Here is an exceptionally good book, full or relevant information, practical advice and suggestions to enliven your gardening life. It is an absolutely superb handbook for the enthusiastic gardener. That should be “enough said”; you could stop reading here and go and order it immediately but paper never refused ink nor my keyboard the tapping … Continue reading A Year Full of Flowers…with Sarah Raven.
Month: March 2021
Spring Cannot be Cancelled!
Waterford, south-east Ireland. Saturday, 27th March 2021 The title is borrowed from a new book from Thames & Hudson which they describe as "an uplifting manifesto in which David Hockney and his long-time friend Martin Gayford reflect on our extraordinary period of confinement, and art’s capacity to divert and inspire." Of course, those who are … Continue reading Spring Cannot be Cancelled!
Stamina with Style!
Still looking good after a long day. The amorous activities are long under way before we reach the kitchen in the morning. Nothing deters this pheasant in his pursuit of the remaining two hens in the garden. It is our presumption that the other resident hens are already sitting on nests, perhaps already hatching eggs, … Continue reading Stamina with Style!
The Spuds are In!
Waterford, south-east Ireland. 20th. March 2021 Sometimes progress in the garden is in small steps and in any one day it can seem that not a lot has been done but looking back at the end of the week can be rewarding and encouraging. Deadheading snowdrops was a gentle start to the gardening week. We … Continue reading The Spuds are In!
Liam Neeson Saves the Purple King.
The garden is presently not a place of peace. There hasn't been an unleashing of uncontrolled, or even controlled, violence but there is a seething anger which threatens the tranquility usually associated with this gardening pastime. Wildlife is part and parcel of our garden: birds, even those which might be considered pest species - pheasants … Continue reading Liam Neeson Saves the Purple King.
Pollination: The Enduring Relationship between Plant and Pollinator, Timothy Walker I have a deeply held wish in my aging life that my sense of wonder and fascination at the extraordinary workings of the natural world will never leave me. Nothing makes me feel so young (despite being retired more than a few years!) as that … Continue reading Pollination
Three out of Seven!
Waterford, south-east Ireland. Saturday, 13th March, 2021 It was the Brave Little Tailor who boasted of "seven at one blow", a misinterpreted statement which lead him to many adventures defeating giants, capturing a ferocious unicorn, marrying a princess and ruling half of the kingdom. I don't think my "three out of seven" will bring even … Continue reading Three out of Seven!
The Darling Sophie North
It is the 25th anniversary of the horror that was the murdering of the children at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland. At this moment there is a television programme on ITV recalling the events of that day. Looking at it again is a deeply distressing experience which brings back the enormous upset which arose from the loss of the children in Dunblane. I can still remember the reactions of parents at the school where I worked, the level of upset and worry that it caused in them; the concerns for their children that suddenly burst out and the changes which it brought about in our own little rural school. It changed life forever.
I wrote this blog five years ago and feel it appropriate to air it again.
Paddy Tobin, An Irish Gardener
We are approaching the twentieth anniversary of the Dunblane School massacre (13th March 1996) when a man entered a primary school in Dunblane, near Stirling in Scotland, and murdered sixteen children and their teacher, injured others and devastated the lives of innumerable families and sent ripples of upset and fear far and wide.
Sophie North, one of the children lost at Dunblane
At the time of this horrific event I was the principal teacher (headmaster) in a small rural school in Bigwood, Mullinavat, Co. Kilkenny. It is so hard to imagine today but then our front door, and our back door, was always open. It was never locked. In summer it was left wide open and parents, neighbours and even strangers were free and welcome to enter the premises.
Immediately after Dunblane we had big meeting of all the parents at the school. Even at our distance and with…
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Yellow on Black!
Last week came as a huge relief to the long and miserable stretch of the early New Year when it seemed we were perpetually confined indoors where my bum seemed to be rooted to the armchair as I switched between reading, "internetting" and watching television. A modicum of any of these activities can be a … Continue reading Yellow on Black!
The First Cut and The Late Finish.
Waterford, south-east Ireland. 6th March 2021 We, The Head Gardener and I, shared the credits yesterday by separately breaking two spring gardening barriers. This week has seen more activity in the garden than the previous month. We might call it "work" but as we enjoyed it so much that would be inappropriate. Last Sunday and … Continue reading The First Cut and The Late Finish.