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The Garden Diary Re-visited

By Chris Mills @landing_tales

As we are almost at the end of May, I have decided that it is time for another Garden Diary post, having not ventured from The Landing region to the sunny uplands for ages. The Garden Diary (now into volume III) lives in the kitchen rather than on the Landing but as you know, technicalities of book location tend not to weigh too heavily hereabouts. The three volumes live on The Landing in spirit as it were, being something of an heirloom already and probably as dusty.

The Garden Diary Re-visited The Garden Diary Re-visited The Garden Diary Re-visited

Since June 2021 (according to the note on the first page) I have been using a splendid new leather-bound notebook, a Christmas gift from a previous year. The cover is a lovely dark green, stitched around the edge; the front cover is decorated with an embossed image of a Green Man. Unlined pages of a thick creamy-white paper are stitched in five signatures. It arrived in its own cotton bag, so for a quite a while I was terrified that nothing would be good enough to write in it.

In June and July 2021, I am sure that I did have various horticultural activities, but nothing made it into the diary and I picked up the threads of the diary once more on 29 August. As I have mentioned before, I try to write up notes on what I have sown, transplanted, re-potted etc. I do generally ‘fess up to the failures in the interests of full disclosure to my future self. I enjoy keeping up the diary, although as you can see, I do fall beside the way sometimes and may let weeks or even months go by without making a note of my horticultural activities. I enjoy taking photos for the diary, attempting to document my garden progress. Houseplants occasionally get a look-in too.

I have also been trying to record the wild flowers that I have identified in the garden. Some are easier than others (think dandelion or daisy), while others have required the consulting of wildflower guides. Not to mention the use of a magnifying glass on tiny specimens. I am up to about twenty-six varieties of wildflowers recorded in my trusty diary. I think that the discoveries that delighted me the most were finding cowslip and ox-eye daisy in the grass. Along with red clover and creeping buttercup, the ox-eye daisies create a real meadow-like scene in the garden. I was particularly pleased that I was able to identify a plant called self-heal last summer with the aid of wildflower guides. I am far from being a specialist, so it is a true delight to be able to claim that I have successfully identified a flower (and for it to be happily living in my garden).

The Garden Diary Re-visited
The Garden Diary Re-visited
The Garden Diary Re-visited

I have a handy guide, A Beginner’s Guide to Ireland’s Wild Flowers (Sherkin Ireland Marine Station) that I bought a few years ago at Magpie Books in Enniskerry (sadly no longer extant). I also use Zoё Devlin’s Wildflowers of Ireland website for identification. She has now published a wildflower guide which I have not yet got around to buying. My newest identification from the website has been a Lesser Hawkbit (see photo). All finds will duly go into the Garden Diary for posterity.

Now as it’s a sunny day, I am heading off outside with my diary!


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