REFLECTIONS ON THE SEASONS

Either I do not yet understand or know the seasons in this part of Ireland, something that one needs to know well in order to get a productive vegetable garden, or the climate is changing a lot these days. But then maybe I have not been observant enough about the weather all the years while I was working in the library and interacting with books and people in a large concrete building with underground heating. Growing vegetables does require one to be observant of temperature, rainfall and a whole lot more, in other words understanding the local climate. The fact that my French beans just would not do well and died off is probably because the night temperatures were still too low when I planted them out. So as the months go by I am having to rethink a lot about what I grow and about the timing of my sowing and planting out. Some of my raised beds retain moisture more than others, another fact to take into account.

And so my garden develops and I become wiser through experience, but also through picking up information from others and from books.  I am reading Monty Don’s ‘My Roots’ at the moment, I would say if one never read another gardening book, then it must be this one. A philosophical work interwoven with a lot of great tips, very valuable stuff, more a memoir, a journal through a decade of gardening than a practical guide. I am loving it.

I’m not sure what to think of the climate here lately, last year we had a warm summer that started late but lasted many months. This year, after a mild but wet winter, April was unusually dry and warm, and May was cold and wet with an icy wind coming straight from the Artic. Growth has slowed right down. And now a heat wave is forecasted.

My garden needs a considerable amount of attention at the moment, just when my older sister is here with us for some weeks, and we two are enjoying non-stop chatting, and I am suffering from a cold, and we are nipping over to Belgium for a week later in the month.

But all is good, and all is abundant, and life is rich with experience and fascination.
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The mess my pea plants became after the storm and rains, but I sorted that out yesterday and they are now secured properly.

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A very wet garden, and a book that I am really enjoying very much indeed.

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At night the stove is great to have.  And making nettle tincture to use as a hair rinse later on in the year.

15 thoughts on “REFLECTIONS ON THE SEASONS

  1. Compared to last year it is such a bad growing season so far this year in Ireland. Most of my vegetables seems to be suffering even in the polytunnel – I think a lot to do with the temperatures fluctuating so much over short periods of time. For us gardeners it can be very frustrating – well I am certainly feeling frustrated! Despite the storm damage your garden is looking lovely – and thanks for Monty Don tip – I do like him – we have his Complete Gardener book which is also excellent.

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    1. Yes I totally understand your frustration, when I went outside after writing my blog this evening, the temperature showed to be 10 degrees, it is totally unlike a June evening! Don’t know what to think about it.

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  2. The member of my online herb group are all saying the same thing and we have members from Scandinavia to southern California.. A farmer a the local coop told me he has already lost crop. We have had cool rainy days for over a eek now. I am trying to look at it as a blessing in disguise since I fell and wrenched my knee and thankfully have not had to get out and do a lot of watering. The downside is the weeds are taking advantage of this.

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    1. Good to know that I am not just imagining things in a way. I hope your knee gets better soon as it can be a painful business. Take care.

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    1. Hi Helen, yes some things are not growing much at all. I intend to put in quite a few strong winter vegetables lateron in the year, seems delicate vegetables are not doing it. Take care.

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  3. Well from where I’m sitting, your yard is looking lush and beautiful. Here’s to hoping that the weather will settle down and act as it should soon! Myself, I can’t wait for a break in this drought!! This year is supposed to be the worst yet. They said that last year. And the year before that. Can you irrigate with tears? Too much salinity I reckon…

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    1. Yes James, I feel that I did not give enough thought to those in the world who are really suffering from the climate change, and your area suffering from severe drought is real bad. I do feel for you, yes tears would be understandable, but too saline. I wish to God that you would get rain and more rain. Kind regards from us here.

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      1. Aw thanks Agnes. It’s kind of ironic for me personally. For decades I’ve been in apartments with either no permission to dig green earth from landlords, or too surrounded by concrete to do so if I had permission.

        I finally buy a home of my own, and the drought hits. POW! Right in the kisser. Freedom to plant, but now the very earth I wish to heal punishes me by taking away the one tool I really need to spread root.

        So it goes.

        I’ll say this though, it’s given me opportunity to truly learn about conservation. This belt tightening is giving me water saving skills I never imagined. In that regard it’s been really educational, challenging and a little fun. I thrive in challenge.

        That said, there are far worse places in the world where drought means death and disease. We Californians are still driving around in shiney cars with tops dropped. We are still well tanned and sipping lattes. We are still lol(ing) and omg(ing). Unfortunately.

        This is more an inconvenience than true suffering. For now at least. Although there are many farmers in the central valley that are forced to fallow their land. That pinch is felt in their pocket books.

        However, we have been over farming our land anyways. Planting where we shouldn’t be and using unsustainable practices to meet status quo. So while I feel for farming families immensely, the system needs to change. 80% of our water goes to agriculture. A huge chunk of that goes towards crops like almonds that are voracious drinkers. These almonds all go to China. So it’s time for change!

        I’m always amazed how quickly Americans forget the dust bowl. And what brought us there in the first place. That little disaster is coming again by the way. The ground water that they use now to keep the dust bowl II at bay is running on fumes. It was supposed to be a temporary solution.

        I simply don’t have enough hands to slap the whole agricultural country into waking up. But maybe after consuming enough modified corn, I’ll be able to grow some extra ones.

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      2. Well that sure was a good informative write-up James and thank you for that. A bit scary when you think about it all, so much about mismanagement isn’t it, at the top.

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