...and roll on September
Well, that was a busy month!
We had a wonderful morning at Lough Owel Diving board as the Salty Sea sister event, as organised by Andrea from Cuige. The forecast was very bad, and there were angry clouds and rain in the morning, but by kickoff at 11:00am, it was dry - if a touch windy. This posed a bit of a challenge for Mandala making, but there were lots of stones on the beach to anchor the lighter botanical elements.
The sun came out for a fabulous warming-up-feminine-flow yoga session with Alyce, and stayed dry for a dip, and for the usual post-dip consumption of hot beverages and cake. Once everyone had their fill, Mother Nature decided that it was time to move people along, and the rain came bucketing down. Lots of funds raised for TEAM, who are doing great work in our community for vulnerable women.
Afterwards I had planned to pick flowers in Coole for the yoga picnic, so I got pretty wet doing that, but it wasn’t cold, so it wasn’t too unpleasant.
Glorious weather for said Yoga Picnic - a wonderful event, well done Alyce and Mary for orgnaising it. Taking place on the shores of Lough Ennel, lots of people came from other counties to attend, and were amazed and delighted at the beautiful places we have in Westmeath. The sun kept shining all day, sun screen was in high demand. Some great yoga teachers in attendance, I was delighted to be able to attend an in-person Yin yoga class with Colette.
Earlier in the day I taught a class myself -talking about worms and mycorrhizal fungi, and how mindfulness can help you and your garden work in harmony. I had a small attendance, but they were very interested and the messages had a lot of resonance for attendees.
And in keeping with this lovely piece - check it out:
Plant sales were brisk, and it was lovely to be next door to another Anna at wholemoon cakes.
My collaboration with Westmeath libraries is ongoing - I ran a very well attended microgreens and sprouts growing workshop in Moate, lots of tasting, and discussion and people when home with lots of seeds so that they could try it out themselves straight away.
Next up was Gardening for Biodiversity in Castlepollard library. A great discussion with some well informed participants, who went home with lots of free plants.
I haven’t been doing a huge amount of gardening - just planting biennial and perennial seeds. I need to get cracking on my biennial bed, and get them planted while the ground is still warm and they can push down strong roots to hep them successfully overwinter.
The meadow in Coole needs to be mown and the grass removed, that can happen right through September, but you need to find a farmer willing to do the work. And with an arce of meadow, it’s too much to do by hand.
I notice a pattern in my gardens in the midlands every summer/autumn - the flowers are lush and wonderful in June, and moving into July. Then they get a bit tired looking - high temps and low rainfall to blame most likely, and long days. Once the nights get a bit colder moving into September, they perk up and put on lots of fresh growth. I’m seeing that a bit already, looking forward to more bounty soon.
Apart from flowers, I’m harvesting loads of raspberries, figs, tomatoes and some windfall apples. The pears are filling up nicely, and will store in the veg drawer of a fridge for months if picked at the right time (later than now). Jam has been made - Fig, apple and raspberry, though the raspberries are the main flavour. Also Brown(e) sauce using some donated plums, and salsa with homegrown chillis, tomatoes, apples and onions. The salsa turned out particularly well - I’m looking forward eating that with tortilla chips in the not so distant future.
8th September – Athlone Library – Seed Saving at 6.20pm - book here
22nd Sept - Mullingar Library – No dig gardening at 6pm - book here
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I’m looking forward to a busy October with the Refill Mill - keep an eye on instagram for updates.
And as usual, I’ll leave you with a song that I’ve been enjoying this summer