Six on Saturday – Guinness, Whiskey, Steak & Onions

The ugly wall was built badly by my great neighbour and his friend. Lots of Guinness and whiskey went into the building of it.

There was birthday cake on Monday as I celebrated the beginning of my sixty-third trip around the sun. Steak and onions too, with a glass of red wine. The celebrations continued unexpectedly for most of the week, as I met up with friends for coffee (and cake), and had lunch and dinner out with family on Wednesday and Friday. Prior to all this I had been just skin and bone, and now there’s a bit of flesh on me! I’m told it suits me. Unfortunately, there was little time to think about my six this week, and so it is somewhat factual without the added extra bits. Anseo, mo chuid Sé ar an Satharn:

Ground Ivy is a handy hardy annual for a tub of summer colour, as the plant is primarily a variegated leafy one. I bought a few in 2018 and this year’s plants are their descendents. I will simply leave these in place over winter and get literally dozens again next year. They root freely and give a balanced look to several areas of annual colour.

Persicaria is a wonderful ground-cover plant that looks very uninteresting until the flowers emerge. I’ve got them tucked away under several of the shrubs on Joe’s raised bed, and it peeks through to surprise me. A native Himalayan plant, it is sometimes known as mountain fleece, smartweed or knotweed but not the dodgy dangerous one.

I was given this Astilbe as a gift last year, and it is nestled between two larger shrubs. I was unsure if it was in a suitable place, so rather than plant it, I left it in its pot just in case it would need to be moved elsewhere. Apart from having to drown it twice during the drought in May and early June, it is definitely happy where it is.

Lobelia cardinalis is one of my top ten plants. It will flower very shortly, and as soon as it does, you’ll know all about it! Once again, these remain in pots rather than in the ground. In that way I can move them wherever I want and move them away when they no longer look great. I have three, and they will be very suitable for dividing in early spring. Next year there will likely be nine, and at that point I will plant some in a pernanent position.

I rarely take photographs of the Agapanthus, and I know why. It just doesn’t present itself well for the camera. Indeed it is a beautiful plant to look at and is a definite addition to the rockery. It will remain in flower for a long period, and in addition to that, I leave the dead spikes in place through the winter. Perhaps that will be worth photographing.

This clinging Hydrangea was bought in an attempt to hide the ugly wall, which was built badly by my great neighbour and his friend. Lots of Guinness and whiskey went into the building of this ugly wall, so we decided to attach a wooden camouflage recently. The hydrangea doesn’t mind whether it clings to an ugly wall or a wooden fence attached to an ugly wall. In 2022 this will be a magnificent backdrop to the area, and in the meantime I will take some cuttings to multiply the stock.

That’s my lot for this week. I do hope you have a great week ahead, whether there be gardening or not. If you’ve a mind to, pop over to Mr. Propagator to read about many more gardeners writing their Six on Saturday. There may even be one or two who celebrated a birthday this week with cake, steak & onions.

Eating cáca milis and extending a birthday beyond a one-day event is very rewarding. I’m reminded that if weddings are becoming three-day events, why not go all out when one reaches the age of sixty-two? I did manage to write my daily garden challenge this week, which cut into my time. I’m glad I did so, though. Overall, it has been a very very good week. Here’s to more next week, but without the cake!

Instagram @growwriterepeat and personal account @padraigdeb58.


Saturday, 18th July  2020

Short Days Challenge

This week I focus on a challenge I joined lately. It’s called Short Days Challenge. I briefly introduced it just last week. The idea is to note the little things in the winter garden and to publish one item every day between November and February on Instagram using the #shortdayschallenge hashtag. Now, I take a look back for this Throwback Thursday at the daily winter little things I noted.

Friday, December 7th: Today’s winter garden: Another journey starting. I loved cacti and succulents many years ago. Having visited Deep Route Gardening in Cork during the week, I returned with enough plants to kick-start my interest once again.

Thanks to Deep Route Gardening in Cork 

Saturday, December 8th: Today’s winter garden: I purchased a replacement thermometer for the glasshouse. The previous one fell into a barrel of rainwater about 15 years ago. This machine measures maximum and minimum and the humidity and well.

Temperature & humidity data log

Sunday, December 9th: Today’s winter garden: almost identical colour and petal form on two great winter plants: wallflowers and violas. Continuing #shortdayschallenge as I briefly log winter here in Waterford, Ireland. Time to focus on the little things.

Wallflower and viola

Monday, December 10th: Warm mid-morning sunshine. Small flowering plants at this time really stand out. These are smashers!

December sunshine 

Tuesday, December 11th: I put out a query as follows… “Can anyone I’d this plant please? It was bought as a trailing annual and has thrived to such an extent that it has rooted wherever it can. In fact, I’m now wondering will it survive the winter as three nights of frost seems to have had no effect on it.”

Glechoma hederacea variegata (Ground ivy) 

Speedily, the information came back from several sources:

I  think it’s a variegated #groundivy 👀🌿

@plantbump Many thanks. Indeed it is! The same info came through via #gardentags. Glechoma hederacea variegata.

Wednesday, December 12th: Today’s winter garden: It’s good to take a photograph from near ground level. Just another angle on things. Parhaps this is the everyday view of this section of the garden seen by our two Yorkies, Molly & Becks?

Ground photo. Nandina in foreground 

Thursday, December 13th: Today’s winter garden: Plants thrive in small spaces. Top left: nasturtium in a sheltered cul-de-sac. Top right: Geranium rozanne is now dormant but resurrection will happen. Bottom left: leaf shelter for the homeless creatures of the garden, and finally, another cranesbill rooted between wall and patio. Continuing #shortdayschallenge as I briefly log winter here in Waterford, Ireland. Time to focus on the little things.

Nasturtium, dormant geranium, leaf-shelter & a second geranium 

Would you like to join in? Simply use the hashtag #shortdayschallenge either on your blog, Facebook or Instagram to connect with many others noticing the little winter things that bring delight to these short days. Have you a favourite winter item in your garden, be it plant, structure or ornament?

Páraig (also known as Pat) is the author of Petals by Paraig. He loves his Yorkies and winter and low-angled photographs. He also loves post-winter resurrection, warmer temperature in the glasshouse and Garden Tags software but not exclusively. Shoot Gardening is his software of choice.