growing your own fruit, veggies and herbs getting dirty and generally living the good life

i want that one…

Christmas trees! I love this time of year… I just love it! While you’re at the turkey stuff the begrudgers, the doom and gloomers and anybody else who’s a pain in the tuschie, take out the mistletoe and have a mince pie. It is the season to be jolly – and don’t you forget it 🙂

With whole place decked in holly, last week I and ‘her indoors’ [as Arthur Daly would say], went to pick out our Christmas tree. There is, possibly unknowns to some a Christmas tree farm in Rolestown North Dublin [just outside Swords and after Kettles Hotel just on the left]. It’s brilliant. While I was there, the Moms flocked in with their children, wellies and woolies on and went with Mick to select the specimen they wanted.

€30 any tree, netted and the butt drilled or trimmed to suit your stand. If you’re nice he’ll even give you a lolly pop! If you have never seen a tree farm or never selected your own live tree it is a great experience .

Have a really Happy Christmas, have a great new year and enjoy!

looking for a bargain-beque …?

a bargain-b-q

a bargain-b-q

I love this time of year. Ok so I would NOT NEVER go buying Christmas cards in January but I would buy a barbeque. Mainly because I dont have the time to do so during the summer… I bought this last week for about €20. BARGAIN!! It was one of the DIY stores [i can’t remember which; really sorry; as I threw away all of the packaging; into a recycle bin of course].

So I got thinking of when I was younger and we had to save up all of our 10p pocket monies to buy Christmas presents and I reckon euro back to irish pence – [i’m one of eight children] we might just have done it on a weeks money; money aside – it is more thoughtful than socks – am I in trouble with my sisters now? Then I thought about Christmas Day and why oh why do of all of my sisters [and families] go to my Moms for Christmas dinner and the Boys to their outlaws inlaws… ? hmmmm

Back to Gardens. Gardens are all about planning. If I dont plan for next year – I will not have a barbeque. I wanted a built in barbie. I’ve got one. I think I’ll build mine over Christmas while the gunfire is going on and Willie Wonkas Chocolate factory is on full volume…. 🙂 [Give me a while and I’ll work out exactly what quantities you need.]

free bird…

bird feeders...

bird feeders...

i have about ten of these bird feeders dotted around the garden. The ones on the right are good for the seed – but the larger birds seem to prefer the nuts… I’ll probably give it about a week and then I’ll put them back up again.

I tend not to put them near the berried plants like the cotoneaster and hollys mainly because nature has a role to play.

little gem..

little gem..

I bought the really cool silver ones [left] from the petsore in swords [i they they were about €10 each] and the lesser plastic ones in Dunnes Stores [i can’t remember how much they cost but their not very strong by the way… so i’ve lost some over time]. The seeds and nuts I bought in Fingal Farm Supplies in Ballyboughal.

Collins book have a gem book, a really simple book for bird identification suited moreso i might suggest to the nature lover rather than the bird enthusiast. Combined  with other really useful bird blogs like Craig Nash’s and you’re flying!

The reason I like doing this is because it’s easy, it’s relaxing and it make my house feel like a home. It really makes the landscape perfect.

vegetable growing [easy style]…

pumpkin flowers

pumpkin flowers

i tried the ‘going green’ with the veggie grow gig, the herbs and all the other green stuff. It takes time. I needed something to impress the in or out-laws and fast! I’m Peter Pumpkin eater… the walls of the house and my car are supposed to be green… I’ll be ready for them all next year?!!

The reality is some things are easier to grow than others. So I’ve devised my own list of what actually can be categorised as ‘no brainer’. To this I mean: plant it – lose interest – no uber special treatment – it survives!

I’m not saying you’ll have finest fruit in Ireland, what I am saying is if you don’t have time everyday or even every weekend to be in the potting shed – then here’s my suggestion on what won’t die overnight… [you get my drift!]

The easy green category has to start with fruit – the herbs- then veg… and yes, I know I should be stating ‘biblicly how to precisely’ – but lets be honest… if you’ve tried that and got no thanks at all….? then here’s the how to impress the in-laws list! I wont give too long a list – but if you want to give it a bash – here’s where you pretty much can’t go wrong. If it does – dont worry [I’m here] just try again.

from seed..

from seed..

herb/ kitchen cooking

  • parsley
  • thyme
  • lavander
  • oregano
  • bay laurel
  • chives
cherry trees

cherry trees

fruit- tree style

  • apple tree cookers and eating
  • pear
  • plum
  • cherry
  • olive
  • logan/black/ berries and currants
rhubarb stools

rhubarb stools

veggie-ish style

  • rhubarb [top of the list]
  • pumpkins
  • carrots
  • corn on the cob
  • turnip/ swede
  • onions

one for the kiddies

  • mustard
  • basil
  • watercress
free apples...

free apples...

what’s eating my plants

I couldn’t believe it when I looked outside and saw, literally every cabbage plant, stripped. What is left over,  probably hasn’t got long left.

This little git is the catterpillar and will eventually become a butterfly – as I’m sure you already know. But how, domestically and non chemically do I deal with the little insect.

The only solution is to pick them off and cover with a horticultural fleece to prevent them returning to their f-l-avoured leaf. I’d better get started on my 100 plants, while I have some left!

Apart from the obvious signs one will know if it is catterpillar [in this case] because they cannot eat the large veins of the plant as its mouth parts are not big enough. That said if the catterpillars are not there be careful, not to confuse the damage with what could be that of birds… you’ll know this because the bites [holes] are not interveinal [though the veins] as their mouth parts can eat through any part of the leaf.