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Jan/ Feb issue of The Irish Garden

Elizabeth7's Journal

Elizabeth7's Journal

Last Post 3 days ago

Double primroses

23 January 2015 13:57:06

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As a change from lime and slurry time to ask about Primulas/Primroses. I have a big 'thing' for doubles and am collecting all the different ones I can find. But I am in a muddle about them.  Now I know and love the Barnhaven ones and have Bellarina also but in Johnstown I bought some that are labelled as auculis 'Rosanna' series. An extensive Google search mentions the latter as being the first doubles.  I know there were doubles years and years ago some now not in cultivation.  Also confusing is the fact that some Barnhaven and Bellarina have very similiar colours. So how did it all start  , are Barnhaven and Bellarine vulgaris and the others auculis? Anybody know a good source of information as to the topic of doubles?

I am very angry

22 January 2015 13:50:01

Well this morning it looked like a good gardening day so out I went to move loads of Bluebells from where they cannot be seen to a new spot. It was a little misty but all of a sudden the mist seemed to thicken a lot. Then I heard a machine and across the ditch was a tractor thingy spouting out volumes of white powdery stuff. Then I felt funny taste in my mouth so went indoors. Later when I went back out all the plants near the periphery of the garden had turned white and those nearer the centre grey!  I am assuming this is lime of some sort ...???  Anyway I decided to hose down everything which of course now means  a good deal of lime has gone into my neutral soil. 

End of rant.   I live , literally in the corner of a field with nothing but ditches separating me from the surrounding fields....so I suppose putting up a fence would protect me somewhat but far too expensive.  So my plants may suffer but don't see why my lungs should. The fields are rented now but I will head towards the owner and ask him to request the renters  if they could stop by my house when they are on the way to spray and tell me so I can stay indoors.

Really end of rant.Mistake just heard them again and went out there it was spewing out a thick mist now really really thick. It seems to be blowing from the south so my hot borders should be white again soon......................soooooo mad.

Sad and Happy

21 January 2015 13:10:20

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When I moved into my Dublin home in 1976 the sellers had so kindly planted a Lilac tree for me. It flourished until hurricane Charlie arrived and knocked it on it's side. Nothing daunted it kept going and gave much pleasure. Fast Forward to 2004 , I dug up a sucker and took it with me to my new home here. A very small about 1ft tall plant. It leapt up to about 15 ft and gave super blooms. But alas in the recent winds down it came and I saw it was totally rotten at ground level. It had not been as good as usual last year and now I know why. But I am sad the continuity is broken. One small hope is that there remains one 'stem/trunk ' that seems reasonably firm in the ground so fingers crossed. On the other hand masses of Nigella self sown seedlings have survived the weather ....hundreds of them. And finally a Cyclamen , I have Spring and Autumn ones but for heaven sake this is Winter!!

Seeds , Help!!

21 January 2015 12:33:50

I would be most interested to hear how you all germinate your seeds. I get good results from cuttings but am downright bad with seeds. When I saw Dick's tomatoe seedlings it reminded me I have seeds waiting to be sown and how may I get better results. I use all purpose compost and grit, should I get seed compost?  One year I used a heated propagator and yes they bounced up........and died down.  What in your opinion are the essentials to having reasonable results. I think of Kitty, Rachel, MaryJoe , Dick and I am sure many others so spill the beans please!!  Oh I do well with Peas and Beans and sow them in the deep rooter trays.

The Untidy Gardener!

19 January 2015 00:18:44

Cold but dry with a little sun today. Walked  around the garden and decided I was a very very untidy gardener.  There were empty plant pots all around the place on grass , in borders etc. Then there was Meg's large contribution of empty Coke bottles half chewed, i give her treats in the bottles for her to shake out, and a fine array of chewed yogurt pots as every night I give her my yogurt to lick the dregs!!  The socks make a good show. In the mornings herself usually pinches a sock from my room and brings it to the garden; I now have the one and only Sock Tree as I hang the socks on the branches when they are found. They are too torn and dirty to recycle. I feel better now the confession has been made! I will try to reform.

Weather and Borage

13 January 2015 13:38:29

It is as black as night here just now lights on in the house and outside torrential rain/sleet /snow; don't remember it being so dark at this time of day. Really weird. Oh now I hear thunder, so much for the mild Cork climate !! But in between it gets bright and the sun even shows briefly. Tomorrow it will probably be 14 degrees again what a climate but I would not change it for anything.

Sat down to ask about Borage , oh real snow now, anyway for a long time i never checked out what this plant with huge leaves and a blue flower may be. Did of course consider borage but then that is meant to be an annual and this lad grows to a huge clump and has been here for ages. In fact there are several self sown clumps which must be discarded. If one wanted large foliage this is your man!! So anyone else grow it. I read now the leaves taste of cucumber so had a chew and yes they do but are so prickly that your tongue gets sore.

