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Cheering Up My Mondays

It’s the first day of October. The swallows have gone, and the days are shortening. My gardening year is coming to a close, yet there is much to do. However, rather than doing it, I am still in writing mode and the doing will be done it its own good time.
In attempting to find reasons to cheer Up My Monday, I am never lost for ideas. This week, I find myself thinking about bots. Yes, bots. These are the fake automated accounts I realised are everywhere out there. Let me give an example.

A recent Instagram photo

I use Instagram to share my garden with others. My account is petalsbyparaig and I love the interaction there. A simple garden photograph speeds its way to my many followers. Similarly, I enjoy looking at photographs posted by others, and the circle continues, adding excitement and motivation to my garden photography.
This is a list of some recent “followers”: (names edited to prevent further following!

  • click.toincreasefollowers (Yeah, right…. more bots!)
  • clinique58 (House of Fazer?)
  • presstoobtain (Get Fame on instagram)
  • pproteinIreland (I have enough, thanks!)
  • Gracie98 (with Snapchat link only)
  • hayeng212 (I  can earn $100 per day…. wow!)
  • Brazilian Lingerie (Online shop that delivers to me)
The list goes on and on. What amazed me was that many of these replies are automated, and a “like” or a “follow” returns instantly. Initially, I thought to myself, ah feck off…. and continued my day. But as I write this, I intend taking things a step further. I intend removing accounts that are obviously fake, because not only do I not want them following me, more importantly, I do not want them having access to my data. I am considering making my account private but will consider the matter a bit more. In such a case, I would approve follow requests, yet this takes away from gardening and writing time.
This will cheer up my Monday big time! Other things that cheer me up today include:
  • Still lots of tomatoes ripening
  • Garden catalogues arriving soon
  • Sunshine last week was incredible
  • The garden still looks great.
  • Autumn is blooming
My to-do-list is taking shape. Among many of the jobs on the list are:
  • Final spraying of roses
  • Make a cold-frame
  • Fix a leaking drainpipe
  • Propagate several plants from cuttings and division
  • Stop the birds from enjoying a soil dust-bath just where I have sown beetroot seed
  • Sto the birds from enjoying a soil dust-bath just where I have sown spring onion seed
Other than that, here’s a photo selection to cheer me up even more!

About the author: Páraig is the author of Petals by Páraig. He photographs and writes about his garden in Ireland. He loves using Instagram and sharing things there, but doesn’t love the bots, and particularly dislikes the ones that promise money or other things.

Categories
Blogroll Plant September

Beauty Berry Profusion

I think profusion is a very lovely word.
I had this beautiful shrub until the snow of March 2018. Unfortunately, along with 5 other plants, it died. I have added it once again to my wish list.
About the author: Páraig is the author of GrowWriteRepeat. He loves berried shrubs and snow. He loves lots of other things too! Like cycling, great movies such as Shawshank Redemption, but not hoovering.

Pádraig,

9th September 2018.

Categories
Blogroll

Plants Are Parents Too

Last week I cut back the Alyssum and saved enough seed to grow an army of them for next year. Today, as I wandered about, I was stunned to see the plant flowering again! The plant does not seem to understand that it’s the first day of October.

Alyssum Golden Ball

Here’s how it works. When seed begins to ripen on a plant (any plant) the energy is channeled to ensuring that the seed ripens in the best possible way. Thee plant refuses to grow more flowers, as that would divert valuable energy away from “the next generation”. Bit like humans, really. Parents do as much for their children as they possibly can, often sacrificing things they would like for themselves.

The opposite happens as soon as the seed is shed. The plant returns to flowering, in order to produce even more seeds, and the cycle continues until such time as the weather changes alarmingly. When  nature cannot provide enough energy (sunlight & warmth) to ensure viable reproduction, the plant produces neither flower or seed. Bit like menopause, perhaps.

Here’s a reminder of what it looked like only last week:

Therefore, anything that we can do to help the process on the way will result in more flowers for longer. Some gardeners will go to extreme lengths to provide ideal conditions for growth. Some delicate plants will be taken to the glasshouse. Other plants, just like humans, are hardy and can withstand cold and even frost.

Here’s what happened only very recently: Easy Seed Saving

Pádraig, 1st October 2016.