In arigna on April 13, 2012 at 9:36 am
Such a beautiful morning here today. The sunshine got me out of bed early. In the shade things still had a coating of frost. The Foxgloves looked particularly attractive with their frosted leaves.
Fab to see a bright blue sky to start the day. In the background is Corry Mountain.
My Favourite Birch is almost in full leaf now. This part of the house faces west and will be in full sun by afternoon.
The goats were enjoying the morning sun underneath the big Sycamore in the back field.
Enjoying breakfast…they still get extra food in the mornings. The evening feed has been stopped as the grass becomes more plentiful. By next month they won’t need any supplementary feeding as the grass will be abundant by then.
Across the river the smoke rises from this cottage as the stove is lit. Another day begins in the valley.
In Garden, sustainable living on March 5, 2012 at 7:14 pm
Everything is greening up again, the dull tones of Winter are slowly being replaced by fresh greenery. Trees are about to burst forth and change the tone of the landscape from Winter hibernation to Spring exuberance. We are 600 ft above sea level here in the valley so it will come a little later here. Anticipation!
As evening falls after a lovely sunny day it is cold. The Met Office say it will be frosty tonight.
Working outdoors is such a joy on days like today. I spent the afternoon bringing farmyard manure from the pile which has been rotting down nicely for over a year, into the polytunnel and digging it into the beds. We don’t dig very deeply here, the daub can be as much as only 6 inches below the topsoil. Deep digging would just be bringing up daub which just dries into really hard lumps, like stone. After being brought up on good Tipperary land I got a bit of a shock the first day I stuck a spade into heavy, wet Roscommon soil! Outdoors we have a large mulched area which is never dug, just mulched each year when the soil warms up. There are also raised beds which are topped up with garden compost or manure every year.
Through the Birch trees, though darkness has not yet fallen the waxing Moon is visible. Full Moon is on Wednesday so the coming days are busy with planting. Sowing and planting by the Moon is an old tradition from when people had more of an awareness of the planets and their affect on humans, animal and plant life. It is adhered to by people who practise Bio Dynamic gardening. We do not use BD systems here as they are not compatible with a vegetarian lifestyle but we do use Moon planting. The days leading up to full Moon are when leaf crops are planted. Tomorrow I shall plant Spinach, Rocket and Lettuce. Wednesday is a fruit day. This is when plants that bear their seeds within the fruits. Tomatoes, Peas, Beans, Cucumber and Squashes come within this realm. After full Moon is the time to plant root crops, Carrots, Parsnips, Beetroot and Potatoes belong to those days. I have noticed on previous years that seeds sown according to this system do seem to germinate quicker. It is also said that they are less susceptible to disease. For us it is a good way to break up the work at this time. With so much to be planted it gives a bit of direction on what to plant on given days. So for the next few days its busy, busy, busy!
In Gardening, nature on November 8, 2011 at 5:41 pm
The last few days have been lovely here. Frosty mornings followed by bright sunny days. The sun is low in the sky making for long shadows. Driving into the sun at this time is a pain as the low lying sun does’nt get blocked out by the sun visor…a small price to pay for these lovely days. The nights are long now…darkness falling by 5.30. Waking this morning I was expecting another sunny morning but alas there was no frost so the day was cloudy and dull.
Hopefully the frost will return and we will once again have diamonds glistening in the grass…
and gossamer cobwebs to be admired.
The neighbours Cows still have lots of grass to eat in the fields. The mild wet weather we had through September and October ensured continuous growth.
In the garden plants like Lamium…
and Pulmonaria ensure there is still some colour. If the weather stays mild it will be an opportunity to make more plants by dividing these stalwarts of the garden.
Rheum palmatum gives a last splash of colour before retreating underground until next Spring. Here’s hoping for more frosty nights and long shadow days.
In Gardening, sustainable living on March 25, 2011 at 10:04 am
We awoke to another beautiful sunny morning here in Arigna. The heat is really building in the polytunnels and everything in there has really taken off. Lots of pricking out and potting on to do. All the outdoor fruit bushes have leafed up and fruit buds will be following soon. We will have to be vigilant for frosts, even a sheet of newspaper held on with clothes pegs is enough to keep off the frost at this time of year.
Strimming the rushes is another annual job to be done here. When we bought this place the rushes had’nt been cut for years and were about five feet tall. That first year our neighbour cut them with a tractor and mower, Andy now strims them once or twice a year and the difference is amazing. The rushes are’nt as strong growing and the cutting has given the grass a chance to come on. Three fields that were just full of rushes have now become fairly decent pasture.
So, what to do with all those rushes? They can be left in situ where they will rot down fairly quickly and provide some fertility. We collect them to use for mulch, particularly around the fruit trees and bushes. As you can see from the above pic above we have already started this years mulching. Now is a good time to mulch as the soil has warmed up and is still damp. Mulching conserves moisture, keeps down weeds and ultimately rots down thus improving soil structure and fertility. It also protects plants during the Winter reducing the effects of frost.