Friday, January 20, 2012

How Does Our Garden Grow?

Even though it's Winter here in Ireland, it's been really mild so far, in sharp contrast to last year when it reached -16 and killed off quite a number of our plants.

This year we have, in January, daffodils out!

We also have some crocus and narcissus blooming - how strange it all is:

In fact, this narcissus was out at the end of December and several more have since joined it.

We have had a lot of rain and wind. One morning we headed off to Ennis and the bottom of our drive had been washed away and turned into a stream! We had to bump across it. During the next couple of days I barrowed some stones down and it's now all filled in - until the next deluge I expect.#

Our drive goes off to the left.

Back to the garden..

Here is our poly tunnel with the evening sun shining through it. We have had wonderful produce from inside. For our Christmas dinner we had home grown carrots, chard and a few brussels - gorgeous.

Here's the chef Jim with the carrots and chard.

And Buster with his new Christmas tiger! His friend Max, a local Labrador, came and called for him and they went off to play! Here's Max:

You can see how fast his tail is wagging - it's a blur.

Nasturtiums tumbled over the wall in our front garden - this was in October before they became too straggly and I pulled them out.

Just to remind me what the garden looked like in the Summer:

All lush and green.


We have been feeding the birds as usual throughout the Winter and there seem to be dozens of them permanently in our back garden. I took a bit of video yesterday so I'll see if I can download it for you.

It's been dowloading for about half an hour and still not worked so I'm afraid I've had to give up on it. Maybe it was too long. I'll try again next time. Suffice it to say there were goldfinch, chaffinch, great tits, siskin, coal tits and greenfinch. We also have 2 very large resident magpies.

Home Improvements

Jim has finished the new staircase and banister which leads up to his new office. It's quite small but it's warm and cosy up there.

New stairs and banisters. My doorway is on the left.

As you go up the stairs this is what you see. Jim's office chair on the right.

The cupboard contains the hot water tank and is a great airing cupboard, or hot press as they call it in Ireland. Jim has made all this - what a clever boy he is! He also raised the centre of the ceiling as prior to that, he couldn't stand up in there. You can see it in this photo.

Downstairs again and we now have a new kitchen cupboard. I can at last put my hoover away! It's also the store for cat and dog food, which used to hang about all over the place. We recycled these doors from our old shower room.

Our 'flying ducks' are a bit of a joke! I used to buy boxes of china and odd things from the Worthing auctions and sell them on ebay. These ducks were in one box and got badly broken. Jim stuck them back together and they became part of our 'bad taste' collection! They look rather good flying up the stairs!

The last room to do in the cottage is Jim's old office at the opposite end. It has always been damp and dingy in there so we have new, larger windows to go in. It has an upstairs too, which was reached by a ladder, so another staircase to build! The walls will be dry lined and the floor will be laminated wooden boards, in keeping with the rest of the cottage. It would make a marvellous room for a teenager with the upstairs for a bed and downstairs with a settee maybe.

Right, that's it for today I think. I have some papier mache on the go, so am going to give the pieces another coat. Have a great weekend everyone.


Yvonne said...

Lovely and green, as Ireland is most of the time I know. We are so dry here, only about 9 inches of rain for the year. I think we are becoming a desert in this area. Well I guess I will have to plant desert plants. LOL
I have a long time (47 years) pen pal outside of Navan, Ireland. We have visited each other several times. I am ready to visit Ireland again. :)

Monika Schmid said...

I enjoyed the tour of your lovely cottage and wonderful garden, Gina. Looking forward to more!:-) xoxo

Leatherdykeuk said...

What a lovely post!
Our garden is a mud bath at the moment.

What a clever craftsman Jim is!

BT said...

Hello Yvonne, thank you for visiting my blog. Desert plants can be lovely - very structural. How lovely that you've visited Ireland a few times. You must come again soon.

Hello Monika, great to see you. That's only a little bit of the garden but it's too wet to photograph much at the moment!

Thank you Rachel, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Yup, Jim is a great handyman and is getting better all the time (sounds like a song).

Heather said...

Your garden is ahead of ours - daffs are showing but nowhere near being in bud yet. We did have a spray or two of cherry blossom for Christmas and our snowdrops are coming out now.
Jim's staircase and doors look wonderful - you must both be very pleased with how everything is coming together after all your hard work.
Lovely to see Buster and his pal.

BT said...

Hello Heather, it's been so mild here - I think you've had the odd frost. Some of the daffs are still in bud but that bed must be sheltered. It's crazy! We lost our snowdrops through the builders' diggeer! Max came calling for Buster again this afternoon but I shooed him away. Buster is so tired and I don't think he's too well. He probably ate something horrid while he was out!

Lynn said...

Your garden is like someones dream home out of Sunset Magazine!
Our DHs have the same beard! ;-)
Love catching up with all you are doing here...our daffs have sprung up but no blooms yet, but yes, early.

BT said...

Hi Lynn, thanks for dropping in. There's a lot of the garden I don't post about that's a mess!! But thanks anyway. I've never seen daffs out in Dec/Jan before. Very weird.

marianne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
marianne said...

Nice to see you around again.
Your garden looks like springtime......
Well if it was up to me we skip this whole winter......
Nice stairs and office for Jim
Isn't it wonderful to get things done and to see your place getting more the way you want to ?

Have a nice Sunday:)

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

I thought I commented on this. Some lovely photos here. I loved the one where the dog came calling on yours. You have gotten lots done on your place. Thanks for sharing.

Logan Chamberlain said...

You have a gorgeous garden. I always look forward to seeing flowers in bloom during spring. Your daffodils are looking good. Ours are just beginning to bud, and we can't wait to see them in full bloom. Keep gardening!

D.J. Kirkby said...

It seems very mild where you are! Fresh veg at Christmas, how lovely.

Shaheen said...

Wow you have such a wonderful blog: not just gardening but crafting too - so inspiring. I love the knitted bootees in your previous post.

Daffys already. I've just moved back to Wales and have noted thedaffodils just starting to open up here - ah spring is certainly in the air. I am so looking forward to gettig back to growing this year, last year I missed out on loads of veg - this year Rainbow chard is on the list to sow. Happy growing.

Jeremy Beauregard said...

Gardens… their abundance comes and goes. Since their life cycles are tied up with the season, each and every blossoming plant is a sight to behold. I’m sure you’re looking forward to this year’s bounty.