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Scrubber's Garden

Scrubber's Garden

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!


Glorious weather

26 May 2017 22:30:52

What beautiful weather and to be able to be out in it an added and much appreciated bonus. Now the grass is knee high and very snarly in places and it takes about three goes with the strimmer before the mower can be used. But that’s a small price to pay. Again the forget me nots worked their wonder. A lovely haze of blue for three or four weeks but now it’s time to take them out and they come up so easily and leave the ground free and crumbly.

Roses are beginning to bloom and irises are out in glorious blue and I see the achillea heads are coming into brilliant yellow which will be a lovely contrast. In the bog theres a lot of growth lobelias are stretching and I see colour beginning to come in the bog irises-a generous donation from Gracedieu!

The newest Item in the garden is the gong! As I said earlier in a journal I needed something to call me up from the depths of the Scrub and I didn’t like the idea of a whistle which an old friend used to use! So bells being most expensive I had a think and suggested to Ian who made my obelisks that he put two iron ‘straps’ across the top of a cylindrical tube and a ring on top of that. Well ian made it and also a lovely hook. I painted it bronze and bought a length of chain (2 Euro!) and rigged it up. Ian also made me a lovely striker with a hole in the handle for a leather thong. And it has a lovely tone and can be heard across the river! Im going to have a great time on New years eve as up to this I have just bashed a big saucepan. However that’s a long way off.

One bonus of clearing a small border of forget me nots and weeds was it revealed a very healthy little box hedge! I had bought a tray and divided each into three plants. Well each little plant has thrived and it looks great in front of a granite stone wall.

So lots done and lots more to do but bit by bit something will emerge at the end!



accsean accsean 26 May 2017 22:38:44

Evening Scrubber, I can foresee quite a bit of mischief with that gong. The shrub dwellers will be in their element.

Your obelisk is looking fantastic.

Scrubber Scrubber 26 May 2017 22:44:50

Now I never thought of that Sean! Forewarned is forearmed! I am pleased with the obelisk and the clematis are climbing!

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 26 May 2017 23:03:53

Busy as ever. Delight the iris are doing well for you. I would have thought that you had enough of ringing bells in your previous career.

Scrubber Scrubber 26 May 2017 23:09:33

Maybe thats why I went for the gong Mary! I got a real thrill out of seeing the Irises coming-they developed the flower head almost overnight!

JoanG JoanG 26 May 2017 23:28:38

The gong is a great idea, no risk of missing your dinner now!  I love the irises around your obelisk and all is looking well in your garden. 

Scrubber Scrubber 26 May 2017 23:47:55

Joan I NEVER miss my dinner but there may be less important things that I would miss! Like coming in on time or going for messages-but dinner -never!

sallysarah sallysarah 27 May 2017 08:38:07

That Box hedge does indeed look great.   Obelisk looks at home in that setting.  Don't forget to keep Clematis watered!!!

Jacinta D Jacinta D 27 May 2017 09:37:40

Your garden is beautiful, Peter. And aren't you sooooooo lucky to know a man like Ian, who can produce such bespoke items for your garden. Love the idea of the gong. :)

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 27 May 2017 11:51:27

I love that gong! In my childhood home we had a gong that was made out of a used brass shell from the second world war (my Dad was in the Merchant Navy)  with a key cleverly reconfigured to provide the ring at the top and it ended up in Elizabeth's house where it called the family to dinner for years! she had a great policy - If you didn't answer the gong you missed the grub!!!!!

Scrubber Scrubber 27 May 2017 15:14:51

Im sure that was an elegant gong hazel. No gong no grub is a bit harsh but gardeners can tend to be forgetful! Jacinta I know I am lucky. he has just given me an iron post that will stop me walking on and breaking the little mini standard roses! Sally todays rain should do them for some time. Noah's ark weather!

Dick Dick 27 May 2017 19:49:28

And you say the grass is high Peter. What way is it after the rain? The gong is a great idea for you but not for me as there is nobody to call me into dinner.

Early one morning just as the sun.....

19 May 2017 21:44:15

was shining as the song has it, The father of a dear young friend died and his funeral was at eleven today. I went out for an hour or so and planted about thirty drumstick primula down in the boggy area so next year there will be a lovely memory of the good man whose funeral was today. I never met him but he seems to have been a wonderful father and family man and he was also a gardener!

