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?
In green living, Ireland on February 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm
Today is one of those days that typify our wet mild climate. Since morning we have had rain… soft rain… the sort I call mizzle, a cross between heavy mist and drizzle.
The mizzle gives the place a misty, mystical look. It would be a great day for filming a spooky movie. What could be lurking in those trees?
All is quiet at this homestead across the river. The only sound is a dog barking in the distance. Maybe he is spooked by the mizzle!
I really wanted to work outdoors today. The soil is too wet for working on the outdoor beds so I weeded and dug over a bed for Strawberries in the polytunnel. After digging I spread over some of this lovely compost. It is about a year in the making and is a lovely dark loam. Tomorrow I will plant the Strawberries. I have given up on planting Strawberries outdoors as the last 2 wet Summers were a disaster. The day was not cold but the mizzle made coat wearing a necessity.
The mild Spring has ensured lots of fresh green grass and fresh growth on all the shrubs. You can see the new growth on the Bay on the left. I really look forward to the trees coming in leaf again. The Birch near the back door is one of my fave trees, especially when it’s got it’s new fresh leaves. In Russia Birch trees are tapped in the Spring. This is done by drilling a small hole in the tree when the sap is rising. A straw is inserted to direct the flow of liquid into a vessel then the hole is plugged again. The resulting clear liquid is drunk as a Spring tonic. It can also be boiled down to make a sweet syrup. Anone out there ever tried this? We are going to do it this year so I’ll keep you posted!
This little Primula is flowering in a pot by the back door. It catches my eye every time I pass it by. Purple is one of my fave colours. It is said to distract the mind from everyday concerns.
The wet day gave me a chance to wear my new wellies. I got them in one of the local charity shops. They were brand spanking new so I was happy to pay the 10 euros asked for them. Oh dear! I’ve got the laces dirty already. Oh well! That’s the joy of a wet Irish day!
In arigna on January 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm
The view out the window from our computer spot is pretty grey today. The mountains are shrouded in mist and the wind is gusting very strong. It’s not a day for venturing out unless one has too. My only outing today was to take the dogs for a short walk and venture into the polytunnel on the return to get some carrots for the evening meal. We will have the carrots with mashed potato and the remnants of a Hazelnut and Courgette Loaf I made yesterday. Today the loaf will be fried. Perhaps a soupcon of onion gravy too.
The land is saturated at the moment, there was a lot of rain in December and it’s now continuing into January. The lakes and rivers are full to capacity and every drain and ditch is busy with rushing water. Very strong winds over the last week. I find wind so tiring, it exhausts my energy.
In the house everything is warm and cosy. The stove is going from early morning to late at night. The Christmas tree still twinkles on the table, it is considered unlucky to take down the decorations before Twelfth Night, January 6th. We got a living tree this year. After the 6th we will repot it,leave it in the polytunnel, then move it outside when the weather improves.
In the garden there are some signs of Spring waiting in the wings. Willow is budding, it’s lovely catkins one of the symbols of Spring. Daffodils are up a few inches but I suppose the colder weather at the moment will have put a halt to their growth. When the ground dries out a bit there is lots of work to be done dividing perennials to create new plantings. But alas it’s far too wet right now. A little patience required!
In the polytunnel February Orchid (Orychophragmus violaceus) is flowering early. A little beacon of hope for an early Spring!! This little plant with a big name is not an Orchid at all but of the Brassica family.
Marigolds continue to flower in the polytunnel, a sure sign that despite the current wind and rain that it has so far (fingers crossed) been a mild Winter here in Ireland. I wonder if they are perennials in their native land? Anyone out there know? Their cheery flowers certainly help to brighten the dull days of January here in Arigna.
In Animals, arigna on December 15, 2011 at 5:46 pm
The Sun when it appears in these dark December days has a watery wintry feel…in tune with the weather I suppose. The air is damp and the earth is permanently wet. When out and about one is aware of the particles of moisture in the air. The dogs have to be dried off before they come into the house in the evening. They spend the days outdoors and come into the house as darkness falls. They enjoy their house time relax before going to their shed for the night.
The sunsets have not been very dramatic in the recent cloudy grey weather. This one a few evenings ago is as good as it’s got.
The animals are all being fed hay now…they really appreciate this on rainy days as they don’t like getting wet. A lot of people think Donkeys coats are waterproof but that is not the case. In the mornings they get a little treat. Daphne really likes carrots as do the goats. Enid the milking goat gets an extra treat of some organic concentrate while she is being milked. Other favourite treats are Ginger Nut biscuits, Polo Mints and bread of any type.
