I had to laugh at a friend who mused recently that it wasn’t the 28th April but the 98th of January! Let’s hope May brings better weather, least of all for the Annual World Naked Gardening Day that takes place on Saturday 5th .
People across the globe are encouraged, on the first Saturday of every May, to tend their portion of the world’s garden unclothed, as nature intended. While it’s linked to a movement of nudists who promote wholesome and unashamed acceptance of the human body, the founders insist that the day is meant to be funny, light-hearted and non-political. I may have done my fair share of Charity Calendars in the past, but rest assured, I’ll be staying clothed for gardening. And when I mentioned it to the aforementioned witty friend, he replied, “It’s nothing new, Adam and Eve were doing it ages ago.”
The 10th Annual World Labyrinth Day is also celebrated on May 5, and much easier to find a photo for (see pic). Promoted as a walking meditation, over 5,000 people worldwide are expected to be taking steps for peace, by ‘Walking as One at 1’
I have create several labyrinths over the years of various sizes, complexities and of different materials – I have even created a labyrinth in the shape of a horse and of a dragonfly – but my favourite is always the mown labyrinth as it is relatively easy to create and adapt to each individual space. And I usually end up creating a heart-shaped labyrinth, as it just seems to add to the energy.
There are several ‘official’ labyrinths in Wales according to the Labyrinth Locator but do have a go at creating one yourself. It doesn’t even have to be big enough to walk – you can draw one out on paper and trace the path with your finger to benefit from the meditative and mindful aspects. And who knows, you may just be inspired to create a larger one in your garden or on a beach. A simple example, to start you off, can be found here.
People often ask what is the difference between a maze and a labyrinth, and I think the purpose of a maze is to find the centre whereas the purpose of a labyrinth is to find your centre.
I had a wonderful evening at Monmouthshire Golf Club last week, raising funds for the fabulous St David’s Hospice and speaking to, what I think were, possibly my best-ever audience. So thank you all for listening, contributing and a great welcome – and of course, to Brian Butt for organising.
As always there were a myriad of questions from gardening to being barefoot, and even, ‘How old is Yogi (my terrier-ist) now?’
One lady was struggling with ground elder and wanted to know what to do with it. I think she was surprised when my answer was, ‘Just cut the young leaves and use it like spinach.’ I remember Alan Titchmarsh telling me that every garden has its predominant weed, and actually ground elder is one of the best to have. His attitude was ‘be grateful it’s not mare’s tail or bind weed.’
Ground elder is also my ‘predominant weed’ at the cottage, I have tried for years to get rid of it and failed so now just leave it to it’s own devices. And I eat a lot of ‘pseudo-spinach’.
You can have your own gardening (or barefoot, or beekeeeping) questions answered at The Old Railway Line’s Gardener’s Question Time’, at Three Cocks on Friday 11th May at 6pm
I will be on the panel for an enjoyable and informative ‘Question Time’ evening, which includes a delicious 2 course meal in the Railway Restaurant. Joining me will be Terry Walton, Radio 2’s allotment gardening expert, and weekly favourite with the listeners of BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show. Terry is great – an
d I bet he looks nothing like you imagine him to!
Gareth Davies, will also be sharing his rose expertise, as a well respected RNRS rose advisor and judge and Keith Cowley, gardening guru, knowledgeable enthusiast and host of the popular ‘Great Oaks’ gardening talks will complete the line up.
These are always lovely, informal evenings and tend to be a lot of fun as well being informative. The evening will begin with a delicious 2 course meal (choose from a great menu – with no ground elder!) before having the opportunity to ask us a series of gardening questions. They do ask that you submit your questions prior to the night so they can be collated and prepared, but there will also be an opportunity towards the end of the evening to add additional questions.
Contact www.oldrailwaylinegc.co.uk or call 01497 847055 for more details, and I hope to see you all there. Oh and Yogi will be 8 years old this year!