Last Post 1391 days 17 hours ago
31 July 2009 22:47:57
We were hoping to get a start made this evening on all the work planned for the weekend but it rained all day in Cavan non stop so we did not even get to look out!! We lit a big fire pulled the curtains in Disgust opened a bottle of red put on a DVD and pretended it was winter.
PS The DVD was the "Reader" highly recommend it.
Tomorrow I am going out hail rain or snow as housework is the alternative and that is just not an option - what is that they say about housework "nobody ever notices it until it is not done!
Thanks for all your feedback on the top 5 perennials (journal entry a few days back) keep it going and I will complie full list in a week or so.
30 July 2009 23:48:08
Thanks to all for ideas on your top five perennials it was interesting that people had practically all different plants in their choices I have made notes off all to look up and try and get my hands on as many as possible eventually!! I did make a start last weekend as I found the few garden centres I was in that there was value to be got ( I Know a lot of you would grow these from seed and would be appalled at buying these but for us novices we need to start somewhere). Anyway I picked up the following Knautia (Melton Paste) Scabiosa (Pink Mist) Phlox , Gerbera (everlast White), Veronica Spicata (Blue Bouquet) Helenium (Autumnale Helena red Shades).
As I am back to work now it is really difficult to get time in the garden during the week and I usually end up getting out about 9 for an hour and I hate to say it but already the nights are getting shorter. My first ever agapanthus is about to flower so really excited about that because it has grown from a division that I got from my Mam and neither of us has had them before - it is a blue one so the next challenge will be to get a white one.
We continue to enjoy the lettuces,scallions cabbages from the garden and are looking forward to digging our first potatoes at the weekend although we are a bit nervous as we have had VINE Weevil in the past and we had to dispose of all our spuds that was three years ago and since then we have treated the ground so fingers crossed.
It looks like our water feature project might get underway this weekend after a good bit of grovelling!! We hope to have the sod turning cermony on Saturday so fingers crossed that the rain stays away although it does not look too promising!!
Another plan for the weekend is to take out an old Hebe that has spread too big and fallen away in the middle - I am going to use the space to create a "Hot bed" into it will go plants that I have dotted elsewhere in the garden, Geum Mrs Bradshaw, Red hot poker, Croscomia Lucifer, Salvia, Acheilla, and my new helenium along with any other red orange or yellow plants that pop up around the garden might look awlful but going to give it a go nothing ventured!!.
So roll on the long weekend and here's hoping the weather forecast men have got it wrong.
29 July 2009 18:12:56
Follow on from journal entry yesterday
Hi Folks as requested a close up of the leaves and the very unusual flower on this plant thanks for thoughts so far hope this helps.
28 July 2009 19:16:30
As I am on an animal theme - (all you animal lovers look away now!!) - these are for the pot - we rare our own broilers and freeze them. We started this about 5 years ago and I have never bought a whole chicken since. The taste is far superior to what you buy in a supermarket unless you buy organic. For all of you who have space and a non squeamish husband or partner who will do the duty for you it is the way to go.
28 July 2009 19:11:17
3 week old chick just getting feathers
For all you gardeners who are going to get hens in the near future - this is the next step for you - this is our three week old chick. She is just starting to get her feathers and her mother is very protective of her. Unfortunately on this occasion only one survived but the mother is still clocking and we may get more in a few weeks will keep you posted.
28 July 2009 19:03:18
I am currently trying to maintain a log of all plants in the garden can anybody identify this one?
28 July 2009 18:58:35
Finally got to upload pictures of Lismore Gardens in Waterford - can any of you gardening boffs identify the following 5&6 which are the same plants 7 and 9. I think 9 may be some kind of laurel but not sure. I love gardens like Ardgillan which label all their plants takes time but very useful for us apprentices
26 July 2009 22:34:41
The blueberries our feathered friends feasted on!!
Because I want to extend my limited supply of perennials in the garden I asked Rachel to have a think about what her top 5 perennials would be she came back with the following Lobelia, Ligularia, Agapanthus,Helenium, and Heucher. We thought it would be interesting to get feedback from the rest of our fellow gardeners so what would your top 5 be? Personally I would have to add in Geuma and Knautia/ Scabious. Thanks for feeedback Rachel I purchased my first Helenium to-day "Autumnale helena red shades" and am looking forward to seeing how I get on with it.
I purchased it in Fernhill garden centre in Athlone where they have 25% of all plants at the moment as well as 50% off some (limited choice) and another stand with 3 for €15 so if you are around that area you might just be lucky enough to get something you are after lke me with my Helenium.
