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The Right Time To Grow

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With high day time temperatures, the sun factor increasing the warmth in the greenhouse well above the the teens and night time temperatures in the minus…. I could almost do a piece here on autumn colour but… it’s March and there are no leaves on the trees. So instead the resulting problem and piece is one of possible woe rather than beauty and colour.

I know that around 12 – 14 degree celcius is what makes [almost all] plants start to grow and the reason this is so important is that I’ve just started my seed growing for this year.

The temperatures in the greenhouse [as you can see above] are more than enough to make the seeds germinate. The problem is that when the little baby seedlings pop out from their store of food [the seed] the low temperatures at night time can come along and literally whack them.

In theory, the water in the plant cells expand when it freezes and this bursts the cells. Put simply the affected cells are dead. That’s not so bad if the plant is an established hedge but for a weakling and barely days old seedling with a very thin outer skin that is so easily penetrated, there is no way back.

I hear you say, I could have waited. Kept my eye on the calender or clock. Been a little more patient and waited a bit longer before I started my sowing campaign. I could even have bought myself a greenhouse heater…. but where’s the fun in that.

I’ve waited this long, this year, to get outdoors and get grooving in the garden… Similar to the Irish potato farmers and the season they’ve just had, I’ll take my [very well calculated] chances against the elements and hope I’ve simply got a head start. If it doesn’t work out… I’ll scatter my seeds and try again.  😉

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ever met a man who builds greenhouses

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I’ve known Eoin Hurley for some years now and worked with him on a few different projects 😉

An interesting fellow…. but then again anyone who enters a vocation where everything you do is dependent on everything else including the weather should be…. and who am I to talk 😉

The reality is people who will make it happen, those who will go that extra bit and more important those who always did… and still smile 🙂 are those that make life that little bit brighter to be a part of 🙂

Thanks Eoin.

For more information visit The Botanic Greenhouse Company

outdoor events and greeny gigs

Thanks to my good friend Joerg for some of these…. I’ve got a long list of free events all outdoors and green related that are on over the next coming days….. so go on get outside and enjoy yourselves 🙂

first up…

The Ballymun farmers market takes place on the first thursday of every month. I’ve never been to this one before, so if I can make it [fingers crossed I will] I’m really looking forward to it. If the weather is bad it takes place inside if the Civic Centre – thats the one directly opposite the Tesco shopping centre [scroll below the images……….. ]

phoenix-park-dublin walled-kitchen garden phoenix-park-victorian walled-kitchen garden phoenix-park-walled-garden- kitchen-garden-phoenix-park coultry-park-ballymun coultry-pk-ballymun

The Phoenix Park Summer/Autumn Programme is almost at it’s end. That said, they still have some really cool gigs still on the go. Get the calender out and mark these down…. here are my choices. If you’ve gotta bit of time to burn – a must is the €2 [adult] and €1 [child] bus journey aroud the entire park…..

For Children: 10.30am – 12.30pm a workshop for children [5+] parental supervision required

  • Sunday Aug 30th – medieval life including a visit to Ashtown Castle.
  • Sunday Sept 6th – birds in the park
  • Sunday September 13th – animals of the park

For all ages – from the visitor centre starting 3pm

September Sunday6th is a guided tour of the kitchen walled garden with Margaret Gormley and Declan Birmingham. I highly recommend this if you fancy a bit of grow your own.

Also note the gardeners of the Phoenix Park are in The Walled Garden on the first Saturday of every Month – The next is September 5th btw – from 10.30am to 5pm.  They are all really nice guys…. really 😉 You can go and ask any of the questions and also see how and why in person. I recommend going when the weather is really bad so you get a good one to one information session.

courtesy of the dublin event guide [email dublineventguide [at] gmail [dot] com to subscribe ]

on saturday 29 th august GUIDED HIKE – DUBLIN MOUNTAINS
A Guided Hike along the Dublin Mountains Way is taking place on Sat 29 Aug. A special Dublin Mountaineer bus service is departing at the Sandyford Luas stop at 11:30 and you will return in the 16:08 bus from Grange Road (Marlay Park) to the Sandyford Luas bus stop. The hiking is taking a route through Cruagh Wood and Tibradden Forest and Mountain, joining with the Wicklow Way back through Kilmashogue to Marlay Park. (Length: approx 12km (linear walk) and Duration: 4hr (strenuous walk)) You need to bring good hiking boots, rain gear, hat, water, lunch. Booking is essential. The guided tour is free and there is only a bus fare of EUR 5 to pay for the return trip. Contact karen.woods@coillte.ie or info@dublinmountains.ie
(Phone: 01-2011187) to book! http://www.dublincity.ie/RecreationandCulture/Events/SummerInDublin09

also on sunday IRISH GRAND PRIX – RADIO CONTROLLED CARS

The Radio Controlled Car Association of Ireland will run the Irish Grand Prix – a festival of r/c-racing at St Anne’s Park, Raheny, on Sunday 30 Aug. Racing will take place from 10:30-18:00. The event will feature participants from all over Ireland. All are welcome. For further details, phone 087-2512422 or visit www.orcaireland.ie

and…. also on sunday

the festival of world cultures are on in Dun Laoghaire is on with loads of free events and things on…. too many to mention http://festivalofworldcultures.com/ If you are going my good friends The Riptide Movement are playing the buskers corner [their playing on saturday!!!…] make sure and check them out…. free gig btw 😉 have a listen to theri newest song while your reading away…..

