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  • Writer's pictureThe Blooming Old Gardener

Leaf sweeping into February

It is still a bit too cold to sit out in the garden for long, but that didn’t stop the Bloomers from having a session at the end of January. Lots of pruning, weeding, leaf sweeping, book tree tidying, and talking of course.

Some of the Bloomers had already done the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch that weekend, myself included. Looking at the early results it looks like House Sparrows will be the most common bird again. I always worry that I am getting dunnocks mixed up with female sparrow, The RSPB website helped me with that. Not only by giving a visible description, but also showing me their call and habits. The most useful I found has been that dunnocks are more likely to be found eating on the ground individually. Whilst sparrows are more likely to be found in groups eating from feeders. This made my identifying them a lot easier.

When I’ve been in the garden this month, I’ve noticed how the garden has things growing without our planting them. Buddleia grows in the walls in several places. They have seeded from the garden of the building next door. They are very hard to get rid of, despite several attempts. A few years ago I tried to get ferns growing in some of the cracks, without success. But given time, they decided to grow of their own accord. Of course, the garden is well known for its mushrooms and toadstools. The latest crop is growing on the edge of the garden near the pavement. The containers have been moved away from here and the space is being filled with fungi.

I’m getting ready for Pancake Day. One of my favourite days of the year, although I tend to eat pancakes for about 4 days, in different ways. There’s not much in the garden to put in one at the moment, as I wouldn’t risk any fungi. But the herbs are good to either add into the pancake mix or to add to a pancake filling of veg, cheese or ham. Any other suggestions?

Old Town Bloom on Tour update

Back in October we launched our Old Town Bloom on Tour project, but we are a bit behind in blogging about it! In the meantime please see what we have coming up for February and March so far:

Old Town Bloom on Tour at Chi Cafe:

Old Town Bloom is going ‘On Tour’ and we are going to be joined by the amazing Naomi from Animal Teach for a few of our sessions!

Our first ‘On Tour’ location is the brilliant Chi Community Cafe, which is situated within Phoenix Park.

Thursday 16th February: Chi Community Cafe hosts a crafty wellbeing group on Thursday, so we will be creating Bug Houses with the crafty crew in the morning, this will be from 10-12 (let us know if you are coming along). Naomi from Animal Teach will be bringing some friends to educate us about some of the creatures that may want to live in our new bug houses.

From 12-2.30 we will be creating some packs to feed the birds and making some eco plant pots!

We will also be looking for signs of Spring, so whilst we are in Phoenix Park let us know if you have spotted any snowdrops!

Friday March the 3rd: Chi Community Cafe hosts a great Stay and Play session on a Friday, usual time is 10-12, but on the 3rd of March we will be taking over the session and introducing the little ones to nature and nature based craft! Naomi will be bringing some animal friends to say hello and there may even be some eco finger paints to test out!

Please get in touch with Lori from Phoenix Play to book on this session, as numbers are limited -

From 1- 2.30pm we will be running a drop in session for all ages, so you can meet some animals, plant a sunflower to take home, and test our paints!

Sunday March the 12th:

Morning - Meet us (Old Town Bloom) at Chi Cafe at 10am - 12pm for a gentle walk and litter pick, whilst we look for signs of nature - all welcome

Afternoon - from 1.30 to 3pm Meet Naomi from Animal Teach as she introduces you to animals, you will also be able to plant a sunflower and mini flower meadow in a pot (to take home).

Please send any queries to Claire at

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