Garden writing lifts me up.

Six-on-Saturday – A Grand Oul Stretch

I’m noticing the grand oul stretch in the evening. There’s an extra one hour and forty minutes of daylight since the start of January, forty in the morning and a full hour at the other end. That’s why you don’t hear anyone saying there’s a grand oul stretch in the morning

Unofficially, it’s spring. The purists will be flabbergasted. They will troll me saying I am a conspiracy theorist. Spring or otherwise, us giddy gardeners are popping links from many locations worldwide in Our Leader’s Update. Do go there to read other posts and admire the pictures, but only after you’ve finished reading my article here anseo.

It’s been a mixed week here. Tuesday was wet, Wednesday summery, yesterday was supposed to be Baltic, and all through these changing days I’m noticing The Grand Oul Stretch In The Evening. There’s an extra one hour and forty minutes of daylight since the start of January Eanair, forty in the morning and a full hour at the other end. That’s why you don’t hear anyone saying there’s a grand oul stretch in the morning.

All this extra daylight brings new life to the garden and gives me plenty time to select the customary Saturday Six. Be warned though, I’m not in any mood to be taking complaints afterwards!


Regular readers will be familiar with my Patio Potpourri. It’s been in place since early last year. The important thing about it is that I like to adjust it slightly every few weeks, but since the beginning of winter, there hasn’t been much. Therefore Dá bhrí sin, I felt that a major makeover was needed. I started by moving all pots to give me space to see what effect I wanted.

Several plants were cut back to ground level and put away out of sight. I’ve got two such corners near the vegetable beds. I am pleased sásta with the final reshaping, and I’ll have daffodils and some other spring pots to add in shortly.

I particularly like the old boiler flue, now moved to a more prominent position.


Clarenbridge Garden Centre are closed to the public but open for online orders. Here’s the delivery of two bags of potatoes, early and maincrop, together with another Camellia to accompany my recent purchase. Very cleverly, the packer used an oversized plastic pot to pack the potatoes, but the Camellia is upstanding. It shall feature very shortly, but first I’d better unwrap it and get it planted. I really do like the packing arrangement, so much so that I felt the package was worth photographing rather than the contents.

Chitting Early Potatoes

The Chitting Season has started.  Chitting allows me to plant potatoes earlier, and it appears that a stronger crop is assured. So, why wait? Start your chitting speedily, for stronger spud success.

Chitting is a personal affair. I use empty egg-cartons and I’m pleased to report that everything is ship-shape. But should chitters reveal their secrets? My friend Seán tells me his friend Jacques chits much later. Third week of February. Can you believe it? Sacre bleu! H-anam an diabhail!

Delivery Number Two

I ordered good-quality topsoil last week and ended up with several aches and multiple muscle pains after wheelbarrowing it through the garage  to its place of rest on the vegetable beds.

By the way, anyone who has gone to Specsavers will clearly see the heated propagator in the background. It was was relocated, by kind permission, to the utility room, and featured prominently last week but was there a photograph? There is now. Snap two birds with one flash.

Powerhose Take One

Earlier in the week I powerhosed and wrote about powerhosing. Writing about it is just as interesting, but when I’m able to look back on this next year or further beyond, I shall do so with satisfaction. Here’s a previous version from 2019.

Finally, I want to include a short ideo featuring Bobby Blackbird. He joined with me while I rearranged the Patio Potpourri.

Here’s the link to my YouTube channel. You might even like to subscribe!

Google says chitting means…

Sin a bhfuil uaimse don seachtain seo. I’ll be back again next week with another Six-on-Saturday. Thank you for reading, and to Jon for getting us all together every week. Have a good week. Stay safe. Slán go fóill.


0 thoughts on “Six-on-Saturday – A Grand Oul Stretch”

  1. Another six inches of snow here, and now, an expected 10-day stretch of very cold weather. The cold, along with your warm and Spring-y post, make me long all the more for the advent of our spring. The calendar says that will be March 20th, but I’m hoping it comes a little early this year.

    ~ Cindie, visiting from FMF #56

  2. 😀😀 Let there be appropriate venting and outrage over there. Down with that sort of thing here!
    Lovely morning here, and I’m off out for more calming. I’m genuinely happy that you’ve moved to a place of calm. 😀

    1. I’ve been called a hoot once before. It was a face-to-face situation (drinking beer actually) so I ws able to use context to decode meaning.
      I’ll be over to read your SOS later this evening.
      Thank you for reading.

  3. I’m really liking the idea of a display of potted plants rearranged on a regular basis. I may borrow this idea on a much smaller scale for my front porch. I, too, enjoy featuring the detritus of earlier times in my garden. At the moment, I have some rusty old bits of mining equipment (?) repurposed as planters, a rusty metal pipe as the base of a bird bath, and 2 clay pipes (presumably part of a plumbing system), for which I have yet to find just the right use. But it shall be found.

    1. I became fed up with planting a plant in wrong/not ideal place and also I have very little planting space left. This idea happened by accident after I bought too many plants. I decided to hold them until autumn for planting, then held them together on patio. Watering is an issue in summer, yet when tightly packed together it’s manageable.

  4. The patio potpourri looks like so much fun, and the old boiler flu really works. Chitting, I had been get to it then, so how long is one supposed to chit them for before planting? Am too lazy to Google it right now…

    1. My first time doing potatoes for many years. I think 3 to 4 weeks is enough. Best to plant them with three strong shoots. Any smaller ones should be removed. So I’m reading from several sources…

        1. Yes, if its maincrop just work 3/4 weeks back from planting date… I have mine in glasshouse… If sprouts grow too leggy I’ll take it out fo direct light..

  5. I love your garden potpourri! Very clever and I think it would work on my porch for the summer! I wish I had a flue to add, because that very much adds to the arrangement! Gives it height!

    1. Ireland gets lots of rain, yet in July/August this needed lots of watering. I’m facing directly south and because it’s on concrete paving slabs the pots heat up and dry out dangerously fast. I had a large 2×2 foot tray and dipped pots overnight in rotation. But the effect of the collection is magic, and I’m glad you like/love it. I’ll be watching for yours.

  6. Nothing like some busy days in the garden to keep you warm in the winter!! I am always on the look out for quirky ‘rubbish’ to use somewhere in the garden too…sometimes I have to wait a long time for inspiration! Your potpourri is a great idea! Just as I love having a weather station, I love how the weather apps give you sunrise and sunset times – we are in the Midlands, I have a daughter in Surrey and a mother in the far west of Scotland and it is fascinating to compare the different day lengths.

    1. Looks like very cold conditions on the way, so my only garden tasks ahead will be to keep seedlings in the glasshouse warm and the bird feeders filled.
      I’ve paid a few euro fow Weatheshot… Take a photograph and weather information is automatically added.

      1. Yes, should be a cold week here too although we have only had a sprinkling of snow so far. I am up to date with my seed sowing, but could do with tidying the g/h to make room for them all amongst the cuttings and other things. Have not come across Weathershot before but looked it up to see what it did – sounds interesting

  7. I love your potpourri of potted plants. They add lots of interest to the garden and the fact you can move them around is a bonus. Do you have a watering system set up for the summer or do you water by hand?

    1. Watering is difficult, but I’m improvising. I have a 2×2 tray filled with water and I dip four pots at a time overnight. The larger pots in the centre are fine because they don’t dry out too quickly.

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