Thursday, October 2, 2014

Going Abroad.

This week we had a trip into Northern Ireland, although part of the island of Ireland the contrast between north and south is quite noticeable. The people are as they always were,  friendly but very impersonal. Everything is far tidier in the north and the pace of life faster than the south, so much traffic! Yet we were only in Enniskillen, just twelve miles from the border.
We were 'up north' to pick up some wood cladding from a wood mill that we have dealt with for years in Florence Court, not only is the wood far cheaper than in the south it is mainly Irish grown and properly treated. In the south treated wood is normally just painted with a wood preservative, the wood yard that we use tanalises the wood, which means pressure impregnation of the wood, it last far longer done this way.
As we were 'up north' we thought it would be a good idea to get some paint that we needed, we had been told by a friend how much cheaper it was  there, she was right, allowing for the exchange rate paint is half the price than the south. We will certainly be going to the north again next year when we need the paint to do the outside of the cottage, we will need a lot of paint and the saving will be tremendous.
A work in progress.
We also took the opportunity to go to the walled garden in Florence Court which is gradually undergoing re-instatement, these gardens are around two acres and are being restored by volunteers, certainly it will be a project of love and dedication,
Scorched earth syndrome, there are far better ways to clear land.
such a shame that they are using glyphosate to kill of the grass for new beds.
 It is planned the  vegetable gardens will provide the vegetables for the Florence Court House restaurant. I hope they don't claim them to be 'Organic!'
The walk through the woods, about half a mile is delightful, huge trees, including the Irish Yew from which all Irish yew trees are said to originate, red squirrels , rabbits
60ft up, a birds eye view.
                        and a roosting Heron.
We just loved this gate made from Ash.

A small bridge with a lovely little gate crosses the river into the rose garden,
 it is very pretty and well worth a visit.
Florence Court House.
One day we might even make it for the house tour. The house it's self is early 18centery.
Autumn is taking a long time to get here, the days are still mild and so far dry although rain is supposed to be arriving tonight.
 September gave us just half an inch of rain,
Plenty of colour still.
summer flowers and veg continue to grow,
we are still picking calabrese, tomatoes, courgettes, strawberries
Rhubarb from March till Oct, can't be bad.
               and rhubarb,
              the Sweet peas are still blooming
               as are the Delphiniums
and Roses, we even have a Papaver poppy about to burst into bloom, four months later than it should be.
The grass is still growing , weed seeds still germinating, time for it all to slow down, we don't expect to still be weeding and cutting grass this late in the year.
New arrivals.
Another surprise this week was the hatching of two ducklings, the poor duck had tried twice this year to hatch without success, third time lucky, I'm not sure if we or the duck were the most surprised, but they are doing fine and she is a very protective mum.
We are lucky to have an acquaintance who is a champion fisherman, none of his family eat fish so he keeps us well supplied with trout and sometimes salmon,
Fresh from the lake.
this week we were presented with four beautiful trout, unfortunately our freezers are near to bursting point so we could only freeze one, one we had the day we received them, the other two we gave to a friend who had helped us with the pigs when they went for slaughter. I hope he enjoys his as much as we have ours, lovely and so fresh.
Cosmos are still blooming.


  1. Yes the gate is lovely. Our Rhubarb is still producing can you still eat it now?

  2. We are trying to find a spot for a gate like that Ian, we totally fell for it.
    We picked Rhubarb last week it was just as good as the first picked in March, we are having another picking tonight which will probably be the last until spring.

  3. I love walled kitchen gardens. My favourite is Heligan in Cornwall,

    1. I've never been to that one Dave wish I had, we have visited two walled gardens this year as part of the Secret gardens of Sligo they were lovely. We have one in our local town unfortunately owned by the prison service, it used to be worked and provided food and eggs for the prison, now it is just left idle, about one acre, with a fantastic greenhouse as well, what I would give to own that.