Screwing ourselves with tech …..

I don’t have a smart meter, I refuse it and its not a legal requirement; no mobile, no tablet or such gizmos other than this desktop 12yo machine. I’ve never texted, don’t know how to or have the neccesary device or patience and if you email I might respond next day or next week.  I couldn’t give a fck.

Lots of mention of data, big data and other such nonsense on bbc r4 lately, some breathlessly gushy and some grounded. I’d rather talk about the microbial activity in soil (and not with Gardeners Question Time a programme I find repulsive) or ancient cultures, climate change, history or where we are heading. But not data.

Still all the sheeple must  ‘be modern’ and heavens above if they ever lagged behind. And so electricity consumption is staggeringly high for all this tech. Even trashy things like ‘bitcoin’ consumes vast amounts in its nefarious operations, the Guardian telling us its CO2 footprint is equiv to 1 milion transatlantic flights per year (is that per person or per aircraft).

This man says it better than me  ….


Hedgerows are hit in the UK …

Tonight I was staggered at the dieback of common hedgerow trees here in north east England. I’d say minimum 5% of leaves are useless and more like 10% for oak and birch of dead and useless leaf cover and also say 50% look less than healthy, I would assume not able to do their job of transpiration and converting CO2 to O.  Is the distress species specific or merely the presence or absence of drains or watercourses that anyway are all now dried up and any moisture retreating downwards?  Theres a long time to go yet in this increasingly dry summer. So far I don’t think I’ve heard of hosepipe bans on the radio, the same medium ie UK national radio last week told us “There had been sufficient rain this spring”  …uhm … I beg to differ, its been mostly dry here all spring and any fool can tell the water table must be low. However the same bulletin did tell us we are a fortnight from ‘wilting’ of crops here in the UK (a week now) which of course farmers dread, it is disaster if is prolonged. Disaster as in ‘no product to sell’ no food for the populus.

It’ll also be a disaster if we get two or three years in a row like this, summer and the landscape in England will become so much different, our CO2 converters dwindling and man-made CO2 ever increasing, in turn feeding into all the multiple feedback loops, already we have the disappearance of arctic ice, methane in its three forms, jet stream modification, food production severely hampered etc etc all waiting in the wings so to speak. If medium size trees can’t survive then saplings won’t.

Theres BS at every turn, for instance I want to write a post later re Tesla cars, so much hype, so many adulatory trolls online yet a simple carbon audit reveals theres not much difference to conventional IC engine power, never mind the total hold up / inconvenience (and real / true cost) of a charging session and the very high initial purchase price and something that cannot or is not allowed to be fixed locally.  Think about mining for lithium, think about disposal of the batteries, theres not much green about it. The only ‘green car’ you’ll ever have is no car at all which is in fact the direction we need to be heading. Perhaps its fair to say that this planet cannot sustain our modern slick consuming lifestyles.


Its a multiple whammy …. we need herbage and trees for CO2 to O conversion as the former has risen to all time levels, something like 420ppm.  But the more CO2 rises the less transpiration and conversion is likely to occur, this is how growing things react and are reacting already, as if the plants and trees are working against us; a cross-over on the graph. Likewise plankton in the oceans, massive dieback but scientists are so quiet (and slow) on the subject. I say get some balls, use your wits and don’t wait two years for it to be peer reviewed.

Unless of course the plan is that weather modification comes to the rescue (and aluminium resistant Monsanto GM) …  not sure how as the moisture levels do not seem present to be able to conjure with in the cycle of water. I also wonder these last couple of days looking upward at what chemtrails are present above the blanket of grey?

How much of this leaf damage is from aluminium chemtrails?

The damage I observe is that say 50% of leaves look not healthy …  dull, curled, drying out …. a third or half of the leaf turned a light brown and crumbles at touch. Ten percent of leaves most definitely dead or useless.

I’ve also wondered about the quality of the light this year, it feels harsh, more intense. I’ve read elsewhere that the layers of the atmosphere of which there are many (well researched and have specific names) are undergoing a change. Yet ANOTHER of the multiple changes that are in feedback mode both upon themselves and influencing all manner of other natural feedback systems.

