The April Garden

Pear blossom / America Vilage

April has been a busy month in the garden. The weather has really helped to motivate me, there have been some gorgeous days out there recently - I'm talking sun cream and hammock kind of days. 

We have been eating plenty of garden produce already, in fact I have pretty much been living off homemade coleslaw, pesto and lettuce, rocket, dandelion and wild garlic salad's. You just can't beat that feeling of wandering around the garden, picking fresh food and having it for your breakfast, lunch, dinner and sometimes supper!

I have also been enjoying the odd mint Julep on these bright evenings. Mint is one of my most favourite herbs, I would gladly throw it into everything prepared in the kitchen, so I was delighted to see the mint re-appear this month. I allow it to grow wild around our little wooded area - It would actually please me greatly if I had a lawn of mint!

Mint
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Antebellum Mint Julep

Antebellum Mint Julep

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Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic

Coriander

Coriander

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Cucumber

Cucumber

The greenhouse that Micheál built last autumn is proving to be such a wonderful asset. I sewed all the seedling's in there and they have all sprouted well. 

So far we have started off: Courgette's; Cucumbers; Onions; Wild Strawberries; Coriander; Chives; Lettuce leaves; Rocket and additional blueberries and blackcurrants'.

With these few plants and the left over winter crop of sprouting broccoli and cabbage, along with the wild foods growing around us, such as the sorrel, dandelion and wild garlic, I have found that we have a plentiful addition to the nutritional needs of a family of five - In fact, it is hard to use the broccoli and cabbage fast enough, I have let some go to seed as the bees are feasting on the flowers. 

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Courgette

Courgette

Rocket

Rocket

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Last Year's Onions

Last Year's Onions

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

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Lettuce Leaves

Lettuce Leaves

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Rhubarb

Rhubarb

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Dandelion Root

Dandelion Root

Dandelion Spritzer

Dandelion Spritzer

Wild Strawberry

Wild Strawberry

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I am re-discovering that it is such a lovely time in the garden at the moment, there is so much appearing, new things seem to pop up each day. The blossoms are now on the pear and apple trees and the wild rose bushes are full of life again. 

So much happening in the space of a month, I can't wait until May - One of my most favourite months of the year!

America Village Garden
Blueberry

Blueberry

Chamomile

Chamomile

Courgette

Courgette

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Apple Blossom

Apple Blossom

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Blueberry

Blueberry

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Beach Combing finds!

Beach Combing finds!

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We had a problem with some white and green fly on the strawberry plants in the greenhouse. I was told to boil garlic and spray the plants with the water. I have done so and it actually seems to work, so far so good - Fingers crossed, the last thing I want is green fly in the green house all year. Any other suggestions are welcomed.

Green Fly Solution

Green Fly Solution

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Virginia Creeper

Virginia Creeper

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In May I hope to:

  • Sow - Beetroot; Carrots; Peppers; Chard; Radish.
  • Plant a few flowers.
  • Keep an eye on the new plants and keep the beds raked and fertilized.
  • Construct a structure to protect the soft fruits.
  • Enjoy the garden!
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The March Garden

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Spring has sprung in Baile Mheiriceá - Sap is rising, lambs are bleeting, birds are waking me from my slumber at six every morning, buds are emerging, dandelions, nettles and wild garlic are in my sights - The clocks spring forward an hour this weekend - Oh what a difference a month can make!

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What is it about Spring that just has that ability to lift our spirits - The renewed light after the darkness of winter, the new life in everything nature beholds?

What I really like about spring most of all, is that it doesn't matter who you are or what you do, if you work indoors all day and have no interest in gardening or nature - It still manages to grab you. Just one of the many ways nature has to remind us we are actually a part of it and not always in control of it!

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This past month, there has been lots of new growth in the garden, mainly in the 'wild' form. The wild garlic is making a much welcome appearance, next week I will post a few wild Garlic recipes.  The spearmint is also sprouting again, I love walking through our little wooded area first thing in the morning, with the scent of wild garlic and mint wafting on the air. 

The dandelions are also making a much welcome return - I have great plans for these 'weeds'. 

Nettle soup will also be part of the diet in this house from next week on, It is Micheál's specialty and will be on the menu once a week for the month of April, I also have great plans for this 'weed' this year too! 

We tapped a few silver birch last weekend for sap, it was quite slow coming though, We have about a pint so far, I'm not sure what I plan to do with it yet, but will certainly let you know when I figure it out. 

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The rocket, lettuce and coriander seeds that I planted a couple of weeks ago in the greenhouse are beginning to emerge, there is still no sight of the courgette and cucumber yet though.

This weekend and the week ahead are promised quite warm and fine, so I am expecting a lot more growth and action out in the garden. We plan to sow more seeds and spread all the donkey manure Micheál has collected and get the wild strawberry plants and blackberry bushes in the ground.

We have a busy garden / yard tidy and organise weekend planned, we have to make space for a new addition - I'll keep you posted!

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Considering this post is coming so late in March, here is my April to do list :

  • Sow more seeds indoors
  • Ready the beds for planting in May
  • Plant onion sets
  • Dig Ridges
  • Tidy Garden area after winter storms
  • Sow edible and companion flowers
  • Plant wild strawberry beds
  • Check out solutions for white fly on strawberries
  • Tap more Birch trees
  • Make lots of Wild garlic pesto for the months ahead!
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