MUSIC IN THE GARDENS – FARMLEIGH HOUSE Sun 30 Aug from 14:00-16:00 the Ardee Concert Band will play in the garden of Farmleigh House. http://www.farmleigh.ie/culturalevents/currentevents/summerprogramme2009/august/#d.en.10372

TREE WALKING TOUR – FARMLEIGH HOUSE
On Sun 30 Aug two Tree Walking tours with guest speaker John Mc Loughlin from the Tree Council of Ireland will take place at 15:00 and at 16:00.
http://www.farmleigh.ie/culturalevents/currentevents/summerprogramme2009/august/#d.en.10372

ST. STEPHEN’S GREEN ENTERTAINMENT
On Sun the entertainment in St. Stephen’s Green will be Mary McEvoy from 15:00-17:00 to celebrate Heritage Week. This event will conclude the Summer Entertainment in St. Stephen’s Green! http://www.phoenixpark.ie/media/St%20Stephen%27s%20Green%20Bandstand%20Summerfest%20August%202009.pdf

I really like this one…… on tuesday 1st September

GREEN DRINKS – SCIENCE GALLERY

Green Drinks is a simple idea that’s gone global. Once a month in 448 cities around the world, people with an interest in green issues get together to chat, share ideas and raise a glass to a brighter future. In Dublin this will take in September in the Science Gallery Café (Naughton Building, Trinity College) on the first Tuesday of the month and (with the exception of October when the event is on the 2nd Tuesday) every month after that. You are invited to a fun eco friendly evening with free admission, drinks and snacks. This event is organized by www.leafliving.com. At the event on 01 Sept (from 18:00) the discussion will be about recycling: Ever wondered what happens to our waste after we throw it away? How much is being recycled compared to the amount incinerated or shipped to the developing world? What’s the scale of the problem and what can we do about it? Robert O’Shea, Secretary of the Irish Waste Management Association (IWMA) will shed some light on the issue. http://www.greendrinks.org. The organisers ask you to confirm your attendance via their facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Green-Drinks-Dublin/73308564711

On thursday OPERA IN THE OPEN – CIVIC OFFICES, WOOD QUAY
“Opera in the Open”, the free lunchtime operas return to Dublin city. Now in its tenth year, ‘Opera in the Open’ returns with five free performances of well-known operas each Thursday at 13:00 from 06 Aug – 03 Sept. Do something different at lunchtime this summer and listen to opera in the informal and intimate setting of the grounds of Civic Offices on Wood Quay in the city centre. ‘Opera in the Open’ is an initiative of Dublin City Council Arts Office as part of its remit to make the best of art and culture accessible to all in the city.
03 September: ‘Idomeneo’ by Mozart
The performances feature Janyce Condon, Stephen Fennelly, Mary Flaherty, Victoria Massey, Simon Morgan, Niall Morris, Sandra Oman, Donna Gallagher and Liz Ryan. Musical direction is by David Wray, stage direction by Niall Morris and narration is by Ted Courtney. http://www.visitdublin.com/events/AllDublinEvents/Detail.aspx?id=237&mid=6152

on the way

WHAT IS LIGHT? – PUBLIC LECTURE
Albert White from www.LightPollution2009.eu alerted me to a lecture that is taking place in September but for which you need to book one of only approx. 120 tickets, so you better decide soon and book early. The lecture is part of the 9th European Symposium for the Protection of the Night Sky and is entitled “What is Light?” Lecturer is Leo Enright. Leo Enright, a broadcaster on Space Exploration and Science, explores the history of Ireland’s sometimes tenuous connection with luminosity
– while naming and shaming some modern big wicks. He will focus on the importance of continuing public access to dark skies, especially during the present ‘Golden Age’ of astronomy, whilst noting that historically Ireland has sometimes been defined by the absence of light – why else would the Romans have called it Hibernia?
The event will take place on Wed 16 September 2009 at 19:00 in the Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. Admission is free but places are limited. For booking please visit http://shop.ria.ie/shop/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=22&cat=Event%2BRegistration

Whatever you do – enjoy your week outdoors 😉

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Sowing the seeds

I can only really buy seeds and the paraphernalia required in the same places as you. This week I bought [in woodies: i emailed them this post] mustard, pumpkin, carrott, sprouts, cabbage, brocoli, onion and sweetcorn.

I didn’t buy lettuce seeds because the man said: ‘did you see them there?’ ‘no, I couldn’t find any’ I said. ‘well then they must not be there?’ I said ‘I suppose you’re right…. thanks for being so helpful…’ and then he continued talking to his mate behind the counter. So I asked the girl on the cash register but I forgot [and she reminded me!] that ‘no I don’t do customer services…’

Anyhow; Fill the trays with compost. Pop two odd seeds into each plug cell. Don’t forget to label them! Drop into a sink and allow the water to be drawn up from the bottom. And wait for nature to take its course.

In the meantime we may as well dream……