My Gardening Week – Spring Will Come

It’s been a very good week here, mostly dry, some sunshine and mild temperatures by day. It was worse last May!

I’ve been waiting such a long time. It feels like warm weather is never coming my way. This week we’ve had torrential rain, hailstones, cold northerly winds and some sunshine. The rain coincided with my first visit of the season to Lismore Castle Gardens, the hailstones arrived just as I was preparing to go cycling and the cold winds persisted every day.

Yes, it’s the middle of January, the slump month hated by millions worldwide. I can’t say I hate it but it’s not near the top of my list.  Anyway, what’s interesting is that the weather account above is early May of last year! This week has been very different. I spent most of Monday tidying up as the temperature was up to 13C. There was no rain, very little wind and good sunshine. Mild as May, I’d be tempted to say.

There’s a lot to be said for having lots of gravel and concrete paths in the garden. It means that there’s no danger of walking on wet compacted soil. I was able to prune the last fuchsia very severely and an acer very lightly without doing any damage.


Most satisfying of all, however, was moving the pelargoniums from this large pot to the glasshouse and replacing them with daffodils.  You see, underneath each plastic pot, there’s another one. I’m able to leave pots permanently in the soil within the larger pot. Then I take plants out and replace them with others. Time taken: five minutes. A bit of colour around the edge wouldn’t go astray. Pansies perhaps?

Each of the pelargoniums needed some work to remove damaged bits. Finally, a light prune  and they’re done. I’ll be hoping to get them back to the front garden in Early June. In the meantime, I’ll keep an eye on them and feed them well from about April onwards.


Bird-feeding is a regular activity here. Mostly we’ve got house sparrows, blackbirds and starlings. When we put out nyer seed the finches arrive. Recently, I’ve noticed that some birds love grapes. We love grapes too but sometimes they do not stay fresh long enough to finish. I’d been in the habit of putting them into the compost bucket near the back door but the birds simply toss everything out to get at them. So, this week I’ve started leaving them on the patio. They don’t last very long.

Slán go fóill,

Pádraig.

Frightful

I’m tucked cosily inside, my chores for the day are done and I think it’d be a good time to break open the Kindle.

Oh the weather outside is frightful!
But the fire is so delightful.

I’m humming that to myself to the tune of “Oh the weather outside is frightful.” Meanwhile, I’m tucked cosily inside, my chores for the day are done and I think it’d be a good time to break open the Kindle.

It’s a new year and I’m looking forward to it. This beautiful splash of colour is helping me to stay positive. When all around is cold and miserable, the little cyclamen stands tall against everything that winter throws at it.

Despite the frost last night, this fern is carrying on regardless. It’s very sheltered and hasn’t died back fully as yet. I think there were only two or three frost nights in November/December.

Would you look at that? The daffodils are peeping up, but what caught my eye is the pot that is lopsided. It’s tilted noticeably but the emerging stems are upright. Time to get these pots out from their hiding corner. That’s a job for Saturday. The heating is on, the stove is lit and I’ve an hour to read before dinner.

I’m reading “We Don’t Know Ourselves” written by journalist Fintan O’Toole. It’s a personal history of Ireland since 1958. Fintan was born just a few months ahead of me that year. Since then, he’s been ahead of me in the writing game too.

Regular readers here will have noticed my absence since October. I’d had my annual downturn and my motivation to write was gone. That said, I’m back on track, helped in no small way by regular slow winter cycling.

What will 2022 bring? Whatever, I’m ready for the off! Bring it on!

Six-on-Saturday – Tulip Mania

By about 1610 tulip mania reached frenzied heights. A single bulb of a new variety was acceptable as dowry for a bride, and a flourishing brewery in France was exchanged for one bulb of the variety Tulipe Brasserie.

27th March 2021.