This weekend was a write off in the garden i had no time anyway but even If I had the weather was brutal and this evening has turned real cold and wintry - went out to feed tomatoes and could not believe how cold it had got.
Was looking forward to picking our first few ripe blueberries yesterday morning but somebody got there before me seems to be a recurring theme this year this time I think i have to blame the birds but as my apprectice gardener said when I was moaning at lease they did not go to waste!! Well the netting is on now so hopefully we will get to sample the next lot as they ripen.
Hilidays over and back to work tomorrow can't wait!!!!! Really enjoyed the break and got to see lots of gardens all of which I will put up on the site this week.
Happy gardening for the coming week lets hope the weather improves for the long weekend coming up.
24 July 2009 00:07:39
23rd July 2009
Got to Ardgillan Castle and gardens yesterday had a great day somthing for everyone thanks to drumanagh for recommendation - will put up photos but not until I get back to work next week as home connection is too slow. Got to spend 3 uninterrupted hours in the garden this evening bliss not interrupted by rain children or husband!! I know that some of the members were discussing gardening crimes in their journals a few days back and i was thinking my youngest would have committed one yesterday in Ardcastle if only his arms were longer!! look how ripe the tomatoes are though it is no wonder James was tempted as mine are more like grapes than tomotoes. We live in hope.
21 July 2009 22:13:32
Cabbage harvested for Dinner
Do any of you have days when you get a bit overawed by what you have taken on in your gardens - well my day started off like that - it was pouring rain all morning on what was going to be my one day in a two week holiday period that I had to spend in the garden - I was very peeved and took out my frustration on some of the cupboards which had not had a spring clean this Spring or last or maybe even the Spring before that!! Cooked cabbage for the Dinner from the garden great feeling of satisfaction Felt much better after and the sun came out for the afternoon and it was glorious. I had so much to do that I did not know where to start and spent a while pondering what it would be like to have a small organised front and back garden where everything would be neat and tidy and I could spend more time relaxing and less time working. We however keep on coming up with new plans and mini projects. Anyway I got stuck in and dug out some geraniums that had self seeded everywhere and cut back a lot of them that had got very unruly, found a golden Heuchera that had got completely covered up and transplanted it, Dug out a broom that has disappointed over the past few years, transplanted some Geum's down to the new bed at entrance, cut back Cornflower and a Fennell which was taken over in the Vegetable / Herb garden. I then started to weed the vegetable patch which was overtaken by weeds whilst we were away and staked some peas. Alas then the rains came down again but I at least got a good afternoon's work done . Gerry got the bigger lawn cut as well between the showers Happy days's. We have made no more progress on our water feature and as I am waiting on hubby to oblige I will have to do a bit of grovelling!! We are going to ArdKillan Castle and Gardens tomorrow following a recommendation from Drumanagh will let you know how we get on.
21 July 2009 22:08:22
Cabbage harvested for Dinner
Do any of you have days when you get a bit overawed by what you have taken on in your gardens - well my day started off like that - it was pouring rain all morning on what was going to be my one day in a two week holiday period that I had to spend in the garden - I was very peeved and took out my frustration on some of the cupboards which had not had a spring clean this Spring or last or maybe even the Spring before that!! Cooked cabbage for the Dinner from the garden great feeling of satisfaction Felt much better after and the sun came out for the afternoon and it was glorious. I had so much to do that I did not know where to start and spent a while pondering what it would be like to have a small organised front and back garden where everything would be neat and tidy and I could spend more time relaxing and less time working. We however keep on coming up with new plans and mini projects. Anyway I got stuck in and dug out some geraniums that had self seeded everywhere and cut back a lot of them that had got very unruly, found a golden Heuchera that had got completely covered up and transplanted it, Dug out a broom that has disappointed over the past few years, transplanted some Geum's down to the new bed at entrance, cut back Cornflower and a Fennell which was taken over in the Vegetable / Herb garden. I then started to weed the vegetable patch which was overtaken by weeds whilst we were away and staked some peas. Alas then the rains came down again but I at least got a good afternoon's work done . Gerry got the bigger lawn cut as well between the showers Happy days's. We have made no more progress on our water feature and as I am waiting on hubby to oblige I will have to do a bit of grovelling!! We are going to ArdKillan Castle and Gardens tomorrow following a recommendation from Drumanaragh will let you know how we get on.
