Monday, 30 March 2020

."It's So Funny How We Don't Talk Anymore.."

I am starting to feel like a football manager that's been put on gardening leave.  Potted on over a hundred plants, divided some perennials, planted some garlic, watered the plants and seedlings in the polytunnel,  sat on the plastic chair and put comments on Rachel, Kevs and Yorkshire  Puddings blog, texted an old mate in north Manchester, dug a trench, filled it with homemade compost, planted another row of potatoes with the wifes help,  I heard lawnmowers and strimmers and saw a few cars going down one of the boreens...

Yet I never spoke to a soul, except for the missus.  She had been to Lidl for the messages.  That's  a West Cork term for shopping.  She met a friend from up the road and brought home some Guinness.  Essential medicine for another of rural, I mean social isolation.  She didn't just go for Guinness, honest!

I remember seeing Cliff Richard's twice at a Christian music festival in the late seventies, early eighties.  I remember seeing  U2 there before they became rock gods.  Any road.  One song I remember him singing  was the one in the above video.   I think its appropriate for the times we live in.  It's  like been sent to Coventry but by everyone!  

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Looking At The Pretty Flowers In Our Garden.

Bergenias or Elephants  Ears in pots ready to go.
Vinca or Periwinkle in flower. Next to other potted perennials.
A fragrant Geranium in flower.
Peas in the bath.  I never pee in the bath.  We normally keep coal in our indoor one!
Another  fragrant Geranium  in flower.
Tulips in flower in a Flower Pot.
A Lamium in an old Belfast sink.  And a Shasta Daisy  in flower in March?  How strange.  It's the only one that's flowering.
Onions in the bath!  We started the sets off in trays of compost in the polytunnel  and planted them this very morn.  I forked in some organic poultry manure pellets before planting them.
A Lamium in a plant pot.
Ransoms in a plant pot.
Ransoms and Daffodils enjoying the sunshine.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

The Utility Room Greenhouse. Post 900.

We recently went to the other German garden centre (Aldi) and purchased some plastic propagators for 5 Euros each.  The wife placed hers over the washing machine
 in the utility room or boot room if you're posh unlike yours truly.

They come  complete with a clear plastic lid  and five modules for you to fill with compost and sow vegetables seeds  in.

I decided to propagate hedge cuttings in mine.  I also decided to get a knife and CRACK the plastic tray/reservoir with a knife.  The wife asked me "WHY " I cracked the tray when there are drainage holes in the plastic modules?

I got it wrong again.

The heat from the range and the white goods seems to give rapid germination. Anybody else growing veg in the kitchen or utility room?

Friday, 27 March 2020

More Tight Wad (whoops) Gardening Tips. Recycling The Lidl Compost Bags.

I thought I would show you another one of my recycling ideas today.  I have lots of empty compost bags and I have been using them instead of tarpaulin on my plant nursery which seems to be taking over the veg plot.

Plastic compost bags cut along seams and laid out on ground.  I got an adult to cut it with scissors for me.  I am joking.  I managed it myself.  Of course the bags started blowing away when I took the photo.  It's easier to place one bag on the ground at a time folks.  The plastic suppresses any weed growth and water puddles on top of the plastic and the plants use it like a reservoir when they want a drink.  A farmer I know puts silage plastic under his round bales to collect water and stop old ratty and friends gnawing and tunneling in the silage.  The slugs and snails like to live under the plastic because its warm,  in the same way they do when they reside under the paving slabs.

Here's the plants after they have been placed on my Lidl compost bag 'tarpaulins'.

Hope you're enjoying the sunshine in the garden?  I am today!

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Visiting An Air India Memorial on The Sheepshead Peninsula.

The other Sunday we decided to have a ride round the peninsula where we live  here in Ireland.  It's a beautiful  place on a nice day.   We drove through Durrus where my parents now sleep and on to Ahakista.  Just before we reached Ahakista we stopped at the Air India Memorial.  I haven't visited it for a few years.  Here's some photos:

The garden and memorial remembers the 329 people who died in a terrorist attack on an Air India plane  over the Atlantic off the Irish coast in 1985.  Every year relatives and friends revisit the memorial near where many of the victims  bodies where brought into Ahakista via boats.

It's a stunning beautiful setting overlooking Dunmanus Bay.  Somewhere to be quiet and look out to the sea.  We read out the inscription on the sundial and met a cyclist sat contemplating.  I felt a wonderful sense of peace.  The sundial inscription says:"Timeflies/suns rise and shadows fall/let it pass by/ love reigns forever overall"

If you're every visiting stop for a minute or so and look out to the sea.

Monday, 23 March 2020

"It's Been Playing On My Mind." Adventures In Spudato Planting!

Today Monday I got up to a dry day and decided it was time to plant the rest of the seed potatoes.  Regular readers will know we planted some more in the polytunnel a couple of weeks ago.  Here's  some photos for your perusal:

 Part of the veg plot very overgrown mainly due to the very weather.  You can see the bay in the background.   I cleared it with my Azada hoe and 'grafter' narrow shovel  which is ideal for trenching.   The weeds go in a bucket and end up on the compost heaps.  I don't  use weedkillers either.

 I noticed this Lamium or variegated Dead Nettle had rooted itself in a tray of compost.  So I potted it on.  Isn't  nature wonderful?

 Digging out some homemade compost.  Lovely friable compost with lovely juicy worms.
Trenches dug and filled with homemade compost.   Azada and Grafter having a rest after all their exertions.  They are good workers but they skive when I am not holding them!
Orla potatoes.  They are chitted and ready to grow.  They originate from bonny Scotland and said to be more blight resistant than Irish ones.

The potato  tubers are covered up and in twelve weeks time we should be eating our new potatoes.   

Have you planted yours yet?   Hopefully we'll  be saying:"Is it hot or is it me?"  And somebody will say: "It's  too hot for potatoes!"

I'll sleep easy tonight now I have got the new potatoes planted.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

How Long?

So what have you been up to lately?  I spend my days in the polytunnel and garden sowing seeds, dividing perennials, mowing the lawns and potting up hundreds  and hundreds of pots.   They get potted up with cheap Lidl compost(3 bags for 6 Euros) and a few poultry manure pellets.  It is a few at 16 Euros a bucket!

Everything is starting to happen in the gardens and countryside.  I am hoping to weed the gardens and plant my early potatoes this week.  If we get some sunshiny days. I was going to take some of my plants to sell at at a market or carboot sale this weekend but they are closing down too.  The supermarkets are packed out though. 

A song by Kansas my favourite Rock band (who I saw once) comes to mind for our situation. It's about sailors on a point of no return.  They believe the world is flat.  However they return home because the world is round and they end up back where they came from.

Life's  got return back to normal.  The birds are making nests and the flowers are budding.  Get out into the garden and forget about watching the news for a while, if you can?

Here's  Kansas.

."It's So Funny How We Don't Talk Anymore.."

I am starting to feel like a football manager that's been put on gardening leave.  Potted on over a hundred plants, divided some perenn...