What’s a gardener’s worst nightmare? What is it that would have us wake in the middle of the night screaming, perhaps only to find it was a false alarm? Except, in my case on Tuesday, it was real. I left the glasshouse open! Can you believe it? An gcreidfeá é? Yes I did, but didn’t wake screaming. Wednesday was such a beautiful sunny morning… beautiful, except for two things. The glasshouse was open and I had a dental appointment. Have you ever had that feeling when a dental appointment is knocked back to second place on the oh-feck-ometer? Well, that was me. My challenge this week, quoted from my fellow SOSer in Belgium, is to focus on Six on Saturday as the perfect excuse to indulge in some gardening mindfulness. Thank you Sel.

Of course, because I live in the sunny South-East, I got away with blue murder. The temperature dipped to 5°C and plant life within continues. Screaming would have been an excessive reaction. Have you had anything worse than a dental appointment? On the other hand, here are six things in my garden better than a dental appointment.

Tulips

Tulips

I’ve never been a fan of Tulips, but can’t really figure out why. Anyways, in an effort to get right outside my comfort zone I bought a dozen. So far, I’m very happy. These ones are smaller than usual and they began flowering last week. Variety is Triumph Yokohama. Bright and cheerful.

In my efforts to like my new Tulips, I wanted to learn more. Introduced to Europe from Turkey in the 1500’s, tulips became an exchangeable item, similar to money airgead. The Tulip Mania of 1663-1667 is well documented.

Tulpenwindhandel was a speculative frenzy in 17th-century Holland over the sale of tulip bulbs.  The delicately formed, vividly coloured flowers became a popular, if costly, item. The demand for differently coloured varieties of tulips soon exceeded the supply, and prices for individual bulbs of rare types began to rise to unwarranted heights in northern Europe. By about 1610 a single bulb of a new variety was acceptable as dowry for a bride, and a flourishing brewery in France was exchanged for one bulb of the variety Tulipe Brasserie.

Britannica

All in all, it adds a strange twist to what we in Ireland would say about someone who acts foolishly:

You’re some tulip!

Fuchsia genii

Fuchsia genii

Genii is my favourite Fuchsia, as much for the leaf as the flower. It has wintered well. I had trimmed it shortly before Christmas, and it seems ready for the season ahead. As an added bonus the three cuttings have rooted and will be grown on. Elephants will remember that I tried air-layering with a transparent plastic ball last year. Well, my advice to anyone interested is not to bother. I had five in place and not a single root has rooted. Save your money. Invest in a few tulips.

Forget-me-not

Myosotis… Forget-me-not

The few flowers are insignificant as yet, but in another few weeks, there will be thousands of these tiny blue flowers. Myosotis, more commonly known as Forget-me-not, seeds freely and I’m happy to let it. It becomes a fine plant to fill blank spaces between the end-of-daffodil time and beginning of summer annuals. Last week I had difficulty identifying Iberis. I’ll not forget this one, but I’d be blue in the face getting some folk to remember Myosotis.

Peonies

I mentioned a few weeks ago that someone’s Peony plants were above ground, but there wasn’t a sign of anything happening with mine. I was beginning to wonder were mine a Monday morning version. I needn’t have concerned myself, because with the addition of canes for support and a Heineken bottle to support the canes, everything turned out hunky dory. It’s my first time growing Peonies, whereas Heineken has been a regular feature for many a year. It’s all part of being a good European. The top of the bottle (bottom actually) seems like an inviting place to sit an ornament. Teddy bear, leprechaun or maybe just a few blue & white balloons. Would it be a good display option for an expensive rare tulip?

Skimmia

If only you could be overwhelmed by the sweet scent of these beautiful flowers, you’d surely die happy. The bees are buzzing and in no time at all there’ll be a new set of berries to add to the current crop. Skimmia japonica is the bees knees right now. It’s got a good spot near the vegetable beds, but I’m thinking of moving it to my central Patio Potpourri. I reorganised it last week and will add a few more bits and take away a few more bits until I feel it looks sufficiently different than last year.

