Six-on-Saturday – Thinking Ahead

It’s still going strong! Gaura has been in flower since early July and I love it!

11th September 2021.

Thinking is hard work and thinking ahead is the hardest. In any case, while enjoying this week’s selection, I’m making mental notes. I’ll allow just a small thinking-window. I’ll call it a by-product of the moment. There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so. William would have approved.

I do like my salad greens and I mostly remember to repeat sow them the first week of each month. Several varieties of lettuce, spring onions and spinach are at various stages of growth. I’m rarely without something to nibble on.

These ones were sown a few weeks ago, but the blackbirds have been doing damage. It’s like Fort Knox, but they will not be deterred. The beautiful crumbly new compost is just filled with tasty morsels. How can I solve the problem? These intelligent birds are known to move bamboo. They’re thinking on their feet. I’ll have to buy another thinking cap.

I’m thinking ahead to finishing this bare wall next summer. There will be trellis and mirrors. I feel that it’ll happen in spring. As yet I’m undecided about what to grow on the trellis. Jasmine perhaps? I’m taking recommendations. It’s a great way to sub-contract out the thinking.

It’s still going strong! Gaura has been in flower since early July and I love it! I’m told it’s one of the longest-flowering plants so I do expect it to keep on going for another month or thereabouts. It does tend to lean over after heavy rain, but recovers beautifully soon after. I’ve moved it slightly from its original spot. Now it’s just behind the Lobelia Cardinalis. What a combination! I’ll definitely be growing more of the Gaura from seed, and it’ll soon be time to divide the Lobelia. I’ve got three in pots, bought in 2019. I’ll separate them into six plants and put three in the ground. Thinking ahead. Wasn’t too taxing.

Having bought a 10-pack of Busy Lizzie, I’m thrilled with the outcome of my efforts this year. I’m told that the secret is to grow them in semi-shade. There are a few smaller ones growing on top of the rockery. They’re smaller because they’re competing with shrubs, and also because the soil there is a bit too dry. However, I don’t really mind. The entire corner has been a highlight of the many successes this year. I’ll not be using my new thinking cap here. It’s a mistake to overthink what’s already working well.

The glasshouse is back to its shelved state. I had removed everything in a failed attempt to grow tomatoes. Now I’m ready for autumn/winter. I’ll continue to sow some salad greens. Later, when the first frosts arrive, the Begonias will be brought inside, together with other delicate potted perennials. It’s also a good spot for coffee on cold winter days, and some thinking might happen too.

French Marigilds are still growing very well. I’ve saved some seed and am letting them dry out in the sunshine. Later, I’ll store them away safely. I’m thinking that these brightly-coloured flowers would do very well in my swap-pots next year.

I’ll have several thousand of these seeds left over. Local enthusiasts will be more than welcome to come along and collect same. My guess is that there will be several hundred for everyone in the audience. Best between now and end of this month, I’d imagine. Pick and dry your own. Much more satisfying that way.


I write as a member of The Saturday Gang. We are a group of gardeners who write. We write about six items in our gardens, and we do it on Saturdays. 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. Many 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.


This Time Last Year

Here’s the full article: Dibbers And Pringles

Pádraig.

Six-on-Saturday – Set Them Free

I’m delighted that I was able to grow so many plants since the last week of January. Now it’s time to set them free.

15th May 2021.

The great water tap in the sky was turned on last Sunday, and someone forgot to turn it off. Yes, it has been warmer and there has been plenty sunshine, but overall it has been a week of very heavy showers. The sunshine, warmth and all the heavy showers were badly needed, and I am thankful for the bounty. The combination of all three are nature’s magic miracle and everything is renewed.

With that, let’s move to the happy task of selecting six bits & bobs from the garden. It’s been a topsy-turvy week for me and that’s reflected, as there’s in and out, up and down activity. Effectively, I’m over the place.

Too Hot

The glasshouse is EMPTY folamh with the exception of three flourishing tomato plants, a languishing cucumber and three hanging baskets of strawberries. The baskets are not hanging, so I’ll just call them baskets. Each one sits comfortably on an upturned pot on the shelf, and they will have it all to themselves through the summer. The begonias went out, as did the annuals. Most of the marigolds, petunias and nasturtiums have been planted, while some smaller seedlings of aster and zinnia are outside but not yet planted. In the event of harsh nights, it’ll be no trouble to shelter them inside. I am well on top of things.

The daytime temperatures inside were just too hot, and it was proving very difficult deacair to keep pots and plants watered properly. I’m delighted that I was able to grow so many plants since the last week of January. Now it’s time to set them free. Amid several days of planting out, I sat in the warmth of the glasshouse and admired the emptiness. There was some nodding off and reportedly some very light snoring. I also took time to sit outside. It’s what a garden is for.

