Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

The East Village
Baltimore, West Cork
Ireland

+353 28 20579

Blog

Praesent commodo cursus magna, vel scelerisque nisl consectetur et. Curabitur blandit tempus porttitor. Fusce dapibus, tellus ac cursus commodo, tortor mauris condimentum nibh, ut fermentum massa justo sit amet risus. Cras mattis consectetur purus sit amet fermentum. Cras mattis consectetur purus sit amet fermentum.

 

Green Therapy, August 5th

Jo Perry

August 5th
In the middle of June my 90 year old Mum went into a Nursing Home; a Home which specialises in care for people with Dementia. After being diagnosed in 2007 she had a gentle decline in health but deteriorated more rapidly in the last couple of years, resulting in her needing 24 hour care for many months now. Over the last few years the garden has become both a solace and a
therapy for me, even more so now.

IMG-20180105-WA0000_2.jpg
DSC_2365.JPG

Just being out in the garden amongst trees and flowers, getting my hands dirty, picking a few vegetables for supper in snatched moments, has helped me through the ups and downs of the last few years. She is getting the best of care and I think she is as happy as she can be, and I know she is safe. So now my life has moved into another phase.

I am letting the dust settle and enjoying this amazing summer we are having. My garden looms large in my plans for the future, but things will have to change. I feel as though I have been on automatic pilot for the last few years and now, as I adjust to different priorities and a different timetable, I have an opportunity to refocus and make some long-term decisions for myself and the garden. The green therapy goes on.

On a more practical note, the garden has coped well with the drought and the roses and flowers in general have thrived in the heat. Salad crops have been a different story though, with lettuce being very difficult to germinate in the heat and then running to seed at the slightest excuse. We have had good crops of chard and beetroot but although the garden is full of pollinating insects, the runner beans seem slow to set pods. Early potatoes were scarce and would have greatly benefited from some rain. We are now trying to find space for winter brassicas that are outgrowing their holding bed, but overall the garden is looking good. As this wonderful summer goes on I am trying to make notes on what we could have done better if we had known how dry it would be, and one of the things I will try to improve over the winter is the humus content and condition of the soil. But for now, though I would appreciate the odd night of rainfall, I hope this glorious weather continues for the next few weeks. We have a house full of visitors until the middle of August.

IMG-20170815-WA0000.jpg

Balmy Summer Days, June 8th

Jo Perry

May was an extraordinary month. After such a miserable spring with so little growth, our garden was still very bare at the beginning of the month but after just a few weeks everything really burst into life. I dreaded the week when all the Tulip pots would be taken out of the courtyard, there is always that feeling of anti-climax.

This year though, the border edging the vegetable potager has taken over the ‘wow’ factor baton. Of course, it isn’t so glamorous and the planting is very much in the cottage garden style, but it is so pretty. With late spring flowers such as sweet rocket, aquilegia, iris and lupin mingling with chives, rhubarb, mint and red kale it is a real haven for bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

DSC_2365.JPG

A really stunning and totally unexpected combination has been the gentle creamy yellow flowers of the Redbor red kale flopping over and growing up through a self-sown patch of Cerinthe major purpurescens. I’m sure if I try to replicate it next year it won’t be half as beautiful.

DSC_2363.JPG

Years ago, I planted a Wisteria against one of our covered compost bins. I had been working on another garden and the plant was surplus to requirements. It hung around the place in its pot for some time and eventually I stuck it in the ground without much hope, as the only Wisteria I had grown here before had finally flowered just before I accidentally garrotted it whilst trying to train it. So I haven’t done a thing to this one and for the second year it is absolutely
festooned with flowers.

Recently walking down to the compost heap, the combination of the scents of firstly the sweet rocket and then the Wisteria was wonderful. These balmy summer days of early summer are really special. The heat is gentle compared with the hot days of August but the greenness is what makes the difference. Everything is still fresh and lush and despite all the demands of the garden, we should really take some time to enjoy this wonderful spell of weather while we have it.

'The Beautiful and the Bountiful'

Jo Perry

Tuesday, May 1st

DSC_1987.JPG

At this time of year I find it almost impossible to prioritise my priorities. I am talking particularly about the propagating tunnel. I am so easily distracted. This morning I started by pricking out salad leaves, Mizuna, mustards and Persian cress. Then, as I was moving trays around to make space, I tripped over a module tray of flat leaved parsley. So I potted up a few, and while trying to find a home for them, a lovely Pelargonium Sanguineum caught my eye. This tender plant had been overwintering in the tunnel and really needed repotting into a terracotta pot for the summer. And so it goes on.

DSC_1884-EFFECTS.jpg

I am constantly torn between the need to grow plants for the vegetable garden and wanting to grow flowers and ornamentals for the rest of garden. The ongoing routine of sowing and pricking out salad leaves to make sure there is a seamless supply for the restaurant is sometimes very tedious when more exciting seedlings of flowers are waiting for attention. Nevertheless I try to keep a balance and think of the garden as a whole entity. We have always attempted to mix the beautiful with the bountiful to create a sustainable micro environment. It isn’t easy on a semi commercial scale but when it does work it is very rewarding. At the moment the tomato plants must be a priority as well as the continued sowing of salads.

But this week the tulips are at their glorious best, and what would attract all the pollinating insects if not for the succession of cottage garden flowers that will take us through the summer? A little bit of perspective is what’s needed but I really do need to start planting those tomato plants.

DSC_1532.JPG

Photos by Sarah Twomey ©