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Many thanks to all the many people who have welcomed me to the garden club. I have only just realised that gardening can be very much an on your own task and there are so many good things that one can now share with other like-minded people, things that only a gardener appreciates, like for example seeing the first grey green tiny leaves of helenium nestling in the very bottom of the old withered stems. I know Ill have to wait until late summer but theres a joy in knowing they have overwintered. It was my first time planting them last year.
Went out today and settled in the two new pots. they were a bit too high so I set them into the earth. They are at the bottom of big cypress trees so the roots didnt help my positioning! I wondered about trimming off some of the lower branches to give a bit more air and space but would that be a desecration?
Will get in touch with everyone who kindly welcomed me but it will take time. Am really pleased to be part of the community!
Also decided to spend twenty minutes shaping up a quince that had become overgrown and had thorns going through it. An hour and a bit later, scratched, mauled and pierced, the battle was over. And battle it really was. There is a great show of red buds and though I had to sacrifice some there will be plenty left. The rabbits had made a very comfortable burrow behind it! Live and let live as long as they dont eat too much!
25 May 2013 20:57:15
Beginnings of steps, n.b.the tall pointed stone above
a true one, concerns a dear ninety-year old nun in a convent not far from where he lives. She had gone on a trip to Dublin and invited all the other nuns in to see her purchase. This was in the seventies. ‘Its called a duvet’ she told them ‘You use it instead of blankets’. Then she added ‘It will be very handy when I am old’. Scrubber thought of her yesterday and today as he worked on a new project.
For the last thirty five years he has strimmed the grass on two steep vertical banks beside the lower lawn. This has involved a lot of climbing up and down harnessed to the Strimmer, sometimes with comical consequences. Yesterday it struck him how handy it would be ‘when I am old’, if there were steps down from the banks.
It has been a great adventure! First he selected a big rock in the bank and cleared all the clay etc on top of it. This was to be a step. And so it proved, once dragged out and turned around-a lovely flat surface. More digging into the bank and setting in of two big stones and there was a second step. Today he noticed a big rock in the upper bank that might and did suit as third step. It was necessary because Scrubber had left this as a clay step and of course it soon collapsed under him! Its the tall pointed one in the first picture which lying horizontally becomes the highest step in picture three!
Then on to next upper bank and process repeated but only one step needed. Then the idea came to him that a stile over the wall between the lawn and the banks might be good ‘when I am old’. This was simply done by placing two big stones, one on either side of the wall. Sometimes the simplest is best.
However while pulling out the stone for that, he unearthed a magnificent block of a stone. At first it was intended as one of the stile stones but it was too fine so it ended up perfectly as the bottom stone of the lower bank set out just a few inches from the bank to show it off .
So although Eileen’s bed needs a thorough weeding and the lawns are growing fast ,it was a very satisfying day and I am secure in the knowledge that Scrubber will still be able to garden even the steep banks ‘When I am old!’ Bless you Sister!
Oh and by the way all six petunia -planted - mini-urns are now gracing the little wall beside lower lawn. Scrubber’s first task today was to break through the thin cement coating on the bottom of the urns after taking out the pieces of piping. Then he poured in water into the urns to flush out the ‘gulleys’. Lord but the man is becoming an engineer. They all worked!
Have put up a load of new phos but they are mostly steps and rocks-booorinng!
24 May 2013 20:00:41
Cherub Cymbal and the ivy.
I was very surprised myself. I had been working on putting up the next three urns on the wall and filling the three previous ones when there was a timid voice behind me. ‘Er! Mr Scrubber , sir,’ I turned and it was Cherub Cymbals. Now I don’t usually talk to the statues in the garden as people might find that strange and I generally hear what is said from Cherub. I talk to cherub of course because he is not a statue . ‘He ish’ in the words of Micilin Dee, explaining the ‘eshence of Cherub’ to a somewhat started Esmeralda ‘ in fact, a dishembodied spirit’.
But here was Cherub Cymbals addressing me for the first time since he arrived in the garden. So what did I do? ‘Yes Cherub Cymbals. You wanted to say something?’. ‘Er Mr. Scrubber Sir, I jus’ wanted to ask did you like the way the ivy has curled up of itself around the ball I am sitting on?’ This was said very shyly, almost a new persona emerging. ‘Why yes Cherub Cymbals, it is very nice indeed and I do like it very much. Then there was a little slippage ‘Its not growing up around Cherub Lute’s at all!’ ‘I am sure it will and you will both look very well indeed’ .’Thank you Mr. Scrubber, oh and I like the flowers you have put in the urns too!’ Why thank you Cherub Cymbals, nice of you to say so. I shall put a picture of the ivy growing on garden.ie tonight.’. Cherub told me later that Cherub Cymbals blushed deeply. I hadn’t noticed but apparently the concrete takes a deeper shade of grey! But isn’t it nice when someone you think is not perhaps the kindest takes a turn for the better. I have put up the picture to encourage him. And since Cherub Lute has taken such an interest in the vegetables I shouldn’t be at all surprised were we to have a discussion soon on the relative merits of lettuce all the year round as against lettuce saladdin. Both of which I sowed in those tiny compartmented trays today!
But wasn’t that a good one about Cherub Cymbals? I knew you would find it hard to credit. The three other urns are up and fixed and I will do the drainage holes tomorrow and put in the 2 litre pots . I bought plants of Petunias surfinia-and potted them into a bigger pot and hopefully one will be enough to fill each urn as the urns themselves are about two litres capacity.
22 May 2013 22:25:55
The time has come to talk of cabbages!
Tuesday was a busy day for Scrubber. Up early and into town for sand and cement! Wasn’t quite sure how id get the urns on the wall as it was quite narrow but we often learn by doing and when I put a good dollop of cement on the top and flattened it a bit there was enough for a base. I also put in a piece of plastic piping that I could take out later leaving a channel underneath for water to drain out! I have done three and though I’m no builder I am delighted with them-and I have put in the bases for the next three which I am getting tomorrow. They are small urns , concrete and take a two litre flowerpot so I can ring the changes.
Bought a tiny flowered rhododendron in Arboretum ,Artic tern. I thought it was quite unusual and will try to get a picture up. Diod a load of weeding along rose bed wall and took out and divided lots of daffs. Also resettled a rock or two in Caterwall!
Today’s work much more prosaic. Planted out some brussel sprouts. Took out an old prunus beni shidare which had failed a lot but I will try to get another as its very early scented blossom is special. Weeded some of Eileen’s bed and found lots of plants that the weeds had grown in over! That’s for the next few days.It’s really all go. Hope you like the urns. I do and when the six are done they should be fine.
19 May 2013 21:39:19
Ferns, rocks, Rhodo's, all one needs really!
I was working in the one area of rocks for the last two days or more and then spend the whole of Saturday strimmimg-instead of getting to go to Blarney. I had a special anniversary mass to go to in the evening. So I put up a photoalbum and then thought it didnt come up and then it did-sooo confewsing! Anyway hope you like the album Mid May 2013. Nothing very new in it I'm afraid.
17 May 2013 22:50:42
Scrubber was struck this afternoon-no by an idea, not a whippy branch or a falling stone! The afternoon was wet at times but Scrubber was happy remodelling a lot of rocks. And he realised ‘its not rocks Scrubber but about Rocks and shade and grasses and ferns and rhodos (if youre about lucky) and clay and views from above and below and from the side and the making of something pleasing thats going to be there for a long long time’ so its really something worth spending time at, and there’s no need to feel guilty that you are not at anything else! Even though i did get all the grass cut as well and edged a grass path!