With all the madness going on in the world…corrupt Irish bankers scandalous tapes being released, America bugging the EU offices and worst of all Monsanto being the recipient of the World Food Prize…I need a day away from it all. Peace…quiet…beauty…nature. Yes! We’re off to the forest today. Ireland’s oldest forest actually…St. John’s Wood, near Lecarrow in the beautiful county of Roscommon. If anyone cares to join us we will be at the forest entrance at 3 o clock. Otherwise I will tell you all about it tomorrow.
Have a happy Sunday!
I was up early this morning…woken by the birds and the bright sunshine. Even though it was perfectly still there were no midges about. The smell of new mown grass still perfumed the air.
I love how the freshly cut grass makes everything look nice and fresh. The cut grass is a valuable resource for the garden…we use it for mulching around plants and also add some to the compost.
The dew was still on the plants when I was rambling round the garden. With only light canvas shoes on I soon had wet feet from the dewy grass.
Masses of perennial Geraniums in flower now. These were here when we moved. I do like them but they need breaking up with some other plants…contrasting colours. Any ideas anyone? Lots of work to be done here next Winter methinks…of course shopping for plants to be done first. Lovely!
I love the tiny little flowers on this Geranium.
The bed I planted up last month has come on very well. Nothing grew for a while but then we had heavy rain and everything took off. That’s what makes Ireland so lush and green…the life giving rain. Ireland wouldn’t be Ireland with a hot sunny climate.
In the new bed I notice the Tree Lupin is coming into flower. Nothing special about it…a fairly common plant. However…this one is special to me because I grew it from seed. I never tire of that feeling of watching something you’ve sown as a tiny seed grow into a mature plant. Magic!
Lovely shadows created as the sun filters through the trees on the eastern boundary…
and the pond is so still…even the little creatures that live here are still resting. If you look carefully you can see a Newt in the pic. Lots of them here.
As I head indoors this freshly emerged Poppy catches my eye. Couldn’t miss this striking colour I suppose!
Back indoors I have a cuppa whilst admiring this lovely bouquet I received yesterday from another cottage garden.
A perfect Summer morning at Flynn’s Cottage.
Happy Solstice to all who stop here. To celebrate the day that’s in it I would like to share a poem sent by my friend June.
It’s written by Jehanne Mehta.
To visit the sunfire in this land
We carry a torch, we carry a brand.
To kindle the sunfire in all hearts
We offer our song, we offer our dance.
When swirling flames with red tongues fly
And grey smoke billows to the sky.
What hold us back shall burn away
In the singing sunfire of misdsummer’s day.
This poems reminds me of the bonfires that are lit here in north-west Ireland on June 23rd. Called St. John’s night here it has been adapted of course from the Solstice festivities of Pagan times. This year it will be magic as it is also the night of the supermoon. The closest the Moon will be to the Earth this year. Astronomers say the Moon will look 14% larger and 30% brighter than usual. Tides will also be higher.
A bit of good news for Ireland yesterday. It was announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, that the sale of the harvesting rights of our state owned forests was not to be sold. In the Minister’s own words “now is not the time to proceed with the sale.”
It was also announced that Coillte is to be merged with Bord na Mona. Set up in 1946 for the purpose of peat harvesting… Bord na Mona has now diversified into garden products… waste recovery and renewable energy. While BNM continues to destroy… actually most of them are destroyed… our bogs… ordinary folks who wish to save enough turf to heat their homes are being prevented from doing so. I digress…what worries me about this proposed merger is the direction that BNM is now taking. With most of the bogs in their ownership almost depleted they are now looking to other ways of making money.
Their recently appointed CEO recently launched the new direction for the company which is entitled “A New Contract with Nature.” Well the old contract destroyed the boglands in their care so I wonder what the new one will do.
I come from a small village in north Tipperary called Templetuohy. Bord na Mona was always a big employer here. Now that the bogs have been turned into deserts they have turned to renewable energy here. To be prescise..wind turbines. Lots of wind turbines…I don’t know exactly how many. These…as always…were built despite local opposition…at the beginning. Now more and more are going up and people don’t protest any more. “They will go ahead anyway so why waste our energy fighting a losing battle” is what people say.
So back to the forests. They have been saved…for now. Minister Coveney’s word were “not the appropriate time to sell”, does that mean the appropriate time may come. With Coillte merging with Bord na Mona are they seeing the potential for expansion of their renewable energy operations into the forests? A worrying thought indeed. There have been murmurings already of Coillte’s interest in having wind turbines in their forests. Two thousand wind turbines are to be erected in the Bog of Allen…covering 5 counties…this is going to be a huge blight on the landscape of the midlands.
As you may have guessed by now I don’t like wind turbines. In a small country like Ireland with a spread out population it’s very hard to erect wind turbines without being near someone’s home. People’s health and value of their properties have been ruined by these turbines. In the view of many…including myself…wind turbines should be in the sea.
Keep Ireland’s landscape beautiful…these turbines do not enhance it. Our forests are safe…for now. We must continue to use them…they are our resource…we need to show we care for them…want to continue to protect them. So go to your local forest whenever you can. You will feel refreshed, renewed and relaxed. You will also be helping to protect one of the people’s greatest assets.
As the longest day approaches everything in Nature is full of vitality and bursting with energy. The weather is good… not as hot as our recent heatwave which suits me…and probably most Irish people better. I don’t think we are genetically disposed to very hot weather…most of us wilt when it gets above 23 or 24c.
Cherries are starting to swell on the trees. It’s looking good for Apple and Plum harvests too…and of course the Blackcurrants never let us down. Even in the recent bad Summers the Blackcurrants came up trumps. The seem to like the conditions here in the north-west. Lots of freezing, jamming and chutney making to be done later it seems.
In the polytunnel the first bed is made.
The first thing to be planted was a Mexican Midget tomato. It already has flowers so shouldn’t be too long before we get lovely little sweet Tomatoes here. Several varieties of Lettuce, Basil, Rocket, Chervil and Dill were planted plus 3 more Tomato plants. That’s that bed full…time to get another one constructed.
In the front garden Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus) is in flower beside the pond. Not one of my favourite shrubs but I can’t see us taking it out either…but then again maybe we will. Andy isn’t a big fan of it either.
Within the pond the Water Lily has been teasing us for days with it’s semi-open blooms.
Under the shelter of the verandah the Clematis has burst into flower. Not the dark purple I’d like but still quite pretty. It’s one of the plants the previous owners planted here. Maybe I will replace it in the Winter with Clematis jackmanii my absolute favourite Clematis.
On the lane the Hawthorn flowers are just going over. Soon they will make little Haws which will light up the hedgerows with their vibrant red come Autumn. The cycle of the year continues…as it always does.