Ive noticed that that bottom path has really come together . Ive been doing a lot of little things, clearing rocks, enhancing edges, removing reeds, adding Tetrapanex, and quite suddenly there is a beautiful new area replacing what was just a track across the bottoms. Ill try for a picture tomorrow.

I also noticw that forget me nots are great ground cover. Now they are gone over and can be taken out they leave nice clear areas where they have been. And yet there will be lots of little plants coming on later on. Great little flowers! I notice a lovely Iris coming in some numbers this year. Again a pic tomorrow

Jackie Jackie 20 May 2017 08:18:02

A sad time but one you will remember with some lovely blooms. It's amazing how plants and flowers bring back memories. My roses out in  the front garden were my mothers who is gone now just 21 years. And still they live on! Your bottoms sound great and I look forward to seeing some pictures. 

Scrubber Scrubber 20 May 2017 21:59:01

Yes jackie I can identify with that. I have plants that my parents gave me-or rather they gave me tokens and I got them!-I still see them as their presents though!

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 20 May 2017 22:31:55

Plants are always a nice way to remember someone that is no longer here. Hawthorns are just fantastic this year all over the country and I just adore the scent. A lovely photo.

Moya Moya 21 May 2017 00:48:11

I have also been admiring the Hawthorns - fabulous flowers and some fields have it around the whole perimetre.

Oh I can't wait to see photos of that lovely new area. Your garden is going from strength to strength.

and a coat of paint.......

18 May 2017 18:32:11

And of course Monday was wet and windy so I couldn’t paint the arch.However I was in Bagenalstown so I called into Ian and told him I had bought the arch. He was very encouraging and said he was pleased I had got what I was looking for which was very nice of him. Then I asked him to make me a gong!!! Anna sometimes can’t contact me if I’m strimming in the Scrub. An old friend’s wife used use a whistle but I refuse to be whistled at! Bells are very dear so I had an idea. A piece of pipe with two bars of metal bent over the top and a small circle on top, hanging by a chain from a tree. We tried a few different pipes and settled on one resonant one. I wonder what Ian will turn out!

On Tuesday afternoon I got out and painted the Arch. I ran out of paint but Anna kindly went into Borris and got me a small tin. I was quite pleased with the look but wondered could I possibly fit in the arch where I wanted it. There was an old arch of two cotoneasters and there were large stones at the base and a small stone built pillar.

This morning ,Wednesday, Austin my son helped me lift the arch into position. It was unbelievable, I did have to take out a large rock but was able to replace it once the arch was in place. Both cotoneasters fitted exactly onto the arch and I tied the branches in with soft plastic tape and trimmed just a little. There will be room at the base for sweet pea and a clematis or rambling rose. I was so pleased that the arch fitted  so well .

I had hoped to get in some of the Mount Congreve plants after that but had to turn to something completely different instead as we had a touch of the drains!!!Kept me going but the fact that the Arch was such a success helped immensely!

Now the obelisks are in place and the arch has arrived I can get back to weeding and planting the plants which at least are being well watered!!

accsean accsean 18 May 2017 18:58:40

That looks as if it was always there, Scrubber. My garden is lacking in touchs like that and it needs some. I love the way it makes different areas and a whole new way of looking at a section.

Will you tell me what is a touch of the drains. Is it as it sounds or is it what we would say in my old homeplace of Fedamore was, 'the hurry out and delay abroad'.

Scrubber Scrubber 18 May 2017 19:32:28

Dear Sean, not to go into excess detail---at first the tapwater fails to clear. One goes out and lifts two manhole covers. One realises the tap water is not the only thing that hasnt cleared! One gets ones chimney sweep rods and rods and rods. One sometimes leaves some rods in the drain ! But at least and at last theres a whoosh and a sweep and all clears into the septic tank.---I told you no excess detail but I hope you are clear now---as are the drains!!!!

accsean accsean 18 May 2017 19:52:34

And regretting asking the question as well. Glad all is in order and you can look forward to planting your Mt congreve purchases.

Dick Dick 18 May 2017 20:15:37

Great job, Peter. Your garden is looking great but wait until all of the climbing plants are at their best.

Scrubber Scrubber 18 May 2017 20:36:48

Yes Dick. Looking forward is always the best part. Hope you continue to improve dear friend.

