Monday, 31 August 2020

Soapwort A Nice Garden Perennial And A Substitute For Soap.

I have grown Soapwort in pots and in the borders and in the veg plot for donkeys years.  It's a nice herbaceous perennial and is flower at this time of year.

It can be propagated by cuttings  or by division. 


Years ago people used the leaves for a soap substitute.  If you run it's leaves it forms a lather.   It's  very gentle an ancient tapestries and the Shroud of Turin have been cleaned with Soapwort.

Here's a video:


Saturday, 29 August 2020

Watching An Oil Tanker.

The Promitheas sailing down Bantry Bay this morning.  According to Marine Radar she's Greek owned and sailed from Pouliguen in France.  The picture is taken from the back garden.

In my time living here we have seen cruise ships, fishing boats, oil tankers and even a whale in Bantry  Bay.

When I look at the oil tankers I often wonder how much crude diesel they burn getting to their destinations.

The bay is one of the natural deepest bays in the world.

Thursday, 27 August 2020

A Green Post Box On The Sheepshead Peninsula.

I went along the main road on the North Side (Northsider) of the Sheepshead Peninsula today.  It's  on the Southside of the bay!

Just an eight mile walk along the tarmac and gazing at the bay, dodging speeding cars and lorries and thanking kind motorists who indicate and overtake and give me a wide berth.

Listening to some classic heavy Rock on Spotify with one ear phone and listening for cars out of the other ear.

It threw it down last night and I didn't fancy the "squelch", "squelch " of walking along the Sheepshead Way.  I hoped I would see someone  I know to have a chat and put the world to rights and maybe tell a joke or three?

It's  roast beef and our homegrown vegetables for tea.  The beef didn't cost nothing because we got a ten Euros voucher for spending fifty Euros on my brother's shopping in Super Value.   Not a bad meal after a good walk on a Thursday.  I might open a bottle of Chilean red wine.  Hmm...🤔




Tuesday, 25 August 2020

My Perennial Plant Of The Month.

The Sedum a member of the Stone Crop family are just starting to pink and redden up.  They are one of my favourite perennials at this time of year.

I have over made an hundred Sedum cuttings that have rooted this year.  If you want a late Summer Autumn plant that attracts the Butterflies and Bees.  I would recommend a Sedum "Autumn  Joy" for your garden.

If you live in West Cork and want to buy some Sedum plants, please leave a comment and I  will give you contact details.   They are not expensive.  Thanks!




Monday, 24 August 2020

Homegrown Tomatoes Straight From The Polytunnel.

 Our homegrown Tom's ripening in the wooden bowl number one son turned and made.  The light, sun shines through our "magic" kitchen window and reddens them.

 These have just been picked this saffy (I've gone Scouse), afternoon from "Portugal" my three hooped polytunnel pal.  It's not very warm in there and we have started lighting Stanley our range. 

Storm Francis is supposed to be leaving it's calling card tonight and tomorrow.  So it's batten down the hatches and have a good scoop or tish even.

Here's a John Denver song about the excitement that is homegrown tomatoes:




Saturday, 22 August 2020

Tradescantia Zebrina Rooted Cuttings.

I have such an interesting life.  This morning I checked the cuttings in the glasses of water in the magic kitchen window.  Guess what?  The Tradescantia  Zebrina or Spiderwort of even it's common name: "Wandering  Jew" decided to grow some roots!

Isn't Mother Nature clever?

If you lived in Surrey or that posh Southern county up North called Cheshire.  You could imagine Mama shouting:

"Tradescantia Zebrina.  Your Tea's ready".

Maybe not.  They wouldn't call their Tea, Tea.  It would be Dinner or Supper wouldn't it?  They don't  have Tea down in West Cork either. 

Friday, 21 August 2020

Making Cuttings In "Portugal " My Polytunnel..

Storm Ellen visited Ireland on Wednesday night.  We got away lightly with heavy rain whilst other parts of the country suffered power outages and flooding.

I have not been able to do any outside gardening due to the wet weather. Then they say have a staycation in Ireland.

