Archive for the ‘gardening’ Category


Lots of rain last night and a bit this morning … but it looks like  the sun might shine later.


It shone and shone yesterday so I made up 5 window boxes and a few tubs … all the plants at a very reasonable price from my neighours  … Smyths Flower Shop and Garden Centre.


I love lobelias … partly because they end up so lush and vibrant … and partly because my dear friend Lisa grew them years ago.

And geraniums … gotta love them.


So delightfully old fashioned … never pushy … they just get on with it.

I did up 3 window boxes for my dear neighbour and friend Therese … a nice mix of white lobelia and pink geraniums … and another box of a yellow flowers and blue/violet lobelia. She also has a box at her kitchen window with happy yellow flowers.


My boxes are mixed lobelias … and some geraniums … and a pot of snapdragons.


Mags asked me to do her window boxes about a month ago … so her pansies are well grown and very happy wee things … I love them.


Yesterday afternoon William and I hung a rail for all Mags clothes and made 2 shelves for her boots and shoes … it was great fun and quite easy (says she who is a woodwork newbie) … and Mags loves it.

I forgot to thank Sharon for dropping in some of her delicious chocs the other night. She had made some with the honey Anne (a blogger friend in America who raises bees) sent over.

As usual they were very very tasty … I allow myself one (or maybe 2) a day.


See the loose choc … the one that’s looks like it’s trying to escape … it didn’t get far.

And that glass? Full of water … just waiting for a miracle!

I went across to Noeleen in the flower shop to treat myself to a few flowers for the office … she kindly gave them to me as a gift … aren’t they lovely? Thanks Noeleen.


Coco is sitting in her chair as I work away … and now she’s asleep … tough life … I’m coming back as a much loved and cossetted dog.



Better go now and start some SKIL2 work.

Have a lovely day.



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Thank goodness for a sunny day.

Coco and I had a lovely walk in the morning … sun shining in the main street.


It was so lovely I decided to go out to the Sunny Funny Garden at 1pm … hours before the Gang turned up.

My friend Miriam turned up for a visit and found me in the garden. She stayed and helped with the plants for a while.


Maeve and I moved the small lettuce seedlings to bigger pots … a very delicate business.


we put halved plastic bottles as little domes for our strawberries

We transplanted barlotti beans and sunflowers as well.


sunflowers … can’t wait to see them grow

Coco was attached to more long rope so she could range around  … my  mistake as she kept running up through our pots … moved her to another space.


I also moved the sweet peas to the ground … very exciting to see something that started as a seed actually growing.


see the little sweet peas against the bamboo?

Then Janice and her 2 girls turned up and we all had a great time planting pea seeds.


The kids then were given some wood that I asked William to saw up … to paint and play. Each piece will eventually be hung from the trees.


I gave each of the children journals and a pencil … they write what they did and draw at the end of each day


James  mowed the lawn at the front of the garden … well done mate.

A lovely day and I’m really tired now.

Hopefully there will be more gardening tomorrow at Rossinver.

Hope your day was great.



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[wee note on Sunday … I had this post nearly written on Thursday and went to finish it on Friday … broadband was so slow I could have hand written and delivered it to you in person! I’m offline now until Thursday or Friday … off up the mountain for some peace and quiet … have a lovely week]

I’m sooooooo glad I’m going off for some peace and quiet on Sunday.

It was sunny and fab today … and busy with lots of good stuff.

I worked away with an artist … Josephine Kenny … to build a simple blog/site for her. Only took a couple of hours and I’ll post the link when she has finished adding text and a few more photos.

Thanks for the bottle of wine Josephine … no cash has to be exchanged … and 2 people are happy … win win for barter.

I went to Sharons to photograph her chocolate Easter offerings … once again … yum.

When I arrived she and Alan were packaging a lovely easter basket for a credit union (I think they ordered 4 for easter prizes).


Then there’s the little bunnies in their own wrapping … I dropped one by accident … really truly … and Sharon gave it to me.



She has created different size eggs … and a special one just for me.



don’t ask me how Sharon does it … but she somehow embeds the words into the chocolate. Something to do with reverse writing!

