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Ciggie's Garden

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Ciggie's Garden

Ciggie's Garden

I started with two little cotoneasters and two apple trees - old and furry and grizzled - and a huge  patch of strawberries infested with buttercup and beds dug out here and there for gooseberries and a peony (Sarah Bernhardt I think) planted in a bed of its own and a bank of catmint and most of the garden earthed up in furrows where potatoes had been. That was twenty years ago and I've been fighting ever since. More should have happened, I know, but little by little things have changed.

The cotoneasters grew to be monsters and the apple trees grew more furry lichen and I finally eradicated the buttercup. They are back this year. The fight goes on.

I often wonder whether I am more in love with plants than with the idea of a garden.

 A burly man or two or, better still,  an army of burly men and a digger and a kango hammer thing and drills and flame-throwers and a scorched earth policy might do the trick. But I'll fight on with spade and rake and barrow and hoe. I'm damned if I'll let it beat me!

Bigger than small and smaller than big and I still can't get to grips with it! That's my garden. 

I still haven't decided what I want and am falling foul of making it up as I go along instead of having a design in mind; a shape. But thanks to my brother, Joe, for all the hard work in 2007 to rescue my "maybe-one-day-this-will-be-a-garden" garden.




Apple footy

26 October 2016 00:46:56

I did manage to get out this afternoon and clear away the fallen apples, hoover the fallen leaves with the mower and cut the grass. Then it was a bit of a clear out of the Lychnis and Californian poppies that sow themselves everywhere, usually where they shouldn't be. I haven't the heart to pull them up earlier in the year when they are in flower but in the wrong place. I know, I know, I need to toughen up. I was surprised at just how much Lychnis there was.

I think that now that I have started I'll carry on cutting things back. I usually leave it all until spring but think that I might just try an autumn tidy and see how it goes. I just hope we don't get a winter like 2010. I may be sorry yet. 

All bulbs are planted. I just have a few tulips that I'll put in a pot but plenty of time for that.



Jackie Jackie 26 October 2016 07:49:34

Great weather for gardening. I tidied my garden in Autumn a couple of years ago and it looked great but it didn't benefit from all the frost. So since then I leave it until Spring in case we get any really bad frosts. This way some of the planting is protected. Or so I'm told. I love self seeders. But in the wrong place they are a nuisance. I'm hoping to get an hour or so outside today. Here's hoping!! 

Jacinta D Jacinta D 26 October 2016 10:36:48

I have to admit I'm a bit of an Autumn Cutter-backer. My garden is too small to leave it untidy for long.

DecfromTipp DecfromTipp 26 October 2016 18:20:24

The Lychnis can look a little " off " alright . I've edged the beds and cut back some places and it does look a whole lot better since . At least you get to see what's going on in the beds when down there ! 


24 October 2016 02:54:44

It's time that I got out and sorted out the future of my garden in Co Louth. I spent a week earlier this month in Devon digging up a friend's garden so that she can move to Wales and take many of her plants with her. Last week I spent in Cork weeding the garden of another friend. It's high time I did a bit of work here at home.

At the moment I am playing with the idea of growing some alpines and getting to know them better. I thought that I might take a run up to a nursery in Co Down during the week. It seems to specialise in alpines. What I really need is a greenhouse. Hmmmmm, I've been thinking of one of those for so long. I just wonder if I would make use of it or if it would become another shed to dump all the plastic pots in. What I see in my mind's eye is a wonderful display of cute little things that flower for a week or so. You know the kind of thing, sitting in a low pot set in sand.

Maybe I just need to get real and head out tomorrow to confront the neglect here at home. Watch this space.


Jacinta D Jacinta D 24 October 2016 05:58:20

Your garden certainly looks big enough to warrant getting a glasshouse. I've never regretted mine. The only regret is that it's not big enough! 

You've been doing great work with other peoples gardens.  I'm sure you'll get sorted on the home front. Looks great.

Jackie Jackie 24 October 2016 07:53:51

My husband bought me a greenhouse just two years ago now and it's been the best investment ever. You really can't go wrong with one. A great place for overwintering too.  That border is looking great too. Love your first picture. I'm sure your friends are delighted with your help, now it's time to have some me time ;) 

fraoch fraoch 24 October 2016 19:05:23

Well done on all the help you've been giving! Pity I didn't know you were in Cork.... Only joking! Enjoy the greenhouse if you got it.

PeterW PeterW 25 October 2016 20:29:15

I think the Glasshouse is a great idea and it helps in so many ways with plants especially tenders or gettings things going. Alpines are super plants and plenty hardy ones you could grow outside in a dedicated area

Ciggie Ciggie 26 October 2016 00:28:31

Thanks to you all for the encouragement. I am at the point where I would like a greenhouse. I need to decide where to put it. I know where it should go but there would be some demolition to be done first. I'm glad that you didn't know that I was in Cork, Fraoch. I couldn't have managed another day on my knees weeding.

