For The Garden Record…

It’s a bit early to be seeding much here on the west coast of Ireland, especially with such cold windy weather, but I just sowed the first lettuce leaves of the year under the protection of our poly tunnel.

Yesterday I was chatting to Roz at Small Spaces and the Good Life with Roz and Phil Hill via one of her posts and she generously offered to mail me a parcel of basket willow cuttings from her own garden so we can start our own willow garden.  How cool is that?!  Talk about an interesting couple, they spent a number of years living on a canal boat and now live completely off grid.  She is often wrestling with her gigabytes to keep up with her blogging.  And they do it all with smiles 🙂 on their faces and joy in their hearts .

I walked past these on my way out of the garden and couldn’t resist taking a snap of them…

Daffodils ready to bloom.

Daffodils ready to bloom.

29 Comments

  1. I look forward to reading how your garden grows in the coming year. Willow is a magical plant, so versatile and absolutely determined to grow! I have a twisty ‘dragon’ willow in my garden grown from tiny cutting about 8 years ago – it must be about 25 foot high now – you are welcome to some cuttings of that if you would like them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Sandra, that would be great. I didn’t realize it was so easy to grow. I have imagined using willow throughout my garden and there is an amazing teacher on the island so nothing holding me back. Besides, how could I resist with a name like twisty dragon willow?! It will be a special addition to my garden…much to think about in designing, very excited by the possibilities. Thank you!

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  2. Roni says:

    I can’t wait to see how this comes along. I found your blog by suggestion of susanrushton.net. I just visited Ireland for the first time this past November and just didn’t want to leave. Your country is gorgeous. Perhaps we passed you on the small bit of the Wild Atlantic Way that we traveled. Happy Gardening! Roni

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay, so I am back. Just spent a most enjoyable 30ishous minutes reading post after post after post on your wonderful blog.
      I love the ‘WW’ and can you tell, I think their logo is clever too? It’s kind of like a rural version of the east coast I-95. I am not from here though, hee, hee. I am a Yank, as the local postman likes to say to me. But I have five children in school on our little island, helping to keep it’s doors open so they’re keeping me around 😉 .
      Happy gardening to you too! Melissa

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ruth says:

    Oh I like your idea of a garden diary and considering I’m supposed to be eh attempting somewhat of a garden this year, I would want to shake my butt into order! How cool would a willow garden be, now you’ll have to keep notes and pictures of that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think writing and photographing it will be very motivating. I am already motivated in the garden, but this year we are stepping it up a bit and I am excited to document it. I would so love to see other Irish gardens developing. There are so many ways of doing things right and wrong, we could be learning together (that is encouragement, not pressure).
      How generous of Roz and Sandra to donate willow to me!? It is so meaningful to know it’s ‘roots’ (pun intended?), that it was loved and nurtured, like my gifted kombucha scoby and kefir grains and other garden plants. It’s nice to know a bit of their history and who they supplied with sustenance or beauty before me.

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      • Ruth says:

        You know you are so right re the willow to know that makes it the more special. Haha my garden sure would be a development. note I’ve a half acre that’s mainly lawn, 1 for the children but 2 I cannot grow anything else so in fact lettuce (which my dad informs me everyone can grow) growing would be a development all in itself 🙂 At the weekend I shall start to organise something, there is not even a free moment this side of Saturday

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  4. Donna George says:

    That looks interesting – a garden. I tried it once but only the peppers lived. Snakes scare me in gardens and the low
    Lands have them. I grabbed one accidentally from a bean vine once, scared me to death. I like to watch a garden grow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A couple times as a child I flew arse over handlebars on my bike when the smallest garden snake crossed my path. Grabbing one! ARGH! That would scare me off of gardening forever. Heebie jeebies just thinking about it!! Thanks to good ol’ St. Patrick there’s no snakes in Ireland 😉

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    • I seriously can barely read my year before notes, have been too disorganized to really need them to be honest. It would be great to compare notes, especially when we see the season end results. Ireland really has it’s own unique growing climate and I’ve got so much to learn.

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  5. stephpep56 says:

    Great you got your seedlings started Mellisa, I’ve got the broad beans going, but then we are a slight bit ahead on the east coast of ireland (so says my sisters who live in Sligo and Westport) willow great for shelter and so easy to grow, just stick it into the soil and it will root . Also the goats will love it(they will strip the bark from it). Take care, a bitter wind still out.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is hard to be motivated when it is so cold but I probably could’ve started some seeds sooner. Not much difference in these couple weeks from my experience with succession sowing, with lettuce anyway. I look forward to getting creative with willow. I mightn’t share it with the goats though 😛 . Stay warm.

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      • stephpep56 says:

        Yes indeed. In Ireland (and prob elsewhere too) its best to listen to the earth (i look for worm activity) you can’t hurry nature and you are so right! the later will just catch up on the earlier. also here it was traditional to start planting spuds after paddy’s day. I have started broad beans in my daughters garden but nothing much else. am waiting impatiently and excitedly for a bit of warmth. My sister who lives in Co Sligo has started a facebook group called ‘dig deep’ for people growing vegetable and kitchen gardens along the west coast. take a peak if you feel like it. its only just started. but you probably have enough on your plate already:) Hang onto your seed packets another while wise Melissa:) your patience will not be in vain! (but who am I to tell you what you already know:)

        Liked by 2 people

        • Steph, I am not much on Facebook but that sounds like it is worth checking out. Such a great way to meet other growers in our unique and small island country climate. Johnny sticks to that tradition of sowing after Paddy’s day. The ground just not warm enough. But the handy dandy tunnel fools even the earthworms, so spuds go in there earlier. I will keep my eyes out for their activity in the garden beds, a great indicator. Thanks for the tip. Xx

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    • Those pesky mosquitos! Would citronella plants/candles keep them away I wonder? We are not so bothered by them here but I am quite familiar with them from growing up in the States. Many summer nights we are driven from the garden here by the no-seeums biting us all over, leaving us itching for days.

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  6. Roz Hill says:

    Hi Melissa! Did I catch you posting at 4.30 a.m?
    I have a blog ‘ polyanna’ started a couple of years ago that is dedicated to my gardening exploits.. I will need to do the 101 course for the third time to get it up and running. Keeping a log is a good idea…I have the big red book. I am beginning to settle into essential growing, at first my seed order was far too adventurous.
    Be sure to put down a sheet of ground cover when you put your willow cuttings in, ok.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes Roz, I was up at that hour. A runny nose woke me. So I napped this after noon to make it up. Still a stuffy head but managing. I look forward to seeing that blog. Nice name 🙂 for it. I was looking up willow today and saw the Vincent the basket making teacher in the shop today and he is running a wee course in March. I was showing Johnny your willow page today and he shares my vision about where it would fit into our homefarm.
      I have to give much thought to how I am planning to organize my garden notes on computer. Maybe a spread sheet that I update or so–you know how detailed then notes can become. Just need to give it a bit more focused attention is all. It will be a work in progress, like so many things!
      Thanks for the ground cover reminder. I can picture it now!

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    • Hey Kathy, I am so happy to grow together. We still have so much to learn but it is a great feeling that we may be able to share some of our past experiences of growing here in Ireland. I need to really work on a format which I will be using for keeping records, the computer is much different than paper but I have some ideas I am going to try out. Here’s to future blue skies, warm sunshine, and green thumbs! Melissa

      Liked by 1 person

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