Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘scots pine’

Ireland’s Native Trees.

In Ireland, nature on November 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Ash tree in back field.

 There are differing opinions about the number of native Irish trees. A general consensus seems to be 18. Ash is one of the commonest trees. It grows on all soils and self seeds readily. The national game of hurling is played with hurleys made from Ash. It is also a great tree for burning and can be burned from green.

Scots Pine at Lough Rynn.

 The mighty Scots Pine can grow to a height of 40 metres and live up to 300 years.  The wood is known as “red deal”…it is used fencing, in house building and in telephone poles. It is high in resin which makes it longer lasting.

Young Oak tree at Seed Savers in Co Clare.

 There are 2 native Oaks…sessile and pedunculate. The difference is in the acorns. The acorns from Sessile Oaks have no stalks while the pedunculate have quite long stalks. Ireland’s oldest Oak is at Tuamgraney in Co. Clare…it is 1,000 years old. The Oak pictured above is grown from an acorn from that tree. It is known as Brian Boru’s Oak. Brian Boru was the last High King of Ireland…he was killed at the battle of Clontarf in 1014 reputedly at 88 years old. Oak produces very strong timber…most of Ireland’s Oak forests were felled to be used in the making of ships for Britain’s Royal Navy.

Birch, Scots Pine and Ash to the north-side of our house.

 Now is a good time for planting trees, especially in the mild weather we have been having. It is a good idea to plant native trees as they are accostumed to the climate…more wildlife friendly…birds and insects are fussy and will only inhabit plants they recognise.  Check what grows in your area already. If something is not going to do well in your soil there’s no point planting it.

The complete list in addition to those mentioned:

Birch, will grow in boggy, wet soil. Rowan, also called Mountain Ash. Alder, has nitrogen fixing nodules on it’s roots. Willow, hundreds of species, grows easily from cuttings. Holly, only the female bears the red berries that symbolise Christmas for so many. Hazel, produces edible nuts that are much loved by humans and squirrels. Aspen, a fast growing member of the Poplar family. Bird Cherry, found mainly in the north-west. Crab Apple, produces small sour apples which make an easy to set jelly. Strawberry Tree, found mainly in co . Kerry. It produces fruits which look like Strawberries hence the name. Whitebeam, has a preference for limy soils. Wych Elm, mostly wiped out by Dutch Elm Disease. Wild Cherry, grows best in alkaline soil. Yew, most often associated with graveyards produces berries which are poisonous to livestock.

 If you’re going to plant a tree…do plant a native tree.

 

 

 

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Amongst Trees.

In nature, Off the beaten track. on October 6, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Evergreen Oak

Yesterday was National Tree Day in Ireland. To mark the day I went with my Mother who is staying with us for a week and my friend Saffron to Lough Rynn Estate near Mohill in County Leitrim. There is also a lovely walled garden there and the big house is now a successful hotel. But yesterday it was the trees which held my interest.

Majestic Scots Pines.

Being amongst trees is for me like meeting old friends again. There is an easiness in the relationship,  a feeling of security to be amongst them, a belonging that cannot be falsified. Maybe it stirs my primeval memories of when our land was covered in great forests.

"Eye" on Monkey Puzzle tree.

Entering a forest is like entering a sanctuary, a place of comfort and safety. A place to walk amongst nature in all its glory. It is calming and soothing to the human mind. It is so amazing to touch, to connect with these plants that have lived here for hundreds or even thousands of years. What have they witnessed? If only they could speak!

Yew with berries.

 But then, maybe they speak, it is us who are not listening. Observe their generosity. How they provide food and shelter for man and beast. Many modern medicines have their origin in trees. They cleanse the air we breathe. They shelter our homes from the ravages of weather and throw shade on a warm day. All without words, without acknowledgement from us.

Fungi on a dying Beech tree.

 There are of course people who love trees, who see themselves of their protectors. One of those people is 65 years old Teresa Treacy from Tullamore, County Offaly. For many years she has been planting thousands of trees by hand on a farm owned by herself and her sister. It was her mission in life. Three weeks ago she was thrown into jail because she would not allow an electricity supplier to clear 14 acres of her beloved forest to erect plyons. What a shame on our once tree covered country. The judge who jailed her said she would not be released until Teresa withdrew her contempt. She did not do so. She remained firm, like a well rooted Oak. Today Teresa was released from jail thanks to a huge public outcry. Hopefully she will be left in peace in her favourite place…amongst trees.

The Wider View.

In arigna, Gardening, Off the beaten track. on August 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Have been asked by Elaine of www.rosebankramblings.com to show a few pics of the wider view of our place. So here we are, ready for a little tour.

This gravel garden which is in its very early stages, it was only started in April, is still being worked on. This is at the front of the house. Front entrance behind and to right from where I took this pic. The wooden building is a separate building, I will do a post on that soon.

From outside our back door, which is the entrance we use most and where you arrive to the house, looking left there is a big weeping Birch and a cottage garden style flower bed.

Looking right is the herbaceous border and beyond can be seen Corry mountain.

Round the corner of the house is this small grove of trees, Birch, Sycamore and Scots Pine. This is opposite the herbaceous border. The grass is left uncut, apart from an edging strip, until September. The goat shed can be seen in the field beyond.

Continuing on to the gate and our steep drive. Decent brakes needed here!

Looking back towards the house from the gate.

The next post will show pics from the vegetable and fruit garden.

We love Daisies @ Prospect Cottage!

In Animals, Gardening, sustainable living on April 22, 2011 at 7:27 am

The Fatsia is making new growth despite looking a little shabby after the hard Winter. I bought this plant about 8 years ago in Woolworth’s in Enniskilllen. Of course Woolworth’s is long gone now but the Fatsia continues. Fatsia is usually sold as a house plant, but it is in fact very hardy. This one which cost about £2 is about 5 ft tall now and resides in a disused soil filled water tank. It is situated in a shady north facing spot and seems to love it.

The grass has really started to grow now which the animals are delighted with. They get tired of the hay and dried food and refuse to eat it once Spring arrives. The grass in this area of Birch and Scots Pine is left to grow throughout the year. Andy mows a strip around the edge to keep it looking tidy. At the moment it is full of Daisies which we think look lovely. I never understood the people with the manicured lawns putting poisons on the earth to kill off the beautiful natural flowers, but I suppose it’s a totally different mindset.

For me one of the many joys of the good weather is being able to hang out the washing to line dry. A simple pleasure, but for me clothes dried outdoors in Summer smell lovely and fresh and are less creased than washing dried indoors. We do not have a tumble drier, actually we’ve never owned one. In Winter the washing is dried on a clothes airer which hangs from the high ceiling on the upstairs landing. As the hot air from the wood-burning stove rises the washing dries quickly at no cost.