Category Archives: Garden

Six on Saturday – 11th July 2020

Finally a dry Saturday and time to get out into the garden. Lots and lots of tidying up to do.

So first this week Worcester berries V Juvenile blackbird. A few weeks ago I posted about the still green Worcester berries. Well they are ripening nicely, but the juvenile blackbirds that was helping itself to blackcurrants last week, also appears to have a taste for Worcester berries. We picked about half a pound today for ourselves and hoping that we can harvest some more that still need a few days to ripen before the blackbird eats them all!

2. Meanwhile Robin friend (my daughter’s name for our friendly robin who will feed from her hand), appears exhausted after his/her brood has successfully fledged. We’ve seen it with two young ones. Here it was having a peaceful preen away from hectic family life.

3. Bee numbers are definitely down after a few miserable weeks but this garden bumble bee was enjoying what remains of the foxgloves.

Garden bumblebee on foxglove

4. Some of the self-seeded borage is now flowering in the vegetable patch and these always prove popular with the bees too.

Borage and White tailed bumblebee

5. Gypsophila – looking nice in a pot with some other flowers.

Gypsophila

6. And finally for this week some brassicas – a mix of red cabbage and brussel sprouts plants which have enjoyed the rain.

Brassicas

Thanks to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday.

Six on Saturday – 4th July 2020

So rain seems to be a common theme with some Six On Saturday participants this week. As a gardener it is hard to get the “right” weather. Back in April and May it was too dry and now it is too wet!!

So first this week, a rather wet bee. Poor bumblebees are not enjoying this weather and numbers are well down from earlier in the year when they were enjoying the sunshine.

Garden bumblebee on sage

2. Next Campanula, this one is about 80-90cm and often gets battered by the wind. So will need to tie up today as it is due to get windy tonight.

3. Fennel is good at capturing those little misty raindrops which we are having quite a bit of:)

4. We have blackcurrants, but we also have two hungry young blackbird who appear to be rather partial to them!

5. Yellow loosestrife

6. And finally Crocosmia lucifer.

Thank you to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday.

Six on Saturday

As we head toward the longest day of the year things seem extra busy in the garden.

First this week the appropriately named green shield bug, here a pair mating on the red currants.

2. It is a while since I posted a photo of a bumblebee. Here a garden bumblebee enjoying the delphinium.

3. The day lily seemed to take ages to open but they are finally here.

4. It is pretty windy again today which I hope won’t affect the mange tout which are
doing nicely but not quite flowering yet.

5. Common spotted orchids in the wildflower meadow.

6. You may remember the red and yellow Aquilegia, well they have joined with the white ones. They are giving a great display of colour.

Thanks to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday

Six on Saturday – 13th June 2020

We have returned to cooler weather but still only small amounts of rain. As we approach mid-June there are endless garden jobs to do. Today is was planting out brassicas, cutting back rosemary and taking some cuttings, weeding and potting up. So here is this week’s six, and thanks to The Propagotor for hosting Six on Saturday.

  1. Large bellflower, Campanula. The first year I planted these they put on a big display and then got toppled by the wind. Since then they have seeded themselves here and there as individuals.

2. Here meadow cranesbill and yellow allium, both of which I showed in previous weeks, but I like the colour combination of the two together. If you look closely you may see a white tailed bumblebee too.

3. This is the same wild meadow cranesbill as the blue one above, which again seed themselves happily in the gravel and I then move them on. This one I moved to one of the wildflower meadow areas. It is not fully white, but has a slightly purple tinge.

4. I really like foxgloves as do some bumblebees.

5. Sage – the outdoors ones are now in flower, though some of the flowers seem burnt – which is quite possible as we did have a late frost, though it could also be wind burnt.

6. And finally this week Worcester berry – it is like a cross between a gooseberry and blackcurrant. These berries will get darker in colour. Seems to be a good enough crop this year – so may get a pot of two of jam.

Six on Saturday – 6th June 2020

So the dry spell has come to an end and we have returned to more normal Irish weather of rain and cool temperatures (a bit too cool), but at least we don’t have to spend the evenings watering.

1 So first this week – yellow allium

2. Next a purple leafed geranium

Purple leafed geranium

3. Tomatoes are planted into the greenhouse – I was slow starting them but hopefully we will get some fruit.

4. Some beetroot – will let it get a bit bigger before I plant out.

Beetroot

5. Also squash and behind them cucumber. The cucumber will be planted into the greenhouse.

6. And finally lettuce (ignore the weeds!). We waited for ages for it to come and now it is all coming together.

Lettuce

Thank you to The Propagator for hosting Six On Saturday

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

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

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.

Six on Saturday – 9th May 2020

It is warm today. Close to 20 degrees Celsius. Tomorrow temperatures are going to drop again, to about 11, so it is from one extreme to another. We got a small amount of rain last week but it is still exceptionally dry for the west of Ireland.

  1. I am not sure if it is the hot temperatures or the dry weather that has driven some of the frogs back to the pond. We saw four today – just chilling in the water.

2. Also in the pond, one large great diving beetle.

3. By the pond is also one of my favourite damp habitat flower – Ragged robin. There does not seem to be as much as last year, but it is just coming out.

4. Lavender is in flower – the bees don’t seem to have found it yet.

5. The bees are preferring the sage flowers in the greenhouse.

6. And finally for this weeks six, some Aquilegia flowers.

Thank you to The Propagator for hosting Six On Saturday.