This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Irish Moss Stuggles

I often read gardening articles in magazines where people pour buttermilk or yoghurt over paths or pots to create an environment for moss or algae to grow... to add character. Well, here in Ireland, I've masses of character moss in the garden. Occasionally I make an effort to get rid of the moss but there's just so much of it! It's everywhere...  

Left: Moss growing in grass with crocus bulbs.

Moss growing on brickwork.
Moss thriving amongst the over-Wintered flower beds and taking over the sedum plant.
A family (& friends) of moss taking over a veg box.

Moss amongst the emerging lupin.
Some of the moss gets left, however, some must go! Another job for my garden 'Spring clean'.

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Snow Days

We're getting snow this weekend... Spring is on hold and so is the outdoor gardening!

It's cold and the ground is slushy. I've even decided to hold off sowing seeds until April.

Top photo - this week.
Bottom photo -this time last year.
This year my daffodils are late flowering;
last year the 
daffodils were flowering in mid March. Photo above taken 15 March 2012.
Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

1st Day of Spring

Happy Spring! (although it may not quite feel like Spring in many places).

Today is the first day of spring - known as the ‘Vernal Equinox’. The equinox occurs twice a year, once in March and once in September. On the equinox, night and day are nearly the exact same 12-hour length around the world.

Here's what Spring is looking like in my garden.... (no daffodils flowering yet)...
Once again... I'm snapping photos of Spring bulbs. There isn't much interest in the garden other than the crocus and snowdrops at the minute and they bring much appreciated splashes of colour in clumps and drifts. 
Above: Some spare crocus bulbs were stuck in an old chimney pot.
My favourite Spring quote:
"There are no rules in a cottage garden." (Alan Titchmarsh)
Just the way I like to garden!
Above: Drifts of snowdrops through a contorted witchhazel (also known as Harry Lauder's Walking Stick).
Irish Heather - Spring flowering shrubs look attractive when little else is flowering.
Spring is usually when I focus on projects around the garden like landscaping new areas, sowing seeds, preparing beds for growing vegetables, tidying up garden debris, moving plants, etc. There’s a lot to do and because it has been quite cold this month I’m behind schedule, but I'll get caught up with the better weather (hopefully arriving soon).

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

All Things Irish on St Paddy's

It's St Patrick's Day and I thought I'd share some of the local countryside. I particularly like cottages and the more traditional Ireland rather than the new, modern buildings that seem to pop up everywhere. Here's a little taste of the Irish countryside...

Left: A cottage in County Down.
Above and Below: A traditional village shop at the Kerry Bog Village. More photos of traditional cottages can be found at a previous St Paddy's post - here.  

Above: Andrew Jackson's cottage located near Carrickfergus in County Antrim - it may look plain but it was built in the 1750's - see below.
Inside Andrew Jackson's cottage (now a museum) are traditional wares that keep it looking like it did all those years ago.
Above and Below: Across the road from Andrew Jackson's cottage is another thatched roof cottage. The blue sign indicates that it's rich in history and was the home of Ruddick Millar (more info below).

Above And Below: Traditional Irish dancing costumes worn by girls competing in dance tournaments.

And my favourite - sheep dotted across our countryside. Farmers are kept busy this time of year as it's lambing season.
Happy St Patrick's Day!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Very cold this week

Its been rather chilly this week with some snow flurries.
Outdoor projects are temporarily on hold.
I usually plant potatoes on St Patrick's Day but thinking I may hold off.

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Friday, 8 March 2013

The Beauty of Bulbs

I can't resist photographing bulbs in the garden - they look so cheerful especially on dull, rainy days; they indicate Spring is on its way and soon there will be warm, sunny days to spend outside in the garden (hopefully). 

Crocus and snowdrops are such great bulbs. They bring much needed splashes of colour and look good everywhere - woodland areas, under shrubs, in herbaceous / perennial borders.
Irish moss is abundant this time of year.

Happy Mother's Day in the UK to all mums on 10th March.
Mother's Day in the USA is on 12 May. (not sure why the dates differ)
 Today, 8th March, is International Women's Day - there are many events taking place across the world. I was at a lecture this week about Irish suffragettes and found it very educational and interesting.

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Monday, 4 March 2013

First Week of March... in the garden

Rhubarb starting to emerge.
The first week of March brings more colour in the garden...
First blooms of the Christmas cactus in the unheated sunroom (I assume by the name it should have flowered closer to Christmas!).
A big bumble bee taking advantage of the sun over the weekend, and enjoying the heather flowers.
Snowdrops and crocus in abundance!

Feeling a bit more like Spring!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.