Weather reports would be interesting if time permits:)

Thank you

12 January 2015 00:03:29

I was so delighted to make it to the Meeting this year. Many thanks to Maryjoe for bringing me . Hazel you are so good  to do the organisation and such a great job; and of course the helpers . I was lucky to get a lovely Fatsia in the KK and an unusual Eucomis in the raffle so thanks to the kind donors. As for all the plants from other iers an enormous thanks to you all for your generosity. I hope you are all home by now, safe , sound, warm and happy.

Garden revival

09 January 2015 21:35:17

I feel up to my neck in  a good way with all the gardening programmes, they really keep up the enthusiasm and make gardening time that much nearer.  Tonight I fell hook , line and sinker for the Tulips planted in the meadow thought they were wonderful. 'When I was young........can just remember.....at home, Tulips were planted in lines like soldiers and it put me off them for years. This random scattering method made me feel the Tulips themselves were much happier with this environment , I mean they were dancing and who thought one would ever see a Tulip do that!!

Two plants with colour

08 January 2015 16:08:53

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Coronilla has been flowering for ages and is still going strong. Echeveria rosea is starting to get the lovely red tints and looks very well at this time of year.

Johnstown plants in reverse!!

08 January 2015 12:04:15

Yes got a lovely big box today and a big big Hazel, the one I mentioned that has the black buds. I decided to order cos what with bringing my swappies home and then the plants I wanted there would be a lot. MaryJoe is so kindly bringing me and there should be some room for her plants!!!!!!!!!!!!  Anyway the postage is so reasonable and their packing excellent plus getting the thrill of unveiling them it seemed a good idea. So I got

Lupin Gladiator

Salvia Victoria......love this ,have one but want more for the hot beds.

6 Strawberries......killed all mine with Round up by mistake

2 kniphofia

Rose, 'For your ears only'

Berberis Orange rocket, I have one and it is so great wanted a second.

The black Hazel.

No doubt another couple may find room in my pockets when I am there but very satisfied with this bunch.

Now i must wait for a few Barnhave doubles to arrive at my door and here is one happy bunny.

Fran if you read this I have one big clump of Equisetum ready to go but be so careful to confine it or it will run all over the place.










British garden revival

06 January 2015 23:57:51

Don't know if this has been mentioned. On at 7pm. BBC 2 every night from tonight until end of week. Tonight was very good I thought. Rachel de Thame on Roses  and Joe Swift on Climbers.  There was half hour on each subject which gave a very good insight of the topic.  The 250 feet wall covered in ~Wisteria was just amazing.

Johnstown plants

04 January 2015 22:28:50


Couple of Hedychium  rhizomes

Arum italica x1

Hardy geranium, a sanguinem, very nice but a seeder.x 1

Myrtus luma seedlings x 3

Tetrapanax baby x  1

Erigeron karveniensis x 2

Pulmonaria Diane Clare x 1




02 January 2015 14:57:52

Ginger nut to be more precise.  I think I will be able to make a contract with Jacobs this year.  Lovely day here so went weeding. Also my Hedychium gardnerianum, I think, has now been overtaken by the Tetrapanax so needed moving. It flowered so little that the move might have been towards the compost but as I dug I was amazed to see the number of rhizomes big juicy ones. So I now have a heap of ginger under cover for the moment until the big Jacob's lorry arrives to take it away~!!!  Seriously I think I will give it another chance in a different location. I had a lovely sunny spot in mind until I read that they liked shade.....now that surprised me.......and damp soil. I am almost sure I have seen this grow in full sun???

As for the Tetrapanax there are loads of babies sprouting up and for fun I think I will leave them and see if I can have a Tetrapanax forest.       

Anyone grow this?

30 December 2014 14:40:31

Salix gracilistyla Melanostachys  aka Black Pussywillow.  I have wanted this for some time and spotted that Johnstown have it so in went an order. I would love to hear if any of you grow this. Not everyones choice I imagine but looks interesting. No picture at present.

Gardening TV for January

29 December 2014 11:36:44

Wishing everybody a healthy and happy 2015.

 Like Peter I am suffering from gardening deprivation so had a look to see what goodies were coming up on TV.  There are loads of garden programmes scheduled for 2015 so I just picked a couple that were coming up soon.

 A new three-part series called Britain's Best Gardens begins on 6 January at 8pm on ITV1, with Alan Titchmarsh presenting.

 Sky TV is going into gardening television with Show Me Your Garden, a six-part series on Sky 1 from 2 January 2015. This is the programme in which our own Bruno takes part in episode 5, I think.


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