I worked hard today, my aching limbs, slightly sunburnt skin and calloused hands certainly tell me that but its a good kind of ache, the kind that lets you know you worked your body hard, the kind of feeling that lets you know you are in your own skin, your own bones. In this day and age of tv, computers and a pace of life that encourages always rushing here and there, it is a pleasure to just do simple satisfying things like dig a new vegetable patch. To have time to think while you turn over the soil, to dream while you scatter the delicate seed and to stop when you have finished and look upon the work you have done and feel that yes today I have achived something solid, something tangible and real.
I started off my day by hanging out three more roosting pouches I bought for the birds, two small deep pouches for wrens and one large wicker pouch for bigger birds which I bought in B&Q yesterday. I also bought a very nice if plastic bird feeder in green from the poundshop yesterday for the new garden, as although I have a feeder in the front of the house, one at the back of the house and a lovely slate covered house style feeder for near the back door, I’ve none for the garden up above. I bought the other feeders over the last few years in McGaughs Garden Centre or Woodies but this cheap feeder from the eurostore looks nearly as good. As I think I said before, I won’t be feeding them until the end of October. The birds are doing well at the moment dining off all the wild blackberries and sloeberries that are out and the hazelnuts will also be out soon. I have someone who is very kindly making me a couple of nesting boxes at the moment for next spring, one for Blue Tits and the other possibly for Wrens as they are one of Irelands smallest birds and their survival is under threat, so I’d like to encourage them as much as possible.
I took a good look at the greenhouse then, checking for slugs and snails, cutting off leaves that had gone yellow or had a touch of mould, taking of the tops of the new leaves on the tomatoes[to encourage them to focus growing flowers and thus fruit] and taking out all my young seedlings for transplanting outside. I was delighted to see the first tomato finally and a baby green pepper coming out. I had put the two peppers side by side with leaves touching as they wont grow fruit otherwise and it apppears to be working. One of my courgette plants is swelling with young fruit but the rest are not looking so good. I’m wondering could it be the fact that there are no bees inside the greenhouse cross-pollinising the plants? maybe. next year, I will just grow them outside I think. I was very late starting everything this year but its all a learning process.
After cutting the lawn and walking my dog, I went up to my new garden and spent about a hour clearing HUGE briars and weeds and old wood and then spent the next two hours digging out a large[2sq metre] long vegetable patch which was full of rocks and scary root systems. At least I had the best of company, my dog decided to supervise from the warmth of a young carrot patch in the full mid-day sun, while a very confident Robin watched closely for any worms I might dig up for his lunch!
At last I was done and I was able to plant nearly two long rows of young pumkin plants, two rows of brussel sprout seedlings [winter variety], a row of carrots[autumn king] and a row of beetroot [boltany red].I then water everything eveything in well and gathered some veg and herbs for dinner.
It was lovely to have our own crisp lollo rosso lettuce as a salad with some of our own fuffy pink potatoes, stuffing with our chives, roast chicken and steamed mangetout, broad beans and peas. Yum! 🙂
Its a full moon on tuesday so dont do any more planting until the very end of the week as plants will grow very slowly if planted on a full moon, same goes for cutting your hair or nails[a plus if you don’t want to have to it it too often!]. Really the best time to plant is on a new moon but its not always possible. Go outside if you are not in a city or an area with light pollution and look up at the stars as the skies have been beautiful the last few nights. Astronomy Ireland is a great place to hear all the latest news about whats going on in the skies over Ireland. Their website is http://www.astronomy.ie
I’m looking forward to starting work again on my patchwork quilt which I started years ago and semi-lost until recently but tomorrow is another day. Off to have a bath but I will leave you with a favourite poem of mine and wish you good night.
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
William Henry Davies