Tag Archives: valerian

Summer days.

16 Jun

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Summer’s here and how lovely it is. Lots of Strawberries from the polytunnel…eaten with sourdough pancakes and chocolate sauce for breakfast.

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Lots of Broad Beans from Autumn sown seeds in the polytunnel. This was from only a few plants. Next crop of these will be outdoors as they take up valuable space under cover for far too long.

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A very sociable time podding them round the kitchen table…with a nice cup of tea of course. The mug with the B is mine and the hands are my Mothers. She is visiting with us at the moment to celebrate her birthday. She was 78 on Saturday.

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Everything in the garden and indeed the whole countryside is looking very lush right now. Perfection in Nature as we head towards Solstice and the longest day.

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Speaking of perfection…isn’t the blue of this Iris just perfection itself. Love this colour! So vibrant!

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Clematis Annabel flowers near the back door.

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This Tree Lupin is much loved by the bees. I’m chuffed with this as it’s one I grew from a seed. They do grow fast once they get going.

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Myself and the Bees are also fond of this tall Valerian which self seeds everywhere. It has a lovely subtle sweet scent. Don’t know if it has the same herbal properties as the lower growing Valerian…anyone out there know?

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As we bask in the warm embrace of Summer there’s much to do. Long days working outdoors…growing,  preserving and of course eating Nature’s bounty. Time too to enjoy the wonder and beauty of it all…

The May garden.

18 May

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The Spring flowers have retreated  and the early Summer flowers have taken centre stage. These Aquilegias or Granny’s Bonnets as the are commonly known are short lived but so pretty right now.  Dead heading will keep them flowering a little longer but by high Summer their time is over. They are easily raised from seed or from division of the clumps.

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Rosa Rugosa is about to show it’s first fragrant blooms. It will continue to produce them right up to Autumn followed by large bright red hips. These are very high in Vitamin c and can be used in jellies and syrup.

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There’s been a lot of rain this past week so everything is looking beautifully fresh and green. Purple Alliums add a lovely dash of colour. Must do a bit of weeding here…pretend you don’t see those Dandelion heads.

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Valerian is waiting in the wings. I love it’s tall gangly habit that allows one to see through it to the plants behind . Nice pink flower too. I do tend to have a lot of pinks and purples in the garden. Purple is my alltime fave colour.

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It’s looking good for some Blueberries later on in the season. One of my fave fruits…nothing to do with them being purple!

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In the conservatory Geraniums (or  are they Pelargoniums) are producing lots of flowers.

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In the polytunnel all the new season crops are in. The Swiss Chard had to come out to make room for Courgettes and Beans. I’m always reluctant to take out crops that are still producing but this would have gone to seed soon anyway. Salads and Spring Onions are cropping now. There’s nothing like those first salad pickings. Broad Beans will be ready soon.

Outside the Setanta potatoes have been planted. These are supposed to be blight resistant and very floury. Kale, Red Cabbage and Onions are also in the ground.

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Round the pond Andy has built a dry stone wall. Doesn’t it look good?

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On the lane all is fresh and bright and green once again.

 

 

 

 

 

Flowers and sunshine in an Irish cottage garden.

8 Jul

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It’s hot in Ireland today. The heatwave is here. Hottest place in the country today is Listowel, Co. Kerry…29 degrees celsius. Too hot for us fair skinned Irish. I love to see the Sun and feel it’s heat but that just stops me in my tracks. I’ve been hoeing in the yard today…it’s a great time for that as the weeds just burn up in the sun. A few minutes hoeing and a few minutes in the shade…that’s me today.

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The garden is looking good right now. So many Bees and other insects about. They especially like this tall Valerian. There’s a loud hum everytime I pass here as they complain about being disturbed from their ecstasy.

It’s a plant I  like too…I love it’s height and the fact that you can see through it to the rest of the garden. I think Verbena bonariensis would look nice amongst the Valerian here…a nice contrasting colour and similar habit.  What do you think?

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A plant which was here in the garden is this Cephalaria gigantea. I wasn’t familiar with it before now but I do like it.

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It’s almost 6ft tall with creamy yellow Scabious like flowers. Apparently it grows easily from seed. I shall certainly save some and grow some more of this lovely.

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Lady’s Mantle…Alchemilla mollis is at it’s peak right now. It contrasts lovely with this pink perennial Geranium at the base of the Apple tree….but then it would be hard to find something that didn’t look good alongside the wonderful zingy green flowers of Lady’s Mantle. I know some people dislike it but for me it’s a star in any border.

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Another pretty one growing in the Orchard area. I don’t know it’s name…anyone out there know? Someone said to me recently to pull it out as it spreads like mad. I hadn’t the heart to pull it…if it spreads so be it.

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The first Dahlia flowered today. The dark foliage sets off the orange flower brilliantly. I keep all the Dahlias in pots as I find they die over the Winter otherwise. The pots are useful to use as fillers where any gaps occur.

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Hypericum has just started to bloom under the Alder tree. It seems to like the semi-shade here.

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I planted this Primula vialii here a few weeks ago not knowing that the little leaves growing beside it would turn out to be a lovely little native Orchid. Nature does it best…what a good pairing they make.

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Another recent purchase was this Primula florindae “Kellour hybrid”…I do love the taller growing Primulas. This one is scented and smells just like cinnamon.

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A few flowers in the polytunnel too. These are Purple Teepee beans…

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and this Bush Tomato is showing the promise of fruits to come.

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In a corner of the polytunnel this Thunbergia is flashing it’s eye catching blooms. Commonly known as Black Eyed Susan it needs a sheltered sunny spot. It can grow up to 10ft tall and flowers from July right up to October.

So there you have it…flowers and sunshine in an Irish cottage garden.

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