Garden writing lifts me up.

Six-on-Saturday – Nikes and Wellingtons

The lettuces and spinach have been moved to the shadier side of the garden. They will get good sunshine until lunchtime, but for that to happen the sun must shine.

We live in a mad world. Did you know that? Back in 1979 the beginnings of madness emerged. Trevor Francis became the first footballer to be valued at one million pounds. This week a pair of Nike sports shoes worn by Kanye West sold for 1.8 million dollars. That’s nine hundred thousand for each one.

But we also live in a world of hope. Ireland has endured four months of severe restrictions, and now is the time to get moving again. I’ve bought my season ticket for Lismore Castle Gardens and I’ll be there on Monday. I’ll also be returning to Mount Usher, Kilmacurragh and other beautiful places very soon. I need to escape from my four garden walls. I need to see more of this mad world.

In a change to normal procedure this week, I’ve decided to include a snippet from each day. All days are of equal length, but snippets can vary.


Two items of note here. First, the lettuces and spinach in the foreground have been moved to the shadier side of the garden. They will get good sunshine until lunchtime, but for that to happen the sun must shine. After that, even if the said sun shines (try saying that at 78rpm), it won’t shine here. Obviously, growth will slow down somewhat but that’s OK. The plants are less likely to bolt. My thanks to Michael for the large basket.

Secondly, just beyond the bikestand, I’ve put out a dipping tray. This is one of three such trays that will be filled with water through the summer. They are essential for proper watering of my potted patio plants. I’ve had to put these in place earlier than last year because April has been so dry. A close look shows that there are some pots being dipped. Usually, I leave them in water for a few hours or overnight. The tray remains permanently filled with water, and I’ll replace with fresh water once a week. Probably not on Sunday. An added bonus is that the birds drink from and bathe in these trays.



The roses are coming along well, but won’t flower for another five or six weeks. In the meantime, Meabh got the easel in place to take a few shots of her latest work. At present, she is completing a collection for children’s bedrooms.


It’s as good as a small win on the lotto.   Truthfully, I do not like being asked to hang out the clothes, but I do it for the sake of harmony. I was therefore delighted to see that they were out drying ahead of me today. Trouble was that several showers meant that they were not drying. I awaited the dreaded text to take them in, but it never came. Then, the icing on the cake… I was inspecting the peas and came across a discarded note. I know which pocket it fell from.

It set off some discussion among several wise Facebookers. That actually seems like a contradiction, but I’ll ignore it for the moment.

Have you been using 10:10:20?
asks Caroline.
Keep sowing the 20c coins,
says Tony.
Mind the p's and the pounds will take care of themselves,
says Rachel
Nora mentions Pádraig & the Peastalk.

Speaking of which, and entirely unrelated, I’m reminded of one of the nicknames given to me when I was a teacher. I was doubled over with laughter.

Pupil: (being egged on by others) Sir, we’ve got a nickname for you.
Me: OK, let’s have it.
Pupil: Will you be cross?
Me: I don’t know. Let’s have it.
Pupil: Baldilocks and the three hairs.

Children are just so creative!


Today is the beginning of apple blossom blowing in the wind. We have petals everywhere, somewhat like snow. Over the next few days the little light brown husks will tumble down and mix with the white. April showers will ensure that the soggy mess will be brought into the house on shoes. It only happens on my shoes. I do not understand why other householders are exempt from such carrying. If I were to offer these shoes for sale, they would surely attract much interest by virtue of this miracle alone.


These are Aquilegia Petticoat Pink. I grew them last summer and kept them in the nursery until recently. Now is the time to put them where I’ll see them when they flower. I guess that will be towards the end of May. Fortunately, I found a suitable spot, as the daffodils are now finished. Both pots are same size so I simply changed one for another. The pots are planted within the larger planter. Works perfectly!


