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Six on Saturday – Moments of Joy

This week there’s been a bit of everything: chiropractor, haircut, wedding anticipation, a shameless off-piste plug for my daughter, barbecue, plenty wine, some sleep and just a little bit of gardening. Therefore, in keeping with above my garden six this week attempts to duplicate the mix.

I would not usually think of including the heather because it is not in flower. Despite this, it’s a great all-year-round plant. There were originally nine plants here, now reduced to seven, and with a little imagination you’ll clearly see that it is an outline of my County Waterford. You may need to turn the image until you see it, and I’d suggest it may be easier to turn your device. If you’re not geographically familiar with my county, there’s really no need to go any further in your search for accurate salellite images or professionally drawn maps.

A very very close zoom into my county will bring you to my garden, and a further deeper inspection shows the lettuces. This year, I made a very conscious effort to sow seeds every three weeks since mid-April. I am so glad that I did, as I have enough to fill my lunch tortilla every day. Thus far I’ve munched through about a dozen varieties. The plan from now on is to sow every four weeks as the growing season shows very small signs of slowing down. Discuss: Does northern-hemisphere Autumn begin on 1st August as I was taught in school? There are arguments for and against. Extra marks for explanation of viewpoint, beyond a yes/no reply.

This Penstemon was grown from seed last year and grew happily in the holding area until last May. This is its second flowering flush, having been given the Chelsea Chop in mid June. Until recently, I’d not known about this, but akin to Covid underground barbering, it’s a thing. Freisin and also, I will be taking a dozen cuttings from this beauty after the wedding.

Here’s another heather that I like. Lighter in colour, it enjoys its cozy spot at the base of the raised vegetable bed where the lettuces live.

The Buzy Lizzies have been great so far this summer, yet they will begin to look bedraggled soon enough. I’ve got a selection in the front garden that have rotted to a slimy mess, so it’s very important for me to appreciate these good ones. They are slightly rain damaged, yet they fill me with joy every day. Of course, there are other things such as wine & a barbecue that have the same effect… moments of joy, I mean, not rotting to a slimy mess.

This is my first year growing courgettes. To be more precise, a courgette. It’s called Courgette Ann Moloney. She gave it to me and I dare not neglect it.

My Welsh courgette-guru friend reminded me that the “male flowers are definitely necessary – until they’ve done their job! The female ones are fewer and have a small swelling behind the bud which will be a new courgette if the flower is pollinated. You can help things along by taking a male flower, tearing its petals off and applying to the female flower. Or use a cotton bud. There are fewer female flowers and they are rarely out at the same time, hence fewer courgettes than you’ll actually get. Male flowers fall off, female ones stay on. I believe the pollen will survive for a few days on a cotton bud so work collecting some if you have a female flower that’s not open yet.” Am I on my way to being a cotton-bud-weilding guru?

In Other News

Purist garden readers should stop reading now. All others should read right to the bitter end.

Me: I love you.
You: Is that you or the wine talking?
Me: It's me talking to the wine.

Finally, I’m going just a bit off-piste, as I include a plug for my daughter. One of her very many talents is animal sketching. Her new Instagram account is HERE, so feel free to take a look.

  • Looking is free.
  • Spreading the focal is very much appreciated.
  • Send a DM for enquiries.
  • Purchasing is optional.

That’s it for this week, a cháirde. Get yourselves over to The Propagator to find many many more weekly gardening stories, and until next week, I hope that all will be well in your world. Slán go fóill.


8th August 2020.

29 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – Moments of Joy”

  1. Love the penstemon, beautiful 💜 who got a haircut? 😉 County Waterford is looking mighty well from this angle👍

  2. As always, great commentary and I HAVE to congratulate your daughter. I’m a sucker for dog portraits. I have a Jack Russell…

    1. Many would agree, Barbara. I’m old school simply because I like the thought of spring starting on 1st February, a bit like your thoughts this week. Apart from longing and wishing for spring, I do notice trees now losing their summer lushness, but I’ll live in the moment to enjoy it.

    1. Thank you, a chara.
      My niece is getting married this coming week but it’s according to Covid numbers rules so I’ll wear my tie in my garden on the day! It doesn’t take from the excitement. I’m not a formal hat man but a garden hat will be essential.😊

  3. Your daughter is a talented artist – that’s a great portrait of a Labrador (if it’s meant to be a Yorkshire Terrier then this could be awkward). Trying to turn my phone round to see Waterford is proving tricky with the automatic screen orientation thing going on…

  4. Such talents in your gene pool — your daughter’s artistry and your green thumb! Great job on the lettuces. It always feels good to stick to a plan. I’m a believer in Autumn starting on September 22, the fall equinox. I think people in general are so busy rushing into the upcoming season that they fail to enjoy the last days of any season they’re in. Just my take!

  5. august being autumn is a very irish thing as i can tell. seems to date back to starting spring off a month earlier than everyone else at the start of february, although that is a very old thing now, i gather. even the irish met office says spring starts in march, summer in june, autumn in september. suspect you’ll find the same is taught in irish schools these days. most definitely summer here still!

  6. What a beautiful Penstemon! Yes, you need to propagate more of them!! I liked seeing the heathers, and I did not realize they were so small. Courgettes can be hard to grow, but yes, you have to hand pollinate if there are not enough pollinators to do the trick. We have to hand pollinate the pumpkins here in order to get fruit. The portrait of the dog is beautiful and your talented daughter has drawn the eyes of the dog perfectly! An amazing sketch!

    1. I shall be the Penstemon Propagator, but I feel that I’ll give up on the courgettes.
      Believe it or not, she said the eyes was the bit she was most pleased with. You’ve a good eye!

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