PeterW PeterW 18 May 2017 22:23:19

that Arch looks brilliant Peter, A super job 

Scrubber Scrubber 18 May 2017 23:14:09

Thank you Peter. Im very happy with it.

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 19 May 2017 00:37:41

As usual you find the PERECT spot! Looking great!

Jackie Jackie 19 May 2017 08:38:48

Oh that's fab!! Such a loverly addition to the garden. 

Elizabeth7 Elizabeth7 19 May 2017 10:30:38

Great Arch are you sure it  is new??  Looks as if it was there for always.

fraoch fraoch 19 May 2017 19:47:32

Fantastic, Peter. As several people have said it looks as if it was always there, it's really at home.

Scrubber Scrubber 19 May 2017 20:58:37

Heather I think the cotoneaster makes it look as though its been there ages. Yes Elizabeth span new!!! As I said to heather I think the planting helps a lot. Thank you Jackie. It fitted in well.Well Hazel there was a tempting alternative but if you think its perfect I am so satisfied I picked the right one. By the way re your earlier comment Sr Josephine would NOT have approved of my 'squandering'! She caught me with a bag of bulls eyes one day and trumpeted 'Did you spend your Father's hard earned money on all that trash. I concluded she had never sucked a bulls eye!

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 20 May 2017 22:51:17

The arch is looking great. 

Such a day! Mount congreve last Sunday

17 May 2017 20:09:19

O my goodness. Tonight Scrubber is in an absolute dither! A very pleasant dither I must confess! As you could see from my last journal I had resolved to be restrained and temporate on my visit to the rare plant sale in Mount Congreve.’Well maybe a tenner’s worth if I saw something I really liked. We drove in and at first glance I thought that there was not a huge amount of stands there. But then I realised my mistake. There were lots and they were all filled with the most tempting of delights! I went into the Future Forests and the very helpful young man there advised me on trimming my viburnums, the wayfarers tree. Mine were a little leggy but I can cut them back very low after flowering. So I bought an indian rain tree-very small but it will grow. Next stall had a beautiful species Iris in Blue and gold. So I took that and was satisfied.

Anna and I went for Lunch and there was a glorious Portuguese tent with great simmering dishes. I had sea food and some grain stuff and also some lamb and choriza? The mixture sounds mad but I ate them separately. Anna had a beefburger. Linda and Diego were at the next table and we chatted and met one another countless times. I also met Rachel Norman and Sam and was delighted to see them. Came out and there infront of me were lovely Obelisks and two fine arches. Now my own obelisks were a match for them but the arch was  very strong and nicely proportioned. I had told Ian I would be looking for an arch from him and I was in two minds so I walked away. At the Mount venus stall I got a lovely new fern and then there was another beside it that I went back for! Of course Caherhurly were there and they had Ligularia and my bog needed some ligularia so I got two! Then I met my first cousin and her husband who had a stall of cacti and succulents and sarcenias (The ones that eat flies-also a bog plant).So that was my total.

We went to my daughter’s house and made tea then headed for home. The baleful thought struck me ‘had I turned off the kettle?’ Luckily we were only ten minutes away. Back and checked and all ok. Then Anna said’ Would you like to buy the arch and offered to pay half and make it my birthday present! I wasn’t sure as I felt a tiny bit disloyal to ian (even though I hadn’t actually ordered it yet) back and haggled with the man Liam  from Abbeyleix and finally arrived at a price, the arch to be delivered that very evening! On the way out I got two more Ligularias and went home rather shaken at all thissudden expenditure. Liam arrived in my gate two hours later!

So It was a wonderful day and I am only now beginning to relax after it. A lot of painting and planting ahead of me!

Jacinta D Jacinta D 17 May 2017 20:23:38

Ha ha!  All idle promises, Peter. You can resist anything but temptation. ABut I wouldn't be feeling disloyal to Ian. Sometimes what you don't know can't hurt. I just hope you can put on a 'face' next time you see him, pretend that you have decided against getting the arch after thinking about it somewhat.

Scrubber Scrubber 17 May 2017 20:50:29

So true Jacinta-anything but temptation! And even today couldnt resist bargains in Glanbia!As regards Ian-while admiring your strategy and wondering at your ingenuity I decided to bite the bullet and Ian was very generous in his response. I mention it in my next journal! But thank you for your advice.

