Saturday 27 July 2019

It's That Time Of The Year Again.

Yep.  Flying to Blighty (Stansted)  in the morning.  Four days touring Kent by public transport, walking, camping, historical sites, Spitfire museums,  Darling Buds Of May filming locations like Pluckley and then staying in digs near Mount  Ephraim and going to A New Day Festival.  Its a Rock festival aimed at the over fifties.

One person who I am really  looking forward to seeing  is Uli Roth.  Former Scorpions guitarist and not far off from genius status.

Remember Brassed Off?  Here's  Aranjuez by the great man.

If you see a fifty odd your old man wearing a Kansas t shirt at the festival.  Say how do.

Wish me luck!

Thursday 25 July 2019

Gardening Tools Having A Rest.

I took this photograph yesterday morning.  I was busy making a herbaceous perennial border and planting it up with my homegrown perennials.  

I think it could be a  still life picture in itself: The Lazy Gardening Tools.   Do you think Tate Modern would pay me for it?  Well they bought a pile of bricks?

The two gardening tools that I love using are my Azada hoe and my silver shovel.  Azada is apparently a Spanish or South American word for hoe.  They are super for skimming off vegetation.  You don't try to take a lot off in one go.  I have seen them in use in hot countries like Portugal.  The hoe operative need not use a lot of effort to scrape off the vegetation.  I knew some one who thought Manual Labour was a Spaniard.  Ha, ha..  

If you are about to tackle an overgrown area  or an allotment.  I would recommend you strim it down with a strimmer  or even put the brush cutter blade on it if its full of brambles, rake off the debris and compost it and then set to work with the Azada.  

It's not worth going mad like a bull in a china shop.  Wear gardening gloves to avoid blisters and off you go.  You will be amazed at  how quickly you clear the area.  

I use the silver shovel from England  for picking up the sliced vegetation.  Put it in the wheelbarrow and take it to your new compost heap where you put the brambles.  The shovel work involves bending your back.  But it gets you fit and finds you muscles that you never knew you had.

These are two of my favourite gardening tools.  What are yours?  

Saturday 20 July 2019

A Picture Of Our Irish Potager.

I love walled kitchen gardens and French Potagers.  Vegetable gardens that use companion planting to attract the insects like butterflies and bees among the perennials. fruit and vegetables.  Thought I would show you our version of a Potager today.

All the daisies and other flowers are plants in plant pots that I have either made by division or by cuttings.  Some of them went away and I planted them in someones garden this morning.  I love perennials and half the veg plot is now my nursery for them and the other half is for the vegetables and fruit.  

The area was a little field when we first came here.  Its had lots of fym and some seaweed.  But its never seen granulated fertilizer or weedkiller.  The butterflies, birds and bees love our little Irish Potager.  Hope you do?

Thursday 18 July 2019

A Ruined Castle On The Mizen Peninsula.

We went for a run out to the next peninsular: Mizen, this afternoon.  We visited Dunlough Castle also known has Three Castle Head.  It was originally built in the 1200s by the Mahoney Clan.  It's a dry stone wall construction and is now in ruins and one of the oldest Northern castles in Ireland.
 Looking out to Dunmanus bay or was it the Celtic sea?
 The magical ruins overlooking the lake.  There is supposed to be a ghost lady of the lake.  If you see her apparition you will soon die!  Flipping heck.  
 A goat or sheep track for us walkers.  Not for the faint hearted or people with limited mobility.  
Looking over to our Sheepshead peninsula.  Where my daddy was born and where I live now.  

Monday 15 July 2019

"Daisy, Daisy.."

The big daisies have decided to come out and play in our back garden.  Here's a photo of  it in all its glory.

I adore mixed herbaceous perennial borders.  Cottage gardens are labour intensive and quintessentially English.  

I love them and would not have any other kind of garden.  Especially when virtually every plant was propagated by cuttings and division by yours truly and quite a lot of help from Mother Nature.  Isn't it a fantastic Summer for flowers?  

A nice garden doesn't need to cost a lot of money.  All it needs is interest and a plant collecting and propagating for an hobby.  

Saturday 13 July 2019

A Good Year For The Roses. Even The Wild Ones!

This year has been great for flowers, especially the roses.  They love sunshine and soft rain.  Here's a wild one that I grew from a cutting and planted in one of the gardens last year or was it the year before?
I don't mind wildflowers in the garden planted with cultivated varieties like the daisies and yellow loosestrife.    The wild roses are relatively easy to strike and root from cuttings or by layering.  

