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Autumn

Autumn Colour on Roaringwater Bay

12 October 2020 Growing up in the south east of Ireland I never took vivid autumn colour for granted. Most years the leaves were a dull brown and only remarkable for the amount of time it took to rake them up. For my twenty years in the north east of Scotland the exact opposite was […]

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hedgerow treats hedgerows

Hedgerow treats

2 October 2020 Fruit cordials Five varieties of crab apples growing well in the garden I am still suffering from the loss of my entire season of soft fruits which were destroyed when the freezer cut out in a recent thunderstorm. I rely on the cordials made from blackcurrants, red/white currants and rhubarb for my […]

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Autumn The Four Seasons

Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

16 September 2020 The air has been thick and heavy for the last few days and this morning the garden is shrouded in a dense fog. On my morning round I could not fail to notice that the spiders have been very busy overnight. Almost every shrub is cloaked in not one, but dozens of […]

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Weather events

The Aftermath of Storm Francis

28 August 2020 I finally managed to visit one of the mature gardens on the West Cork Garden Trail shortly after storm Francis moved away from this area. Started thirty-one years ago by Eugene and Hazel Wiseman, Carraig Abhainn is hidden behind some houses in Durrus and is approached by a narrow lane which gives […]

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Weather events

Storms Ellen and Francis: A Gardeners Nightmare

  Autumn has arrived with a bang. With two bangs actually – in the shape of storms Ellen and Francis both rated orange and both bringing a deluge of rain. With the usual contradictions in this garden, much of it has been decimated by the wind and salt while some areas and plants seem unharmed. […]

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Wildlife Habitats

Bugs, Bees and Butterflies

August 2020 West Cork has a number of famous and beautiful gardens where their owners have combined native specimens with exotic plantings from around the world with great success. Once I had developed a basic shelterbelt around the garden here, I had intended to do the same. In the meantime, I would bypass the unusual […]

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Weather events

As busy as a bee

  23 July 2020 One of the greatest pleasures of having both a garden and time is the opportunity to observe what is happening around me in great detail. The hill in front of the house is like an amphitheatre providing endless entertainment. The silage was cut today and two young foxes were quick to […]

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herbaceous borders

Growing Backwards

7 July 2020 The wind is howling in the chimney, I am trying to decide between lighting the stove or putting on the central heating, and outside ‘blight-inducing’ rain and mist are battling for dominance. It is hard to believe that it is early July. The rain is not unwelcome, but the near gale force […]

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Wild flowers Wildlife

Set a thief to catch a thief

5 July 2020 Thieves My yoga classes have been taking place at home via the internet during the Covid-19 crisis. The sense of peace and tranquillity that the classes engender have been enhanced by my view out the kitchen window. A row of hydrangeas leads on to the fields on the hill opposite the house, […]

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Weather events Wildlife

The drought continues

10 June 2020 The onset of the Covid-19 restrictions meant that I was unable to shore up a hole in the eaves just above my kitchen door. It was not long before a starling took advantage of this – she and her partner are now feeding a very noisy bunch of chicks. I am in […]