Dahlia Days

It’s a soft morning in West Cork. The mist has rolled in and it covers us like a familiar blanket. I’ve been dead heading the roses hoping to extend their flowering period. Hedging is getting a light trim as the blackthorn grows so fast and unkempt. I’ve made another bridge across the stream from the main garden to the big field, there used to be a wooden plank but that has rotted away, so I found a flat slab of stone which I hope will be lasting awhile longer.

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The blackbirds scurry from the undergrowth every time I move around the garden, there are blackcurrants on offer and they love this tempting treat. Discarded empty snail shells leave a murderous record of the thrushes thankfully helping themselves.

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The snapdragons provide bright shards of colour in the middle of the garden glowing in the early misty morning light, orange Montbretia, purple and white buddleia and the mauve blooms of oregano compliment the backdrop of green.

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I spent some of yesterday trying to spot the Stonechat hearing its distinctive clack, I saw a flash of what looked like one skipping across the field below but I didn’t get a really close look and a warbler not sure what type has been investigating the hops.

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My wheel barrow that has served me for many years finally gave up the ghost but has been recycled as a mobile flower bed so I planted some marigolds and pansies we had sitting in pots and moved it up to the front of the house. I think I’ll paint it when I paint the oil barrel I got off my neighbours. I actually got two barrels and I hope to turn one into a barbeque and one I will use to plant a climbing rose for one side of the arch again for the front of the house.

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As you can guess I am well into recycling stuff and I collected a whole load of tyres so I can build an archery butt in the big field, Jasmine is delighted as she can now practice with her new bow.

I have been spending more time in the courtyard of the old house clearing my way to the stables. One of the walls has a massive crack in it; I am just hoping that it doesn’t collapse on me!

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So I am constantly in the company of a robin with twig like legs a rusty red breast. It’s furtively foraging, bobbing, skipping from bug to beetle balancing perched on bucket then spade and pouncing ever so gently fluttering to feed a fledgling, waiting at home for mum or dad to return to their fat fluffy progeny, ever so good company and my very own avian friend.

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There is some lovely colour in the garden at the moment with the dahlias, gladioli and lilies all bursting into flower. I’m going to spend time clearing ditches just in case we get some heavy rain, I don’t want to have it all washed away.

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