Irish Water. Free ?

Been harping on about this for a while now. This is that water butt post.

The Irish Times say water charges will raise €1 billion. Aparently, there have been campaigns over this…. [?] Some ask if water charges are the cure for water shortages. Estimates say it could cost householders around €400 per annum.

Daylight robbery makes its return. Might I suggest the government encourage conservation, conversation and education ? No? Why? Well, it seems the tax revenue is required.


image courtesy and very aptly titled biblical rain.

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The Weather Effect… [poll]



With the nights closing in and December 1st only days away…. in Ireland we have very recently been subjected to gale force winds, floods of rainfall and pretty much a climate that, being honest, could only take at the least a little from that glowing smile that usually adorns your already beautiful face 😉 

Yet with not that long to go to day when the wooly hats are dorned and the entire Partridge famly goes in search of that perfect tree to fit that corner of the living room….

I’ve been getting very mixed views on how this affects ones present view of their space outside.

With that in mind maybe you can help in clarifying the tendencies of Irelands relationship with the great outdoors when the weather turns….

really appreciated


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Working Outdoors….

I saw this image over on Gordons website and just couldn’t help myself…. the title of Gordons post…. love it 🙂

click the title, just below this line and leave a comment over on Gordons site. The best 5 comments win a prize…. go on 😉

working outdoors is not all its cracked up to be…



september in the garden…

I’ve not done a column like this on the blog before so if you see something thats not here – just leave a comment – I’ll know the next time 😉 I’ll also drop in a little music from these lads because this piece ended a little longer than I thought it would. I find I can read better with music when the article is a little longer. I dislike very much the ever copy and pasted 5 pointer one liners that reappear in the usual gardening columns so I’ve tried to make this a little different[ish]. I hope you enjoy it

What should you be doing in your garden this September. I emphasise on should because….. the rain has been so rediculous the last weeks months in Ireland. According to Met Eireann

The Weather for July 2009 – Wettest July for over 50 years in many places; near normal temperatures and sunshine

lawns september lawns-september lawnmower donegan landscaping

This has made it extremely difficult for almost any sort of normal gardening. Grass cutting has just about been stricken right off the to do list whilst grass growth has accelerated dramatically. This is mainly due to the fact that temperatures are remaining over the 15 – 17 celcius and rainfall/ humidity levels are so high. In most cases even if a dry day is given – grass cutting may still not be possible unless unwanted mechanical damage is to be avoided. Lets hope this changes for a week or two in September. I would also recommend a good slow release fertiliser is applied.

With that in mind spraying is also becoming an increasingly impossible task. A period of dryness in both surface and rainfall before any application can take place. Once again the problem here is that our monsoon like conditions cannot distinct between what maybe considered a weed or simply a plant. These high temperatures/ rainfall and humidity levels have caused mayhem for potatoe growers with the high risk of blight. That said most potatoe growers have sprayed the surface of the fields with acid to kill off the top growth of the plant. Now it is simply a case of getting into the field.

chickens-september ireland beech hedges espallied-trees

My chickens had stopped laying for about the last two weeks just gone. I’m told by my good friend Paddy that they don’t like the wet so much and this unsettling causes them to stop laying. Paddy also explained to me that they should start losing their feathers in the next coming weeks and although they will return to laying it won’t be that of one each per day.

You may also notice on some varieties of trees that leaf yellowing has begun. In particular on the Tilia and some varieties of Sorbus. It’s nothing to be too concerned about. Simply a reminder that leaf fall isn’t that far away. With that in mind the better value season for tree planting is on the horizon. If you are thining of planting a tree[s] – now is the time to plan for that. Pick the where and consider the eventual height/ flowers etc….

lettuce plants herb-garden-september growing seeds indoors

My lettuce plants are tyring to come to there life cycle end and produce seed. I keep pinching the heads off them so that they’ll keep producing leaves. From the plants point of view once it reproduces its job is done. Essentially I’m fighting a losing battle versus nature. Naure will win… but not just yet. That siad, my sorrell plants have boomed this year mainly because I haven’t been so reliant on them. For your herb garden – don’t be afraid to give the herb beds a bit of a hoe and a clip. Any greens can of course be fed to the hens. You can of course contiue to grow your basil, mustards and cress indoors – but make sure and use a south facing window… it’s gonna start getting dark earlier soon.

apple trees blackberries fruit-trees-disease

It is fruit season…. My apple trees are in fruit at this moment. I prefer to wait until there is some fruit drop before picking myself. But not all did so well. Tis come back a little to the weather we had with some yellowing, insects affected leaves…. leaf drop is nigh and nature ill soon rid the aphids. Blackberries are also almost there and should be coming in quite soon and the rhubarb has come back into leaf.

Whilst it maybe difficult to get out and do all the things you want to do… my advice is to do indoors what you can. The hanging baskets can almost be replaced with some beautiful winter flowering heathers. Modern slow release fertilisers now ensure that another dressing is not required until next season. Different types are available so do be careful. One for lawns and a seperate one then for shrubs and bedding and trees. Mulching of the beds will also help especially for the more tender plants to warm them slightly and to control weeds. I’m gonna go and plant my runner bean plants now….

Whatever you do – do get out – do enjoy and don’t forget to tell me off if I’ve missed anything out here 🙂

never mind the weather this is ireland


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a desktop evelyn cusack…?

never lets me down...

never lets me down...

I had a situation some time ago…. It happens regularly in Ireland… the guys were in Howth creating a garden and I was in Templeogue. The problem? it was raining in Howth but not in Templeogue.  So we have what I know as local weather. [This is not Spain!].

What I bought to get over this was what I call Evelyn. An oregon scientific long range weather forecaster. She never lets me down. There’s one outside which remote links to the main control panel. From this we can have, pretty much, our own weather forecast.

This may sound like a farcical investment – but – when it comes to matters of ‘if the weather stays good’, ‘i think it may rain…’ and ‘sure lets hope for the best…’ calculating may go right out the window when in Ireland.

my very own evelyn...

my very own evelyn...

This allows a calculation of relative humidity [RH], temperature and whether it rises or otherwise and therefore makes a calculation of a forecast. I must say it is very accurate.

I did buy this some time ago on my way back through an airport [i can’t remember..?], so I don’t know if they are sold in Ireland [someone might let me know if they are…?]. For the moment I did find a site in the US that sells them [i dont know these guys but it is the one that i have].

I think it cost about €60/80 – but I can’t be too sure. It sits on my desk and apart from the use of met eireann for weather calculating – which isn’t so local – i would have to say – I’ve become pretty dependant on this little forecaster.