Six-on-Saturday – Hakuna Matata

Happy plants can survive the ups and downs of life. Not alone that, but they blossom most beautifully when the time is right.

3rd April 2021.

I put a bit of thought into my Saturday articles. Some weeks things fall into place easily, while at other times my six items are just that. Six separate items in my garden this week, and that’s perfectly OK too. But I do try to link things up if I can. Writing is an important way for me to make sense of the world. Very soon I’ll have it all figured out, and then it’ll be time to stop.

My thoughts this week relate to switching off the daily news bulletins about Covid, following a corrupt incident in Dublin last week, where surplus doses left over after vaccinations at a private hospital were given to staff of a local private school. Daddy, hospital boss, child, school. Down with that sort of thing.

I’m happier now that the decision is made. The greed and corruption of the upper echelons within society will no longer drag me downwards. I am reminded of the movie The Lion King and in particular the problem-free philosophy that allows us to develop as good humans. It’s called Hakuna Matata, and it means no worries for the rest of our days! That’s something to sing about on this first Saturday of April. Let’s see if I can link it to some garden stuff…

Broad Beans

Broad Bean Super Aquadulce

The Broad Beans are flowering but also being nibbled by something rud éigin. I’ve put up some climbing supports but that will not stop the nibbling. I also planted another row of seeds three weeks ago for a later harvest but nothing has appeared. It’s likely there’s underground nibbling afoot as well, so I’ve resorted to plan B, sowing a batch in modules in the glasshouse, and I’ll plant them out when they get to a about 5-10cm.

Happy Easter.

Much of society is being nibbled and devoured, day in day out. Nibbling is generally done by those higher up on the food chain. Getting even doesn’t work, but a plan of action for self-care does help.

Saxifrage Peter Pan

This little rockery plant has been in its little spot for five years le cúig bliain and seems very happy there. At the time I bought three of these, but the other two have not survived. A few days ago, I found out the likely reason. The plant needs sun and partial shade. In other words if it is in full sunshine all day it will struggle. Death by sunstroke! This one is sheltered for part of the day behind an Agapanthus that reaches about 40cm. The two that died had no sun protection.

Problem-free philosophy.

Who makes up plant variety names? If I produce a new variety can I call it whatever I want? As an aside, I am frequently amused by the names given to horses, for example Call The Beacon or There You Go Now. A further aside is my habit of naming a variety in memory of someone, but perhaps I should go one step further? Any variety whose name I don’t know, I could simply make one up! I’d never be accepted for mention in the horticultural journals, but I’d have a way of distinguishing one variety from another. For example, if I have another unknown Saxifrage I could call it Saxifrage Alum Rock. I have cousins living in the Alum Rock area of Birmingham, and I have a feeling that a name allocated by myself is less likely to be forgotten by myself.

Happy plants can survive the ups and downs of life. Not alone that, but they blossom most beautifully when the time is right! I’m more than happy to be noticing this small miracle than seeing examples of power battles on my news feed. Beauty amid the rubble.

Peas

Pea Onward 13/03/21

Similar to the Broad Beans, it appears that pea seeds go missing regularly. I’ve come across this little ditty, which seems accurate.

One for the mouse,
One for the crow,
One to rot,
One to grow.

Now I understand why there are enough peas in the packet to feed an army. By the time the select few grow to maturity, there’ll surely be enough for us. We are a small family! This variety is also known to me as Pea Legs 11.

Enough for everyone.

I’m happy to plant forty, in the knowledge that ten will be delicious. Everything else is of no consequence to me. No worries.

Dahlia

Dahlia Disco Dancer.

Apart from the large Dahlias planted in the ground and in pots, I chose to grow some lots from seed this year. I’ve got five varieties, and started them in late January. At the moment, they are really pushing on, and are at the point where I will carefully pinch out the central growing tip. This is done in order to get the plant to send out side shoots. Since mid-March, I’ve had a chance to put these outside on warm sunny afternoons but they return to the sheltered environment by night, as they are not frost-hardy. Very importantly also, I do remember to shut the door and window before dusk!

Mother and baby.

Dahlias remind me that this problem-free philosophy is the way to go. They bring forth the most stunning flowers, yet they are such tender plants, and they have their troubles in life. Problem-free does not mean that I have no work to do. It means I’m happy to care for the plant in order to get enormous satisfaction in return.

Tomatoes

Tomato Tumbler

Generally, I grow three tomato plants in the glasshouse every year and a few of the tumbling ones outdoors. This year, I’ve gone completely bonkers. There are seven different varieties, and thirty-something plants altogether. However, I’ll be giving most of them away to friends cairde at the end of April or early May. There are a small few plants still unclaimed, so if you’d like a change from the taste of supermarket tomatoes, let me know. Of course, I don’t want any smartasses. I nearly fell off my stool last week…

“Would you like a few tomato plants?”, I asked.

“Oh, no thank you. You just grow them and I’ll come over to collect the tomatoes when they’re ready.”

Joyeuses Pâques.

Now, if ever there’s a perfect example of a problem-free philosophy, this is it! Everything will be OK. Just wait and see. You know what, when these restrictions are lifted, I’ll be more than happy to have my friend over to share in the tomato harvest! One hundred percent! Be certain though, that overpaid CEO’s won’t get within an asses roar.

Mina Lobata

Unusual leaf shape.

This is the last of my Six this week, but in fact after I took this photograph on Wednesday and checked the name on the seed packet, the Lion King and the Hakuna Matata sprang to mind. Mina Lobata. Hakuna Matata. In effect, it was this little seedling that sparked a few neurons in my head. That’s where neurons do their best work.

Spectacular for months.

