Saturday, June 18, 2016

First store havest.

The garlic which we planted last Autumn has now been harvested, again the bulbs are a good size and we should have plenty to last us throughout the next year, we had an added bonus from this bed,
around ten pounds of Ratte potatoes, we didn't grow them last year in this bed but the year before and some potatoes must have been left behind only to make a re-appearance this year. They are a lovely flavoured potato and it's very hard to get hold of the seed potatoes, our original tubers came from a friend, we will make sure that we keep back some of these tubers to replant very early next year. This brings our total of different early  potatoes to seven and one variety of main crop. We will chose our two favourite variety's and stick to them, seven is too many I think but we should be able to decide on the firm favourites.

We have only planted two cucumber plants this year and they seem to be very early, already we have spare cues to give to friends. The courgettes are also forming well and we should have our first ones ready to pick in a few days.
It is also looking as though we will have a good crop of Victoria plums, they are forming well,
but why there should be some late flowers on the tree is anyone's guess.
The ducklings that we bought in have doubled in size in just nine days, they will be ready to put into their outside run later on next week subject to the weather not getting too cold.
The weather forecast is not too good for the next few days, rain for tomorrow and lower temperatures than we had been having. Unfortunately tomorrow is the open day for one of the Secret gardens of Sligo that is a new one for this year, it is a town garden not too far from us and is based on a Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens design, we are both looking forward to seeing it but would prefer to do so without getting wet, lets hope the forecasters are wrong.
Elderflowers are in abundance this year
and we have made the first lot of cordial,
whilst out collecting the flowers we can across yet another abandoned cottage
with a lovely stand of Aconite,
Our Aconite.
I hope that one day our plants will have spread this well, I love the deep blue of the Aconite, such a shame that it is so poisonous. There are so many of these abandoned cottages, yet 'they' keep saying there's a housing shortage, well not in this area there isn't.
Some of our Delphiniums.
One thing that does do very well in our garden are the Delphiniums, we have several different colours and they have spread well, although renowned to be slug food we seem to get no trouble with ours, unlike the Asters that we had grown from seed, as soon as they were planted out the slugs devoured them, fortunately I hadn't planted them all so we have potted the remaining ones on and will plant out when we think they are big enough to sustain slug attack.
Looking down on it.
We now have a nice array of irises, the latest one to flower is this little beauty, almost completely black, I love dark coloured flowers and foliage, it seems to give even more interest to a garden.
Almost black.
Heath spotted orchid.
The wild Orchids are now appearing everywhere,
there are quite a few different varieties, some are not easy to identify such as the Butterfly Orchid,
Greater or lesser? We have to take a closer look at the pollen sacs.
 we will have to return to the site to take a closer look to decide whether this is the Lesser or Greater butterfly Orchid , both of which grow in this area.
Also in bloom is the Butterwort, a carnivorous plant,
           despite this it is a pretty little thing.
Last week I was able to get a nice photo of the Irish Hare,
A very handsome boy.

this week we had a Pheasant who seemed quite happy to watch us, giving me a chance to get a good photo of him, such a colourful fellow.
Centaurea nigre. ( common knapweed)

A beautiful white rose growing in the middle of nowhere.


  1. Lovely pics. I know and have photographed that cottage with the blue spires of flower but (shame on me) I had them down as delphiniums. I stand corrected - aconites it is. Thank you.

    1. Thanks Matt, I think it's a crying shame how many perfectly good properties are left to just rot. Nothing wrong with most of them.

  2. What a bonus digging up all those lovely spuds. I think we'll be able to harvest one of our containers once we're back from holiday, something to look forward to. We often had pheasant visitors when I lived at home with my mum and dad, the back of our house backed on to farm land and we had all manner of wild life passing through. Hope the weather stays fine for you today.

    1. The spuds were a real surprise and they are a great spud. Amazingly by the time we got to the garden it had stopped raining, it was a very pretty little garden and shows what can be done in a very small space.

  3. We too ended up with many volunteer potato plants this year. Hope they produce as well as you. Would you consider a post on how you make your cordial? I'd love to learn. THANKS!

  4. Hi Donna, I will do a elderflower cordial post latter in the week when I have a couple of empty plastic bottles to freeze it in.

  5. I'll be interested to see which potato varieties to select as your regulars. I wouldn't mind betting that "Charlotte" is one of them! I tried Ratte once, grown from tubers bought on a market stall in France, but they didn't do very well. What a shame about the deserted cottage - looks like it could be renovated easily enough. I suppose these days most people just want to live in towns...

    1. Charlotte are on the list, they are the first ones that we harvested, Ratte hopefully we will always grow, they are a lovely nutty potato and seem to do well for us although they are very prone to blight so they will always have to be done in the tunnel.There are so many empty cottages and houses around in Ireland, if taken over by government they could solve all of the so called housing crises in Ireland with houses to spare.

  6. The elders were a casualty of the clearing for the fence, so few flowers this year. Our flower garden is now completely taken over by grass since I´m focusing on the veg. The most I´ve done is hack it back so the roses have a chance. Yours is such an inspiration!

    1. I'm sure you would be able to find Elder blossom round and about on your walks Coco, the cordial is well worth making.

  7. WOW, So much abundance already, wonderful!

    1. I expect your garden is also producing well Kim, I'm missing your blog!

  8. Anne
    Your garlic looks spectacular. Mine got trampled and probably won't amount to much. Hope you got to see the secret garden. How far away from Sligo are you? Package should arrive shortly sent a few seeks ago. I love your dark irises they are beautiful. You have the nicest garden. Love the pheasant what a beauty. My vest to you

  9. Hi Carole, the Sligo boarder is about 6 miles from us, so not far, the secret garden was quite nice but not spectacular. Package arrived in four days! email now sent. I'm so please with the dark iris, I like more unusual coloured plants adds more interest to a garden.