Mary B Mary B 17 May 2017 21:57:03

You had a ball! Can't wait to see the Abbeyleix Arch and the iris sounds delightful.

Oh there it is, just spotted it now at the top of your journal!

JoanG JoanG 17 May 2017 22:08:21

Haha, love those days when you go to a plant fair with firm resolve and arrive home with a car full of shattered resolutions.  Enjoy them all, Peter!

Deckyoshea Deckyoshea 17 May 2017 22:55:08

Ha ha , The problem is a common one I fear .. Deep pockets required or else sew them

up !! 


accsean accsean 17 May 2017 22:57:39

Best of luck with them all, Scrubber. 

Elizabeth7 Elizabeth7 18 May 2017 00:59:37

That sounds like a great day Scrubber . Portugese tent indeed now that is very grand indeed. I will have to have a chat with the Fota folk!!

You got some great loot and will get so much pleasure from it.

Keego Keego 18 May 2017 10:06:25

You sum up the excitement and buzz of a plant fair so very well - you got some lovely purchases and the arch is beautiful enjoy all the planting now best bit when you see the purchases in your own garden.

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 19 May 2017 00:30:57

That arch looks truly splendid! But such total extravagance at that dangerous Mount conngrave place - so glad I didn't go!!!! What would Sr. Josephine have to say about such a lamentable lack of restraint!!!!!

And the rain it raineth every day-well today anywa

12 May 2017 23:04:49

What a day of continual soft yet determined rain! I must say Scrubber was very pleased to see it even if it stopped his projected garden work. But just before it got too heavy Scrubber went down into the scrub and managed to rake some bald bits on the lowest path and scattered lots of grass seed. Actually one of the places that was renewed was the area around the rock that moved in the night (last journal). Apparently the ground was quite disturbed by the moving rock so yesterday Scrubber spread a bit of compost there and hopefully the rain will have settled the seed in.

He then started to put in some drumstick primulas that he had got in Glanbia but the rain came down and put an end to that.

The garage was in such a mess so seeing he was in his working gear Scrubber got stuck in and by seven o clock there was an improvement. Some of the time was taken up with sorting through piles of labels and seed packets-all out of date! How many plants Scrubber has killed down through the years!!!But it is satisfying to see the successful ones and the amount of pleasure a few euros expenditure can bring.

So many things promising to break into flower soon. There’s still one shy rhododendron waiting to come out. It looks a bit like ponticum but hasn.t its bad habit of spreading madly.

Im really looking forward to Plant Fair on Sunday as Mount Congreve always is a delight. I shall only look as Scrubber sort of lost the run of himself last week in Glanbia. He had got a beautiful Clematis and then spotted some small clematis which were very reasonable so he got three of them. Then the following day Scrubber in a moment of weakness went back in and got some more!! Greed or seizing the moment???? So if you see him coming out from the rare plant fair with a very tiny bag that’s the reason. ‘When Temptation comes near me make me strong against it’ as dear Sister Josephine drilled into us long ago!

Jackie Jackie 12 May 2017 23:54:09

I like to call it 'seizung the moment' and my goodness I've done way too much seizing too lol. But that's the joy of it all. You could be doing worse I'm sure!! Sounds like you had a great day and very industrious too. I'm sure you will have a great day at the plant fair 'just looking' although who knows maybe you might be tempted a little!?? Either way have a great day ;) 

JoanG JoanG 13 May 2017 00:08:16

Now that's a classy bowl and stand; well done, great job!  I'm not taking any bets on you coming out of Mount Congreve with only a tiny bag.  Enjoy it and tell us what you bring home. 

accsean accsean 13 May 2017 10:18:29

Good work, Scrubber and what good is temptation if we don't give in the odd time. It stops us getting ahead of ourselves.

Scrubber Scrubber 14 May 2017 23:50:09

Oh Jackie I was tempted and I fell-down-deeply! Joan you also were so right! Wait for my next journal!!! Sean after today's expenditures your words are indeed balsm to the soul! No danger of Scrubber getting ahead of himself-its all he can do to keep up!

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 15 May 2017 12:25:08

The rain was very welcome, but it could go away now and take the wind with it. I love the bowl, looks very well. 

Paddy and John have just arrived home from Glanbia, but no clematis for me, just barley for the hens. 

I hope you bought all around you yesterday in Mount Congreve.


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