Narcissus

These double narcissi are adding some colour to my patio this week. Unfortunately, they tend to get blown over so I try to place the pots in a sheltered spot. A close inspection of this might lead you to believe that it’s riddled with greenfly, but that couldn’t be the case in March Márta. In fact, as I powerwashed the patio last week this and all other pots needed to be moved. It just so happened that I didn’t move this one far enough. I think it’s Paper White, but I’m open to suggestions.

Did You Know?

Linking back to today’s introduction, I wanted to learn more about blue murder and I came across this:

Using colours as metaphors for emotion is probably as old as human language, though they’re deeply determined by culture. In English we have phrases such as white with rage, green with jealousy, see red, yellow streak and tickled pink. The emotional associations of blue are more varied than those of most colours. It has among others indicated constancy (true blue), strained with effort or emotion (blue in the face), indecent or obscene (blue movie) and fear or depression (as in blue funk, which in the UK means to be in a state of fear but in the US to be depressed). WorldWideWords

That’s my lot for this week, a cháirde. I’ll be back with more next Saturday an Satharn seo chugainn. In the meantime, please visit Mr. Propagator’s garden blog where you can find many more Six on Saturday articles from around the world, together with details of how to participate if that’s your thing. I hope you have a great week. Slán go fóill.

Pádraig.

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Six-on-Saturday – Seachtain na Gaeilge

I’ve been kept busy caring for my seedlings and I’ve a path worn from the propagator in the utility room to the glasshouse. It was also a week for some good cycling, albeit in circles within my 5km zone.

6th March 2021

Only in Ireland, I’d imagine! We have an annual Irish Week that goes on for a fortnight, in the run up to two special days. Seachtain na Gaeilge is popular among some who like to promote the language, and attempts to convince the general population that they do indeed know more Irish than they think. It runs for the first two weeks of March, preparing us for Saint Patrick’s Day and Mother’s Day. To mark this special week fortnight, my contribution changes to Sé Ar An Satharn.

We’ve had an unusual week here on the SE coast. It’s been very dry, but the temperatures are down a bit because of a light easterly wind combined with almost no sunshine.  I’ve been kept busy caring for my seedlings and I’ve a path worn from the propagator in the utility room to the glasshouse. It was also a week for some good cycling, albeit in circles within my 5km zone, but I do miss the fun of a group. Anyway, enough. What about my choice of Six this week?

My focus this week is very definitely on the past as most of my selection bring back memories of times gone by. I invite you to join with me, in the hope that some of your memories will rise to the surface too.

1. Birthday

I’m celebrating with my daughter who has grown to become a fine young woman. We celebrated her birthday breithlá during the week, not with our traditional restaurant meal, but with a delicious take-away. Back in the day, we made good use of seed trays as furniture. Reading was not just for bedtime. She read to us whenever the opportunity came along. International Women’s Day is on Monday.

2. March 2018

During the first week of March 2018, Ireland and much of Europe experienced extreme cold conditions as the Beast from the East brought the country to as standstill. Here on the South-East coast we rarely get snow sneachta, and any that does come our way does not stay for long. I’m sure you have your very own memories of severe weather events.

As I look at this photograph, I realise how much the garden has changed in just three short years. Correction: two short years and one incredibly long one.

3. Daffodils

Our great neighbour Joe gave us this stone pot many years ago, and for the past few years it’s been on the step near the front door. This part of the garden is in full shade all day, except for an hour or two late on summer evenings. There’s a while tamall to wait yet for that, but in the meantime these delightful daffodils are enough to bring a smile. Once again, the daffodils are in a pot within a pot, so I’ll remove them to the Invisible Place when the blooms fade and I’ll plant something here for the long summer ahead. Have you been given a garden item that holds special memories? Let’s be hearing from you…

4. Heather

There are seven heathers here, planted in 2016. There were nine. I suppose it’s a bit unusual for heathers to die. They seem to be almost everlasting. At one point, a few years ago, I had a notion that they combined together to look like a heart. Nowadays, if I look at them from just a certain angle, they remind me of County Waterford. For those of you familiar with the shape of the county, do consider turning your device rather than doing yourself a neck injury.

