start small, like my windowsill herbs, and then let that beginning lead you on to other things. When I first discovered permaculture, I thought it meant I would have to get some land before I could practise it. As I learned more about it I realised I could practise it anywhere so now I am happy practising permaculture in my garden.
1 month ago
Nancy, I am envious of your new polytunnel. It reminds me of the one we had at our old place. As well as vegetable beds we made space for relaxing in ours with hanging hammock chairs. It was useful at times to have somewhere to shelter from the rain. Mr Ara also created a pond which had a solar powered fountain. We were lucky in that our water supply to the polytunnel came from the original spring that fed the house. We were also unlucky in that it dried up in very dry summers so sometimes we had to carry water from the nearest IBC. We put in hanging shelves for some plants e.g.peas, otherwise the mice ate them all if they were planted directly into the ground. Unfortunately, I can't find the photos as I have some lovely ones of abundant growth filling the space. Sadly, now I only have a greenhouse which is already almost full. (Note to self, some people would love even that, so be thankful.) I will have to build myself a potting shed as well as I currently use a corner of the greenhouse for sowing and potting on my plants.
1 month ago
My name is Ara and I break shovels, spades and forks. It is 2 years since I broke my last fork. Mr Ara is not a shovel breaker so I make up for him.
When I had an allotment, my neighbour loaned me his dibber when I was planting leeks. I asked him what it had been before it was turned into a dibber. A garden fork he said. Yes, he was another shovel breaker. Like him, I now repurpose broken handles.
1 month ago
Macaroni cheese. Actually, I like it hot and cold so make an extra portion so I can have it cold the next day. Mr Ara prefers his hot but eats baked beans straight from the tin. Apparently this dates from scout camp when he was young.
I agree with cold pizza. I used to wonder what my sons' teachers thought when they discovered the boys had been eating pizza for breakfast.
1 month ago
My goals seem small and simple when I read what other people are planning on doing but here they are:
1. Grow more food.
2. Reduce the lawn size (see no. 1).
3. Create a pond (Mr Ara has agreed to help here but I need to decide where it is to be placed).
4. When plastic-derived clothing in my wardrobe wears out, replace it with items made from natural fibres.
1 month ago
No tatts but plenty of scars. Elbows and knees show the results of many falls as a child. The one that tells the best story - on my lower abdomen - an emergency c-section that I never saw coming but resulted in a gorgeous baby boy. (Well grown up now)
1 month ago