Thanks so much Sharon.

I loved the wee bag full of little creatures … baby birds … bunnies … chickens … and lambs.


you get all these in a bag … might even be enough for some of the chocoholics I know … you know who you are!

And … there’s  Sharon’s classic box of chocs … always a winner with me.


Some of the chocs can be bought online at Sharon’s choc shop … others can be picked up (or delivered) if you live locally in Ballinamore.

Finally … Sharon had created some lovely communion chocolates.




And … I couldn’t resist photographing some of Sharons amazing cake designs.


And Willowfield Road was looking very lovely in the sun today.



Contact Sharon for prices.

Postal Address:

Willowfield Road
Co. Leitrim


00353 (0)71 9644778

Email: info@cacamilis.com

After visiting Sharon I then got things ready for the Sunny Funny Garden.

I think there were 9 or so children … it just felt like 50 kids today.

Thanks to Janice for being the other adult there.

I started by asking the kids to gather leaves to put on the 3 plots I’ve created.

I said that I’d count to 60 and see how much they could do … this started a frenzy of running and laughing and throwing of leaves … and we got the plots covered.






There is a method in my madness folks.

We then put layers of newspaper over the leaves and held them down with rocks … will need to soak the paper. It’ll probably rain and solve that problem.


After all that work I invited the children to get a drink at the water bar!


I gave the children a little notepad and pencil each so they can record … write … draw … stick in leaves … whatever … anything they want about the Sunny Funny Garden.

Hannah B read me another of her poems … she’s quick and I like how she puts words together. I’ll ask her permission to print in in this blog.

I mix the gardening with art activities as they love painting.

I told them the story of Liz Biz Bees and how Annes husband Mike is travelling over 1000 miles to get over a million bees for a lot of hives.

[here are photos of Mikes trip]

Maeve said ‘wouldn’t having all those bees in the car make it hard to drive’

I explained that they would be contained in boxes.

And that started the kids off on bee sting stories.

I invited them to paint the wooden shed with bees … and I painted Liz Biz Bees … which they decorated beautifully.









They had a great time and pretty much help each other … strongly encouraged by me.

There were a few ‘accidents’ where they started painting each other … that’s part of being a kid and the paint is water soluble.

I love what they’ve done with the shed … everyone should have kids paint their sheds.

Finally we had a look at the lettuce seeds that had grown in only one week.


The other seeds are still hiding under the soil.

And another Sunny Funny Garden day ended.

I love spending time with the kids … and … I was wrecked.

Then took Coco for a walk … she was delighted and ran for 40 minutes.

Sunday … getting ready to go up the mountain.

Mags is away at a wedding so I’ve been popping in to feed Patsy (the perfect cat). Dropped in at 8am this morning to be met with her purring.

I fed her and she kept crying to be let out … I really really didn’t want to have to climb a tree … or lose her … but I’m a sucker for a crying cat.


[yup … this’ll be the 4th time Patsy has been in a post … and why not … if I was this cute I’d have more photos of me on the blog!]

So … I compromised and found some ribbon and tied it on her collar … and took her for a walk out the back for 15 minutes.


I send you best wishes for a lovely week dear reader and will look forward to writing when I get back.



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Fire going … had my roast breakfast (I bake the sausages, garlic and tomato and poach the eggs) … reading the papers … many cups of tea.

Coco is either chasing a ball around the lounge or sitting next to me.



I always read the paper with a pen and scissors next to me … to note and cut out interesting things.

So far 2 things have caught my eye

Really really low fares to Singapore and Australia until the end of June … as low as 630 euro return … and Malaysian Airlines is doing some crazy fare (you have a couple of stops along the way) to Singapore for less than 500 euro.

Need to attract some funds as I want to go to Singapore in the next 2 months to work with Marc on the design of SKIL2 and Life Dreaming.

The second thing that interested me a great deal?

A DIY paper log maker sold by an Irish company – Ecostore.ie

You make paper logs and they burn for up to 3 hours.

Here’s the How To instructions from their site.

I don’t know about you dear reader … but my coal bill this winter was beyond funny (as high as 30 euro a week when it was really cold) … particularly when you don’t have a lot of cash.

