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Jack17's Garden

Jack17's Garden

My garden is my lifeline, especially the one at the rear of the house. I find it very relaxing and free from the stresses of everyday life. I do not worry about design or plant positioning. Some of the plants in my garden are, literally, 'blow-ins' from other gardens and this includes weeds too which are public enemy number one.

 In my experience weeds are inclined to grow with plants of similar leaf shape and so  are overlooked sometimes until they flower. The perennial dandelion and wild garlic grow alongside plants with similar type leaves but the shiny green leaves of the wild garlic plants are easily picked out. However I find that the wild garlic plants have extra long roots which spread underground so it is necessary to dig really deep to make sure the tip of the root does not break off from the main plant. Also you may have to dig up good plants which are too close for comfort to the weeds.    


Spring is in the air

10 March 2014 19:42:24

I celebrated my 80th birthday last September and I am still wondering where the past 80 years have gone. Granted I cannot remember the first 3 or 4 years and my memory now is getting very erratic. I worried about getting alzheimers so I paid a visit to my doctor. He asked me if I had been lost anytime in the past year or so. I said that I had been lost during the bad spell of snow we had two years ago. I said I had. Then he asked If I had been aware that I was lost. Of course I knew that I was lost was my reply. He laughed and said that if I got lost and didn't know I was lost then I would really be in trouble. He then asked me to count back in 7's from 99 and I did so satisfactorily. He reassured me that I had nothing to worry about. Forgetfullness affects everybody and the older we get the more forgetful we become. So that is a bit of advice to all you old folks out there who like me are haeding for the "Last Roundup".

Now for some garden news. I kept my greenhouse plants well protected during the mild wet winter we had and we were not troubled by floods. Raheny is well above sea level and the walk from here to the sea is mainly downhill. I hope those of you who were affected by floods are recovering and that the coming summer will be as good as last year's one was. I am looking forward to returning to Seefeld in Austria for a holiday in July. Seefeld is like a second home to us and the weather in Austria is somewhat similar to our weather here. The main difference being that rainstorms and thunderstorms in Austria are more spectacular than anything we experience here.

I wish you all the best of luck with your gardens during the coming year and the best of health too. Enjoy your gardens while you can. I'm sure that God will have the best gardens we have ever seen just waiting for our arrival. God bless you all.       

Jacinta D Jacinta D 10 March 2014 19:53:05

A very big welcome back, Jack. I was just thinking of you last week. Good to hear you are in good health.

Clara Clara 10 March 2014 20:15:01

Lovely to hear from you Jack and you did not forget us all here ......Congrats on your 80th Birthday and many more to come ..hope you keep healthy and get to your second home ...but I hate thunderstorms so good luck .....


TinaJ TinaJ 10 March 2014 20:33:05

Lovely journal Jack and congrats on your 80th

My great aunty celebrated her 90th a few weeks ago




Myrtle Myrtle 10 March 2014 20:40:57

Lovely to hear from you and Congratulation on your 80th birthday, wonderful to be able to still enjoy gardening and planning your holiday, may you enjoy many more of them.

ClaireE ClaireE 10 March 2014 20:49:14

Welcome back Jack, and congratulations on your 80th birthday!

maureendid maureendid 10 March 2014 21:02:18

Hello Jack, I took a look at your amazing cacti. Thought I was in the Botanics!! Never saw such specimens, really love them. Do you heat your greenhouse? Your garden looks lovely too with lots of colour. Enjoy your trip to Austria.

Rachel Rachel 10 March 2014 23:47:40

Congratulations, Jack, and how lovely to hear from you again!

andyf7 andyf7 11 March 2014 00:43:24

great journal, i enjoyed the read. its not the years in your life, but the life in your years. enjoy your gardening.

Jackie Jackie 11 March 2014 06:40:33

Congratulations Jack. Lovely journal. Enjoy your holiday it sounds fantastic. 

TerriShoos TerriShoos 11 March 2014 08:05:48

Super journal and congratulations. I hope you're passing on all your knowledge. We didn't realise until after she died that my husband's granny had been a great gardener and really wish we'd sat with her and learned from her. 

By the way, I couldn't have counted backwards in 7s from 99 when I was in my twenties!!