I think I am repeating myself, as I have a vague recollection of describing the clump of heather in such a way last year. It’s all this cycling round in circles. Has my head addled, so it has.

5. Glasshouse Thermometer

Last week I purchased cheannaigh mé an inexpensive  accessory for the glasshouse. It’s a bluetooth thermometer. It reads the temperature and sends the data to my phone. I have an alarm set if the temperature drops below 2°C and I am prepared to run quickly and put the fleeces over the seedlings. I’d even jump out of bed, if necessary. The only problem is… that the glasshouse is too far away from my phone, and the bluetooth isn’t sufficiently blue. Therefore, no alarms will ring, no data will transmit and no quick running will be undertaken. Jumping out of bed was never going to happen anyway.

On the positive side, all the data does transmit when I bring the phone to the glasshouse. The data for this week is shown above, and I’m sure I’ll find something interesting if I keep looking for long enough.

  • Week high: 25.8°C
  • Week low: 1.8°C
  • Week average: 8.1°C

I would be very interested in getting a Weather Station, but the cost is putting me off. For the same price I could buy plants or bike parts.

6. Field of Dreams

Ireland is not known as a commercial producer of daffodils. However, in 2017 this field, which is about 5 kilometres away, was planted with bulbs. I’ve noticed them every year since while cycling. This year, my cycling is limited to the exact distance which allows me to cycle past, and on my spin last Wednesday, I stopped for a closer look. Harvesting is now in full swing. Daffodil Day is an annual fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society and Mother’s Day is next week.

Such Amusement

I’m delighted that so many good folk out there take the time to comment on my weekly articles, whether here or on social media. I very much appreciate it. I’m also very amused at the content of some spam comments, usually computer-generated by bots. I think I’d like to meet one of these bots! Here’s one from a few days ago:

Ϝastidiօus replies in return of this query with real arguments and
explaining all about that.

Yep, it’s all happening in bot-land! I discovered that for $38 I could auto-generate eight hundred thousand unique comments per week. Would that be a great way to promote Seachtain na Gaeilge? Perhaps not.

That’s it for this week, a cháirde. Get yourselves over to The Propagator to find many many more weekly gardening stories. Also on Twister and Insta using #sixonsaturday. Probably TikTok too. Until next week, I hope that all will be well in your world. Slán go fóill.

Pádraig.

Six-on-Saturday – Happy Days

There are fourteen mixed Sweet Peas and it’s likely that I’ll have enough space in my garden for five or six only. Therefore, there will be a flash sale in early May. I’ll be looking for a few responsible paid-up members of the West Waterford Sweety Pie Society to offer good homes to my darlings.

20th February, 2021.

Mild weather in Ireland is generally associated with rain, and that’s exactly what we got this week. Temperatures got up to 10°C, and days are lengthening to such an extent that we now have our evening meal in daylight, watching the rain.

I am finally finding it easier to find six items of interest in the garden, as there are a few blooms, adding some colour. Of course Cinnte, not being able to find something of interest has not stopped me before. I simply create interest and magnify it to my satisfaction. My Six this week is a mixture of both.

Daffodil

The first daffodils are in bloom. As much as I like these flowers, I am completely in love with the Irish translation lus-an-chroimchinn, literally translated as Drooping Head Flower. This bunch in the kitchen window-box brightens my day while sitting inside. But spring is not a time for sitting inside, so I’m off to the glasshouse for number two…

Progress

After Tar éis an initial setback, seed-sowing is in full swing. These seedlings have been taken out of the heated propagator and they get plenty light in the glasshouse to allow them to grow well. I did bring them back into the house for a few nights last week because temperatures dipped very low, and I didn’t want a repeat of the earlier debacle. I also have fleece covering that I can put over them and I’ve used it a few times. Daytime temperatures inside the glasshouse are ranging from about 10-15°C, which is definitely enough to allow tender seedlings to thrive. Follow me back inside for some admin updating…

Digital Seed List

Tap or ckick the picture

I have a notebook to record details of seeds sown, but it’s a pain in the neck. It’s never where I want it and is increasingly smudged with damp compost. I’m told that there’s no need for me to be coming back into the house so often.