Many thanks to friends who gave me bags of coal for Xmas … they made my fire burn well during the very cold winter.

I don’t want to spend that kind of money again so the whole idea of making my own fuel looks like something I’d love to try.

It also reuses paper … and even after we use the paper to make the no dig beds for the Sunny Funny Garden … I’ll have heaps left over … and I do love my weekend papers.

So … for the cost of papers I’d already be buying (and you can also use any junk mail or a4 paper … jeez … I have piles of old work files I could use … brilliant) … and some time in the sun in summer … I can get a pile of free fuel.

And … Gabriel said I could chop some logs on his land … and wood ash is much loved by tomatoes.

A little forward planning and I could have really low fuel bills this winter …

What’s not to like?

The DIY paper log maker costs 34.99 euro and if you mention the Sunday Times Home section … you’ll get free Irish delivery.

And there’s more … I liked on their site that they have a section where you can haggle the price with them … and they have a lot of other great energy and sustainable products.

I also like their sectioned bin for recycling – makes good sense and looks like it holds a bit of stuff. I currently have different bags all around the kitchen and it looks a bit messy.

I could literally pick up the food waste stuff and put it in the compost bin in the Sunny Funny Garden.

I’m off back to my papers … I’ll add anything else of interest I find …

…. back again … still in the Homes section of the paper.

I have been collecting teapots … teacups … cake trays … for about 5 or 6 years.

I enjoy the mix of design + function.

The mag had a very quirky cake tray ( Blaue Blume) and a lovely teapot and cup by Ikuko Twamato … both very sculptural and full of sensual texture … you want to stroke them … and then eat cake and sip violet scented tea.


love this piece … and if they were laden with Sharon Sweeneys cupcakes & chocolates … heaven


so textural

I still love the teapot I bought years and years ago from a sculptor friend … it’s wrapped porcelain and I do drink tea from it now and again.


And I love these old World War 2 posters … kind of apropos for now.

I love doing the Sunny Funny Garden and learning to grow organic food at Rossinver Organic Centre.

Here’s the first Sunny Funny Garden post from may 2008.

One day I’d love to see land set aside in Ballinamore for allotments and community gardens … it would be practical and a potential visitor attraction.


Except I’d want Peace Gardens for Victory.

I’m off back to my papers … wonder what else will catch my eye?

Well well … this is interesting …

According to the article on community gardens

Trevor Sargent (minister for food in Ireland) has launched his Get Ireland Growing campaign … he said … it’s worth pointing out that councils are obliged to provide growing space for those who want them under the 1926 Allotments Act (The Sunday Times. 29.03.09. p22. home mag)

Cool … so … when I learn more this year I can see who else in town might be interested in starting local community gardens … and then contact the local authority and our local councillors for land.

I’ve gone awandering and found some good Irish sites … the Green Party have started a growing food site called Get Growing … and I’ve registered for updates and information.

I’ve also just written a story about the Sunny Funny Garden for their site.

There is also a newly formed community gardens network in Ireland and a great organisation and site called Dublin Food Growing with lots of info on … yup … food growing.

And just in case someone is reading who has a food growing project in their community in Ireland … and is looking for funding … check this outHealthy Food For All are funding community food projects over a period of 3 years.

ok … that’s taken a couple of hours of research and writing … all fun … and … I’m going back to my papers.

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Hi folks

Another cold and windy day … no way was I going to spend any time outside … really bitter weather.


And then a pile of kids turn up … thankfully I was organised.


They put the seed compost into seed trays (thanks to Eamonn & Noleen for giving them to us) and wrote tags that let us remember … the seed type and date sown.


Lots of chat and they were great … I told them how the seeds would come up in a week or so and in a few weeks (or when the roots can be seen through the bottom of the tray) we would move them to larger seed trays.


They won’t go into the ground until late April/early May.

I gave them (the kids) a glass of orange and a couple of choc chip cookies.

Then it was all over … until next week.

I put the seed trays into the front window … for sunshine … and then I let people know that the kids did it all.



