In The Garden – August Week 3

What is catching my eye at the moment? Well, for sure, the dahlias and begonias stand out, but my plant of the week is Rudbeckia.

Sunday, 22nd August 2021.

Monday: nada. Just a quick look around but not a finger was lifted. Plants arrived by courier and I left them in the shed.

Tuesday: I had planted vegetables in fresh loose compost and the blackbirds went digging for dinner. I had to put a stop to it by putting bamboo canes and other temporary obstacles in the way. That was as much as I was willing to do.

Wednesday: a busy day with my mam, and a date night so there wasn’t much time in between. Several walks down and up, over and across. I did notice two tiny mushrooms and a flower that wouldn’t give up! It’s rooted in a pot behind this pot.

Thursday: again, a big nothing, not even time to admire. That’s sad, but normal service will resume soon.

Friday: heavy rain all day. Very heavy.

Saturday: I was cycling all day, pretty much. After a long bath I sat in the glasshouse for an hour drinking my recovery electrolytes and surveying my patch.

Sunday: again, there was no time for gardening. However, the entire week brought home to me that August is not a time for gardening. I did get some time to sit, relax and recover from my bike exertions. 814km in 11 days. Tomorrow there will be more sitting and relaxing.

What is catching my eye at the moment? Well, for sure, the dahlias and begonias stand out, but my plant of the week is Rudbeckia. There are several that just bring a smile to my face.

How was it for you?

Until next week,

Pádraig.

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Hamlet Cigar & A Shocking Discovery

The fairy door has moved AGAIN. It had been behind the Alchemilla for the last few weeks, but the little devils relocated overnight.

There was a time when happiness was a cigar called Hamlet, until TV tobacco advertising was banned. How times have changed! In my case, I did enjoy a cigar every once in a while and yes, it was a Hamlet. Nowadays, other things do the trick very nicely.
I could write a book about the little things in my garden that help the happiness bug, and if I were to pick just one it would be my daily five-minute pre-breakfast garden inspection. I’ve written about it just this week.

“Fairy’s Live Here”

So what caught my eye today? I made a shocking discovery! The fairy door has moved AGAIN. It had been behind the Alchemilla for the last few weeks, but the little devils relocated overnight. Worryingly, they are nearer the house behind a large stone. I dare not get too close, and they will wreak havoc if I tread on their invisible meandering pathways. My boiled egg will be rotten, my bike punctured or the bindweed will return.

Unrelated to the Irish wee folk, I came upon this from Marcel Proust:

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

I have enough people in my life who make me happy, and I am grateful every day.

Finally, I return to the fairies and include here one of my brother’s favourite school poems by William Allingham. I have omitted the two verses not traditionally known as they are a bit offside.

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl’s feather!

Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watchdogs,
All night awake.

By the craggy hillside,
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn trees
For my pleasure, here and there.
Is any man so daring
As dig them up in spite,
He shall find their sharpest thorns
In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl’s feather.

Pádraig,

Thursday, 2nd July 2020.

Sorbus Acuparia

I hope to care for these lovely trees for quite a while, and leave it to someone else to sit in their shade some fine day long in the future. He or she might even write about it.

27th May 2020.

Last week my local garden centre opened for the first time since late March, and I was anxious to join the queue. I bought two trees, and managed to get them home safely in the little Toyota. They are both Sorbus apucaria, commonly known as Rowan or Mountain Ash. One is planted to break the view of the gable end of Marion’s “Seomra”. It’s not a good time to plant a tree, but I will watch it very carefully to give it the care it will need until winter. The following two days gave the tree its first test. There was a Met Éireann Wind Warning in place and it proved to be remarkably accurate. The tree was buffeted over the entire two days, but survived. I had staked it correctly, yet I was amazed to notice that even though the tree was being blown to about 45 degrees, it was not damaged. I am reminded of how strong human beings can be when they are being tested by traumatic life events. What gives us this strength? In some cases, it may be in the genes, but I would think that much of our inner strength comes from the support of others.

There’s an old Irish saying that goes: “Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.” A rough translation is that we live and thrive by sheltering in the shadow (support) of others.

Finally, I do love a good quote. Someone who said something which others found to be worth writing down to pass on to others, that I in turn want to pass on to others. I normally use Goodreads as my source, so I searched for “tree”. My favourite one is:

A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.

I hope to care for these lovely trees for quite a while, and leave it to someone else to sit in their shade some fine day long in the future. He or she might even write about it.

Added few hours later:
I dedicate this tree to Romina Ashrafi, a young Iranian girl killed by her father, apparently by decapitation. Romina had run away from home due to threats and abuse from her father, and she was returned to her home by the authorities.

According to the neighbors, Romina knew that if she returned home, her life would be in danger. She had warned the police and judicial authorities and she was unwilling to go back, but the police returned her to her home anyway.

Romina had fallen in love with a boy in their city. Her father was arrested for honor killing and the investigations into her murder are ongoing.

According to the Sharia law, only the “blood owners” (the immediate family members) are allowed to demand execution for the murder of their loved one, therefore most honor killings go unpunished or with little punishment since the family will not demand the death sentence for another family member.

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About the author: Pádraig (also known as Pat) is the author of GrowWriteRepeat. He loves trees, Goodreads quotes and old Irish proverbs. Furthermore and also, he likes Met Eireann forecasts, writing again after a long rest and natural justice, but not sharia law honour killings.
Pádraig.