I went picking some greenery to make a wreath and flower piece this afternoon, close by there is a boreen ( Irish word for a little pathway with lots of greenery), and during the year I saw lots of ivy growing there, some of which won’t be damaged by a little pruning, so I set out to cut some and bring it in for decoration. There was ivy with lots of the most beautiful berries, some quite dark and bright green. There was also quite a bit of gorse in flower, these bright yellow flowers are usually open end of January but already they are fully in bloom. Then I spotted some of the last Hawthorn berries, the birds have so much food in this mild winter that there are many berries left for them. The beautiful red berries stand out lovely against the dark green of the foliage. At home I raided some of our cotoneaster hedge very profuse with fruits this year, and I picked some ivy and holly from along the hedges.

I know that I am too late to make an advent wreath which is what I normally would do but that is for the four Sundays before Christmas, so I will just make a wreath for the front door, and a piece for the dining room table. Candles and greenery do make it for me around this time of the year, and pine cones!

Tomorrow is mid-winter and the days will start to lengthen, this winter more than most has been very dark, we will all welcome the light again.



Wednesday afternoon is always interesting, apart from all sorts of things happening in my garden, I take care of my five year old grandson, Ruben just loves helping in the garden and today we planted out the winter beet leaf plants. Ruben then gave them plenty of water, but he also dug the holes, so he is a real help. Then we always take rest and have a cup of tea, and today Ruben was pleasantly surprised to meet our new tenant, the robin! This little bird came to pick up crumbs that had fallen on the carpet in the conservatory to the delight of Ruben. There was lots more to be seen and done, there was a caterpillar, and there were herbs to gather and put to dry, and tools to clear up and much more. Ruben, who has just yesterday started big school is a delight to have around. He likes to go for a walk to see the horse in a nearby field too, and playing hide and seek with his amma (that’s me). We laugh and laugh and have the greatest fun, meanwhile Ruben is learning all about gardening and about little creatures which he is very gentle with (even lowering his voice when near them).  A wonderful, gentle and delightful boy!

Yet another crop of calendula, and chives flowers and stalks.  They are drying now for use this winter.

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On our walk along the boreen, there were seeds on the violets.  And hawthorn berries starting to ripen.


Our resident robin who spends more and more time inside with us.

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A caterpillar on the petunia, and another fresh crop of yarrow, to dry for making tea in the coming winter months.