This Week in the Garden

Monday, 1st June, shortly after 7am: I am shocked to witness the sheer brazenness of our resident blackbird, as she munched through the very first strawberry of the year. The early bird had no interest in worms. I watched the entire episode, mesmerised yet unwilling to interfere. Lesson learned though, and netting was put in place within hours. Weather: very hot 25C.

Tuesday, 2nd June: The weather continues to sizzle and my plants are thirsty. Unlike me, they cannot move into a cooler place when it gets too hot and they become reliant on me to take care of them. Thankfully, they respond very well to just one form of care: water. All living things need water, and if dehydration is not remedied there is only one outcome.

A few weeks ago I put a layer of bark mulch on several of my patio potted plants, including this one. The idea was to keep the soil cool and prevent the water from evaporating. Naturally, I did not realise that is would be scattered by the bird who knows that the worms are just beneath. Today is the second day that the bird seems to be in charge. Weather: very hot approx 25C again.

Wednesday, 3rd June: Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) It’s good to have a plant that finds the perfect spot and thrives there. Nothing to do with the gardener knowing where best to plant it. I had its parent planted in the rockery nearby two years ago, and it has since passed over to Compost Heaven. Last summer I was thrilled to see that it had seeded itself in several places, mostly in small cracks between the patio slabs. It flowered very freely last summer from its new home, and I liked it very much. This year, there are many more seedling plants among many more cracks, and they seem to be growing very happily. Weather: cooler 16C.

Thursday, 4th June: According to mother nature, Green is a primary color.
I do love a bowl of mixed lettuce leaves with lunch so I need to make sure there’s enough planted. A row of mixed seeds is usually enough for about three weeks. With a bit of luck, I get five or six different varieties. Today, I set my third crop and with such active growth at this time of year they will be ready to eat in about three weeks time, and the process continues again.

Don’t ask me why I love it, Cos I just don’t know, Endive tried lots of them. In truth, this is Rocket fuel.

Friday, 5th June: Clematis is great to cover a fence or an unsightly spot. This one is Clematis Cezanne.

Clematis is a symbol of motivation, intelligence, peaceful thoughts and mental beauty. Clematis will guide the inner self to purpose, meaning, interest and focus. It is a symbol of warmth and ingenuity. It forebodes safety for travelers.

What I’d like to know is who writes this stuff? There’s probably even a World Clematis Day.

Saturday, 5th June: My usual morning or evening walk on the Greenway brings me past a notable tree. It is a mature Copper Maple, and it is exactly 29 years old. I give it a nod and a Howya doin? The reason this tree is special is because we bought it shortly after we got married and it lived with us for a year. We then realised that this tree was unsuitable for our small garden so we gave it to our neighbour. But we can still admire its beauty.

Sunday, 7th June: There is some BINDWEED under one of the fuchsia shrubs. Last year, I was too late in noticing it, and it proved impossible to control. This time, I’m on top of it! It’ll not thrive again! I refuse to photograph bindweed, so there!

Weather this week: Shorts, suncream & salad early in the week. Jacket & hat on Friday and Saturday. Rain urgently needed.

This article is mostly a combination of my daily Instagram posts. I am hoping to make this an occasional feature here on GrowWriteRepeat. If you are an Instagram user you might like to have a look there too.

Fun to finish:

Man to florist: ‘I’d like a bunch of flowers, please.’
Florist: ‘Certainly, sir. What flowers would you like?’
Man: ‘Er.. I’m not sure…Ummm..’
Florist: ‘Let me help you, sir – what exactly have you done?’

New Beginnings Again

Gardening has been a very important part of my life for many many years, and whenever I choose to combine gardening and some writing, it always seemed to be my magic bullet.

I have benefitted hugely from writing. It has helped me dig deep into my thoughts, helping me celebrate good times and get through difficult times… and then I stopped.

Introducing my new rebranded look… New website, new feel, fresh start again…

My previous blog was called Petals By Páraig. This one is called Grow Write Repeat. The rebranding process took place over a few weeks and I feel motivated once again to get back on the wagon.

As part of this new look, I have matched my Twitter and Instagram accounts to fit in. I decided that there will be no Facebook. My reasons are many and I am happy with the omission. Many thanks to Mr. Blogger over at the Google place in Seattle. I have enjoyed my time there. And now I am here.

Why did I change to Grow Write Repeat? I had something to record my gardening but wanted something that reflects the importance of the writing process. There’s a cycling phrase used by the professionals. It is called Eat Sleep Repeat. I tried it but I’m too old to be a professional. However, my interest in gardening, and my knowledge of my inner workings, leads me to an understanding of how important writing is for me. So I changed the cycling phrase to suit my purposes. What are the three important elements?

  • Grow: the garden needs a helping hand
  • Write: record for reading in my 80’s in order to keep my 60’s head in a good space.
  • Repeat: do it regularly.

That’s it from South East Ireland for today. I’m off to the plot to check on the strawberries.

It’ll soon be time to go shopping for  double cream. Must get my racket from the attic.
Thought for the day… Good man, Steve!

Note: I have imported articles/posts prior to this one from my previous blog. there may be (likely plenty) references to the old blog name and older Twitter & Instagram accounts, so links may be broken. I’ve little time to be fixing such things because I need to get out to the garden.

Final tbought: “I am intrigued by writers who garden and gardeners who write. The pen and the trowel are not interchangeable, but seem often linked.” ― Marta McDowell

Pádraig, 31st May, 2020.

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.