A/N: I appreciate all the kind anons, glad you all actually liked the first two parts. Okay so, I think I gonna try to stick with this as long as you guys enjoy it. I need at least 100 notes for the next chapter, cuties💕
Oh and sorry if some of the details don’t apply to you. Once again due to the request it’s focused on POC, and since I don’t know you guys I kind of just fill in holes with things about myself so sorry.
“Are we there yet?” You complained as the sun was practically melting your back.
Calum had decided to pick you up today and drive you all the way to the other side of town just to take you to the park. He kept repeating that there was the most beautiful view, but what he forgot to mention was how long you two had to actually walk to get there. So, here you were at a park you’ve never been to with beads of sweat rolling down your face from walking up hills for more than fifteen minutes. You were never an outdoor type of person and even though you played volleyball all throughout high school, you weren’t as athletic anymore. It didn’t help that you had decided to wear sandals today either.
“Stop your whining, we’re almost there.”
You let out a sigh as you trudged up the hill to catch up to Calum. Your eyes widened when you realized that there was one more huge hill and that’s when you called it quits.
“Oh fuck no.” You shook your head, having a seat in the grass.“ I’m done.”
DAI companions reacting to Inquisitor having dozens of pots and plants in their room. Green stuff!
Cassandra: She thinks it’s a good, easy-going hobby that they have, and approves. She’s never been one for gardening, but she likes visiting the Herald’s room whenever they need to talk– it’s always smells nice and the air is clean. She doesn’t visit, however, when her hay fever is acting up.
Blackwall: He’s inspired by their room and tries taking care of a plant of his own. It ends up almost dying, and he sheepishly brings it to the Inquisitor. The next time he visits their room, it’s perked up, as if it was never on the brink of death at all.
Iron Bull: He starts finding weird plants, like the Naked Man Orchid or just flowers he finds pretty, and gives either the seeds or a small cutting as gifts to the Herald. He always gets a kick out of seeing what they can coax to life. “You could probably put anything in the ground and get it to grow.” he says happily.
Sera: She’s never had the patience to care for a potted plant, and doesn’t know how the Herald does it, but she’s intrigued by the rows and stacks of potted plants they have growing. Like Bull, she sometimes brings them things to grow, and when she sees them blooming, she’s giddy.
Varric: Daisy had a few flowers in pots outside of her little house in Kirkwall, and he smiles as he remembers and looks over all of it. He compliments them on their skill, and whenever he wants to gift them anything, he sends them fancy glazed pots and seeds for them to grow.
Cole: “Reaching, climbing, tendrils reaching here and there, a loving hand cares. Light energy and gentle breezes, trickling, just enough. I like it here, and so do the plants.” The Inquisitor often finds themselves with new plants, as Cole will bring them dying or poorly cared for plants for them to help.
Dorian: His family’s estate growing up had all manner of exotic flora, all tended to by gardeners. He’s never gotten his fingers dirty for a plant of his own, and he’s intrigued by the Herald’s gardening. One day, the Herald presents to him a home-grown flower that’s normally only found in Tevinter, and it brightens his day.
Solas: He approves; it is a good, patient hobby he can admire. He tries to tend to a plant of his own, and asks the Herald for their advice and opinion on its needs from time to time. The mage is quietly proud of himself when the green tendrils crawl out from the soil.
Vivienne: She thinks their room is quite lovely with all the plants, and suggests the Herald try growing medicinal herbs and plants that are useful in potions. One day she finds herself short-handed for those herbs in particular, and is very grateful when the Herald has some to spare.
Josephine: Sometimes the ambassador just asks to visit the Herald’s room just to look at all of the delightful plants, and the Inquisitor is more than happy to oblige her. She finds herself relaxing every time she’s there, and begins buying garden decorations to stick in the pots, and the Inquisitor’s space is even more colorful than before.
