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Top of the blogs

Which blogs you decide to follow inevitably depends on your interests, and what you want to get out of them. I follow some for their practical advice – and for inspiration about how to live life in a sustainable way; others, for the glimpses I get of life in the beautiful countryside of France or Italy; and yet others for fun – sailing in the Aegean from the perspective of an armchair could not be better, while cooking Italian-style may, or may not, be translated into action here at home in Egypt.

One blogger who is teaching me a lot about cultivating the land sustainably is Rebecca at  A naturalist, now resident in New Mexico, she clearly has a wealth of experience and writes about an incredible range of subjects, from building raised beds to making your own wines.

Recently, she kindly pointed out to me that we are already developing our own landrace varieties by letting herbs and veg go to seed and either allowing the seeds to germinate in situ or by collecting them for sowing next season. This is fascinating – I had not previously thought about approaching gardening in this way, but she has inspired me to a new way of looking at it and perhaps even to creating our own unique biome here in New Cairo.

The there is the question of the raised beds: the practice of hugelkultur means loading old, unwanted timber (e.g. fallen branches and trunks of trees) into the base of the beds in order to provide plants with a) nutrients and b) moisture through the growing season. Now this takes my obsession with adding organic materials to the beds to a new height – or maybe depth – and I need to look into it.

Other bloggers come up with amazing ideas about how to live daily life making as little impact on the earth as possible, and I love these. So: is full of ideas including such gems as putting out the dog’s hair collected after grooming her for the birds to use in nesting. This appeals hugely to my sense that everything in this world has a use – a second use – and maybe even a third use.

Then there are blogs that I follow for sheer pleasure. They tell me so much about how others are living on, and cultivating, the land in other parts of the world. Among my favourites is in which I see (amazing photos!) the garden blossom through the year, the bees visiting and loading up with pollen, and the recipes that arise every so often when there is a glut of fruit.

One to cherish. Indeed they are all to cherish: there is an extensive community of bloggers out there writing about everything from do-it-yourself home improvements to spirituality, via cooking and travel. What a brilliant resource!






8 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love how you explained the blogs you are following. I will visit their sites. Thank you!

    February 21, 2016
  2. Thanks for the links and for following My Hesperides Garden. I use the bed system for growing vegetables (we are nearly self sufficient) and for cut flowers as these need irrigating through the summer as much as the vegetables do.

    February 21, 2016
    • Do you mean raised beds? I find them great, but still a lot of work as irrigation is a major issue in our garden for at least 6 months of the year. I think the solution will be to separate the feed of water for the raised beds from the pipes that go round the periphery of the garden – but this means another engineering job. Brilliant to hear you are so successful at growing veg – wish I could say the same for our efforts! Working on it…

      February 22, 2016
  3. Selka #

    Oh, I love finding new kindred blogs! Love Pioneering the simple life!
    Did you mean to make your links not work on purpose? I think maybe not because the first one does work. The other two, with the inclusion of “is” and “in”, don’t work without some fixing.

    February 21, 2016
  4. Thank you for your comment. Thanks also for the heads-up about the links – will try to fix the problem.

    February 22, 2016
    • Hello again Selka, I think I have sorted out the two URLs – the second one is actually a .org address but the WordPress address will lead you to it. Please let me know if they still don’t work for you.

      February 22, 2016
  5. I started blogging because my son suggested it but I never realised how much I would learn from other gardeners. I did not know much about gardening when I started the garden here in France and now so many of the plants are ones that I have seen working in other bloggers gardens. I have also had personal advice on what camera lens to buy and by following beekeeping blogs it gave us the courage to try beekeeping ourselves. Amelia

    February 23, 2016
  6. Hello Amelia, Probably the best way of all is to learn through experience as you create your own garden, and it is lovely to see what you have achieved in France. I think others’ advice and experience, via blogs etc, are hugely helpful. Although we have some issues peculiar to Egypt that I don’t find appearing elsewhere, it’s true that I can adapt solutions that work in similar climates and environments. I think your photography is wonderful and look forward to seeing more of your French garden as the spring comes. Best wishes, Sylvia

    February 24, 2016

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