Tag Archives: polytunnel

In the Merry Month of May


As the end of May approaches it’s time to share what’s been going on around here.  The weather has been simply amazing, much too wonderful to stay indoors.

Johnny and Adrien made new window boxes, designed to fit perfectly inside the window ledge.  There’s more space for soil which should retain moisture much better.  They dry out quickly, often needing watering twice a day so I’ll also add some recycled plastic bottles for a water drip system to each box.

Another item off the Amazon wish list!  A weather vane is now adorning the roof of our chicken coop.  Nuala and Tadhg worked very well together assembling it for me.

Despite the very young man at the home and garden store telling me tires couldn’t be painted and thinking I was a bit of an eccentric, I purchased six colours of outdoor paint to transform the tire planters and I’ve been chipping away at the 42 tires over the last two days.  The students will be planting out their pumpkins in a few weeks, one plant per tire.  Cornflower, borage, and nasturtium are growing in the soil between the tires and the stone walls.  Sorry, no photo of finished tires, yet!  A work in progress…

We’re collecting pallets that will become a fence around the pumpkin area that will double as vertical flower planters and a much-needed wind block shelter for the plants.

Some lovely things around the flower gardens and farm.  Can you see the slug’s pneumostome/breathing hole?   I loved the photo of Nuala drawing her world, then saw it on the video at the end…life through a child’s eye!

I’ll leave you with a few shots from inside the tunnel.  I swear most of these plants have grown significantly in the three to seven days since the pictures were taken.  The apple tree was potted up since and the lettuce has really shot up in size.

Enjoy the last days of the merry month of May, Melissa Xx

Friends Helping Friends

With the help of friends and cooperation from Mother Nature, we at last got our new plastic on our enlarged polytunnel. In chilly weather with many helping hands,we had the work done in record time.  It’s a wonderful feeling to accomplish such a large and necessary task with the cooperation of so many, each knowing instinctively when to lead, when to follow, and when to stay out of the way.

in shivering air

with so much work to be done

friendship warms the heart

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The photo challenge word of the week is ‘friends’ and Ronovan’s haiku challenge words this week are ‘friend & shiver’.

True friends are among the greatest of all blessings….feeling appreciation for all my friendships, near and far.

p.s. Apologies for not answering comments sooner!  Busy days keeping me from doing so…neglecting my cyber friends feels horrible, but I’m steadily balancing the scales of work and home.  Thanks for your continued understanding and wonderful advice about managing it all.

Melissa Xx

January’s Garden


Last week, in the bright sunshine, I did a walk through the garden and took a few pictures.  It was the first time all winter I’d gone in with the intention of really looking and not just grabbing veg and hurrying back in the house to escape the wet cold.  I never got around to posting those pics so out I went today…it’s helpful to document these things before the growing season begins.

Everything is looking quite bare, especially with the tunnel plastic off for the entire winter, but the earth previously contained for years by the polythene cover is now enjoying breathing the fresh air and drinking rainwater.  Next month the new plastic goes back on just in time to start seedlings.  We lengthened the tunnel by adding two extra hoops which adds about sixty square feet of additional growing space.  There’s plenty of work ahead of us this spring, which in Ireland begins in just a short week and a half from now. Continue reading

New Potatoes, New Chicks, & A New Cousin


The potatoes Johnny sowed in the tunnel at year’s end 2014 are completely out of the ground and the space is now occupied by lettuce and cucumbers.  He reckons we got 25 to 30 kilos. We’ve given a few away, bartered some for car repairs, and the remaining should last us a month or so, but only if we alternate with some rice and pasta on occasion. Continue reading

Working In, Around, And Away From Home


Chives and rocket growing in the tunnel.

A wildly busy week is behind us and it seems that was only a preview of what lies ahead.  I wish more of that busy had been in the outside garden, but the weather has been most uncooperative.  Even when the sun shines, which has been happening sporadically, the wind is blowing strong, making it impossible to sow seeds.  And it’s cold.  Very cold.  Wisely, we have not planted out yet as everything would be stunted, shocked, and ragged around the edges by it all. Continue reading

A Fleeting Glimpse of the Sun

20150426_181721Here are some outdoor garden pics taken last week before the sun decided to go on holiday.  We built a tee pee using recycled tires as planters because there’s only a few inches of soil there atop a large slab of stone.  And because it looks kinda cool.

Tadhg and I planted two yardlong beans in each and added the plastic as a temporary measure with the intention to add a bit of extra warmth once we closed the front opening.  Fortunately, we sowed many more than we needed and have spares, as the wind and wintry showers which arrived the next day severely battered the tender seedlings.

I said in a previous post that we wait until late May/June to plant out.  But it’s so easy to be fooled into packing winter coats and hats away in April.  I blame the sun and the hypnotic trance it puts on us islanders. Continue reading

Mid March Garden Update

The sunny days this last week could not be ignored and Johnny and I managed a few days of work outside in the garden.

Wed 11 March– Partly sunny, dry, low wind, high temp around 10°C/50°F  Nice day.


-liquid seaweed fertilizer applied to ❤ -shaped herb bed, perennial bed, rhubarb patch, herb and flower corner, tractor tire planters.

-seaweed spread on pumpkin patch


Making organic seaweed tea fertilizer. It likes to be mixed once or twice a week.

Sorry, I didn’t get a picture of the good, thick, and gooey liquid seaweed before it was spread throughout the garden.  This is about three weeks old.  With warm enough weather, it is possible within 2-3 weeks to break down into liquid fertilizer. If the weather is cold, it takes closer to 2-3 months.

As this is a garden update, I won’t get into the details of making organic liquid seaweed fertilizer.  It’s good stuff and if you can make your own, (seaweed, manure, comfrey, or nettle) it will save you money and is a better choice over store bought packaged options.  Isn’t that what we are hoping to avoid by growing our own anyway? Continue reading

A Look Back: Late Spring Garden April 2014

Technically speaking, May marks the start of summer in Ireland.  It would be more convincing if the cool and often wet conditions outside resembled more of that inside our polytunnel. But no complaining here, just appreciation for the inventor of the hooped hothouse and the man who sold us ours at a discount.  Each year, many plants in pots of all sizes, anxious to go in the outside earth, wait patiently in the warmth of the tunnel for a few more weeks. Continue reading

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.

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