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gardening in kilquaide 106

Its not turning into a gardening blog.

Really its not!

Well maybe a bit of one.

You see I love gardening nearly as much as bicycling.

And like bicycling I learn a lot from gardening.

In fact the two seem intertwined in their nature.

Gardening takes observation and time and cycling does too. (Well my type of cycling that is).

These days I notice a change. Not only in the longering of the evenings, the earlier light in the mornings, the green greenest of the foliage, the clarity of the air, the blueness of the sky after the sudden refreshing april showers, but in myself.

Is it an age thing this turning inwards? My thought’s deepening as I wonder more about the meaning of my life.

I am becoming less aware of the outer me.

Clothes, makeup, perfume and ornamentation are no longer so important.

And more aware of the inner!

I note more intensely the small less gaudy but equally things of wonder, surrounding me.

That patch of tiny violets as the sun strikes them through the dappled light of the tree’s.

The dazzling yellowness of the dandelions growing in the ditch, more beautiful and intricate on close inspection than any carnation.

The carpet of blue speedwell on the bank beneath the slow-to-leaf beech tree.

The dark rich browness of the sod as I turn it over.

The satisfaction of the clean bite of the spade into the soil.

The pinkness of the worms coming to the surface as the earth slowly warms.

The robin waiting her turn as I step away and reach for the fork.

Am I letting myself go?

Maybe yes from a visual perspective.

Maybe no from introspection.

When I stop at the local shop on my way home for the makings of supper, I am aware that my hair is wild and probably host to a few twigs.

That there is often mud on the knees of my trousers. My hands are a bit grimey.

But I am also aware of the happy spring in my step, the rosy flush to my cheeks, the shine in my eyes.

The feeling of wellbeing.

‘You’re looking well’ The man at the fish stall remarks when I hold out my still muddy hand (I swear I washed them)for my piece of salmon.

I suppose a man who constantly has his hands in the innards of fish is drawn to a woman wearing half a garden on her head.

So I thank him for his compliment and in return remark how well he has filleted my salmon for me.

And now I am on a weeks holidays.

‘Take a rest’ My colleagues at work advise me ‘Go away to somewhere nice. A spa maybe, with a few friends! You do have a few friends don’t you?’

They look at me anxiously (Though I am old enough to be a mother to most of them they ‘mind’ me in the workplace)

I nod and smile in aquience

But instead of a spa, I cycle up to my daughters garden where I have lots of company in the form of an amazing amount of Bird’s.

And a small dog of unusual breed.

Her name is ‘Blaithin’ ( pronounce Blawheen) Irish for ‘little flower’.

A Petite Basset griffon Vendeen  of a better personality than any human.

She accompanies me throughout my gardening day, giving her opinion on everything.

Not following but trotting on ahead, her head up and long tail wagging as she views her domaine (After all it is her garden more than mine).

She never argues with me. Likes what I say and also likes when I say nothing at all (and keep saying it )and is quite content to sit and observe me dig.

I am teaching her what not to step on or dig up (she’s very fond of digging) my freshly dug soil.

She’s a clever little dog and catches my drift quickly.

And most importantly she also doesn’t tell tales on me.

Hanna and Rui Have purchased four state of the art raised beds, To contain their vegetable patch but I believe to contain me as well.

Arriving flat packed Rui has assembled them and when I lean my bicycle against the apple tree and take the tools from the garage, I see them lying on the grass.

There is a note on the kitchen table.

Hi Mom,

Rui has assembled the beds.

Just mark where you want them and He will put them in place when we get home.


I throw the note in the bin and move them into place.

In a neat row along the fence where they will get full sun.

Old grass cuttings first, some compost I have been making at home, manure and finally topsoil. A quick rake and we are ready to go.

I transplant the broad beans that I have grown in pots.

I sow pak choi, perpetual spinach, lettuce, carrots, peas, garlic (I know its a bit late) onion sets.

Too early for runner beans and climbing french beans yet.

I cover all the beds with  garden fleece (My favorite stuff! I have kept many a carrot fly at bay with it) which I will remove as the weather warms up.

But I will not be contained.

To the left I open up an area for currant bushes (red and black) and gooseberry bushes and below to the right of the beds I start another for raspberries. My plan is to keep expanding until they put their feet down.

Hanna and Rui that is, not the raspberries.

I liken myself to an invasive species, mint maybe, creeping slowly across the garden.

On the morning they look out their bedroom window and find runner beans growing across it and up the drain pipe I will know I have crept too far.

To be continued…….