In & Out

The begonias are a lot of work obair I’m not sure am I watering them too much or not enough. These two are well on their way but many more are barely sprouted. I suppose I could remind myself that each small corm contains so much stored energy that when they get going there’s no stopping them.

Any keen observer will notice that these begonias are inside. For clarification, they were inside and now they’re not. They’ve been set free. I don’t remember Ní cuimhin liom when they went out last year. It’s very unusual for me not to remember important things such as wedding dates, vaccine appointments or when the begonias went out last year.

Silver Queen

I’ve selected this Silver Queen today to commemorate the wedding of my niece Jenny to Daire next Thursday. We wish you health, happiness and the contentment of old age together. May your Begonias thrive and your cuttings multiply!

Euonymus Silver Queen is fast becoming one of my favourite plants. It is interesting all year round and takes pride of place in my Packed Patio arrangement, so much so that I’m at a loss that it hasn’t been featured before. As Victor frequently said so emphatically: “I don’t believe it!”

I have taken six cuttings from this and all are growing, albeit still only small. I think this parent plant or one of the cuttings would look well on the sunny rockery, so perhaps it’ll happen in the autumn.

Up High

I moved into selective-deaf mode as Marion pleaded with me.

“Come down, before you fall down”, she says,

but I was too high up to hear clearly.

Really, it’s a small garden: 80 feet long by 30 wide. However, there’s a lot happining. This picture, taken from upstairs thuas staighre, following Twister-like contortions to get myself out a window smaller than myself, clearly shows that I’d be well within my rights to demolish The Craft Room on the left, but allowances must be made. We call this The Seomra, and Marion spends as much time there as I do in the garden. Having different hobbies is a wonderful thing, so on that basis, I wouldn’t dare interfere.

This week’s holiday voucher for a weekend away in Aglish is very attractive. You’ll just need to answer one simple question. Did I climb wriggle out the upstairs window before the emptying of the glasshouse? In the event of multiple correct answers please guess the time.

Down Low

Ground Ivy isn’t really an ivy at all. At least, I don’t think so. It’s in the same category as hanging baskets that aren’t hanging. It dies back during the winter but returns every year, and looks good hanging over the edge of pots. It’s also nice planted in among annuals. The official name is Nepata hederacea glechoma. I wouldn’t grow this in the ground as it is known to become invasive.

Near & Far

I really must do something about that bare wall. I’d be very tempted to hide it behind a wooden fence similar to the other side, but I’ve a feeling that it would make the garden feel narrower than it already is. Perhaps an open trellis with some suitable climbing plants? Perhaps a painted mural or a large mirror? I’ll let it be for the moment, but if anyone has any ideas, please pop a note in the suggestion box. No vouchers or prizes.

Other than that, I’m pleased sásta with what’s going on here. The lovely Aurinia Saxitalis is still very striking and I’ve plans to put another one towards the far end. The Iberis, so beautiful a month ago, is fading. In fact, a close inspection shows something interesting. In line with a former tactic of mine when I was a teacher, I’ll say no more.

Sin a bhfuil uaimse don seachtain seo. I’ll be back again next week with another Six-on-Saturday. Thank you for reading, and to Jon for getting us all together every week. Have a good week. Stay safe. Slán go fóill.

Pádraig

About the author: Pádraig is the author of Grow Write Repeat. He photographs and writes about his garden in Ireland. He loves Twister, aerial photography and begonias. He also likes a long weekend away, but not in Aglish.

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Six-on-Saturday – Malus April Dolan

Aurinia was formerly known as Alyssum. Taxonomists recently moved it to a new family. I don’t know what it is they know that prompted the poor thing to be expelled and re-classified, but when I discovered this trickery on Tuesday, I was moved to investigate further.

24th April, 2021.

It’s been a week of two halves. Initially, the first half lasted two days, while the second was longer. That’s the way with halves. Never the same. Dull and foggy, followed by bright sunshine and fresh easterly breezes. I made great headway in emptying out the glasshouse, got my spuds and tomatoes planted and enjoyed more cycling in one week than the entire month of March. Nights are still cool, so I’m ever watchful of the many tender plants outside, but I’m moving safely towards last frost date.

Here we go again for the last Saturday of April. Read along for a bit of fun, a small amount of useless information, some nostalgia and preparations for an upcoming world event.

1. Aurinia Gold Ball

This week one of my two Aurinia Gold Ball rockery plants is in bloom. Notice how I phrased that very carefully. Interestingly, there’s a second one that is way behind and not likely to get to this stage for another month or so. It would be very unusual, but not unheard of, to encounter one of the two Gold Ball rockery plants way behind. I wonder why is this? I wrote about this five years ago, explaining how the process of flowering and setting seed works. I think I should put a disclaimer with it, stating that all opinions are my own. I may be talking through my hat.

