Easing into autumn

Posted on: 5th August, 2016

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: Ruby Harte

Ruby Harte (a.k.a Mags Riordan) has been a professional florist for over 12 years and has completed a course in horticulture and worked in garden centres, wholesale nurseries, and private gardens. Ruby runs a family owned nursery, Bumble Bee Farm in Castledonovan, Drimoleague and is deeply concerned about the protection and cultivation of nature and its habitats.

Those subtle changes I mentioned last month are becoming more evident with each passing day. When I got up this morning shortly before 5am the lack of light was the first thing that struck me; my morning wanderings are getting later and later but it’s all happening at the right time. I must admit in the frenetic madness of May and June I get a bit lost and out of touch with the natural rhythms. I suppose it’s getting grounded again. There is still a mountain of work with weddings and events for August and September but it does begin to get easier from now on. Biennials are all bulking up, early summer crops are finishing, giving room for these to take their place, and late summer and early Autumn crops are really cranking up. The Dahlias are simply divine this year but best of all it’s the perennials that really come into their own now like astilbe, helenium, anemones, hydrangea and verbena to name a few. Sedums, michaelmas daisies and nerines will be along shortly and I’ve just seen the first flower on our acidenthra, I just love the markings and beautiful scent from these beauties. We benefitted from being more organised this year and have managed some time in our own garden, what joy!

Thankfully we haven’t had any more trouble from the fox since Harold’s near miss, Gracie is relishing her new job as chicken protector. She has blossomed since taking on her new role. It’s been a long hard road with her; she had so much trauma to overcome but we’ve got there though and it’s so rewarding to see her smile. She had turned out to be one amazing dog. We are so glad we persevered, but it wasn’t easy.

The first lot of chicks are nearly ready to join the flock and the last lot are thriving too. We need names for the four new hens, any suggestions? Two are white and two are black and white.

We had a bit of a disaster with our website — it was hacked but I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason and so much good will come out of this. We knew we needed to upgrade and this is the perfect opportunity. It has spurred us on to do a bit more research on our ever-growing edibles. So we are going to try and come up with some interesting new recipes using local floral produce. If anyone has some old recipes then I’d love to hear from you. Sometimes we can forget what’s on our own doorstep by getting dazzled with the imported selection of foodstuffs. For instance, in another few weeks there will be an abundance of elderberries (if the birds don’t get them first). We have a blackbird that patrols our patch from dawn till dust and is very reluctant to share with anyone, including us. I’m determined to put them to use this year; I’ll let you know the results in due course.

Through our research we’ve found some very interesting results from studies preformed on the medicinal properties of certain flowers including nasturtium, rose and tree peony, plenty of antioxidants, all good news. I love a salad full of flowers but if you are prone to allergies then exercise a little caution and try some flowers in moderation to begin with.

Enjoy the sunny days when you can, get out and enjoy the ever-changing seasons there is so much subtle beauty, we never tire of it. We hope you all have a lovely bank holiday weekend and that sunshine is in abundance.

Till next time.

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