Categories
birds Fungi

In the Absence of Leaves

Winter has arrived with a bang and in an unusual collaboration with nature I planted my garlic on the day before the first heavy frost and put out all of the bird feeders. So, with any luck I will have plenty of birds throughout the winter and no vampires. Indoors, my newly planted turmeric is […]

Categories
Autumn colour birds Fungi Trees

A Kaleidoscope of Colour

I don’t ever remember Ireland being famous for its autumn colours and my memories from childhood are that leaves turned a dull brown at best before falling. Scotland had the perfect climate to produce dramatic autumn colours and I was pleasantly surprised when I first saw the vivid yellows of the ferns in the lower […]

Categories
bumble bees Fungi Trees

Animal Helpers

Autumn has finally arrived. The wind is now from the north west and is bitterly cold. The dramatic sunrises and sunsets almost make up for the chill, but there are no more relaxing tea breaks in the warm sunshine as I go about my gardening chores. This month I am taking advantage of the offerings […]

Categories
Autumn Garden Design Stone Walling

Stone Walls Upon
Stone Fields

  October 2021 Red sky at morning … Normality has returned at last. The wind is howling in the chimney and the rain is streaming down the windows drowning out the sound of the seals. (That is if they sing in stormy weather). It is still very mild, but at least the plants are getting […]

Categories
Butterflies Wild Flowers Wildlife

Stink Bugs and Other Delicacies

October 2021 Irish shield bugs are ‘potential’ stink bugs, as they secrete a horrible smell when handled. Apparently, they can also bite. In my experience the smell may be bad, but the taste is foul even when mixed with raspberries. I have been enjoying the latter on a daily visit to the fruit garden and […]

Categories
Autumn Winter Berries

An Indian Summer

At last, we have had some rain and the garden is beginning to recover from the long hot summer. Even better I no longer have to lug gallons of water around the garden every evening. This hydrangea Madame Emile Moulier struggled in the dry weather despite growing in the shade and required careful nursing unlike […]

Categories
Butterflies

Bird Droppings as An Art Form

3 September 2021 Artists at work on my stone walls I have decided that I have to change my attitude to the pilfering of all of my fruit, as dwelling on it is bad for my blood pressure. It just requires a slight change in my perception from birds as thieves to birds as artists […]

Categories
Butterflies Herbaceous Borders Moths Wild Flowers

A Harvest at Last!

2 August At last, I finally managed to beat the birds to one crop in the garden. The rosehips are just ready for picking for syrup. As the seeds don’t contain any vitamin C, I have gone to the trouble of removing them before making the syrup and placing them on the drystone walls around […]

Categories
Butterflies Wild Flowers

Garden Visitors

6 August 2021 Every year around this time I decide that the Inula hookeri has got to go. It spreads very quickly and when it matures it flops over and covers a multitude of other plants in the herbaceous border. Each year I try to contain it by reducing it to a quarter of its […]

Categories
Heatwave Weather Events

Metamorphosis

24 July 2021 Cape Clear is hidden by a sea mist while the mainland bakes in the sunshine At twenty four degrees the weather today is slightly cooler, but I have given up any pretence of gardening. The dogs and I have taken to relaxing in carefully selected parts of the garden where there is […]