Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Just giving you an update on my previous post : Room with a view. Nothing could make me happier than to see these little chaps chomping away on seeds and fat ball. I am sure they are pretty satisfied too and as promised (and because a few little fights over food was beginning to take place) I hooked up some more bird feeders to the shed.

Yum Yum

Who are you looking at?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Earth Day 22 April 2012

Its Earth Day tomorrow, 22nd April 2012 and each year it seems to be advertised a little less which is worrying. So I am asking you to do your bit tomorrow for the earth and I will give you some options so that if you cant manage one you have a choice.

  • Turn off your house lights from 8-9pm tomorrow night 
  • Turn down the thermostat 1 degree and if its chilly put on an extra layer of clothing
  • If you have to go to work, church, visit a friend can you walk, cycle or car share?
  • Instead of taking a bath tomorrow take a shower instead. If you always take a shower cut down the amount of time you take and save water.
These are easy options to choose for the day, none of them will cost you money, all of them will save you money and all of them will contribute to the earth we live on.

Please choose at least one of them if not all of them and make a small contribution. The more people participate, the larger the contribution in total.

Thank you

If you participate by doing any of the above please comment and let me know. If you dont want to log into a Google account then just remain anonymous. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Room with a view.

Room with a view
 and it even accommodates a fall ball which you can just see.

Mary Poppins would be proud as I purchased this little number at the garden centre the other day. I must admit after my initial delight with it I realised that I had just purchased more plastic, Doh! Oh well, you cant get it right all the time but that aside I must say I think its great. I have fed the birds from my cherry tree on the front lawn but crows also feed from the feeders which is alright as they need to survive too and I do get a fair share of finches and tits. Unfortunately, the larger birds do break all of the lower smaller growing branches which is always disappointing. I dont like putting seed on the ground as it encourages rats and neither I nor the neighbours would appreciate that. I must put a nail on the shed in the back garden as that would be much more suitable for hanging feeders but if I can encourage birds to this new feeder then I will have the best seat in the house...for free!

Cherry blossom from the front garden, now crow free

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The apple of my eye.

Pruned and proud 
Meet Elsie-Kate. Yes, Elsie-Kate. I'm afraid I have grown this attached to her already. I've wanted an apple tree for some time now and thought that I would have to get two for my back garden as I have been told that two is vital for pollination but then I realised that my neighbours had apple trees and started investigating. They have eating apples and I wanted the same (cooking apples not being a favorite of mine), so I ventured off to a good gardening centre and after a lot of advise and a crash course in tree care I arrived home with my prize. I had wanted to put it in a different location in the garden  as my summer bench usually sits here but needs must as this is the sunniest spot. Before long I was out with spade and trowl but as with many estates I and my young neighbour of 6 years of age, spent most of the time removing the 1000's of stones which are quite often a large portion of the new estates of Ireland's gardens. Still my own compost and some well rotted manure (neither personally belonging to me you understand!?) were added to welcome my new tree to its new resting place and so now its fingers crossed.

Anyway, the main reason I am adding this to my blog is that there are too few trees around new estates these days. I didn't realise for the first year that I was here that only the houses at the front of our estate included a cherry tree (non fruiting of course). I felt bad that we only had one tree on our plot and beautiful as it is it only blossoms for a couple of weeks every year but most of the houses had no trees at all. This is an issue I feel for the environment and us. As living, breathing human beings we need trees in order to give us oxygen. So this is one of my reasons for adding another to the small enough green areas of our planet. The other reason is home produce. So I'm slightly obsessed with it. I wont be sorry to pick a few fresh apples from my own back garden in a few years, maybe even one or two this year. Not having to go to the shop, fork out money for them and then wonder what they may have been sprayed with in order to keep them "fresh"....I'll take some of that thank you very much.

 This tree cost me €22. It didnt break the bank and if I take care of it, it will take care of me.

What is your opinion? Are there enough trees in your area giving you beautiful flowers, fragrance, produce or shade. Have you ever taken notice before and if not what do you think now?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Make your bed and plant in it

The first bed completed and netted.

So nice to have a bit of time to get out in the garden. I am taking leap forward this year and hoping to get my hand on an allotment but while I am waiting my parents and I are in the process of putting together 3 beds to grow veggies in. A kind neighbour has given us some topsoil so we have added some of our own compost that we have been making over the past year and some well rotted horse manure (thanks to another friendly neighbour) in order to pack in some nutrients. Its been back breaking stuff just trying to sort that out so that we can get planting. So far though we have potatoes and cabbage in one of the beds and this evening dad and I prepared the 2nd bed. No we wont get jobs on Gardner's World but we'll keep our fingers crossed that the effort we put in wont go to waste.
The precious cabbages protected (we hope) from invading slugs.
I wont say that it was altogether cheap as we spent a bit on netting, bamboo, tomato feed and an amount of other things but then we got the knack of being 'vernacular' (my old lecturer would be proud) by using old sticks to hold up the netting rather than using the bamboo which we wanted to keep for staking up plants as they grow and we may even see how an old net curtain might do when we need netting the next time. 
Ultimately our goal is fresh home grown and organic produce to enjoy but if nothing else we are out in the fresh air and getting plenty of exercise, not to mention spending time with the ones you love! ( I dont mean the veggies :)
Bed no 2 ready for more edible delights.