Autumn is well and truly here in Co Mayo. The predominant colours in the garden at Haremoon cottage are lush hot vibrant reds and orange.
Nasturtium lovely in salads and a great companion plant to grow in vegetable garden.
I love growing Hops, I make little pillows which I fill with the seed cones a popular folk remedy for aiding a good night sleep. The scent of Hops is lovely. They are used primarily in brewing beer (which I may attempt sometime) and also used for various herbal teas and other beverages. In Sweden and Finland it is a soft drink called “Julmust” popular at Christmas time to the detriment of the Coca-Cola Company whose sales drop by fifty per cent over Christmas.
Every year I find growing in the garden, Oats, this planted by birds. Not enough grows so that I can make porridge for the whole winter months but enough to make a small corn dolly.
For the birds I have a number of Cotoneaster shrubs who eat the berries especially loved by the blackbirds and thrushes. The feather is a down feather of one of 12 Collard Doves that visit my garden each day.
Cotoneasters are wonderful shrubs to grow for other wildlife it is a valuable source of nectar for bees and is a larval food plant for moths.
Two none native plants in Ireland which grow well and provide a riot of Autumn colour, orange – yellow of Montbretia and red – purple of Fuchsias. These none natives are not destructive like the Rhododendron and Japanese Knotweed.
At the moment around Haremoon Cottage large flocks of Starlings are descending upon the blackberries in the hedgerows, hopefully I will be able to collect some for a few pots of jam.
The swallows are gathering on the lines readying for their long journey back to Africa. I wish them well they so need it.