Oriental Poppies

31 May 2013 19:57:06

This year my Oriental Poppies are magnificent and one of them has produced about two dozen flower heads or more, some have finished flowering and are now developing seed heads others are in full bloom  while more are pushing rounded heads towards the sky before flowering. I only have two colours, pale pink and deep orange. The deep orange ones are my favourites. Checking on them today I saw that the outdoor poppies are larger than the ones growing in the greenhouse. I presume that is because there is more sustenance in the soil outside the greenhouse. I do not use fertiliser so I think that the soil in the greenhouse is probably worn out feeding the poppies and other plants I have growing in there. 

Myrtle Myrtle 31 May 2013 20:18:16

Hi Jack, I have lots of buds on mine but only 2 blooms out yet, but all plants looking healthy, must be all the rain we had.

Jackie Jackie 31 May 2013 20:52:06

Ive lots too and a few buds have flowered....hoping that the next week will bring a huge flush of colour to the garden :)

Clara Clara 31 May 2013 21:06:42

Welcome back Jack hope all is well with you , it is Poppy time and plenty of them this year here.

Periwinkle Periwinkle 31 May 2013 21:37:57

Great to see you on here again, Jack! Just one salmon-pink poppy open here but like you I have loads of buds, "pushing rounded heads towards the sky" as you put it so beautifully! And I think we are finally going to get some weather to enjoy them! 

Elizabeth7 Elizabeth7 31 May 2013 21:43:21

Me too loads of buds and some open maybe something to do with the weather.

andyf7 andyf7 31 May 2013 23:01:38

poppies like the sun, and its suiting them at the moment, and us too.

fran m fran m 01 June 2013 07:53:07

Good to hear from you Jack

Spring is in the air

20 February 2013 19:13:34

It is almost a year since I last wrote into my journal. As I get older my memory begins to fail me and I have to mark of the days of the months on the calender in the kitchen. My watch also has the date on it so I know the date of the day and mark the calender accordingly. I have experienced 79 years of life and am heading into my 80th next September please God. The heavy rain and bitterly cold weather of the recent past has put a damper on my gardening and is very depressing. These few sunny days we are experiencing now are a great tonic and i am looking forward to a holiday in Seefeld, Austria in July. I got out the electric lawnmower today and mowed the front and rear lawns. There is a fair amount of moss in my lawns which I will have to tackle when the weather improves. I see Gerry Daly has a piece in the Garden magazine about lawns with lots of good advice.  

Jackie Jackie 20 February 2013 19:20:33

Hi its nice to see you here. Ive been a member since 2008 but have only started using it since the end of Jan this year :)......

It is great to see the great weather and long may it last. Its great that you can get out and about and still enjoy your garden. I bet you are looking forward to your holiday.....especially when the weather here is miserable.

fran m fran m 20 February 2013 19:36:58

Good to hear from you again Jack ;-))

Jacinta D Jacinta D 20 February 2013 19:46:30

Hi Jack. Great to see you back on track. Hey, all rhyming with Jack. Ha ha.

I don't think you're the only one whose memory is failing. I was writing the date today in my Daily Log, and wrote March instead of February.

Yes, it has been very cold but recent days have improved steadily. It's still early though. Hope to read more of your journals this coming season.

Take care.

Rachel Rachel 20 February 2013 19:59:49

Look, Jack, I call my son, Zak, by his brother's name, Josh.

I call my son Sam, Zak.

And I call my son Josh, Zak Sam Josh!

Or sometimes Sam Zak Josh.

I usually get it right in three goes. We all have memory problems :)

Austria should be fabulous in July! Welcome back!

Myrtle Myrtle 20 February 2013 20:22:17

So nice to see you back, Jack. The weather has been depressing us all but we have cheered up no end since we got some sunshine, makes such a difference as soon as you open the curtains in the morning!

Clara Clara 20 February 2013 21:07:43

Welcome back Jack and just take one day at a time as margo sang ..great you are going on such a great holiday to Austria so just take it easy and enjoy,

the memory will improve with the weather .


JoanG JoanG 20 February 2013 21:50:27

Welcome back Jack.  Don't worry, we've all been feeling the lack of sunshine and it's great to see it back, the days are getting longer and we can start gardening again ... and a nice holiday to look forward to makes it even brighter.

