a mediateam website

See a sample issue of The Irish Garden!

Fleurette's Journal

Fleurette's Journal

Last Post 34 days 8 hours ago

Such a pleasant surprise

12 November 2017 23:00:12

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

At the beginning of last week, I looked out the window as a blink of (very rare) sunshine caught a large plant with red flowers.  I had never seen this one before and it took me by surprise.  I didn’t manage to get out to see what on earth it was as the rain came on again.  

It was two days later that I went across a squelchy squelchy squelchy lawn to  investigate. The plant seemed to have appeared from nowhere.   Such beautiful fine red tubular flowers with a slight yellow tinge at the edges, which seem to give the whole plant a lively look.  The branches are quite long, the plant being about 3-4ft H.  What is really lovely are the side branches that just spread out and on these the individual flower components of the long flower spike face upwards.  Like candles on a cake.  I cut some of these as I was making a table centre arrangement for a friend and had already quite a selection of flowers from all over the garden. These were mainly in the soft pink and lilac colours, a few springs of a delicate pale pink fuchsia, etc etc. A bit of myrtle with blossom and the black berries.  Unexpectedly, I found that those side shoot upward facing  flower stems were quite simply magic in finishing off the circular arrangement like spokes of a wheel.  

So then, I remembered that this was the tiny plant of pineapple sage, salvia elegans, I had been given in a wee pot a few years ago, had totally neglected, then planted out and kept treading on it.  But it did not bear me any grudge and I am so impressed.  

The cosmos in front of it only started to flower last week too.  It grew to be huge and until recently there no signs of flower buds at all.  

 I have just uploaded the photos  and you probably think that “upward -facing “ flowers is a load of nonsense.  There were some further round at the back!!  And also as they matured in the arrangement, they turned the little flowerlets upwards.  The photos do not do the plant justice.

Does anyone grow this plant? I’m sure you do.  It is lovely to have a surprise such as this in the month of November.  By the way, when the weather is warm and sunny, there is a great smell from the leaves.  

I am now going to rant about the weather we have had this Summer and Autumn on the N. Coast.  May and June were v. Dry.  Drier than down South.  Then that was it!  Dull, warmish, nothing above 17°C on a good day, and showers and more ahowers and rain and deluges, and storms and wind and flooding.  And so it continues.  There hasn’t been a dry day in the past fortnight.  The pavement has never dried in weeks.  Bc Yesterday there was a heavy shower every 45 minutes.  But nonetheless, I just persevered and took shelter in the shed.  I managed to set 250 crocus corms. Only 750 to go!  Mary from Gracedieu, you are to blame for this madness.  



06 October 2017 22:57:59

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

I have been reading the long article in the new ed. of the Irish Garden.  

It is such a huge family, but anyhow, here is one given to me last year by James Burside, a noted flower arranger.  I have been watching this thing grow and grow all summer, loger and longer, more and more spindly; I staked it at abkut 2 1/2 ft. , and still it grew on and on.  Flower spikes appeared mid August , but the flowers did not open till last week: ie 6 weeks later.  

So, I’ve been having fun with a new tool on iOS 11.0?   and have drawn a red line around  this plant.  Do any of you grow it?  I don’t seem to see it mentioned in the article.  The flowers on the dark-stemmed are larger and have a more prominent yellow centre than Little Carlow.  In fact very similar to a, Mönch.  

Up at the top on this same photo is really good tall robust aster, deep pink that is really well behaved and which I have never had to stake.  I have told you often enough how much strong wind we get, so full marks to this lady.  I hadn’t the enrgy to make my way up to the top of the bank to take a close-up image.  

The next picture is of another so well behaved and very dear to my heart little aster.  I’ve had it since the mid 1960’s in various gardens.  It is only 18” high, and spreads only very slowly.  Great colour as you can see.  Also lovely to have a few sprigs in a glass on the table.    Good one to ”share”

 Any name?  

The yellow calceolaria integrifolia came from Malahide station a very very long time ago.  Same age as the aster beneath it.  

My Three Indispensable Plants

27 September 2017 23:17:15

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

So, at Elizabeth's suggestion, I am going to recommend the 3 p,ants that I find are invaluable in my garden.  