At least my plastic pal "Portugal" the polytunnel still allows me to potter about in her three hoops.  I put on the "wireless " and listen to classic hits and listeners calling into to talk about the politicians contradicting themselves and making it up as they go along about Covoid.  

Any road.  I have started filling up the polytunnel with cuttings:


Are you making cuttings at the moment?

You don't need to have a polytunnel to make cuttings:




Fill some glasses with water and put your cuttings on a windowsill.  Ours is magic because the cuttings always root.  

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Propagated Plants Take Over More Of The Veg Plot.

Remember  where the onions lived?  Well the new rooted cuttings live there now.  There's  Sedums in plant pots, Cotoneaster plants and I've just divided my Phormiums in pots.  Oh yeah there's  Sedums in pots in the bath too.

This hobby nay obsession is becoming serious.

Plant pot collectors of the world unite!

I was sat in 'Portugal' my polytunnel this morning and thinking how lucky I am to have my own little piece of Eden in Ireland.  Yes the weather isn't  very good in Ireland at times, we don't  live near a pub or even have public transport.  But I have my plot and my plants for friends.  Isn't  that how it's meant to be?  Being at one with nature. 

I could do with a glass of Vinho Verde.  Is it that time of day?


Monday, 17 August 2020

Have You Ever Thought A Song Was By Someone Else?

Regular readers will know I am not the sharpest  pencil in the box.  But being the autodidact that I am.  I need to communicate with the world and his wife by two finger or sometimes one tapping words on Blogger.

Any road.  I always thought when I listened to the the above song on the wireless it was Blondie but it wasn't.  It does sound like them don't  you think?  It was in fact Martha and the Muffins.  They are Canadian not American.

I recently read an old interview and one question was:

"Why do you sound like Blondie?

Have you ever thought a song  you liked was by someone else?

Saturday, 15 August 2020

Shrub Propagation In ' Portugal' The Polytunnel.

" Haven't we had a lot of weather lately?"  Stan Laurel.


On Wednesday it was 25 degrees and it was 'SCORCHIO' here on the Irish Riviera. 

Since then we have had some very heavy downpours and last night I thought about how Snooker was invented during the Monsoon season.  Did you see Ronnie 'Rocket' last night?  We share the same birthday and he plays like my other Snooker heroes: Jimmy White and Alex  Higgins.  Hope you win your sixth World title Ronnie!

Any road.  It's  started to cool down and I have started making shrubs cuttings in the polytunnel.  Even on radio days or even rainy days I can still garden and listen to the greatest hits on my 'wireless' a present from my wife and yet something else from the middle aisle in the German  garden centre and beer retailers:
Shrub cuttings settling in the polytunnel.  They like the eighties and nineties music too. 

Last years Hebes cuttings and dividing phormiums in large pots taking over another part of the veg plot.  The Brussel sprouts and Leeks don't  seem to mind have shrub plant companions.

Anybody else making cuttings?

Thursday, 13 August 2020

A Look At The Compost Heap..

It was 25 degrees here yesterday so I did my mad dogs and English men routine.  I decided to move the empty large plant pots behind 'Portugal' the polytunnel and clip the nettles back and look for the brown gold that lives in my compost heap.

" Three lonely pallets all on there own".

" Half a ton of compost without any stone"

I hope.


There's  gold in them there hills.  Three wooden pallets held together with screws and nails or bailing twine.  

Look at the stuff.  Full of anaerobic bacteria, wholesome plant food and it cost nothing or ' nowt'  for short.


The cheap potting compost I buy from guess where will now be supplemented with home made compost.  The plants will love it!  

Looks like I will be potting up now the rain is back.  Time to go to my polytunnel office.

You know that I live in the polytunnel in the countryside by the sea?  Well I might be going collecting seaweed and making another compost heap. If it decides to stop raining.  





Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Enjoying The Sunshine On The Irish Riviera.


I haven't  got much to blog about at the moment.   Here's  Rosie the Golden  Retriever last Sunday.  She picked up a bottle of Portuguese white wine full of water from her very own paddling puddle.  She's  only six months old and is incredibly intelligent and her jaw strength is incredible.



