In Garden, sustainable living on May 25, 2012 at 9:29 am
Hi folks, I’m back in blogland again after my break. I have’nt been near the computer in 3 weeks. No blog, email, Facebook, Twitter or checking out all the wonderful and inspiring blogs out there. I have to say I enjoyed the break, the world did’nt end and I had no withdrawal symptoms. But hey, I’m back and the weather here in Ireland is fab. Hurrah!!
The Sun has been shining since daybreak. I took these pictures at about 8.30 when I went to open the polytunnel. There’s no going in there later when it gets to 25c. The fields are filled with golden Buttercups right now…beautiful!
So nice to break fast with a few ripe Strawberries already warm from the morning Sun…
and the promise of many more to come.
Everything in the polytunnel is growing at a great rate, lots of Lettuce for the salads we have everyday. Nasturtiums in flower as are Pot Marigold. Dual purpose plants as they draw in beneficial insects as well as being edible.
The Peach has set lots of fruit…I really must thin them this year. Thinning ensures you get nice big fruits of better quality. Take out any fruits that are touching each other as they will end up squashing and bruising each other. Bob Flowerdew in his Grow your Own, Eat your Own book says ” Peaches over crop as of right, and really must be ruthlessly thinned so that no 2 fruits will touch each other when they’re full size, leave only a sensible number per tree or you will be processing masses of under-ripe squits. Too many exhaust the tree, fail to reach any size or even ripen. Literally decimate them down to the best one in every ten, leave those and they will get huge!” Don’t know if I can be that ruthless…but I’ll try! Bye for now…off to enjoy some sunshine.
In arigna on April 13, 2012 at 9:36 am
Such a beautiful morning here today. The sunshine got me out of bed early. In the shade things still had a coating of frost. The Foxgloves looked particularly attractive with their frosted leaves.
Fab to see a bright blue sky to start the day. In the background is Corry Mountain.
My Favourite Birch is almost in full leaf now. This part of the house faces west and will be in full sun by afternoon.
The goats were enjoying the morning sun underneath the big Sycamore in the back field.
Enjoying breakfast…they still get extra food in the mornings. The evening feed has been stopped as the grass becomes more plentiful. By next month they won’t need any supplementary feeding as the grass will be abundant by then.
Across the river the smoke rises from this cottage as the stove is lit. Another day begins in the valley.
In Animals, Trees on April 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm
When we arise in the morning the first job, after putting the kettle on, is to let the dogs out of their shed. They then come in the house for a while. If it’s sunny they like to lie down and catch a few rays in the sitting room where the couch is appropriately situated.
In the field the animals do the same thing. How clever they are to avail of this solar energy…actually I think they’re a lot cleverer than most people give them credit for. I’ve also noticed many times that the bulk of their bodies will be facing full on towards the sun to expoit it fully.
On Sunday we bought 30 bare root trees at the local garden centre. It’s the end of the bare root season now so they were selling them off at half price. They worked out at an average of 80 cent each. Bargain! The haul included Birch, Alder, Rowan, Poplar, Larch and Acer. A small forest in the making.
After soaking them overnight we planted them up on Monday morning. Working together the job was done quickly. Compost was emptied into the wheelbarrow… Andy held the tree upright in the pot and I backfilled it with compost. Took about an hour to plant the lot.
The bigger trees we placed near this rain water barrel which will be convenient for watering throughout the Summer. In Autumn we intend incorporating our small field…below the polytunnels…into the garden…these will then be planted there. The smaller trees are at the other side of the house near another rain barrel.
In the shade bed these lovely Primulas have started flowering. I have that to confess that this was one I “slipped” from another garden I visited. Naughty but I will share it on as it bulks up. “Slipping” is a word Irish people…especially older people…use for taking a cutting or an offshoot with roots from a plant. Years ago many people had cottage gardens where all the plants would have been grown from “slips.” Does anyone else know of this phrase?
