Family time in the garden

The ditch wall garden full of color

The ditch-wall garden full of color

Working in the garden is not something that my kids would consider a “fun” past time, (or even my husband, ahem…) despite my best efforts to convince them it is!  But yesterday, Easter Monday, we were all outside and at one point we were all working in one garden bed when my older daughter laughed and said “isn’t this nice?”!

The Center Garden ever so slowly being transformed

The Center Garden ever so slowly being transformed

YES, yes it was!  What I call the “Center Garden” is where we were all working.  Over the past few years I’d had a wild-flower garden here, but it went terribly wrong with more grass this year than garden.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time turning the soil/grass/sod.  Yesterday we were able to shake the sod and get rid of the grass while leaving the soil.  What a painstaking process!  It was so wonderful to get the family’s help!

dark pink Hellebores

dark pink Hellebores

A bit of a side note from our working in the garden, but I’ve taken a real liking to Hellebores in the garden.  They can add color all through the winter.  These (above) are a dark pink color, and although they love to get black spot, after I cut off their leaves they look really pretty.  They look like pink bells to me!

Another section of the ditch wall uncovered.

Another section of the ditch-wall uncovered

Another big job the family helped me with is clearing a second section of the ditch-wall.  It was all brambles, ivy and nettles!

close-up of the new section of the ditch wall

close-up of the new section of the ditch-wall

What a job that has been! The wall is in very poor shape.  I’m trying to be careful to keep it as much in tact as possible.  I’m focusing on the bottom section now that the stones are cleared. Believe it or not,  I am hopeful that I’ll be able to plant here this summer.  That is my motivation!  I still have a lot to do to pull up those ivy roots.  If only my good plants were so strong!

full view of "original" ditch wall

full view of “original” ditch wall

Just a few yards up from the new clearing my “original” ditch-wall garden is showing lots of color!  I planted some aubretia last year and it is just starting to bloom.  The daffodils are also just starting to add their color.

sunlight makes everything beautiful

sunlight makes everything beautiful

The key expression around here is … all in good time!

I hope that you and your family get to enjoy time together in the garden, even if not for pulling weeds!

In peace,
Dana

Wordless Wednesday: Winter weather in spring time!

Corkscrew Hazel tree

Corkscrew Hazel tree (with snow in the background)

We have had such a confusing time with the weather.  Mostly it has been horrible. (I’m sorry, that sounds so negative, but it is so true!)  But there have been glimpses of the wonderful weather that Ireland does have to offer!   I so hope that more good weather is on the way!

Ditch Wall Garden on a gorgeous sunny early spring day

Ditch Wall Garden on a gorgeous sunny early spring day

Happy “Wordless Wednesday” to you!

In peace,
Dana

Colorful late spring tulips (and an invasive New Zealand flatworm!)

My "showiest" Tulip: Foxtrot.

My “showiest” Tulip: Foxtrot.

Oh yes, it doesn’t get much closer than that!  I just wanted to fill the lens with pink.  This photo taking session was in between the rain showers and gale force winds, so I really needed some pretty colors.

Double late Angelique Tulip.

Double late Angelique Tulip.

My rose garden didn’t disappoint me.  Even after all of the wind we’ve had this spring, my tulips have persevered!

Double late Angelique tulip with a gray sky backdrop!

Double late Angelique tulip with a gray sky backdrop!

I thought this next photo showed really well how windy it has been!

My lily flowered "Ballerina" tulips are dancing in the wind!

My lily flowered “Ballerina” tulips are dancing in the wind!

I have a lot of photos. I snap away, probably way too much!  The hardest job for me is sorting through photos and deleting ones that I just don’t need.  The neat thing though, is seeing how quickly the garden changes nearly over night!

The ditch wall garden.

The ditch wall garden.

I’ve extended the stone wall.  This garden is now about twice the size it was last  year.  I ran out of energy!  There are lots of roots, both ivy and grass, to be pulled.  No chemicals, just persistence.

https://mominthegarden.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/img_6268.jpg

Haha! Look what I found! My first picture of the buried ditch wall before I started uncovering it.  Here’s a link to my post about all of that work: https://mominthegarden.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/ivy-ivy-everywhere-finding-a-lovely-little-rock-ditch-wall-under-the-ivy/ 

Oh I am just so pleased with this garden I call the “ditch wall garden”. So far I have poppies, daisies, black-eyed Susans, tulips, daffodils, some lovely plants which were given to me and I have not yet identified (!), and I planted dahlias this season, so I hope they will grow.

Tangerine Tango Tulips. These are a very light yellow, with only hints of orange, and some with hints of pink.

Tangerine Tango Tulips. These are a very light yellow, with only hints of orange, and some with hints of pink. (faded daffodils in the background)

Tangerine Tango Tulip.

Tangerine Tango Tulip; hints of pink with yellow.

And on the other side of the daisies, I have a more orangy colored tulip. I think this is going to be a predominantly red/yellow/orange colored garden. We’ll see how that goes, as you can already see some light pink in the background of this next picture!

Freeman tulip.

Freeman tulip.

Freeman tulip after the rain.

Freeman tulip after the rain.

You know I love playing with natural light.  Our evenings, when the weather is good (!), are simply gorgeous.  I love the lighting.  Here are the same tulips in the evening time:

Freeman tulip in the evening sunset.

Freeman tulip in the evening sunset.

Another sunset photo I took of a cherry tree in its new location. (Thanks goes to my husband who moved it for me … as I picked the first location and then changed my mind!)

Cherry tree in new home near the ditch wall garden.

Cherry tree in new home near the ditch wall garden.

I have a few garden projects going on in the yard.  While I was digging through the soil in one of the newer beds, I came across an unusual worm.

New Zealand flatworm.

New Zealand flatworm.

I turned to the Irish Garden gardeners forum. http://www.garden.ie/ These folks are super, and know just about everything!  Within a few minutes of posting my picture and asking for help, they had identified the worm.  The bad news is that it is invasive and will eat all of my good to have earthworms!  So I’ll be on the lookout for this guy … to get rid of him!

Ending with a pleasant photo.

Ending with a pleasant photo.

I couldn’t end with a yucky photo of an invasive worm!  So here is my more pleasant photo to end the post.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the bit of sunshine … between the rain showers!
Dana