February brings Spring to Ireland … sorta

signs of spring

signs of spring

Hmmm, I am wondering how I somehow sneak back into blogland after not posting anything for three months?  Do I just jump back in and pretend I’ve been here all along???  Or maybe I list the five million reasons why I haven’t been able to blog??? No, I think I’ll start with:

I have REALLY missed taking pictures and blogging!!!

O.K., now to my list of excuses 🙂   Suffice it to say that working, coaching, parenting kids who swim and Irish dance, and traveling 700 miles a week has kept me out of the garden. But it has been during this time when I couldn’t be on my blog that I discovered how much I truly enjoy working on my blog, and I really miss it.  So once again, I will do my best to stay on top of my garden and reporting all things beautiful to you (while hopefully maintaining a level of sanity)!

Daffodil bulbs - more signs of spring

Daffodil bulbs – more signs of spring

What could be more beautiful than the greens from bulbs pushing their way out of the soil?  I see this as new signs of life and hope for all things beautiful to come!  I can even ignore all of the weeds and ONLY see the new greens from the bulbs … because why spoil something so exciting?

Tulips pushing through

Tulips pushing through in the Rose Garden

Look at the stones in my soil!  I clear them away all the time, and new ones appear.   Ha!  The same thing happens with the weeds!

Winter Sunshine Helleborus

Winter Sunshine Helleborus

I bought this lovely “Winter Sunshine” Hellebore last year.  The flowers are really pretty!

Helleborus Winter Sunshine

Helleborus Winter Sunshine – look at all of those flowers!

Have I mentioned our weather to you? I titled today’s blog “February brings spring to Ireland … sorta” because the weather we have been having is more  “winter storm-like” than spring-like. We haven’t gone more than a day without rain, and I mean a lot of rain. The bad weather has been relentless since November. November!  We’ve had major (rain & wind) storm after storm after storm.  The funny thing about Ireland is, though, that the sun will peek out for a short amount of time every now and then… just enough to keep us from going completely crazy. Good thing!

Helleborus Winter Sunshine

Helleborus Winter Sunshine

O.K.,  now I have a picture that could win a prize for “Worst Garden Ever” due to the bed being completely taken over by grass.  This is why you should never have a wild flower garden where you really want a proper flower bed.  Lesson learned!

Grass is everywhere!

Grass is everywhere!

I definitely know that anything can be achieved by starting small. Just look at any of my gardening projects and you’ll know I have patience and perseverance. But this bed has me running for any other job in the garden!   I’m hoping one of these days I’ll just dive in and dig up that grass (again)!!!

Weeping Cypress Nootka

Weeping Cypress Nootka

Elsewhere in the garden… My weeping Cypress Nootka is well settled in now. I simply love it.

Abies Koreana

Abies Koreana

Almost directly across from my Weeping Cypress Nootka is my newest tree, an Abies Koreana.  It shouldn’t grow too big, and has a lovely “Christmas tree” shape.  We grow our garden one tree/plant at a time!

Ditch Wall Garden

Ditch Wall Garden

The color in my ditch wall garden is really striking at the moment, don’t you think?

Favorite Winter Flower - Anemone

Favorite Winter Flower – Anemone

I probably have too many pictures of my anemone, but I love the color they provide in the winter and very early spring months!

It was so lovely sharing my garden with you.  I hope you enjoyed it, too!

I hope that no matter what the weather is where you are that you are able to enjoy it! … and I also hope that the rain in Ireland eases up a bit so we can enjoy more time in the garden!

Happy Winter/Spring! 🙂

In peace,
Dana

In a Vase on Monday: In like a Lion and out like a Lamb

Lion Lamb Spring Bouquet

A Lion & a Lamb & a Spring Bouquet

Are you smiling?  I hope so!  I had a little fun with this “In a Vase on Monday” post.  I came across these cute puppets last week when I was deep cleaning our playroom (read: went through all of the toys to get rid of what wasn’t played with anymore).  I’m hopeless though, and only a few things were actually taken away.  Items like these cute puppets were just squished into higher-up cabinets to have on hand for little visitors. (Did ya like that pun?)  Somehow, thankfully, the room did end up tidied and I found some props for my post!

full view

full view

I really can’t believe it is nearing the end of March.  The weather was true to the expression: it was crazy at the beginning of the month and it has thankfully calmed down (enough to garden at least!).

Daffodil season in full swing

Daffodil season in full swing (Ice King & Tresamble). These large daffodils have since turned a creamy white. the Ice King variety resembles a carnation.

We have collected quite a few different varieties of daffodils over the past few years and I am really liking all of them!

different varieties of daffodils

The small daffodils (Velocity) I bought from Mr. Middleton’s Garden Shop in Dublin. The  catalogue describes them perfectly: early dwarf daffodil with deep yellow strongly reflexed petals and an orange red corona.  So true!

pink anemone

pink anemone: Anemone coronaria ‘Sylphide’

I have only one pink anemone, but I thought it was stunning so I had to add it. It is my favourite colour of pink!  Just one little bloom for the vase. This little guy is planted in a container. He did really well last year, and I’m delighted to see flowers again this year.  I’ve read that the anemone will do better after several years. Lovely news!

