Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘trees’

Chillin on a Saturday.

In Ireland, Off the beaten track. on April 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Wild Violets are flowering in the hedgerow…

and Nasturtiums are self seeding like crazy in the polytunnel. I will spread these around here and there as they are great for attracting beneficial insects. Some will also go the school garden. Had a gardening free day today…only went out there for the morning walk around and opening the polytunnel.

After lunch we drove down to Lough Meelagh…about 5 miles away. The dogs came too as it’s a handy way for them to take a wash.

Freddie was’nt too impressed as the water is very cold still. Sorry Freddie!

The water level in the lake is very low right now as we have’nt had much rain for several weeks. The red on the trees shows the Winter level of the lake. The red is from

the iron content in the water of this mountain stream which feeds the lake at this point. The land around here is rich in naturally occuring iron.

Bright yellow Celandine in flower near the shore…soon it will be crowded out by the fast growth on the Reeds and  Horsetail…but not before it has finished flowering.

Most of the trees here are Alder and Willow…neither mind having wet feet when the Lough is higher. Shame to see rubbish here…next time I will bring gloves and a plastic sack to gather this up.

Soon it is time to head back home again…out through the wonderful fairy gates…take a right and on to Arigna.

Hope you all have a relaxing weekend. Happy Easter!

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A Poetree Walk. (part 2)

In Ireland, Off the beaten track. on March 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Inside the little housey there is room to sit on an old log. A great storytelling spot…for a few small people.

These old broken down walls would once have been well maintained to contain animals. 

A pathway now marked by the feet of walkers and sightseers would once have been someones daily path…

to the little shed just beyond. It’s very low…perhaps a shed for chickens!

If only these stones could speak…what stories they would tell…of fairies and giants…and who knows what else!

The cutaway forest on the hill behind this enormous rock looks so stark and bleak. A good place to rest weary bones though!

A spring well…the locals would have drawn water by bucket from here in years gone by. Nature has reclaimed it once again…

Rock art…

 and a 19th century lime kiln give signs of previous dwellers here…

and the felled trees cry their bitter orange tears.

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.

 

 

 

The Herb Garden.

In Gardening, Off the beaten track. on June 21, 2011 at 12:52 pm

The Herb Garden is a new venture opening tomorrow in the Bush Craft Yard in Carrick-on-Shannon. Owner John Gaffey already has a small gift shop called The Crafty Cave in this lovely little courtyard. He is now extending beyond the paved area to open this new enterprise.

The main emphasis will be on herbs but John also does hanging baskets, window boxes, trees, flowers and vegetable transplants. Many of the plants are grown in his greenhouse in Mohill. In these days of trying to reduce air miles this has to be an added bonus for this venture.

John’s ingenuity is aptly demonstrated by this mini polytunnel which he made from some discarded piping and plastic plus some wood for the base. Is’nt it fab!

Love this arrangement of Oats growing around a Birch tree.

Less talking lads, work to be done!

So there it is, local person, local business, locally grown plants, very reasonable prices too. Go along and check it out if you are in Carrick-on-Shannon. Beside the Bush Hotel, which was the first hotel in Ireland to be awarded the EU Flower Eco-Label in recognition of its commitment to sustainable tourism and protection of the local environment.

We love Trees @ Prospect Cottage.

In Animals, Gardening, sustainable living on April 26, 2011 at 10:21 am

Birch Tree near our back door.
Sycamore in back field.

I wonder how often we all think of the importance of Trees in our lives. It’s a fair bet that the table you eat your food from, the chairs you sit on, the coffins we bury our dead in, the heat from our stoves and a multitude of other things all come from trees. Of course they are also the lungs of the Planet. A mature leafy Tree produces as much oxygen as 10 people inhale in a year. A shelter belt of trees around your house can reduce heating costs by up to 30%. They provide shade in the Summer, on a hot day animal and human is drawn to the cooling shade of a nearby tree. Many medicines originally came from Trees, aspirin being one, it comes from the Willow. They stop soil erosion and help to absorb excess moisture from the land. They give nourishment to us in the form of fruit and nuts. They provide a valuable habitat for birds and insects. It is said that the native Wilow supports over 260 forms of life. The mighty Oak a similar amount. The Willow also gives us basket making material, a rooting hormone can by made be soaking Willow pieces in water for 24 hours, use the water to water your cuttings or leave them in it until roots appear.

2011 was declared the International Year of Forests by the UN. Looking through the schedule of events to mark this occasion I was amazed that Ireland has, yes, you’ve got it, big fat ZERO organised to celebrate our Trees. Then I suppose that would be a bit hypocritical of them when in this International Year of Forests they are planning to SELL OFF our State Forests. No,  they are more than HYPOCRITES, they are TRAITORS!