I spend the morning doing the first garden garden maintenance this year. I don´t really like working in the garden when the soil is too wet, it sticks to much. I’ve picked up some weeds and made it a bit ready for spring to come.  I noticed some of the plants coming to life. In the warmer parts of the garden the roses where getting leaves all ready. And here are few of the crocus bulbs popping up.

And here is are some yellow ones. Personally I like the purple ones better.

Rubarb is also one of the earliest plants, when the leaves are still folded they look like little green brains.

And here is our rooster, he has been working on the vegetable patch eating weeds and worms. Having the time of their life now that the can run around free. Soon they´ll have to be locked up, when the seeds go into the ground.


Nope, this is not for eating, this concoction is a mix of several plant dyes.  As far as I know it contains madder, woad and meekrap . Sorry about that, it contained only madder, and the copper of the kettle. Mariana wanted to dye some wool and experiment a bit.  Seba and I volunteered making a fire in the garden, fire and boys is always a winning combination. We smelled pretty smoked.

We also managed to paint the front of the atelier, welcome in Sweden. The red rotfarg paint works very well, it goes straight on the boards, without sanding, you only have to take the sand of a bit.  The walls inside are plastered they just needs to be painted (and cleaned). Some of the windows have been put. Things are moving forward. I hope that everything is done before the end of october. There is also a lot of garden work coming up, I need to do lots of pruning on the fruit and nut trees around our house.

The is also some harvesting to be done, these brussels sprouts are almost there.

When we moved too our current house, one of the first plants we put was a white flowering climbing rose. Back then the rose was not even 1 meter tall. Within 6 years the rose grew 5 meters high and covering  a whole corner of our house. At least twice a year I have to prune it back, not only to keep it in some sort of shape but also to make sure we can reach our front door. I usually use a long ladder put against the house and cut the branches from there. This is done paying a price in blood, I look like I fought of a horde of jaguars.

I already looked at the huge plastic telescopic pruning shears they sell at gardening groceries, but they all came close to €100, and I thought it was a bit steep. But 2 weeks ago there was a garage sale in a neighbourhood near our house and I found this, for €3.

Beautiful simple construction, you lock the hook thingy around the branch and pull the cord. I really like the curled up spring, that moves the blade back, when you release the cord. 

Now that the blade is sharpened it works very well especially on rose shoots which are not woody. But I’ve cut a 1 cm think wooden branch without problem.  You can take the blade apart from the hook by unscrewing the nut, making it easy too sharpen. I think that is key with this type of shears, since seems to be much lighter in construction then the modern ones. The modern ones seem to rely more on blunt force then a sharp blade.

Now I have to find a pole long and strong enough to reach up to the roof, I’ve put the shears on a 1.8m broomstick now, but I need at least 4 meters. I have to make something that I can take apart for storage or when I don’t need to cut so high.

I don’t know exactly how old this would be, I would guess somewhere round the fifties. But that is an uneducated guess, I could as well say forties. It does not have any brand name or makers stamp and it looks kind of industrial. I like the way it looks, it works very well for me (always better than bloodied on the ladder), so all in all €3 well spent. I rarely feel that way after spending money. 

Here I’m using it for the pruning the grapes, wich we are not going to eat (again). The cold weather is causing them not to ripen and they are super acid, but the chickens seem to like em.