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EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Bloom

Bloom

Issue 9
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Bloom is a seasonal magazine for gardeners, plant admirers, nature lovers and outdoor adventurers. Each issue is packed with practical gardening projects, explorations of the natural world and celebrations of the beauty of all green spaces, whether they’re in the wilderness or on a windowsill. Beautiful and useful, Bloom inspires you to harness the power of nature and to get out there and be a part of it.

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Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Sylvie Studio Ltd
Frequency:
Quarterly
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3 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
nature is sustaining.

Plans: so easily disrupted and so keen to invade every day, week and year of our lives. They’re creeping back, for the most part, making themselves known on sticky notes and calendars. It might be tempting to retreat, or to charge ahead full throttle. Or perhaps you’re taking a different approach, one that acknowledges the things that sustain us, and that inspire moments of happiness, wonder, appreciation, maybe even pride. Whether it’s raising plants, a daily stroll at dusk, learning to identify birdsong or obsessing over border designs, the interests that keep us curious, engaged and sane will likely only whisper their desire to be a permanent part of our plans. Listen hard, include them, and you might find they not only support you, but begin to encourage and strengthen connection,…

6 min.
the season

LOOK UP Birds of prey When we think ‘birds of prey’ most of us would imagine the majestic likes of ospreys or golden eagle soaring over mountainous peaks. But the UK is home to many other species that fly into the category, some of which can be seen without having to put on your hiking boots. The sparrowhawk, for example, is compact but fierce looking and hunts in urban areas, scattering the starlings and tits sharpish if it lands on the garden fence. Buzzards are commonly spotted around the country hovering over farmland and can be recognised by their broad wings and striking similarity to an eagle. And the distinctively coloured, fork-tailed red kite (pictured), once seriously endangered, can now be seen swooping nonchalantly over much of central England and Scotland. The…

4 min.
the plantlife aquatic

Exquisitely beautiful, diverse, colourful and every bit as interesting as the plantlife above ground, seaweed in British waters rivals anything you’ll find in a tropical coral reef. Yet I remember when I was kid growing up in Falmouth on Cornwall’s south coast, people seemed to be very negative about seaweed. It would be thrown ashore by the waves of autumn storms, pile up on the beaches and rapidly start to rot down, becoming slimy and smelly. Given time, however, the rotted seaweed would disappear into the sand and become essential food for sandhoppers, shrimps and a host of other creatures. Seaweed is the common name of hundreds of species of marine algae from three large and varied families. They are primitive plants that can have animal-like tendencies and are far more…

1 min.
seaweed sos

SHORESEARCH Organised by the Wildlife Trusts, Shoresearch is a citizen science survey of the coast that encourages people to develop their skills in marine habitat and species identification. The information recorded helps to monitor the health of sea life. wildlifetrusts.org/shoresearch SEASEARCH A project that focuses on the abundant life beyond the shoreline, Seasearch trains volunteer divers and snorkellers to record the marine life and types of seabed they encounter while out at sea. seasearch.org.uk BIG SEAWEED SEARCH This joint project by the Natural History Museum and Marine Conservation Society asks people to pick a plot by the seashore and to photograph and identify all the seaweed they see in order to monitor the impact of environmental change. nhm.ac.uk/take-part…

5 min.
the practice of evolution

Think of the classic ‘cottage garden’ and you might picture a squat stone house clothed in rambling roses, its tiny plot crammed full of frothy catmint and alchemilla, foxgloves and hollyhocks, fruit trees and vegetables. Synonymous with the English countryside – and returning in popularity across Britain – the cottage garden has its roots in medieval history, when self-sufficiency and using every patch of a plot was vital, and gardens were a jumble of plants and even livestock. Those productive gardens evolved to have form as well as function, and by the turn of the 19th century, the cottage garden was a conscious style choice, a nostalgic and romantic mix of self-seeders, herbaceous perennials, herbs and veg. To this day, cottage gardening skips rules, encourages experimentation and mistakes, and allows for a…

3 min.
the super plant!

Comfrey (Symphytum) is the organic gardener’s best friend. Its long tap roots allow it to draw up nutrients from the soil for its leaves, which are packed with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – all vital nutrients for growing plants. These leaves can be used to support most crops as a fertiliser, but because of a high potassium content, comfrey feed is best suited to fruiting and flowering crops, such as tomatoes, beans, courgettes and the like. Part of the borage (Boraginaceae) family, comfrey is known to have 35 species, and we’re currently growing 16 of them in Garden Organic’s new learning and demonstration garden in Coventry. We’re well on our way to hosting the National Comfrey Collection. For these recipes, we use comfrey ‘Bocking 14’, as this cultivar has the perfect balance…