In the polytunnel Parsley and Rocket give lots of green pickings. This is Wild Rocket which has…for me…a nicer flavour than the ordinary Rocket. Parsley and Rocket together make for a really nice pesto which I will make when the current batch of Wild Garlic pesto has run out. Basil is already planted and germinated for the Summer pesto.
And in the polytunnel the dogs are once again strategically placed to catch the rays of the afternoon sunshine.
In green living, sustainable living on March 22, 2012 at 5:49 pm
The moving of big stones from the back field down to the garden continued today. We have decided to leave the remains of the little house and use the stones which are spread around the area. These must have been from an old wall. Same type of squared off cut stones. They were quite clever in the situating of the house. Down in a hollow sheltered from the prevailing winds. Nowadays the new houses are built without any regard to orientation.
Mr. Muscles aka Andy was home today, he can lift heavier stones than I. I was bringing 2 or 3 stones to the barrowload…
he could bring 5! Showoff!!
Taking a little break to enjoy the Spring sunshine…the dogs enjoy a bit of attention. Oops! A bit of intimate sniffing going on there…
then a bit of playing.
Down in the garden the stone edging looks good. All the boards will have to be gradually replaced as they have been in place for 8 years and are starting to rot. Can you see the hole in the centre of the biggest stone? This stone would have held a metal gatepost in days gone by.
More stones wait to be given a new lease of life in their new garden home. Repurposing is I think the new word for recycling. Reuse, recycle, upcyle, repurpose. Whatever you want to call it is fine with me.
In Animals, arigna, Ireland on October 17, 2011 at 3:07 pm
This was the view from our front door yesterday morning. Nice blue sky…there was even some sunshine…not a bad day.
This morning was so different. Everywhere was damp and the sky was heavy and grey. There had been lots of overnight rain. Taking the dogs for the morning walk I could see the Arigna river about to burst it’s banks. The walk was short as the rain started again.
This afternoon the rain finally stopped by 3 o clock. I decided to take the opportunity to go for another quick stroll. I could hear the rush of the river from our backdoor. It has burst well clear of it’s banks now. The rain had been torrential.
At the turn one can see that the river just could’nt cope with the flow of water. This is normally dry land with the river meandering through.
On the plus side…our water barrels are full…and I love the sound of the rushing water…
and we don’t usually have a view of the river as we walk down our drive…
or a little river flowing by as we walk on the lane. Guess what the forecast is…yeah…you’ve guessed it…more rain. Don’t think I’ll be doing any gardening for a while. It’s crazy that as we get this some parts of the world are having famine caused by drought. Would’nt it be nice if we could regulate the weather so that everyone got a bit of everything. We could have more sunshine. African countries could have some welcome rain enabling them to grow their crops again. Spain could do with more rain to solve it’s water shortage problems. If only!
In Animals, arigna, sustainable living on June 4, 2011 at 11:47 am
The Irish weather is so crazy this year. Yesterday I took the dogs for their mornin walk wearing a skirt, tee shirt and a light shirt. Today I wore jeans, tee shirt, shirt and a sleeveless jacket. It’s about 10 degrees colder today. The sky was grey compared to the brilliant blue of yesterday.
Lots of Ragged Robin in flower on the lane right now. It is my favourite wild flower. It likes the damp soil and unspoilt wild areas we are so lucky to still have here. It self-seeds readily.
On the way back home I picked a bunch of Herb Robert. This little plant with it’s pretty pink flowers is the predecessor of the perennial Geraniums we now grow in our gardens. Made into an infusion and added to a footbath it is a great detoxifier. I will do this when the day’s work is finished. A simple indulgence free from nature.
The native Orchid is flowering too. This is the first one I’ve spotted this year. Beautiful.Bella and Enid absorbed in breakfasting among the Buttercups.
A remind of yesterday’s blue skies and energising sunshine. Hopefully it will return.