Showing posts from 2017

Meán Fómhair sa ghairdín

The wheel continues to turn.  We've passed Lúghnasa and the days are getting noticeably shorter.  Dublin doesn't get very cold and certainly doesn't experience extremes of weather but we're actually at the same latitude as Edmonton, Alberta.  Therefore, at the height of summer, the sky is still light at 23.00, goes a bit dark for four hours and then brightens again by 04.30.  At this time of year, I feel the darkness enveloping the earth like a warm, cosy blanket.

Although the days are shorter, we are still in the big growth season.  Peas might be done but the courgettes, cabbage, sweetcorn, tomatoes and carrots are just hitting their peak performance.

I've had so much cabbage that this year I made both sauerkraut and kim chi and miraculously it worked! They are all now living in the 'fridge and probably won't last long due to being very tasty!  I have also juiced cabbage, kale and carrots to freeze and add to soups and stews throughout the winter.


Gardening at its most lush: August 2017

There is something particularly lush about this time of year.  Its harvest time, so croppable plants planted in spring are either ready to pick or nearly there.  All the autumn annuals and perennials are getting ready to shine - sunflowers, Chinese lanterns, autumn asters.  I try to have something in bloom during every season so I'm really excited for the show of Autumn colour this year.  The two Chinese lantern plants I planted last Spring don't seem to be doing very much yet, but the sunflowers and asters should bring a burst of gold and purple to the garden.

I have an incredible cabbage harvest this year which is possibly, partially, due to my starting to use nematodes for slugs.  In previous years the slugs have wiped out most of the young cabbage plants.  I've so much cabbage that I'm having a go at making my own sauerkraut and kimchi.  My hope is to be able to use food from the garden as much as possible in our day-to-day living.  Fingers crossed they turn out! …

The Garden in July

This is the fifth summer we've been in this house and I can honestly say that its the first year the garden is starting to feel really established.  The trees, the herbaceous border, the clematis.  All giving the feeling of maturity and structure.  Of course, most things are in full bloom in July, which adds to the richness of it all.

I tend to be a bit of a hands-off, guerrilla gardener and will "have a go" at seeing what works well on its own, with minimal interference from me.  But this year I've decided to use a potassium feed on the flowering plants as well as the bog standard organic seaweed feed I usually give them.  The results are easy to see.  Many more blooms on the roses, marigolds, petunias and dahlias.

A word to the wise - if you keep flowering plants in pots, they need more water and more food than plants in the ground.  It will work, but they require a bit more effort from you to be at their best.  I've also had a great result using nematodes th…

Nearly Midsummer 2017

Á chairde! Tá sé lár an tsamhraidh i sa ghairdín agus is iad na bláthanna áille.

Here we are again.  Its a beautiful day, the sun is splitting the stones and the garden has vaulted into full bloom.  One of the reasons I love gardening isn't just getting my hands into the earth, but watching the transition of seasons throughout the year.  It might seem slow but the change from barren winter beauty to lush summer abundance is truly incredible.

The garden is changing and growing fast.  The peonies are at their end, the last blooms about to shatter.

As the peonies bow out, the regular roses are prepared to take centre stage.  I have three rose buses at either side of the peonies.  They are all varieties of pink and one is classified as a blue rose.

The lilies & crocosmia are also getting ready to bloom.

I only have one dahlia in bloom at the moment, recently purchased from a garden shop.  They other three dahlias in the garden I've had for a few years and will bloom later in…