Posted by Morag Kelly in Features.

Did you know that:

  • Most plants have a female and male part in it’s flower.  The female part is known as the ovary and the male part is the stigma.
  • Pollination isn’t always carried out by insects—it is also done by the wind, birds and even bats!
  • Some plants of the same species have different flowering cycles.  For example, Bamboo. A few flower each year, but most wait much longer.
  • Hummingbirds hover in front of flowers while they collect nectar. They use so much energy to do this that it would be like you needing to eat 150kg of hamburgers every day!
  • The white flower of the Amazon water lily is the size of a football and turns purple after it has been pollinated.
  • Puya raimondii from the Andes in South America doesn’t grow a flower until it is 150 years old!

Check out this beautiful furniture made by a local craftsman in Galway. Francis Presley is his name and all work is produced by locally sourced renewable materials. We came across Francis’s work at the Galway market.

Let’s go Grow!

If you have planted spuds, they will now need to be ‘earthed up’ on a regular basis. This means piling the earth up on either side of the plant. It protects the tubers (growing spuds) from frost and will prevent them from going green

Make sure your onions and scallions get enough water. They should be ready to eat in May.

If you are growing courgette plants from seed, keep them inside until there is no sign of frost. Generally the end of May is a safe bet to plant out. Not only are courgettes tasty, they have a beautiful yellow flower and fantastic leaves!

If you would like to try planting vegetables for the first time, try plug plants. These are young plants that can be purchased from your local garden centre. Leave them outside for a few days to get used to their new environment and then simply plant into the ground or a pot

Hints and Tips!

  • Check out if you’d like to get involved in growing your own and meeting like minded people
  • Super Garden is back! Check it out Tuesday evenings RTÉ 1
  • The new RTÉ1  program, How to Create a Garden is very helpful (Monday at 8.30pm)
  • If you have a small garden perhaps consider container gardening (the wellies on How to Create a Garden looked great!).  Most plants can be grown in any sort of container as long as there is good drainage and soil.  Drill some holes in the base of the container, add some small stones and good quality soil.  Perfect idea for herb gardening!
  • Let the foliage on spring bulbs die back naturally, this feeds the bulb for next years flower

Martha’s Quinoa & Spinach Pattie!
(Makes 12–15 depending on size)


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • One and a half cups of water
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 700g spinach, blanced, refreshed and chopped (see below)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons potato flour
  1. Add quinoa and water to pot with lid
  2. Bring to the boil and let simmer until water is absorbed
  3. Set quinoa aside when cooked (it should be soft) remove lid and allow to cool
  4. Heat a pan, add olive oil, carrots, onion, celery, and cook until tender
  5. Mix with quinoa, spinach, eggs, flour, salt and pepper in a bowl
  6. Add a little olive oil to your hands, this makes it easier to make the patties
  7. Take small handfuls of the mixture from the bowl and make little patties
  8. Lightly heat in pan on each side for a couple of minutes
  9. Serve with a salad or anything you fancy

Boil kettle, fill pot with hot water, place spinach in pot for a couple of minutes until soft.

Fill bowl with cold water, take spinach from hot water and put it in cold water.

Some nutritional information:

Spinach is a seasonal vegetable and contains vitamins E,C, Folic Acid, B6, B5, B3, B2, B1 and Beta Carotene. It also contains Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese!

For more info from Martha visit