Friday, March 31, 2017

Early pickings.

March has been warmer than normal but slightly more rain than the last four years.

Fritillaries are now flowering.

Our first daffodils were out in January, as we grow so many different types we should have them flowering right through April by which time the early summer flowers will have started. The Victoria plum trees are also flowering, the apples wont be long
. Rhubarb is now abundant, we have had a lot of pickings, our PSB seemed to take a long time to form it's spears but we now have plenty and the spinach so far has yielded four good picking, more seed has been planted. Spinach does well for us as an early and late crop but not as a summer crop which is a shame as it's my favourite veg. Strawberries in the tunnel are also in flower, hopefully we will get an early  crop.
The pile of stones are the capping to a passage tomb.
Last weekend was beautiful weather, very warm, dry, without a cloud in sight,
just the right day to take a trip out around the Sligo lake area.
The gorse was in full bloom everywhere, hover flies taking advantage of the warm weather.
Lough Arrow.


For us Sligo has everything, beautiful coast line, the hills and mountains bursting with archaeology and some of the best Neolithic and bronze age sites in the world
Lough Key.

and wonderful lakes.
We  also celebrating our twenty ninth wedding anniversary, a week late but as it's just a day after St. Patrick's day we thought the restaurants might be rather busy so we left it a week.
Fillet steak that you could cut with a fork.
We went to a place in a nearby town which hasn't been open that long,
Chocolate brownie with home made ice cream.  
however it was one of the best meals we have had for a long time, the restaurant also  stocks the local craft beer which is excellent, we find that we rather prefer a good craft beer to a highly priced mediocre wine.

I've made these with mussels in mind.
I'm still having my pottery classes but not much to show at the moment as I have to wait for Jacqui to have enough peices to fire up the kiln, waiting to be fired I have a wall plaque, four mousse cups and another vase, I'm quite impatient to see the vase finished as I will be glazing it with a special effect red glaze.
Seed sowing is now an on-going job, melons, tomatoes and early peas have all been planted in moduls, plus parsnips in the garden. There is always plenty to do at this time of year.
Curious cows.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Blooming March.

Our gardens are now a sea of daffodils
And yet more daffodils.
yellow is everywhere, with the odd flash of blue or red.

Blue from Hyacinths, purple and blue from anemone and crocus
and red from the Camellias.
We should have colour from the Daffodils for some time as the doubles and the whites seem to be far behind the yellows.
The frogs have been busy, the spawn has taken up around a quarter of our pond, if just fifty% survive we will be overrun with frogs.
Both of our peach trees are now in full bloom
and have been hand pollinated twice, the apricot tree now has it's leafs. We have had two pickings from the tunnel grown spinach, something I can never have enough of, but our p.s.b (purple sprouting broccoli) is very slow, the shoots are forming but not as quickly as we would have liked.
 The lemon tree produced eleven beautiful fruits for us and is now just coming into flower, I hope we will get as many this year, the flavour and sweetness from a freshly picked lemon is worth waiting for.
The last two weeks have been busy, the time has mainly been taken up because of several hospital appointments for both of us, with more to follow. I am awaiting an overnight stay for sleep study plus a visit to a cardiac specialist. This is due to my  COPD specialist convinced that something other than the COPD is at work. No doubt, in time, the problem will be sorted, maybe it is just old age. I have gone from someone who would not even take an aspirin to a person who now has to take six different types of drugs. I've never been a fan of Doctors, I have always considered them as legalised drug pushers, and certainly the drugs I'm on don't seem to be helping, it all seems very hit and miss.
We did manage to fit in a visit to friends in Mayo, taking a detour we came across a lovely river in full spate,
we did have quite a bit of rain in the first few days of March, I imagine this river is normally a gentle flowing stream.
The weather is variable at the moment but certainly  spring like, with new plants awaking from their winter slumber.