The Gardener

We were rightly chuffed when Rosie mentioned us on her lovely blog. We’ve never been mentioned on a blog before. Perhaps we’ll be famous little robins?

Recently, we’ve been watching the comings and goings. There’s a gardener near our nest in the shed. We wouldn’t have started the nest if it were not possible to get in and out when the door is closed, but fortunately there’s a small gap above. Perhaps he put it there deliberately for us? In that case, thank you kind gardener!

We have met him several times. We’d be off getting a bit of moss or perhaps some light twigs and there he’d be, walking in or out, usually head down. For a few weeks, we were able to keep the location the nest from him, but we saw him zoom in last week as we watched from a distance. He knows that we’ve settled in between two plastic crates on a middle shelf. The gap is quite small, yet we’ve been diligent to have all materials installed. He seems content just knowing the exact Eircode. As far as we know, he has not told the cat. Mr. Robin says he can be trusted.

As we potter away at various tasks, we regularly see him in the glasshouse or potting up in the shed, watching us from a distance. Two can play that game! We greet one another with our trademark calls.

At this point, we know he’s not a threat. He sat inside drinking coffee on Monday. The chair is about a two feet to the right of our nest entrance. We moved quickly from glasshouse outside to a pot inside, waited a few seconds there and darted in home close by. He saw us, but seemed more nterested in the coffee.

Having a gardener to follow around is very exciting, particularly if digging is involved. It’s part and parcel of life here.

So, we have some questions… six, actually.

  • Do the male and female gardeners nest together? That would be nice.
  • When will baby gardeners arrive?
  • How many?
  • Why does he seem to tolerate these thuggish local cats?
  • Is there anything we should be doing to get him to change? We heard the lady gardener mentioning this too.
  • He digs the soil but doesn’t like worms or other grubs. We don’t understand. Can anyone explain? And another thing… we fail to see why coffee is so important.

Below are a few selfies…

The Irish word is spideóg. We like it.

Here’s one painted by the gardener’s baby. Last week, we noted that Eileen and The Shrub Queen had high praise for the work of the artist. We are inclined to agree. Also, we were rightly chuffed when Rosie mentioned us on her lovely blog. We’ve never been mentioned on a blog before (well, just once actually)… perhaps we’ll be famous little robins? We’ll be sure to tell the whole story to the little ones when they arrive.


That’s it for this week, a cháirde. Until next week, we hope that all will be well in your world. Slán go fóill. If you’d like to read many other Six-on-Saturday updates, just head over to Jon The Propagator‘s blog. You’ll find links in the comments section beneath the Saturday updates.

The Robins in the Shed.

Robin Redbreast

As I potter away at various tasks, I regularly see her perched on the ridge of the glasshouse, watching me from a distance.

Recently, I’ve been watching the comings and goings. There’s a robin nesting in the shed. She wouldn’t have started the nest if it were not possible to get in and out when the door is closed, but fortunately there’s a small gap above.

Tá nead spideóige sa sead. Le déanaí, choimeád mé súil ar gach uile chor dár chuir sí di. Ní bheadh sí in ann tosú murab fhéidir léi dul isteach agus amach fad is atá an doras dúnta, ach ar an dea-uair tá bearna beag ós cionn.

I have met her several times. I’d be getting a shovel or perhaps some compost and there she’d be, flitting in or out past me. For a few weeks, I was unable to locate the nest, but I saw her fly in last week and I stood watch from a distance. She’s settled in between two plastic crates on a middle shelf. The gap is quite small, yet all materials have been installed diligently. At least B2 rating, I’d imagine.

As I potter away at various tasks, I regularly see her perched on the ridge of the glasshouse, watching me from a distance. Two can play that game! We greet one another with our trademark calls.

At this point, she knows I am not a threat. I sat inside drinking coffee on Monday. The chair is about a two feet to the right of the nest entrance. She moved quickly from glasshouse outside to a pot inside, waited a few seconds there and darted in home close by.

Having a robin follow me around is nothing unusual, particularly if digging is involved. It’s part and parcel of gardening here.

So, I have some questions… six, actually.

  • Do the male and female robin nest together? That would be nice.
  • When will eggs be laid?
  • How many eggs?
  • When can I expect them to hatch?
  • Rather than keeping the door closed at all times, how could I keep a local cat away?
  • Is there anything I should be doing to help? More importantly, is there anything I shouldn’t be doing?

Photographs above are not mine. These are freelance robins, supplied by WordPress.

Below are a few of my own photographs…

The Irish word for a Robin is spideóg.

Here’s one painted by my daughter…


In other news, I see that the US Senate as voted to do away with Winter Time. If approved by the House of Representatives, the clocks will no longer go back and forward from next year. Only a matter of time (fun intended!) before Ireland follows. I think it’d be good. On t’other hand, lord save us and guard us, there’s bigger things that need to be sorted.

For clarification, clocks will go forward. It’s the way clocks always go. Every hour of every day, unless, of course you’ve got a retirement clock like mine. Mind you, I’d not want to go backwards either!


That’s it for this week, a cháirde. Until next week, I hope that all will be well in your world. Slán go fóill. If you’d like to read many other Six-on-Saturday updates, just head over to Jon The Propagator‘s blog. You’ll find links in the comments section beneath the Saturday updates.

Pádraig.

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.