Tag Archives: blackcurrants

Memories of Summer 2014.

11 Jul

032

Blackcurrant time again and the rush is on to get as many as possible before the Blackbirds. All our nets are in use on the vegetable beds so it a case of who gets the ripe fruits first. Luckily we have a lot of Blackcurrant bushes.

Rather than standing by the plants picking… which I find rather back breaking…I cut off the branches and sit in comfort at the table whilst I harvest.  The fruit is frozen in one kilos lots to be used later to make jams, cordials and chutneys. Nothing like making Blackcurrant jam on a cold Winter’s day to bring back memories of Summer.

As I work I listen to the radio. The news is full of Israels attacks on Palestine. It is so heartbreaking to think of what these people are going through. Why should any human being be subjected to this suffering? Why should any Mother or Father have to dig with their bare hands to retrieve their dead child from the rubble of their home? Why oh why is the rest of the world standing by in silence?

Later I look on the internet and the horror is there for all to see. Graphic footage of dead and injured human beings. Such pain and suffering. It’s bad enough looking from a distance but what’s it like to be there?

One and a half million people live in Gaza. They are watched and blockaded from every angle. That makes the Gaza strip the biggest open prison on our planet.

Now I know this blog has many followers from the USA and if my opinion differs from yours so be it. America’s support of Israel is what is giving them the power to carry out these atrocities. Do you know your government gives Israel over three billion dollars in aid every year? Barack Obama has not come out in condemnation of these attacks and our own Irish government is equally silent.  In the last 4 days over one hundred people have been murdered. A quarter of these are children.

I wonder if this will still be going on as I make my preserves in the depths of Winter. Not so sweet memories of Summer 2014.

As Solstice approaches…

17 Jun

021

 

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.

006

 

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.

008

 

In the polytunnel the first bed is made.

010

 

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.

013

 

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.

014

 

Within the pond the Water Lily has been teasing us for days with it’s semi-open blooms.

012

 

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.

025

 

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.

Sunny garden days.

5 Apr

024

The first of the Blackcurrants have been dug up and rehomed today. I am thankful for the late Spring which allows these to be transplanted so late in the season. These will be planted quickly and hopefully will take off straight away. I like Blackcurrants as much as anyone but I think the previous inhabitants of this place must have had an obsession with them. Any gaps were filled with a Blackcurrant. Under trees, among the shrubs and flowers, Blackcurrants everywhere. I counted over 50 plants… far too many.

023

This bed will be emptied too. A big clump of Rubus tricolor and a Golden Ivy, nothing else. Not for me! Lots of plants from this to swop for new garden treasures. I guess if we all liked the same things the world would be a pretty boring place.

014

Have spent most of the last few days in the garden. Pruning, planning and digging out stuff. The weather has been lovely… not stop sunshine. Half the conifers at the boundary line have been cut, the rest will go next week. When we bought the house it was with the understanding that these trees which were shading the bottom part of the garden would be cut. We get to have the timber too. It will need seasoning before being used in the stoves over Winter.

015

Lettie kept herself occupied for hours today watching some little creature which was in the undergrowth…

001

whilst Freddie slept in a sunny spot in the conservatory.

Out in the garden…at last!!

2 Apr

003

After the coldest March on record in Ireland it looks like Spring is certainly here. Felt like it today anyway, 9 degrees (c) and not a breeze. We spent the day in the garden. There’s so much to be done here. Plants to prune  and plants to move or get rid of. So many Blackcurrants…everywhere. Andy dug up some today which my Mother will take back to Tipperary with her. The rest I offered on Facebook and a couple of people said they would have some. Great! Don’t want to be dumping good plants.005 

After dealing with some of the Blackcurrants we decided to tackle this neglected Rambling Rose. Badly positioned and badly needing a prune it looked a bit sad.

006

After cutting out all the dead wood Andy gave it a good cutting back with a long handled pruners. Pretty thorny this one so gloves an essential.

007

After pruning it was easier to dig out. Another job for Andy. We had intented to plant it into the earth on the south facing wall of the guest house but on trying to dig we discovered that the foundations come out quite a way. So….

009

it ended up in a big pot instead. Hopefully it will survive and produce lots of flowers next year. Can’t see it flowering this year. I put some Rescue Remedy in the water to help the plant recover. Fingers crossed!

010

That leaves us with a nice empty bed to plant up. The soil feels pretty tired here so lots of compost will be dug in plus lots of mulching when the new plants are in.

011

The first plant to go in here will be this Prunus kojo-no-mai. It was a new home present from our nearest neighbours back in Arigna. Beautiful Spring flowers…just what the garden needs.

008

The dogs loved the sunshine too. Little Lettie was totally crashed out as we worked away. Humans and animals alike, we all enjoy a nice sunny day. Hopefully it was the first of many.

The Garden.

10 Mar

003

To finish the tour I will show you the garden  today. Much work to be done here. Even though the the house was lived in up to the time we bought it it seems that interest in the garden had been lost. The land including the lane amounts to three quarters of an acre. Plenty for us now as we don’t have any animals apart from our two dogs. It is nicely laid out in beds and there is a good flow to the garden.

004

The old chicken run will be taken down as we don’t plan to get chickens. I’ve been through the pain of losing them to Fox  and Mink too many times. Actually the last inhabitants here were taken by Foxy Loxy.  This is where we are planning to put veg beds, should be nice and fertile from the chooks. Looks like it was used for growing some time ago as the outline of the bed is still visible. The conifers behind are on our neighbours land and they are being cut down in the near future.

002

Lots of  Blackcurrants  and other fruits here. They need pruning but I wonder if it’s too late now? I don’t want to cut off the fruit buds. Maybe I should leave them until after fruiting.  What do you think?

001

There is a good composting  area with lots of compost in there ready to go. Yippee!!

005

In the back garden there is a pond, don’t know what the plants are, time will tell. Lots of Frogs in there at the moment havin their annual orgy.

006

At the bottom of the back garden is Ivy House, the previous owner was a woodworker and he made the plaque with the name. This is the guest accommodation…eventually…at the moment it is full of our boxes. Alongside this is a workshop.

So as you can see there’s lots of work. The plan is to tidy up for now, see what comes up and then make any changes in the Autumn. Well that’s the plan anyway…lets see what happens!!

Bridget x.

%d bloggers like this: