Archives for category: Perennials
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Ode to Millet and Zirtec…

It is becoming increasingly more difficult to work on blog posts as the 9yr old seems to have become an expert computer user overnight. This also means that any spare energy I have is used up trying to get the 9yr old off of the computer and into the garden — a battle I am surely losing. Other than that, all has been well.


Just like I like it, overgrown and messy

The garden has been looking well despite my inability to make myself weed. It looked especially well around solstice time: big, happy, un-black spotty roses (unsprayed as well); fabulous clouds of purple flowers on the herbs which have really reached their peak; catmint abuzz; giant scabious swaying; astrantia looking regal and glowing as the sun sets.

Two lips

Here’s something from earlier this year.

Earlier in the year the bulbs were all amazing. It’s been so long since I’ve posted that I didn’t even get to share the photos I took of the beautiful tulips and daffodils. They were lovely and the spring was mild, though the warmer weather then took its time in coming and seemed to forget about end of April/beginning of May altogether.


Veg in the tunnel.

I spent a good deal of time earlier this year getting the veg in the tunnel sown and planted out. I made a trip home to America just at the time of year when all of those time-consuming veg chores need to be done. In a way, it was a good thing because it made me focus on the task at hand and I got things done quickly. Happy to say that most things survived the big red lad’s decidedly ungreen fingers.

Tomayto Tomahto

Miss Olivade.

I’m thinking of doing a Wordless Wednesday post this week as I have lots of photos I’d like to post that are nice to look at and don’t require me to blather on about them. Until then, enjoy the sunshine when you can!


I was going to write about seeds this week, but Lord knows there is plenty of time for that!. Instead, I’ve decided to write about my little trip to Bellefield last Saturday to the Spring Plant Sale. I say trip, but it was only just a few minutes over an hour’s drive for me to get there.

Baton Rouge

Cornus ‘Baton Rouge’, a purchase from Bellefield Plant Fair

I love little trips like this and, while I enjoy the company of friends on such trips, there’s something very peaceful about going for garden visits on your own. A cup of coffee in a paper cup, an apple, a banana, an orange, a cheese sandwich, directions written in very large print (no GPS gadgets for me! Vive la map!), a camera and appropriate clothes for the weather — that’s all you need to enjoy your little trip. Oh, and most importantly, very strong shopping bags (mine are the ancient Tesco ones that hold absolutely loads) to carry your plants in — you always know the plant sale aficionados because they are carrying empty shopping bags as they come in. Five euro notes and 1 and 2 euro coins come in handy as well.

Upon arrival, do a quick sweep of the plant sellers. Don’t buy anything on your first go round (unless you absolutely cannot resist and there’s only one of what you want). Have a look at it all and don’t be shy to ask prices if they are not marked. Then go back and buy what you like. I’d give the advice not to buy things that you don’t have a place for at home, but I won’t say a word about that because I never heed my own advice. If plants are your true love, then buy anything you like, space be damned.


Hellebore at home

Bellefield has a very nice garden. It’s a funny time of year to go for a garden visit. But if you like snowdrops and early bulbs, hellebores and the like, it’s a great time for you to be out having a look. I’m more of a galantholiker than a galanthophile. Looking at different green markings on the white petals of a snowdrop is akin to trainspotting, if you ask me. But some people go crazy over snowdrops. Daffodils were just coming up; Iris unguicularis was flowering and hellebores as well.

Helleborus foetidus

Stinking hellebore at the Little Garden, grown from seed

Hellebores are lovely. I have one very large specimen of Helleborus foetidus I grew from seed and I have a dusky maroon-coloured one. Both are as sheltered as they can be in my garden. If left out in the wind, they go to tatters. And you have to cut last years’ foliage off in the early spring so that it does’t detract from the flowering.


Lupin wakes up after winter

If I didn’t have my own garden to tend to and another very Big one, I’d be out and about every weekend visiting gardens.

Next time… final touches on vegetable bed? Sowing seeds? Polytunnel ready?

What a strange feeling, to be wearing a t-shirt at the very end of September in the west of Ireland. I ate a strawberry straight from the plant the other day. All sorts of flowers are blooming… again. I’m enjoying the weather and wouldn’t complain about it. But somehow it just feels wrong. I’m sure it will rectify itself within a few weeks, then we’ll all be complaining about the cold and the rain.


Queen of the autumn, Rudbeckia lacianata ‘Sonnenblum’

I’ve been busy at home trying to tidy up the place a bit. My garden club friends came over last Saturday and we got a good bit done. The side of the house is getting a complete overhaul. Posts and windbreak had to be taken down. The windbreak was supposed to keep the chickens out (that didn’t work) and the only role the windbreak played was to shelter weeds. So out it came (thank you, Bridgette). Group effort moved the very heavy scaffolding board bed that I thought would be a good idea (it was not because it looked crap by the house and sat wonky on the ground). So out it went to be used as a bed for raspberries (that’s a whole other story for later). My French friend very nicely turned my compost heap for me in order to make use of the new extension. Now I have room to move compost back and forth to aerate it, plus have a bay that I can constantly add to. All in all, I was very happy with what we got done. Best of all were Caroline’s peanut butter cookies afterwards.


Stalwart of the autumn garden, one of the best Asters ever and he is named ‘Monch’

The Big Garden will be host to a car boot sale this coming Sunday. Actually, it will be held down at the stables. It’s the first time something like this has been done there. It will hopefully draw the local crowd and should be a bit of fun. There will be tea and coffee, a barbecue, plants for sale, homemade baked goods and jam, and all sorts of junk. It’s on from 11-3, 6 October if anyone nearby reads this.

Butterfly on Verbena

Cabbage white butterfly on Verbena bonariensis

Garden work at the Big Garden over the past couple of weekends has been bulb planting. The lady of the house just bought me a couple more Sedum ‘Matrona’ plants and 2 shrubs (Caryopteris and Perovskia). Just as a side note, I actually grew Perovskia from seed and it was surprisingly easy. Three years later and it is full grown. It makes a fabulous substitute for lavendar, which can be very unhappy in the Irish climate and conditions. A Perovskia walk doesn’t have quite the same ring as a lavendar walk, but at least you’d have lovely living plants, instead of poor sad things limping along.


When Nasturtium go bad, prisoners of Cell Block H

I feel as though I’m rambling, so that’s probably enough for now. Must get out there now and enjoy the weather… oops, I think it has started to rain…

Next time… willow wattle and tales of the triangle bed.