Saturday, 17 February 2018

Plant bath :)

I took some photos of my plants while I gave them a little bath!


Lover Mer x

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Feb growth thus far!

Hello everyone,

It's been a little while since I've done a plant report. There has been growth and loss in my little indoor garden. In the allotment I have set some slug traps out and did a little bit of digging, the only problem is the soil is such awful quality - all clay and condensed - terrible for me.

Inside my house plants have been thriving! I have 3 Monstera plants now:

(as you can see I adore my house plants and love to photograph them)

My Borlotti bean stalk has grown even bigger. I spoke to someone with more experience than me and he was quite impressed. I moved it out of the sun and into the back of my room, so it will hopefully grow slower and has more room. I might repot it at one point and I've also had to give it a bigger support stick as it keeps outgrowing the others. 

As you can see, he spans 2 pots and he's a big one! There's actually 3 bean stalks here, but one is quite a bit smaller and the other two are kind of intertwined. 

Then recently I have bought a heat mat for my little greenhouse. It is not the hottest or biggest, but it was quite cheap haha. It takes a long time to heat up and I feel comfortable leaving it on, it's a very slight heat but I do think it is helping a little bit. After most of the early experiment tomatoes I planted died, a ray oh hope came up from one - it finally grew another leaf. I was quite shocked as I thought they had all stunted, but nope a few of them are holding on. The tomatoes I've started on the heat mat seem to be doing pretty well. And the tomatoes I have grown from an actual tomato slice are looking great!

I did some planting today - sage some nice flowers, brussel sprouts, a bean or two. Oh and a few chillies! Hopefully something will pop up. I've also got my cacti seeds to still plant once the cacti soil comes and I also planted a few Bonsai seeds which are now hidden away in my cupboard

Finally I did a bit of readjustment with my hanging plants - I did some nailing and hung up more string. I now have 3 hanging plants which are a bit ummm shabby DIY haha

as you can see, it's quite experimental, but I think it looks nice in person. It makes me quite sad that I can't hang from the ceiling, but this will have to do for now :)

Now the question is over to you guys! What have you been doing in Feb?

Love Mer x

Friday, 9 February 2018

A pretty view / plant update

My pretty plant corner - Here you can see that my bean stalk on the left has outgrown its support. I've taken cuttings from the Brazilphilodendron on the wall and they are all seeming healthy. The one it the pot on the box, it is growing great! All the other bean stalks look healthy and my avocados are finally cracking. All going good :)

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Growing - my bike tour across Norway and Sweden

Hello everyone,

I thought I'd write a bit about something more personal, straying away a bit from nature and plants for a second. Although this relates to gardening as these are both things that keep me calm and help me grow. After I farmed for my first summer at university, I thought I would end up farming for the second - turns out I was wrong.

In the spring of 2017 my friend Frances and I cycled the coast of the Netherlands and part of Germany - on this trip I made her a bet I would find a date in Norway. Quite a random bet, but I had nothing better to do with my summer than to make these kinds of decisions - therefore I booked a plane ticket. Now in the summer's I am homeless, which led me to think about how I wouldn't go bankrupt in about 1 day. I asked a friend if I could borrow his bike, I packed my tent and I slept wild throughout Norway and Sweden. The plan was to cycle from Bergen, Norway to Oslo and then meet my friend in Sweden where he would take back the bike. This was all achieved and then from there I hitchhiked back to Germany to then return home by coach to the UK. If you're wondering, I won the bet, I found a date.

This trip was tough - rainy, cold, scary. At times I thought I would be kidnapped and honestly I had no clue what I was doing. I was just a 20 year old girl trying to cycle like 1000km - no plans and no money. I think I spent like £200 in that month, much cheaper than rent! I often slept on the floor, find places to camp, couch surfed once or twice and even slept on bus stop benches. People thought I was mad and I did too. I met some amazing people along the way, hiked trolltunga, cried, laughed, kissed,  mainly cycled. There were points along the way where I hadn't showered in days and I would find myself sitting on a cold wet floor at 10pm where my lunch would be a tin of kidney beans - I would think oh gosh what it my life. Then I would wake up the next day and it would all be fine. People were so so kind and I realised everything was okay and that I could do anything I wanted. Sometimes it is good to through yourself out there and now I can say that I took this amazing trip.

