New Year in Barbara’s Back Yard
Last October, I made a wreath for Hallowe’en with crab apples and hawthorn berries and autumn leaves. When I replaced it with a Yule wreath at the beginning of December, I hung my Hallowe’en wreath near the bird table. I have just refreshed it, replacing the leaves with ivy and adding some of the holly from the Yule wreaths.
I hang the Yule wreaths up in the barn – keeping them to use next year.
Last year when I came to make new wreaths – when I took them down – I found two of them had nests in them.
If you haven’t done it already – it’s time to clear out nestboxes ready for Spring.
January is a good time to take hardwood cuttings from roses and shrubs: Cut a piece of twig from the previous year’s growth – as thick as a pencil and about six inches long. You need a straight cut at the bottom just below a node and the top should have a diagonal cut just above a node. Place each cutting in the centre of a homemade newspaper pot containing a heavily-gritted soil mix. You can cram several individual wrapped cuttings into one plant pot. By late spring unroll to see if root hairs have developed – if not leave them a while longer. Once roots have grown you can plant them out. (courtesy of Country Wisdom & Folklore diary)
It was believed to be beneficial to propogate cuttings at the time of the waning moon, as the earth is said to inhale – and the sap is encouraged to travel towards the roots. Could this be something to do with the pull/push of the moon on the earth – the same force that causes the tides…?
Sage, honey and lemon tea is good for coughs and colds. Dissolve 1 tblsp honey in half a pint of boiling water with the juice of 1 lemon. Add 2 tblsp of fresh sage – or one of dried – leave to infuse for minutes, strain and reheat.
Squirrels can be a real nuisance – I don’t mind them eating some of the bird food – but they seem to have to wreck all the feeders in the process. I have started putting some nuts out on the ground for the squirrels and so far this seems to be working. There were some sweet chestnuts left over from Bonfire Night and I’ve put those out for them. It’s quite fun watching them – they pick up a nut and eat it, then they run off with the next nut and bury it, then eat a nut, then bury a nut.
So next time we go to Grinshill, we’ll collect some more chestnuts for them.