Some of you may know that I am generally against self-seeders, especially any like columbine that inevitably set themselves right in the middle of a choice subject and you just cannot get hold of the long tap root.   

My first two are in fact self-seeders, but "in the nicest possible way" !!! Also, they are easy and "good-doers"  

The 1st is:  double white Feverfew.  This plant is sturdy, weather proof, always in flower,  from early season right through and probably still a bit during the winter.  It is a great filler (I don't do annuals), and it combines and enhances all the colour schemes.  There is much less smell from the leaves of the double than of the single.  What you need to  do is to cut back old flowered stems.  The lovely sturdy seedlings are quite prolific, but easily removed and planted on if necessary, but I just love how they find a great wee spot  I would not have considered.  When the surrounding plants grow and take their turn in the sun, the feverfew can be cut right back and come againn a month later.   Years ago, I consistently weeded out every plant with single flowers.   

The 2nd is Linaria purpurea  and also Linaria purpurea Canon Went which is pink. Again,   although a seeder, as this is a slim specimen, it is perfectly accepatble in any position, even at the front of the border. Tall, slim and graceful. Pink and purple both seed well.  I have had a white one fir a few years now but I haven't spotted any white seedlings.  What a pity.  This season I bought  Linaria purpurea "Peachy". I wonder whatvit will do?

sorry about the upside -down picture.   It is one from last year when I was inadvertently  holding the iPad uoside down.  Pcon has explained it all to me!  

The 3rd: Crocosmia Solfataire.  Why?  It gives me interest and joy from late spring till mid October.  Lovely spikes of bronze/green foliage, then come the well-held spikes of apricot flowers.  This soft apricot  blends in and enhances so many other dominant colours in the border.  Just now, in a stemmed glass on the table in front of me are a few stems of Fuchsia Genii with its yellow-green foliage and pendent flowers that have up-curved cerise petals.   Amongst  these are a few stems of Solfataire.  Delightful, because of the colour of the fuchsia foliage, I think?  

Book now for a share out at Johnstown!  I might even pot ip a few for you if I have your name on it.  

Help, please

18 September 2017 22:56:42

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Can you please identify this plant?

I try to keep very good lists of my plants: name, year, where planted and also, quite important, who gave it to me or where acquired.

Be that as it may, this one has slipped through the net.  It has been very deliberately positioned in the hall door bed where I would see it, and I think that was in early summer.  But I can find no trace of a name.

Picture 1 shows the foliage and some fallen fuchsia  flowers.

Picture 2 shows the delicate very dark flower which I had to bring indoors And stick in a vase.  3lower petals and 2upper ones.  The flower stem is wiry, in definite segments with nodes.  The individual little flowers do not last long, but the buds have all opened in succession.  




07 September 2017 12:44:08


Last week, I spent 2 days, if not 3, gathering, sorting into different buckets, thinking, and then doing the actual job of decorating for the Harvest Thanksgiving, which came a month earlier than usual for us.  Co

I was given some gladioli: Bordeau wine colour and yellow.  

This is one of the arrangements before I tweeked it.  I wanted the 2 sides to rise, the glad. at the back to be more to the sides as well, and the white phlox in the middle to be lower.  I think I got there in the end, but didn't take a nother picture for fear I would see other flaws!  I would actually like to start all over again.  

I used gladioli, well that is obvious, buddleya globosa, crocosmia Solfataire and Rodgersia superba leaves.   Oh yes, lovely spikes of Lythrum salicaria Robin.  

Which brings me to making a comment about these super plants: Lythrum.  

There are quite a few on the market just now, and earlier in the season, I asked myself what the difference was between the ordinary/wild one, and the ones you pay good money for.  For instance "Robin" featured in the arrangement.  As the season ahs worn on, I can see a definite difference.  The wild one did not flower as long and when cut and compared at close quarters, Robin is fatter and sturdier.  Now, I don't see much, if any, difference between "Robin"and " Rosy Gem".  I bought another lovely one on my visit to Scotland with Maghera Garden Club during July : "Blush". Beautiful soft pink, H80cm.  What is your experience of these? 

