It has been a very unusual St. Patrick’s Day. There has been no visit to town, no parade, no celebration, no meeting with family. Altogether it has been a very quiet day, a day at home, just the two of us. It will be like this for a considerable while, it would seem, as the latest comment on the Coronavirus is that infections will peak here around the weekend of Sunday, 29th of this month. That is almost a fortnight away and I imagine we will all be asked to continue life away from others for some time after that date.
Gardening is a good pastime in these days though I do wish for better weather. It has not been good of late and the garden is quite wet. Nonetheless, unless it is raining heavily I try to get out to do a little bit even if it is only a little pottering about. Today was one of those “soft” days, a day of fog and mist but not cold. It was a reasonably good day to be in the garden once one covered up well against the damp.
One of Ireland’s old gardening saws is that the potatoes should be sown by St. Patrick’s Day and I got there even if it was by the skin of my teeth. The potatoes had been chitted for the last few weeks on the garage windowsill and the eyes had sprouted, an early start into growth. We grow only one variety of potato, the second-early ‘British Queen’ which has been a popular choice in Ireland for many years and has become synonymous with the taste of summer – floury boiled potatoes with a herb butter and fried mackerel, what could be better!
As potatoes grow the tubers are inclined to come above ground and the plants need to be “earthed up” – to have soil thrown up around them in order that the potatoes are not exposed to sunlight. Potatoes exposed to the sun turn green and are poisonous! Rather than the earthing-up method I cover the bed with a sheet of black plastic, cut holes in it and plant the potatoes through the holes. This obviates the need for earthing up – less work, less worry and the plastic holds moisture in the bed through the dryness of the summer. They are in now and we will be eating the first of them in June!
The afternoon was spent back at the more mundane chores of the garden – weeding and freshening the beds but there was a time to take a few photographs of what is pretty at the moment. Enjoy!