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Mars

Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com

Mars

On the red planet

Life, but not as we know it

Rovers, rock and dust…

Bees, Blog, Butterflies, Lavender

In the flower garden ๐Ÿ

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French Lavender Photo by Spiral White 

With the start of summer; Iโ€™ve been contemplating which plants Iโ€™m going to choose for my summer pots. I enjoy looking at attractive plants throughout the year in my small garden.

The natural environment of our garden plants changes dramatically. If you, like me watch the seasons go by; you will have observed these changes yourself.

Plants and flowers are struggling to survive due to climate change. The bee population is in decline and this will have a knock on effect for the plants we grow in the future.

By introducing flowering plants into our garden we can help bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

If I had to choose just one plant that fulfils these objectives it would be…

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Red Admiral Butterfly on Lavender Photo by Spiral White 

Lavender

itโ€™s an extremely versatile evergreen shrub with a great range of uses.

Lavender looks beautiful planted on mass and it has a soothing distinctive scent.

Its latin name Lavandula angustifolia meaning narrow leaved lavender; flowers in June and July. This variety grows to form a rounded, shaped grey, leaved bush with mauve flowers on spiked branches.

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Lavender with Bee Photo by Spiral White 

A wide range of cultivars exist from L. angustifolia including Hidcote, a slow growing variety, Folgate which is richly scented.

On Royal purple and Imperial gem the flowers and leaves can be dried and used for pot-pourri or made into dried lavender bags.

French lavender is a more ornate variety with feathery leaves on top of the flowers. With cultivars the flowering season can vary depending on plants.

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White Lavender Photo by Spiral White 

Growing details for gardeners; Lavender requires a sunny site, with reasonable fertile, well-drained soil.

Plants should be cut back in mid-spring to the previous years growth by 5 cms (2 in). Avoid cutting the old wood.

Lavender can be grown with roses; another plant pollinators like.

Lavender flowers are blended to make lavender oil, which is renowned for its healing properties. Lavender has been grown commercially for itโ€™s oil, for a few hundred years in Britain.

English lavender is popular because itโ€™s oil is stronger than other varieties. Home, medicinal and beauty products are created from this to produce essential oil, massage oil, perfume, herbal tea and soaps.

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Lavender Photo by Spiral White 
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Wild Meadow Flowers Photo by Spiral White 
Birthday, Blog, Poetry, Writing

Birthday Verse…

chocolate cupcake with white and red toppings
Photo by Jess Bailey on Pexels.com


๐ŸŽˆ
Birthday Verse ๐ŸŽˆ

Today

Is

A Special Day.

To

Celebrate

Your Birth.

We were

Blessed

When you

Arrived

Here on

Earth.

Take time to

Unwrap

Presents, ๐ŸŽ

And eat plenty

Of cake, ๐Ÿฐ

Then.

Choose a

Moment,

To relax,

And savour

Every

Kind thought

This day

Has brought.

๐ŸŽ Happy Birthday! ๐ŸŽ

Poem by Spiral White

I found a Cake meditation ย on Insight timer recently; I thought was ย a really good way of doing something mindfully.

Ancient woodland, Chronic illness, Fibromyalgia, Invisible illness, Trees, Uncategorised, Walking, Woodland

Just a walk…

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Bluebell Woods Photo by Nick

Now we are staying home, my one walk a day is more important that ever before.

I have to admit walking is something I hated, as a child. I remember having to go on walks and thinking, how much further, my legs will fall off in a minute!

So, what changed my opinion of walking?

I first started walking regularly before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, about fifteen years ago. Iโ€™d been suffering with lower back pain and sciatica, which got progressively worse.  I was unable to work. My doctor said I need to go to physio first; to get the muscles and joints moving and when Iโ€™m mobile to start walking regularly.

At the time I thought it was really unhelpful advice as I could barely move, let alone walk anywhere!  But after a few painful physio sessions. I started with short bursts at first of 5 to 10 minutes, progressing to longer walks.  Now I do a regular walk every day and have not suffered from back pain so much; I also have more energy to do things.

I find my walk stimulating now; especially on a fine sunny day, it can really lift your mood.

Observing nature and seeing trees come into leaf as spring approaches is really refreshing.

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Bluebells Photo by Nick

I live near a park and I can vary my daily walks through wooded areas and quiet residential streets. I usually spend about 25-45 minutes on a walk and vary the terrain.

Being a fibromyalgia sufferer I notice any temperature drop as the weather changes, straight away. My joints feel stiff, I get more pain and all my symptoms get progressively worse. I still try to keep active if I can everyday by walking. I wear layers and thermals to keep warm.

I have a pair of waterproof walking boots; which are great to wear in heavy rain. I bought mine from a outdoor clothing and footwear shop in the winter sale. Iโ€™ve also invested in a waterproof jacket,  woolly hat, thermal gloves and socks.
I find it difficult keeping my hands and feet warm, when it is really cold. Research shows we loose most heat from our hands and feet; so it makes sense to keep these areas as warm as possible.

If you plan to begin walking and have not exercised recently it would be advisable to start slowly first. If your joints are very stiff it might help to try gentle exercises before you start to warm up the joints.

When you feel ready to start put on some comfortable shoes and suitable waterproof clothing for the weather.  Start off slowly with short bursts of 5 to 10 minutes and gradually build up from this.  You will find you get more confidence and can do longer distances.

For more information about walking and exercise have a look at the NHS Walking  guide. Check before setting out the latest update in your area, on staying safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.

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