Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Garden Show Ireland

Saturday saw the Gaults head off to their first ever visit to the Hillsborough Garden Show (shame on us, I know!). It all started off a little bit oddly - we were directed to and parked at the old Maze prison, not somewhere I ever thought I would visit. That's for sure! But it all made sense, fear not, no evil dictator was using the show as a ruse to imprison those of us who love to grow plants, it was merely a very clever park and ride system and the site is huge so it was nice to see it used for a peaceful reason. I mean really you can't get more peaceful than a bunch of paying customers wanting to go spend time looking at pretty flowers ;)
Part that hasn't been demolished is in the background
I'd never been to Hillsborough Castle's Gardens before - this is secret territory to me, reserved for the Queen etc. On arrival I was so pleasantly surprised, there were lots of pleasant people, loads of plants, a Jazz band, a champagne tent, food stalls and lots of promise. The walled garden was a delight, I loved the old out buildings, greenhouses huge ancient tree, espaliered pears and row of Scarecrows.

The floral tent was small but some set ups were truly lovely and inspring. My love for Hucheracas is now fully fledged and we are getting some for the garden. Just look how gorgeous they are with white or the fun mix of purple and orange/yellow :)
We're also thinking of a small water feature - eek! I love it.

This garden ticked most of my boxes - I love 'The Hobbit' but still, there was something just so small and lacking in it, space is not abundant I guess. Nevertheless I would have this in my back garden :) Though the child that didn't know what a typewriter was - you can keep her, I felt so ancient and decrepit around her, ahahaha

This show garden was my favourite, still small but the rill and criss crossing path are a delight. However, the more I look at it the more twee it appears and I HATE foxgloves but still - the idea is lovely.....

The other show gardens were at the most, umm disappointing. Particularly the Biodiversity one (sorry) - it was so undeveloped as a concept and looked frankly pitiful - in no way would it encourage anyone to try and replicate the look and thus the fabulous idea behind it all is lost. I am almost too upset to put this photo up but here goes.....

There were craft stalls but again, just like the one I was at as a Trader myself, it was superfluous and we weren't in the mood for such things, no matter the quality. God, it makes me feel terrible to say that, truly awful as I know the feeling of people ignoring you and all your effort but as a customer, no, it wasn't appropriate. Apart from the sweeties  and flavoured nuts- they went down a treat with most people, including Andrew :)

These stalls were appropriate though, very much so! Local organic fruit and veg boxes, Armagh Cider and Apple juice made in entirety from tree to bottle on site by a family! (we came home with 3 bottles) and lots of jams and chutneys.

I did enjoy myself and the ultimate highlight had to be the goats and chickens.
tiny Kid - just bigger than a bucket
Super tiny chick hiding under Mommy

Low points were many. As well as the ones already mentioned there was a whole row of small Titanic themed gardens which to be fair,  were done by children, large areas of the sites flower beds being empty and the interpretive dancers (I am a tree so tall, I am an allotment....). I'm obviously just not cultured enough.

So I had hoped to be really inspired and maybe even get a maximum/minimum thermometer but instead I'm left with the memory of the good organisation and the good manners of everyone there - so it was kind of odd. I doubt I will be back.

Friday, 18 May 2012

A happy explosion of growth at the lotties

Though I wasn't at the lottie too long on Tuesday (it's still blasted well cold here!), I did run around like a huge friendly burglar with my camera, capturing hope filled photos; bundling them up in my swag bag and running off home to enjoy and share :)

So here my lovely partners in hope pilfering (a new classification of crime, haha), I share.....
So many Blueberry flowers
Cherry Blossom and some tiny fruits

potatoes doing well but we still need fleece on hand for frosty nights
peas being planted
baby broad bean

first green gooseberries
the mint plant that never dies :)

first red gooseberries
so many redcurrant flowers

just a little of the Jersualuem Artichoke plants
tiny alpine flowers - such joy
succulent and babies

Baby Scallions
Baby lettuce

Hope you like it - I am finding these photos and a few new ones of Andrew's potting shed seedlings quite uplifting - especially as there were many that Andrew feared weren't going to do anything and now they're flourishing. I'll post more photos but as for tonight - I am being looked at by a lovely bottle of Red Wine - yum ;)
And tomorrow we are off to the Garden Ireland Show - hurrah - first time for us :)

Monday, 14 May 2012

Andrew goes Potty

Oh oh, Andrew has gone and got himself a 'man shed' and plonked it in the drive and now he goes there for special Andrew time. It's a potting shed with 6 windows (3 each side) that was designed just for him by a talented local shed maker and delivered a couple of weeks ago - but it's his thing so I wasn't going to share it with you until he was ready. Now it's got lovely shelves inside and stuff growing in it :)

Actually when I look at these photos it looks better now than just a few days ago - there are more seedlings growing big and tall so I guess I shall ask for an invite to take more photos. I am also going to make him a sign for the door, hahaha

Hold on a wee minute until I get my facts straight.....
* it is 7x5 ft
* it is weatherboard/shiplap NOT the inferior outlapping construction
* it is slow grown Scandinavian pine
* pitched roof covered with felt
* 2 air vents have been added by Andrew himself.


Wednesday, 2 May 2012

seeds in your noggin'

I'm a huge fan of the Brave Girls Club and in particular their 'daily truths' which I get sent to my Blackberry. Today's truth struck a chord and I decided I would share a little of it, please remember that these perfect words aren't mine, oh that they were....

..'Your mind is like a fertile garden and it will grow and grow and grow whatever is allowed to be planted there. Plant seeds of beautiful truth, endless potential, optimisim, beauty and gratitude.....if you plant those things thickly enough they will choke out all the weeds'...

Maybe it's a bit cheesy, maybe it's childish but I like it.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

It's MAY !!

Happy Glorious Magical Brilliant Blissful Productive Magnificent May!!

I LOVE May - it is a Month of growth, of new life and (hopefully)sunnier days. It's when the broad beans start to go mad and scramble up their supports, the early potatoes poke through with a friendly green 'hello' of foliage, the blossoms turn into tiny fruit buds - eek!, all the seeds start their journey from dormant seed to flourishing plant with delicious edibles, Maggie gets a hop in her step, the birds are nesting, the roses and honeysuckle burst forth. Ohhh it's tingle time!! Plus all this, so much to celebrate to remember and to share...

May is going to be fabulous darling! Think it and it shall be so. I'll be with you all the way sharing the stories of the lottie and other such stuff as comes into my noggin'. But for now, revel in the wonder and come dance round the Maypole of life with me...