Friday, 14 September 2018

The Ghost Of An Old Railway.

I took this photograph of the old railway station in Drimoleague, West Cork, the other day.  

 Old train station waiting for the trains to return?
The other side of the platform.  The line use to run where the tarmac and litter bin is. 

The line use to run from Bantry to Cork.  But it closed in 1961.  The line was running at a loss of fifty six thousand Punts a year. I Suppose that would be a lot of money in today's money?  The sleepers were lifted and sold for a shilling each(500 to the mile) and many were exported to Nigeria.

Today part of the line is part of a walk and a lot of the railway land was sold off and built on.  My dad left Bantry when he was seventeen and emigrated to England via this line during the 'black fifties".  Do you have an old railway line near you?  

When I was in Dorset in June, me and my walking friend met a decorator renovating a rural church.  He told us in one hundred years there will be no cars.  I think there will be at least electric ones.  Wouldn't it be great to see little railways running again full of people and cattle?

Sunday, 9 September 2018

A Walk On The North Side.

On Friday I went for a walk on my along the main road, along the boreens and over the hills and back home.  Its over six miles in total and here's some pictures I took on my saunter:

Honey bees get drunk on the pollen of one of our Catmint (Nepeta) plants in a plant pot.

A Fuchsia hedgerow.  I have seen similar hedgerows in Cornwall.  I often wondered how the Fuchsia became established in Ireland.    No doubt the Gulf Stream brought it?

 Gunnera.  This invasive species originates in South America.  A few weeks ago this specimen was prostrate on the ground with parched leaves.  Now the regular rain service is back the Gunnera soon recovered.
The Strand looking over to Hungry Hill over on Beara Peninsula.    I often walked here with my mum and dad when we came here on holiday.  Bittersweet memories of such a beautiful place.   

 A brand newly erected signpost with no pictures or writing.  No doubt there will soon be photographs and tourist information about Bantry Bay.  Perhaps they will provide some public transport or litter bins for the tourists too?

 Wild Montbretia in flower.  A lot of gardeners have the cultivated Crocosmia species in their gardens.  We have the red 'Lucifer' in ours.
 Climbing up the hills and looking towards Glengarriff.  The white dot on the horizon on the right of the picture is the Marco Polo cruise liner that visited on Friday.   Glengarriff use to be a favourite holiday retreat for the like of Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw and William Wordsworth, to name but a few literary giants.
 A lonely boreen with grass growing down the middle of the road.  I didn't see a soul or even a passing car.
On the Sheepshead Way.  You can see the yellow finger-post markers pointing the way.

I hope you enjoyed the walk and photos?

Thursday, 6 September 2018

"It's All Too Bluetiful."

If you want a wonderful plant that attracts the bees (and cats) get yourself some Nepeta or Catmint, its common name.

I have big plant pots outside the front door full of the stuff.  The bees absolutely love the plant and so does Domino our cat.

He pulled this out of a brass plant container and it kept his interest for quite a long time.  Apparently Nepeta contains the drug: Nepetalactone.  The old saying for Catmint is:

"Loved by cats, hated by rats."

Nepeta is very easy to make cuttings of or you can just pull the roots apart and make individual plants.  Its related to mint.  It's one of my favourite herbaceous perennials.  I think Domino likes it too.

The following song started playing in my mental jukebox.  Do you remember it?

Monday, 3 September 2018

On The Eighth Day The Polytunnel Was Made.

I seem to be spending a lot of my time in my poly-tunnel office at the moment.  I am always sieving my homemade compost, making planting cuttings and dividing my perennials.  The wife says I have got plantitis.  Is there such a word?  She says its somebody who is obsessed with plant pots.  

Second hand plant pots 

I live on a beautiful peninsula in West Cork. My grandmother use to say :"the view won't feed you".  It won't talk to you either.  I miss my allotments in England full of people and always somebody to talk to and have a laugh and a joke.  I think I would go mad if it wasn't for my poly-tunnel and reading and writing blogs. 

Yesterday (Sunday) was a washout and I spent all morning potting on, popping out in the rain to make cuttings and lifting perennials to make more plants.  I dread to think how many plants and plant pots we have.  At least half of the veg plot is covered in tarpaulin and paving stones with plants on top of it. 

I have stopped walking on the main road because the hedgerows are all overgrown and motorists come speeding from nowhere.  I could always go walking over the hills by myself but I get bored of my own company.  Perhaps I should get an hobby like poly-tunnel plant propagating?  

Me in my Sunday best carrying some Sedums to be repotted into bigger pots in ye old poly-tunnel.   They are this years cuttings!

Some of my many many potted plants taking over half the vegetable plot.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Its Time To Empty The Compost Pile.

I lifted the old carpet (see left hand bottom of first photograph) and decided to have a look at my buried compost treasure last week.  
The rough stuff went into the bottom of a new pallet compost pile.  This is now full of nettles, cut flower heads, weeds and grass from the lawns.  

It's been covered up with the nineteen seventies psychedelic carpet.  I don't or try not to use nylon carpets because they are a nuisance breaking down and wrapping round my garden fork or shovel.  I believe modern carpets contain fire retardants and nasty chemicals and we don't want that in our growing soil do we?

Is it a badger sett or a fox hole?  No its my compost pile bank.  I once heard a gardener say your soil is like a money bank.  You can't keep taking it out with out putting something back.  What's the point of planting a good plant in poor soil or clay?  Remember the Parable of the Sower in the Bible?  

I bucketed my compost in an old tree plant pot and lay some one inch mesh over the top of my 'compost bath' and used an up turned weeding bucket to hold the other end of the mesh up.  Then I emptied the compost buckets contents onto the mesh and forced it through the mesh with my trusty garden spade and filled a bucket in the compost bath with lovely friable, sieved compost.  Any big lumps of compost went on next years potato are of the veg plot and any stones and twigs were thrown over the hedge into some rough grass.  

You can't beat having your own compost pile can you? 

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Coca Cola Cans Plant Pots.

I am always short of plant pots.  I spent a rainy yesterday (all of it)in my poly-tunnel office,sieving my homemade compost, potting up and making new cuttings for my ever increasing perennials plant nursery.  I have even started using Coca Cola cans. 

All I did was cut the top off with a tin opener and discard that and punch a couple of holes in the bottom with a knife. Bobs your uncle!  

Aluminum (American) or Alluminium (English) plant pots that will last for a very long time.  

We bought some coffee cups the other day and this worked out at eight Cents a cup.  They make good plant pots but they aren't cheap or free like the Coca Cola plant pots.

Makes you wonder how much we pay for our packaging?  I think manufacturers should print the price of the tin or plastic packaging on our groceries.  Do you think they should?    

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Butterflies On The Butterfly Bush.

I was visiting our pet cemetery in the garden where three of our dogs  have their graves.  I noticed the butterflies on the Buddleia  bushes.  I brought the Buddleia over with two wheelie bins of plants when we emigrated to Ireland seventeen years ago last month.  It was one of my successful cuttings that I made.  We have made lots of Buddleia bushes since then.

If you want to plant a bush that will attract butterflies, plant a Buddleia.  They are name after a vicar and Botanist: the Reverend Adam Buddle. He lived near Peterborough in Deeping St James.  I saw some Buddleia growing in derelict land near Temple Mead railway station when I went to Dorset in June.

My mental juke box started playing when I watched the butterflies.  Here's a song called Dog and Butterfly by the American rock band Heart.  I was lucky enough to once see them play live at Birmingham NEC in about 1988?  Enjoy.

The Ghost Of An Old Railway.

I took this photograph of the old railway station in Drimoleague, West Cork, the other day.    Old train station waiting for the t...