Leliana: She doesn’t seem to have a very strong opinion of it, but one day when she visits the Inquisitor to look over some paperwork, they catch her looking over some of the flowers. Among their flowers is Andraste’s Grace, and the spymaster almost tears up just looking at it.
Cullen: He doesn’t have a very strong opinion of their hobby, but he admires their skill. A few times he and the Herald will share a cup of tea, infused with some herb from their garden, and he feels a little more relaxed than before.
There is a movement where regular people are turning their backyards into micro farms and doing things like:
Growing all the salad ingredients they need for a year (minus the Russian dressing)
Growing 100 pounds of potatoes on a tiny patio
Raising a couple of chickens for meat and/or eggs
Raising Talapia fish to eat
Raising rabbits or quail for meat
Converting lawns into mini farms producing staple crops like corn and wheat
Using things like fences, walls, posts and garages to trellis things like grapes, squash, beans, and melons
Growing 100 pounds of garlic and selling it for $10 a pound at farmers markets
Raising bees and selling honey for $7 a pound at farmers markets
Making your own Beer, Wine, Meade, Cider or Brandy
Why this could be Awesome:
The goal here is that you do these things on your property without anyone really noticing or caring. The goal is not to start up some “you might be a redneck if” style crazy farm on the lawn and instantly tank the neighborhood housing prices in the process. With this project the goal is to be clandestine, or at least unnoticeable. Do it right and neighbors will compliment how well your property looks as you bring them goodies from the garden all year long. Other reasons this scheme could be awesome:
Lower your grocery bills
Be totally organic and chemical free
Potentially earn income
Less lawn mowing / Less using anything that runs on gas
Could be Fun
I live in a typical Cape Cod house on a quiet street in a medium sized city in Ohio. I have neighbors very close on both sides and in the back. In total I have about 0.3 acres of “land” which consists of a small front yard and a descent sized backyard enclosed in a chain link fence. I have a tiny 1-car garage, a small patio, and normal guy yard tools.
I went to the library and to the internet and looked up the following topics:
Small space / patio / container gardening
Permaculture / food forests / Organic Gardening
Homesteading / Survivalist / Prepper (I’m not a prepper)
Take a look at some YouTube videos on people who have backyard food forests. Also Jeff Lawton’s videos on this topic are amazing. I also recommend the book Gaia’s Garden and the website Permies.com
Let’s Do This:
And so when Spring rolled around I began… The plan was to start small and incorporate little things at a time into my landscape, wait until I was used to them and make sure no one freaked out, and then slowly expand.
Things I have Accomplished:
I’m on year three now and I think things are going relatively well. Here’s a summary of things I have been able to do. Note: Each topic below will have its own full post soon.
Toxin Free: Gave up insecticide, commercial fertilizer and other toxins totally.
Compost: Created a composting system that produces about 1 pickup truck load of compost per year.
Waste Reduction: Generate zero yard waste. Generate 1-2 bags of garbage per week, which is a reduction from 5 bags. This reduction is due to composting, canning, burning paper with wood fires and using ashes in garden, reduction of processed foods purchased, etc.
Rainwater harvesting: Made and Installed 2 Rain Barrels (55 gallons each), with a system to auto water the front yard with the flip of a switch using garden hose and gravity
Lawn Reduction: More than half of my front yard is garden (but doesn’t look out of the ordinary at all). Converted 1/3rd of my backyard to garden
Hugelkultur: Installed about 56 feet of Hugelkultur mounds
Heavy Mulching: Threw down 2 dump truck loads of mulch, 3 pickup load of hay (about 40 bales) and 1 pickup load manure.
Sheet Mulching: Experimented with Sheet mulching using cardboard and other materials to convert lawn to garden without digging.
Less Weeds: Cut weeding time down by using mulching techniques as well as chop & drop methods. (you still get weeds, but less, and easier to pull)
No Dig / No till: Gave up Tilling totally. There are many good reasons to do this.
Less Mowing: Mow only about 4-6 times a year (due to letting certain “weeds” grow into the lawn such as clover which doesn’t grow very tall). Also, I mow the front lawn every other time with a gas free reel push mower, which saves gas and is very quiet (and a good workout).
Less Watering: Cut watering in half (because of the rain barrels, a well-placed swale to slow down run-off and Hugelkultur mounds which soak up water like crazy)
Perennial Food: Planted long-term plants such as 2 apple trees, 1 cherry tree, 2 blueberry bushes, 2 raspberry and 2 blackberry bushes, 10 square feet of strawberries, 2 grapevines, 8 asparagus plants.
Quasi Perennial Food: Tomato patch comes back 80% every year from self seeding. Also get a lot of self seeded greens and squash, by not picking everything.
Seed Starting: Beginning to perfect a seed starting regimen that is actually starting to pay off. Seed starting takes practice!
Big Crops: Set to plant about 50 garlic plants this year. Set to plant about 30 potato plants this year (these two plants both can be mixed into the front yard landscape). Planted about 60 mustard green plants (also a beautiful plant)
Medicine: Growing comfrey to be used for medicinal purposes as well as green manure / mulch.
Cool mini-Projects: Things I have made from my backyard include Grape Juice, Vinegar, Tomato juice, Dijon Mustard, Tomato sauce, Roasted Dandelion Root coffee, Echinacea tincture, garlic braids, burn medicine, flower arrangements, and lots of delicious meals.
Things I want to Try:
There are so many things in backyard farming/ urban permaculture I still want to try. Here is my to-do list:
Plant way more fruit trees. The ultimate goal of the permaculture “food forest” is basically to have tons of food growing everywhere on your property that requires little to no maintenance. The hardest part should be picking all of the bounty. Of course a key to this end state is to have lots of mature fruit trees that produce large quantities of high calorie foods year after year. And even in cold Ohio, we can grow so many different kinds of fruit like cherry, apple, peach, plum, apricot and lots of berry and nut trees
Plant a successful cash crop. I want to sell something at the farmers market! I think garlic will be my first attempt because it is 100% maintenance free and 99% guaranteed to come up beautiful. It also sells for a lot of money. So far I have been eating mine, but each year I plant more and more. One other nice thing is that you can space them really close together and plant them almost anywhere on the property, including right out in the front yard. I tried to sell my mustard greens but nobody wanted them :(
Get bees. Although probably not for everyone, I want bees. There is some cost and some work involved, but you get honey, wax and increased pollination, and that is more than enough for me to want to try it.
Meat? I’m not allowed to have chickens or any animal like that in my city. Rabbits could work since they are silent and you could raise them somewhere covert and no one would know you had them. But I don’t think I could kill and clean rabbits I raised. I looked into pheasant and quail but same thing there.
Eggs? I’m not yet to the point where I’m going to defy my local laws and get a couple of chickens for egg productions, but If you are, there is a whole community on the net of covert chicken raisers. The more hip urban cities such as St. Louis have legalized it, so do some research and go for it. Don’t get any roosters unless you want to anger everyone within a 5 mile radius.
More Mulch! Once you get into this hobby you quickly find that your soil sucks. If you have a typical American house your soil is terrible because for the last 50 years your property has consisted of 90% grass which some guy mowed short twice a week and probably dumped mass quantities of weed and feed and other chemicals onto it. All of the clippings were bagged and sent to the landfill and heavy rains continuously washed away any soil that happened to build up. The fix is to throw down tons and tons of organic material like leaves, cut up weeds, hay, mulch, coffee grounds, manure, compost, etc. But if you are a regular person with an office job you probably don’t have access to as much of this organic mulch as you need. I’m always on the lookout on Craigslist for free manure and mulch, but it can be hard to come by. You can grow your own, but this takes time.
Flowers I got so caught up with food that I realized I didn’t plant many beautiful flowers that can serve multiple purposes. I want them for cut flower arrangements as well as for medicinal purposes and sheer beauty. Next year there will be flowers!
