Wednesday 30 September 2020

My Grandmother's Kitchen Sink Filled With Sedums.

 That's  a photo of my Grandmother's sink.    The veg artist left a comment  yesterday saying  Sedums look good in old sinks. When we did up (renovated) the old farmhouse I  saved the old pot sink and filled it with topsoil.  Then I planted it up with Lamiums, Cranesbill Geraniums, Valerian and Sedums.  I sometimes plant bulbs in them.

I wonder how many times that sink was full of glasses when they use to dance in the kitchen? 

I wonder what my Grandmother would think of all our white goods like the washing machine that washes our clothes in fourteen minutes, the dish washer, microwave and Henry vacuum cleaner?

Tuesday 29 September 2020

Two Old Baths Full Of Sedum Plants.


Well it makes a change from keeping coal in it!

When was the last time you had a bath?  We've still got ours!

That's one of my old jokes.

I have gone bit OTT with the Sedum cuttings this year.  If you lived near me I would swap you some.  I love barter.  Do you?

The old Butterflies love the Sedums too.  

If I was an artist I would paint a picture of them and call it: Sedums In The Bath.   Hey Banksy can you paint them?

Aren't  they beautiful?

Monday 28 September 2020

You Don't Have To Have A Polytunnel If You Have Got A Glass Of Water.


More successful rooted cuttings.  These were placed in small glasses of water in the kitchen window.  Hey presto a few weeks later and they have grown roots.   There a Hydrangea cutting and three Rosemary cuttings.

I potted them on this morning and they will spend the Autumn and Winter in "Portugal" my plastic polytunnel pal.

Saturday 26 September 2020

Hurray! Another Successful Hydrangea Cutting With New Roots.

Have you made any shrub cuttings lately?  


my polytunnel is full to the brim with them.  To misquote Blue Peter presenters:

"Here's a cutting I made earlier".

I always like to check a random cutting to see if Mother Nature's been busy weaving her magic and growing some roots on a new cutting.


Friday 25 September 2020

The Retirement Of One Of My Prog Rock Heroes.

I read this week on Tweb and Tinternet that Fish (ex Marillion lead singer) is retiring.  Regular readers will know that a long with gardening and walking I love a bit of Prog Rock.  Fish is also a keen gardener. 

In my 56 nearly 57 years on this planet I have seen some great  Prog bands: Kansas, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, Magnum, Yes, Roger Waters and Kansas again.  Not forgetting Marillion.  Named after  the Tolkein novel The Silmarillion.

For me Marillion were probably the best Prog Rock band of the 1980s.  I bought Script For A Jesters Tears and played it until I knew it off by heart.

In 1986 me and my mates went to Milton Keynes Bowl (a story in itself) in the back of a Luton van and paid twelve Pounds for the privilege of seeing bands play at The Garden Party.  Marillion headlined and were supported by the likes of Mamas Boys, Gary Moore, Magnum and Jethro Tull.  It was a fabulous day had by all including the weather.

Fish left the band in 1988 and was replaced by Steve Hogarth.  Tracks like Out Of This World and Ocean Cloud are well worth listening to.  I am saddened that Fish is retiring but at least I can still watch him on You Tube and play those albums.

I saw Fish again last year in Kent at A New Day Festival.  He walked in front of us before his performance having a smoke.  During his performance I shouted: "Script, script".  I wanted to hear Script For A Jesters Tears.

I had watched Zal Cleminsons Sin Dogs kick off the festival and I have always thought Fish got a lot of inspiration from The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.  Some say early Genesis and Peter Gabriel.  Fish is a poet, lyricist and theatrical performer and a gardener.  

Thanks Fish.  Watch these two great videos.

Thursday 24 September 2020

Another Walk On My Side Of The Sheepshead Way.

Just me and my faithful walking stick went for a walk high above the two bays yesterday.

The heather is in flower at the moment.

Oak finger post markers with their own individual numbers.
Up the hill and on to the next post.

 The world is such a worrying place when you switch on the news at the moment.  Up here it's  so peaceful and I thank God that we can enjoy nature in all it's ever changing landscape.  Autumn on the Sheepshead Way.