Aluminium from chemtrails is a problem that organic growers know fine well is destroying them. And we know that when chemtrails are aired on mainstream tv a lot is done to bundle it up with erroneous ‘controversy theory’ and ‘mind control’ and other wacky garbage so as to ridicule people such as myself that attempt to raise the matter. Its a big wall of disinformation that has to be scaled to see at the truth, few people bother. As detailed and linked many posts previously a Fisheries Biologist with a lifetimes experience can state with fact that aquatic insect life in west USA streams and rivers hardly exists …. a total collapse. You can no longer fish for trout.

And thinking about it, who actually walks a country lane these days, very very few if practically anyone. Except me….


UK hedgerows are in trouble


My friend is without bees …

He’s deep in good countryside too, but admittedly farmed the modern way and mostly set to production. An environment in some areas of the UK which can be most sterile for buzzing pollen-collecting insects. He has lots of valerian, dianthus and things that should attract bees, but to what extent do local farmers spray?

Bees were hard to find earlier in the year, these last few days I get lots so maybe other locations are not providing sufficient pollen? Moths are certainly in a big decline, next to nothing enters the open kitchen window after dark, whereas thirty years ago and less they were actually a ‘nuisance’. Its thought bees are suffering from the aluminium from chemtrails, likewise aquatic life in streams and rivers.

Yet here this morning fifteen miles from him in my own garden the place is thankfully  a-buzz with buzzing things (and they ain’t mobile phones)  … various forms of bee, loving what I have to offer in this garden. Luckily a small colony of bees have been occupying one of the birdboxes on my rear house wall for maybe a year; last year I was so lucky to see the queen fly-in her flightless (workers?) one by one carrying them  ‘piggyback’ from the perennial border seven yards away.

When I look around this small estate I can see neighbours are challenged at reaching a better level of abundance for bees and suchlike. Elsewhere as I drive around the dreaded gravel and block paving slowly but surely creeps onto what were once flower bearing gardens. Does it not dawn on them “What the flip is there here for bees” ?

Even in a small bed at my front lawn which catches the sun, say five square yards …

Campanula 4ft erect form just starting.

Hebe white form 2-1/2 ft domed shrub as usual the main attraction. Easy from cuttings which I took deliberately as it is so attractive to bees.

Lambs tongue also v good for bees, its dry but this is thriving.


At rear right now  ….

Roses at their best (late this year).

Monkshood just starting.

Canterbury bells well into flowering.

(Foxglove receding) yet D Sibirica at its best right now ie useful to bees.

What could be done and isn’t is the staggered cutting of municipal areas so that clover can be allowed to flower, daisies ditto, smaller flying things love them. This is an obvious and simple boost for bees yet seemingly beyond the Authorities to embrace such a boon. Particularly appropriate in this dry year as a taller leafier growth might well cope with drought better. Short cropped and hence non-fflowering clover is no help to anyone or anything.

How come I can do this sort of  ‘thinking’  yet all around me theres little of it ??




Sometimes I think I should produce a booklet of how to build a garden like mine. It would save people time and money, put my experience directly into their hands. Put into permanent form something which will die with me.

For books I suggest the 3 volume ‘Readers Digest’ from the 1960’s, beautiful in every way. Looking quickly at my shelves, favourites are and you will enjoy these if you respond to the written word as I do and appreciate writers of breadth, sensitivity and insight.

Roy Genders ‘The Cottage Garden’.

Gerorge M Taylor ‘The Little Garden’

Graham Stuart Thomas ‘Climbing Roses Old and New’

RHS ‘Some Good Garden Plants’

And a most delightful treatment of various gardens developed after war had ravaged  London, a little quirky to our so-called modern eyes but tremendously attractive and worthwhile … Lady Allen and Susan Jellicoe ‘The New Small Garden’ pub by The Architectural Press. Theres a modern re-work of this title as a tribute to the original, equally a worthwhile purchase.

Its ‘funny’ about garden writers, the latest is always the one we see yet those that have passed away were in their day equally good but are now obscured, harder to find and to perhaps to such an extent as if they have no value. This is shameful.  A case in point being ‘Flowers of the Field’ by Rev C A Johns, a suprising, touching and co-incidental quote that was read at the gathering for my aunties funeral a few years ago. A favourite book of mine, well illustrating how much we have lost in the amount of information seemed appropriate.

So you see, for a small spend one could say far less than the expense of a mid priced meal out for two,  you can educate yourself, enter the mind and outlook of another person of accomplishment and benefit from their efforts. Its all pre-digital and we have lost something in the meantime. Theres a line from a poem that I think is valuable … “I want to be as our fathers were in the days before we were born.” Indeed, each generation accumulates practice, insight, developed ability but often it is cast away.


