Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘ash’

Ireland’s Native Trees.

In Ireland, nature on November 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Ash tree in back field.

 There are differing opinions about the number of native Irish trees. A general consensus seems to be 18. Ash is one of the commonest trees. It grows on all soils and self seeds readily. The national game of hurling is played with hurleys made from Ash. It is also a great tree for burning and can be burned from green.

Scots Pine at Lough Rynn.

 The mighty Scots Pine can grow to a height of 40 metres and live up to 300 years.  The wood is known as “red deal”…it is used fencing, in house building and in telephone poles. It is high in resin which makes it longer lasting.

Young Oak tree at Seed Savers in Co Clare.

 There are 2 native Oaks…sessile and pedunculate. The difference is in the acorns. The acorns from Sessile Oaks have no stalks while the pedunculate have quite long stalks. Ireland’s oldest Oak is at Tuamgraney in Co. Clare…it is 1,000 years old. The Oak pictured above is grown from an acorn from that tree. It is known as Brian Boru’s Oak. Brian Boru was the last High King of Ireland…he was killed at the battle of Clontarf in 1014 reputedly at 88 years old. Oak produces very strong timber…most of Ireland’s Oak forests were felled to be used in the making of ships for Britain’s Royal Navy.

Birch, Scots Pine and Ash to the north-side of our house.

 Now is a good time for planting trees, especially in the mild weather we have been having. It is a good idea to plant native trees as they are accostumed to the climate…more wildlife friendly…birds and insects are fussy and will only inhabit plants they recognise.  Check what grows in your area already. If something is not going to do well in your soil there’s no point planting it.

The complete list in addition to those mentioned:

Birch, will grow in boggy, wet soil. Rowan, also called Mountain Ash. Alder, has nitrogen fixing nodules on it’s roots. Willow, hundreds of species, grows easily from cuttings. Holly, only the female bears the red berries that symbolise Christmas for so many. Hazel, produces edible nuts that are much loved by humans and squirrels. Aspen, a fast growing member of the Poplar family. Bird Cherry, found mainly in the north-west. Crab Apple, produces small sour apples which make an easy to set jelly. Strawberry Tree, found mainly in co . Kerry. It produces fruits which look like Strawberries hence the name. Whitebeam, has a preference for limy soils. Wych Elm, mostly wiped out by Dutch Elm Disease. Wild Cherry, grows best in alkaline soil. Yew, most often associated with graveyards produces berries which are poisonous to livestock.

 If you’re going to plant a tree…do plant a native tree.

 

 

 

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Fave Pics from Summer 2011.

In Off the beaten track. on September 23, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Took this pic at Serpent’s Rock on the Sligo coast. There are several acres of limestone covered in fossils here, a fascinating spot. I think this one looks like a person wearing a headress.

In May we went to see Freda Kahlo’s paintings at the Museum of Modern Art in Kilmainham, Dublin. Nearby is the beautiful walled garden.

Early June saw a rare event this Summer, blue sky and sun. This pic was taken in our back field. There are a hundred young Ash trees planted here.

Ganesh, remover of obstacles, arrived around Summer Solstice time. A present from our friends Debra and Paul who live in Clare.

The end of June saw a new resident, Freddie, the new puppy. He is now happily ensconsed here and fits in well with our other 2 dogs. He will be a year old next month.

Nasturtiums, regardless of weather, they never fail to produce their jewel like flowers which of course are edible and elevate the appearance of a salad.

Driving back from Sligo I always like to stop by Lough Meelagh where this beautiful folly never ceases to fascinate. It was once part of the Kilronan estate.

Bealtaine Eve.

In Folklore, Gardening on April 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm

The Eve of Bealtaine, the beginning of the celebration of the first day of Summer according to the old Celtic calendar. The good weather this year make the vibrancy and energy of the season more tangible than usual. There is an old saying to predict the weather ” Ash before Oak, you’re in for a soak. Oak before Ash, you’re in for a splash.” As you can see from the pic above the Oak is in leaf first, in Arigna anyway!

The hedgerows are full of wildflowers right now.

The name Bealtaine comes from the Celtic god, Bel, meaning bright one, and the Gaelic word, teine, meaning fire. Midnight tonight is the traditional time for fires to be lit. The lighting of fires was seen as a symbol of purification for man and beast. The Celts used to build 2 fires and drive the livestock between them, this ensured fertility and a good milk yield.

Ferns are almost fully unfurled now.

The Earth’s energies are at their most active now, everything is a fresh new green. The Hawthorn or Maybush is just coming into flower. It was an important plant at Bealtaine, bunches were collected early on a May morning and placed above the doors and windows as a protection. They were also placed on doors of the animal houses.

Anyone know what this tiny flower is? The hedgerows are full of it.

The dew collected on a May morning was believed to have magical properties. If used to wash your face it was said you would’nt be burnt by the sun or get wrinkles.