An edit expanding from questions asked from Reddit: 

Hey my name is Mer and I just turned 21. Back in 2017 my friend dared me to find a date in Norway while me and her were cycling across the Netherlands and Germany. So I decided to just cycle across Norway and Sweden because I was broke and had no where to live for the summer. I've posted a link to a blogpost showing more in the comments! Anyway I nearly got kidnapped a few times - once when I slept in a train station and a strange man found me at 1am and another time while I was hitchhiking. Some dude took me in his truck and I seriously thought I was going to die. I wasn't too pleased about sleeping on the floor most nights and I accidentally cycled down a 800m waterfall only to find out I went the wrong way. 
I found a date after being escorted in a BnW bus (waterfall tour included) when he dropped me off in a small town. Here I met a hitchhiker and decided to camp with him the night after seeing his face. We camped in a children's play hut in a park - he was a good date.  There were plenty of crazy moments on this trip - from making friends with strangers, to sleeping on the street and  waking up in the middle of the night with people standing over me. 

In relation to the date - being in danger and so on here is a little edit from questions asked: 

I thought the people in Norway were lovely! Same with Sweden, however I found the Swedes less inclined to help - they were a little skeptical. I didn't mention this stuff in my blog because I wanted to keep it a little PG. Perhaps I'll edit it and add more. I got into a truck with a guy that kept insisted and he didn't really speak English. He was driving and driving and kept screaming on his phone - he also made me take off my shoes haha. He tried to tell me we were making a quick stop and pulled into a small side road where he pulled up to another trucker. They rolled down the windows and exchanged in their language. While doing this the driver pointed at me and made a kind of slit throat gesture - which led me to text my friends and ask if I should call the police or escape. Turned out fine in the end - but I was hugely scared. Another time I hitchhiked to a hard to get to train station. I had to take the train through the mountains to get where I wanted to go. Turns out like 50 people live in this town and no train was coming for the day and I wasn't sure if it ever was. So I slept on a bench in a little hut which was the station. About 1am this man comes in with his dog and tells me he lives there because he doesn't get on with people. He tells me stories about people accusing his dog of being violent. He wouldn't let me sleep and I kept insisting too - I would have left but there was no where else to go haha. I got the train the next day ;) Also times I woke up on the street with scary dudes staring at me.... I didn't like sleeping rough most times, but in safe places it was fun.
One location that amazed me was Odda and also ummm my Norwegian is lacking. It is a bike trail - anyway I mostly just enjoyed being along the fjords.
And the date: I had to take a bus but instead a man in BnW picked me up and took me on a brief waterfall tour. It was his day off, but he took me anyway. Not even sure he was a bus driver haha. He dropped me off in a small place and in my view was a some people at a bus stop. I started talking to one of them to see if they were travelling too and he said he was hitchhiking across Norway. I was meant to keep cycling for the day, but instead I stayed with him a night (actually 2) cause I liked his face. We chatted, I sang him I'm a little teapot and then we decided to camp. Some guy in the last town told me of a good park to camp in by chance, so we found it and it turns out we didn't have to camp on the grass. There were little children's huts and we set up there. We talked and were about to go to sleep, but instead we had a little romance. I will treasure the time I spent with him, was quite random and funny.

Anyway, if you have any questions please feel free to ask! 

Here are some photos:
Self portrait on a rest stop

Man fishing

I cycled down a 800m waterfall only to realise I'd gone the wrong way....

Luxury dinner (Spag sandwich)

Camped here for the night

View from tent in Sweden

View from Ferry

Where I met my friend in Sweden

Happy biking!

