Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘pond’

In the polytunnels…

In Garden, green living on July 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Despite the weather most things are doing well. This is the small polytunnel, the middle bed is planted with Carrots, with Garlic at each end to guard against carrot fly. Some self-seeded plants were also left to add a bit of colour, Borage, Orach and Poppies all came free in the garden compost.

One of the side beds is filled with Strawberry plants. They are almost spent now but this little Alpine Strawberry continues to give masses of small super sweet fruits. Not juicy like the big Strawberries but the flavour makes up for that.  It does’nt send out runners so all it’s energy goes into making fruits.

In the big polytunnel the Grapes are filling out nicely, should be a good crop by August. These are Black Hamburg, a dessert grape.

The first Tomato was ripe today from this hanging basket variety. Oh the smell! Delicious! The essence of Summer for me.

The first Courgette also presented itself today. Later than usual but most welcome. I suppose we will have a glut of them soon enough.

Peaches are starting to blush. Amazing how they are ripening really considering we had very little sunshine in June.

The plants in the little pond at the bottom of the polytunnel are doing well…Flowering Rush and Water Forget me Not planted last year have established nicely. The tadpoles are still there…no sign of them turning into Frogs yet!!

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It’s garden visiting time….

In Garden, Gardening, Off the beaten track. on June 5, 2012 at 10:25 am

June, July and August are the months for garden visiting here in Ireland. Gardens are at their best and the weather is usually ok. The weather was’nt great this past weekend but,  undaunted,  a friend and I decided to visit Saffron Thomas’s garden in Ardsoran, about 6 miles from Boyle. This garden is part of the Secret Gardens of Sligo initiative which sees gardens open to the public to raise funds for charity.

The garden is set on a south facing slope and the site is bordered by mature trees giving it a lovely secluded feel. Big wide borders filled with a combination of old favourites and rare and unusual plants make for an interesting peruse. This lovely border filled with blues, pinks and purples sweeps down to one of the ponds.

I love gardens with ponds, so beneficial for nature and of course they add an interesting extra dimension to the garden.

No chemicals are used anywhere in this land. The result is a beautiful garden filled with the humming of bees and busy with insects flying hither and thither. A feast for the senses.

A little wooden bridge leads to a path that takes you on a walk around the perimiter of the big field at the back. Already planted with so many varieties of trees, the long term plan is to have another very large pond on this as yet undeveloped part of the garden. This is a garden that is continually expanding. Every year Saffron collects, plants and nurtures thousands of seeds, resulting in thousands of plants needing planting areas. With a total of 7 acres there is lots of room for expansion.

Several sculptures are set amongst the plants adding extra interest. This is a piece of found bog oak set atop a lovely piece of wood decorated with a spiral. I really like that!

There are also 2 polytunnels and a small orchard here. One polytunnel has just been erected,  the other has been there several years. The long standing tunnel is so filled with plants it has a jungle feel. Vegetables, flowers and shrubs being brought on for the garden all together make for an interesting  feast for the senses. Plants like the climbing Snapdragon above and many more that I did’nt know existed keep one’s interest.

If you are in the Sligo/Roscommon area do check out the Secret Gardens of Sligo. It raises money for charity and opens up gardens off the beaten track that are varied and interesting. They also have a Facebook page.

Click on pics to enlarge.

As February Ends…all is well.

In Gardening, sustainable living on February 28, 2012 at 11:03 pm

As February comes to a close the frog orgy in the pond has finished and there is lots of spawn as a result. That’s a huge mass of it at top near where Freddie is. This pond was dug out only 2 years ago so it’s nice that Nature has accepted our efforts. Last year there were frogs too but not as many as this year. In the polytunnel the tiny pond there also has frog spawn. I think the frogs hibernated at the bottom of it over Winter. It’s great to have frogs in the polytunnel as they eat lots of slugs.

This amorous couple were by the back door a few days ago. I almost stepped on them as I went out. They were quiet a way from the pond so I gathered them up and deposited them there. Apparently frogs always come back to the spot where they spawned from so once established one should always have a merry band of slug devourers!

