Author: JMacL

  • New Beginnings

    I have a love-hate relationship with the Inula Hookeri which dominates whatever part of the garden it inhabits. Its flower is interesting from the moment it appears, but it spreads rapidly and will quickly push out anything growing near it. Each winter I have the arduous task of containing it, muttering under my breath as […]

  • Nature’s Way

    22 July At this time of the year the air around these two willow trees is humming with the sound of thousands of swarming wasps. They are attracted to a translucent sticky substance called honeydew which also drops onto the leaves of the hydrangea and hawthorn trees. This honeydew is created by large willow bark […]

  • A Long Hot Summer

    For a number of reasons I am unlikely to pose a threat to the local organic vegetable growers. I have been happily having a medley of young vegetables for my evening meal only to discover that my ’baby spinach’ is actually pak choi. Even worse I have no idea where the spinach has gone. I […]

  • Midsummer

    Having decided to take a rest from new projects I have immediately started another one! This area is under some pine trees and I have not had much success in growing anything so close to them. However, the space is now almost totally protected from the winds by a maturing hedgerow and shrubs, so I […]

  • For the Birds!

    Prickly and Smooth Sowthistle both have lovely flowers, but look rather dishevelled as the seeds appear. I always have to resist the temptation to pull them out when they are in this state until I noticed that something has been eating the seeds on one plant in the rockery. My tolerance was rewarded the other […]

  • A Late Christmas Present

    Great excitement as I finally got my Christmas present to myself and had it assembled in the copse. It was made by the very talented Nick Iain who has a stall full of lovely plants and pots in Skibbereen market. It adds a bit of dignity to the garden at a time when the wildflowers […]

  • Taking Time

    I discovered this plant eight or nine years ago in the bargain corner of a nursery. It looked like a small stick that was about to expire. I bought it and its companion for two euro with no expectation that they would ever come to anything. Years later they have grown to six or seven […]

  • Nemeses

    This is the night time activity on the wall behind the house where all of my Hosta sit in pots in the shade. The snails are already shredding some of them and I presume that this one is on his way home for the evening after a satisfactory feast. I have tried everything to deter […]

  • Juxtaposition

    I am always surprised when the cherry blossoms appear just after the crab apple trees are at their best, as they all seem far too delicate to survive here. Even more surprising is that the blossoms can withstand strong winds and cold. One of the things that I particularly like is the juxtaposition of the […]

  • A LONG JOURNEY

    I was very distressed recently to discover my collie cross Millie standing beside me with a dead goldfinch in her mouth. I would like to think that she was not responsible for its death, but fear that the evidence is against her. This was one of at least forty goldfinches that have spent the winter […]