The Garden Sodcast – Episode 24

sodshow, garden podcast

The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, all good podcast stores.

Listen to The Sodcast in MP3 – or subscribe/ listen to the podcast in iTunes. Alternatively, subscribe to the blog and listen to them right here. Missed Episode 23 of the garden podcast ?

First Up:

Fancy having a fancy-er garden ? For this or any other matter….. you can contact me in the following ways:

Phils Garden before weeding – comes up later in the podcast

Recently On The Blog:

Also thanks to Anthony McGuinnesss, there were a few nice little changes made to the blog and the site overall.


Links For The Podcast:

Images For The Podcast:

This Weeks Oddities:

Howth Peninsula Heritage Society – Cumann Oidhreachta Leithinis Bhinn Eadair


Tuesday January 25

  • The Castles of North County Dublin
  • Speaker: Prof. Terry Barry, TCD

Tuesday February 22

  • The Life and Times of Colm O’Loughlin
  • Speaker: John O’Loughlin Kennedy

Tuesday March 22

  • The Hunt Family of Howth
  • Speaker: Cian O’Carroll

All lectures 8.00 pm Howth Angling Centre, West Pier. Non-members: €4

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@mediaguardian Coca-Cola banned from claiming its Vitamin water brand is ‘nutritious’
and on the other hand
@campbellsuz As a big supporter of Glenisk I’m very glad to see this – “organic milk better for you” – new UK study

And Finally:

Fancy becoming the first sponsor of 2011 for Irelands Only Garden Podcast ?

Simply click the coffee mug….

Bird Boxes


The bird box has always been something I’ve queried. I don’t know why. I just feel/ felt that they would always be better off making their own. Is that fair to say….? Either or, I wanted two in the garden just for the craic of it. You know, to see would they come.

These two bird boxes were made some weeks ago from an old timber wine box and given a lick of whatever colour was nearest/ lying around paint.

Fairly simple to make, they are also another variation of if I got these as a gift would I be impressed ? You better believe it. I’ve seen sites selling these for upwards of €30 each.

My Total Costs. €0.00

If you fancy having a go making them yourself… bear in mind, the bird really doesn’t care if you have not been meticulous in your efforts and from your aesthetic perspective, depending on your skills, a lick of paint will hide everything a lot.

The only things I really need to be careful of is that the box itself isn’t south facing. Logic applies here so you don’t cook the birds. Other than that its keep it about 2-3 metres off the ground and although there are site suggestions of when you should put them up…. I’m not going to pay any attention to that. If the winter guys wanna nest in them, it’s there for the taking. If not they’ll be there for the summer fella’s.

The only note I will make is not to tighten the screws too much so you can flip them over and tip out the previous years unwanted nest.

I could give instructions on how these were made, but the photos say it all pretty much.

More birds to help me eat my raspberries next year 😀

note: Highly recommendthe birdwatch Ireland fact sheet

The [Un]usual Planter

Here, you have that. You might be able to do something with it….


That’s quite a regular statement I hear actually. Surprised ? I wasn’t. It’s not the most unusual object I’ve ever been handed. I like the odd challenge and this one was a doddle.

Yesterday I filled the container with some pebble. More to weight it down. It also looks really good. I also had a few hand fulls of pebble in my workshop, so it suited. It also saves on compost and in this case I didn’t have enough 😉

Helen had given me some spider plant babies a while ago that had come on really well…. and I had a spot inside where I felt it would look really good.

Total cost. €0.00

Personally, I’d be over the moon if someone gave me that as a gift.

Hanging The Hanging Baskets Alternate


There’s an odd little spot in my garden, right beside my washing line area and at the back of my shed/ chicken house. I felt it needed something a little…. to brighten the place up.

Hanging baskets seemed like a good idea, but then they may pose problems with wet compost and such dripping on the clothes.

That aside, you may remember I hung some hanging basket brackets recently. The brackets themselves can cost up to €20 each. There were three of them and by the time you buy the raw plugs, screws and drill the holes it can take a few more shillings to complete the task. That of course before you buy the baskets.

I got these from my next door neighbour who bought some newer ones. The uprights are 2 old tree stakes and a little bit of old timber going across the top. The screw hooks may have cost [say] 20 cent each. After that I gave it a lick of some old blue paint I had in the shed. Total cost 60 cents.

I then planted some herbs in them that I had grown myself. At least if they are going to interfere with the clothes it’ll only be by scent.

Great for small gardens and particularly if you are stuck for a little space.

If you have all the materials/ tools you need this wee job may take about an hour.

Hanging The Hanging Basket Brackets

It may well be a little late in the year for this one but, you may just thank me for it at a later date. The reality is I know of more than 3 who still have them brackets sitting in the shed, the plastic bag [still] and one who hid them in the boot of the car in the pretence that he ‘cannot find them’.

Step 1: make sure the drill battery is recharged. Or you have an extension lead at he ready. Also make sure you have a philips head screw bit/ screwdriver. Flat head screws are not advisable.

Step 2: You will need masonary drill bit number 6. Hardware store. Go!

Step 3: You’re back…. mark the points on the wall were you wish to hang them. Get Mary to take a look and agree in writing that that really is where she wants them. Use a pencil and ensure that they are level and straight. You do not want excess holes in your external walls. Remember the measure twice and cut once rule.

Step 4: drill the holes….. make sure they are exaactly were you want them….. I made the external of the hole slightly wider in this case for good reason….

Step 5: Tap in your raw plugs. Make sure to use a block of timber to do this so you don’t damage the wall.

Step 6: Line up the brackets and screw them in.

Tip: whatever screws you got in the pack – bin them and buy the most expensive brass ones possible. See the difference between the one on the right and left in the first image below.

Step 7: don’t forget the baskets 😉

Note: You don’t need any special drill for this. A spirit level and a measuring tape are advisable.