The changeable month of March

Hi there, and welcome to my blog! What a month it has been. We’ve seen some beautiful sunny and mild days as well as some very cold and dreary days. My mood has been influenced by this changeable weather: high spirits when the sun was out and low spirits when the howling winds and dark clouds took over. I’m thankful that I was able to get some work done in the garden and able to enjoy that time. This year I am also attempting to grow some flowers from seed. Fingers crossed that they all take! Oh! And I am excited about a garden clean-up project we are doing, too!

So, the garden clean-up project is the area to the side of our playhouse. When we first moved here, we built a bunch of raised beds and planted some fruit trees in this area. It was fabulous! I made an attempt to create stone pathways, but they never quite came together right. Then we moved the apple trees because they were too close together. A few years after that, and the Beech hedges grew to their full height and added too much shade for strawberries and vegetables to grow. And finally, the weeds just plain took over. I’ve learned a lot over that time, and we are now going to re-do that area. We decided to completely clear the area due to the terrible state it was in. That is the point where we are now! I’ll let you know as we progress. I cannot wait to get the new beds set-up!

As for the rest of the garden, I think it is ready for the season ahead! I’ve planted some summer bulbs (and still have some more to plant!). Most of those are going in pots this year. I simply had that in mind when I ordered them. We still haven’t mowed the lawn yet, and usually this would bother me. But I’m changing my mind on this, and I’m not in a hurry to have it done. I used to feel like it was a terrible reflection on the garden when we had long grass. How silly! Something else I realized recently. Three of my hellebores didn’t bloom this year. Two of them didn’t even show their leaves until very late in the season, never mind flower! The funny thing is, I felt that this was somehow due to my poor gardening skills. What?! I hadn’t done anything differently – they just didn’t come up until very late in the season. But I had internalized their not blooming, that somehow it was my fault. I was glad to recognize that, so I could correct my mindset. I’m not a terrible gardener. Sometimes, things just don’t grow. ūüôā

Life is funny, and I’m still learning. Thank God! I hope you are keeping safe and well and are also still learning!

In Peace,
Dana

Let’s try this again! This will have beds for vegetables, annual flowers and strawberries. This time, we’ll put ground cover material down to help to prevent weeds (I think I might add cardboard, too, since we have a bunch of it).

Nothing says ‘It’s March’ in Ireland better than daffodils and shamrock!

Springtime flowers are blooming! This is a Pulmonaria with purple and pink flowers and spotted leaves. It looks lovely with daffodils, which are growing next to them.

This area with the tulips was one of my clean-up jobs this month! I didn’t tidy it up very well last year and it was not in good shape. I cleared it just in time for this beautiful day!

I like these Mr. Fokker anemone and purple hyacinth together.

This pink hyacinth is probably my favorite flower at the moment, and beautifully fragrant!

Here’s a great contrast in weather! The picture above, on the left was taken on quite a dull gray day, while the picture on the right was taken on a lovely and sunny day! The Aubrieta is not in full bloom just yet, but it is getting there.

Here are some of the seeds that I’m growing. These are Coleus. Fingers crossed that I continue to take care of them properly!

The two flower pots in front of the hen house are still looking really well. Those tete a tete daffodils have been blooming for a few weeks now. It was so worth getting them to add a bit of cheer!

It certainly feels like anything is possible when the sky is blue! We did some more planting in this birch tree bed.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the spring update! Take care! ūüôā

Wordless Wednesday: Pulmonaria

Pulmonaria

Pulmonaria

It has been a busy week. ¬†Hence, another Wordless Wednesday post instead of a meaty post. ¬†Ah well, I’ll keep at it! ¬† I have, thankfully, at least been able to do bits and pieces in the garden so all is not lost. ¬†But for now, just some pretty pictures of the Pulmonaria which is just coming into bloom. ¬†They will look even nicer when the daffodils around them bloom!

In Peace,
Dana

Pulmonaria with daffodils in the background

Pulmonaria with daffodils in the background

a lone daffodil

daffodil with pulmonaria in the background

Pulmonaria

Pulmonaria

In a Vase on Monday: Yellow and Blues from the Garden

Tete-a-tete

a few Tete-a-tetes ¬†transplanted from my friend’s garden (accidentally¬†came with other gifted flowers!)