Then there are also all the salvias, and ..... the veronica spicatas.  So many spikes these days that fit in so well in a border.  There are times, that from a distance, I haven't a clue as to which they are.  A fantastic veronica spicata is "1st Love"  tall - 3ft -   with branched spikes that are long and slim and hold their colour very well.  They add a little spice amongst other herbaceous plants in a very graceful way.  

What about Verbena Hasata?  Do they do well for you?  Rosea and Alba.  They seed easily.  

I have successfully managed to delay my return to cleaning and housework!  

My Musical Open Garden

22 August 2017 22:34:09

Is this really IN my garden?

06 August 2017 14:10:40

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Is this really in my garden?  A cruise liner?  The channel is very close to this shore and the lighthouse.  You can realise how important the lighthouse is, because not all craft sailing by would have that modern gadgetery -GPS, depth sounding equipment etc. etc.

So, when approaching the Foyle, the  craft needs to be kept within the beam of green light coming from the Lighthouse; if its red, you will be on the sand banks out in there, if orange, its the shore rocks that will get you.   So, its a bit like traffic lights but showing on a horizontal plane with green in the middle.  There are buoys showing the appropriate colour of light right up the river indicating the channel. 

The second picture is just an up-date of the border featured in my last journal.  The season flows on.  And yet , we always wonder what is going to replace a particular flowering plant when it goes over.  This is my great concern just now.  

The MUSICAL OPEN GARDEN will take place on 19th August and most of the flowers here are 2weeks ahead.  The storm today and the heavy downpours are playing havoc with the phlox.  And the rest!  The storm is really blowing everything over.  

As always, we live in hope!  



Upper garden border 13/7/17

13 July 2017 10:19:33

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

A few pictures taken this morning.  

Need I say, that I am delighted with the penstemons which are quite manificent this year. The roses are doing well, particularly R. Ispahan, a Damask rose, which I got last year in Coolaught on my trip to Co Carlow with Maghera G. Group.  It is superb.  

The phlox are just beginning.  Aster x frikartii Mönch is beginning to show colour.  Early!  Should probably have given it the Chelsea chop at the appropriate time.  Perhaps I should cut back alternate stems to prolong the flowering period?  Any advice? 



13 July 2017 10:01:12

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

I am just home again from a Gardeners' Delight Trip to Scotland with Maghera Garden Group.  4 days.  Last year, we had a ball in Co. Carlow.  Some comments of the visits to great gardens and private nurseries will follow in due course..... ie. when I manage to get  in from my own garden before dark.  I have so many, so many, great plants to judiciously position in my garden.  A repetition of last year.  Last year's treasures are all doing well.

Well, I am delighted with my blooming upper garden!  I haven't actually done a comparison of pictures of this year and last year, but I feel we are perhaps a wek ahead, and the growth is certainly very lush.  Dampness, some heavy rain at night, and even strong wind, but plenty of pleasant warmth during the day.  So here are a few pictures of the amazing Watsonia which I only acquired 3 yrs ago.  Last year there a solitary bloom that had fallen over and got lost in the agapanthus.  I had never even noticed it.  

So, you can imagine my delight when I beheld this sight on my return. I have been wondering why I did not notice it coming on.  All due to other commitments, family visiting and 10 for Sunday lunch, then leaving Shroove the next day.  



More Midsummer's Day pictures

22 June 2017 00:37:23

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

A few more pictures taken this morning, Midsummer's Day.

We had almost no sun at all today, but there was flat calm, and so the temp. was the highest I have ever experienced in the shade in Shroove. 24.6°C.   There was some heavy rain in the afternoon and rumbles of thunder were heard.  

Under the Dawn Redwood.

22 June 2017 00:04:50

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

A few pictures taken today under the Dawn Redwood: metasequoia glyptostroboides.  

You perhaps already know about this fossil tree.  So, this tree was known by botanists  to have existed, but there were no examples.  Then, in the winter 1943, 2 British botanints discovered this tree in a remote region of China and were permitted to send "material" to the Arnold Arboretum in Boston Mass.   incredibly, a few hears later, a young was received by BrookHall Arboretum i. derry and also by Glasnevin, followed by Kew.  I bought mine for £8.95 just over 20yrs ago.  An incredibly cheap purchase, would you not think? 

So, here I am writing you a long story and then I cannot find a decent picture which includes said tree.  

