The new porch is coming along nicely. I’m calling it a porch, but it’s probably not that fancy at all. It’s just a covered bit at the front of the house where the sun hits most of the day. The posts were put in on Friday. This is what it looked like:

Posts

It is now post time!

I was a little afraid when I came home from work and saw the posts sticking up out of the ground like big, scary, Easter Island statues. The posts are great. My very nice builder-in-law had to get them specially ordered because apparently it is quite difficult to walk into a place and pick up 5 or 6 6×6 posts that are 12 foot long. At first I thought maybe I had made a mistake agreeing to the bigger posts. But once the skeleton of the porch was put in place, all my fears were allayed.

porch bones up

Porch bones up

The options for how much I enclose it and how I enclose it are endless. I could put brick around the bottom or stone. I could put some kind of railing or trellis. The ends could be closed up, just leaving a half-door type thing. Then there is the idea of windbreak. My builder-in-law says they don’t have porch screening in this country. I suppose the wind would make shreds of it in no time. Some kind of way to roll up green windbreak might be an idea, or that plastic stuff that I have at the far end of my tunnel. The best part about it is that I have all the time in the world to decide what I want to do with it. If anyone has ideas (dad) or has built something like this I would be most interested to hear about it or even see a picture. I’m looking for more inspiration!

I’m slowly but surely emptying the tunnel of plants and hopefully red spider mite. I rescued my tarragon plant and stuck it outside so the cold weather could get to the red spiter mites sucking the life out of it and it looked better even after a couple of days. (I only hope the frost last night didn’t flatten it.) Yesterday, I opened up the tunnel to let the air move through it and I was greeted by this:

snapdragons

Snap!

Two years ago a good friend had given me some snapdragon plants that she didn’t need. I brought them home and bunged them into a little planter. The only thing I’ve done to them is cut them back after flowering and every now and then removed mouldy-looking foliage. They have been in the polytunnel the whole time and wholeheartedly refuse to die. I thought they were annuals, but they’ve basically become like little shrubs in that pot. Just look at them now, lovely little things. I also like plain old geraniums (Pelargonium to the initiated). I just cut mine back and stuck them in a shed that’s not completely dark. I have found that mine really don’t like being in the tunnel over winter; they just turn to mould. So I’m trying a new tactic this year. I HATE having to buy them, even though they are cheap. They are too easy to propagate and I would just feel like a gardening loser if I didn’t keep my own. I have a lovely dark maroon one that was given to me as a rooted cutting from the plant of a fellow gardener who had passed away (the very best way to remember someone). I think I’ve had it for 5 years on my kitchen windowsill, and I make babies from it every year. I’ll get a picture of it when it’s in flower next year and I’m always happy to share rooted cuttings. That’s what it’s all about.

It must be winter if I’m talking about house plants… (my least favourite subject, mainly because I have nowhere to put them!).

One last photo to highlight the very changeable weather we are having and the fact that I am an American living in Ireland and am still awed by the frequency and intensity of the rainbows here.

Pot of gold in the hay shed

Pot of gold in the hay shed

Next time… update on the porch.

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