“When you’re out, can’t you stay out?”

In an attempt to see how I might improve matters, I created an online version of the same thing. Having used it for a number of weeks, I’m converted. I mean I’m actually converted to digital record-keeping. I’m in the habit of having my phone with me at all times so it’s easy peasy to update. Here’s the link, and for anyone wanting to find it at a later date it’s in the MENU on the homepage. On second thoughts, I’m wondering why you might want to find it. Next, I’m back outside again for number four…

A Mystery

I bought three cloches last month. Unfortunately, delivery from Thompson & Morgan to Ireland Éire was not available so I had them sent to my AddressPal address, in the knowledge that they would be forwarded to me. But it was not to be. They have arrived safely at AddressPal HQ, but I’m told they exceed the 20kg weight limit. I can see from my order that the package of three weighs 8.7kg. Either someone failed basic maths or Brexit is having a wobble, but these cloches are now in limbo somewhere. I’ve failed to find out how I can progress the issue, and I think they may die a lonely unfulfilled death on a shelf somewhere.

Therefore, when I spotted this lovely pair at my local garden centre, I did not hesitate. They fitted nicely in the back seat of the car, but if they had offered me free delivery, I’d have refused in a flash!

I have them in place to warm the soil for a few weeks cúpla seachtain. That will allow me to start sowing my lettuce, scallions and other vegetables a bit earlier. Happy days!

Abundance

Not far away from the new cloches, the lettuce in the glasshouse is thriving…

There’s still plenty lettuce to be had. This one is particularly tasty and I’ll be hoping there’s enough to keep me green until the little seedlings to the left are full grown. After that, I’ll surely have the first outdoor crop ready to be chomped with some Caesar Salad Dressing. Happy days again!

Sweet Pea Sweety Pie

Let’s just stay in the glasshouse for my final choice this week. It’s a very cozy 14°C (Friday at 2pm). These Sweet Peas were sown back in Autumn, and I’ve kept a close eye on them ever since. I wrote a short article about them recently, and now here they are again, accelerating upwards at a fierce rate.

These plants are very unusual for two reasons. Firstly, they are the only seeds this year that were selected by my good wife. She liked the old-fashioned varieties, and bought two packets for me to grow. Secondly, as they had been displayed publicly, one plant has been reserved by my fellow SOSer, Cady. Commandeered, more like it! Honest to god, two women on the trail of my beautifully-grown sweet peas! I can see trouble down the road.

I have fourteen ceathar déag mixed Sweet Peas and it’s likely that I’ll have enough space in my garden for five or six only. Therefore, there will be a flash sale free offering in early May. I’ll be looking for a few responsible paid-up members of the West Waterford Sweety Pie Society to offer good homes to my darlings.

Speaking of which and entirely unconnected, who remembers The Darling Buds of May? I remember it well, and Catherine Zeta Jones too.

In Other News… Perseverance

NASA successfully landed the Perseverance rover on Mars just before 9pm Irish time on Thursday. Part of its mission is to look for fossils in what is thought to have been a lake 3.7 billion years ago. That’s a lot of years. Who knows what will be here in my garden 3.7 billion years from now? A lake perhaps? On the off-chance that the Martians come looking, I’d like it to be known that it’s my garden so I’m going to bury a few of the Sweet Pea seeds, with a URL link to this article. Happy days!

I took the opportunity to send a Tweet with a special request. It just so happened that my Head Gardener asked me why was I smirking to myself? So, as you do, I told the truth. Well, let me tell you that when she laughs uncontrollably it’s a sight to behold!

Six-on-Saturday: Who are we?

We are a group of gardeners who write. We write about six items in our gardens, and we do it on Saturdays. I’ve been doing this since last June and I enjoy nothing more than reading about and seeing other gardens from as far away as New Zealand, Tasmania, USA, Canada, Britain and Waterford City. Lest we forget, hundreds more choose to publish on Twitter and Instagram. You can find out more about it here. Six things, in your garden. Could be anything, and frequently is. Do join in.