Rosie leaving her doggy paddling pool with yet another bottle of water.

It's  been glorious  weather this week.

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Drying Onions On The Irish Riviera..

It's  supposed to go up to 18 degrees this week.  Time to roll up the trouser legs and put the knotted handkerchief  on one's head me thinks.

I  got up and was harvesting the onions at twenty past seven this morning.  There was an heavy dew and I filled a fertilizer bag with onions.  Then I laid them out on the patio table to dry:

Here's  the late Jon Lord playing Green Onions.  I once  saw him live with Whitesnake.

Enjoy.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

75 Years Ago Today.

Today is the seventy fifth anniversary of the atom bomb being dropped on Hiroshima.  It is beyond belief how this could have happened .   Please God may it never happen anywhere else.

I am proud to live in a country like Ireland that doesn't  have any nuclear weapons.

Here's  a catchy song by that electronic  Wirral band: OMD.  I think it's  appropriate  for today.




Wednesday, 5 August 2020

A Walk Above The Bays.

I went for a walk on Bank holiday Monday morning up on the hills above where I live.  The photo is Bantry Bay and Hungry Hill over on the Beara Peninsula.  It's a wonderful place for a walk and to intoxicate your self in the scenery on a nice Summers day.






Dunmanus Bay in the distance.  Three peninsulas in a row.  We live on the middle one: Sheepshead.

Here's  a song by the High Kings that mentions Bantry Bay.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

A Sacred Yew In Muckross Friary.

This magnificent Yew Trees is over  500 years old.   They were a sacred tree to the Druids and you often see them growing in old churchyards.  This one was planted in the middle of the cloisters by the abbeys  founders in 1448.

Yews are poisonous to animals and humand and they are often planted in church yards to symbolize both death and eternity.  A Yew tree will live for at least nine hundred years.

Their leaves and hedge clippings have been collected and made into cancer fighting drugs.  This can be done artificially nowadays  in a laboratory.

I love them for their architectural shape and to me they are Europe's equivalent to the giant Redwood found in north America.

They say that you plant a tree for your grandchildren to enjoy.  The Franciscans planted trees for many future generations.


Monday, 3 August 2020

A Saunter Around Muckross On An August Bank Holiday Weekend..

Muckross House.  Queen Victoria stayed here  for two nights.  She had a wing to herself and put Killarney firmly on the tourist map..  it's the most popular destination in Ireland.
Jaunting carts,  you have to pay for the privilege of riding in one but the carparks  and walks and grounds are free for everyone to use.
You can pay for a guided tour round the house.  We did last year.  It's  very Upstairs and  Downstairs/ Downton  Abbey.
A view of the lakes.
The famous Kerry  cows.
People  enjoying the splendor and beauty of Muckross House and gardens.
A Kerry Way sign.
Looking over to Killarney,
Apartments in the distance.
Old mousey foraging.  A Hugh Fearnley  Whittingstall of the rodent world.
Muckross  Abbey.
A memorial stone for a Killarney Minstrel.
All about the monks.
The ruined yet still very impressive Abbey.
Old mousey again.

Sunday, 2 August 2020

One Brown Mouse In Killarney.

It's  Bank holiday weekend over here in Ireland.  So we went for a spin over to Killarney and visited Muckross House Gardens and walked to Muckross Abbey, along the side of the lake and along the paths.  I will post more pictures tomorrow.

Any road along our walk we spotted a mouse foraging among the leaves and fruits dropped from the ancient trees.  Here's  a photo:

He/she was not shy in any way and scurried about and carried on foraging.  He was oblivious almost to the passing cyclists, the world and his wife, jaunting carts and the four of us and Rosie the Golden Retriever.

My mental jukebox started playing a classic  Jethro Tull song.  'One Brown Mouse".  I have seen them five times at festivals and at Manchester Apollo.


Another Successful Rooted Cutting.

 The wife bought a Coleus or ' Painted Nettle " plant from the German garden centre and beer providers the other week.   So when sh...