Beekeepers fear the ‘June gap’ …

Here below is a miscellany from earlier years …. around 2013 in my own garden. As with most things here it is seed raised or cuttings from other gardens I’ve worked in. Seed collecting now being a fun activity through summer. Likewise seed distribution in areas other than my own garden, supermarket waste area, a couple of public parks, a layby (to think of my first beagle on his last outing thirteen years ago) also a reclaimed landfill site. Nothing is introduced to well set and established ‘real countryside’.  Oh yes and as you drive south over the W Bridge there are three distinct groups of yellow flag iris early June, all my own handiwork, scattered say ten years ago.





Below are wilder areas beyond my own garden that having browsed B file a few minutes ago cannot help but want to add to this page. Something like 6k images online and half a million words built as a form of ‘electronic headstone’ and at its peak I was taking / collecting 30k items a year inc mvi.  Now theres little photography if any at all, though might have a go at pinhole; my wife a quiet woman provided a framework for me to pursue such things, this is the third summer without her, life changes. It also means I cook and launder and it all takes time, happily enough!




I collected a couple of hundred of these pics and had them bound into a hardback book (easy low cost resources available online) so that my auntie well into her nineties could see my life and what interests me. She loved it, meaning so much more than words could ever convey; in a way it got her out of the house for an hour, she had long since ceased to watch tv.




Pressure from the money …

Same old story and frightening to think that ‘human pressure’ alone can seek out and render to ‘extinct’  things that should inhabit niche habitat every square mile. But farmers strive to take over and render uniform anything known as landscape, their abhorence of anything non-uniform and non-industrial in scale knows no bounds, their plough renders useless …. and really for what n’th purpose?

Streams, brooks, burns, ditches, puddles and ponds always interested me, I look back over my childhood and mostly it was starved of such things but luckily the village I moved to age seven had a flooded quarry and so there was  a wee chance of pretendy fishing once I got to know about it. To get excited for this topic google image for such as … diatoms, radiolarians, dinoflagellates, testate rhizopods, all are easily found by the amateur microscopist and something i think seemingly never included in anything by David Attenborough – I hope to be corrected as I don’t watch tv.  The former ie diatoms I think is responsible for 20% of the worlds CO2 to O conversion but no-one has ever seen one with the naked eye and also important for Oceanic cloud/weather systems; likewise it is burning ancient diatomaceous oil that has led to a) their demise and b) our own inevitable decline as a species. A pre-war copy of Strasburgers ‘Botany’ has a wonderful section ‘Cryptogams’ ie hidden things (microscopic) well worth seeking out, but it must be pre-war when the engravings  were so fascinating, latter day editions are cold and useless.

I subscribe to E360 from Yale and its a very good source of quality information. Todays article is heartening but also sad in that aquarium keepers are providing a very key and important role in keeping alive species of freshwater fish that are endangered or possibly extinct. Thinking about it, could we not create more bye-waters and secluded runnels that could acccomodate such fish? And thinking about it, in the west here generally there seems zero interaction between inhabitants and their environment; unless of course its some sort of (usually short-lived) volunteer group or funding initiative, the kind we see photographed in our local free papers. You can tell I’m not impressed. But wheres the staying power, inter-generational involvement or handing on of knowledge and experience … guess what…  its the 21st century and theres next to none.  Progress huh … bah humbug. All my own work has been at zero cost other than time and application, two dozen species at the pit-heap and activity elsewhere, note the three big patches of yellow flag iris when heading south over the local bridge here and the so-called wild flower area at H Park all volunter ‘group’ activity will be much eclipsed by my own unaided effort (other than drive and insight) a hundred yards further on.

I quote from this excellent E360 article …

The GWG maintains several species that are extinct in the wild and has boosted the fortunes of some. For example, the finescale splitfin (Allodontichthys polylepis) was only scientifically described in 1988. By 2010 it was thought to be extinct in the wild and there were only eight individuals left in captivity in Europe, in a Dutch hobbyist’s tank. Koeck brought these to the Vienna bunker “ark” and began a studbook-based breeding program to retain genetic diversity. There are now about 350 individual finescale splitfins being cared for by various GWG members, and in 2016 a GWG field trip rediscovered a wild population in a Mexican river. unquote.

Well worth subscribing, always interesting.