It’s O.K. to make mistakes

anemone mr fokker

Anemone ‘Mr. Fokker’ blooms all winter

Hello there! You are always welcome to my Mom in the Garden blog, where I’ll chat about the garden, or my chickens, or anything at all, really! Something happened this week that just had me thinking about some personal struggles that, thankfully, I’m slowly getting over. It was an email ad, actually, that my husband had received from a huge international company, advertising a new breakfast special. But the price was a pound, and we live in the Republic of Ireland and we don’t use pounds, we use euros. Sure enough, a little while later my husband received another email ad, with an ‘Oops!’ and a correction of the price from pound to euro. Not a big deal, really, just a mistake.

I’m going to back up a few years, to my life prior to going back to work. I was a stay at home mom for 16 years. Loved it. Did lots. Never bored. Then the time came, and I returned to work outside of the home. I won’t even talk about how different the world was from when I left the work force, but I had changed. I was now holding myself to an unreasonable standard, where mistakes were simply unacceptable. Holy cow, the pressure I put myself under! Even writing an email had my palms all sweaty (What if I said the wrong thing? or didn’t ‘cc’ the right people?). It was debilitating. And it took a long time to learn that everyone, and I mean everyone, makes mistakes. And that is O.K.! You deal with the mistake, you learn from the mistake, and you move on from the mistake. End of story.

So I had to laugh when my husband told me about the email ad. Just another reminder that even the marketing departments in big, international corporations make mistakes.

I’m getting better at moving on after mistakes. There is still room for improvement, but I’m in a much healthier place than the impossible ‘mistake free’ mentality I had.

I hope you are having a mistake-free day – and that if you do make a mistake, you’ll know it is O.K.. ūüôā

In Peace,
Dana

two chickens ashes dirt bath

My two girls, Daisy and Rose, underneath their house, having a dirt bath with ashes.

two eggs and two chickens

Our girls provide us with two fabulous eggs, nearly every day.

Cat on wall in sun

This is Kitty. She doesn’t like to look at the camera, but likes to be in the picture.

Frilly Isabelle Feb

This hellebore, Frilly Isabelle, is one of my favorite shades of pink, and is covered with blooms.

wild fennel in February morning sunlight

Wild fennel in morning sunlight

Playhouse in February morning sun and frost

The morning sunlight was simply magical here – the side of the playhouse roof – the fronds of the ornamental grass, the fields – the lighting was amazing!

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

Winter Blooms in my Irish Garden (An anemone steals the show!)

Mr. Fokker Anemone

Mr. Fokker Anemone

When I think of winter certain things come to mind:¬† snow, cold temperatures, skiing, sledding, ice skating, hot chocolate!¬† Living in Ireland has changed that idea a bit for me. Our winters are usually fairly mild, with only a quick cold snap.¬† Snow is unusual. Cold is cold, but not like what I’d be used to while living in Central New York. And the winter is short. Really short if I look back to my days of having snow around until March!¬† I do miss the snowy side of winter.¬† But the tradeoff is having flowers in my garden even in January.

A frozen anemone

A frozen anemone

We had a deep freeze the other day: -5 degrees Celsius. I took some pictures in the morning, and by the afternoon the rain had come and everything thawed out!

First morning light over the frosty field

First morning light over the frosty field

This close-up of the crystals is my favorite

This close-up of the crystals is my favorite

Frosty evergreenToday was yet another mild day, 8 degrees Celsius, and sunny.¬† I am not complaining, I just hope it has been cold enough to keep the slugs at bay!¬† My garden has a few flowers which are blooming. The anemone have multiplied over the past few years. They don’t seem to mind that it is January.¬† Also giving some color in the garden are a few daisies and a black-eyed Susan plant!¬† I think they are simply confused. The primrose are a lovely bright color. There is also a lot of green in my ditch wall garden from poppies. Lots and lots of poppies!

The day after the frost

The day after the frost

This is flowering in January.

This is flowering in January.

A sunny winter day

A sunny winter day

January in the garden

January in the garden

Dogwood plant

Dogwood plant  has lovely red branches

Our area has really been very fortunate with the weather.  Even just seeing the sun for a bit of the day is refreshing to the soul.

Evening view from the front yard

Evening view from the front yard

The very last rose.

The very last rose.

Do you have any flowers growing in your winter garden?
Happy winter!
Dana

Fall flowers from a pink & purple palette!

Artichokes, Mr. Fokker anemone, erysimum (bowles' mauve), and pink roses

Artichokes, Mr. Fokker anemone, Erysimum (bowles’ mauve), and pink roses.

These pictures of the flowers in the vase were taken on November 9th, 2013.  I had to write that as it seems crazy to have such pretty flowers in November!  Granted, only the roses look nice on their own in the garden now, but when I put them all together they really did look nice!

My roses at the front gate.

My roses at the front gate in November.

My roses are doing O.K., despite having had black spot this summer.

My favorite color: pink.

My favorite color: pink.

The artichokes and anemone don’t look quite as pretty today.

Globe artichoke flowers in November.

Globe artichoke flowers in November.

Mr. Fokker anemone in November.

