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A few photos from this week

22 July 2017 23:03:00

The air has been very still in the garden these past few days and I'm just pottering, doing a bit of dead-heading and little else, enjoying calm summer weather after the rain freshened up the planting.

Clematis 'Star of India' has been better than ever this year on the patio trellis; last year it got mildew so I've been keeping it well watered.  The red geum seedlings that Jackie gave me at Johnstown are flowering now (love them, thanks Jackie). I have four Thalictrums and only a definite name for two of them, not this one which may be 'Hewitt's Double' though I'm not sure.  I really like these plants and hope to introduce a few more. 

Enjoy the weekend in your garden everyone. 


Jacinta D Jacinta D 23 July 2017 00:19:04

It certainly looks like 'Hewitt's Double', Joan. Still waiting for mine to fully open.

Mary B Mary B 23 July 2017 19:51:29

A little  pottering and dead-heading sounds like garden heaven to me Joan.

Lovely photos, Star of India is a stunner!

fraoch fraoch 23 July 2017 19:55:41

Lovely photos, Joan. That Clematis is a wonderful colour.

Jackie Jackie 24 July 2017 07:22:53

Great photos. Delighted to hear the Geums are doing well. I love them. That clematis is fabulous and the Thalictrum is beautiful. Sounds like an idyllic day. 

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 24 July 2017 12:10:44

I too am a big fan of Thalictrum - I have several and like you have difficulty sorting out the names - but I'm so happy to see that mine have started to self-seed so who cares what they are called - they are all welcome in my garden!

Scrubber Scrubber 24 July 2017 20:30:28

Joan those photos are inspirational! I want them all in my garden!!!Imitation being the best form of flattery!

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 24 July 2017 22:10:17

A gorgeous clematis, Joan. I do think that the Thalictrum is 'Hewitt's Double'

PeterW's fabulous fuchsia

21 July 2017 20:33:35

And now for something much nicer than Japanese knotweed.  Fuchsia 'Hawkshead', which Peter gave me as a small cutting at Johnstown a few years ago, goes from strength to strength. It is planted in the border just outside our living room window so I can enjoy it from indoors and out.  Thanks again Peter, I absolutely love it!

A daughter of this plant recently went back to Cork. When hearing of its origin, Elizabeth commented that it was sure to do well because, when it comes to plants, Peter has "it".  I reckon this is a sentiment we can all agree with. 

fraoch fraoch 21 July 2017 21:08:10

It is absolutely beautiful, Joan.

Jacinta D Jacinta D 21 July 2017 21:43:00

That's a real smasher, Joan. How long have you got it?

JoanG JoanG 21 July 2017 22:58:09

I think this is its fourth summer Jacinta, it grew very fast even its first year and I prune it fairly hard in late winter. 

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 21 July 2017 23:20:30

I also got a plant from Peter and it is just a fantastic grower, Joan.

Japanese knotweed alert

20 July 2017 21:52:22

The dreaded invasive Japanese knotweed that has been written about in the media recently has come up in our lawn ... yes, in our small enclosed suburban back garden. Unfortunately I didn't recognise it at first, pulled some bits up and cut the grass, which of course only aided its spread.  So be warned, it's in the Dublin area.

When it first appears its leaves are pointed and tinged slightly red; you could easily mistake it for something like a sucker from a cherry tree as the root is woody. If left to grow it develops bamboo-like hollow shoots which can eventually come up through tarmac, paving cracks and house foundations and it spreads rapidly even from the tiniest piece of root.  I've read up about it over the past few weeks and the only effective treatment seems to be a strong concentrate of glyphosate applied to the leaves to be taken down into the roots.  It may take several years to eradicate. There is plenty of information online and good advice on the RHS website. 

Treatment has started, the first two photos are 'before' and the third about ten days 'after'.  I applied the weedkiller with a paintbrush, not spraying, and you can see where the grass around is dying so it is taking some effect already.  A lawn can be easily resown in due course; the problem I fear is that it has come from the large garden behind us, in which case it is under the borders as well (sigh!).  Wish me luck!



Jacinta D Jacinta D 20 July 2017 22:36:39

Oh, no. That would be awful if your whole garden were to get overrun with it. Thanks for posting photos of the seedlings. I hope you can eradicate it without too much bother.

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 20 July 2017 22:51:41

Joan, I am so sorry to hear this dreadful news. I do hope if it is coming from the garden behind you that it will be dealt with there as well. I have seen around the country where councils are dealing with it and have notices up asking people not to cut it. The glyphosate is working for you, but I know that you do not like to use chemicals.

fraoch fraoch 20 July 2017 22:59:30

Oh Joan, that's awful. At least the treatment is having an effect, but it's a tough job. Hopefully your beds won't be affected.

creggrose creggrose 20 July 2017 23:22:45

Joan, What a dreadful thing to happen to your lovely garden.  The best of luck in getting rid of it completely. 

Jackie Jackie 20 July 2017 23:42:46

Oh my goodness Joan thate shocking. I've seen programmes on this and always felt for the home owners. Hopefully you have caught it in time and can eradicate it all sooner rather than later. You have such a beautiful garden. Hopefully this will be the end of it. Fingers crossed. 

Michele Maria Michele Maria 20 July 2017 23:45:19

Joan I wish you well in your battle against this horrible invasion. 


Moya Moya 21 July 2017 00:18:58

Joan, I had it here and it is still over the fence. I applied glyphosate a number of times years ago and it seems to have eradicated it although small bits still show in the area from time to time which I just pull out. Donegal Co Co have finally recognised it for the menace that it is and have started a campaign to control it. If it is in the large garden behind you your local authority may take on the task of getting rid of it which would greatly relieve your burden - once you inform them. Good luck with your own programme to control it.