Paperwhites were forced inside (and the family don't enjoy their scent!)

Paperwhites (Narcissus papyraceus) were forced inside (and my family do not enjoy their scent!)

stacking the flowers on top of each other

stacking the flowers on top of each other

We have been so lucky to have good weather on the weekends.  I have so enjoyed working in the garden!  The sunny days help to inspire creating an arrangement.

Anemones blooming all winter long

Anemones blooming all winter long

I was rather surprised to have enough for an arrangement.  If you looked at the yard you’d wonder where the flowers came from, they are spread all around, not really making an impact just yet (except for the purple anemones as they have been making an impact all winter.)

Anemone clump

Anemone clump

Anemone beauty on a frosty morning

Anemone beauty on a frosty morning

The Mr Fokker Anemone fade to a light purple as they age.  They start a lovely deep, dark purple.

Belleek vase seemed fitting for March (think St. Patrick's Day)

Belleek vase seemed fitting for March (think St. Patrick’s Day)

I missed quite a few ‘In a Vase on Monday’ postings this winter.  I have to say it is nice to be back at it again.  I hope you will also join us!  Cathy at Rambling in the Garden https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/in-a-vase-on-monday-between-sweet-williams-two-lips/  hosts this fun (read: addictive) meme. You will see some lovely arrangements when you stop by!

Happy Spring!
Dana

my favourite picture of the group

my favourite picture of the group

My First Weekend in the garden and boy was it lovely!

Pulmonaria

Pulmonaria

What a wonderful weekend I had in the garden!  The weather was perfectly spring like.  There was so much weeding and cleaning up to do it was a bit overwhelming at first.  Ever feel that way?  All I could do was start with one little job at a time.

Primrose

Primrose

There are lovely signs of spring.

Anemone Mr. Fokker

Anemone Mr. Fokker

I also had some new plants to plant, and others to move around the yard. My husband is very good and does the planting for me, even the movings around of plants (sometimes more than once).

Anemone

Anemone

I had forgotten that I had some very pink anemone growing in a container.  What a lovely surprise to see them this week!

Anemone

Anemone

Our strawberry plants are in a mess.  You should really clean up the plants around September.  Some how our schedules got in the way of our gardening last fall.  So we  are now in the process of cleaning them up and what a job it is!

Strawberry beds in need of attention

Strawberry beds in need of attention

I cut back all of the green leaves of my Hellebores. Some of their leaves were turning black and it wasn’t pretty.  They have been flowering all winter, so if you are looking for a winter blooming plant, this is definitely one to get (and so many colours to choose from).

Hellebores

Hellebores

Our winter garlic is finally up, growing and doing well. And look at that, another strawberry bed in need of attention!  (arg!)

Garlic bed

Garlic bed

Garlic

Garlic

This is the first daffodil in my yard.  It is kind of lonely all on its own. Hopefully the others will be up soon!

Daffodil

Daffodil

I’m so happy to have had time in the garden this weekend! I hope spring has sprung for you, too (or will soon)!

Happy spring!
Dana

In a Vase on Monday: Mr. Fokker Anemone & Primrose in January

Mr. Fokker Anemone & primroses

Mr. Fokker Anemone & primroses

It is cold, wet and windy outside! So goes our January. The wind would knock your socks off!  Nevertheless, the sun has made several appearances so really I shall not complain.

Waterford crystal candle holder with anemone and primrose

Waterford crystal candle holder with anemone and primrose

I took a little break from my blog over the Christmas holiday.  I wasn’t really taking a break from blogging but rather making more time for the family.  I like blogging and was looking forward to getting back to it!  So when the sun was shinning bright on Saturday I decided to run outside and see what I could find for the meme In a Vase on Monday, hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the garden (http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com).  It was COLD outside!

Mr Fokker Anemone in the garden

Mr Fokker Anemone in the garden

I have loads of Mr Fokker Anemone in the garden. Unfortunately, where they are in the garden doesn’t see the sun until the very end of the day (if at all).  So they are closed up most of the time.  It was lovely to watch them open after being placed in warm water in the candle holder (their vase).

The flowers opened up in the warm water

The flowers opened up in the warm water

The colours are lovely.  I kind of squished the primrose into the vase.  That bright pink is fabulous in the yard.  I have to say they look rather lonely though, as everything around them is pretty much in sleep/winter mode.

In a Vase Fokker 2

The candle holder usually sits in a room which we rarely use. So the only job it has is to collect dust.  I’m glad to put it to better use.

floating flowers

floating flowers

It is always fun to try and be a little creative with what is in the garden and what vase to use.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my In a Vase on Monday post!

bright pink

bright pink

I have to say that it is nice to have flowers in the garden in January.

primrose in the garden

primrose in the garden

I hope you have a good week and that you are nice and warm, wherever you may be!

Peace,
Dana