I’ll do two things as soon as flowering has finished. Firstly, I’ll trim the plant back very carefully with my sharp new secateurs, all the while adhering to the new Safe Thumb Positioning Policy. Secondly, to contradict above, I’ll leave one corner untouched in order to allow seeds to ripen. It’ll be somewhat like a number two haircut with a bobble. The seeds will be collected, dried and grown in the Autumn. I believe it’s also possible to propagate Aurinia from softwood cuttings taken in May. Therefore, I’ll use some of the trimmings to make more. Double-jobbing.

Aurinia was formerly known as Alyssum. Taxonomists recently moved it to a new family. I don’t know what it is they know that prompted the poor thing to be expelled and re-classified, so when I discovered this trickery on Tuesday, I was moved to investigate further. I read lots of information that is quite useless to me, but I’m happy to note that the plant is not liked by deer. I can now safely take down garden walls on all sides.

2. Gone To Pot

Fifty plastic pots arrived from Dublin last week. Each one had contained a rose, and the pots were offered free of charge. My friend collected them for me and now they are filled with Dahlias and Begonias. I have removed the top shelf to fit these bigger containers. I’ll be planting some of my tomatoes inside as soon as I’ve got a chance to remove all the shelving from the other side.

Hey presto, voilà! I’ve managed to move seed trays and plants to the other side and the shelves have been removed. The shelving will be used on the patio. To improve drainage I’ll put all the summer pots on them, rather than directly on the ground. The tomatoes and cucumber are in their final summer position, and I await an early crop this year. I have some tumbling tomatoes that will go in pots outside, but that will wait for a further week or two.

Someone mentioned recently that it’s like musical chairs, all this moving things around from month to month. That’s exactly what is necessary in a very small space.

3. Not Very Interesting At All

Here’s a close up of a pot containing a dahlia.  Of course, the dahlia cannot be seen so you’ll just have to take my word for it. Not very interesting, you say? I agree, not very interesting.

I inserted a few twigs of fuchsia to deter birds from enjoying a dust bath. The twigs were cut last Autumn and kept for this purpose, but guess what happened? When inserted in soil, the twig that was cut almost six months ago has sprouted! Surely, you’ll agree that’s interesting? This was not meant to happen!

4. Bluebells

This photograph does not do justice to the beauty of the bluebells. They were not my choice for planting back in 2016, but they’re growing on me. They are definitely worth a short paragraph.

5. Crab Apple Blossom

About ten years ago I gave a budding cyclist my second bike for a few months. She had joined our local cycling club and was studying for her Leaving Certificate exams if I am not mistaken. Towards the end of that summer she returned the bike, together with a gift of this apple tree. I wonder how did she know that I was into gardening, and I wonder did she know that I might be writing about the episode a decade later? Therefore, continuing my policy of renaming plants whose real name is unknown to me, I hereby christen this lovely tree Malus April Dolan. Dolan was the make of the bike, red and much loved. Many years later, as I moved along up the bike ladder to a much-more-loved bike, I gave Dolan to my cousin, and it continued to ride the roads of West Waterford until very recently. During my time in the saddle, its career highlight was the ascent of Alpe d’Huez in July 2006. We did not set any time records, Dolan and I. Later the same day I crashed and broke my little finger lúidín, caused by an over-zealous Frenchman. Right hand, same as last week. I could do up an injury CV, so I could.

The tree has matured to give me much pleasure and summer shade. I did think that the night frosts of the last two weeks would damage the emerging blossom, but it seems to have come through the hardship with flying colours. A bit of hardship is character-building.

I’ve decorated it betimes with Christmas baubles, and resolved to broaden my decorating skills this year. The broken belt buckle is significant in this regard. I’m informed that next Saturday is World Naked Gardening Day and I’ll be putting my best foot forward. I shall not name my two informants.

6. Broad Beans Again

There are over two dozen broad bean plants growing well on the vegetable bed at the back of the garden. Some were sown last autumn, while others are spring babies. As you’ve probably guessed, this one is from Autumn and I’ve potted it and put it among my patio plants. You could say that it’s a put-pot-patio-plant. I keep thinking that the flowers are eyes looking at me. I’m thinking it would be best to throw a blanket over them next weekend!

Sin a bhfuil uaimse don seachtain seo. I’ll be back again next week with another Six-on-Saturday. Thank you for reading, and to Jon for getting us all together every week. Have a good week. Slán go fóill.

Pádraig.

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 – 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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Sweet Pea Special

Tuesday, 9th February 2021.

If this were a video, you’d hear me saying something like: “How are your Sweet Peas?”