My bed for one night... 

My bed on another night

My date and I shared a hut

Funny Norwegian baby statues

Biking is dirty

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Farming - my past and hopefully my future

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all having a nice start to the weekend - it is actually rather cold here in England. I thought today I would write about my farming past :)

In the summer of 2016 I had no clue what to do with my time, but I knew I wanted an adventure. This led me to looking at WWOOF. From here I wrote a bunch of farms in Germany asking if I could come work for the summer and surprisingly a lot said yes haha.  I decided on an Alpaca farm, packed my bags and off I went.

I arrived on the most beautiful farm and I was thrown in at the deep end. My job became to teach Alpacas to do parkour - yes, seriously. They wanted me to help build the Alpacas an assault course and then teach them how to do it. I'd have to walk to the fields where they were kept and also try lasso 5 alpacas and bring them back to the farm - I can't say this was a skill I expected to learn.  My other jobs on the farm was getting the ducks up and putting them to bed, cleaning and feeding the Alpacas, looking after the chickens, feeding the geese, cleaning and also preparing their food.

Sadly I didn't have a great time on this farm, in fact I actually ran away. The owners of it travelled to Spain and left me and two others to run the farm. It was quite a lot of work for an 18 year old girl who was farming for the first time. I also had quite a few bad experiences with the Alpacas that involved them kicking me, pulling me over and trying to run away and the part that made me leave - being chased by a lot of dogs out the forest and the Alpacas went mad and I got hurt. A lot of days I'd wake up and wonder what is my life haha. Another low light was having to clean an unused greenhouse - turns out a wasp nest lived in there and decided to fall on me. This resulted in my hand being stung multiple times and a vast amount of pain. I couldn't not work though, because how else would the farm be run?  I left in the end because I was scared. Scared of getting more hurt, they should never have put us in that position. On a side note: they also weren't very kind, they made me do things I didn't want to do and also fed us food with lots of mould on that led to us being sick every night.

Here are some photos from that farm:

From top (left to right) Photo of farm, some cute boy Alpacas, me chilling with an Alpaca, New born baby and family, 2 photographs of my funny farm outfits (it was very hot) and my hand after it was stung by many wasps. 

I had written to a nearby farm asking if I could come, they said yes and I packed my bags. The next farm was delightful, everyone was so welcoming. My jobs at this farm were feeding and cleaning the horses, feeding the chickens, feeding the cows, cleaning the pigs, walking the dogs, watering the plants, collecting the vegetables and doing some cooking. This farm was also huge! Some of my highlights were doing forest maintenance with a machete! Riding a horse, having a party in a German military base, collecting garlic in the fields and exploring the town! They let us use spare bikes they had and one day I got lost and accidentally cycled to the Czech Republic, I was unsure if I'd ever make it back!  I was so happy at this farm, the work was very hard though - I can't say cleaning a lot of pig sties was my favourite - plus the day we cleaned 6 months worth of cow poo was quite something.

Here are some photos:

Photos from top, left to right: Another farm outfit, one of the horses who I loved, me riding the bike through the town, cow selfie! and the beautiful farm house :)

So... the future eh?

Well, I have applied to do some work on farms for after university, in Germany also as it is where I see my home. I would quite like to work in restoration and conservation of land. I am keen to work with animals again, maybe not so many, but I do enjoy being around them :) I hope someone takes me - I would very much like to be outdoors and working with nature.

Do any of you have farming experience?

All my best, 

Love Mer x

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Monstera Deliciosa


Guess what?! I finally got a Monstera / Swiss cheese plant. I have called her Wendy and she arrived looking very beautiful. She even has a few babies growing from the bottom, which pleases me greatly. I have wanted one for so long, so I splashed out and got myself one. Here are some photos, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do :) :

Plant bath :)

I took some photos of my plants while I gave them a little bath! Enjoy! Lover Mer x