Sin a bhfuil uaimse don seachtain seo. I’ll be back again next week with another Six-on-Saturday. Thank you for reading. Have a good week. Stay safe. Slán go fóill.

Pádraig.

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Just Three Things

Wedneday, 28th January 2021

Here we go again with my formerly-regular Just Three Things. In case you’re unfamiliar with this, I write regularly about my early morning wander down the garden, noticing three things of interest and three jobs that need to be tackled.

I was booted up shortly before 9am, yet the weather was so mild that a shirt and light jumper was enough. There was a very heavy fog and, obviously, no wind at all.

One

I pruned the roses gently last November, gave them a full hard cut about ten days ago, and spread fertiliser around them. It will be washed in slowly over the coming weeks to feed them. Already, there’s some new growth. Spring is on the way!

Two

Last autumn I planted lots of daffodils in pots, and in this case I planted three pots into this larger pot. Hoping to restrict weed growth, I topped it off with a light layer of sand. What I didn’t expect was that birds would start using this for their regular sand-bath! In an attempt to stop them, I put in some bamboo sticks but they simply bathe in between the obstacles.

Three

Floating on top of the barrel today is this detached leaf from a sweet-pea plant. There are seven of them growing well in the glasshouse, grown from seed last October. I pinched them about a week ago and placed the trimmings on to the compost heap. So, something moved it here. A bird or a gust of wind, perhaps. Remarkably, floating perfectly on the leaf is a water droplet. I love it!

Jobs To Be Tackled

  • The patio needs to be powerwashed. This is generally a job that takes several hours, but I think I’ll break it up into sections, starting near the kitchen window.
  • Gladiolus bulbs need to be planted somewhere. Last summer I had them in pots, but they’re going into the ground this year.
  • The large dahlia near the rotary clothes line is to be moved. I’ve got a large pot set aside.

The garden is coming to life again, so I’d imagine that in the weeks ahead there will be many more things happening, and of course that also means many more jobs to be done. Exciting times! February is just around the corner.

Finally, as times are difficult, I’m including this uplifting image I saw today.

Credit: Power of Positivity.

Pádraig.

Daffodil Day

Sit with yourself: Do nothing, breathe and watch yourself.
After a while, you will feel a positive change inside.

Monday, 14th September 2020.

I hate having to repot the twenty-two pots of daffodils, but I’m glad I made a start. The new compost is magnificent, and these lovely daffs will thrive. I placed a can of Guinness just for effect, and will enjoy it with another when half the job is done. Will finish tomorrow and place them in sheltered corner until November. The daffodils, that is… The Guinness cans will be recycled promptly.

Composting Success

I started a proper compost heap last year and constructed it so that there is plenty air circulating. Today, I uncovered it to find that it truly is Black Gold. It is light, crumbly and with a great balance of materials. A few bucketfuls spread on an unused section of the raised vegetable bed allowed me to proceed with the repotting very easily. Ill be able to spread the rest of the heap along both beds later in the autumn.

Guinness is good for you me… Sláinte.

I Have A Plan

The plan is to move one third of them (yes, daffodils) to the patio area in early November, and the rest over the following few weeks. By doing that, I hope to stagger the blooms over a longer time in late winter and through the spring. Let’s see how it works out…

There’s a look back to this week in 2018: Cheering Up My Monday: Shaggy Ink Cap

Finally (Faoi Dheireadh)

This is my garden blog, but because I own it, I can bend the rules. I’m bending rule 27a right now by including a rewiew of last Saturday’s 160km cycling in Kerry/Cork. I reiterate my primary motivation for writing is to enable me to look back on stuff in 2050. Gardeners may opt to read it or otherwise. Gardener cyclists may be a bit more keen.