You like the fragrance of sweet peas? These beauties will be ready to overwhelm by early May, a full six weeks earlier than usual. How so, you ask? These were sown in the glasshouse last October.

I’ll be doing a Sweet Pea Special this week and I’ll update here with a special link. On Friday, most likely. Those of you, fellow gardeners, who have already signed up, will get an automatic notification. Special!

You might also hear me saying… Do you call it a glasshouse or a greenhouse?

And finally, the Honours Level quiz question this week: What on earth are the two green yokes left and right?

Pádraig.

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Dahlia Delight

February 1st 2021.

Generally regarded as the first day of spring here in Ireland, the 1st of February is the feast of Saint Brigid. I’m not much of a fella for saints, but by all accounts she was a kind helpful woman. Truth is that she lived in pre-Christian times and was regarded very highly as a goddess. Later, the church took her under its wing and elevated her to sainthood. Seems like they invented a few miracles along the way. Folklore became Christianised. As I pottered in the glasshouse this morning, I wondered if she had a garden or grew seeds.

Here’s the link to my YouTube channel.

Pádraig.

Cheering Up My Monday And Just Three Things

Monday, 5th October 2020.

It’s Monday and I’m cheering myself up again. Cheering Up my Monday is self-explanatory. Simply put, it’s three things I’ve noticed today and three things that need doing.

I’m delighted with my forward planning project which is almost complete. At present I have about 60 seed packets, many of which will be started in the heated propagator in the New Year and then transferred to the glasshouse to grow on. Last year I simply did not have enough space. With this in mind, I made a start last week to put in more shelving and the job is almost complete. Three shelves are finished and the final one will be finished when the extra timber arrives. I’m very happy with the outcome, so much so that I have decided to put an extra shelf on the other side too.

Nearly there.

I sat down on the bockety glasshouse chair to admire my work, only to find that my extra weight damaged the fabric. I did try to effect emergency repairs by tightening the screws but they did not hold. Plan B, therefore, and the seat is now comfortable and safe. Cable ties are great for tying stuff, but it’s a first for me to use them in such a situation.

Emergency repair.
Satisfaction.

It’s raining outside and the wind is whipping up. Tá gaoth láidir amuigh. So I’m sheltering inside and admiring my handiwork.

That smug look.

That’s enough work for the moment. What three things (just three) did I notice today, and what else did I see that needs doing?

Three Things I Noticed

  1. The rotary clothes line is leaning because of prevailing wind.
  2. The Avocado stone that rooted in the compost heap is nearly 30cm tall!
  3. Several of the Begonias are still in flower. I’ve dumped the ones I don’t like.

Three Things To Be Prioritised

  1. Finish the top shelf.
  2. Sow the next batch of organic winter lettuce.
  3. Put my feet up, on the new shelving. I shall upgrade this to top priority.
Feet up.

Pádraig.

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Tomato Workaround

Thursday, 1st October 2020.

It’s October already. Seize the moment, my friends. Yesterday I figured out that because of all the seed packets I ordered, I’d need more shelving. Without further ado I ordered blocks and timber, and both were delivered a few hours later.

The tomatoes are still producing, so I needed to build around them, and I’m almost finished. There’s another shelf to be constructed tomorrow. Seven tomatoes needed to be eaten during the construction process. All the seeds to be grown here between now and spring will be very cozy!

Here’s the video from YouTube

Never Enough Shelving

I’m participating in an Instagram challenge called My Garden This Month. The idea is to post something each day according to a given prompt. The link is here. If you’re an IG user, do consider joining in using the hashtag #mygardenthismonth

Storm Alex is arriving from France over the weekend. I am reminded of my reaction in October 2018. The scouts taught me to “Bí Ullamh”. In the case of this one, it may not be severe as Met Éireann have issued no weather warnings. That could change.

Pádraig.

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Killing Two Birds

Tuesday, 8th September 2020.

As a bald man, I’ve skinned my head badly on a regular basis when entering the glasshouse. The sharp lintel is just a wee bit too low and there’s a very slight lip at ground level so I’ve had a tendency to look down to avoid tripping. I’ve cut my head so many times down through the blianta.

Furthermore, the overhead glass triangle broke a few years ago. I had patched it with hardboard but it became warped and weather-damaged. De facto, in reverse: weather-damaged and warped. Yesterday, I killed two birds with one drill.

Firstly, I replaced the hardboard. Easy peasy. Secondly, I drilled a few holes and inserted three drop down alarms using plastic string, and knotted them for effect. Environmentalists will cringe.

Problems solved. After breakfast, I’m off to the safe glasshouse zone to check on new seeds sown last weekend. I’ve got pot marigold, lettuce and Sweet Pea. Clearly, the tomatoes are unwilling to ripen and I may remove them. It’s really sad, but sin mar atá.

Pádraig.

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