20 July 2009 23:20:02
Just watching the weather forecast for tomorrow which is the only day this week that I am going to get time to spend in the garden rain, rain a break and then more rain!! I have no choice other than don wellies and rain gear and get out to weed as been away last week they are taking over. I was away today but managed to presuade other half to carry out a few overdue tasks - removed our cordayline which I was sad to see go but it was time to say goodbye! Gerry also took some branches off our Blue Cedar and stated work on our new compost heap. I am sure this topic has been well covered in previous journals but as a novice would like tips on how to get the best compost. We have set up two pallet squares side by side so that we will have somewhere to turn the compost any advice much appreciated what to put on, what not to put in how often we shouls turn etc. Well here's hoping the weather forecasters have got it wrong for tomorrow.
19 July 2009 18:30:36
Pond in Ballymoat Gardens
It is nice to go on holidays but even nicer to get home - We were in Dungarven and had a lovely week - even got to visit a few gardens - more details later. I always go out into the garden after been away with a sense of dread and anticipation!! Dread that some of the vegetables have been eaten by pest of one kind or another, anticipation that a plant has blossomed - both occured this time around with our lovely crop of cherries half destroyed by the wasps - (any one got any advice on how to stop this other than not going on holidays!!) the cherries we managed to salvage were yummy. All other veg looking very good and we had our first head of cabbage to-day it was really good. As for the flowers we had a really good display of roses to welcome us home as well as red hot poker, three different varities of day lily one I had forgot we had (picked it up last year in the snaily garden) and my first Echineausa (not spelt correctly I know) has flowered. Astilbe looks really good in the new bed that we redid last year The Dierama is also lookin good.
We managed to visit a couple of gardens on Holidays Lismore castle gardens - however it started to lash rain just before we got to the borders in the upper gardens. We also visited a private garden in Dunhill Ballymoat Gardens Lovely setting and the owner James a lovely gentleman took us for a very entertaining stroll around the garden. He has some lovely specimen trees as well as a number of garden features including a lovely waterfall which led to a large 40ft pond. I will put up some photograghs later although my memory card ran out just as we were going around. We bought a couple of Aeonium and my five year old son won one as a prize (Aeonium Zwartkop) for guessing that the feature in the front garden was the bone from a whale's tail!! clever boy.
Hope to take some pictures later on and upload
09 July 2009 00:13:10
Wednesday 8th July
Good start to the new project - landscaper said he would call at around 7.30 and he arrived bang on time - how often does that happen. He had very clear ideas about what he feels will work and what will not - I had it in my head to get rid of all the trees he advised us however to keep most of them as ponds in the open are harder to maintain - the idea although hard to visualise will be pools of water starting at the top of the slope flowing from one to the other gradually down the slope. These pools will be surrounded by planting Hostas, Astibles, Dierama, and a tree fern among others. We have agreed that we are going to do the hard landscaping ourselves well that is the intention anyway so we now have to dig out the ponds and he will come back when we have that done. While he was with me he had a look around the garden and gave me a few tips - i woud have loved to hijack him for a week!! - he advised us to plant Aliums under our apple trees as they prevent scab. He was impressed with our cabbages and the fact that we have no caterpillars yet - he suggested mixing lettuce leaves with water as a deterrant to caterpillars. Growing basil beside tomatoes but I am sure all you experienced gardeners knew that already. I have a fig that is not doing very well and he told me it never would until I move it to beside a wall and restrict it's roots. Anyway we are on holdays from Saturday for a week so hopefully might get started on this on our second week off.
07 July 2009 23:26:51
Squeezed in an hour this evening in the garden between work and children;s bed time. Really pleased to see my dierama had bloomed it is a lovely plant and I divided it earlier in the year and thought I might have done some permanent damage but all ok. I planted the Iris;s that my mam gave me on Sunday have not had any previously so will be keen to see how these go for me. I really like getting "bits" from friends or relatives rather than buying in a garden centre and that not because i am a cheapskate ( Not originally from Cavan i have heard all the jokes!!) but I like to think of plants continuning on from home to home, generation to generation and plants that have a story or a memory linked to them. I have a pullmonoria that my mum gave me when we first moved here and she brought it from her own childhood home. Got good news to-day that our landscaper is coing tomorrow to look at our "island" project. I mentioned in earlier journal entries that we have a large bed in the middle of our drive that is planted up with very large trees - we want to put in a natural looking water feature like a stream running into a pond surrounded by lush planting- we are hoping to do the work ourselves but get good advice and guidance from the landscaper. I will keep you all updated on progress. Another very exciting development this evening spotted my first 4 tomoatoes - well it was like a new birth in the family with all the congratulations going on - you see this is the first year I have ever grown tomatoes and I was despairing - Watch out Dave you now have competition!! We also harvested our first head of cabbage exchanged it with our neighbour for a home made fruit cake yummy. We keep her supplied with eggs, salads and vegetables and she bakes lots of nice goodies for us. lastly I took slips of my penstomon any tips on best wasy of bringing these along. Happy gardening let;s hope the weather improves as I am off on my holidays next week DunGarven - any good gardens in that location please let me know
05 July 2009 22:38:01
Wet Sunday 5th July
We celebrated our 12th Year in our home in Cavan on the 4th July - we knew as soon as we found this house that this was finally going to be where we would settle. We both fell in love with it and immediately started to plan what we would do we have done quite a bit since we came here but we still have a lot we want to do - our aim was to have everything done in 10 years well we have missed that milestone by quite a bit as we keep adding on new things to do - ever evolving! We hope to have baby chicks by the weekend which will cause great excitement as we have nieces down from the big smoke. We did not get out to-day at all it was a bit disapointing as I am back to work tomorrow and feel the weekend is not complete without a few hours in the garden. We have enough rain now although I do admit to loving rain drops on the lady's mantel - new pestomen flowered today and first day lily. These are great plants thrive on neglect! The red croscomia is almost in bloom as well I think this is another great plant and a lovely striking red. We have an orange one that comes on after not sure of names of either. The hardy geraniums are a great addition to any garden and I particulary like what we think is Patricia? let's hope the week ahead improves and the sun comes out!