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Slea Head And A Blasket Isle Author's Grave.

I read on a Tourist  information sign in Dingle that  Irish author and seanchai (story teller) Peig Sayers grave was in Dunquin out on Slea Head past Dingle.  She was a remarkable lady who lived on the Blasket Isles.  Her oral  tales were recorded and  published in book form.  Her book was on the Leaving Certificate in Ireland until recently.  

Looking out over to the Blasket islands and  not Skellig Michael.  I thought it was.

A philosophic looking seagull.  It reminded me of the one we fed chips to from the hotel balcony last  February (2019) in the Algarve.  It couldn't be Jose, could it?

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Dingle Town.

After the car boot on Sunday morning we drove to Dingle.
I treated the missus to a slap up meal.  We had a bag of chips each in the car.  THREE Euros each! I know how to give a girl a good time.

 Interesting sign.

A Busker entertaining.
A sculpture of Fungi the friendly resident Dolphin.  It was the nicest day I have seen in Dingle.  The place was full and it could have been Cornwall or even the Algarve in Winter.  Today it's back to the rain on the Irish Riviera in the countryside next to the sea.

Monday 21 September 2020

Carboot Saunter Looking For Treasure.

 We went carbooting Sunday morning in Kerry.  It was a glorious Indian summer of a day and the world and the wife seemed to be on the look out for a bargain.   The wife bought knitting patterns and a new switch for Henry our vacuum cleaner.  Not a good choice.  I picked up some paintings and the plate and tea cup and saucer below.  Not a bad mornings Womble.

Me in my blue walking jacket having a look round.  

A  Enoch Wedgwood (cousin of Josiah)Soldier plate for 2 Euros.
I saw Tower Bridge on one stall.  The lady said the tea cup and saucer came with and she wrapped them up in paper.  All for 3 Euros.

Sunday 20 September 2020

Butterflies Enjoying The Sedum Nectar.

It's been lovely weather here on the Irish Riviera this week.  The weekend is supposed to be good too and and any excuse to enjoy the Indian Summer before the rain and dropping temperatures from next Tuesday.  That's one thing about living on coast  in the countryside you become obsessed with checking next week's weather.

The grass is still growing and I am still mowing it weekly.  I have noticed occasional fungus growing and heavy morning dews.

I sauntered round the gardens yesterday and noticed Butterflies on my Sedums.  I have lots of them in pots and in the borders:

If you want to  attract  Butterflies in your garden get some Sedums.  

Guess what?  A butterfly landed on my hand yesterday.

Here's  a great song to go with the Sedum and the Butterfly post.  It's by Big Big Train.  They are one special Prog Rock band I would love to see live.  The vocalist reminds me of  Steve Hogarth  from Marillion.  I've seen  Marillion twice.  Once with Fish and once with Steve Hogarth.  I also saw Fish again last year at A New Day Festival in Kent.  

Have a great weekend. 

Friday 18 September 2020

A Walk A Long The Road.

 I went for an eight miles walk along the road yesterday.  I've  pulled my back gardening twice in the last week.  It's an old injury that plays up now and again.  I have discovered over the last few years walking somehow frees the muscles and takes away any toxins.   It's like a free outside gymnasium.

I never had any conversations with anybody during my walk.  Just a few waves from passing cars and I listened to some classic Heavy Rock on Spotify through my earphones on my mobile phone.

There is a new kind of litter flotsam and jetsam in the verges: the face mask.  It's a change from discarded coffee cups and cigarettes  and their packets with their horrible photos of smoke damaged lungs.  I noticed a county council sign telling people to take their litter home, but I didn't see any litter bins.  On a holiday in the Algarve last year.  We noticed litter bins everywhere, in the streets, sides of the roads and on the beaches.  They even have bins for plastic.  

It was a rather hazy autumnal day and it felt very humid and my T shirt was wet though with sweat after the walk.  I think  it's the waterproof materials in my walking coat that turns me into my own mobile sauna.  That's  Beara Peninsula over in the distance across the bay.

