January Musings from Prospect Cottage.

In arigna on January 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm

The view out the window from our computer spot is pretty grey today. The mountains are shrouded in mist and the wind is gusting very strong. It’s not a day for venturing out unless one has too. My only outing today was to take the dogs for a short walk and venture into the polytunnel on the return to get some carrots for the evening meal. We will have the carrots with mashed potato and the remnants of a Hazelnut and Courgette Loaf I made yesterday. Today the loaf will be fried. Perhaps a soupcon of onion gravy too.


The land is saturated at the moment, there was a lot of rain in December and it’s now continuing into January. The lakes and rivers are full to capacity and every drain and ditch is busy with rushing water. Very strong winds over the last week. I find wind so tiring, it exhausts my energy.

In the house everything is warm and cosy. The stove is going from early morning to late at night. The Christmas tree still twinkles on the table, it is considered unlucky to take down the decorations before Twelfth Night, January 6th. We got a living tree this year. After the 6th we will repot it,leave it in the polytunnel, then move it outside when the weather improves.

 In the garden there are some signs of Spring waiting in the wings. Willow is budding, it’s lovely catkins one of the symbols of Spring. Daffodils are up a few inches but I suppose the colder weather at the moment will have put a halt to their growth. When the ground dries out a bit there is lots of work to be done dividing perennials to create new plantings. But alas it’s far too wet right now. A little patience required!

In the polytunnel February Orchid (Orychophragmus violaceus) is flowering early. A little beacon of hope for an early Spring!! This little plant with a big name is not an Orchid at all but of the Brassica family.

Marigolds continue to flower in the polytunnel, a sure sign that despite the current wind and rain that it has so far (fingers crossed) been a mild Winter here in Ireland. I wonder if they are perennials in their native land? Anyone out there know? Their cheery flowers certainly help to brighten the dull days of January here in Arigna.

  1. With a view like that, I’d write all the time. Even on the muggy days. The muggy days are my favorite.
    We’re doing the same thing with our Christmas tree. Well, we’re going to keep repot it until it gets too big to move with anymore and then we’ll plant it.
    It’s our first year with a real tree. Yours was so cute! And just a bit bigger than ours.
    I thought marigolds were annuals. I was going to pull up the dead marigold plants this week. Now you have me rethinking….I’d better check that flower book.

  2. How is it that when I read this post I can feel the grey mist and the warmth inside your home. Thank you for sharing the promise of spring.

  3. It does look like dreary weather. I like your plant for planting the living Christmas tree. We are having a mild winter, too. Are daffodils normally up in your part of the world this early in January. I was surprised to see some up and budding this early in North Carolina. I did a blog post about mild winter/early spring and would love your contribution on what you’re noticing in Ireland.

  4. Although dreary outside your window, your home looks very cozy indeed. Alas, our twinkles will be put away today, since I would never take a tree down before this weekend either.

    Wishing you a wonderful new year, Bridget!

  5. I loved this post! The sweet reality of your day and your comings and goings. Your corner of the world looks very comfortable and welcoming. Thanks for sharing a true glimpse of your January life and gardens.

  6. Love your pictures and comments, gives a lovely sense of spring. Really looking forward to it
    Terry 🙂

  7. I feel the same way about unrelenting wind. I wish I had a polytunnel to go to and pull carrots. Maybe I need one.

    • Hi Sage Butterfly
      If you invest in a tunnel its money really well spent. You will wonder why you never had one sooner. We spend a lot of time in ours and even have a hammock for the lazy days.

  8. I find this time of year a bit depressing. However, I am resolved to take my camera out and capture some of the more interesting features of winter as it passes. I do hope there will be some snow…soon… Happy new year!

  9. We’ve had so much rain here in Wales too. My local river looked like the river in Charlie and the Chocolate factory today, At least we shouldn’t have anyone mention hosepipe bans this summer! I don’t like the wind either. I was kept awake most of last night with the sound of the gales.I love that Orchid such a beautiful colour. Bulbs are pushing up all over the garden and I have one lone snowdrop flowering. Can’t wait for Spring.

  10. Thank you sharing your beautiful pictures of flowers and your home…didn’t know about the Twelfth Night tradition, but somehow intuited it. I don’t like to tear all the lovely twinkling, shiny lights and stockings down right away. (I also don’t really feel like it’s the New Year until Spring Equinox!!)

    Bright Blessings,
    Diane T. and furfamily

  11. Great looking poly tunnel…this is our first year to give it a go… thanks for stopping by my blog. Your layout is lovely, I have been thinking about a new look for the new year. This could be the layout I choose. Wishing you continued success with your garden. enJOY today!

  12. Dear Bridget, There is a lot more going on in your January garden than in mine. But I don’t have a poly tunnel. The cold and the wind make me feel very tired, too. Stay warm!! P. x

  13. It’s lovely to see signs of spring already in your garden. The February Orchid is beautiful and those Marigolds are a lovely splash of sunshine on a rather gloomy day. Hopefully your mild winter weather will continue and conditions won’t deteriorate. As you are stuck indoors because of the wind and cold, I’m stuck indoors because of the heat and humidity. The air-con is on for part of the day most days of the week now, especially in the middle of the day, and it’s just too hot and the sun is too fierce to be outside for any length of time.

  14. It’s a great time of year to wander around the garden seeing what’s coming to life, no matter how cold and wet! I love the sound of frying the courgette bread 🙂

  15. As much as I miss the rain in the Pacific Northwest (USA states Oregon & Washington), I can recall many days that a visit to a poly tunnel would have felt like a vacation from the gray outside.
    I am sure it gives you year round chores too – but garden work is so good for our physical and mental health.

  16. Bridget
    Wonderful to have this virtual connection to Ireland. To you and your garden,
    all the very best in 2012!
    Wish I had a polytunnel ;-D

  17. I’m new to this blogging world, but found you through my own blog I was so excited to see you were from Ireland. My husband served a mission there for two years in the 80’s…so I’m partial to it. Someday I hope he takes me there. I love your pictures and am excited to follow you. Your life seems so cool how you raise your own food and everything. Good job!

  18. Lovely musings Bridget. Grey wet windy day here in Dun Laoghaire.

    Your Calendula officinalis (pot marigold) is a short lived perennial but as you know this particular beauty self seeds real well and needs no help from us gardeners. As to it’s native country well there is speculation about its origins with some schools thinking of it as a mediterranean plant yet others suggesting that it is a native or at best naturalised plant. I agree with the latter but have no scientific basis to support this.

    Either way it’s a beauty. Particularly nice on salads don’t you think to liven those greens.

  19. Nice to see one of your own posts Bridget and also to see that there is still a little bit of colour and life in your January garden. It is pretty gusty and miserable here – it rained non-stop yesterday – be glad when spring finally comes.

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