Elizabeth7 Elizabeth7 21 July 2017 01:57:09

Oh I wish you all the luck in the world Joan.  You certainly seemed to have hit it with the first dose so hopefully the roots in your garden will wilt. Do you know how badly it has infested the garden behind you? 

JoanG JoanG 21 July 2017 20:11:56

Thanks for your kind and encouraging words folks.  Moya, I'm more hopeful now having read of your experience, thanks.  Elizabeth, I took the binoculars to an upstairs window and it's dotted all over the grass in the garden behind us; I will speak with the owners as soon as I can and the council too. 

PCON PCON 22 July 2017 23:10:43

Really sorry to hear of your awfull problem, Joan. You are so proud of your beautiful garden. However, I can think of no better person to deal with it, and your efforts seem to be meeting with success. Persistence will be rewarded. Are you using the glyphosate liquid, or the gel. The gel might be less inclined to spread onto the lawn, or any other plants. But I am sure you know best yourself. Of course you will have to get the other garden dealt with. I wish you the very best of luck.

PCON PCON 25 July 2017 19:28:34

Hello again, Joan. Did you see George Lee's piece about japanese knotweed  this evening on rte news. Apparently, injecting  glyphosate into the stem is even more effective than painting the leaves. Reaches the roots much quicker. You would need a special syringe for this.

   Hope you have notified the DLRCoCo

JoanG JoanG 25 July 2017 22:36:28

Thank you Peter, yes I did see the report on the news tonight.  Fortunately, so far there are just small shoots coming up here in the lawn and I'm hoping the glyphosate treatment will work.  I was advised to use the strong concentrate which kills roots and stumps (it gives specific instructions for Japanese knotweed on the package).  It hasn't grown big enough to require the injection treatment, thank goodness, and I'm keeping a sharp eye on the borders too.  I've left a message for the Council which I will follow up and am also speaking to neighbours.  

Thanks for your interest and concern, which is much appreciated. 

Visit to Elizabeth's

11 July 2017 00:05:20

Last week my sister-in-law and I visited Elizabeth's garden en route to a family holiday in Kinsale.  Quite apart from the anticipated joy of seeing Elizabeth and her beautiful cottage garden again after several years, a promised Daphne 'Jacqueline Postill' also awaited me, to be dug up while we were there.  I would mind it in our guest house over the following days ... or so I said. 

We spent a delightful afternoon with Elizabeth, wandering round the gorgeous country garden she has created out of a 3/4 acre farm field, marvelling at the wonderful planting and in awe of the labour of love around us.  Then chatting over tea and cake, Elizabeth and I discovered we had more connections in common than either of us knew, which made the visit all the more special.  

So engaging was the conversation that we suddenly realised we were running late and departed hastily and (can you believe it?) without my Daphne!  So I had the pleasure of returning to collect it a few days later when Elizabeth was busy preparing for her forthcoming Open Day, along with her trusty helper Eddie. 

If you can get to Cobh on Saturday 22nd July, do go along to her Open Day in aid of Marymount Hospice.  You'll be in for a treat and a very warm welcome too.  Thank you Elizabeth for a lovely visit and for your friendship.  

Elizabeth7 Elizabeth7 11 July 2017 00:45:10

Joan what a pleasure it was to have you and Maura come to visit. I enjoyed the afternoon immensley. Also thank you for the lovely plants you  brought me much appreciated. So pleased the weather was so kind for your trip to Kinsale .

Do hope we manage to meet up again soon.

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 11 July 2017 01:14:16

I'm so looking forward to the Open Day !!!!

Jacinta D Jacinta D 11 July 2017 08:06:52

That was a great day, Joan. 

Jackie Jackie 11 July 2017 09:34:59

If only you weren't so far away Elizabeth. This is definitely one garden I have on my list.  Great to see others enjoying it and the very best of luck for your Open day too. 

fran m fran m 11 July 2017 09:35:52

Elizabeth's is a total gem of a garden,

along with the good lady herself ;)

Mary B Mary B 11 July 2017 13:55:26

Beautiful pictures Joan, I can't wait til the 22nd to see Elizabeth's beautiful garden for myself!

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 12 July 2017 15:08:58

Looking forward to Elizabeth's Open Day and your photos Joan of the garden will entice many more to visit.

Dianthus 'Sooty'

27 June 2017 00:46:59

A couple of years ago Fran gave me a piece of his lovely Dianthus barbatus 'Sooty' and I was thrilled with its rich chocolate red flowers and dark stems.  When it failed to flower last year, I thought maybe it really was a biennial rather than perennial but the leaves looked nice and healthy, so I left it and this year to my delight it has flowered again. 

It's described as a short lived perennial, so I bought seeds of it which I will sow soon, as I'd like to have more of these for next year.   Thanks Fran! 

fran m fran m 27 June 2017 08:29:46

LOL Joan, it is short lived as none of my three plants reappeared this year. So if there was a seedling or two to spare, they'd have a good home here.  ;)

A lovely plant for any setting.

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 27 June 2017 09:40:43

That is a gorgeous looking plant. Must watch out for seeds in the garden centres. Margaret, (Hosta) gave me some plants of Dianthus carthusianorum and they are looking fantastic at present. Maybe we should grow more varieties of dianthus.

Jackie Jackie 27 June 2017 09:48:49

Oh that's a real little beauty. 

Jacinta D Jacinta D 27 June 2017 10:20:25

That's gorgeous.

PeterW PeterW 27 June 2017 12:11:24

A super plant Joan, I too had here for a few years grown from seed and the same here this year there was no sign if it. SO as everyone says it must be a short lived perrenial but  def worth growing and quite easy from seed.

JoanG JoanG 29 June 2017 23:25:56

If they germinate for me I'll have some to spare, fingers crossed.  Mary, I got the seeds from Seedaholic. 


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