Edible Seeds: I also want to get some edible seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin, yum! Per square foot, sunflowers are one of the most productive foods you can grow, calorie wise.
Woke up this morning to a great number of painted lady butterflies flitting about – here there and everywhere. Caught this one drinking nectar from my “Little Lime” dwarf hydrangea (which is blooming like crazy and keeping me well supplied with cut flowers). Apparently, this year is seeing one of the epic migrations of this particular variety of butterfly which occurs about every 10-15 years. There were so many of them in my backyard garden and just generally flying about and there were also a great number of them by the river as well. Lucky us to receive their visit as they fuel up for their migration South. Been rediscovering the nifty fifty again and rediscovering how much I love it.
I play these games because it’s nice to feel worthwhile and part of a community, to have people who really do like you, even if it’s not real. I started playing when I was suffering severe agoraphobia and social withdrawal. It made me feel better and helped inspire me to go outside again, even if it was just to my backyard for gardening. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll stop playing once my life feels put together again… It’ll still be special to me even then, of course!
You lie in bed, the sound of crunching outside making your heart pound. You quietly roll out from underneath your comforter, sneaking over to your window. You take a deep breath before inching your curtain back. There he was, standing in your backyard.
You quickly close the curtain and pick up your phone, shakily dialing Scott’s number.
“Y/N, hey..it’s pretty late, are you okay?” Scott answers.
“No…I-I need you. Now.”
“Hey, what’s wrong?” You hear his bed creak.
“I..“ You sigh. “I dated this guy a couple years ago, I broke it off because he was getting a little…clingy..he stalked me for a couple months and it got pretty dangerous…” You let out a shaky sigh, “I saw him walk past my house about a week ago…I just thought it was coincidence but he’s in my backyard…in the garden.”
“I’m on my way. Stay inside.” Scott says before hanging up.
You sit on your bed, anxiously waiting for him to show. You hear a loud thud in the backyard, when you slide open your curtain you see Scott standing over your ex-boyfriend.
His eyes are glowing red and his teeth are exposed. He looks pissed, you have no idea what he’s saying, you can only see his lips moving. Scott picks him up and throws him back down again, causing your ex-boyfriend to get up and jump the fence, running before Scott can inflict any further damage.
You open your window as Scott begins to go after him. “Scott!” You whisper yell.
He turns and looks at you, his eyes going back to normal.
“Come up here…please.” You bite your lip and he nods.
He hops up on the bench beside your window and makes a straight jump into your room. “Are you okay?” He pulls you into his arms and kisses the side of your head.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” You wrap your arms around him, feeling relieved.
“I’ll make sure you don’t have any more problems with him.”
“Thank you, Scott. I mean it.”
“Do you want me to stay?” He caresses your cheek and you nod.
“Why didn’t you say anything before?” He asks as you both lie down.
“Like I said, I thought it was coincidence. We’ve moved since he stopped the stalking the first time.”
“And he found you again?”
“Why didn’t you call the cops?”
“Listen, Scott…no offense..but he’s a white privileged boy…I called the cops. They said he was harmless.”
He sighs, “Did you call the sheriff’s station or the regular station?”
“Regular. The sheriff’s station won’t take calls from a teenaged girl complaining about boy problems.”
He scoffs, “Stilinski will. Especially if it’s you with that problem.”
You shrug, “I didn’t want to bother him.”
“No one will be bothered. Everyone loves you and we’re happy to take care of you.”
You smile, “Really?”
“Yes, really. I’ll stay the night with you and we’ll go talk to the sheriff in the morning.”
“I really appreciate it.”
“I’ve gotta keep you safe.” He smiles. “I’d lose my mind without you.”
