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The Garden

A poem for National Poetry Day. A garden and everything within.

Today is National Poetry Day.

Blackbird hops into the bucket,
Something tasty for breakfast,
A treat perhaps?
Yesterday's grapes will do nicely.

Seedlings happy to escape
From the glasshouse by day
Scorching in there already,
Returning at sunset.

I'll walk softly now,
Have a long search
For something new today,
Never fails!

The summer's coming,
We'll sit and laugh and chat,
There'll be fun and flowers there,
The miracle of life.

That little thing is six weeks old,
It'll be gone by first frost,
The tree beyond is wrinkled,
It's a keeper.

Padraig

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Important Markers

It’s bright beyond 6pm. That’s a very important marker as we move towards longer evenings. Yippee!

In many other ways, it was a perfect day. Just me, myself & I. Firstly, i dtús báire, there was French toast for breakfast at Ormonds Café. There’s nothing quite like it! This was followed by a beard trim, some glasshouse pottering, and a massage. The afternoon was spent in the garden and now it’s time to order a Chinese.

And it’s only the start of the weekend! Enjoy yours, whatever it may bring.

Pádraig.

There Will Be Flowers

Right up to the seventies or eighties, folks didn’t really have gardens. Any small plot of ground would likely have been used to grow potatoes and vegetables.

Today is the 100th anniversary of the vote in the Dáil (Irish Parliament) to accept the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It was ratified by 64-57 and thus began the Irish Civil War.

Yes, this is a garden blog. No, it’s not a declaration of where my political opinions lie. I just want to mark the day. Families were torn apart. There was bloodshed and death on both sides.

Realistically, right up to the seventies or eighties (?), folks didn’t really have gardens. Any small plot of ground woould likely have been used to grow potatoes and vegetables. I’m wondering when did garden centres become popular?

In a world ravaged by violence, war, famine, genocide, trafficking and other inhumanities, I came upon this beautiful cartoon…

The car is in garage for servicing, and I’m in The Food Hub Clonmel for a couple of hours, continuing my read of Fintan’s book. As you can guess, I’ve also found some time to write. It’s anther cold wet indoor day.

Little Christmas Day

The circles of women around us weave invisible nets of love that carry us when we’re weak, and sing with us when we are strong.

Known in Ireland as Nollaig na bBan, today marks the official end of Christmas. We are ahead of ourselves here. All decorations, except for a forgotten furry snowman, have been removed, repackaged and returned to the third-floor attic.

In a surprise move, I’ve offered to cook dinner this evening. It’s a tradition that women do not cook on January 6th. To my surprise, Marion mentioned that it wouldn’t really be necessary this year, because I’m the chef most days! I feel blessed.

Skimmia Temptation.

It’s time to move outdoors. The garden is calling.


From Mindfulness Ireland… “In Ireland, women have been gathering together on 6th January ‘Nollaig na mBan’, Gaelic for ‘Women’s Christmas’ for so long no one is sure when this heart-warming tradition began.On this night, the menfolk prepared the meal and did the housework so that the women could relax and have fun after all their busyness of the festive season. These celebrations usually took place in one of the women’s homes or in local pubs. This often was the only time in the year that women could drink and revel to their heart’s content free from housework and childcare. Initially, they shared worries and challenges but soon came the great laughing chats and ‘sing-songs’ until the wee hours of the morning. Nollaig na mBan nearly died out in the 1950s but remained very much alive in pockets of Cork and the South West of Ireland, when women have dinner or party together to celebrate their own ‘Little Christmas.’ These days the domestic duties may be shared but this all-female gathering is still treasured as friends and family catch up for a last ‘hurrah’ after the holiday season. More and more women are attending or organizing Nollaig na mBan events, bringing optimism and hope for the year ahead.”


Biking: Very blustery wind. Headwind going up Strikes except for the middle section. Seriously windy after the wooded section coming down Ballingown. Blown home from Kilmolash. Very enjoyable 52km. Scattered clouds, 9°C, Feels like 6°C, Humidity 89%, Wind 7m/s from WSW.

My West Waterford garden…Spot the wind turbines?

The circles of women around us weave invisible nets of love that carry us when we’re weak, and sing with us when we are strong.

Succulent Wild Woman by SARK, (a.k.a. Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) 

Jingle Bells

I’ve surfaced just in time to wish all my friends and gardening acquaintances a very Happy Christmas.

I’ve had a Rip Van Winkle moment, and here I am after a long break! I’ve surfaced just in time to wish all my friends and gardening acquaintances a very Happy Christmas.

I hope that this Christmas is a good one for you all despite everything. Very likely, there’s a mixture of joy and sadness for so many families, but most of all I’m writing this with a hopeful heart.

Winter is a wonderful time of the year. I’m probably in a minority, but I do like it. I’m reminded to slow down, take things easy, wrap up and stay cosy with loved ones.

My friends will be very aware of my love/hate relationship with social media. I’m thankful that the elastic snapped a few months ago. I’m grateful for the joy of seeing like-minded gardeners but my continued use of FB and IG does not sit well with me. Thus, for the moment at any rate, my gardening updates will be here, and here alone.

As we face into another new year, I wish you happiness and good health.

25th December 2021,

Padraig.