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 […]

Categories
Weather Events

‘Nature Red in Tooth and Claw’’ . . . and Stingers

5 July 2021 The first of my two wasp bykes. My pump house is effectively out of bounds to me until the end of autumn. A routine check of the filters today turned out to be more eventful than usual and I did not see the wasp byke until I had been stung. I beat […]

Categories
Seashore gardens

Rain at Last!

Summer’s light on the hill in front of the house My water butts are almost empty, despite holding 1700 litres of water and without rain I will have to draw on my well to water the plants. The ground is as hard as a rock and you would need a jackhammer to plant anything – […]

Categories
Garden Birds Wild Flowers

Up the Walls

23 May 2021 I have finally weaned the birds off their daily ration of bird food. It was easier than I thought. All I had to do was substitute the sunflower hearts I was providing with the cheaper mixed food and they showed their disdain by ignoring all but the sunflower seeds. I miss the […]