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Author Archives: michael

My Gardening Month August 2021…always a lush month in the garden

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What a lushness the garden has in August and while I know that the winter months are drawing close we always have the memories of the summer garden to carry us through ! The largest grass in captivity … arundo donax hits it’s peak in August and dies completely back in December I wrote last month about roses and why I don’t grow them …well in Washington even roses are political ! The most famous Rose Garden in the world is the one installed at the White House by Jackie Kennedy in 1962 when she took a tradition going back a hundred years whereby the US President’s wife planted a […]

My Gardening Month July 2021 … sweltering heat , dog days in the sun !

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Visitors to the garden often ask why there are no roses and there are two  reasons , one that I am not a big fan of flowering shrubs in general unless they have outstanding foliage or bark as usually flowers last only a short time and the plant has little to offer for the remaining 49 weeks of the year and secondly roses are full of diseases such as black spot and white fly which disfigure the plant and I forgot there is a third reason which is that I have enough work to be doing without the added chore of dead heading roses on a daily basis ! Of […]

My Gardening Month June 2021 … Deer Deer and more f..king deer !

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Since beginning this garden twenty years ago we have had to live with the fact that our area is deer country with a capital D . They are everywhere , coming down from the hilly terrain where there is plenty of open fields with cover for them to sleep up in during the day . At first of course we thought it was quaint and absolutely lovely to look out the window and see lots of bambi looking in at us but as soon as we started planting trees and shrubs the deer quickly became a pest as they ate their way through a lot of what we planted . […]

My Gardening Month 30th May 2021 … Go and Zen no More !

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May in Ireland this year never really arrived with a lot of rain throughout the month and this suited me as I had planted out hundreds of rooted slips and cuttings in the new water area I have been working on since last October and they needed moisture plus a little bit of heat to take root . Speaking of arrivals two of my grand kids visited last week and I brought Marko and Mile down to see my new Zen rock installation where I planned to fondly explain to the seven and ten year old the tranquility and appreciation that Zen teachings brought to that area of the garden […]

My Gardening Month April 2021 … A Great Feeling of Relief at Last !

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This month for the first time with the Covid vaccination program kicking up a gear it is beginning to seem that normal life is within our reach again where we can look forward to getting on with our lives and not live in fear of catching the virus every time we step outside our little bubbles . In April I got both doses of the Pfizer vaccine and it was a tremendous feeling of security and relief not to be thinking that everyone I met outside and every surface touched could be the launch pad for the disease . Last month I featured the american skunk cabbage , americanus lysichiton […]

My Gardening Month March 2021 … the vaccine is around the corner and coming to a gardener near you !

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March marks the time of year when gardening turns serious ! That extra hour of daylight , new growth beginning in perennials , trees and shrubs with daffodils and tulips in full bloom and beads of sweat on the forehead as the wheel barrow is taken out of storage , the effing and blinding when you try to start the mower for the first time since last October  ! During March I added to the new water area planting at a furious rate adding  cuttings of houtania along the wet edges and geranium slips in the drier banks for ground cover and then adding a path of concrete paving slabs […]

My Gardening Month February 2021 … Lost in Montenegro !

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February is a month of mixed messages , an extra hour of daylight for the gardener and while on the one hand all the senses are shouting stay indoors , snuggle up to the duvet and binge watch Netflix , the practical side ( don’t you just love this voice ) is saying get out there and start cutting back ! It can be a balancing act in trying to get the most out of the winter structure of the perennial grasses and the striking bark of the willow and dog woods but I like to get all the hard pruning and cutting back done by the end of February […]

My Gardening Month 31st January 2021 … January is not my best loved month !

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A new year , a new decade and hopefully the much promised vaccines will banish Covid and give us back our normal lives . January is always for me when the garden starts again to grow , the shortest day of the year has passed , the excess of Christmas behind us and by the middle of the month with each day there is a little stretch in the evenings and lots to do in the garden also … that said January for me is a month to struggle through and one I am glad to see the back of ! First snow drops of the year in the front […]

My Gardening Month December 2020 … a Bastard Year gone by … but a Happy New Year , Sretna Nova Godina to come !

Posted on by michael

A phrase I read recently to describe this past year was that 2020 due to Covid has been a BASTARD YEAR , sums it up perfectly and God love anyone who has lost family or loved ones to the virus  but good news for January 2021 with the roll out of the vaccine and hopefully we can all get our lives back on track  again . December is such a busy month with the festive preparations that it is hard to find time to spend in the garden but with the leaves all down it is a good month to examine the structure of the garden in it’s pared back […]

A Tale of Christmas’ spent away from home

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I love Christmas , always have , the lights , the present buying , the kids excitement and anticipation ,  the christmas playlist all around the house and the non stop blasting out of umpteen versions of Mary’s Boy Child , I love it all even the tacky elements and the plastic Santas ! While working abroad for fifteen years with the EU I missed spending Christmas at home because of work commitments for many years . The first was in Skopje , Macedonia in 1994 , a mainly Orthodox country so their Christmas is on January 6th and our day of the 25th December went largely unnoticed and it […]