Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘foxglove’

On a Summer morning.

In nature, sustainable living, vegetable growing on June 11, 2012 at 9:33 am

After a short break when we had lots of much needed rain it seems that Summer is back. Yesterday we had 15 hours of sunshine…unheard of for Ireland. I went out just before 8 this morning to open the polytunnels…already serious heat had built up in there. On the mountain the wind turbines are still. There’s not a breeze of wind to move them. The valley looks so lush at the moment. Grass is plentiful for the animals and they are enjoying the sunshine. I love how the farmers here have left lots of trees. On large intensive farms one often sees all the trees and hedgerows removed to maximise grazing land. Electric fences are used to strip graze the land. This makes for a very boring landscape, no wildlife habitats and of course no shelter for the animals.

The Irises are in full bloom right now…it’s amazing how much these have spread. They were planted only last year. One to watch methinks in case it takes over.

I just love their colour…purple being a fave of mine…and form…the beauty and perfection of Nature. Don’t know the variety of these…the label has long disappeared. On another blog…can’t remember whose…there was a suggestion that rather than sticking the label in the ground by the plant that they were stored in the house or shed. A good idea I think as I can’t remember most of the names…and the labels blow away or disintegrate or the dogs chew them.

 

The perennial Geraniums have also come into flower. Deadheading regularly will keep these flowering for many weeks.

Foxgloves survived the wind and rain remarkably well. I thought they would be flattened. Plants are a lot more resilient than we give them credit for.

Swiss Chard seems to have become huge overnight. I just noticed this morning that this is ready for harvesting. I really love the leaves with the red ribs. Don’t they look fab…tasty too!

All pics taken this morning around 8am.

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Garden in the rain…

In Garden, Gardening, nature on June 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm

The Poppies had been fully opened for the last few days…today they are closed and hanging low with the weight of the rain. Love their colour…so vibrant.

The leaves of Escallonia are super shiny in the rain. The forecasters say it is to rain all day today and tomorrow then nice again for the weekend. Fingers crossed they’re right.

Usually the Foxgloves are having lots of Bumble Bees visiting…but not today.

Lady’s Mantle is of course well known for how it holds the droplets of water. It also has medicinal use…it is astringent, styptic, tonic and vulnerary. Culpepper says that “It is proper for those wounds that have inflammation, and is effective to stay bleedings, vomitings, and fluxes of all sorts.”

Hostas also hold the water on their leaves. With all the dry weather we’ve had the slugs have’nt had a chance to devour them this year…so far.

The little pond in the big polytunnel is full again. I had to fill it fill it from the tap for the last few weeks as it was almost dry. You can’t see them in the pic but there’s loads of tadpoles in there…did’nt want them dying. Frogs are great for keeping the slug population under control. These seem to be at the tadpole stage for ages. Anyone know how long it takes for them to mature into frogs?

Summer time in Arigna.

In Garden, Gardening on June 2, 2012 at 9:41 am

Everything is  fresh and lush after the recent rain. It was much needed as everything was so dry and the water pressure in our well had dropped. The weather is still summery but without the very high temperatures we had at the end of May. We Irish are not genetically adapted to very hot weather.

The Elder tree is just coming into flower here. Soon it will be time for cordial and wine making. Gooseberries and Elderflowers make a delicious jam combination.

The fields are flush with grass for the animals. Does’nt Daphne look cute amongst the Buttercups?

The Broom is giving a great colour show right now…it’s bright yellow so eye catching.  In the past Broom was used in the treatment of dropsy…it is not used nowadays as the plant is considered too toxic. It is poisonous to animals but they don’t touch it anyway. It always amazes me how animals know instinctively what plants to avoid. Broom grows in abundance by the river…I lifted this as a small seedling from the river bank 2 years ago and it has grown rapidly to this 5ft high monster.  Considered a weed by many…I love it!

The perennial Geraniums are starting to flower…they will give weeks of colour in the borders…especially if they are dead-headed regularly.

Purple is one of my fave colours so I really appreciate these Alliums flowering at the moment. I buy a few more of these bulbs each year.

Foxglove is starting to reveal it’s gorgeous blooms…another weed…to some people… but one again that we allow to self-seed.

Love this Iris…

In the vegetable beds these Cabbages have put on a spurt of growth after the rain and warmth. Not long to wait until we will be harvesting these.

Click on pics to enlarge.

A January Day.

In arigna, Gardening on January 14, 2012 at 2:39 pm

The morning sky looks bleak despite the blue. Are those chemtrails or just harmless vapour trails? I wonder!!

The animals are constantly watching the door to see if they have any titbits to recieve. Their faves are Ginger Nut biscuits and Carrots.

Ash trees against a grey sky. Kilronan Mountain in the background.

Early afternoon sees a blue sky giving some hope of sunshine… which alas does not appear.

Through the garden gate an old tree stump has become colonised with Foxgloves. One of my fave native wild flowers. They did’nt have the distress of a hard Winter this year so perhaps they will flower before May.

Aster too is showing strong growth. I will divide this clump in the coming days. Now is the perfect time for this work in this frost free mild (for January) weather.

 By evening the sky is grey and cloudy. Another January day almost at an end. Not too many more until the 1st of February, St. Brigid’s Day, Imbolc the Celtic festival of Earth once again awakening.

As darkness falls we light the fire in the small stove in our sitting room. Candles are lit, a nice meal prepared, watch a bit of telly and a bit of the world wide web. Another January day ends in Arigna.