The bamboo is in trouble, I fear. The leaves are dying and I some drastic action will be required. One possibility is that the early spring frosts are responsible, but nothing else got damaged so I may be typing through my hat again. Are there any experienced bamboo experts out there? I’m wondering if I cut it back to the base might it recover? I feel I have nothing to lose.

In the meantime I’ll get everything ready here in Abbeyside for an Open Day in late July, but I may need to restrict attendance. Perhaps I’ll offer my 2013 wellingtons for online auction? All bidders in excess of eight euros would be added to my list of enthusiasts. In that sense, it’s not an Open Day. Successful bidders will not mind.

That’s my lot for this week. Everything was prepared in advance, ready for presentation today. 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. I hope you’ve had a good gardening week and that the week ahead brings more of the same. Slán go fóill.


About the author: Pádraig is the author of Grow Write Repeat. He photographs and writes about his garden in Ireland, and loves finding a few bob among the peas. He also likes spinach and this Six On Saturday thingy, but not battered bamboo.

0 thoughts on “Six-on-Saturday – Nikes and Wellingtons”

  1. On the subject of finding money – I (bizarrely) found a 10 franc coin from 1948 whilst doing a bit of digging last week. I thought it might be worth as much as your note, or possible more. It wasn’t. It might have been worth a couple of quid if it was in better condition. Never mind!

    Anyway, enjoy your day/days out!

  2. I have been growing bamboos for several years, you can definitely cut back the dried canes because it’s in the spring that the news shoots will arrive. Don’t hesitate to put a handful of fertilizer and especially water well. You can also change the pot to a size slightly larger but you must not do it too often otherwise you will be overwhelmed in future years…

  3. A visit to Lismore Castle is high on our list with a stop for fish and chips at And Chips on the way home! We went to Mount Congreve yesterday, first time since last summer and it only a few minutes away. We could have gone anytime even when it was closed but felt it wasn’t fair on the gardeners in these Covid days. Now, we can go as often as we wish. Yes, Mount Usher and Kilmacurragh are in our sights also. You’d certainly miss the days out!

    I’m dying to see the glasshouse restoration at Lismore Castle. Let me know how it looks – photos etc – if you’re there before me!

      1. We have been to Lismore – the glasshouse is being restored but work was disrupted by Covid restrictions. I expect it will be an excellent job as this company did a fabulous restoration on the glasshouses at Fota Island. And we stopped for our fish and chips on the way home!

  4. My bamboo has struggled in a pot, we kept potting on and feeding and watering, all the usual malarky but still it hasn’t thrived. It has been generously donated to my next door neighbour. I use a dipping tray too, the best way to keep the pots fully hydrated to my mind. I have a feeling you were a very good teacher, what did you teach? I love Meabh’s picture, very clever indeed. Enjoy your freedom!

    1. I’m reluctant to plant in ground for fear of spreading. I’ve cut it back hard just now and we’ll see how it goes.
      Meabh is loving her art and thrilled to be making some money from it. I was primary teacher, Gill. Loved it most of the time.

  5. You must be delighted with the prospect of getting out after so long! Meabh’s drawing is fantastic, sounds like she’s got a nice job, is she an interior decorator/artist? Children are creative but also a little bit cruel, sounds like you took it all with good humour! Good idea with the dipping tray.

  6. Each day has its beauty and gardening challenges. I love that idea of changing out pots within a larger planter. Thanks for sharing what’s going on in your part of the world. Have fun getting out and about again. Take care and stay healthy, my friend.

  7. Several laugh out loud moments in your post this week! I would have said the same about the bamboo as others: the problem is long solved now. I enjoyed seeing Méabh’s art as well.

    1. Bamboo has had a severe clipping. Fingers crossed.
      A good laugh out loud is therapeutic! Hope you have many more in coming week. 😁

  8. Your post has brightened my morning and left me chuckling. How excellent that you are excited to be out and about again! I enjoy the season of petal drop snow for its loveliness. Leave it to kiddos to come up with such a creative nickname (which might be borrowed for Hubby here… 😉 )

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