Okay, so I thought I would maybe give the ICM abstract challenge a whirl (no pun intended) this afternoon partly because it was easy-peasy and not time-consuming for technically challenged me and partly because it beat the window-washing I was doing (which by default entailed insect jerky removal and big fat honking spiders hiding in the grooves wrangling), by leaps and bounds and partly because I knew it would make my neighbour scratch her head and wonder what I was up to. I took a whole bunch of shots at ISO 100 and F stops between 18 - 22 and, ultimately pared them down to two and this was my favourite. In my over active imagination, I like to think it’s the Weirwood tree in the middle of the Godswood in Winterfell but in reality, it’s a little patch of bergamot in one of my backyard gardens (and where I put my little bee buddy earlier this evening). I muted the colours a bit because that bergamot is screaming pink and yes, definitely there were some dusty bits to clone out… first time I participated… and who knows, time permitting, there may be more attempts in the future. Hope you likey!
I started the day off with Chakra meditation and yoga in the backyard by my garden. I’ve made some Sun Water for my garden, I enchanted my plant babies, I’m boiling some eggs to use the excess water and egg shells on my garden, and I washed our front door (and back door bc we use it a quite a bit) with warm water and peppermint oil to reset vibrations and bring abundance. I also noticed my cucumbers and gladiolus are finally beginning to popping up! 🌱
I’m a very happy witch today. 💚
Is there a resource to find which plants one can grow to reduce CO2/purify the air? I'm in a hardiness zone 6 to 8 and looking to put my backyard garden away for the winter and plan it out for next spring. The front garden is already a pollinator garden, and part of the backyard is vegetables but I want to make more use of the area.
I’d add that fast growing trees would work best, and evergreens will continue photosynthesising while deciduous trees sleep for the winter. So perhaps connifers might be a good option. Pine needles can be useful if you collect them too. Scattering a few around your vegetable patch can apparently help to keep slugs away.
Alternatively, you could plant a few fruit trees among your vegetables. Cherry trees and apple trees might work well, and they don’t mind sharing soil (unlike oak trees which have a habit of sucking up all the nutrients from the surrounding area).
If trees are unfeasible though, perhaps smaller, fast growing plants. Things like bamboo would probably be an excellent choice. Though care should be taken with fast growing plants, as they can be invasive in some areas (things like kudzu and japanese knotweed, for example).
Recently liberated from my neighbour’s lawn and re-located in my own backyard garden – I have always loved Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus) ever since I first noticed this little wildflower growing by the river – the buds look like tiny pink balls of wool and, really, what’s not to love about that I ask you? The variety found here in Québec, a.k.a., la belle province, is known as Eastern Daisy Fleabane. Miss Fleabane seems to like her new home as you can tell by the prolific number of buds and blooms. So, say hey to Miss Daisy when you see her in your neck of the woods – I am sure those whimsical little buds will make you smile. (The upper two photos are older shots from a walk by the mighty St-Lawrence River (just across the street) and the bottom is the one I freed from my neighbour’s yard). Also, I feel the need to dedicate this little trio of photos to @mill24-ph who indicated to me that he had to Google “fleabane” and who now, methinks, should have no trouble at all recognizing this little cutie when he is a-wandering this great country of ours… happy trails Rob!!!
We just moved into our first house! After 18 months in a tiny, cramped and damp flat we finally took the plunge and left the city centre.
Last night I actually slept a full night’s sleep. No neighbours walking upstairs. No screaming babies next door. No cars. No noise from the pub across the road. I woke up and had a coffee in my own backyard/garden. Is this even real? When did we get here?
This month marked 2 years of my move to the UK and I can’t believe how much has happened for these past years.
I was living in a caravan in the middle of the woods when I first moved here. Scrubbing other people’s toilets for food and shelter. Now I am in a relationship with the sweetest man, I have the greatest job, I’m applying to a PhD, we just moved in to this house and we are getting a puppy. When did life get this exciting?!
I am so excited about this new chapter of our lives. I honestly feel like we will only leave this house once we actually buy one and that is such an exciting thought!
Just happy. Happy happy happy.