September is a good month for making a cutting bed in the veg plot.
They soil is still warm and the rain regular waters them for you.  All you need is to paraphrase Take That:  "Patience!"

There are literally hundreds of songs about roses.  Here's one by the great English folk rock and new wave singer Elvis Costello.  I saw him once play a memorable and entertaining set at Glastonbury.  Way back in 1989.  He said we all looked like television screens.  Interesting!  

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Garden Flowers In Charity Shop Vases.

This red rose is a cutting I took last autumn.  My brother bought the rose for my mother before she passed on.  He was moving to another house and asked me to take a cutting because he could not take the climbing rose with him.  I planted it this spring in one of our borders and its flowered.  The vase is the one I paid a Euro for at the charity shop,  Do you remember?

A Rugosa rose from our back garden.  They are a seaside rose and make a great hedge and are salt resisitan too.  The vase is one of the sundae glasses I paid 50 Cents for.  You can see the bay in the background.

A purple rose.  My dad bought my wife this rose before he also passed on.  I managed to propagate this too.  This is our other kitchen window.
Loosestrife from the garden.  I brought this plant from England in a wheelie bin.  Don't think its the original one though.  You  know what I am like for making new plants.  You can see Beara peninsula behind the washing spin around gizmo!

Sunday 7 July 2019

London Street Sellers From Times Gone By.

We went charity shop hunting again on Saturday.  The wife found these two prints.  They are called: Cries Of London.  They were in two modern and rather tatty picture frames.  What do  you want for one Euros and Fifty a piece?  You can see the price sticker in the right hand corner of the donkey picture.


The first one is entitled "Turnips and Carrots".

The second picture is entitled "New Mackerel New  Mackerel".

Francis Wheatley originally painted and exhibited his series of oil paintints "Cries Of London" at the Royal Academy between 1792 to 1795.  He was born in Convent Garden and painted the ordinary working people of that area.  His girlfriend is said to have modelled for some of the characters paintings.

Our prints are about 1920.  There are lots of them for sale on Ebay.  I saw one for sale for fifteen Euros and twelve Euros postage.  Not intrinsically a fortune.  But I still feel we discovered treasure and learned about a wonderful artist!  

I found this wonderful video on You Tube,  Enjoy!

Friday 5 July 2019

The Last Of The Winter Onions.

These are the last of our Winter onions.  We call them: 'Japs'.  

They were first introduced from Japan in the nineteen seventies.  I first grew them twenty five years a go from onion sets.  They grow right through autumn, winter and spring.  Even in 2010 when the snow came and we couldn't get about for nearly two weeks.  The snow never bothered them.  They are usually ready to harvest in June.  

The beauty of growing your own is you can eat them when they are small. 

This year we have decided  to grow our winter onions from seed.  We may buy some sets too.
I found these online for sale.  We placed our order on the Sunday and the post delivered them on Tuesday .  How is that for service?  750 onion seeds to be sown in August.  Do you thi

nk I couild/should sow them now?  I have an area where some of the new potatoes were lifted and I think the'Japs' will love following them.

What do you plant after your potatoes?  Spring cabbage, Autumn King carrots, a Green Manure like mustard?  Answers on a post card or even leave a comment!  They're always very welcome!  Are you enjoying the sun?  I'm watering twice a day at the moment.

Here's an appropriate track for the blog theme: Green Onions and the great Jon Lord and his band.

Monday 1 July 2019

Plant Cuttings With Roots For Free.

I water my plants every morning.  Sometimes I check my cuttings to see if they have roots.  Here are three Sedums and a Nepeta plant.  I made them three weeks a go.  All you do is get some scissors and take off a cutting a couple of inches long or so.  Leave just two leaves at the top of the cutting and remove any surplus leaves and place your cutting in a tray or flower pot full of compost or in a glass of water.  I placed mine in a tray and didn't bother with hormone rooting powder.  I also pinched out the tip of the cutting so the new plant will go bushy instead of growing tall and leggy.

Hey presto.  Four new plants.  They really are fun to make.  Go on take some cuttings today.  Its amazing when you see roots growing on your new plants.  Are you successful with your cuttings?  

Two Charity Shop Vases Full Of Feverfew.

"The 18th Century Aspirin Plant." I have this plant growing in my veg garden at the moment.  It is supposed to be brilliant for al...