In the garden the Fuschias continue to flower. I have never seen flowering to continue so far into the year. They are not of course as plentiful as earlier in the year but they are a welcome splash of unexpected colour at this time.
Spindle has now lost it’s leaves but the berries are still giving a good show.
On the lane the sloes still hang from the leafless Blackthorn. Usually these would have been consumed by birds by now. Tradition dictates that these and indeed any berries are not picked after Halloween as it is said that the Pooka would have breathed on them at that time.
Lower in the valley the Arigna river slowly meanders on its journey to Lough Allen.
In Animals, Cooking, Gardening, Herbs, sustainable living on July 18, 2011 at 7:47 pm
What a difference a week makes. Last week I took this pic of Bella and Enid sheltering from the heat of the sun under the Sycamore tree. The last 3 days have been like a return to Winter. Have’nt opened the polytunnels for days as there have been such strong gusts of wind. Huge amounts of rain have fallen and it’s been cold too. I’ve hears it said that “a week is a long time in politics.” Well, a week is a long time when it comes to Irish weather!
So, what to do when stuck indoors in July. I cook and bake. Over the weekend I made 3 cakes which are almost gone, we did have lots of visitors! Also the 4 brown breads you see above. I always bake 4 together, 1 to use immediately and 3 for the freezer.
Gooseberries are ready for picking, a job for tomorrow.
The Rosebay Willowherb is still looking lovely on the lane. Won’t be bringing it into the garden though as it does spread like crazy.
The Lavender is flowering, unaffected by the rain and wind, although the scent is not so good without sunshine. Lavender has a multitude of uses. It can be used in cooking, from flavouring for jams to crystallizing the flowers for cake decoration. Medicinally it can be infused as a tea for headaches, to calm nerves and ease flatulence. Household use includes using the flower heads in sachets to protect clothing from Moths. All that and it looks good too! The good news on the weather is things are set to improve with high pressure dominating by next weekend. Fingers crossed!
In arigna, Gardening on May 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm
Hi all, due to computer problems, hard drive I think, we have’nt been able to upload photos for a few days now. Hopefully all will be rectified in the next few days. So, an update since last post. On Sunday we went to Dublin to see the exhibition of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s paintings at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Have been a fan of Frida’s images since I saw them in a book some years ago. There were also fab paintings by Frida’s husband Diego Rivera. They both had a unique style. Her self portraits are particularly captivating. Looking into the eyes of someone who died (1954) before one was born is a bit odd. She was an incredibly beautiful woman with a unique dress sense. The exhibition is on until June 26th. There is also a very nice formal garden open to the public, no cost. We took loads of lovely garden pics but they have to wait until a future date.
There was also an exhibition of works by Romuald Hazoume from the Republic of Benin. Found objects, photography, sound, video, installation and painting are all included in his work. This exhibition was meant to finish on the 15th May but was still running last Sunday 22nd. I particularly liked his found objects sculptures, the fave being a set of musical instruments made from plastic gerry cans.
Here at home we are fed up with this weather. Don’t mind the rain so much but I really hate this wind. We were lucky not to have any damage from yesterday’s storm. The polytunnels stayed closed all day as the gusts were really strong. Today is calmer so the tunnels were opened and some work done. Potted on Basil, Peppers and Chillies. Harvested salad for dinner and watered everything then closed tunnels again as there were some strong gusts of wind. Crazy crazy May weather! Hope it improves soon.
Still no joy on uploading pics. Andy is giving up on trying to sort it out and is taking computer to local hi-tech witch doctor today!! Fingers crossed all well be well. What will we do without Twitter etc!! I jest! Will have to do a bit of gardening or something. That could be a problem considering the weather here today. Wind and rain that would do justice to a January day. Ah well, what can we do. Maybe built a giant polytunnel over Ireland. The local weater gurus say that June and July are to be crap. August to bring tempuratures of over 30c! The question is can we handle 2 months of this? The people will be suffering with Summer SAD.
I guess the bubble of euphoria that engulfed the country for the past week was broken for many people last night when O’Bama was heard to declare his English heritage on his Mother’s side. Is this guy for real? Does he think England and Ireland are still one? Does he not know we are proud to be REPUBLIC OF IRELAND. Did he not see the sea that divides the two countries? Geography and history lessons please Mr. O’Bama!!