Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘nettle’

On Butterflies and garden progress.

In Garden, herbal remedies, sustainable living on April 27, 2012 at 9:52 am

 

The Peacock Butterflies are out of hibernation now, I saw this one on the lane drinking from a Dandelion. Could’nt get close enough for a better photo, it took several attempts to get this one. It is a bit better if you click on it to enlarge. The favoured place for Peacocks to lay their eggs is on Nettles so if you have a patch of Nettles leave them for the Butterflies. They need to be in a sunny spot though. Do of course have the fresh tops for soup…very nutritious and an old remedy for cleansing the blood in Spring.

 

In the garden the Raspberries are at last starting to spread. They were planted 2 years ago and have’nt done much up to now. Thigs are looking good for this year…lots of flower buds. Fresh Raspberries…bliss!

 

In the polytunnel the beds are filling up with transplants. Growth is slow enough as the night’s are still quite cold.

 

With good planning it is possible to have salad crops all year round. These red Lettuces ready for picking now were planted last August. They don’t make much growth over the Winter as our polytunnel is unheated but once Spring comes they take off again. Having fresh salads is a big priority for us as we eat a lot of salad…in all seasons. I never buy supermarket salads as Lettuce is one of the most sprayed crops grown commmercially. I remember reading once that the average Lettuce is sprayed on average 22 times in it’s short forced-grown life. Washing does not remove these poisons…for that is what they are…and then it is eaten raw.

 

Pot Marigolds or Calendula are flowering early in the polytunnel. I love their cheery faces. The whole plant is edible but I find the leaves a bit coarse so I only use the petals which look lovely decorating a salad. The petals also make a soothing eyewash and a salve can be made can also be made from them. It is very good for cuts, grazes and rashes.

 

 A handful of Lettuce leaves and Parsley to make the evening salad…with a nice dressing to accompany it makes a fitting complement to any meal. Topped off of course with a Spring Onion and a scattering of Marigold petals. Art, happiness and Nature’s Bounty on a plate at the end of the day. Perfect!

Production and growth @ Prospect Cottage.

In Gardening, sustainable living on April 18, 2011 at 8:02 am

3 Cauliflowers ready for harvesting.

There has been incredible growth in the last week. We were away from Tuesday to Saturday but it felt more like 2 weeks from the growth spurt that occured. Cauliflower to cook, cauliflower to freeze and more to come.

Tomato plants.

The Tomatoes are ready for planting out. I’m sure they grew a few inches last week! These will be planted in the small tunnel later in the week. They will be fed with farmyard manure, dug in under each plant at planting time, later when the first trusses have set they will get a weekly feed of a nettle and comfrey liquid fertiliser which we make ourselves. The farmyard manure as well as feeding the plant also helps to retain moisture.

Early Potatoes.

The Potatoes planted in sacks on St. Patrick’s Day have come on well. Today I will top up with more compost to encourage more Potatoes to form on the stems.

Damson in flower.

Yippee, at long last the Damson is flowering. I’m really pleased about this as I grew this tree from a stone of a wild Damson which grows locally. That was about 6 years ago, so, yes, patience does pay off. Much more gratifying than buying a tree from the garden centre ready to go.

Mrs. Perry in bloom!

This little tree I bought 2 years ago, it was just a whip. It is called Mrs Perry and I bought it on a visit to Irish Seed Savers in Clare. It is a self-rooter so I might take some cuttings from it in the Autumn. The fruit is dual-purpose and ripens in September, apples said to be very juicy and the tree is an abundant cropper.