Category Archives: Gardening
I’m really impressed with my orchids. Each time they flower they put out more and more buds. When I was younger, orchids were specialist plants that you had to coddle. I suppose that’s still true for most of the varieties but the ones that are stocked in the supermarkets these days are relatively robust.
And on to magpies. Some of you may remember that I was working on a magpie logo for a commission. Please visit this website to see the finished version and a very lovely credit to yours truly. I wish “The Celtic Magpie” all the best. It looks like a great place to find beautiful Irish jewellery.
I just went back to the UK for a week to see my folks. First I visited my dad and his wife in North Wales where I grew up. Then I visited my mum in Lancashire, where she grew up. I didn’t take enough photos but I just had to get my camera out for my dad’s amazing dahlias. There were only a few but one of them was absolutely huge. Dad says they all end up like that. The rest of the flowers in his lovely little gardens had gone over, and the next flush was yet to appear so I timed the visit a little badly from that point of view. So here without further ado are a few photos of my dad’s dahlias:
I’ve been letting the blog take a back seat for the last few months because I was hoping to put more energy into my artwork. As always, life (and Microsoft) got in the way, and I wasn’t able do that. My graphics machine is the last refuge for Windows in this house but not for much longer because a Windows update made it about as useful for drawing as a brick. Anyway, the loss of my drawing tool freed me up to tackle a crochet project that I’d wanted to do for ages. Anyone who has followed this blog from the beginning will probably know that I tend to binge on my hobbies. I can go for months or years without doing any crochet, origami or whatever, but when I get started I just can’t stop. This time I’m addicted to woolly creatures designed by Heidi Bears. I’m on my third one. I can only show you the second one because the others are destined to be gifts for people who might see this post. Meet Geoff the Giraffe:
I’ve also spent quite a bit of time in the garden:
I tried some knots on paper for my magpie project.
Then I tried with Krita:
It looks okay close-up but the detail disappears when the magpie is smaller.
And this last photo might seem a bit random but I told Colleen that I would post a photo of my latest plant purchase. I thought it looked like it belonged in an episode of Star Trek. What do you think?
This summer in Ireland has been the best since I moved here in 2000. It is absolutely scorching. I haven’t written a post in a while because it’s just been too hot to do very much except eat ice-cubes. I’m posting now though because I’ve finally finished a model that I have been making for a friend. Her totem animal is the swan so I think she will like it. I used the video provided by a Romanian origami wizard on his blog. Thanks Razvan. It took ages to make. The little triangular pieces take less than a minute to fold but there are nearly 600 pieces in this model. I’ll let you do the maths. While I’m here I want to give you an update on the garden. We had our first harvest of redcurrants last week. It was also our last. 😦 The blackbirds have finally figured out that Hagrid has gone. Hagrid loved to chase birds. I didn’t like him doing it but now that the birds are scoffing my fruit I wish he was back at it. The blackbirds are keeping an eye on the ripening blueberries so I’m going to have to make some bird scarers. Anybody got any ideas? I was thinking about tin foil streamers but they’d probably be too fragile. I’ve been trying to do the annual hedge cut. It’s not fun in this heat. May I just say, for the record, that whoever decided that leylandii would make a good hedging plant ought to be taken out and shot. The previous owners of our house who planted the hedge should be shot too. Only kidding, but that’s how I feel when I’m up the ladder. And one final gratuitous picture of my garden in bloom. The pink flower is mallow and the white ones on the right are hebe. As always you can click on the photos to enlarge them.
This entry was inspired by a post featuring Japanese irises. I love to see the plants that grow in different countries; some of them are familiar, some not so familiar. Since you probably don’t live in Ireland (not many people do, apparently) I thought you might like to see some of the things that grow here.
I know I’m cheating a bit with this post. This blog is supposed to be about things I create, and while gardening can be creative I’m not sure it fits under my “Art and Craft” umbrella. In fact this post isn’t even mainly about gardening. It’s mostly just about how wonderfully abundant Mother Nature is. Ever since I moved to rural Ireland I’ve been amazed at the variety of wild plants that grow by the sides of the roads. These photos were all taken within a few hundred yards of my house. I haven’t even included them all. There are many more plants that didn’t make the cut. (I’m not a photographer so please forgive my less-than-professional snapshots.)
I’ve updated this post to try thumbnails instead of a slideshow. If you click on any of the thumbnails they should take you into a slideshow where the captions show up a bit better than in the original. Press <Esc> to come out of the slideshow.