Much to my surprise and delight, we've just had several consecutive days of sunny weather. In fact, on one of those days, I actually had to remove my fleece. For me, warm dry weather means gardening, lots of gardening for I really am a fairweather horticulturist. The first of the pleasant days I spent on an outing to Garden Show Ireland at the beautiful Castle Grounds in Antrim. My pockets were stuffed with my new pension entitlement so I was able to spend freely. There is nothing I like better than access to plants with funds to spare. What I did not take into account was plants in pots are heavy and I had travelled by train. Sure the journey from show to the station was less than 15 minutes but fifteen minutes is a long time to carry two heavy bags of hard to find perennials.
That was on Friday and my arms and shoulders are still aching. Next year I'll take a wheeled trolley.
Two of the stall holders at the show. Our friends, Frank and Linda McCooke from Slemish Market Garden. They were selling vegetable transplants and herbs and were doing a roaring trade. While I was visiting their stand it was announced that they'd taken the silver medal in the Grower's section. And very well-deserved too. The McCookes must be the hardest working family in the Ballymena area. Yet they've always got time for a chat and a laugh with their customers as my photo shows.
This was my favourite part where all the exciting plants were to be found. I acquired some new geraniums for my collection, a polemonium, a creamy saxifrage, nine exotic lily bulbs and long sought after white oriental poppies.