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Six-on-Saturday – Reflections Cum Vino

The optimal time for reflection is between the second and third glass. After that typing becomes as blurred as the thought.

12th December 2020.

I must make a start. It’s Friday wine-time and there’s not a child washed. Retirement can be exasperating, but never fear! Red wine and words will flow freely, so grab a coffee, put your phone fón on flight mode and join with me for some random Six on Saturday reflections. Afterwards, you’ll be able to tap this link to visit The Propagator’s blog or visit @cavershamjj on Twitter for more accounts of December garden favourites. You’ll find plenty writers linking their Six on Saturday garden selection in the comments section. I cannot guarantee that they are written articulately wine-free-zones. Note also that, just like Brexit, you’ll need to exit flight mode.

First Glass

In an attempt to draw the eye away from the household bins, the baubles dangle on the bare Acer. This is a recent addition to the three trí permanent baubles. Initially, I thought I could see the photographer’s reflection. Thought made a fool of me this time!

Relegated from inside


I am definitely reflected clearly in this one. It was taken a few days cúpla lá before wine-time. Regular readers may remember I used this ball to try air-layering. I was assured that eight weeks would be enough time and roots would form inside. Well, thought made a fool of me for a second time. I opened it (and others) only to find that nothing happened. I regret to say that the solution is… more wine. How exasperating!

Failure is the best medicine

Now The Third

Here, I’m opting for a virtual reflection, the sort that usually starts in my head. The best time for head reflection is between the second and third glass gloine. Everything after that becomes as blurred as thought.

There is very little garden colour at this time on Friday evening, so it was wonderful to see the polyanthus in full bloom a few days ago. That’s a wholesome thought, articulated clearly.


Pacing Myself

I’m only halfway there, and I’ve decided to cease and desist in order to continue clear articulation. The bottle buidéal has been moved out of reach. I snapped this last Wednesday, shortly after a rowdy group of starlings pecked ravenously at something within. I know not what was within, nor the name used for a group of starlings. I don’t even remember the name of the plant. The solution is clear; wine will surely help. I’m reaching out.

Unknown rockery plant

Approaching Plastered State

This is an unplastered west-facing wall. It is seven feet tall, but that’s not important now. The photograph clearly shows the conifer leaning non-vertically Northwards. Of course its non-vertical! That’s what leaning actually means. This wine is really helping me to articulate clearly. I’m so happy that I took a break between glass three and four.

Too much wine

Mumbo Jumbo

I was given a beautiful bowl and lamp set when I left Ballinameela in 2007. The bowl lived a fruit-filled life on the kitchen table for many years. Last month it was upgraded to a garden birdbath, behind the hebe. Regularly filled with water, the birds sometimes visit it. Filled with water, as baths sometimes are, the birds visit it regularly.

They drink, bathe and perhaps enjoy looking at themselves. My final clear thought for the evening runs something like this…

A small amount of wine can lead to great fun. In this instance I learned about reduplicated phrases such as mumbo-jumbo that arrived in our everyday language. This is playfulness at its best! My favourite reduplicated phrase is…

Is it just hot, or is it HOT-hot?

Personal reflections (6)

  • The first vaccine was administered to Mary Keenan, now forever known as Patient A.
  • Our new front and back doors were fitted.
  • I’ve never seed a tradesman so good to clean up mucky mess.
  • The last garden project of the year was completed, as I slatted up the front of the second compost heap.
  • Crystal Palace recorded a 5-1 away victory, their biggest Premiership win.
  • A catastrophic no-deal between the EU and UK is looking us straight in the face.

I’ll be back next week with some reflections about something. In the meantime, I hope your Christmas preparations are going well. Slán go fóill.


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Primrose Lore

Garden centres are gearing up for the mad rush and gardeners are gearing up for visits to garden centre. Its a win-win situation.
Before the mad rush, I visited my local Country Life yesterday and came away with nineteen plants for a tenner. A single Aubretia Kitte Blue, a container of twelve cauliflowers and six beautiful promroses. The variety is unknown. While primroses are generally known to be yellow, it’s not always the case: there are so many varieties and colours available now.
I chose the stunningly vibrant lilac/pink ones standing erect on tall stems. The petals are so precisely formed, and right in the centre is a contrasting yellow. Within an hour, I had planted them into larger pots and they look great among the other spring plants.
Later, during the course of several gun battles on television, I elected to open up my Irish Wild Plants book. Primroses are given a chapter to themselves. Here are some items of information relating to them:

  • Long ago in Ireland, people used to hang a string of primroses over the door at the start of May. It was said that the primroses would protect the house as the fairies were not able to pass.
  • In many places primroses given as a gift should be a very full bunch or else misfortune would ensue, and a single primrose brought into a house was an omen of death.
  • In herbal medicine primroses were considered useful to treat jaundice, insomnia, tuberculosis, toothache and anxiety.
  • Coughs in horses were cured using crushed primrose roots strained in breast milk and put into the horses’ nose frequently!
  • In Irish it’s name is sabhaircín (pronounced sour-keen)
  • Finally, the Druids often carried primroses during their Celtic rituals as a protection from evil. Fragrant primrose oils were used to purify and anoint during these ancient rites.