the elderflower season

Words & Images: Camilla Jørvad-

The warm quiet mornings have returned, and I can once again enjoy my morning tasks: morning training and walk with the puppy, feeding and letting out the chickens and weeding the veggie garden without having to dodge the rain or wrap myself up in warm layers. When you have a property the size of ours, there is a never-ending list of ongoing projects weaving in and out of eachother. One of these projects have been on my dream list since I first set foot on the farm 15 years ago when my parents in law were living here: to close off the tiny front courtyard/parking space by the road and make a new longer, more private driveway on the backside of the house. I want to “hide” the property from the road. I want to feel like you are entering a magical place, a private haven. I not only want this to be our guests’ first impression of Sigridsminde when they arrive, I also want this feeling for myself every time I come home.

While the delicate beauty of flowers and the meditative work in the cottage garden soothes my soul, my favourite part of “gardening” is planting trees. I am also a lover of hard physical labour, of getting my hands dirty and getting a few bruises and cuts here and there and the incredibly fulfilling calm that runs through my tired muscles as my head hits the pillow at night. In many ways hard physical labour feels more slow to me than sitting in front of the computer. In many ways the huge part of my life I spend in front of a computer working is so opposite of what my personality and body needs. I am so looking forward to one of the planting tasks awaiting me this autumn. I have been waiting for that moment/project for 15 years since I first set foot at Sigridsminde.

My nursery is still full of shoots and seedlings that need to be planted out into their “permanent” spot. I’m using the word permanently lightly, as a garden is never really finished, and all these plants will probably be moved at least 10 times over the next few years and be divided at least as many times. My husband really hates all this moving about. He likes to do things and do them once and be done with it. He doesn’t get it and seems to think I ‘change my mind’ only to annoy him. But like one of my great garden-crushes @themontydon writes in Gardening at Longmeadow: “I never think of it as finished – just where it happens to be now”. And I couldn’t agree more.

© all pics with kind permission Camilla Jørvad

I have no interest in trying to convince everyone that living in the country is the only right way to live. But I do believe in my heart that many – if not most – aspects of country life are simply healthier for humans at the very core of our being, both physically and psychologically. Closeness to nature and a more clear impact by the changing seasons, less noise and air polution, daily contact with the soil you grow your food in and the animals you eat. All of this is just a few things on a neverending list of benefits I have found to be true, at least in my own life. I passionately believe that we all deserve to live a life that is slower and more intentional than what society, politics and economy shape us to do today. Our farmhouse Sigridsminde is on Aeroe island in Denmark, there we do our best to live slow, simple and seasonal. My goal is to give you moments of beauty, connection and tranquility in a busy everyday life.

Dear readers, take care & have a relaxed week! Read more about Camilla and her beautiful country and slow living journal here and on Instagram here.

Yours, Melanie Kettner