Mr. Fokker anemone in November. These guys get beaten by the wind in our yard!

But just a few weeks ago in October, they were stunning!

Globe artichoke in October.

Globe artichoke in October.

Globe artichoke with erysimum in October.

Globe artichoke with Erysimum bowles’ mauve in the background¬† in October.

A globe artichoke plant in full bloom.

A globe artichoke plant in full bloom in October.

Erysimum bowles' mauve in October.

Erysimum bowles’ mauve in October.

Pink Japanese anemone with dahlia and Erysimum bowles' mauve in background.

Pink Japanese anemone with dahlia and Erysimum bowles’ mauve in background. These anemone have been terribly beaten by the wind at this stage! So they didn’t make it into my bouquet.

It seems that I had lots of pretty pictures of these lovely plants and I just had to share them with you!  But back to November:

A vase of flowers in November.

A vase of flowers in November (before I added roses). Our beech hedging is changing color.

We had company this weekend, and I wanted to have something pretty on the table.  I went into the garden to see what I could put together and was delighted with my little bouquet!

Fall bouquet albeit pink & purples...

Fall bouquet albeit pink & purples…

Taking pictures of flowers works best outside.¬† I was really pushing my luck as it was very late in the afternoon when I finally got around to my fun “work” of getting flowers!¬† I had the very last bit of sunlight to take the pictures!

Artichokes, Mr. Fokker anemone, Erysimum (bowles' mauve), and pink roses

Artichokes, Mr. Fokker anemone, Erysimum (bowles’ mauve), and pink roses.

The bouquet indoors.

The bouquet indoors.

But maybe it doesn’t look that much different inside.

The table is set for company.

The table is set for company.

A little bit of the garden brought inside.

A little bit of the garden brought inside.

It was nice having friends over to visit.¬† I made Guinness stew, per request.¬† I was able to use our own onions, and potatoes.¬†¬† My 13 year old daughter was very kind and made brown bread (which was delicious) to go with dinner.¬† While the bread was baking, she also made us flour-less chocolate cake!¬† It, too, was fabulous!¬† I should really do a post about the brown bread. It is an easy recipe, and authentic as it is my mother-in-law’s recipe!¬† I will post about it the next time we make it.

And that, my dear people, is my 100th Mom in the Garden post!¬† I’ve also hit the big “10,000 views” for my wee little blog!¬† I am chuffed to have had so many visitors, likes, and wonderful comments to my blog!¬† Thank you!¬† I realize this pace isn’t going to break any records, but blogging is something I truly enjoy and I do it for that enjoyment.

Thank you for joining me on my blogging journey!

Happy fall!
Dana

Planting Sarpo Mira Spuds (and extending the stone path).

First half of the stone pathway project.

First half of the stone pathway project.

My heading starts with “Planting Sarpo Mira Spuds”, but I really want to show you the hard work I’ve been doing!¬† I have some pictures of stones. ¬† Lots and lots of stones!

A "before" picture showing the black sheeting between two beds.

A “before” picture showing the black sheeting between two beds.

Last year we added two potato beds rather quickly.  At the time, I was more interested in eating potatoes than making sure the garden looked presentable.  This year, I was more interested in prettying up the garden!

Small stones to fill the pathway.

Small stones to fill the pathway.

Now doesn’t that look nicer? ūüôā¬† Those stones mostly came from different flower and vegetable beds in the yard, and along the fence line.¬† When we first started the stone pathway last year, my kids helped out a bit.¬† No moss will grow on those kiddos: they discovered quite quickly that the bigger the stones, the faster they’d be finished with their “chore”.¬† That was fine last year, when I didn’t realize bigger stones were more awkward to walk on!¬† This year I was on my own with stone collection, so I stuck with small stones.¬† I have to say that I was really pleased with the result.

Finished stone pathway.

Finished stone pathway.

I prepped the soil a bit, too.  The darker soil looks nicer in pictures! I used my new favorite tool in the whole wide world.

My new garden fork.

My new garden fork.

This baby is with me everywhere in the garden now.  I had been looking around for a really good garden fork.  The fork is somewhat narrow, and sturdy.  I was surprised how prevalent plastic handles were.  I prefer a good wooden one.  With all of my new beds, the soil really needs to be turned and compost worked in.  The fork makes this job completely manageable for me.  Yay for me!

Now I was able to see that the two potato beds were quite slanted.  Better still, my husband also saw this.  He and my 13 year old daughter set to work to build a frame for our Sarpo Mira main crop potatoes.

Adding a frame to the spud bed.

Adding a frame to the spud bed.

Stone pathway in the vegetable garden.

Stone pathway in the vegetable garden.

Yeah, I’m not even going to complain about having to shift most of those tiny stones after the bed was completed, since my original path was crooked…¬† ūüėČ

You can see what the beds and pathway looked like in my post from last year: https://mominthegarden.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/planting-maincrop-potatoes-on-easter-weekend/

On to spuds!¬† I was a week later than when we planted last year, but I don’t think that should matter too much.¬† We only have one crop this year, as we decided not to have early potatoes.¬† I want to rest one of the beds, or use it for something other than potatoes. The new bed is bigger than last year’s.¬† This will give us more room to “earth up” (cover up with soil) the shoots as they appear. This is so the potatoes don’t turn green, rendering them useless. The earthing up is to protect the potatoes from the sun.

