In Gardening, sustainable living on September 13, 2011 at 7:07 am
Cosmos, one of my fave flowers is still doing well here in this tub despite the wind and rain which has been battering us for a few days now.
Sedums are reddening up, Autumn is here!
This purple Sedum which I got earlier in the Summer is already showing it’s dark red flowers. Not too many Butterflies though!
Onions are drying on the bench in the shed. They will be tied in bundles for use through the Winter months. Have you ever noticed how home-grown Onions are much stronger than shop bought?
Red Onions are also drying. These will make a lovely Onion Marmalade or decorate a Winter salad.
In the polytunnel Red Orach is setting seed. I shall plant this outdoors next year as it is very decorative, not so keen on it’s edible leaves.
The Grapes are starting to ripen at last, very late this year. They are surprisingly sweet given the lack of sunshine. I am going to leave some to get really ripe as I plan to make wine this year. The riper they are the higher the natural sugars.
In Gardening on July 14, 2011 at 11:15 am
For Diana of Elephant’s Eye blog: a front facing pic of the old Quennie stove planted with succulents. Sorry pic is a bit wonky!
Harvested the first onions yesterday. These were from sets planted in Spring in polytunnel which were for use as spring onions. We did’nt however use them all so they grew to full size. We use lots of onions in cooking so these won’t last long.
These perfect white Roses are on a plant grown from a cutting by my Mother.
Cosmos have been flowering for a while now. They are in every shade of pink, this darker colour is my fave.
In the small polytunnel the Tomatoes have been mulched with Comfrey. This will rot down over time and give the plants an extra boost of nutrients.
Leeks have been planted in the beds outdoors. I save the loo roll holders to stop the soil from falling in on the plants.
By the back door this lovely Geranium is flowering, I love the colour.
In arigna, Gardening on June 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm
Catmint and Lady’s Mantle looking good together, Foxgloves looking on. It is said that blue and green should not be seen together. This gives the lie to that.
The Tomatoes are doing well in the small polytunnel. I do find lettuce is going to seed very quickly this year, probably due to the unsummery weather. The only outside crops doing well are Onions and Potatoes, the rest are just sitting there looking miserable. Thank goodness for polytunnels!
In the back field the Sycamore stands strong and proud, oblivious to all weathers. Sycamore is not native to Ireland but it has naturalised and self seeds itself profusely.
Facing West just outside the back door is Ganesh, a present from our friends Paul and Debra who visited last weekend from Co. Clare. Is’nt he fab? Ganesh is said to be the remover of obstacles. I think he has his work cut out for him here. The biggest obstacle, as regular visitors will know, facing us here in the north west is the threat of the destruction of the land in search of gas. The process called fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, is the only one that can be used to extract the gas from the shale rock we have here. If this happens it will leave a trail of destruction. Water sources destroyed, land and air polluted, an industrialised landscape instead of the amazing untamed wildness we now have. I am still stunned that our government would even contemplate letting this happen. But it seems they have. Maybe Ganesh will be successful!!
In Bees, Folklore, Gardening, Herbs on May 10, 2011 at 11:13 am
Equisetum arvens, the bottlebrush like plant in pic, commonly known as Horsetail or Mare’s Tail, hated by many people as a pernicious weed does have many benefits. It is high in silica, which fixes calcium in the body, making it a good herbal remedy for osteoporosis. The plant also has strong diuretic properties. For the organic/natural gardener it is Horsetail’s fungicidal properties that make it a useful plant. It is particularly useful as a preventative for blight on Potatoes and Tomatoes. To make the preparation collect the whole plant, foliage and stems. For each oz pour on 2 pints of hot water and allow to stand for 24 hours. Strain and use undiluted. If you have dried Horsetail 2ozs makes 10 litres of spray.Most of the beds in the garden have now been planted up. This bed has a mix of Broccoli, Peas and Onions. The large plants at the end of the bed are Oreganos, the golden variety is slower growing than the green. The Bees love the flowers of Oregano. I was a bit premature planting out the Peas as they have been hammered by the wind and heavy rain, but they will come on.Lots of Silverweed about at the moment, a member of the Potentilla family, it likes the damp ground we have here. Geese are said to be partial to the leaves. Its traditional herbal use was as a treatment for bleeding and for cosmetic uses such as the removal of freckles.