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Six-on-Saturday – Mayhem and Smiles

A female blackbird became trapped in the glasshouse during the week, and wreaked havoc. In Irish we would call it “rí rá agus ruaille buaille.” Such a lovely phrase.

16th January 2021

It appears that the Vaccine is being rolled out. Obviously, there is a pecking order and it may surprise you to know that gardeners are top of the list. But, there’s a downside. Within the broad category of gardeners, the following prioritisation will apply.

  1. Irish gardeners
  2. Late bulb-planters
  3. Peat-free males
  4. Glasshouse owners (provided glass has been sanitised)
  5. Six-on-Saturday bloggers
  6. Anyone who has ordered seeds from a minimum of four suppliers
  7. Brassica fans
  8. Twitter account holders in good standing
  9. Non-gardeners & selected subcategories thereof

The weather here in SE Ireland has been good during the week. The frosty conditions have disappeared and it’s been mild, calm and mostly dry, so I donned the Fisherman’s Rib jumper and pottered away contentedly here and there. The first of the seeds germinated within 48 hours in the heated propagator and the leeks will emerge very shortly.

So off we go again with my six this week, not forgetting that for more garden activity from near and far timpeall an domhan, you can tap this link to visit The Propagator’s blog or check out @cavershamjj on Twitter. You’ll find plenty writers linking their Six on Saturday garden selection in the comments.

1. Daffodils

It begins again arís. All that underground effort is beginning to pay off. I think these are Tete-a-tete daffodils. I repotted all pots last September so they are a bit later than last year. Generally, I repot every two years, and it strikes me as being a good idea to do half of them and the other half the following year. In that way I might extend the flowering season a bit longer.

2. Leucothoe

Dog Hobble

This is Leucothoe Red Lips, known also as Dog Hobble. It thrives in a shaded spot. I’ve had it in a decent size pot for the past few years and it seems to be doing ok. At this time of year I like the red colouring.

3. Mayhem

Ah well…

A female blackbird became trapped in the glasshouse during the week, and wreaked havoc. As Gaeilge, bhí rí rá agus ruaille buaille. I suppose I can’t really blame her because I closed the glasshouse and deprived her of normal home comforts. Overall, looking on the positive side, she demolished one window box of mixed lettuces while leaving the other two mostly undisturbed. Obviously, that’s where the worms were gathered. I’m sure there’s a collective word for a gathering of worms. A wrap, perhaps?

4. Broad Beans

Broad Beans

I planted these broad beans back in October, and they all grew well except for three. I’ve a feeling some bird took the seed. Luckily, I decided to grow a few extra ones in pots in the glasshouse and I was able to fill the gaps. They are now at approximately ten centimetres or four inches, depending on your system.

5. Penstemon

Penstemon Apple Blossom

This penstemon was a favourite right through the summer samhradh (pronounced SOW-ra. That’s SOW, as in female pig, rather than the other sow). Now it looks ragged. However, it is usual to leave the stems of the plant in place until winter is finished. I think it’s got something to do with protecting the centre. I’ve gone one step further by adding coffee grounds as a mulch around the base.

6. Viburnum

Viburnum tinus

I was horrified to discover bindweed on this raised bed in 2019. I’m told it can happen to the best writers. It grew profusely through the fuchsia and I even admired the flower, not realising how silly this was. At this stage I’m pretty sure I’ve eridacitated it, so I planted this Viburnum tinus back in November. I really like it, and will be even more beautiful in two or three years time. It fits in very nicely with my winter plans. There’s still space for two more shrubs, which I’ve chosen and will unveil next week.

Featured image


Clever dogs can read, you know.

That’s my lot for this third Saturday in January. I’ll be looking forward to finding out what’s happening across other SOS gardens this week. Slán go fóill.


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0 thoughts on “Six-on-Saturday – Mayhem and Smiles”

  1. Glad you’re top of the list for the vaccine roll-out, what a coincidence! I must say your broad beans are looking very good, in the nice neat bamboo cane rows, I’ll be sowing some in Feb I think.

    1. I use the bamboos to deter the local cats. Works most of the time. I have another few rows to plant in February and March to extend the season. We shall have a bean feast!

    1. I too remember those dreaded straight lines. As a former primary school teacher, I abandoned it.
      Eileen showed me a wooden template for planting. I made one and it’s the business!

  2. Damn blackbird! Always there to go peck worms in the wrong place …
    I also have my broad beans this weekend, with a photo taken through a “small mouse hole” in my plastic tunnel. Yours are superb, well done!

    1. I’ll go out to curse that blackbird on your behalf!
      Yes, I’m very happy with the beans. First time growing them. Apparently, a lot to watch out for as they mature.

      1. No I have a very strange name – my maiden surname is Irish – Byrne – they came over from County Wicklow in the nineteenth century and settled in Blackburn. My first name is thanks to my Glaswegian mother (whose grandparents were from Omagh) – it is Ciar and she thought it meant the colour of the sky at twilight and dawn but according to the online dictionary it means dank and melancholy! I prefer her version. Apologies for the family history.

  3. The blackbird really did wreak havoc didn’t it. I had one in my greenhouse in the autumn but luckily I spotted her before I closed the door. She was flying around like mad. I don’t understand why they can’t sense the draft from the door and find their way out. Maybe they just panic?

    1. Poot thing must have been terrified, yet door was open the follow g day and she stayed inside. I had put a solar light inside, and we spotted it coming on and off after dark! Thought at first it was a rodent.

  4. I love the name Dog Hobble and wonder how it got that name. If it is how I think, I could do with a few on the side of my garden near the pavement! I love dogs really just not depositing on my garden.

  5. I like the idea of using bamboo poles to plant straight rows. The close-up of the viburnum is lovely. Remarkable range of reds, pinks, and burgundies on the flower head, set off by white.

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