We (I mean my husband!) dug holes about 6 inches deep, and 18 inches apart.

6 inches deep.

6 inches deep.

I had the potatoes in open egg cartons in my utility room (laundry room) for the past month or so. That process, called chitting, is to get sprouts started before they go into the ground.  It should speed up the growing time.

Covering over the potatoes.

Covering over the potatoes.

Now we wait.  And take lots of pictures of the spring flowers!

Daffodils.

Daffodils.

I had to bring some daffodils inside to enjoy!

A variety of different daffodils.

A variety of daffodils.

These daffodils are at my front gate, and I love seeing them as I come and go.  They have a pretty high cheer factor!

The pulmonaria is lovely with the daffodils!

The pulmonaria is lovely with the daffodils!

Mr. Fokker Anemone.

Mr. Fokker Anemone.

We had some terrible wind last week.¬† A few of my hyacinth were knocked down so I put them in a vase.¬† They look rather comical in that “arrangement”, but it was a quick fix.¬† The smell of hyacinth is a Love it or Hate it kind of smell.¬† I love it, and it’s a good thing as my kitchen was filled with the smell!

Hyacinth (after too much wind!).

Hyacinth (after too much wind!).

Hyacinth after being knocked down by harsh winds.

Hyacinth after being knocked down by harsh winds.

I love this color!

I love this color!

Mr. Fokker Anemone.

Mr. Fokker Anemone.

Yes I am so happy to finally feel spring is here.¬† It was wonderful to be out and working in the garden, especially planting potatoes!¬† I can’t wait to eat our own spuds!¬† What is your favorite vegetable you are looking forward to harvesting?

Happy planting!
Dana

Flower Friday

My favorite flower!

My favorite flowers!

We are having quite a wet, gray winter. Or maybe it just feels that way at the moment, but none the less, I would enjoy seeing some sunshine and flowers!¬† So I’ve put together some of my favorite pictures of flowers from the past year.¬† I hope you enjoy them and they bring a little sunshine into your lives!

Dana

Burgundy Ice Floribunda Rose.

Burgundy Ice Floribunda Rose.

Silver Anniversary Hybrid Tea Rose.

Silver Anniversary Hybrid Tea Rose.

Queen Elizabeth Floribunda Rose.

Queen Elizabeth Floribunda Rose.

Tulips.

Tulips.

Anemone Mr. Fokker.

Anemone Mr. Fokker.

Anemone Mr. Fokker.

Anemone Mr. Fokker.

Zephirine Drouhin (1868)

Zephirine Drouhin (1868)

Zephirine Drouhin (1868)

Zephirine Drouhin (1868)

Poppies.

Poppies.

Poppies.

Poppies.

Marigolds.

Marigolds.

Marigolds.

Marigolds.

Afternoon sunlight on black-eyed-Susans.

Afternoon sunlight on black-eyed-Susans.

Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susans).

Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susans).

There, that feels better! ūüôā

A wee stone wall at the front gate garden.

It is sunny today!¬† And even somewhat warm (14 degrees Celsius, 57 degrees Fahrenheit) so out in the garden is where I was all morning.¬† I came across some really nice stones in one of our local fields recently.¬† The owner had a laugh when I asked, but he agreed to let me have as many stones as I’d like, so long as I didn’t disrupt his potato crop.¬† That was fine by me!¬† The kids and I hauled a bunch of stones¬† back to our place. There are big ones, small ones, flat and rounded ones. ¬† I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be doing with them, but for starters I’m using some to finish off the front garden at our gates.¬† I think it’s a stretch to call it a wall, but for lack of a better name, that is what I’m calling it!

There are two hostas in the front garden by the gate, and two newly planted climbing roses (Zephirine Drouhin 1868).¬† My hopes are that the roses will climb along the fence (we’ll see!).¬† I’ve put down wet newspapers to keep down any grass,¬† and then some topsoil. ¬† I think by Fall I’ll have some more ideas of what I’ll want to plant here.

I also took some more pictures of life around the garden.¬† My Angelique tulips are really in full bloom now, and look so much nicer in sunlight!¬† The cherry tree, and maple tree are showing their beauty.¬† I wasn’t sure how my new Tree Peony would do when we planted it as there was very little of a root system on it. But it seems to have taken hold and is growing.¬†¬† I didn’t take a picture of our Japanese Maple because it is completely wind destroyed!¬† We will be looking for a new location for that very soon.¬† My purple anemone have to be one of my favorite flowers this year¬† with their amazing color! (called Mr. Fokker).

There are just two days left to my swimming course this weekend, and then I can work a lot harder in the garden!

I hope you are able to spend some time outside in the sunshine!

Dana

The wee wall, hosta, and climbing rose plant.

Cherry blossom.

Maple leaves.

Tree Peony.

Double late Angelique tulips.

Mr. Fokker Anemone.