It has been a funny old season. I spent Christmas in Norfolk by the sea. The view from the apartment that my mother had rented for us looked out on to the esplanade where dog walkers and their families took the fresh air by the North Sea. I am used to the sea and here was a very kind Christmas, mild temperatures and clear sky’s contrasted heavily with the flooding disasters elsewhere in the North. Sitting on the sofa watching telly, an unusual activity for me, while those unfortunate ones waded through their sitting rooms.
Maria my sister dived into the sea on Boxing Day for Medecins sans Frontiers as Princess Leia while transforming into Wonder Woman, waytago girl! Once again I watch from the comfort of my camera view/mobile phone without so much as getting my feet wet. Cromer is a sweet town. With it promenade and quaint craft shops. Norwich is a delight if a tad unfriendly. Maybe it was the seasonal stress but the shopkeepers couldn’t seem to get rid of us fast enough on Christmas eve.
I am frequently gob-smacked by the beautiful greenery growing out of walls and steps in a town. Most recently in Cromer and before that in Dun Laoghaire. The north-west seldom sports such lush greenery in the winter months or perhaps it is only the contrast of the surrounding hard landscaping that make everything look so good.Running parallel to the esplanade a sunken garden invites walkers to take a rest.
The new garden in Camcas (CavanAndMonaghanCommunityAreaServices) will be under way shortly. An orchard is to be planted and I thought it would be a fine thing to under plant it with forage style plants. Presently the area is a blank canvas so desirable "weeds" can be easily introduced at this stage. In perusing the seed catalogues I have found some familiar seaside plants and some new ones too to try in the area. Things like the Italian Agretti (Salsola Soda)
And the somewhat similiar Okahijiki.
Others are red sorrel and perhaps perennials from Bareroot Botanicals in Sligo. I am ordering from Simpsons seeds, Chiltern seeds, Irish Seed Savers. In fact several trees from ISSA will arrive in Spring in time for Tree planting week. I will buy some bits from Madeline Mc Keever who is Brown Envelope seeds in Cork. Milkwood farm also has a number of lovely tried and tested seed varieties and I already bought some oca from Klaus He is based in Sligo. I’m thinking that oca even though it is grown just like a spud does not suffer from the same diseases and could form part of a forage/forest garden.Here are a few links to their web pages
http://www.greenvegetableseeds.com/ ie. milkwood farm
I am not using Stormy hall this year, they sell bio dynamic seed which is grown in various locations around Europe and Scotland, I do recommend their catalogue and prices are very competitive as they will sell in large amounts.This year we are trying a smorgasbord of seed companies, many in Ireland. But maybe you already have your seed bought. I promise to let you in to all the wild and wonderful varieties we are going to plant so you can join in the journey.