What Winter?

Instead of the cold blustery gales of wind and rain that makes one not want to get out of pyjamas all day, it’s been more like spring than winter and we’ve been both working and growing in the garden the entire season.


Garden photographs are quickly outdated by growing plants and newly built beds.

There’s a lot going on in the picture above: raised beds have been added in between the corn and pumpkin plots–rocket, beetroot, lettuce and winter garlic are growing in four of the beds. Stone paths are made after all soil is removed and sifted; soil in beds, stones back into the path. Long, narrow grow boxes are being placed along both sides of the pallet fences to help stabilize them and add grow space. A half pallet retaining wall is being fitted against the corn field. A lot of labour and nearly all Johnny’s doing.

While he takes care of the corn field, etcetera, I’ve been tending to the pumpkin patch. On this day I added twenty-eight extra tires that will be painted when the weather is warm enough. Herbs and edible flowers will grow in some of the tires to allow more space between each pumpkin plant, one solution to last year’s powdery mildew problem. Powdery mildew is common in cucurbits (cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, courgettes, melons) when they grow close together in damp conditions.

Rain showers in the afternoon had us in the tunnel sowing early tomatoes, courgettes, celery, basil, and coriander, all to go into the newly borrowed grow tent. Lettuces germinated in only two days under its warm light so if all goes well, we should have some to sell this April when the island restaurants open.

Potatoes went into the tunnel the last week of December and, though still tender, we’ve begun eating rhubarb and chives. Some flowering bulbs are up with blossoms just forming and some other flowering plants never even went out of bloom.

Although it’s still January, Irish spring begins in just two days on February 1. So while I’d like to say that winter flew by, the truth is, it doesn’t feel like it ever arrived and I’m left wondering what will February, March, and April have to offer. Will it be another out of the ordinary season or will the current conditions continue? Only time will tell and we’re in no hurry to find out.


  1. Mama Cormier says:

    We haven’t had much winter either here in Toronto and of course it’s the first time I’ve put snow tires on my car. Winter however, could still blow through in a big way. February and March can both be brutal. We’ll have to wait and see. So far the farmer’s almanac has not been very accurate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Your beds look so neat and tidy! Mine still have weeds in them! Have been thinking of sowing seeds but you are well ahead of me! I hope all grows really well for you:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! Funny thing is when I went to Woodie’s DIY to get tire paint the lovely customer service gentleman thought I was bonkers, said there was no such thing. Anyhoo, I settled on outdoor paint and they are ‘growing’ just fine. 😀


  3. Laurie Graves says:

    Winter in Maine has been very mild, too, even though we have plenty of snow on the ground. Good for the heating bill, and, in your case, the garden. But…I know this goes against the grain of many people, but I like winter, especially January and February. I love the light and the sky against the muted landscape and the quiet.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hate to say it, but we’ve had snow in April, just like we’ve had ‘sitting in the garden with a glass of wine in hand’ days in November. Here in Wales, we’ve had a lovely cold, frosty, dry Autumn and January. In fact October – December was the driest on record since 1975 😀
    Great growing weather, though, Melissa.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Susanne says:

    You know, I’m incredibly envious for this reason… the very short winter. And we’re actually thinking of moving back to Ireland for this reason. During the last few years I’ve really suffered during the winter. Because of darkness and cold and the knowledge that it will last for at least five months.
    So lovely being able to grow vegetables in January!!


    • It has only felt cold(ish) lately, and not so bad at that, 6-10 degrees, after a winter of 10-13. It is a real treat to grow in January and really all year round. Five months is a very long winter; hang in there Susanne, you’re on the tail end of it! 😉



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