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 20 February 2013 22:21:23

Keep in touch and let us know how your garden is growing. You will have great time planing for you holiday.  Mary

TerriShoos TerriShoos 21 February 2013 08:54:53

I hope I'm still mowing lawns when I'm nearly 80! It's been very depressing just seeing grey rain all the time, but a bit of sunshine and a daffodil or two are worth a packet of pills. I'd be looking forward to those Alpine flower meadows too!

Periwinkle Periwinkle 21 February 2013 15:31:21

Great to see your journal, Jack! Missed you! We were all a bit depressed with wet dark days for so long but now its time for action! I was just thinking that a run of the mower would tidy things up, you have beaten me too it!

April showers

30 April 2012 19:29:16

April well made up for the warm dry weather we had here on the East coast. It was, and still is very cold from that permanent North easterly wind. There have been some showery days but we were not as badly hit by rain as people in the west and north of the country.

 I hope our gardening friends in Donegal and Galway were not washed out.

The weather this week is less cold because tha bitter wind has lost some of its bite. I have tidied up my rear and front gardens and removed some plants which were damaged by cold winds and rain. My greenhouse is crammed with plants.
 My wife, Theresa bought me several packets of seeds late last year and I scattered them in the greenhouse and outside in the rear garden. Plants I have never seen before have grown up and I haven't a clue as to what they are because I lost the empty packets and forgot to put name tags on the ones in the greenhouse. Next year, I will rectify that if I can remember to do so.
Jacinta D Jacinta D 30 April 2012 19:37:53

Ah Hiya, Jack. Great to hear from you again. Hope all is well with you and Theresa.

That's going to be full of lovely surprises having them all coming up and not knowing what to expect. 

fraoch fraoch 30 April 2012 20:11:18

You're going to have great fun!!

Periwinkle Periwinkle 30 April 2012 20:21:50

Jack lovely to see you on the site again! I had missed your journals. Glad that you could spare a thought for those of us who live in the wilds of Donegal!! Certainly we had more than our share of rain over the past winter, but this past week has been dry with a very cold north wind and a touch of frost at night that has scorched some tender leaves. But we are looking forward to better things in May. Keep up the good work Jack!

Rachel Rachel 30 April 2012 23:57:56

Welcome back. You're in for some nice surprises with your seeds :)

Summer comes early in March 2012

27 March 2012 15:21:38

Hello fellow gardeners,

It has been a long time since I last wrote up my journal. My memory has deteriorated but I am still ok in the head or so I think anyway. I am enjoying this current good sunny weather although some rain at night would be most welcome.

My bush and shrub plants have increased in size and are very healthy so far. I water my greenhouse plants but do not water plants growing outside in the garden. My soil is wet clay and holds a fair amount of water and not watering the plants encourages them to push their roots deeper into the soil seeking water. This piece of advice I gleaned from Gerry Daly's column.

My energy levels have also dropped so I cannot do as much work in the garden as heretofore. I spend a lot of time in the garden pottering around looking for weeds and other plants growing where they are not wanted.

The Oriental Poppies I grew from seeds I got from Dave are thriving, though a few of them succumbed to the bad weather last year. The thriving ones are very healthy and show signs of producing a good crop of flowers.

I must sign off now and head out to the garden and the sunshine while it is still here.

God bless you all

Jack 17 

Myrtle Myrtle 27 March 2012 15:33:26

Jack, lovely to hear from you again and to know you are still enjoying the garden. It isnt how much we are able to do that matters, it how much we enjoy doing it ! To get out in the garden in this weather is a real tonic.

Jacinta D Jacinta D 27 March 2012 15:51:20

Gosh, Jack, I was only thinking of you the other day. Great to read your journals again. And here's to your very good health.

Clara Clara 27 March 2012 18:17:21

Welcome back Jack great to hear from you and what a good tip about the watering the plants in the garden... keep well.

Jack17 Jack17 27 March 2012 19:04:47

It was good to read your comments, Myrtle, Jacinta and Clara. My wife Theresa has made great progress since her heart attack before Christmas last year. She is fully recovered now and we are looking forward to a holiday in Austria in July. She thanks you all for your sympathetic comments.

Myrtle Myrtle 27 March 2012 19:47:18

Delighted to hear Theresa is doing well and can look forward to Austria, a really lovely country to visit.


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