Mina Lobata is commonly known as Spanish Flag or Exotic Love Vine. It’s a climber and, by all accounts, can reach up to 5-6 metres. I got the seed free saor in aisce with Amateur Gardening magazine before all that kind of thing stopped. Akin to many of my selected items over the past few weeks, I’ve not grown it before. I sowed it early last month and it is still only at 2cm. Definitely a slow starter! I’ll also sow seeds outside in mid-April and see how both compare. Hopefully, I’ll need to put up a few trellises before long. I love the name Mina Lobata, and I just can’t get the tune from the Lion King out of my head.

Hakuna Matata!
What a wonderful phrase
Hakuna Matata!
Ain't no passing craze
It means no worries for the rest of your days.
It's our problem-free philosophy.
Hakuna Matata!
Best Belgian chocolate.

It’s a Wrap

That’s my six this week and to finish, here’s a short recap video of end-of-March goings-on in the glasshouse.

The video is up there on the YouTube cloud thingy. There’s a commentator error towards the end… They are in fact cucumber seedlings, not spinach. Contract renewal negotions may break down.

Getting Very Busy Now

  • Gladioli and most of the begonias are planted up.
  • Trellis delivered.
  • First muggy night and that meant slug patrol.
  • Propagator put back to the attic.
  • About half of the daffodils put away to their summer corner.
  • Lilies planted.
  • Some of the grasses divided and planted up.
  • Salad vegetables ready to harvest from now onwards.
  • Some of the Sweet Peas planted out.
  • Enjoying the scent of wild garlic and furze while cycling. Two very different aromas, both wonderful.

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.

Happy Easter,

Pádraig.

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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No Tiles Were Damaged

Friday, 31st July 2020.

My intention to link what’s happening in my garden to everyday life brings me to record my trip to the hospital in Cork yesterday. Suffice it to say that all is well. No kitchen tiles were damaged in the fall, the staff here are good, food is good and I’ll be cycling heading home shortly.

I’ve been very comforted by the fact that I’ve had to confirm my identity and date of birth upwards of a dozen times. Purely from a health & safety viewpoint, they want to be sure they send the right person home!

Readers will understand that the photo above is not current. I will be looking forward to tasting some delicious tomatoes very soon.

With time on my hands, my desire to find a positive slant to a negative event brings me back to my colouring app. I can’t go weeding, planting or gardening of any kind until tomorrow, but I pass away a few hours reading, writing this and also using my HappyColor. It’s called happy for a reason! I found an interesting flower.

Pádraig, (Room 31)

Short Days Challenge

Continuing #shortdayschallenge as I briefly log winter here in Waterford, Ireland. Time to focus on the little things.

Today’s winter garden: I had a very tasty crop of tomatoes all summer long. In fact, between indoor and outdoor, the season stretched right through to the end of October. Having cleared the plants from the glasshouse to make room for incoming geraniums, begonias and lots of plant cuttings, I am now ready for winter. Curiously though, I notice that there are plenty tomato seedlings already sprouted! This saves me time and money. I will not need to buy tomato plants, as I know these ones will do well. They are from Tomato Moneymaker, and very tasty they will be!

Tomato Moneymaker babies with cigarette butt

Páraig (also known as Pat) is the author of Petals by Paraig. He loves tomatoes, begonias and winter. He also likes growing from seeds and Moneymaker ideas, but not cigarette butts among the seedlings in the glasshouse.

Cheering Up My Mondays

It’s the first day of October. The swallows have gone, and the days are shortening. My gardening year is coming to a close, yet there is much to do. However, rather than doing it, I am still in writing mode and the doing will be done it its own good time.
In attempting to find reasons to cheer Up My Monday, I am never lost for ideas. This week, I find myself thinking about bots. Yes, bots. These are the fake automated accounts I realised are everywhere out there. Let me give an example.

A recent Instagram photo

I use Instagram to share my garden with others. My account is petalsbyparaig and I love the interaction there. A simple garden photograph speeds its way to my many followers. Similarly, I enjoy looking at photographs posted by others, and the circle continues, adding excitement and motivation to my garden photography.
This is a list of some recent “followers”: (names edited to prevent further following!

  • click.toincreasefollowers (Yeah, right…. more bots!)
  • clinique58 (House of Fazer?)
  • presstoobtain (Get Fame on instagram)
  • pproteinIreland (I have enough, thanks!)
  • Gracie98 (with Snapchat link only)
  • hayeng212 (I  can earn $100 per day…. wow!)
  • Brazilian Lingerie (Online shop that delivers to me)
The list goes on and on. What amazed me was that many of these replies are automated, and a “like” or a “follow” returns instantly. Initially, I thought to myself, ah feck off…. and continued my day. But as I write this, I intend taking things a step further. I intend removing accounts that are obviously fake, because not only do I not want them following me, more importantly, I do not want them having access to my data. I am considering making my account private but will consider the matter a bit more. In such a case, I would approve follow requests, yet this takes away from gardening and writing time.
This will cheer up my Monday big time! Other things that cheer me up today include:
  • Still lots of tomatoes ripening
  • Garden catalogues arriving soon
  • Sunshine last week was incredible
  • The garden still looks great.
  • Autumn is blooming
My to-do-list is taking shape. Among many of the jobs on the list are:
  • Final spraying of roses
  • Make a cold-frame
  • Fix a leaking drainpipe
  • Propagate several plants from cuttings and division
  • Stop the birds from enjoying a soil dust-bath just where I have sown beetroot seed
  • Sto the birds from enjoying a soil dust-bath just where I have sown spring onion seed
Other than that, here’s a photo selection to cheer me up even more!

About the author: Páraig is the author of Petals by Páraig. He photographs and writes about his garden in Ireland. He loves using Instagram and sharing things there, but doesn’t love the bots, and particularly dislikes the ones that promise money or other things.