Relaxing now by the fire … having fish and chips and lots of vegetables for dinner.



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What a gorgeous day.


It’s been 4 0r 5 days of sunshine and I’ve gone kind of kiddy … outside all the time.


William, Ella dog, Coco pup and me went to Garadice Lake on Thursday … so beautiful as the sun wandered down.


Coco and Ella love each other and just run like mad things.


Yesterday was Rossinver Organic Food Growing Day … promise to do the Page tomorrow with notes and photos … I’m having an amazing time.

We had the first Sunny Funny Garden day on Thursday … some new children came along … everyone is welcome.


Thanks to Janice for staying and having fun with the kids.

I brought down wooden pallets into the sunshine and asked the kids to paint their names and just have fun with colour … you can see the results.




And here are the kids singing out who they are …

‘We’re the Sunny Funny Garden Gang’


I’ve heard that a couple of other children will be along next week … they’ve asked their parents if they can change their other Thursday activities to other days so they can come along to Sunny Funny Garden.

So … it’s Saturday and sunny … what’s a woman to do but go outside and play.

My new neighbour William helped make some stands for the beans , peas, sweet peas and other things that grow up and climb … thanks mate.


I’ve been clearing space of weeds to put down leaf mould … newspaper … and vintage moo poo … that’s my no dig method … and they will be raised beds.

So far I’ve made 3 planting areas and then put little teepees at the end of each one.


And just for the craic I made 2 teepees for the kids … draped them in a couple of old sheets … pegged them and held the sheets down with stones.

It’s funny … I can move very quietly into the garden … and the kids have a kind of bat signal … they just turn up out of nowhere.


So we had an impromptu Sunny Funny Day today … I brought out all the paints and the kids just had a great time playing … as I dug weeds.


photo taken by Thomas

They asked if they could paint the teepees … of course they could.

My only 2 rules are:

  • everyone (including me) says please and thank you … manners and respect are core to a happy group
  • be kind to each other … and that embraces appreciating each other

After that … I’m happy with a kind of democratic anarchy.


They painted stars with smiles … dolphins … hearts … abstract colour … painted stones … sparkle … all gorgeous.


And then they played pretend in the teepees … I’ll be building a couple more.


William and Ella dog turned up later with willow … he will be helping me build a fence of willow for the garden.


Coco was out all day and loved it … sometimes she was linked to the pole … other times I let her go free … scarey but necessary. She kind of comes back but she runs away if you get too close … I’m becoming a lot more sneaky at catching her.

She was great around the kids.


When people say ‘well done Liz … creating this for kids’

I say ‘ I’m a big kid at heart …  so I love all this play … it is so much fun for me and it’s great the kids love it as well”

Life is good … and Ballinamore is great.



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Yup … it’s that time of year again.

Coco pup is so excited she had me up and out of bed at 6am … lovely.

St Patricks Day … and people in places I have never heard of will be drinking green beer and pretending to be Irish … just for one day.

Go for it I say … have some fun.

I’ll be photographing the Ballinamore Parade and hopefully it will be rain free.

I may pop into Dee’s and see if I can get something green to dress up Coco … moi? … I have a lovely green brooch.

Apart from the fact it’s Paddy’s Day … has anyone else got the feeling that time is just tap dancing by?

Every day is full of something great for me … walking Coco … spending time with friends … or happily alone … learning new computer platforms to build Life Dreaming and SKIL2 … talking with my family over the phone … starting to plant stuff …

It’s all good … and I really enjoy most moments … it’s just a wee bit fast.

There was a knock on my door yesterday … actually there were heaps of knocks … it was like a freeway here.

Two of the Sunny Funny Garden Gang politely asked if they could interrupt my work (yes please) … they wanted to show me how they had tidied up the garden … without me asking.

I do love initiative in children.


They had moved things around … brought in an old slide and we will reuse it as a plant holder…


tidied the art supplies … and the Sunny Funny Cart…


and made a table from an old cable holder … very very clever girls.


It’s slowly getting warmer … although I still need a fire here in the cottage.

I’ll be back later with photos of the Parade … starts at 3.30pm.

Have a great day dear reader.



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