Monday, August 18, 2014

The perfect garden.

Once again this weekend saw us taking a trip to Co. Sligo to yet another Secret Garden.
The best use of Artichoke.
 This one was a coastal walled garden ( every gardeners dream) in Easkey, a place renowned for it's surfing beaches.
If I ever won the lottery and money was no object this garden is exactly what I would have designed.
The Old Rectory in Easkey is a two acre garden set within walls
, wonderful herbaceous beds, full of colour, with some unusual plants
                                including a giant Bromeliad,
a youngish orchard of about one acre in which their hens roam freely,
and a superb Victorian Potager garden
                                                divided into four large beds
                                       with a pond at the centre.
This is the fourth garden that we have visited and is by far the best one, there is no way it could be improved,
it has everything that a gardener connoisseur could want. I just wish it was mine.
                                 Just a stones throw away is the beach and big waves,
                                            just the thing to blow away the cobwebs.
There is also the remains of a castle hanging on to the edge of the sea.
                             This castle is known as O'Dowd's castle and was built in 1207.
  Once  again our trip took us across the Ox Mountains, such a beautiful place and so tranquil, just the wind, the sheep
Mountain stream
and babbling streams, there are few cottages remaining here, but you can see the remains of what at one time would have been quite a community. It would have been a hard life for people living there in days long gone, but a few hang on.
The last week has been eventful and not as planned.
 On Monday it was clear that Freddy our little tabby kitten was not well, so the vet was called, she came out and gave him an antibiotic injection which she thought would sort him out quickly, by Tuesday morning he was if anything worse, so we took him to the veterinary hospital some thirty k away where there is an excellent English vet and a cat owner herself. Her best guess was that he had ingested some string or something similar which was causing an obstruction.
 Poor kitten had to undergo an operation which showed no obstruction but his intestines were inflamed and not contracting, he had no temperature, but  would not eat and was also not passing anything, so he was put onto a drip to keep him hydrated. By now the weekend was approaching and it was clear that he needed constant nursing and attention so Susy the vet took him home with her, thankfully by Sunday he was showing improvement and today he came home. He is eating well and is constantly telling us all about it. he was welcomed home by all the other cats
Number one for a few days.
with the exception of his sister, she is being very rude to him, she had us all to herself for six days and although it was clear she missed him she liked being number one.
Misty playing ghosts with a bag.
She is at the moment in a sulk with us, no doubt she will get over it, and it's nice to have the cats all back together again .
Thursday was D day for the pigs, Matt, a friend arrived at eight am with his trailer to take them to the butcher, the first pig, Bess, went down the race and into the trailer without too much bother, her sister however refused point blank to comply, maybe she knew what was in store for them. there is little you can do to get a pig to do what you want it to if it doesn't wish to, 125kg of pig is not something you can pick up. Time was going by and we were under instruction by the butcher to have them there by ten am, at nine thirty we gave up and went with the one. there is to be an action replay this Thursday, I hope it goes better this time, Matt is hoping to bring along another pair of hands, surely one pig won't defeat four of us, or will she?
Liver and Bacon  and veg straight from the garden. 100% home produced.
We have had the first carcass back today and we have now finished doing the butchery, we ended up with 84.6kg of meat, which works out to just under two euros ten cents a kg, this price includes the buying of the pig, her feed, and the slaughtering cost. Of course if we had been prepared to feed non Organic, GMO feed the cost would have been much reduced but that would have been defeating the object of producing something that we cant buy in the shops. All in all well worth while doing.


  1. Glad Freddy is on the mend, poor little mite. And all the best for the pig wrangling - surely we can make it work this time!

    1. Many thanks for your help Matt, maybe we can repay the favour. Freddy is now back to normal thankfully.

  2. Hello Anne
    Oh Poor Freddy What an ordeal for such a little mite.How is he doing now. He is adorable . Glad you have such a kind vet. Misty looks so cute with the paper bag, how cats love them.

    1. Paper bags and newspapers, kittens love them, Freddy is now fully recovered and will have his stiches out this week.