Six-on-Saturday – Oh Happy Day!

26th June 2021

It started with a few Guinness last weekend. Offers were made and accepted. A table and chairs set would change ownership and be delivered without delay. And so that’s exactly what happened. Thus begins the tale of my first of Six on Saturday.

1. The Throne

Regular readers will know that the oil-tank was in this corner until last Autumn. It had spent thirty uneventful years there. Now, the transformation is almost complete. Bit by bit, I’ve added trellis and planters, a fountain and climbers. Recently, when plied with drink, I agreed to accept a generous gift of this chair, together with another and matching table. I painted it duck-egg blue, and used Hazard Yellow for the comrade. My sister loves the yellow, but it’s more like mustard. This Duckegg will be my throne, as it is positioned to view the garden from a height, but being mindful of keeping myself well-grounded, I repeat this quote daily:

On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.

Michel de Montaigne
Hazard Yellow

To add to the scent of sweet peas and Jasmine, I have the sound of running water, but I’m thinking a bit of red carpet on the ground would give me something to be looking at!

2. Sweet Pea

Finally! I’d noticed recently that the Sweet Peas were beginning to make up lost ground. Many of them were damaged by frost in early May, but they survived. The first of the flowers are bottled in the kitchen. Oh happy day!

When sitting on my throne, I am unable to see these beautiful flowers bacause they are bottled in the kitchen. Prior to that, they had been behind the seat. I could only see them with difficulty, but the scent reminded me that they were there!

3. Home Guard Earlies

Oh happy day! The early potatoes are in my belly and I am satisfied. Planted on 11th of March, they are now being harvested regularly and they taste great with a bit of butter.

There’s a downside, however. I have only nine plants, so I’ll savour every last potato right to the very end. My main crop potatoes are coming along well and they’ll be ready for buttering in mid-August.

4. Broad Beans

Aquadulce Broad Beans were sown in four batches, the first last October and again on 1st of February, then on 12th and 29th of March. The reason I’m able to rattle off the dates is because all my records are on my phone and online. We have harvested a few meals since mid-June. Twenty pods is about right to accompany the potatoes as a meal for two. The Autumn ones ripened first, and I’ll be waiting a short while for the rest of them. Apparently, the tips can be prone to blackfly attack, particularly on the more tender Spring plants, but I’ve figured out how to starve them. Quite simply, a clean secateurs cut near the top prevents an infestation. Oh happy day for me!

As an aside, it’s not every garden that has the clothes line in among the vegetables or rather above the vegetables to be more accurate, but I spent sleepless nights worrying about the eventual height of the broad beans.

My eureka bean-snip moment has had a second benefit. We can now hang towels, t-shirts and thongs on the clothes line without they touching the tall bean plants. Shirts, shorts and smalls can swing freely. Oh happy days indeed!

Query: Could anyone advise me? Most of the pods are upright and some have turned down. Is it a case that the downward ones are ripe, or can I harvest all the large ones?

5. Ash

The berries of the ash tree are very interesting. Many of the smaller branches are weighed down, yet the flower head faces upwards for ripening.

6. Peachy

I’ve got lots of begonias again this year. This one is a Blurred Begonia, a variety unknown to me. Most were over-wintered and will provide me with colour and satisfaction next month, but as a measure of my impatience, I bought these last week. I’m wondering are they peach or salmon? Whatever the colour, I just love it!

I’ve noticed that annual flowers look a bit wretched until they start to fill the space. Likely, in a few weeks these will look better, they will grow together to become one, and watering will be easier when they begin to keep the heat of the sun from the soil beneath.

As per usual, I am joining in with The Propagator and his “troupe of horticultural devotees” to show six things in our gardens this weekend. The quote is from Ciar at Carrots and Calendula. Sin a bhfuil uaimse don seachtain seo. I’ll be back again next week with another Six-on-Saturday. In the short meantime, I shall be spending some time continuing the Summer watering and reading other SOS updates when I can. Wherever you are, have a great week. Slán go fóill.

Review Gallery


This Time Last Year

At the risk of repeating myself, my writing is for myself. My aim is to record my garden and some little thoughts about stuff from time to time. I want this record in order to look back on things when I’m older and unable to remember. As I’m now into my second year doing this Six-on-Saturday thingy, I’m including a link at the end of this article which was written this time last year. I’ll not be in the least miffed if readers choose not to read it. Happy Saturday! Here goes…

Written in June 2020, here’s a short excerpt:

On June 20-21st 2019 I cycled 400km with my friend Declan, along with support from the local cycling community for sections of the journey. We cycled for 16 and a half hours, 3pm on Friday until 3pm on Saturday with a dinner break, a chipper/pizza delivery at 2am, a breakfast break, a lunch break (in that order), and a two hour snooze, through The Longest Day, helping raise funds for Waterford Samaritans.

The Longest Day is our symbol of constant struggle. The new day does not always bring comfort. Keep a close eye on your struggling plants. Value them as you would the scented rose. Keep a close watch on friends or acquaintances and be there for them with a listening ear. Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.

Click/tap the picture or the link below.

Here’s the full article: Plants That Struggle

The Week That Was

Not garden-related, this is merely to keep a record of events for future reminiscing.

  • There’s an outbreak of the Delta variant locally.
  • We headed to Tramore for a stroll on the promenade and I visited Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens. I’ll be writing about it.
  • Mam was with us for Father’s Day, but her garden weeding days are over.
  • Baking porridge bread is becoming a habit.
  • We’ve tried various options to stop flies coming in. Nothing has worked. I think I’ll have to put up a sign.
  • Biking week of rest & recovery. Club activities postponed because of Delta. Marion & I got a 50km and coffee. Oh happy day!

Pádraig

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25 comments

  1. Well what a splendid throne you have, love the duck egg but also fond of the yellow. You can now survey your land in comfort. Whatever the name of the begonia, it is rather lovely and sweet peas are always a winner to me. Have a good week, keep on keeping on!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very nice broad beans! You will enjoy them soon… Whether the pods are facing up or down doesn’t change anything. Often it’s those which are oriented downwards and in the lower part which are ripe first. It depends how you like them, I start picking them when they are big enough to touch and there are like little black spots on the pod.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d a feeling you’d know about them, Fred. We’ve had first few already and they’re very tasty. I’ll watch for the black spots. Have a super Tour de France weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a transformation of the former oil tank area, I love your throne quote but I also thought of Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair! Except I am sure you won’t despair, as all is looking great. Super harvests chez vous also!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Go raibh maith agat, Sel. Choice of two quotes would cloud my brain!
      Delighted with the vegetables. My space is so small that I need to think smarter. (Actually, that goes against the two quotes scenario…)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ll be using one of my washing lines as extra support for the Jerusalem artichokes – which can become top heavy in pots and fall over if the wind catches them. My first early potatoes are only now getting flowers (at home in bags – I haven’t checked the allotment spuds recently). Love the chairs – a great swap – my preference is for the blue 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have broad bean and potato envy. After many years of trying, the mice and the blackfly have defeated me. As regards the potatoes, last year’s saga had a happy ending (I’m sure you remember), this year only one has bothered to show its foliage above ground, so not even a happy beginning. 😒 Interesting Six-on-Saturday again

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Right….since the peas have only produced enough for a couple of portions, and the spinach will only render 6 portions maximum, maybe a go at autumn broad beans is the way forward. Do you sow them directly outside into the ground?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, some last Autumn and some in March. The autumn ones are ripe now, and the later ones in a few weeks. But… It’s the younger juicier ones that the black fly go for… That’s my thinking anyway.

          Liked by 1 person

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