It has been quite a while since I’ve joined the meme “In a Vase on Monday” with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com¬†. ¬†This weekend just allowed me the time/energy/ability to gather together a small vase of sweet flowers, so I thought I’d humbly join back into the group. ¬†Feel free to join in, or just go and have a look at what others have in their vases. There is always something nice to see!

the vase in among my allium greens

the vase in among my allium greens

We live in what we describe as a “wind belt”. ¬†It is always windy. Really windy. ¬†So I feared my wee little vase wouldn’t stand a chance and would be knocked over before I could even take a picture. ¬†My solution was to partially push it into the soil of the garden. ¬†I think that provided¬†rather nice surroundings, too. ūüôā

lovely colours together

lovely colours together

My friend Susan also gave me a Pulmonaria plant and suggested they look well with daffodils. ¬†I couldn’t agree more. ¬†I have them planted in among my daffodils, but my daffodils come up so late! ¬†So I’ve cut some of the Pulmonaria¬†and thrown them in a vase with my early blooming tete-a-tetes to enjoy¬†that lovely colour combination.

a bit of sunshine

a bit of sunshine

The sun came out for a total of five minutes (after I had taken loads of pictures, of course). ¬†I’m used to how this works, so I grabbed the vase and ran outside and took a load more photos!

full size & tiny size

full size & tiny size

You can really see the size difference in this photo. I should have put the full size daffodils in a separate vase, but I only had two to work with.

Tete-a-tetes with Pulmonaria in a Vase

Tete-a-tetes with Pulmonaria in a Vase

so tiny!

so tiny!

enjoying them inside

enjoying them inside

I hope you enjoyed my arrangement. Thanks for stopping by!
Dana

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

An Irish Robin, a Stone wall, and a February look at the garden!

An Irish Robin.

An Irish Robin in a Hawthorn tree.

We have been enjoying the most glorious weather lately.¬† There is a definite spring in everyone‚Äôs step that wasn‚Äôt there during the dark days of winter!¬† What a pleasure to be in the garden on such sunny days.¬† I‚Äôve been pulling up ivy and brambles (haha! the never ending job!), and then loosening up the soil.¬† I‚Äôm happy to have extended the flower bed in front of the ditch wall for this growing season!¬† Now deciding on which flowers to plant might be just as difficult as was preparing the bed.¬† There are so many flowers that I want to have!¬† ¬†And that, my dear friends, is what keeps me motivated to keep pulling the ivy and brambles.¬†¬† ūüôā

Clearing a new flower bed.

Clearing a new flower bed.

A closer look.

A closer look.

It doesn’t look like much, does it?¬† But that one section took ages to clear.¬† Those ivy roots run deep!

It certainly is a process.

It certainly is a process.

O.K., this ugly picture is just to get some sympathy!  That is what it looked like beforehand, and what the rest of the row looks like!

O.K., this ugly picture is just to get some sympathy! That is what it looked like beforehand, and what the rest of the row looks like! Yuck!

I was delighted to be joined in my work by a couple of very friendly robins.  I was surprised by how close they came to me, and that they stayed with me while I pulled out ivy.  They weren’t bothered by our cat Lucy, either, who was sitting nearby.  Thankfully, she is a better mouser than bird catcher.

The robin coming very close to where I was working.

The Irish robin is much smaller than the American Robin.

Too cute!

Too cute!

Robin on the compost.

Robin on the compost.

Tackling the ivy is something I can only do in small doses.¬† So to break things up, I took another look at the rock wall I was making as a border in front of the ditch wall.¬†¬† I really like the stones.¬† My husband has honestly told me that he is not fond of the wall here.¬† It‚Äôs possibly too much to have more stones in front of the ditch wall.¬† I‚Äôm keeping an open mind while I put it together.¬†¬† I love the puzzle aspect of it; finding the perfect stone for each place.¬† I’m making it sturdy enough to be walked on (because I know that little feet will invariably be walking on it!).¬† My problem is that I love stones with a rounded shape to them, and I find them harder to work into the wall.¬† For the most part though, it is flat along the top, which I think works well.¬† ¬†I‚Äôve been visiting the fields around me to gather all sorts of stones (with permission from the farmers first, of course! They really do laugh at my requests at this stage!).¬†¬† The entire process of gathering, sorting, and building the wall is what I find rewarding.¬† ¬†Who needs to go to the gym when you can haul rocks?

IMG_9080

A rock wall in the making.

A rock wall in the making.

The rock wall (so far).

As for the rest of the garden, there isn’t too much going on. My husband planted some raspberry canes which our neighbor James kindly gave to us.¬† I am patiently waiting for my husband to finish tidying up the new raised beds. One of our apple trees is now too close to one of the beds, so that will have to be moved.¬† I really appreciate my husbands help in the garden.¬† It’s just a pity there weren’t more hours to our weekends!

New raised beds (raspberry canes on the left).

February View of the Garden.  New raised beds (raspberry canes on the left).

Pulmonaria.

Pulmonaria.

I had forgotten how wonderful the sun is!¬† It was a long time since we’d seen it.¬† There are just a few flowers in the garden, and they were delighted with the change in weather!

London Pride.

London Pride.

Sunny days, and brighter evenings – what more could I ask for?
Happy end of February!

Dana