Monthly Archives: May 2020

Six on Saturday – 30th May

Another warm, dry week. Really this is not usual West of Ireland weather but it was similar last year. Today there has been lots of watering and some planting in the vegetable plot.

However, I will concentrate on flowers this week. First the wildflower meadow is just getting going. Ox-eyed daisy are the mainstay, with red clover, and meadow buttercup. We usually get a few orchids but nothing showing yet.

Next rambling rose. This is one of three heritage ones that ramble through the hedge.

Rambling rose

Blue iris. I get the feeling this plant is not enjoying the dry weather..

I bought these last autumn and had forgotten I had planted them. I think it is Allium Summer Bells

Next Sweet Rocket.

And finally Delphinium

Thank you to The Propagator for hosting Six On Saturday


Nature has some wonderful delicate colours. Below the delicate pink of Shining Cranesbill, Geranium lucidum.

Next, collection of daisy, speedwell and pignut flowers

And here the speedwell in more detail.

And finally the delicate green and whites of cow parsley.

Six on Saturday – 23rd May 2020

So the weather has changed and we’ve had strong winds and rain the last two days which have left most of the alliums horizontal!

Thankfully the lupins, which are not very tall and have just started flowering, have been okay.

In the greenhouse, I have been harvesting and drying chamomile flowers to make room for tomato plants.

Also in the greenhouse for the last two days (probably taking shelter form the wind), has been a leaf cutter bee (Megachile species).

My brassicas are behind but at least they have germinated now. Here red cabbage, but I have also white cabbage, Romanesco, broccoli and Brussel spouts.

And finally for this week’s six Meadow cranesbill – Geranium pratense

Thank you to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday

World Bee Day – 20th May 2020

Today is International World Bee Day. Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that one of my pasttimes is watching bees, recording them and planting food for them.

One of the best plants for bees is comfrey. It has a long flowering season which provides food throughout the spring and summer.

Blossom, such as apple or cherry blossom, is another great food source.

Herbs (e.g. sage, oregano, thyme) are also great for bees.

Vegetables often rely on bees for pollination, including runner beans, courgettes and many others. Allowing brassicas to flower can also provide food for bees.

Wild native flowers are also important for bees too. So having some in your garden is a great asset.

Biodiversity week – 2020

So here in Ireland we should be celebrating Biodiversity week. Usually there would be lots of events on, but of course with lockdown things are postponed or cancelled. But we can still celebrated online. For me it is a week to celebrate our wonderful biodiversity. So I want to start with a celebration of garden biodiversity as it is right outside our door. Just by providing a little bit of wildness in our gardens we can provide homes for some wonderful creatures. (All the photographs below have been taken in my garden).

Our wildlife pond supports frogs, newts and damselflies to name just a few.

We have four nest just on our house alone – two starling nests, a swallow’s nest and one wren’s nest. The young starlings from one of the nests fledged over the weekend. Below are photos of the adults who have been very busy finding food.

Flowers – native and cultivated provide food for pollinators. More on bees on Wednesday world bee day.

Wildflower meadows and wilder areas provide homes for a myriad of insects, and the insects and the seeds of the flowers in turn, feed the birds and small mammals.

A little bit of wildness may also attract some mammals to the garden. We had a hare visit this weekend (photo on left taken by my son).

If you live in Ireland look out for online activities this week.

There is a Backyard Bioblitz from May 22nd – 24th

There is a #LoveNature campaign to share all the things you love about nature.

If you are outside Ireland check out the UN page on biodiversity day.

Six on Saturday – 16th May

Another dry week, but today has been cloudy and we are promised light rain tonight. You don’t really want to wish for rain, but everything could do with a good soak to be honest.

First this week another Aquilegia, this time Common columbine Aquilegia vulgaris.

Next Alluims are just coming. This one is about the best, colourwise.

Featuring at number three this week, is a geranium. This one was a gift from a friend and I cannot remember the name.

Earlier in the week we had two nights with frost – really not what you want in May. For the second year running the beech hedge around the vegetable plot has had it’s newly emerging leaves burnt!

I think another victim of the frost may well be our cherries. This is the first year this tree has had so many fruit but the frost seems to have damaged the cherries and many of them are turning brown.

And finally for this week a Geum, also slightly first damaged.