Rose-tinted Blinkers.

I’ve made a pig’s ear of the garden this year. The new flower bed that I made in October is like a Bermuda triangle for plants…I keep putting them in and they disappear. That Bay, which I grew from a tiny supermarket pot plant, looks like it is on its last legs.

gardening. gardening disasters. gardening mistakes. bees. ladybirds.

I planted my seedlings out too soon and lost 90% to the frost or the slugs, or possibly the crows. Whichever, I’m back to square one. The dog has broken the new stalks off my baby rhubarb. Not for the first time, I might add. He has something against rhubarb.


The grass is too wet to cut. One of my gooseberry bushes is looking a bit shook. Most worrying of all, our walnut tree is very slow to show any sign of life.

The weather has been ridiculously cold. Snow, in April, in the south of Ireland…it’s just not fair!!!

Nevertheless, I’m still finding joy in my little plot. The key, I’ve found, is to put on my rose-tinted blinkers. I focus very closely on the good things and blur the mucky edges out of the picture.

Very first rosebud of 2016.
Cherry Blossom in bud.
Cherry Blossom cracking open.
Lilac in bud.
Lilac unfurling.
Pear Blossom.
Pear Blossom.
Frostbitten Apple Blossom.
Wild leeks, tamed. They make this end of the garden smell like the back door to an Italian restaurant.
Bluebells appearing like a small miracle in the darkest corner.

We’ve tried to create a bug, bee and butterfly -friendly garden. At that, at least, we have had success. It doesn’t take much effort. Let things get messy seems to be the key technique and we excel at that one.

The Bug Hotel.

I sat very quietly the other day and listened to the bees. They all seemed to follow the same route, along the length of the garden from South to North and over the fence at the end. Presumably they have a one way system figured out to get home again. I would love to learn more about them. Can anyone recommend some good resources?

I got an enormous buzz (collective groan) from capturing the bees in these photographs. They are much more jittery now than they were at the end of last summer and the dog didn’t help matters by following me around and growling at them.

Look at this greedy guzzler clinging on to my Pulmonaria.


Don’t you want to rub that little furry body?
Doesn’t it make you feel part of a grand plan?


The bees seem to me a particular miracle but there are lots of other lovely bugs.

Is this a hover fly? I think it is.
ladybird / ladybug on pulmonaria
Who doesn’t love ladybirds?
ladybird raindrop box plant
That sphere of rainwater made my heart skip a beat.
ladybird on box plant
Always climbing upwards, into the sunlight.

Gardening is what you make of it. There is hard work, there is failure, there is muck and drudgery. There is hope and joy and a sense of meaning something.

Get your hands dirty, as my Granny used to say, feel the earth between your fingers.

daisy in her hands.

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15 thoughts on “Rose-tinted Blinkers.

  1. Your garden is beautiful and I agree no rose colored glasses needed for me either..wait a month, and poof it will have a good growth spurt and you’ll be groaning as you have to prune…LOL your green thumb shows everywhere…I still love that blue fence….love the bees….we put out a bird bath, when we got home of-course it was dry, it almost dries out daily, as I was filling it, 3 bees were already there getting there fill before I was done filling it…LOL I have a big rock in the middle of it and a twig for the birds…but looks like is a bee’s bath…I would do anything to get my hands in the dirt…LOL…I am starting to understand the season here, I will be able to have blooming flowers from September to later April -May…..and then the sun sucks up all the moisture and the plants dry out…unless you have a mistier on them all day…LOL not going to happen….so I will learn how to do it, one month at a time…LOL I always have called them ladybugs, but I like lady birds…as they do fly….what a happy garden with all the bugs….I use sawdust to keep slugs out, they won’t or rather can’t crawl across it….just a thought…cheaper and better for the garden than pesticides…..I look forward to getting to watch your garden grow…..xxkat

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s so interesting to me, how different parts of the world have a different rhythm, that’s one of the things I love about blogging…getting a peek into backyards half a world away. I also like when people keep it real…there is no use pretending it’s all pristine every day of the year!
      Fingers crossed for that growth spurt!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This post made me smile. I’m always looking at my garden close-up – if I looked at the whole thing all at once, I’d never go outdoors! There are always peaks and troughs; it’s part of the gardening journey 🙂 And bees… yes, bees are fabulous. Have a lovely weekend – hope the sun shines and you can sit in the garden soaking it up.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m so glad I read your blog this morning….now I’m going to have a good day! I made 3 big wells along the sunny side of our house, getting ready to plant 3 tomatoes. I went out yesterday morning and found a pair of Mallard ducks sitting in one of them like a nest!!! I desperately need Spring and all of it’s signs of life this time of year. It’s hard to wait for the cold days to end! Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t believe I didn’t hit follow til now ! I thought I already did.. And poked over here on my own since I haven’t had any emails on new stuff from you..

    This whole article is amazing.. Your writing flows from sentence to sentence, nothing choppy.. And those pictures.. These are professional grade closeups and keeps the theme in ryhthm in beautiful colors..

    If you want to jump the pond to Maine, I’d let you play with the flora and fauna on my land to your heart’s content ! 😊 I’ll even spring for the food and lodging.. My cabin isn’t ready for residence yet but there’s a great motel up the road 😄

    Liked by 1 person

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