Six on Saturday – Dibbers And Pringles

Which photograph takes first place in my garden competition this week? It was a private affair and I won easily. The prize is a two-night trip to West Cork.

Summer weather has returned and I’ve been basking and cycling in warm sunshine (not at same time), but September is a working month so I’ve continued the daily garden tasks as needed. In the meantime, there will be lots to savour. Here are just six. In fact they comprise this week’s Six on Saturday from last Thursday.

1. Many of the Begonias have put out new flowers as they bask in the same warm sunshine. This is a blurred yellow one.

2. There’s a very small Fuchsia that I keep forgetting about. It’s a mere 30cm in height and it is almost hidden between a fern and Bergenia. Rest assured it will be reduced in height as I intend taking three cuttings. These cuttings bring my total to 102. By end of the month I estimate there will be 126. After that, a second Cold Frame 2.0 would be required.

3. Strawberries are in reverse mode. They looked spent a month ago and now there’s a flush of flowers and a few small fruits. I neglected feeding so they won’t taste great. Likely, with colder nights and slower growth, they may not fruit at all.

Bitter rhubarb made sunny-day strawberry face the realities of life- and taste all the better for it. (Judith Fertig) 

4. Feeding the Osteospermums also fell by the wayside, but they are surviving. There’s just a few flowers because I also neglected dead-heading. I normally do not like purple but this is go h-álainn. What’s in between purple and pink? I’m artistically colour-blind.

5. When I went shopping for pringles and pasta I added this variegated Hebe. It seemed a shame to leave it behind. It was in a sad, very over-watered state so I tidied it up and placed into the Holding Area until I make room for it somewhere. I’m tempted to pop it into a large patio pot, but will most likely wait until March. Three cuttings will be taken, but to give them a fighting chance, I’ll wait a few weeks as it settles into its temporary home.

6. Persicaria and Campanula are peeping through on the rockery under the tall fuchsia. This photograph took first place in my garden competition this week. It was a private affair and I won easily. The prize is a two-night trip to West Cork. Social distancing and hand-washing will be a top priority. Some Guinness will provide essential protein after cycling.

In Other News

We’ve jumped the gun already, as we are in West Cork for a few days. I’m cycling 160km with friends, while Marion is buying plants and dibbers, but not pasta. Likely, I may be on my rothar even as you’re reading this. Truth be told, if you’re reading on Saturday, I’ll be on it long after you’ve moved on. Naturally, I thought to grab some garden photos midweek, put a few words together in advance and set everything to auto-post. That way I don’t waste Guinness-time.

My wife and I have completed a list of six garden visits which we hope to make between now and the end of winter. Each has a nice café/restaurant for lunch nearby and each has some interesting local loop walks. If weather is good we may even bring the bikes. Drive to X, cycle for an hour or ninety minutes, have some lunch and browse for a plant or a new dibber. Home then to a cozy warm stove.

West Cork Museum, Kenmare?

That’s my lot for this week, a cháirde. I’ll be back with more an Satharn seo chugainn. In the meantime, please visit Mr. Propagator’s garden blog where you can find many more Six on Saturday offerings from around the world, together with details of how to participate if that’s your thing. I hope you have a great week, be it in the garden, the potting shed or elsewhere. Slán go fóill.

Pádraig,

12th Seprember 2020.

Just Three Things

Most mornings I take a very short stroll down the garden while my boiled egg is boiling and my toast is toasting.

Three things from the garden this morning:

1. I do not have many strawberries, but the few that I have are very tasty. They are now well protected. I like to savour one or two most days.

2. The garden really did need a drop of rain. The weather here has been very dry for many weeks and there is a six-week hosepipe ban in effect. The rain arrived overnight, together with accompanying thunder & lightning. The image below is Sorbus aucuparia Rafina.

3. We bought this for the dogs. We thought they might like it, but it is not nearly as interesting as other things, such as the cat on the wall or the blackbird. However, I am leaving it where it landed. It reminds me of cancelled sporting events that are in lockdown limbo.

Three jobs that need doing (soon):

  • Continue the BEP bindweed eradication programme. Now in my third week, I am determined to defeat this nasty undercover agent.
  • Watch to see when seed pod is ripe on the Acer Red Flamingo. I’d like to attempt growing a replica, knowing full well that I will be quite old by the time it grows tall.
  • Get the latest garden plant safely into the ground. I bought a lovely Carex oshimensis Everest.

And finally

My November 2018 article about Acer Red Flamingo is one of my FAVOURITES. Well worth a click, even if I say so myself. Plenty there: funny story, the tree & its symbolism, American mid-term elections and some of my thoughts about The Trump.

Have a good week,

Pádraig

Sunday, 14th June, 2020.

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.