Planting early potatoes … and raspberry plants.

Yesterday was such a wonderful, sunny, glorious day!  It was a mild 11 degrees Celsius (52 degrees Fahrenheit).  It just happened to be Mother’s Day in Ireland, and I was in my glory working in the garden with my husband.  Our kids were a big help, too.  Sometimes, though, the pull of the trampoline was simply too great for them to resist.

We worked on the rock wall… again.  That wall is going to be a long term project!  I’ll show you pictures as progress is made.   We planted a very young Hawthorne at the wall where one of the old trees is very much dead.  My husband has been impressed with all of the work I’ve done on the wall.  Honestly though, last year when I had cut down and moved piles of brambles which were taller than myself, he had thoughts that his wife had totally lost her mind.  I think finally being able to see the wall has been a great motivator for him to join in the fun!

Today, Monday, is a bank holiday following St. Patrick’s day on Saturday.  Yay! More time in the garden with my husband!  I really am thankful for his help.   Another “top guy” is my husband’s brother-in-law Patrick, who delivered a (huge) tractor trailer of topsoil to us today!  I am so lucky to have a farmer in the family! The soil looks fantastic! With this soil we were able to plant our Colleen early potatoes.  I have quite a few ideas for where I’m going to use the rest of the  soil.  All in good time.

I have had the Colleen’s on the counter in my laundry room where the temperature is cooler.  They were sitting in egg cartons, sprouting, for about 3 weeks.  My husband dug trenches  about 6 inches deep in our preplanned “spud” area. We placed the potatoes, sprout side up, every 12 inches.  Then we just raked the soil back over the spuds (carefully so as not to damage the sprouts).  We added some new soil on top as it just needed a bit more on top of the compost & soil that was already there.  After the plants grow to about 8 inches (20 centimeters) in height, I’ll cover them to about 2 inches from the top with more soil.  Everyone says it is easy to grow spuds  … we’ll see!

In addition to planting the potatoes, we planted some raspberry plants which my neighbor James gave us.  Yes, that’s the same James who gave me the manure!  The canes were nice and sturdy.  He had his raspberries lovely and neat with rope to tie them steady.   We had some raspberry plants that didn’t survive last year.  I’m hoping that after adding the manure earlier this spring, the conditions will be more conducive to success! We used tomato stakes on the canes, planting them about 12 inches apart.  The soil should be somewhat acidic, and well drained.  Ideally, it should be somewhat sheltered. That might be the hardest part for our plants.

Since I was outside with my camera (of course!), I had to take some pictures of what’s happening in the garden.  There are some pretty little flowers forming on our apple trees.  It’s always hard to imagine the flowers forming when we just pruned them a month ago. It is so lovely to see!  Our daffodils are rather droopy after the heavy rain & blustery wind we’ve had.  Even still, the yellow color is enough to add cheer.  My favorite flower today, though, was the blue Anemone “Mr. Fokker”.

I hope you see your favorite flower today, too!