Hi lads! fruit day today on the biodynamic calendar. I just finished sowing the first lots of peas, mange tout and purple peas direct into the garden, dwarf french beans, broad beans and climbing french beans under cover.You could do the broad beans directly into the ground but I have to prepare a bed first.Did lots of pumpkins, courgettes(1st of two sowings) melons and cucumbers too.It's a fruit day all day tomorrow too, so its a good time to get sowing if you havent already got round to it! Would love to post a picture of peas but google wont co-operate today!
Sunday, 29 April 2012
|Garlic and carrot bed|
|A Nasturtium towers over baby carrots and wild weed seedlings|
There is no option but to hand weed the rows of carrots and garlic, a hoe will do the spaces in between. If this army of weeds gets any bigger it will seriously hinder the two crops in the bed. Seamus who is most keen on bloody carrots refused point blank to weed them, calling the job tedious and insane! He wants to wait until the weeds are bigger!!! The crazy fecker refused to listen to all the reasons why its better to do it earlier. So it was a one sided weeding job-but I don't mind. I like this kind of microscopic weeding, its very absorbing somehow-maybe I am mad!
If you dont know your weeds here is a handy website with links to pictures and full descriptions;
common garden weeds
Saturday, 28 April 2012
|Marys Fabulous Glasshouse|
|Mary and Ollie|
|Getting stuck in|
Mary went far too easy on them all by making a lovely baked breakfast bromlette (at least that's what I'm calling it-Bread base with omelet style filling). Followed by scones with jam and all washed down with tea and coffee.I think she could have knocked another job or two out of them after all that fine dining.Next time Mary more work!
|A bit like the ICA this crowd need the promise of a cup of tea!|
|Noticed this yellow discolouration as I was earthing up|
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Last night I called in to see Heather. She is definately in the running (if not already crowned) the owner of the tidiest tunnel in Ireland! I dont think the picture does it justice.I couldnt get her to pose for me, something about poor lighting and no make up artists on hand!! Ah Heather I'm pulling your leg-but next time I will get you in all your glory-fair warning!!!
Monday, 23 April 2012
|Glass gone-dismantling begins|
Most of the glass was already taken down so now came the taking apart of the aluminium frame. Many of the upper screws just sheared off but the lower ones were fine, and with a little persuasion they obliged and popped out intact. Johnny reckons the replacements will be easily got in town.
|ghost of gardens past-raised bed emerges|
|Barney supervising the work|
A few months ago one evening he suddenly appeared in Johnny's porch. Johnny took him in and made him a cup of tea. They began to talk about the house, the previous owner vowing to buy it back off Johnny and make it his home again. A few weeks later he passed away. No doubt his liver gave up after a lifetime of abuse. It seemed like such a sad end to a lost life. I hope he doesn't visit Johnny from beyond the grave so that he can live at home again!!!! He better not think of haunting the glasshouse either, maybe I should get Fr Hayes over for the opening ceremony just in case?!
We gave up when it was almost done, leaving the last difficult part(tree growing through frame) for the next morning. All the glass is home now and all of the frame pieces too. They all need cleaning and disinfecting which isn't too bad. The big job now is putting it all back together again. I'm not looking forward to it. Joe are you free some Saturday ?....
|last panes of glass ready for road|
|the unbolting begins|
|It took both of them to get off some of the screws and bolts|
|meanwhile I was attacking the brier jungle|
|briar's cleared and raked out|
|half way there|
|The last pieces come down as daylight starts to fade|
|the immaculate lawns out front at Fota|
|"garden gate" doesn't do it justice|
|The orangery-I could die happy here!|
|Orange and lemon trees inside|
|beautiful planters inside the orangery|
|ridiculously tall trees|
|very comfy garden chair|
|beautiful tree peony|
|lots of fab camellias|
|flowering myrtle threw jasmine like perfume into the air|
|shocking pink rhododendron|
|eerily like being in another country walking into this copse of trees|
|warning sign for the fernery...|
|in case the dinosaurs get you!|
|off to middle earth we go...|
|Fota House in the background|
|Fruit Hill Farm brought lots of tools|
|cool garden furniture!|
|Hammocks! bring on the sun|
|Pretty display with cool teracotta follies and great plants|
First port of call was Future Forests to pick up an Acer from Matt, an amicable guy I had been chatting with over the phone the week before. Future Forests are out in the arse of West Cork so it saved quite a bit of driving to meet them there. They are almost finished posting bare rooted stock until next Autumn so although we got part of our tree order from them in the post last week they couldn't send on the Acer which was now in leaf and starting to grow. Matt told us not to leave without taking a walk in Fota Arboretum which I had forgotten all about but visited many years before. I remember in particular the Orangery-in my lotto winning dreams I build one of those and live with orange and lemon trees into old age.(with a purple rinse in my hair and chasing kids off with a large stick of course).
|Cool supports for sweet peas-might have a go at making these|
|furniture and flowers-senetti were everywhere!|
Although there were loads of plants and stalls I only bought some green manure from Seed Savers and 5 pots of asparagus from a funny lady on the way out (5 pots for 10 euros!there may be a good reason to arrive late after all!). I think next year I will ban all partying the night before and show up at a respectable hour to actually see everything that is on offer. Its not a veg growing show although there are lots of herbs, but if you are into unusual ornamental plants then its well worth the visit. And to meet other like minded crackpots like yourself of course!
Fota House www.fotahouse.com
Saturday, 21 April 2012
Lads if you bought today's Irish Independent you will find an ad on page 8 offering two packets of T&M seeds, one flower, one vegetable to anyone who sends a stamped self addressed envelope to Mr Middleton in Dublin. Click on the photo to get the details. For the price of a stamp its well worth it and you can always swap packets if you dont get something you want. Happy sowing!!
Friday, 20 April 2012
|The Nano Nagle Centre|
They hold a farmers market every month in one of their three tunnels, keep a variety of farm animals(free range and organic of course)! and run all sorts of interesting courses and retreats. They also use one of the tunnels as a teaching tunnel for students.They have a kind of three fold mission in that care of the earth is bound up with their own brand of spirituality with a dollop of Heritage thrown in.
|the teaching tunnel|
|beautiful scenery on the way home|
Anyway here in pictures is what I took from the visit. We were lucky with the weather, thunder was grumbling as we left Kildorrery and the sky was inky black, but the sun shone while we were walking around in Ballygriffin.
|deep heat mat propagator with under storage in the tunnel|
|beautifully built 4 bay compost system|
|and around the other side clever water collection!|
|beautiful curved covered pergola walkway to the gardens|
|great crop signage-just what I need in the garden!|
|beautifully made potting bench and storage underneath|
|Protected spuds-1st earlies kept protected for early cropping|