Planting out the seedlings

Hello! Well there certainly was some excitement this week when the rain finally stopped and the sun shone brightly for two days in a row! I celebrated by planting out most of my seedlings, including sweet pea, pumpkins and sunflowers. Now the fun part starts: keeping the slugs away!

I want to back up a tiny bit and talk about the seedlings. I’ve learned the hard way that the stems of pumpkin plants are fragile. One snap and that’s the end of the plant. My typical ‘flip the pot over’ into my hand ended in disaster last year. So I’m happy to report that there were no snapping of stems this year. The main reason is that I no longer flip them. 🙃 That’s just not the best way to get them out of their containers. It also helped to grow them on a couple of weeks longer, so they were definitely stronger.

The sweet pea were also started a tiny bit earlier this year. They grew long and leggy quite quickly, so I kept pinching them back which seemed to strengthen them and encouraged them to grow more stems.

The sunflowers were an interesting bunch. I have several different varieties, but they have not all grown equally well. I have my hunch as to which ones will perform the best – those that from very early on had multiple leaves and a strong stem – but I will give them all an equal shot!

The biggest issue I now face is that of slugs. They can destroy all of my work in a very short period of time. I’ve already removed several from the beds and from some of the plants. They come out in the late evening and early morning, and they camouflage perfectly in the soil. And don’t be fooled by size, even the teeniest of slugs can do serious damage! Hopefully, I can get the plants all settled and growing before the slugs do major damage.

I’m joining Garden Ruminations for the Six on Saturday meme (because it is fun to do so!).

Enjoy the tour of my garden!

In Peace,

image of pumpkin plant, sunflowers and sweetpea

1, 2 & 3 – Pumpkins, Sunflowers & Sweet pea. I’ve placed eggshells around the plants to deter the slugs. Honestly, I don’t think it works, but I feel better having at least tried it. One side of the arch will be covered in sweet pea, while the other side will have pumpkins growing on it. That’s the plan, anyway!

slug on a pumpkin plant

4 – Slug. Yup, I took a picture of a slug. This guy was quite long and easy to spot. I also tend to look harder around the leaves that have damage done to them. I’ve found that ‘hunting’ them down, both morning and night, is the best way to deal with them – and always with gloves.

Full view of the raised beds with the new seedlings in.
full view of garden with narcissus and raspberries

5 – View of the raised beds from both sides (after planting). In the bottom picture you can also see the raspberry plants. The border includes lavender on one side, Rosemary on another, little lime hydrangea on the far size, and beech hedging with containers of hosta on the last. Seeing blue skies is such a treat!

cherry tree at sunset

6 – Cherry tree at sunset. I couldn’t resist taking this picture. I was working on the other side of the garden and the lighting was just so perfect here that I was enticed to come over. I’d like many more days like these, please!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Do you have any (organic) means to get your slugs? 🙂

In my tasty June Garden

allium purple sensation is now “finished” in the garden

When it comes to the garden there are changes going on all of the time.  Just like in life, time moves forward whether we are ready or not!  The garden has moved from showing off spring flowers on to growing our fruit and veggies and showing off some early summer flowers. We live in County Louth, and although other parts of the country have had rain, it has missed us for the good part of 4 weeks.  I can really see and feel the dryness in the garden.

A very dry veggie and fruit garden

Look at that grass! Granted, we don’t pay any attention to the grass other than mowing it (probably too short, I might add), but it is usually *green* and not yellow.  Anyway, this is an early June look at our pumpkin and zucchini (courgette) plants, along with our blueberry and strawberry plants, and our pear tree.

organic zucchini (courgette)

The organic zucchini plant was given to me in May.  Actually, I did a little bit of a swap, and traded sunflowers for zucchini.  It is great to find someone who grows organically and likes to share! We mixed in a good amount of our compost when we planted them.

organic pumpkin plant

The picture above is of one of my pumpkin plants.  Pumpkins LOVE compost.  We worked in as much compost as we could into this bed.  The seed for this plant is actually from the pumpkins I grew in 2016.  While I did try to grow from last year’s seeds, they didn’t produce anything.  So I then tried the seeds from the previous year, and “Bob’s your Uncle” – they grew! 🙂


The blueberry plants are overladen with berries this year and the berries are growing to a nice size!  I am still trying to figure out if my soil has enough acidity for blueberries, as some years they do well and some they don’t. I’ve given them lots of my compost early on in the season, and I’ve kept them watered during this dry spell.  We’ll see how it ends up!

green strawberries

The strawberries are still *very* green, and not very big.  They, too, were lucky recipients of our compost (there is never enough compost, so I have to pick and choose which plants get it!).  I’ve also made sure to water them, so again, I’m hopeful that over the next week or two we’ll get some nice color in them (and a little bit more growth!).

baby pears in early June (strawberry beds in the background)

Our pear tree is doing well again this year.  It is only in the past few years that it has produced fruit, but boy was it worth the wait!  These guys are teeny tiny right now, and only the width of a small finger.

This picture is of our pears in September 2017 (they were delicious!)

another look back at our fall garden of September 2017 with sunflowers, pumpkins, pears, and blueberry plants which have pretty red leaves

a full bed of sunflowers early June 2018

I have tried a new location for sunflowers this year.  I’ve alternated garlic and potatoes in this bed over the past few years, so it was time for a change.  We apparently didn’t dig up all of the spuds last year, as there are some growing up between the sunflowers…  These lovely plants are all grown from my sunflower seeds from last year. My father-in-law kindly started them for me in his greenhouse.  They have really shot up over the past number of weeks, and look to be quite happy!

You have to be sure not to wait too long to collect the sunflower seeds as the birds LOVE them and will clean out the entire flower heads before you know it! (sunflower from our garden Fall 2017)

I really should write a post just on compost, because it is so beneficial!  I’ll put that on my to-do list.  Here’s a look at our “summer” compost heap:

Compost heap (top layer is all new season grass) with a fab overhang of Elder trees!

Underneath all of the new grass is aged compost from last season

It is worth digging the good stuff out from underneath the grass!

I have a separate tumbler for food compost, but I think I will leave that picture for another post!  Thankfully, no one can really see our compost heap, and the sight of it certainly doesn’t bother me given how good it is for the garden!  But I really don’t want to end with pictures of my compost.  I’m going to first show you a picture of tulips and our Hawthorn trees when they were beautifully in bloom with white flowers.  This year I really think the flowers came and went too quickly!  And then I’m going to end with a picture of an early summer plant (peony).

Queen of the Night tulips with a backdrop of Hawthorn trees in flower

Paeonia Bowl of Beauty – all four pictures are different flowers but from the same plant

I hope you have enjoyed this little tour of my June garden. Anything tasty or pretty growing in yours?

In peace,