Today was a perfect day for working in the garden. It was a dry, calm, very still day. I spent the afternoon tidying up the long border. It took about 4 hours but I’m glad it’s done.

As I worked the only sound was birdsong and an occasional tinkle from the wind chimes.

My favourite Daffodil, the little Tete a Tete, has just started flowering. It has a beautiful subtle scent. Oh Spring, you are so welcome.

As evening approached we realised that Lettie would need a wash. She had found some badger poo and had a good ol roll in it. I love badgers but their poo stinks. I don’t understand why but Lettie loves to get that scent on herself. Our 2 male dogs never do this. Andy filled the mop bucket with nice tepid water and in she went.

Lettie hates water so she was’nt too impressed. The expression says it all!

If looks could kill! She is happily ensconsed on her fave seat tonight, clean, but not “talking” to either of us!

Saffron’s Garden.

In Gardening, Off the beaten track. on July 16, 2011 at 6:50 pm

The garden has been developing over the last 11 years and is now maturing beautifully. There are 2 large ponds.

Beautiful established herbaceous border leading to a lower level seating area and barbecue.

The large polytunnel has a jungle feel, it is filled with a mix of edibles and ornamentals.

One of Saffron’s beautiful sculptures enchances this mixed border.

This lovely piece was also carved by Saffron.

Heading back to the house through the garden.

The next open day is on August 21st or visits can be made by prior arrangement, ring Saffron on 086 8691141.

A Sunny Summer Morning in Arigna.

In Animals, arigna, Gardening, permaculture, sustainable living on June 24, 2011 at 8:37 am

The Forest Garden area is coming on nicely, plants are filling out and more are being planted all the time. Everything here is perennial, a mixture of herbs, fruit bushes and flowers. Comfrey is interplanted throughout, chopped and dropped around the base of the plants to provide fertility. Rushes strimmed from the fields provide the mulching material, eventually rotting down to build up the topsoil. Permaculture techniques at work. 

This little pond at the bottom of the polytunnel provides a paddling pool for the many frogs that have made their home in this microclimate. They in turn pay for their keep by gobbling up any slugs and other pests that invade their area. Nature working without any human interference.

I recently bought some plants for this pond as it tended to have a lot of algae. Now that they are becoming established the algae problem has disappeared. The little water Forget -me-not has just started flowering, pretty little thing. There’s also Water Lettuce(bottom left), Water Violet(bottom right) and a Flowering Rush beside the Forget-me-not.

Outside the back door Buddha keeps watch over this little pot of Sedum and Sempervivum slips. These plants grow easily from even the smallest piece.

In the field the animals relish the abundant Summer pasture.

And a curious Donkey comes to check out the camera or maybe see if I have any tasty morsel for her.

Elephant Hawk Moth & Gravel Garden.

In Gardening on June 8, 2011 at 7:30 am

Spotted this on the bench in the polytunnel yesterday. Elephant Hawk Moth, is’nt it beautiful. It was there all day, I kept going back to look at it. The larvae like to feed on Rosebay Willowherb, Fuschia and Honeysuckle. All plants that are growing in abundance here.

For some time now we have been meaning to do something with the gravel area to the front of the house. Somehow all the garden work seems to be at the other side. Andy dug out the pond about 3 months ago, it is filled by the runoff from the roof. I have been collecting bits of driftwood, stones and old bits of ironwork to put around it, sort of Derek Jarman styleish!

This lovely lump of bog oak I got on one of the Tipperary visits. My brother and I often go walking on the bogs and that’s where we found this and a few other bits that had been dug up by the peat harvesting machines.  These trees have been lying in the bog preserved by the peat for thousands of years. This was probably growing before Newgrange was built. Amazing! Have planted Lavender, Sedums, Saxifrage, Thyme and Eryngium around it.

Lots of succulents have been planted up in pots and grouped together, this will be added to as time goes on. The piece of bog oak was from the same bog excursion. Like the rest of the garden areas this will be a continuing work in progress.