Berries, Coffee and Dragonflies

You guessed it; it’s raining in Ireland again! That is a bit unfair as we have had a couple of beautiful days; yesterday the first official day of autumn and was gorgeous. There does seem to be some correlation between the kids going back to school and a fine day. The rain wasn’t unexpected it has been the talk of the village for a few days, we had a yellow weather warning and a prediction of over 30mm of rain today, that has now been updated to 50mm of rain and it’s now orange.

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I spent most of the day clearing out the ditches and digging some extra drainage channels. To tell the truth I would have been a little disappointed if the rain had given us a miss after sweating away with my shovel.

I also decided to do some picking so I would have plenty to do while I was inside. I now have rose hip as well as blackberry syrup bottled, I can smell a freshly baked blackberry and apple pie and I will be making elderberry syrup later on this afternoon. Autumn is a great time for bottling and jamming stuff from the garden getting things ready for the long winter months.

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Blackberry & Apple Pie

While out in the garden I spotted a dragonfly and I was able to get a couple of photos of the big beasty, I looked it up on the internet and I think it is a Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis) amazing creatures and I love seeing them about but I don’t get to photograph them very often. We have a couple of other ones around the place and I hope I get to identify them sometime.

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I bought a couple of plants that caught my eye in the supermarket they were only €1.50 each and I potted them up for the conservatory windowsill next to the cactus. The tall spiky one is Dragon Fingers (Sansevieria cylindrical) the largest is another Sansevieria (paterns) and the one that looks like it has a top knot is Beaucarnea racurvata commonly called a pony tail palm, though it’s not a palm, the name on the label is Elephants Foot and it’s from Mexico. After reading up on them they are supposed to be really easy to grow as they don’t require much care and I think they look great.

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We finally got the statue up in the garden and our giant gnome is now looking out to sea, I am planning to plant some soft wavy grasses around him to mimic the waves washing in, I love grasses but don’t know much about them. I have a few individual plants in the Chinese garden but I would like to plant a large block of them in the big field.

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I have been busy planting up the polytunnels down at the community centre. I have broad beans, Swiss chard, spinach, winter cabbage, turnip, borage and some oriental salads all in situ and I intend to experiment with a few others. This is my first winter with a polytunnel so I might as well try out some new ideas. I asked my sister in law for some spent coffee grounds as she runs a cafe in the village and she gave me quite a few bags, my garden smells like a coffee shop as I’ve been using it as mulch and it appears to be keeping the slugs away but it is early days. I have it down in the polytunnels as well; I put some on some seedlings and left some seedlings without so I can see if it does make a difference. It is strange that coffee grinds are considered green compost being so obviously brown! There appears to be quite a few ants living in the tunnel and I have laid down some Tansy which I find quite effective as a good deterrent, so in the confines of the tunnel the combination of coffee and tansy is quite intoxicating.

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A barrow load of coffee!

I think I’m going to tackle those elderberries now and check the ditches are doing as they are supposed to. Any suggestions you have for planting in the polytunnels for the winter please leave in the comments, I have a load of space.

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My friend Magda who runs the Crookhaven Art Studio took this lovely photo of a village near me called Crookhaven, the photo is taken from her shop where she sells her lovely paintings and photos.

 

The rain is really starting to come in now and the wind has picked up.

See you soon.

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