It’s a tentative start. We crack open wet soil, slot the roots of a small birch tree into the gap and firm it in. The blessings of Mother Earth on you, little tree. The birch is a bare slip of a thing barely anchored in the ground. One down, 23,999 to go.
I’m in a field inRoscommon and this is the hardest work I have ever done. We straighten aching backs and squint to make out the rows of brown saplings bent by the wind in this rain-streaked place. It’s one of many “how the heck did we get here?” moments.
These fields were the cheapest land my husband Liam and I could find nearly three years ago when the idea came to us to try to grow a native woodland. After a 10-year stint as restaurant critic for The Irish Times, I took a midlife swerve into the woods back in 2020 when my focus switched from food to forests. As a version of the proverb goes: the best time to plant a forest was 20 years ago. The second best time (and maybe our last chance) is now.
The search for land was an education and we nearly gave up. In a Father Ted moment, there was one farm owned by two priests. One wanted to sell, the other didn’t. Then there was the genial gentleman who wanted a chunk paid off the books so the bank wouldn’t discover the real price. We declined. In the end we found these fields scattered across three different areas, close to a train station. They made a sort of sense.
We are both urban culchies. When I was eight my family moved from a suburban bungalow to a house with a few acres on a hill. Over the years there were cattle, a couple of pigs, a field of raspberries, potatoes. I stood in gaps and longed for smooth flat asphalt and roller-skating. Liam grew up not far from Roscommon, where rushes are called rishes and horseflies
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When my budding interests in horticulture started developing in junior high school, I came across Hortus Third, an encyclopedic tome of horticulture compiled in the 1970s. Learning about plants from my dad while working on landscape installations, and then looking them up in Hortus Third after hours, I developed a sense of wonder about plant diversity both in the natural world and in cultivation in our gardens and landscapes. How could a genus described in Hortus Third such as Michelia (later reclassified as Magnolia) have “about 50 species of evergreen trees and shrubs” but only eight listed? What about the other 42 species? Were they unworthy of cultivation, or had we simply not tried the other ones yet? With many genera, the latter often proves to be the case. It turns out that the world of horticulture often overlooks many worthy plants.
Thanksgiving decor is sometimes lost between Halloween season and the glittery festivities of the holidays, yet the season of gathering is an opportunity to create a warm, cozy tablescape full of rich, autumnal colors.
Even the smallest garden benefits from including at least one tree – if chosen well, they provide year-round colour and interest, benefit wildlife and can make a small garden seem bigger. There’s a host of beautiful trees that can be grown in a small garden, and some that will thrive in a container. Here, we share some of our favourite trees for small gardens. There are options to suit every garden style and trees that will provide fabulous autumn foliage, beautiful spring blossom and delicious fruit for you or vibrant berries for the birds. Our choices include recommendations from the Gardeners’ World team and familiar faces from across the gardening industry.
The world of home decor is vast, and we’re constantly amazed by the designers, creators, and creatives who cross our paths. In an effort to learn more about the innovative eyes behind the scenes, we’ve launched a series that explores the sanity-saving tools, products, and services that keep our favorite designers and decorators focused on the job at hand. Welcome to Tools of the Trade.
From squiggly furniture to blob-shaped rugs, it’s clear that curves are making a comeback in design. Bubble houses in particular have been, and continue to be, a fascination when it comes to architecture.
When the housing market slows down, it's common to look for anything to make your home outshine the competition. We asked some experts to share their best tips for instantly increasing your home's value and their answers may shock you with how easy it is.
Discover a gardening haven at diygarden.cc. Get inspired with our expert tips, DIY projects, and innovative ideas to create a beautiful and thriving garden. From plant care to landscape design, our articles, guides, and videos have you covered. Join our community of passionate gardeners and share your success stories. Find tranquility and harmony with nature as you nurture your garden. Let us be your guide on this rewarding journey.
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