Posts

Home Grown Beets

...

I grew these beetroots from seed about two months ago and as you can gather from the empty pot I simply cropped them as they were required. They are probably one of the easiest things ever to grow and develop fairly quickly.

I chose to sow them in plug cells first and then pot them on. The ones I grew are the Boltardy variety. That said, I’m not intended on being a commercial beetroot farmer any time soon – my advice, if you can’t find this variety, simply pick up a packet of whatever is available and work away. The boltardy ones however tend not to wish to bolt [the production of flower and therefore seed too soon] as fast and also have a really good flavour.

I never paid much attention to the sowing calender guides on the back of the packets. I also applied the one for the slug one for me rule here. After that, I chose as you see to do mine in pots, mainly so I could put them by the back door of the kitchen.

Not much else to to it…. and of course any questions, just pop a comment in below.

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.

Garden Group Tour: Battle Of The Boyne Site

Date: Sunday 27th June

Time: 11.30 am on location.

Details: Aisling Mc Mahon of the OPW & Site Manager for The Battle of the Boyne site [Drogheda] will give a personal guided tour to the group.

Numbers: limited to 18

Also: [update] this post on the boyne site

New To The Garden Group:

I recommend you read the garden group guide. The two previous trips were to Irelands Eye and the war memorial park. Dena Williams and her family The Garden Group was also featured in the Mail On Sunday recently.

Our Tour will include:

The Walled Garden and Tea Room 2008, this part is the only part that is fully open to the public at the moment. The layout of which is as per the 1808 and later OS maps.

However, by special arrangement, we have permission from the contractors who are currently on site restoring the outer walls, to access their site, subject to certain limits as there are health and safety concerns. We will also see the Octgaon which the group will be able to see pre- restoration.

And… On the day they visit we will also have living history displays taking place for free on the front lawn with people in period costumes firing muskets with gunpowder and doing cavlary displays.

Please Note:

  • There will be no charge for the tour of the gardens.
  • Anyone planning on bringing children should know that they must be supervised by a parent/ guardian at all times.
  • We are not booked into the centre for a tour but can go in afterwards by buying a ticket and self guide. There are also numerous walks throughout the battle site and Oldbridge Estate that are self guiding and there are directional panels at various locations or one can pick up a free map from reception.
  • There is also a Tea Room located in the Walled Garden.
  • See website for further info www.battleoftheboyne.opw.ie

Garden Group-ees

  • Booking: via comment here only
  • Contact me: see below. not a problem 😉
  • Other: the train/ nor bus stops here. My suggestion is car pooling from Dublin City or Swords meeting point. Most of you know each other. Most people drive anyway. If you are stuck leave a comment it will be easily solved. 
  • Dress Code: advised to wear suitable footwear as all the walks are on grass, except the Boyne Canal towpath which adjoins the site and is surfaced with gravel.
  • Duration: I conferred Aisling and 2.5 hours should see you well
  • Weather: the weather…. your guess is as good as mine.
  • Lunch: I had suggested bringing a picnic. That’s what I will be doing anyway. All things going good it’ll be a flask of coffee and some nice sambos!
  • Anything else: leave a comment below or gimme a call. 
  • Directions: The Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre is located on the South bank of the River Boyne, 3km north of Donore Village.  The site is sign-posted from the  M1 (Dublin/Belfast), Exit 9, off N51 (Slane/Drogheda), Not Suitable for Coaches, and off N2 (Slane/Ashbourne). Also see google maps

Contact Me:

Note of thanks: to Nic Reilly for putting me in touch and to Aisling McMahon for taking my call and arranging this for us.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Bloom 2010 – reviewed

...

If you did read my post on Thursday, you would have got my recommendations for Bloom In The Park 2010. And so I went along again on Sunday and Monday.

The weather was cracking for most of Bloom, but the last two days meant the umbrella’s had to come out. But then, this is Ireland… That said, I did notice in contrast to Blooms first year a massive difference in the ‘dealing with Irish weather‘ facilities around the festival. Well done behind the scenes team.

The layout did change slightly to the main area outside the show gardens and for some I wondered why they had a prime pitch, with almost little or no relevance to horticulture. It was however a little easier to navigate than the year previous so maybe there’s method behind the decision. From a visitors perspective it was one I was glad of.

I did like the food area and the tasting and it was nice to see the forgotten crafts speaking taking place. I particularly enjoyed the Burren Smokehouse talk. I Never really knew what went into making a good smoked salmon. I do now. As a by the way, they sold out of every single piece of fish by 4pm on Monday.

To the right of that were some crafted outdoor displays which I felt delivered a nice message. Of note was the Wicklow Educate Together School Tin Man and the display for oil versus renewable energy. This replaced last years Obama replica vegetable garden. Very refreshing.

As always I don’t really like to comment on the gardens, as I’ve built and designed, been awarded medals and not…. That said I do recommend you read this post on building a show garden. It’s not easy 😉 I think I’m personally still suffering the aftermath of 2 years without a sponsor. Anyhow, you can comment, I won’t, but I will say the layout was good and quite relaxing walking around. Well done to all the sponsors and gardeners.

I didn’t make it to taste the crafted beers… but I did get to hear some of the bands in that area and it was great to see on Monday evening families dancing in the rain to a chorus of ‘Hello Mary Lou‘. Next door, the crafts area was nice and open and left places for people to sit and picnic. I also like the arts and crafts dotted throughout and the gentlemen singing acapella were amazing.

I thought the fact that speakers like Shawna Coronado from the U.S. were introduced was a great idea – I also believe her talks went down extremely well. Well done Shawna. [Also: my interview with Shawna Coronado]

There were suggestions that the food was well priced. On a different note, phone coverage and in particular internet phone coverage was poor. This I heard from too many people and from a meeting up point of view I only found afterwards that they’d been there. It also meant I couldn’t do live video’s and picture posting.

From speaking with Aidan Cotter and some of the Bord Bia team I believe numbers were up on last year which is great to hear. Aidan also queried whether I was returning to Bloom 2011 to build another show garden, with a twist difference…. I meant to ask him if there’s a chance of me getting partnered with a sponsor 😉

Overall, some say the direction has changed. Some say the garden judges were a little tougher this year. Others simply say Bloom 2010 has come along way in, what one should not forget, is just 4 years. All in all, I personally and sincerely enjoyed the show. Whether I go back in 2011 as a visitor or as a designer is a question I’ll need to answer soon. Either way, you will see me there.

Well done to all involved. Take a bow and when you find the time a well earned rest.

I’ll have some video’s and information to go up this week. You can also view my other images from Bloom 2010. I personally love this picture taken by my good friend Stephen 😉

What do you think….?


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]