05 July 2009 00:38:06
I have just read back on some of my journal entries and my spelling is desparate!! It is like Marian said last night I get on to the computer at 11.30 for five minutes and then spend an hour reading everybody elses journals by the time i get to updating my own I can barely write never mind spell!!! addicted.
05 July 2009 00:29:28
Was visiting Mam and Dad to-day so not much time to spend in Garden but squeezed in an hour early this morning - Sprayed the few rose bushes that I have , staked some crocosmia and did a bif of weeding found some small plants of what I think is diasca which self seeded (not sure) and set it in pot see what happens. Potted on some dianthus that my daughter set as seeds. Had a greately visit with Daddy and Mammy - I can clearly see where my love as gardening comes from as they are both keen amatuar gardeners - Daddy's vegetable garden is at it's peak at this time of year - everything growing really well and nothing yet dug up. He is ready to dig his first stalks of potatoes so i will be back for dinner very soon! We had cabbage from the garden today lovely and some strawberries for dessert. He has leeks, beetroot, lettuce scallions, three different types of potatoes, parsnips, carrots peas and of course tomatoes lots and lots of tomatoes. He had a great laugh at me when I told him not a susage on my plants yet!! As for Mammy garden well she has a lovely patio at the back door surrounded by flower beds with not a singel gap. She has loads of pots with acer's Hosta's heucera's, diantus etc all a great display. They have always lived a really simple life surrounded by their family, animals and their belovedwved gardens - the celtic tiger did not affect them and as for the recessions well it does not stop the plants from growing
03 July 2009 22:28:47
I love Friday evenings well who doesn't but I appreciate them even more than ever now as the weeks are pretty hectic and stressful (work in construction need not say any more!!) I appreciate my home family and garden more than ever it is a sanctuary. Took a walk around this evening great weather for slugs! we got our potatoes sprayed and planted more dwarf beans and runner beans as the first one's we set did not germinate - had some gooseberries and the last few raspberries yummy - Fig bush doing well at long last thought it was dead - lovely big leaves which is why I was attracted to it in the first place - blue berries coming on really well so looking forward to them. I bought some plants in the snail garden last year and they did not all have labels but all coming all well so will see over the next month or so what they are - still looking for ideas for flowering perennials saw lovely cornflower in Rachel's gardens which I am on the look out for - it is great to see all the pictures of other gardens for ideas. Got a white Agapanthus last year in Mullingar ( O.Mearas) whcih my mum split but it did not flower at all last year but I have a bud this year so here's hoping for a result
01 July 2009 12:30:18
Attack on cherry tree - help!
Away at weekend and came back to discover our cherry tree was ben attacked by some kind of pest not sure what. So far it appers to be just the leaves but it is doing a really bad job on them as they are all curling up! We have cut off the affected leaves but if anyone knows what they are and how we can get rid please let me know. Everything else seems to be doing really well but we need to get to spraying our potatoes as it would seem to be good weather for blight so the experts tell me ( My Dad who is a keen vegetable gardener). I am still on the look out for more colour in the front border as I have lots of gaps - has anyone any experience of growing monarda - are they fussy flowers? - We visited the snail garden on the borders fo Cavan and Longford last year and they had so much colour with preennials and they had a lot of Monarda - Does anyone know where I would get these?