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Do You Remember The Good Old Days When You Could Go To A Rock Festival?

 I think I would go mad if it wasn't for good old You Tube.   I haven't seen any live music or even been inside a pub this year.  

One of my recurring pastimes is to look up past concerts which I attended.  One such festival was A New Day Festival in Faversham in Kent last August.   It's  a beautiful setting: Mount Ephraim Gardens.  

There are two stages, it's  capacity is 5000 and it's aimed at the over fifties Rocker like you truly.   It was a memorable weekend with fabulous weather, not very good festival beer (plastic glasses probably?🤔)  and full of knowledgeable festival revellers just out for a good time.

Here's a video from the festival:

Do you think we will see some live music again soon?

Sunday 13 September 2020

Filling The Polytunnel With Cuttings.

It's  been a typical Sunday morning.  I have been watering the cuttings in the polytunnel, digging out more of the homemade compost from the compost heap and filling plant pots with it and I also made about forty more shrub cuttings.  They are mainly shrub cuttings but I have a lot of Osteospermums that have rooted also.  

Here's some pictures of my ever filling polytunnel:

These have all rooted.  Mainly Hebe plants.  Nice welly Bob Dave.

I notice that Lidl is selling Organic onions for 49 Cents this week.  I think that's  one of the reasons we grow more shrubs and perennials than we grow vegetables these days.  

You have got to have an hobby living in the countryside next to  the sea.  

Saturday 12 September 2020

Under The Hedge Cuttings Gardening.

Regular readers know we have a "magic" kitchen window.  We also have a "magic" under the hedge way of growing or getting cuttings to root.  

I fill up a plastic module tray with compost and place six cuttings in the compost in the container.   I give them a water and place them under one of my Griselina hedges and check them now again if we have a dry spell.😎

Then after three or four weeks  I check them for any signs of roots?   I ended up with seven new Buddleia shrubs.

Sure enough these Buddleia cuttings have grown roots.  The Butterflies will be happy with more bushes being planted and more flowers for them next year.

I  checked some other rooted cuttings and potted them up all morning with my homemade compost which you can see in the bucket.  Most of them are Hebe cuttings.  Soon they will go outside and I will make some more cuttings.

Thursday 10 September 2020

I Am Hooked On Alaska The Last Frontier.

 A farmer friend told me about an Alaska Homestead family programme on free channel 172 DMAX every Monday to Friday night.  They cut down trees, shoot bears for food, fish for Atlantic salmon, grow vegetables and farm the incredibly beautiful wilderness in Alaska

Would or could you live in the middle of nowhere and farm and hunt in such a landscape?  The winter storms and nine months of snow put me off.  We live fifteen minutes from a supermarket or kebab house by car.  That's  far enough for me.  

Any road.  Please watch it and let me know what you think of Alaska The Last Frontier.  

Here's their theme tune and a snippet of what the programme is about:

Tuesday 8 September 2020

Propagating Dragon or Voodoo Lily's.

Welcome to my polytunnel  office.

 The wife  recently bought an Arum lily from our local German garden centre and supermarket and beer  and wine retailers.  Sure enough it flowered on our  "magic" kitchen window sill.  They are also called Dragon and Voodoo Lily's.

It's stopped flowering and so I decided it was time for Doctor Northsider the plant propagation fanatic to carry out an operation.

I split them with my knife into six new plants.  They are potted on and five of them are going to spend their winter in "Portugal" my plastic friend.  The other plant is back on the " magic window sill.  

Here's  your old mate Uli Jon Roth playing Voodoo  Child.  Did I tell you I saw him live last year?  Do you think we will see live music ever again?  

Sunday 6 September 2020

Dividing The Shastas Daisies Time.

The Shasta Daisies are finishing flowering now.  Any of them that need dead heading  I prune back and divide and repot.
Shasta Daisies after their haircut and division.  The beer glass is full of Rosemary cuttings.  

The one's below are repotted and placed on some builders plastic and another part of the veg plot is put to bed for the winter.  I might even use it for an extension of my plant nursery.  