Decisions ... decisions

10 October 2016 23:14:19

I spent the afternoon helping a friend to clear out a few shrubs that were getting too big. Tomorrow I think that I might get around to doing a bit in my own garden. It could do with a revamp. There are too many things in all the wrong places. But I'll put manners on it yet. I do find it hard to pull up things that self seed. I always think that they are happier where they have decided to put themselves rather than where I'd like them to be. 

Shade from next door's trees has been a bit of a problem for me for the past few years. They are south of me and throw half the garden into gloom for most of the day. I could extend the flower beds but that would mean more weeding and upkeep. I have planted some shade lovers and will maybe move some others into the space. Decisions ... decisions ...

Anyway, we'll see.

Happy gardening.

Jackie Jackie 10 October 2016 23:40:27

We have huge Norwegian maples that run along the side road of my back garden. We have asked the council to lower them but falls on deaf ears. Maybe you could ask your neighbours about reducing their trees to let in more light?  I'm sure you will enjoy your day in the garden. Weather looks great for tomorrow again. Enjoy. 

Jacinta D Jacinta D 11 October 2016 08:09:34

Happy decision-making!

fran m fran m 11 October 2016 08:24:45

Enjoy your day.

Liztai Liztai 11 October 2016 23:51:28

I thing the regulations (Might be UK) say you may cut off branches that overhang your boundary, but must offer the cut material back to the owner. However, even doing that would only thin the shadow at best.

Ciggie Ciggie 12 October 2016 02:40:28

I think that I might just have to live with the shade and plant accordingly. To be honest the trees are beautiful and are a lovely backdrop. They are just a bit near being planted right on the boundary. I am afraid that I'll just ruin their shape if I clip too much ... and I'd have to look at the ugly side. 


10 October 2016 00:54:01

I thought it might be an idea to do a bit of shopping today. I really should have been out weeding and chopping back and tidying up the shed and the yard. Shopping won the toss.

On my list were some alpines to go into a bit of a gravel bed. I came home with one that might do, Sedum Cape Blanco. The rest of the plants are destined for other places in the garden but I did spot a pot of Coleus canina that Jacinta told me about the other day and just had to try it. I don't know if it is hardy but winter will tell.

Anyway, here's the list of goodies:

Begonia 'Silver Splendour'

Helleborus sternii 'Silver Dollar'

Helleborus sternii 'Silver Star'

Helleborus  argutifolius 'Silver Lace'

a dollop of spring bulbs and a nice pot of Cyclamen.

I came home with fewer dollars and less silver in my pockets.




Jacinta D Jacinta D 10 October 2016 07:16:03

Ha ha way to go, Ciggie. Hope they all thrive for you.

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 10 October 2016 08:19:59

Great selection of plants. You will have a lovely late winter/early spring garden with the bulbs and Hellebours.

Jackie Jackie 10 October 2016 19:40:51

Ah yes  now thats my kinda day indeed. You have done really well and good luck with them all. Lots of lovely colour to come!

Ciggie Ciggie 10 October 2016 22:16:35

But where to put them? That's the problem. 

JoanG JoanG 10 October 2016 23:06:59

Good shopping and really nice plants, good luck with them all. 

Plant ID

08 October 2016 01:20:54

This is the photograph I tried to upload earlier today.

Maybe somebody ... or everybody except me ... knows what it is.


Jacinta D Jacinta D 08 October 2016 08:28:41

It looks like Coleus canina (Scaredy Cat Plant). I grew it two years ago and indeed took a few cuttings for the following year but they didn't survive the winter.

Fleurette Fleurette 08 October 2016 09:31:53

Gosh, those leaves look more like a saxifrage!  Too early for me to concentrate on the flower. Anyhow, I'm busy listening to Gardeners' Corner on Radio Ulster which is such a great radio programme. 9 - 9.45 on Sat.  

It looks lovely with such a good "harmonising" flower colour. 

Jacinta D Jacinta D 08 October 2016 09:46:33

You're probably correct, Margot. I haven't got my reading glasses on. He he!

fraoch fraoch 08 October 2016 10:52:21

I thought Saxifrage too from the leaves, but not sure about the flowers?

Ciggie Ciggie 08 October 2016 14:16:27

I checked out the 'Scaredy Cat Plant', Jacinta but the flowers are different. It is a couple of years ago since I took the photograph. I visited the garden again last month but the plant wasn't there. I wondered whether it was a saxifrage but I can't find a similar picture.

You are all fantastic on this site when you take the time to respond. 

Jacinta D Jacinta D 08 October 2016 15:20:19

The more I look at the foliage, Ciggie, the more I'm convinced it is Coleus canina. But maybe a different variety?

Ciggie Ciggie 09 October 2016 00:18:09

Thanks for that, Jacinta. I think you have put me on the right track. I Googled Coleus canina and it seemed to relate it to Plectranthus. I have since found a Plectranthus ciliatus and a Plectranthus verticillatus that might fit the bill. Anyway, you're a star. 

Jacinta D Jacinta D 09 October 2016 07:22:13

You're very welcome.


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