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.

Things Come In Threes #2

Approaching the mid-winter solstice, my time in the garden is limited by cold and dampness. The work is done, yet it’s rewarding just to walk around for a few minutes to see what happens. Yesterday, on my way to the shed to get wood for the stove, I met Mr. Robin on the bird-feeder. He was on it, I was not. We eyed one another up and down before he returned to feeding as I journeyed to the woodpile.
This little fella accompanied me on my 5-minute ramble
Just before the woodpile (in the shed) I glanced down to the two rows of gypsophila seedlings. I had planted these back in October, and they are thriving. Well, they were thriving until very recently. Yesterday, most of them were cannibalised, a gourmet starter for Mr. Slug and friends, perhaps even starter and main meal. I’d be tempted to have a word with Mr. Robin, but I don’t think he likes them either. There are about seven plants remaining, and this one seems to be head and shoulders above her siblings. The others have been beheaded.
One of the few untouched gypsophila

Finally, loaded to my chin with seventeen logs, I approached the kitchen window boxes. The pansies are in full bloom, defying wind, rain and cold. This particular one is so pretty, added to by a tiny spray of light mist remaining from overnight. Naturally, you’ll understand that this photograph was not taken until I had unloaded the seventeen stove logs in the stove log basket beside the stove; and when I returned to the shed to get the camera (it was beside the log pile, you’ll agree?), the delicate mist on the pansy was exactly as it had been one minute earlier.

I love the misty rain on top
  • Time in garden: five minutes. That’s just about enough. I’ll put on the kettle and set the fire while it boils.
  • Four minutes to set and light the stove
  • Four minutes for water to boil
  • Result: tea and accomplishment
  • Five minutes later on, warmed by both tea and stove, to to dickie up the robin photo
This is #2 in my “Things Come in Threes” series, recounting a five minute ramble in the garden, and consciously seeking out three things of interest. Want to look back to #1?Here it is: Things come In Threes #1

Happy gardening (or reading), wherever you are,

Pádraig, 16th December 2016.