Gardening thanks for ‘Six on Saturday’

Hello, and welcome to my blog! This week I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what I’m thankful for in relation to my garden. This seems appropriate now, as Thursday is Thanksgiving in America. I’m so glad that our family still celebrates Thanksgiving here in Ireland, although it has shifted to the weekend to accommodate everyone’s schedules. It is such a wonderful opportunity to be with family and give thanks for our blessings. For today’s post, I’ll be joining The Propagator’s meme ‘Six on Saturday’ as I show you what I’m thankful for in the garden.

Dana & Pรกraic in the garden

1 – My husband. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have to say that my husband has always supported me, and the garden is no exception. There was basically nothing in the yard when we moved here and he has helped me to create what we have today. All of the heavy lifting in the garden is done by him, as is a lot of the planting – and replanting, and without complaint! He also built the arch (above his head in the picture) for me this year, based solely on my request for an arch to hold pumpkins. I am very thankful for him!

Pumpkins and squash growing on arch

2 – Pumpkin arch. This was such a joy to work with this year! We really weren’t sure if it would hold the pumpkins, or if the pumpkins would hold up, but it sure did and they sure did. They grew about 2/3 the way up the arch, so I’m hoping to get them all the way up next year (of course!). The Red Kuri squash are a fabulous color to have in among the green Hokkaido squash and of course the orange pumpkins, although they are green for most of the growing season. The arch is actually four arches, along with fencing and stakes to secure everything. It was quite a job to create, but as I mentioned above, my husband did a great job.

New vegetable beds
The new beds filled with sunflowers, sweet peas and squash

3 – The new vegetable and flower bed area. This was another project that started as an idea in my head and came about with my husband’s hard work. I had learned a tremendous amount from the similar raised bed set-up which we previously had in this same spot. We decided to make a clean go of it and had the area totally dug out. Ah, a clean slate! We mapped things out based on what I like to grow. One of my favorite new things that we did this time around was to have thicker (eco-friendly) sleepers. They just look nicer. Also, the Hoggin, a compactable ground cover, has worked out great around the beds and I really like the way it looks. We’re not completely finished with this project, but hopefully we’ll get the last bits done over the coming year. I’m delighted with how well the sunflowers, sweet pea, and squash did here!

apple tree flowers
Apples, pears and blueberries

4 – Our fruit trees and shrubs. Is there anything nicer than home grown fruit? We have eating and cooking apples, pears and blueberries. We have a fig tree, too, but I’ll save judgement on that until we actually get to eat a fig. This year we managed to figure out a decent way to cover the blueberries, keeping the birds out for most of the season. I’m sure the birds were disappointed as they’ve enjoyed the blueberries over quite a few years! There are a few different varieties and I can say that the small blueberries are just as tasty as the great big ones. As for the pears, we had two delicious – and huge – pears this season. That is down from the start of the season when we had more than a dozen of them. I’ve had a tough time with this pear tree, unfortunately, but we’ll keep trying. Thankfully, the apples are very low maintenance and provide plenty of delicious apples for us to enjoy.

birch trees in different seasons

5 – Birch trees. This was a big decision on my part last year. In the past, I’ve done things in small, incremental ways. So the decision to have five tall trees planted here was challenging to me. But I am so thankful that I did it! The bark of the Birch trees is such a pretty color, and their tall structure is something the garden needed. This also gave me the opportunity to create another flower bed (you can never have enough flowers!). I have managed to have flowers blooming here throughout the entire year, from hellebores, to iris, poppies, rudbeckia and persicaria.

Chickens and eggs

6 – Chickens. Having chickens as pets is such a treat for me. It is something that I waited to do but it was definitely worth it. I’m glad that they have a large run and that they can hang out under the hedge, too (there is fencing in the hedge which should keep them safe). They are chatty and friendly and generally easy to manage. Oh, and of course they lay eggs!

There’s so much more to be thankful for! But I’ll stick to the ‘six’ for the meme. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it. As the Covid cases go up, and life gets a bit crazy again, I especially hope that you are doing well, and staying safe and healthy.

In Peace,
Dana

The show isn’t over yet! for ‘Six on Saturday’

Hi there, and welcome to my blog! The garden has not quite given up yet, despite it being mid November. We’ve been lucky with very mild weather, and a healthy serving of sunshine, too. This really makes a difference when getting the garden ready for winter. I raked leaves today because it was so still (a rare occurrence for us). How easy it is to pick up leaves when the wind isn’t blowing them all around! I’m still planting bulbs, too. I made the mistake of ordering and planting my fall bulbs timely this year. Which left me extra time to order more! I’m sure it’ll be lovely in the spring, but right now I’m wondering where I’m going to put them all! ๐Ÿ™‚

Never mind, I’m sure I’ll find someplace nice to plant them. In the meantime, I will be joining the Propagator for his meme ‘Six on Saturday’. Let’s see what I have this week to show you!

Blueberry leaves, Rowan berries, cherry tree leaves to form a flower

1 – Garden whimsy. I worked/played/hung-out in the garden most of today. It’s my happy place, so that’s a good thing. After I’d done a respectable amount of work, I decided to have some fun. I discovered *one* single sunflower bloom (it is really tiny) and decided to use it as a center piece of a flower. The beautiful crimson leaves are from my blueberry shrubs. They are just W.O.W.! I also had some berries from one of our Rowan trees, and some cherry tree leaves. There were much nicer cherry tree leaves, but I’d already raked them up earlier in the day, not realizing I was going to be playing with leaves later! Just a little bit of fun.

Fall vibes pic at playhouse with marigolds and pumpkins
Marigolds

2 – Marigolds. I don’t know the variety. I planted a bunch of seeds around the blueberries, but only a few seeds took. But boy did they take! I’ve never had such tall marigolds. I think them blooming late has worked out great. It’s nice to have a big splash of color now when the other plants have all finished their show. I cut a large bouquet of them and took some pictures in front of our playhouse. I still have the pumpkins, too, as I really like orange in the garden in November!

figs on a tree

3 – Ficus carica (Fruiting Fig tree). So we bought this lovely tree in 2019 and this year is the first we have fruit. Now, I’m not sure if the figs will mature enough to eat before the weather turns frosty. We’ll see!

Cliona and Buckbeak (chicken)

4 – My daughter and Buckbeak (a Bluebell chicken). Sometimes, it’s nice to take a break with the chickens! Buckbeak loves to interact with us. She’ll either jump onto our laps or if you are anyway bent over, she’ll jump on your shoulder/back and chat away to you. We find her to be very sweet, as is my daughter!

New birch trees sunset

5 – Birch trees. I had five birch trees planted last November. Unfortunately, two of them didn’t make it. So I’ve just had two replacement trees planted. We’re now back to five birch trees. This was the evening that they were planted. I went out to water them and was treated to a beautiful sunset. I was so glad that I had to go outside, or I might have missed it!

Fall garden view with playhouse

6 – November view of the vegetable garden. I just caught the lighting right for this picture. Shortly after I took this picture, the rains came and stayed for the entire day. My take away? Seize the moment!

Would it be too much if I hope that the weather remains mild? At least until I get the rest of my bulbs planted! Do take care of yourself.

In Peace,
Dana