Growing Wild

With Dr Catherine Keena, Teagasc Countryside Management Specialist

Bird’s foot trefoil: Look out for bird’s foot trefoils with clusters of bright yellow pea like flowers, tinged with red or orange with irregular petals. They are positive indicator plants on the ACRES grassland and peatland scorecard, meaning that fields score higher and farmers get more money where present.

Bird’s foot trefoil likes quite dry habitats. It has solid stems and three to six flowers in a cluster. Greater bird’s foot trefoil likes damper habitats. It has hollow stems and five to ten flowers in a cluster. As foodplant for dingy skipper and common blue butterflies and very important for bees, bird’s foot trefoil nó crobh éin corraigh is part of our native Irish biodiversity.

Culture Night

Culture Night 2023 in Carlow. / Micheal O'Rourke

It’s still not too late to register your interest in participating in Culture Night 2024.

Culture Night is the annual all-island celebration of culture in Ireland and returns this year on Friday, 20 September.

Across the island of Ireland, Culture Night is the one night each September where people show up for a collective experience of discovery and exploration of the arts. From villages to towns and cities coast to coast, Culture Night celebrates the growing eclectic diversity of arts, culture and creativity right across the country. In 2023, 1.2 million people joined in.

Culture Night Programmers are particularly interested in cultural events and activities that are curated by and for youth (18 to 24) audiences and which promote diversity and inclusion.

To register your interest visit:

Online pick of the week

Glenn Gibson is a self-taught wire sculpture artist who teaches wire sculpture all over Ireland.

In this week’s Meet the Maker, Grace Hanna spoke to self-taught wire sculpture artist Glenn Gibson who teaches wire sculpture all over Ireland. Glenn says: ‘The first person you need to convince that you are an artist is yourself, no one else will believe it until you do first.”

Quote of the week

While my dear, long-suffering husband becomes increasingly obsessed with artificial intelligence and smart technology, I am finding quiet moments in my polytunnel, trying to discern whether the seeds I tried to save last year will grow. While my kids have their faces stuck to their screens, I am reading ancient cookery books to learn how to make gorse flower wine (and will it taste nice, do you think?) Desperate Farmwife

Number of the week

The HSE estimates that up to 400 people are infected with Lyme disease each year in Ireland but a figure as high as 2,500 has also been suggested in medical circles

Picture of the week

Cillian McCarthy from Lixnaw, Co Kerry taking a break from his First Communion celebrations last Saturday. \ Submitted by Kathryn McCarthy

Poetry Corner

The House of Glass From Poems and Prose from Beneath the Reek By Jonathan Roth

Some say she is like a cage

To others a prison,

For me the glasshouse

Is my life prisim.

We are silent partners

With a common goal,

To grow plant life

And soothe my soul.

Like me, she has her needs

Water here and harrow weeds,

Seeds to sow and pricking out

Under all the swooping Swallow.

Time has no currency in this house

No clock and no one near,

Lassie looks on and wags her tail

Mobile off and nothing to fear.

But something is wrong

I feel the pain,

My back is aching

Too much digging again.

Time to go

It’s hard to leave

So many plants

So many leaves.

Read more

Meet the Makers: sister duo Eadaoin and Catherine

Katherine O'Leary: ‘I first met my mother-in-law Lil, 46 years ago’