Tour de Beara 160km

Tour de Beara from Kenmare. Mighty weather and great cycling for 165km. Kenmare is renowned for quality restaurants and it did not disappoint. @no35kenmare. Great accommodation with luxurious breakfast at The Twelve Oaks. @the_twelve_oaks_kenmare. Thank you Ann Marie.

Top of Healy Pass the second time.

Report from the captain: Nine cyclists from Group 4 took on the challenge of the Tour De Beara. Even though the event itself was cancelled we had a great welcome from the people of west Cork and Kerry. The weather conditions were perfect as we set off from Kenmare on a calm Saturday morning at a steady pace. Up and over the Healy Pass and onto Castletownbere for the first coffee stop. We then headed to Allihies and followed the very steep and challenging coast road to Eyeries.

Once completed all were ready for the lunch stop in Ardgroom. Harrington’s the local shop, post office and resturant provided a fine spread of soup and sambos which were very welcome at this point. Reenergised after the break we headed for Lauragh to take on the Healy Pass for the second time, a bit more difficult due to a headwind. All safely over, we headed to Glengarriff and after a slow drag some record speeds were recorded with the wind on our back on the descent to Glengarriff. A brief stop to refuel for the last climb over the Caha pass and back to Kenmare. 160Km done, a first for the some in the group with 2,200m climbing. Well done to all a great achievement and teamwork on the day.

Check it out on Instagram. Non cyclists are excused.

Pádraig.

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Let Spring Begin

Let spring begin! These small daffodils are called tete-à-tete. Standing at just 15cm, they are not prone to breaking in strong wind. I will have many more of these over the coming weeks. These ones have been growing well for the past few years. I simply put the container away in a shaded corner after flowering and forget about it.


January You Are Welcome

3rd January 2017.

I missed out on my semi-regular “Cheering up My Monday” feature yesterday. I had a lot on, so the camera didn’t appear until mid-morning today, and after a late-night session at my favourite Lady Belle in Dungarvan, there was a noticeable shake. I did succeed in getting some decent shots during my short walkabout. So, instead of Cheering up My Monday, here’s my Throbbing Tuesday update.

Three things I noticed:

  • The ornamental butterfly seems to be flying on one wing. Perhaps she’s had a rough time of it over Christmas. The front left spring has failed, and the suspension is askew. This little girl will require some TLC to bring her hack to some sort of equilibrium. A bit like myself today, really.
Droopy wing syndrome
  • My garden here in Dungarvan is directly beneath the main flight-path connecting North America with London and other major Western Europe airports including Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt and Knock. Today, as a result of clear skies and cool temperatures, the contrails were all over the place.
Noughts-and-crosses at 35,000 feet
  • We decorated the bare apple tree with Christmas baubles for the first time. They look great, and apart from a severe buffeting last week during Storm Barbara, they still retain their shine. I noticed when taking this shot, that the reflection of the photographer clad in lycra (me!), was faintly visible. (Perfect recipe for any viewers who are into men in lycra to zoom in for post-Christmas titillation!)

At A Plant Level

  • The sprouts were delicious. This year, as a first, we cooked them according to a very tasty recipe.
  1. 2 rashers, diced
  2. 1 red onion
  3. lots of home-grown sprouts
Cook the sprouts in boiling water for six minutes. Meanwhile, fry the rashers and onion in oil. When sprouts are cooked, drain and then mix with rashers and onions on the pan for thirty seconds.
This was delicious with lamb, potatoes and roast vegetables (sweet potato, carrots, peppers, baby tomatoes)
Brussels sprouts “Roodnerf”
  • I planted two pots of the lovely daffodil Ziva during the Autumn. One had been inside over Christmas, and the other outside. I will swap them today, as the indoor heat means that this lovely flower struggles. Regular swapping every five days is the answer.
Narcissus Ziva
Callicarpa Beauty Berry

Made Me Smile

It’s always good to have a bit of a laugh, and this got me going today. Thanks to unknown welly expert for perceptiveness.
That’s it for today. I hope you all have a really good year ahead.

Happy gardening,
Pádraig.

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