January You Are Welcome

I missed out on my semi-regular “Cheering up My Monday” feature yesterday. I had a lot on, so the camera didn’t appear until mid-morning today, and after a late-night session at my favourite Lady Belle in Dungarvan, there was a noticeable shake. I did succeed in getting some decent shots during my short walkabout. So, instead of Cheering up My Monday, here’s my Throbbing Tuesday update.

Three things I noticed:

  • The ornamental butterfly seems to be flying on one wing. Perhaps she’s had a rough time of it over Christmas. The front left spring has failed, and the suspension is askew. This little girl will require some TLC to bring her hack to some sort of equilibrium. A bit like myself today, really.
Droopy wing syndrome
  • My garden here in Dungarvan is directly beneath the main flight-path connecting North America with London and other major Western Europe airports including Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt and Knock. Today, as a result of clear skies and cool temperatures, the contrails were all over the place.
Noughts-and-crosses at 35,000 feet
  • We decorated the bare apple tree with Christmas baubles for the first time. They look great, and apart from a severe buffeting last week during Storm Barbara, they still retain their shine. I noticed when taking this shot, that the reflection of the photographer clad in lycra (me!), was faintly visible. (Perfect recipe for any viewers who are into men in lycra to zoom in for post-Christmas titillation!)

At A Plant Level

  • The sprouts were delicious. This year, as a first, we cooked them according to a very tasty recipe.
  1. 2 rashers, diced
  2. 1 red onion
  3. lots of home-grown sprouts
Cook the sprouts in boiling water for six minutes. Meanwhile, fry the rashers and onion in oil. When sprouts are cooked, drain and then mix with rashers and onions on the pan for thirty seconds.
This was delicious with lamb, potatoes and roast vegetables (sweet potato, carrots, peppers, baby tomatoes)
Brussels sprouts “Roodnerf”
  • I planted two pots of the lovely daffodil Ziva during the Autumn. One had been inside over Christmas, and the other outside. I will swap them today, as the indoor heat means that this lovely flower struggles. Regular swapping every five days is the answer.
Narcissus Ziva
Callicarpa Beauty Berry

Made Me Smile

It’s always good to have a bit of a laugh, and this got me going today. Thanks to unknown welly expert for perceptiveness.
That’s it for today. I hope you all have a really good year ahead.

Happy gardening,
Pádraig, 3rd January 2017.

Twitter & Instagram @growwriterepeat

Cheering Up My Monday #3

It’s another Monday, and time to begin another week. In the garden, the temperature has moved wildly. This morning it’s a very mild 8 celsius here in Abbeyside at 8am, and likely to hit 10C later. As against that, it dipped to minus 2 overnight on Friday.

These low temperatures are tough for plants. Most are able for the drop, and some actually revel in such conditions. I was out with the camera on Saturday to catch the cold.

Phlox subulata ‘McDaniel’s Cushion’
Wallflower
Osteospermum jucundum ‘Blackthorn Seedling’
This last one, known also as African Daisy, is staying wrapped up. We may think that plants don’t have any sense. This may make us think again! Why would we go outside when we can wrap up in a warm jacket? It’s the same with this little guy. The petals will remain tightly gathered to protect the core.

Note: O. jucundum is a perennial with aromatic grey-green leaves and daisy-like, white flowers, flushed purple with darker purple eyes in summer and autumn. I’m putting it on my list of favourite plants. Further info here (on my virtual welly footprint)

That’s it for this week. Next Monday is St. Stephen’s Day. Of course, I’ll be waiting with excitement for a white Christmas, but not sure that these fellas will!
Happy gardening,
Pádraig, 19th December 2016.

Cheering Up My Monday #2

This African daisy has been in bloom since May and brought great colour to the garden. Next year, I think I’ll grow the white one.
Even now, approaching mid-December, there are still a number of flower heads despite five or six nights of heavy frost over the last two weeks.
It has very definitely cheered up my Monday.
 

Pádraig, 12th December 2016.