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The Bluffer is a fan of the spring flowers that are now in blossom

PLÚIRÍNÍ SNEACHTA: Early spring snowdrops, Galanthus nivalis, with a hazy, misty late afternoon sunset in a beech wood - sure what more could you ask for to raise the spirits in these crazy times?
Robert McMillen

A GREEN-FINGERED welcome to a horticultural Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

Tá sé soiléir - it’s obvious that people lucky enough to have a gairdín - a garden have been fighting against the dreariness of lockdown by planting flowers which are now beginning to bloom.

Last November, the website suggested which plandaí - plants would signify the end of winter and gave a list of plandaí a thagann i mbláth san earrach - plants that bloom in the spring,

So, bleibíní - bulbs and síolta - seeds have been developing away up to now and they are now ready to add colour and warmth to any garden.

Before all that of course, is the less uplifting task of ag glanadh suas duilleoga - cleaning up leaves and removing fiailí - weeds, ag lomadh na faiche - mowing the lawn to best show off your bláthanna - flowers.   

“It’s important to choose the right bulbs to plant however, as only hardy bulbs, seeds and plants will survive the bitterness of winter,” said GardeningExpress and they recommended the following.

Bláth can also be used figuratively so you could talk about bláth na hóige - the bloom of youth or bláth na háilleachta - the flush of beauty.

Crócas is obvs a crocus.

These purple-mauve flowers bloomed i mí Feabhra - in February and are some of our earliest flowering plants.

Tiuilipí are of course tulips, from Amsterdam or not.

The long stem and unique shape of a Tulip makes it a great flower for any garden, flowering any time between March and May.

Daffodils have an Irish name that you wouldn’t guess - it’s lus an chromchinn or the flower with the bowed head. Nice, eh?

There are other flowers beginning with lus, from  lus na bó - cucumber to lus na fola -  shepherd’s purse.

Otherwise known as Narcissus, for many the bright yellow of a Daffodil signifies the end of dark nights and the optimism that  spring  brings. 

And you can buy them at your local supermarket but they are very simple and easy to grow from a bulb.

The primrose has two names in Irish, buíocán because of it’s yellow colour or sabhaircín.

These add a splash of colour to help welcome spring, these early blooming plants will sit well in a planter or straight into your border. 

Colours can vary from deep blues to fresh whites and bright pinks.  

Then we have the hyacinth which has three names in Irish, the easiest of which is .

These plandaí crua - hardy plants can thrive both indoors and outdoors and will thrive in an area where they have full sun. 

They will not flower in shade and need moist soil. Too wet or too dry and the bulbs will not grow into flowers.

One of the loveliest flowers you will see at this time of year is the plúirín sneachta - snowdrop.

Snowdrops are often the first bulbs to flower in the new year and despite looking extremely delicate are hardier than they look – even flowering in snow. 

Enjoy them all, folks.


Tá sé soiléir (taa shay silyayr) - it’s obvious

gairdín (garjeen) - a garden 

plandaí (plandee) - plants

plandaí a thagann i mbláth san earrach (plandee a hagan i mlaah san arrakh) - plants that bloom in the spring 

bleibíní (blebeenee) - bulbs

síolta (sheelta) - seeds

ag glanadh suas duilleoga (eg glanoo soois dilyawga) - cleaning up leaves

fiailí (feealyee) - weeds

ag lomadh na faiche (eg lumoo na fwyha) - mowing the lawn bláthanna (blaahana) - flowers  

bláth na hóige (blah ne hoyga) - the bloom of youth

bláth na háilleachta  (blah ne hiylyakhta) - the flush of beauty

crócas (crocus) - crocus 

i mí Feabhra (i mee fwaowra) - in February

tiuilipí (choolipee) - tulips

lus an chromchinn (luss un khromkin) - a daffodil

lus na bó (luss ne baw) - cucumber 

lus na fola (luss na fawla) -  shepherd’s purse

buíocán (bweeakaan) - primrose 

sabhaircín  (sowerkeen) - primrose

(boo) - hyacinth

plandaí crua (plandee crooa) - hardy plants 

plúirín sneachta (plooreen shnyakhta) - snowdrop


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