by | Apr 9, 2014 | Uncategorized | 14 comments

When a problem can’t be solved, especially one that keeps you bound to a computer screen, then it’s time to take a walk. Time to go to the beach in search of something you need. . . 

 And here are sign posts, pointing the way . . .

 These guys are looking for what they need – and finding it. One of them came running up the beach with a silver fish, shining in the sunshine as it twirled on the end of his line. But that’s not what I was looking for.

 And nor was this, despite the delight of it.

No, my quest was for something much less glamorous. I knew I’d be likely to find it at the edge of the incoming tide, and I was right. Can you see?

 Yes, seaweed. Scrumptious black kelp – not to eat though,

 but for my hungry, drought-weary garden. It needs a good boost after working so hard to be productive all summer. Kelp contains over 70 vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for the soil.

 It releases nutrients slowly over time, conditioning the soil and helping it to retain moisture. That’s exactly what my bach garden is crying out for. Seaweed even keeps improving the soil structure for a whole new season, after the nutrients have been absorbed.  Meanwhile, it will sit on the top as a mulch.

When a problem can’t be solved, try caring for something that needs your help. Tending a garden is an act of faith. My flourishing crop withered over the last months, but already I’m thinking about how to prepare the soil better for next time.

Gardening is the triumph of hope over circumstance. The learnings are dug back into the soil, making good compost. Innovative solutions are applied.  Past mistakes are forgotten and a new cycle is welcomed in with optimism.

PS Two days later a creative answer to the problem whooshed into my head like a wood pigeon descending from the sky to feed on juicy berries. I think it’s going to work.


  1. Vicki Lane

    Tending a garden is indeed an act of faith — I’ve been making a garden every year for over forty years — with varying success but every Spring is a new beginning!

  2. Juliet Batten

    Thank you Vicki. That’s 40 new beginnings for you. How wonderful.

  3. silkannthreades

    That kelp looks ever so good. And your walk on the beach looked very refreshing. I love how problems seem to work out if we stop worrying them for awhile.

  4. Penny O'Neill

    Dear Juliet, what a balm for soul your words are right now and yoir search for kelp so very healimg .We will soon be turning our own “learnings” into the earth, renewing the soil and our bond with nature.

  5. Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Juliet .. did you see my B which had some beachcombing in it ..

    We used to collect seaweed for my grandfather from the St Ives Bay beaches … and mulch his garden ..

    I haven’t put that in the blog – as I’m not sure now about collecting seaweed here .. people take flints and stones from the beach and a great furore rings out .. so I thought I’d steer clear!

    But great reminder from my youth – cheers Hilary

  6. Friko

    Some good ideas and solutions to problems come to me when I have my hands in the dirt of my garden. And if nothing springs to mind, gardening sometimes makes me forget problems.

    Roaming the beach for treasure can only be beneficial; for you and your garden. I wish I had a beach close by.

  7. Juliet Batten

    * Gallivanta, isn’t it pleasing when a problem finds its own solution?

    * Penny, I appreciate your kind comments. You are beginning a new season of growth, even as we enter the period of rest and replenishment.

    * Hilary, I enjoyed your beach-combing blog, which I caught up on after posting mine. I’m glad it brings back some happy memories for you.

    Thank you Gallivanta, Penny and Hilary; good to see you here.

  8. Juliet Batten

    * Friko, gardening is also a great way to switch into another way of being. I’m so lucky to have the beach so close. Thank you.

  9. Nadezda

    Julliet, glad your problem seems to resolve. However the nature helps to refresh the head and new ideas come in it.I always do the same! Love your photos especially the starfish on the beach!

  10. Juliet Batten

    Hi Nadezda, welcome back from your roamings. Nature does indeed refresh the brain; it never fails. Glad you like the photos, and thank you for visiting.

  11. Hotly Spiced

    I’m so pleased the creative answer whooshed into your head – timely! What a lovely beach but what is that in the sand? Is it a type of starfish? Seaweed is so good for your garden. A friend of mine grows her own vegetables and she’d always be heading down to the beach to collect kelp xx

  12. Juliet Batten

    Charlie, It is a lovely beach, and that’s a starfish in the sand. Quite unexpected, as I don’t usually find them on the open beach. It was satisfying to gather the kelp. Thank you.

  13. Juliet Batten

    Linda, you are a long way from the sea, but I see that you have water flowing down the canal and that must be so welcome. Thank you.


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