Oh wow challenge it definitely is  , and lots to do , however it is actually very enjoyable work and  I am amazed at how  we are using  much of what we already have in order to get things moving, the straw was here , the cardboard was  here, the paint was here, the willow was here to take cuttings from  . Granted there is a lot to get but if we  think too much about that it can get  frustrating so hopefully we will keep  working away and  get  what we need little by little . Every opportunity I get I try to plant something  , as well as tidy up what is already here . A proper compost  area must be achieved this week  , as the compost that  we are using ,or is it top soil ? is hard to get at because the carpet  I had covered it with is tough to break through , but when I find blackish crumbly compost hidden away under the carpet the struggle is worth the joy  that  fills my heart.

I noted today that  there are  lots of briers in the  middle of the area we are trying to tame a little so  I am thinking of  trying to sort through these  in order to reach the blackberries , there needs to be a fast boundary put up on all sides actually so I think Poplar trees should be  included in this boundary , the willow cuttings are coming in real handy also , I cleared an area today to put a line of these in  in order to  add some more  shape to the area around the clothes line.

So just to recap on the main work today, more straw put down to create a path through the wilds ha ha. Another no dig bed prepared  , that actually looks very lonely so think we will have to get some neighbours for it asap. Running out of cardboard so  will be  stocking up on this  for the work here, also found out the name of  a neighbour who may be able to help me out with the manure so this is great news , want  a great big heap of it   to help with the beds, I believe it really is similar to gold in the work  we are doing here, it must be well rotted though I read. In the meantime I found that the garden centre in Castlebar sells bags of manure  for 6 euro or so  , I think it is a John Hines product not sure yet but will post a pic when I get some. Spent a  good bit of time trying to dig out compost from a heap that I had hastily dumped in previous years , however it was probably mostly grass cuttings covered over so  more reading on how to  do this properly is  something that will greatly enhance the work here in the future.

Cleared around some beds and still have not  pruned those roses , I am such a coward, the fruit trees that went in last year , 2  in total look strong so  perhaps I may just leave them alone .  The sun was just setting as we finished up and I could not find my camera it was really beautiful all reds and purples  so hopefully I will catch her tomorrow evening , in all her glory. There was a wonderful peace in the garden as we worked  , it was the same kind of  peace I remember as a  child on my grand fathers farm  and for this experience to  reveal itself to me again I am so so grateful, we do not have a plan , and this is nice actually as the plan just seems to come about of its own accord.

I can say from my heart that this is a truly wonderful  experience for me  and  I could not be happier than when I am outside  and  yes playing in the garden , that’s what it feels like at times , its like allowing myself the freedom to play in the soil and mud and just create as I go along.

Chickens , yes chickens , they cannot be that hard to  mind , I was reading  about  how to care for them last night  , what they need etc, if there meant to be part of the plan they  will be  , and what about a donkey or two at least that way the manure would be taken care of . If Angie or Kate is reading this  please don’t get excited yet about the donkeys as  there is a lot of planning in order for that to happen ha ha .The chickens  are definitely on the horizon but the donkeys not just yet.

Happy Days everyone and  many blessings sent your way. Kathy.

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6 thoughts on “Valentines Day from the garden challenge.

  1. Kathy, I live on the other side of the world but I would get you to question how many willow trees is a good idea? Because of their roots they are banned in many places as they can destroy water pipes. Here they may grow beside creeks or streams, but in built up areas they are not encouraged…. Just a thought. Love the way you are attacking you project.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah thank you Barbara , I will go a bit easier on the willow , and many will only be there at the start until we get more plants , there are fields all around me where I live and not a pipe in sight we live in a very rural area but I know what you mean about roots establishing themselves over the years , but unless something magical happens with our economy I cant see there being a big increase in the population for miles and miles around here. Really appreciate your comments and enjoy reading your blog , isnt it wonderful to meet people from all over the world , there are many things wonderful about technology . Have you ever visited Ireland , it is a beautiful country but alas we have a good bit of rain , but the sun shines a lot also , I think we are pretty lucky with our climate we really dont have any extremes in weather , but we are always talking about it , its quite funny really the sayings we have developed to describe the weather . Blessing to you my lovely friend from the other side of the world , so glad that we have met. Happy Days. xxx


  2. Dear Kathy, Thank you for your lovely response. I’m glad you’re thinking twice about how many willows! I haven’t been to Ireland, but have an Irish friend I met in Italy in 1969/70. Catriona lives in Co. Tipparary and we stay in touch. I love hearing about your land, and the amazing adventure that you are tackling. I love my garden too, and have five compost bins, as we’re on 1/4 acre block, since I feel we’re getting older. Compost makes such a difference. I did do a Permaculture course years ago, that did give me more confidence. I love the rain so make the most of it!! Blessings to you from Victoria, Australia! I shall watch with great interest. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree about the compost , going to study the how to articles today in order to have a really good supply, there will be a lot of grass cuttings , and lots of weeds also so I think that manure will make a difference in so far as breaking down goes , not too sure yet about compost but looking forward to learning about it , Kathy.


  3. I like the way your garden is shaping up. Surprised to read your comment on growing blackberries on wires. That is the way I see most cultivars of blackberries and raspberries grown. They can get out hand if not stake. Yes, willow can cause damage to pipes and septic tanks if grown in the wrong place. Their roots will seek out water wherever it is. That is one reason why cuttings take off. In Washington State There are plantations of cottonwooes grown for the express purpose to use in paper making. It takes about 20 years to grow the crop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blackberries grow wild here , alongside the road usually in a tangled up mess and are hard to get at interesting to read that they are some places grown on trellis etc will look it all up , thanks for your lovely comments really appreciate your comments kind regards Kathy.xx

      Liked by 1 person

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