Saturday 5 September 2020

Michaelmas Daisies In The Veg Plot.

 Michaelmas Daisies or Asters are now coming into flower in the veg plot and herbaceous perennials borders.  Another garden plant like the Sedums that reminds us that Autumn will soon be here.  The nights are starting to get longer than the days.

Michaelmas is the festival of Saint Michael.  Celebrated in the both the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches on the twenty ninth of September.  It was a time for paying rents, the end of the harvests and deciding which animals would be slaughtered at Martinmass (Nov11) and also Armistice Day.  The end of the Great War of 1914 to 1918.

Goose was traditionally ate at Michaelmas and a cake or pie would be made with a ring it.  The lucky recipient would be given the ring for their wedding the following  year.

Michaelmas is also the traditional time for new terms to start in colleges and schools.

I like Michaelmas Daisies and I propagate them by division.  I have also grown them from cuttings in 'Portugal' my three hooped plastic pale or polytunnel even.

Friday 4 September 2020

Sedum Plants Putting On A Show.

 I arranged some of the Sedums I have grown outside the old farmhouse the other day.  They are putting on a late Summer, early Autumn show.   

Sedums are very easy  to propagate  by division or by cuttings.  They attract the Butterflies and bees  and I like them very much.

They also remind me that Winter is on it's way.   

Thursday 3 September 2020

All Along The Ballincollig Watchtower.

 How's that for a good blog title?  

On our way to Cork yesterday we visited St Oliver's Cemetery and did some shopping in Lidl in Ballincollig.  We took a wrong turning and ended up in a carpark and whilst the wife put Lidl into Google maps for directions.   I had a nosey and a mosey around.

I noticed this old watchtower that use to be a part of Ballincollig  Gunpowder  Works.  In those days they feared French invasions and built Martello towers all over the place.  They are even near us on Garnish and Whiddy  islands.

The gunpowder was made to keep Napoleon at bay and for blasting stone during the construction of railways in Ireland, England, Scotland  and Wales.  This was until 1910 when some bright spark invented synthetic explosives and these  were used instead of gun powder.  

Cork council eventually bought the derelict building  from ICI and now it's part of a tourist park and trail.

My mental jukebox  began to play the following tune:

I saw Uli Jon Roth last year at A New Day Festival  in Kent.  Here he is playing one of Mr Hendrix's classic tracks.  Although on further research it appears that Robert  Zimmerman composed it.  Didn't you  Bob?

Wednesday 2 September 2020

Visiting The People's 🎸 Guitarist Resting Place.

We finally visited Rory Gallagher's grave near Cork today.  He was born in Donegal and grew up in Cork.  Jimi Hendrix claimed that Rory Gallagher was the world's greatest guitarist.

Last August I went to A New Day Festival in Kent and I watched Band of Friends.  The bass guitarist is one of Rory's old band members and they played some of his songs.

I have been listening 🎧 to Rory avidly for the last year.  Rory sold over thirty million records and passed away at only 45.

I thanked Rory for his music and his gravestone is similar to an award he won.

Here's my favourite track of his:

Tuesday 1 September 2020

Corned Beef Pie Like The One Bob Made.

The new BBC series of Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing is back on Sunday nights.

Oh how I wish I had a pal like those two.  They are so funny and yet so philosophical.  It takes me back to my old Coarse fishing days and me and my mates would go fishing on a mill lodge and fill our keep nets with cold cans or bottles of Northern English bitter.  Happy days and lots of laughs and a meditation on nature.

Any road Bob Mortimer made corned beef pie on Sunday night.  So yesterday we made it with corned beef, onions, potatoes and peas:

It was very filling and there was even some left for Rosie's the Golden Retriever's  breakfast today.  It was pure stodge and a very cheap tea.  Like something my dear old mum would make on a Monday night.

We are on beef curry tonight.  What are you having for your tea?

A Bus man's Holiday To See Some Pigs At Balmoral Show.

You know what a bus man's holiday is don't you?  It means going on holiday and doing the same thing that you do at work.  Or on the ...