Looking back at October we realize that we have spent another month mostly away from the garden. The building work inside is progressing slowly but we have also spent quite a lot of time working in and for the Ballaghaderreen Community Garden. It is a precious project, lots of fun but equally time consuming now in its early stages. 50 Kg of Daffodils have been planted by the committee and volunteers, well over 1000 bulbs and we are looking forward to the display this coming spring and for many years to come.

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Halloween fun.

Today we would like to just share a few pictures with you. Sometimes it is difficult to stay focused and enjoy the simple things in life. We are still in the middle of rebuilding three of our rooms and the house is very chaotic. Because we are building we have not been able to spend time in the garden either. So it is a bit chaotic out there as well. It is easy to feel stuck, bogged down and feel that things are not moving on as fast as you would like.

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November sun.


November started off as a riot of colour in the garden and we were so happy and thankful to still be gathering the harvest. Our Ocas, Oxalis tuberosa, had a great year and we still have quite a few to harvest. This South American tuber is very versatile and has the benefit of not being affected by blight. It tastes slightly lemony and is wonderful drizzled with olive oil and roasted in the oven along with some kale, carrots, onions and rosemary from the garden. Read more

October summed up.

October saw a lot of sunshine and quite warm weather here in the West of Ireland. We have been busy finishing up work on our conservatory and have started to transform the space in front of it into a garden full of stones and colourful plants. We are blessed to have so many stones turning up in the soil whenever we dig a hole to plant a tree or shrub and our plan is to really show of their beauty in this space. There will be some paths snaking through the space, manly created from big flag stones with some gravel. Bigger stones and rocks will form built up areas in between the paths creating planting spaces for our many Japanese Acers and other plants that have lived in pots for the last few years.


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There is one thing that above all else has helped us in the creation of our garden over the past few years. Mulch. It is the single most effective way to eliminate competition from grass and other unwanted plants when young trees and shrubs are developing. It also helps to keep the soil moist in dry spells and many types of mulch feed the soil as they break down.  Our aim is to create a forest garden, a place with many useful trees, shrubs, groundcovers and vines growing together, mimicking natural woodland. As the years progress the need for mulching will be less and less. The natural leaf litter and the shade cast by the growing plants will eliminate the need for most types of mulch. But for now it is essential.

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Looking back at October.

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If you are a regular reader of our blog you have probably noticed that it has been a while since we posted anything. Half of the family has Swedish roots and has spent some time visiting the old country recently. It was fun to visit family and friends and go for walks in the beautiful Swedish forests. On the way back we spent some time in the airport departure lounge and found it quite creepy. The three of us were reading books and talking to each other but all around us there was an eerie silence. As we looked around every single person we could see was staring at a screen of some sort in complete silence. Not a single person smiled. No one seemed excited to be visiting another country. No couples were holding hands or even looking at each other. No parents were talking to their children. How did it get to this?  After that experience it felt great to get back home and throw ourselves into the work of finishing the last bits on the extension so we can move in. It will only be a couple of weeks now.

We always write a bit each month about what has been going on in the garden and October proved to be quite pleasant. We had some warm sunny days and were able to harvest peas, kale, potatoes and herbs. Our Swiss spearmint has grown as high as a person this year.

oct mint

Many of the perennials and shrubs were confused by the unusually warm weather and put on new growth and flowers. We actually hope it will get colder soon so the plants can rest and get the cold spell that they need. Apples for instance cannot give a good crop next year if they have not been subject to this.

oct rose

The autumn colours have not been as pronounced as other years in the garden but a few of our plants have put on a decent show. We particularly enjoyed the blueberry, aronia and the liquid amber.

blueberry bridge

oct aronia

oct liquid amber

In our circle plants are starting to slow down and wither. We will leave a lot of the seed heads there and clean the beds up in the spring, to benefit wildlife. The teasels are full of seeds and we are hoping the bull finches from down the road will come into our garden to feast on them. We have gold finches every year and they love teasels as well.   Every month we take pictures of the circle in the four cardinal directions. All of these posts can be found in the category; Elemental circle.

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oct east


oct south


oct west


oct north


Two years ago we planted cyclamen and they have established themselves now and looked lovely in October around our yard tree. They look very delicate but can withstand both cold and rain. We are looking forward to the darker and colder season now as there is a lot of clearing, weeding and planting to do after the busy year we have had building our extension. As the growth rate slows down we should be able to get stuck into it all. Welcome November!

oct cyclamen

oct cyclamen