I like the flow of this planting which I only developed over the last 2 yrs when I decided to crown raise the Dawn Redwood, and give me "Woodland" type space below. The mixture of lilacs, blues, pinks are very pleasing. 

the Rose Fragrant Cloud is a real old faithful friend. She was redundant as being considered old, in a relation's garden 25 yrs ago and given to us.  Yes, parts of her have died off and been removed, but new strong shoots just constantly gently come along.  

There is another lovely young small tree tomthe left of the rose.  Probably very didficult to see, but my intention had been to photograph the blue campanulas, the white ones, the erysimum, etc.  Anyhow, this tree that is still shrub size is a Lagerostrobus Franklinii.  It has taken a couple of years to settle down.  

That is next door's drive.   


A big mistake

18 June 2017 21:12:19

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Yes indeed, a mistake, but not that big.  However, please judge for yourselves.  

So what's the problem, you may ask.  It's the grass.  

You can see how it has bulked since June 2014. What I am not so  happy about, is the state it is in just now. I did not cut it down in the spring as the curls were still lovely, and then the weeks passed and unlike another one, this one was not trimmed back.  Then it was too late as I could not separate the new blades from last year's.  

The yellow/copper rose was in a little pot given to me by the children yesars ago.  So no name.

Oriental poppy "Beauty of Livermere" has never bloomed better than this year, but we had a fair bit of rain last night and it is not looking its best today.  

Mothering Sunday gifts

09 June 2017 23:18:24

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Ah! The joys of putting up Journals on this site!  

I am just now wanting to show you 3pictures of one of the paeoies that one of my dear daughters sent me for Mothering Sunday as few years ago.  But which year?  Is it three, or has time flown and it could be more?   So, I have just scrolled back through the years and months of journals here under my name  and here it is.  The Journal of 27th March 2104. :- The unpacking of a lovely box.  

The pictures today are of P. Shirley Temple.  Coral  Charm is also in bloom, but it is in a less favoured position and has fewer flowers.  

Isn't Shirley Temple just so frilly and full-petalled?  Just like that little girl who charmed audiences 60??? years ago.  This plant has reached this level of flowering in 3yrs.  I think that marvellous for a paeonia.  

More Yucca in flower

06 June 2017 23:30:43
More Yucca in flower

More Yucca in flower

Yes indeed, Dick.  Here are my yuccas in full flower, in the month of May!  Ive been meaning to put up this journal but was far too busy.  

What is irritating me these days is that I have to keep logging in, and telling "IT " to remember me.  Well the site must going senile, because it just does not remember me any longer.  Yet for years, it did remember ME,  never forgot me!  I feel very hurt ..... and frustrated.  4 times this evening.  You cannot even sneeze ......  

Anyhow, back to the Yuccas.  The yuccas I have,  come from my parents' garden in Dundalk, where they always flowered in August, I think.  Here the flower buds form and start growing , reach 18-24" or so, and by then it's winter.  Occasionally, they have reached their full height, and the winter storms debud them completely.  That is always so sad.

However this past winter, in spite of the ever rougher winter weather, this  did not happen this last season, and here we are with last year's stem in full and glorious flower.  It honestly is a 1st in this garden.  Only 35 yrs awaiting!   

Sorry about the poor photo.  I had taken another a few weeks ago, but cannot find just now.  

For Dick

22 May 2017 15:39:42

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Thought of you Dick, this morning when I noticed the sweet perfume in the conservatory, and hey presto, were the two most perfect flowers, which in my "busy ness" over the past few days, I had not noticed being so close to flowering.  I suppose that by the morning, they be wilting.  But isn't that a spectacular flower?


Garden.ie Members

Not a member yet?
Join now to:

Join Now

Existing Members

Forgotten password

Garden.ie CLUB

Join Ireland's first online garden club! Share pictures of your garden, make new friends and chat with other gardeners. It's simple to join and free! Register Here

Featured Members


Thousands of gardening facts at your finger tips:

Ask Gerry

Gerry DalyTry our unique advice service from editor Gerry Daly. Got a question right now? Search here to see if it has been answered already:

a mediateam website

©2017 Garden.ie. Mediateam Ltd, Media House, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18.

Tel (+353 1) 2947777 Email info@garden.ie

Website Design by KCO.ie