Monday, September 12, 2016

Hints of Autumn.

Less than two weeks into September and we have already had over half the rainfall of last years Sept, making up for August which was the driest since 2013. We have also had very high winds which have blown down the  runner beans support twice and also the Sweet peas, the beans have been righted without too much damage but the sweet peas support is beyond saving. We will have to do a total rethink on bean and pea support next year.
Early Autumn colour.
Colour is now showing on the trees and the hedgerows are full of blackberries, it's a good year for this free fruit, already we have had six blackberry and apple crumbles,
Last of our apples.
made with our own apples, this is the first year that we have been able to say we have apples! Needless to say we have lost the labels from the trees, but one of them is a russet of some type.
Three weeks old.
The Hubbard chicks are now four weeks old and have been in an outside run for a week, we gave them heat for the first couple of days but as the night time temperatures has remained quite high they now no longer need additional heat. They will be moved into a bigger house and run in a couple of weeks.
The Charlotte seed potatoes that have been planted into large pots have already been earthed up twice, we planted up  four pots and hopefully we should have some new potatoes for Christmas. One thing that didn't get planted this year were turnips, so a late sowing has been made in the tunnel, according to gardening forums we should have turnips ready for use in a couple of months.
We are once again spoilt for  choice vegetable wise,
the late cauliflowers have now formed their curds, French beans are at last producing, as well as the runner beans, and the calabrese has formed side shoots nearly as large as the main heads were.
We have had a couple of trips out in the last week.
Elecampane. (Inula.)
The first one was to Strokestown House walled garden,
A superb crocosmia.
on our last visit we were pleasantly surprised, the garden was full of colour and there were several people, volunteers mainly, restoring the gardens,
Plenty of white phlox.

White Japanese anemone.
this trip however was very disappointing, very little colour, mainly white phlox, lots of bare earth, and piles of weeds just left on the beds.
Bumble bee, robbing nectar from the base of a phlox.

A fine aspersa specimen.
Acanthus mollis
 Just one butterfly in the whole garden, there has been a real lack of them this year.
Just one Tortoiseshell butterfly.
We are quite happy to pay to see well kept gardens, preferably ones with colour, but to pay eighteen euros for gardens that seem once again to be neglected is a rip off.
Our second trip was again into Sligo, we never need an excuse to go to Co. Sligo, it is one of the loveliest counties and the people are full of energy, something that we also find in North Leitrim, yet is sadly lacking in the county in which we now live. This time it was another trip to the 'Crafters Basket', in Cliffoney. To get to Cliffoney you have to pass through Rathcormac, the supposed burial place of W.B Yeats. Also in Rathcormac they have a Craft Village, although we have passed it many times we had never stopped before. What a treat, the very highest standard of crafts that you are likely to find anywhere, and all , in our eyes reasonably priced. Pure Merino wool Aran jumpers for sixty euros, it cost me that much to knit Simons jumper last year. Wonderful hand loomed throws, hand made jewellery, a wonderful wood turner and a superb potter who specialises in Racu work, using moss peat and horse hair, every one of his peices are one offs and very reasonably priced. We have decided that we must go back to buy one of these lovely works of art. For anyone who is into pottery check out his website.  
A trip to the coast always calls for a couple of photos,
one of Classiebawn Castle, built by Lord Palmerston,
and another view of Mullaghmore bay.
We also spotted a very unusual crop growing in a field, a field of blue flax and oats, apparently this is a scheme to provide winter food for the wild birds,
I might be a bit cynical but I would make a bet that there is grant money available for this scheme, unless there is additional money to be had farmers don't do anything voluntarily.
The flower garden is still full of colour, the main gardens full of different colour phlox and heleniums ,
the back garden is mainly pink at this time of year, nice to look out at from the utility room and our bedroom.


  1. I do love your garden pictures, but your white phlox makes me jealous. I just have the old bluish purple standby and although I appreciate it, I dream of an all white garden area one day.

    1. We have white phlox but the picture was at Strokestown house. White does not do all that well here for flowers colour whatever the flower, too much rain.

  2. I hope you're getting some better weather now, it's beautiful here today and forecast to continue through the week. I haven't planted any potatoes for Christmas this year, I've had mixed results in the past but I bet I regret it when I come to prepare shop bought spuds for Christmas dinner. I've noticed a lack of butterflies here too but my sedum has just come in to flower and already, I've noticed more around than I've noticed before, it certainly does attract them.

    1. The weather has been quite good for the past week, sorry to hear about all the flooding in the UK again, and winter hasn't even started. The has been a real lack of butterflies this year and also of midges, plenty of bumblebees but no honey bees and very few wasps.

  3. Living the dream.... Sigh! In Switzerland the farmers are subsidised to keep their farm A. going but B. pretty for the tourists.

    1. All EU farmers are paid subsidises, i'm wondering what will happen with the UK when they finally withdraw from the EU, give up farming maybe?

  4. Love these beautiful little snippets ♥

  5. Your photos are always nice to view, love the wild fields

  6. Thanks B.G we were very surprised to see the wild field, even more surprised to learn it was for the benefit of the wild birds.

  7. Anne
    I remember Rathcormac well and bought some things from the craft shops there.The picture of the fields of flax were beautiful. Is flax grown in large quantities in Ireland anymore? There is a movement here to get people growing it again. In Nova Scotia there is a company that grows a large amount and sells flax that can be spun into linen thread. I did buy some but have not had the chance to spin it yet. I am going to plant a row or two of flax next spring and have begun getting the area prepared. I don't have all the equipment to prepare it and am hoping to borrow what i don't have.
    Best wishes

  8. We will be going back soon to Rathcormac, there's a great potter there that does Raku work which we both love so we will be treating ourselves. I don't think there's anyone growing flax in a commercial way now, the Irish linen industry is just about non-existent now.

  9. How cheeky of Strokestone House, that is far too much money to be charging if the gardens aren't up to par. Lovely pics though all the same x