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national tree week

Blog posting #300 πŸ™‚Β  March 1st – 7th 2009 is National Tree Week. It’s a cool week. There’s loads of tree events on – literally all over the country. There is no excuse not to get involved. I have some posts on trees, trees, trees and trees here to get you in the groove. That said if you don’t want to plant a tree yourself – you can always sponsor a tree – and it will be planted for you.

The trees don’t have to be huge – they even don’t have to be expensive – but they are important and if we did plant one tree each [that’s over 4 million!!] can you imagine how beautiful the country would look. If where you live is ‘not as green as it should be’, if you want to give something a little not so expensive and don’t want to look like a cheap-skate or if you haven’t seen a bird in your garden since you moved in…. You could… and you really could, make a difference.

Go on plant a tree. And give it a hug after πŸ˜† but of course!

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All Posts Garden Advice

activity in the garden this month…

gat the garden in groove...
get the garden in groove...
need some effin direction...
need some effin direction...

You may think there is little to do in the brrrr freezing cold this January. But, it is what you do now that will prove so fruitful in a few months time. Aside from the aesthetic gains to be reaped and after listening to RTE1 for too long recently – where the news, primetime and even the weatherman depressed me – I realised we all need something to smile about. I had to get outside.

But there is also another [moreso recently more serious] side to gardening and that is of keeping active. According to one report, if maintained for at least 30 minutes gardening can be so beneficial. They say…

  • Digging the garden burns between 150 and 200 calories per half hour
  • using a push mower burns 180 calories in women in half an hour and 240 calories in men, while using a motor mower it drops to 135 and 180 calories each.
  • planting, pruning and trimming flowers, shrubs and trees gives a moderate workout, burning 135 calories in women and 180 in men in half an hour.
  • weeding might be the scourge of most gardeners, it burns off 140 calories in women and over 180 in men per half hour
it's not a total dead end...
it's not a total dead end...

So having dusted down those tools and psyched yourself; having saved your petrol money so as you might drive to the gymnasium and having sold those spandex tracksuits πŸ˜‰ here’s what you can do

  • trees, trees, trees – the best time to plant bare roots and rootballs types as they’re still dormant. They’re also great value.
  • tree’s, the Christmas tree – it could sit there for ages. Recycle it!
  • weeds – start doing it now. [see above]
  • mulch – i find it warms my hands! Buy it loose or by the metre cubed. It’s better value.
  • tree’s – adjust those straps and buckles. Not too loose mind you.
  • hedging – bareroots are still available – plant them now.
  • fertilise – yes fertiliser. If you use a slow release version [not 10:10:20 style] you can apply it now as you are planting or as you are mulching.
  • buy Grandma’ a rose plant – and pot it up yourself. Great value and she’ll love you for it
  • edging – re-edge those beds. Use a length of timber to stop damage on the lawn if necessary
  • prune – remove any dead or diseased wood from your trees
  • fruit – trees [more] are always good
  • vegetables – plan your plot for the new year – now!
  • birds – fill the feeders
  • garden hygiene – a good garden ‘spring clean’ so to speak is always necessary. It prevents a build of pests and diseases.
  • planting now means no watering – good for the environment

However, if you’re like my Dad πŸ˜‰ you’ll probably just do the 30 mins and leave the rest to someone else….. That said, a great time to get a head start is now. Enjoy πŸ™‚

start now & add that little groove into yours...
start now & add that little groove into yours...
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All Posts Smile

10 things to make you happy…

oh happy days...
oh happy days...

I had written a list of [10] garden posts that were relevant to the people of Ballyboughal over here and I’d also given a list of the top 10 garden posts you liked the most. That aside, and with 8 odd weeks to Christmas this is my Top 10 thing to make you happy… or at the very least make you smile! You know where to come if you get stuck!

[ps the reason for doing this is because of george lee this… and I believe life is good… I dont have a gizillion dollar$… but life is good! If you’re smile isn’t as big as it normally should be… then this is for you enjoy! πŸ˜‰

and finally….

UPDATE: the illustrated friar blog has done one over there
SinΓ©ad has done a really happy cool one over here
Iced Coffe Phil has 10 happy things over there
winds and breezes has spectaularly going on over here
and Marie has it all smelling of roses over here at the strange quark πŸ™‚
AND donna over at another nightmair blog just popped up with another bundle of happiness [i like no.9 πŸ˜‰ ]
…of course ballyboughal had to have my personal top 10 happy things ….

John isn’t happy at all…. and you can of course leave yours as a comment if you wish…

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All Posts Parks, Places, Camping

the amazing skerries mills

...

I thought this would be a boring day out. The ones you got ‘dragged’ out on when you were a nipper. I also thought, at first, the €6.50 tour charge was a bit steep, I was [very] pleasantly surprised.

This, had to be, one of the best ‘tours’ I’ve ever been on. Skerries Mills is simply amazing -and it’s a lot more than just a tour. And before you ask, I wasn’t given VIP tickets to visit!

..

I went with ‘herself’ for a bite to eat in the coffee shop and after some good filling home cooking, we took the tour. Paddy our guide has been involved in literally every stage of the renovation of the mills, going back ten years-ish now, into what it is today and he knows everything. Add to that a good sense of humour and one finds that it is the people that make a place.

From how the 55 acres surrounding the mills came into the councils hands, how spontaneous combustion evolved from static and flour and why the life expectancy for those [lucky enough to get a job there?] was only 40 years of age… is amongst the many facts that make the journey extremely enjoyable. Outside of that ‘The Mills’ are self sufficent, financially. That is, they have to break even. And they do, now.

€6.50! In my day we could have bought the entire mills for that and still had change for a loaf of bread…..

That aside, my other interest was/ is that we ‘are’ going back to the days of water conservation, wind power and home-made; gave me an insight into how ‘not so far away’ we are from those days of old returning.

As I said €6.50 each; todays made home made scones [i asked] and a pot of tea – it is, I thought at first, a bit my Dad’s kind of thing [at least I felt like him for a little…] but it was worth every cent!

Would I return – if only just for the warm scones!