- 13 March 2012
Síle has moved into her new house and hopes to make a garden. Maidhc P. Ó Conaola used to live nearby and comes to share stories and tips. Síle travels to Co. Leitrim to meet renowned organic gardener Klaus Laitenberger and old friends Kay Synott and Jorg Muller make a welcome return with gardening and foraging advice.
Síle goes to meet Máirtín Daibhí Ó Coisdealbha in Indreabhán. He has a small garden and experiments with different ways of growing in peaty soil. Síle goes foraging in the woods with Jorg Muller andspeaks to Klaus Laitenberger about how best to start a garden. She plants her own herb garden and goes to visit Gaby Wieland who’s picking hawthorn leaves to make a salad.
People all over the country grow in allotments now and Síle goes to visit Fionn Ó Sealbhaigh in Moycullen, where he rents a plot. Jorg Muller brings her foraging on the shore and Síle tries her hand at fly fishing with Seán Ó Fiannachta. It’s also time to build her own compost system and Kay Synott comes to Síle’s garden to help. Gaby Wieland makes gorse flower wine.
Síle travels to Cúil Aodha in West Cork to meet Nancy Murray, who has a big vegetable garden and also keeps hens, ducks and bees.Jorg Muller is back with more foraging and Síle meets John Ó Máille on the bog, where he shows her how turf was cut by hand long ago. Síle and Kay Synott build raised beds for the garden and Gaby Wieland uses dandelion flowers tomake a special lemonade.
Gary Ó Gallachóir and Josephine Nic Aoidh have a smallholding in Anagaire in Donegal, where they grow their own food and keep fowl and pigs. Síle also visits Klaus Laitenberger to build a cloche and speaks to John McDonald in Co Clare about generating your own power. Gaby Wieland is on hand with a delicious recipe for a wild herb smoothie.
Síle visits John Dolan in West Cork where he’s transformed several acres of boggy hillside into a lush forest garden. She returns to the bog with John Ó Máilee for her second lesson in traditional turf-cutting and Klaus Laitenberger gives her his top weeding tips.
Síle heads to Ceathrú Thaidhg in Mayo to visit Caitlín and Mícheál Ó Seighin who have a beautiful flower and veg garden which has beenbadly affected by recent storms and bad weather. The Future Forests nursery in West Cork offers Síle great advice on what to grow in a seaside garden and Peadar Ó Riada shows her how to make a traditional beehive using straw. Hans Wieland returns with a delightful recipe using flowers from the garden: rose petal, lavender and mint liqueur.
Síle visits Rónán Ó hEidhin at the small farm he’s bought in Gleann Trasna in Conamara. He hopes to renovate the old house and have a smallholding like the one his grandparents had. He’s started off with a small veg garden and keeps ducks and chickens. Klaus Laitenberger shows Síle how to build an insect hotel and she then learns a little more about generating your own power from Miriam Sheerin who teaches people how to build their own turbines. Gaby Wieland makes a gorgeous calendula hand cream – a treat for any gardener.
Peadar Ó Riada lives in Cúil Aodha and has a beautiful sheltered garden where he grows vegetables and experiments with some interesting crops, including flax and oats. Síle takes a look at some old crafts, starting with a visit to quilter Ester Kiely, who shows Síle how tohand-quilt. Anne McKeon shows how to enhance your garden by making use of things others throw away and Gaby Wieland shows Síle how to make a medicinal oat straw tincture.
Síle visits actor Lochlann Ó Mearáin in his garden just outside Westport, where he grows vegetables, has an apple orchard and keepspigs. He’s passionate about food grown and made locally. She returns to an old friend, Jim McNamara, who brings her to visit a holy well. Gaby Wieland makes a winter tonic using thyme from the garden and Ester Kiely visits Síle to see how her own quilting project is progressing.
Síle visits Simon Jennings, a Merchant Navy man who lives in Carna. His vegetable garden is inspired by the weird and wonderful food he sees on his travels as well as the traditional Irish staples. Hans and Gaby Wieland introduce Síle to silverweed, a common wild plant which has very high nutritional value. Kay Synott comes to see the progress in Síle’s own garden and John Ó Máille teaches her how to build the traditional ‘cruach móna’, the reek of turf.
Jim Mc Namara has been a regular guest expert and now Síle visits him in his own garden – which includes a four acre forest he’s planted over twenty years. Gaby Wieland brings Síle foraging for nettle seeds and talks about their great benefits. Kay Synott shows Síle how to take cutting to add cheaply to your own garden and Klaus Laitenberger builds a cold frame.
Síle visits Stiofán Ó Curráin in Cill Chiaráin where he grows a huge variety of vegetables. Anne McKeon shares tips on how to clear up the garden at the end of the season and prepare for the coming year and Klaus Laitenberger shows Síle how to make a traditional clamp to store potatoes for winter. Hans Wieland preserves cabbage and Síle returns to Stiofán who shares his knowledge of traditional cures.