Six-on-Saturday: March Week 1

We’ve had five weeks of dry spring-like weather, mostly milder than normal. The past week has been colder, but really that’s just going back to old normal.

Thursday was special if you’re a maths person, like me. 2/3/23. That might have swept past you in a blur. It won’t be repeated until we arrive at 3rd of April in eleven years time. Now there’s a thought. Will it be a Saturday, I wonder? The A+ students will know straight off!

About this time last year, I wrote about 22/02/2022 being extra special. That date reads the same left to right, right to left and upside down, but why anyone might want to read a date upside down beats me!

You don’t have to be like me to understand all this baloney. It may just come easy to you! What came easy to me this week was finding nice things sa gháirdín to write about. Here’s  the shape of things in the garden on the first Saturday of the March…

1. Plant Of The Week: Helleborus

I do love Helebores, and would love them even more if I didn’t need to stoop low to get a perfect view of their beauty.

In the case of this one, name unknown, I put it on the garden table to photograph. I got it from Simon at Dungarvan Farmers Market on 2/3/23. That’s what I’ll call it! Yes, heretofore it shall be Helleborus 2323. I cannot remember where I got the table. If you’re not quite with it, you’ll want to read that again.

Did I know? All helleborus plants are toxic, and all parts of the helleborus plant are toxic. Hellebore poisoning is rare, but it does occur. Hellebore plants are usually left alone by animals such as deer and rabbits because the leaves of the plant produce poisonous alkaloids, making them distasteful to animals. The poisonous alkaloids have been known to sometimes bother gardeners with sensitive skin.  It was used in the  at the start of the sixth century BC to poison the water supply of the city of KirrhaAll. Now I know several new things. Thanks Wikipedia & voluntary contributors.

2. Viburnum

I clipped the Viburnum tinus Eve Price ever before 2/3/23 came to my attention, the day before, in fact. My little Garden Tags app reminded me that pruning could be done at this time of year. I also checked about best time for trying to root the cuttings. Answer: definitely no more than 24 hours after the snip. So, having dipped 7 slips in hormone powder, I put them in a pot of soil and grit, popped a ziplock bag overhead and they’re now in glasshouse. Hormones do their best thing in a cozy warm environment.

I’ll check them once a week, bring them outside in fresh air for a short while and cover them up again. Who knows, I may get some of the 7 to take root? Do I want 7 Viburnum tinus Eve Price plants? No, but I like the learning involved and I’ll give them to others.

The parent shrub will be a fine specimen by 2025. I’ll check somewhere around 2nd of May.

Two important notes to note:

  • Do not under any circumstances scan the barcode on the Ziploc pyjamas bag! Don’t do it.
  • “Why can’t you just write about taking cuttings like a normal garden fella?”, says Marion. “Why to you try to turn it into obtuse?” I don’t know how to answer that. In truth, I’m just not a normal gardener, and I must accept myself as I am. It is essential to my happiness.

3. Bellefield House

My visit to Shinrone, County Offaly last Saturday was eventful. As it happened, I left my bank card at petrol station on the journey up. No problem, said Catherine, and she allowed me in for reduced fee amounting to a fiver I had in pocket.

I shall return during the summer. My plan is not to stop for petrol.

Paddy Tobin has an excellent article about Bellefield. Click/tap here to go there.

4. Snowdrop

This is a variety of Snowdrop called Dopey. I’ll say no more as I ponder deeply.

5. Spring in Ireland

We’ve had five weeks of dry spring-like weather, mostly milder than normal. The past week has been colder, but really that’s just going back to old normal. Seems there will be a further dip in temperatures very soon.

Above and below, two photographs taken two weeks apart. There’s lots of weather data there.

I’ve had to wrap up in scarf and hat most days. We’ve had lots of lazy wind. Lazy wind is defined very clearly in the wind-dictionary.

6. Cycling

This is becoming the new normal… another dry February morning. Soon, the farmers will be wanting rain! Anyways, I digress. On the bike last Sunday I managed well despite running my first 5k since 2016. I think that’s pretty good going.

Here’s the Captain’s Report:

On the last Sunday of February 11 hardy souls braved the Beast-from-the-North-East head on. They were joined by Richie at Ballyvoile and very shortly after, one brave soul had to return to base due to a mechanical. It was a straight substitution… man on, man off. At Seafield, three turned to do a shorter loop as they wanted to be back to watch Waterford beat Antrim. They knew full well they were leaving a smaller group to tackle the hills and headwind to Kilmeaden, via Bunmahon and Kill. In any case, this smaller group of 8 worked well together to lessen the effort. After a well-earned break to refuel, the group were joined by one more for the tailwind spin home on the N25 to Kilmac and McGrath’s Cross, detouring to Mahon Bridge, and rejoining N25 at Leamybrien. Just before Durrow, another loop to Kilminion was tackled, new road for some, before returning to Durrow and the Old Boro well satisfied with their morning workout.

Clockwise from top left:

  • Carol & Anthony
  • Marion & Declan
  • Antrim hurlers came calling
  • Paul, Rob & Anthony (not the same Anthony)
  • Centre: when we meet, I keep an eye out for Cyclamens

Thought for the week:

Other Six-on-Saturday Participants

  • Here’s The Participant Guide updated by Jim
  • Thank you for joining me for this Six-on-Saturday post. I hope that you enjoyed it. Jim is now our host for this gardening meme and you can find his blog here and by locating his update for today you will be able to catch up with links from all the other folks who take part. After reading, scroll to the comments. (Shamelessly robbed from Amber, because she does it so well.)
  • Jim is also over there on Twitter @JamesLStephens
  • Dydd Gŵyl Dewi hapus! Happy Saint David’s Day to my Welsh friends.



Click the first PHOTOGRAPH and swipe right or left.


Author: Páraig

Changing my mind, one thought at at a time. Garden, bike and writing can be key. Íar-mhúinteoir le Gaeilge.

7 thoughts on “Six-on-Saturday: March Week 1”

  1. Ah Páraig, we are one for one this week, as I saw your tweet about the Fool’s Spring this week on Twitter and I included it(with link back to you) in my post this week too!

    You are spot on with the ‘What money can buy’ quote.

    I too enjoy the challenge of growing items like cuttings, I get a great satisfaction from seeing them root and create new life – I often try this in a glass jar just so that I can watch the tiny roots take form.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, we are one, Rosie! I spotted it somewhere and screenshotted it. GDPR amnesia when sharing on!
      Your seedlings are looking well. I’ve the propagator in place for last 10 days but too busy to sow anything. At any rate, sometimes later is better.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You do know what they say about that? Great minds think alike and fool’s seldom differ!
      You’ve been busy chopping and destroying… Yes, you’ll have thinking time to decide what to put in place.
      Enjoy the weekend, Fred

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: