Monday, 9 March 2015

A Day Of The Triffids On Another Walk Along The Sheepshead Peninsula.


We went for another walk today.  Four miles this morning and three miles this afternoon.  The countryside seems so quiet at the moment.  An occasional car or van (once every five minutes or so) passed us whilst we walked along the tarmac main road  road towards Gearhies.  I saw one man with his dog walking on the pebbly beach at the bottom of Fahane.  But we didn't see any body else.  Most people seem to have to leave the peninsula to find any meaningful employment.  Don't think many folk make a living in the countryside these days.

We noticed some giant rhubarb (Gunnera Tinctoria) growing at the side of the road near one of the beaches.  Apparently it's said to be an invasive species and was probably washed up during a storm.  The seeds are said to have come from Brazil and Chile.

Yesterday I blogged about potato planting.  The potato is another South American native along with the Fuchsia hedgerows that are so familiar on the West coast of Ireland.  I bet a lot of gardeners would like the Gunnera for ornamental features in their gardens.



New shoots peeping through after the long Autumn and Winter.  It dies right back and then grows enormous rhubarb like foliage in the summer.  I think it's incredible how nature can establish itself thousands of miles away from it's home.

Do you have any none native species growing near you?  Most vegetables originate from all over the world.  I suppose most of the plants and tree are from foreign shores?

16 comments:

  1. Far more likely that some inconsiderate idiot decided to dump the gunnera when it became too invasive in their garden, it has totally naturalised in Mayo and the council is trying all sorts of ways to eradicate it, first introduced into Ireland in the 1930's. Fusia is now considered a native plant as it has been here for so long. I personally love gunnera especially in the winter when there has been a frost, but him who must be obeyed has forbidden me to have it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is also a big knotweed problem in Ireland and the UK. Are there any organic solutions to eradicating it Anne?

      I like Gunnera myself. It looks good in large gardens. Thanks!

      Delete
  2. We went to Cornwall last year Dave and visited the lost gardens of Heligon, though we found em fine? The Gunnera there was spectacular and I felt like I'd stumbled into an episode of 'land of the giants'! My budding but tiny wildlife garden would be totally swamped by just one, hence the rhubarb planted this week behind the pond.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How can they be lost if so many people manage to find them John? Seriously. One of my happiest holiday memories is of a family visit to Heligan. Especially the kitchen garden. Would love one of those flats in the old Heligan house.

      Your wildlife garden looks great John. Good idea of using the rhubarb.

      Delete
  3. We went to Cornwall last year Dave and visited the lost gardens of Heligon, though we found em fine? The Gunnera there was spectacular and I felt like I'd stumbled into an episode of 'land of the giants'! My budding but tiny wildlife garden would be totally swamped by just one, hence the rhubarb planted this week behind the pond.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Is it edible like normal garden rhubarb? We are starting to be invaded by giant hogweed in my area of sw Ontario.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cranberry. Not sure about eating it. I believe it's good for fixing nitrogen in poor soil. There are big problems with knotweed and hogweed in Europe too.

      Do you like the rock band Rush? One of my favourite Canadian bands. I have seen them twice. Thanks!

      Delete
    2. Yep I like Rush..but I'm more of a Tragically Hip kinda girl :)

      Delete
  5. Japanese knotweed, a very invasive species, it's taking over a lot of places.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes Cumbrian. Britain spends 26 Pounds per person attempting to eradicate knotweed, crayfish, grey squirrels, Spanish bluebells..? They spent 70 Million earadicating knotweed from the Olympic Park in London. Think knot-weed came with the rhododendrons during the Empire? Some say it was imported for an ornamental garden plant during the sixties. I have seen quite a lot of it here in Ireland. Don't see much Rosebay Willow Herb though, strangely.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's very difficult to eradicate, and it's taking over a lot of land in our area, spreads like wildfire, usually along watercourses.
    Don't know how it got here, I just wish we had something edible that was as prolific.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes Cumbrian . It's a pity they can't find a knotweed carp like they use grass carp to clear waters. I have 2 recipes for Knotweed ale and Knotweed wine in the book: Booze For Free.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I bet you were feeling saintly after TWO walks in one day! It's so lovely to get out into the countryside away from everything :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes we felt really proud of our walking achievements, CT. Walking is supposed to be very good for stretching the old muscles. I have old back injuries and the walking is helping a lot. The Sheepshead Peninsula is great for walking. Thanks!

      Delete
  10. Wow two walks in one day you put me to shame Dave. I like gunnera, we have a few rhubarb crowns we've just temoved from the allotment. Wakefield just down the road is known as the rhubarb triangle, that always makes me laugh.
    Twiggy

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Twiggy. It was lovely on Monday so we decided to make the most of it and go for a walk. Then we decided to try a new one in town.

    I follow a blog: Bens Adventures In Winemaking. Ben lives in Leeds and he's talkead about the rhubarb triangle on his blog.

    I use to know an old man who placed pieces of rhubarb leaf under the roots of his cabbages when he planted them on his allotment. Said it prevented Club-root. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete