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Rachel's Journal

Rachel's Journal

Last Post 23 days 7 hours ago


06 March 2011 11:19:37
HeadGardener, UnaGrant, Bruno, Liga, Paddy & Mary (Gracedieu), LindaB and Hosta (front)

HeadGardener, UnaGrant, Bruno, Liga, Paddy & Mary (Gracedieu), LindaB and Hosta (front)

I think everyone is agreeing that we had a brilliant get-together at Johnstown yesterday. The Garden Centre looked fabulous - from the Sarracenia, giant, flowering bougainvillea, citrus trees, Vanda orchids (which Liga bitterly regrets not buying) to the extensive range of primroses. It was the first taste of a Garden Centre for many of us after the long hard winter and I think we took advantage.

Johnstown had reserved their restaurant conservatory for us and also the outside patio area. The get-together started at 1pm. However, all of us somehow managed to squeeze into the conservatory, where Johnstown were kind enough to take food orders from the tables.

By my calculations, there were 31 garden.ieers in attendance yesterday, 8 partners and friends and 6 people were 'no shows' on the day. The 'no shows' included Drumanagh (Alison), who messaged me that morning and somehow, displaying amazing ingenuity, managed to get her plant swaps to the meeting but not herself.

After eating lunch and chatting for a while, we had our raffle. The prizes were 5 vouchers worth €20 each, kindly donated by Johnstown and a box of roses, donated by LindaB. Linda also organised all the raffle tickets. UnaGrant's little daughter did a great job of choosing the winning numbers.

Next we had our Kris Kindle exchange, where all participants submitted a present and Myrtle and Mairin had the tricky job of assigning numbers to packages and different numbers to people. There was a sticky moment at the end where nobody could figure out why there were two unclaimed presents but then Myrtle and Mairin realised that they hadn't had any presents themselves!

After that, while everyone was all in the one place, we all trooped out to the car park for the plant swap. There were a dizzying number of plants to-ing and fro-ing and and you really needed a list to keep track of what had been promised to who. Poor Bruno seemed to be left with a large shrub he had promised to someone who was not owning up. Last I saw of him he was doing the rounds, calling out in the car park and waving the shrub above his head. I hope he's not still there.

Some people went home then but many of us went back into Johnstown for another round of retail therapy and more tea and cakes. Johnstown eventually booted myself, Liga, Mairin, Violeta and Ingrida out of the restaurant and Garden Centre at 6pm.

From my point of view, it was a fabulous day and the best get-together yet. That was due in no small part to the venue, which we all chose by electoral ballot back before Christmas. It was also wonderful meeting a host of new people - Hosta, Keego, Ingrida, AitAlainn, Cape Daisy, Fintan, Kate, Rhody and  Romneya (thank you for the Skimmia, Romneya).

Thank you also to everyone else who gave me plants and books, which I am going to take out of the car now. Please forgive me for not mentioning them all individually but I am a bit overwhelmed. I think the suitcase of snowdrops that Fran laid at my feed was what finally did it!

And thank you also for the Johnstown voucher which you all gave me. I spent a long time deliberating, with advisers Liga and HeadGardener, on what to buy with it as I wanted a single item to commemorate the day. I was very pleased with the large Euonymus alata which I came home with.

Once again, thanks to everyone for a super day and long may our friendships last.

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Jacinta D Jacinta D 06 March 2011 11:24:50

I am so glad that I was able to make this get-together. I will be starting my weekends very soon and probably won't get to another one. Thanks again, Rachel.

Cloncaw Cloncaw 06 March 2011 11:27:31

Fantastic it went so well, have never been to the new Johnston location it certainly looks beautiful and is certainly a centre I will visit if passing but I'll be leaving the plastic at home.

Drumanagh Drumanagh 06 March 2011 11:30:44

A suitcase of snowdrops! Well I never! Thanks a mill for all the artichokes Rachel. Sounds like a fab day was had by all. 

fran m fran m 06 March 2011 11:38:54

Rachel, very very well said. I am just in front sorting and planting some of my plants, the word overwhelmed says it all, thank you all once again.

Rachel, thank you for picking up the Thuja for me, they will fit in great, hope to get them in in a couple of weeks.

fran m fran m 06 March 2011 11:43:46

Alison, a suitcase is a stretch of anyone's imagination for a shoe box full. If some one here could go away with a suitcase that size I would be very happy ...........

Dick Dick 06 March 2011 11:44:57

Rachel, It was a great occasion. It was an occasion meeting people I had only seen on the monitor of the computer. There were some Whom I had met only in a symbolic way, usually as flowers. It was the third time I had met Rachel and Liga, the second time meeting Fran, Linda, Ladybird and perhaps one or two others, so many who had travelled a great distance. I should thank you for the two orchids, the total I have now is nine. I would have laughed a year ago if somebody would tell me that I would have even one. I was back at the garden that evening and got a reasonable bit of work done before teatime.

Magiclou Magiclou 06 March 2011 11:51:04

Looks like everyone had a great time. Sorry I missed but will be at the next one for sure.

Clara Clara 06 March 2011 12:22:43

Thank you again Rachel for a fantastic day well done.

Eilish Eilish 06 March 2011 12:35:06

Rachel, many thanks for organising a great day at a fab location. Also many thanks for the Abutilion. Eilish

Scrubber Scrubber 06 March 2011 15:06:31

That seems to have been a wonderful day. Was it advertised or is it an in-house arrangement? What is one expected to bring to the exchange I wonder?. people seem so generous. Was this the first in a series.? I could see any garden centre being thrilled to see that number of enthusiasts coming in. Well done! The organization takes so much time and effort. I enjoyed reading about it!

Hoeys Hoeys 06 March 2011 16:21:08

thanks Rachel for organizing it all. was great day.

Moya Moya 06 March 2011 19:51:52

Hi Rachel,

Being a relatively new member I wasn't able to organise myself to make the get-together..I sounded great though and you are very good to organise it.

I hope there is another one before too long that I can attend.

Do members meet at Bloom as a rule? 


Dick Dick 06 March 2011 20:06:26

Rachel, your photos were excellent but the ones of me were not. 

Rachel Rachel 06 March 2011 22:49:41

We can't have that, Jacinta. Maybe Gerry Daly could be persuaded to have a word with your boss : )

Rachel Rachel 06 March 2011 22:51:04

It was great, Geraldine & Alison. A pity you couldn't be there.

Fran, I don't know what size shoes YOU take!

Rachel Rachel 06 March 2011 22:52:07

I hope they do well for you, Dick, and lovely seeing you again.

Rachel Rachel 06 March 2011 22:52:46

Thanks to everyone. And thanks for your thanks ; )

Rachel Rachel 06 March 2011 22:54:09

Scrubber, the event was advertised under NEWS on the garden.ie site and in several of my journals. I hope you will come to our next one.

Jacinta D Jacinta D 06 March 2011 22:56:31

I think Gerry might have more power if he were to talk to Paddy Gleeson directly! 


Rachel Rachel 06 March 2011 22:56:32

Glad you thought so too, Jurga.

Hello Moya, people often make arrangements to meet at Bloom, depending on what day people are going. Hope you will come to our next get-together.

Ha, ha, Dick. I always hate how I come out in photos too.

Violeta Violeta 06 March 2011 23:00:54

Ah it was great day! really really enjoyed meeting everyone, and definatelly going to go to the next get together! :-)

Keego Keego 06 March 2011 23:07:22

Rachel thanks again for organising such a great day to reflect back on it today after all the excitement of yesterday is wonderful and now every time I look at  a plant  in my garden that someone gave me it will have associated memories of a wonderful day with a great group of gardening friends who all share the same passion brillant how much better can it get

Mairin Mairin 06 March 2011 23:14:11

Thanks everyone for a great day.  It was great seeing you all again and talking about gardening. 

rhody rhody 06 March 2011 23:53:22

Rachel, well done on organising a great day on Saturday. Lovely to meet you and the others too

Bernie (Yellow Rose) Bernie (Yellow Rose) 07 March 2011 09:05:54

Rachel.  A big 'thank you' for organising  such a lovely outing. It was a very enjoyable  day.   Lovely to meet you and all other ie'rs.  Thank you to everyone for a lovely get together.  Bernie.

unagrant unagrant 07 March 2011 10:34:43

Rachel it was a lovely day which I really enjoyed.  Well done to you.  Johnstown was a great place to hold the event.

Lìga Lìga 07 March 2011 14:04:01

Day was brillian,,thanks to all:))And yes i'm sorry i didn't get that vanda orchid,but now i think maybe better some new peony it be better:))Ah,first need get clear head and then think about buying plants.

  Did you said  to Norman that Euonymus alata is your new house plant from cactus family:))) ???

Lìga Lìga 07 March 2011 14:07:22

And one more,,there in picture is 2 more gardeners,,,one still small, behind Una's back,,you can see blue coat,,and other is behind my back,because i'm taller you can't see her,,-Mairin:))

CapeDaisy CapeDaisy 07 March 2011 18:23:32

Thank you Rachel for organising such a lovely day. Everything went really smoothly and seemed easy, but I know that only happens if it's well organised beforehand! Dad (Romneya) and I are looking already forward to the next one!

Rachel Rachel 07 March 2011 22:34:31

Don't blame you, Jacinta.

I'm glad to hear that everyone else seems to have had as good a day as I did. Really lovely to meet you all : )

Oh no, Liga. Is Maureen hiding again?

Rachel Rachel 07 March 2011 22:44:57

Liga, I didn't wind poor hubby up when I got home after all : )

sarawb sarawb 10 March 2011 22:36:43

Hi Rachel, sorry I was a no-show - in the end family matters kept me away. Looks like I really missed a fun event. Hope to meet you next time! Sarawb



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