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Fleurette's Journal

Fleurette's Journal

Last Post 2 days 19 hours ago

For Dick

22 May 2017 15:39:42

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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?

Where would we be ...

17 May 2017 23:13:21

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without our gardening friends?  Our garden would be a much colder place, in that it would be devoid of friendships and memories of happy times and relationships.  

So, as I go round and weed, and move things about, and propagate, I greet a plant and say "Hi" to this one and that one and remember that my father got that from Bundoran where his Aunt lived and must have died well nigh 100 yrs ago, or another one I always greet and say hello to was from my good friend's Mother's garden in Bessbrook Co. Armagh. And then I remember her saying that her Mum used to ask her ( as a child) to go and scrape out a pot full of compost soil from under the hedge.  The old country ways!  Would that ever come to my mind were it not that I had once again encountered her plant that is in fact a lovely and very well-behaved ground cover plant.  I may remember the name by tomorrow!  (It's the time-lock delay on the brain. Ssh!).    And then there are my 1st camassias received years ago from Ann who is calling tomorrow. 

And so on and so forth, until the explosion of plant gifts started to arrive here ..... form the .iers!  From the 4 corners of the country.  How else could that be?  These are so much more precious than bought ones. So many plants from so many friends.  Why wouldn't we enjoy the Johnstown Get Together?  And enjoy rattling on about our doings in the garden on these journals? 

All I can say is that it's no wonder that gardening makes for contented and happy people, with a positive disposition, even if we have sore backs.  

Having mentioned Camassia, here are 2 new ones this season.  I see the bees like them. 

A few more of Kittybane garden

16 May 2017 23:38:20

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I have been visiting this wonderful hillside garden of Daphne's since she started to develop the barren hillside above the house, round which she had already established a good cottage garden to one side, and a more formal lawn with trees and shrubs at the other side.  

The hillside garden was begun in the Millenium year : 2000.  As I said, it was a barren rocky piece of land with a few self-sown ash trees growing over it and dear knows what else.  Now it is quite steep, so when she ventured forth, it was by traversing across sideways  and avoiding the rocky outcrops.  Then when the paths had been laid in gravel, it was a matter of hoking and poking to find areas for planting and gradually using every availalble space .  At all costs, get the ground covered.  She knows ground cover can always be removed for a more choice subject when necessary.  

 I am putting up 3 pictures, but as you may know I cannot upload an album. You may find time to check this journal with one I did in May 2014. Anyhow, doesn't Jackie's of today show it beautifully?

It is a happy, freeflowing exuberant garden.  A happy place.  

I would just wish to add that the Kittybane garden is open to groups, on request.   

Yes, they are HERE

06 May 2017 11:18:31
Yes, they are HERE

Yes, they are HERE

Yes, yes, yes.  The swallows reached here yesterday afternoon.  I'm so happy.  But they weren't , because we were standing close to the shed in which they usually nest.  And where do they build this nest?  On top of the fluorescent circular light fitting!  This means that we have to remember bpnot to switch on the light after dark. They usually have a couple of clutches a year.   

Here is the little orange tipped white butterfly that I found in the kitchen sink last evening.

Jacinta, I wonder. ...?

06 May 2017 10:21:03

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I have just gone outside with camera.   Here is a pot I bought a coupke of weeks ago And is waiting for my attention.  I have another from a few years ago, and also the old common one that seeds and is very tall, and topples over in strong winds.  In fact did I mention it in my 1st comment yesterday?  I intended to ...... 

Well. What do you think?  This one is currently quite common on the market.

Sidalcea Elsie Heugh.  

Nature will have its own way!

02 May 2017 23:52:40
So sweet!

So sweet!

I just spotted this today.  Isn't it lovely?  I certainly would not have planned it.  

Matthiola arborescens

02 May 2017 23:07:47

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Just a few pictures of a plant I have had for several years now.   It is a standard Brompton Stock and of course, it has that wonderful fragarance.  I particularly like this plant because due to being on a standard stem, it takes up less room on the ground And we can fit i. Low subjects beneath it. Aren't we gardeners always greedy for space?  We raise the crown of a tree to make room down below for woodland plants. When the spring bulbs go over we can't wait to see the foliage die down, and yet we were so eager to see the very same plants emerge 6weeks ago!  

Anyhow, this is a good plant and I would recommend it for well drained areas. My First one lasted quite a few years.  

1st May

01 May 2017 11:39:54
1st May

1st May

This is the 1st May: a date that holds many memories for me.  

In Belgium and in France, one offers a sprig of Lily of the Valley on this day as a good luck token. "Le Muguet des bois"   My family have always kept up the tradition.  In Brussels we had a very good display of these lovely fragrant flowers.  Anyhow, as I say, we always kept up the tradition and if (as is usually the case in this colder clime) the flowers were not yet in bloom, we would just send a picture.  And then the untinkable happened.  My Mother died quite suddenly on May 1st. 30 yrs ago today.  A loss for which there is no cure.  

I am posting a picture of my clump of Dutch irises because there is still a long wait for  the  Convallaria.      These irises were her 2nd favourite flowers.  


The Tulip conundrum.

27 April 2017 21:22:22
NW facing. Wet ground!

NW facing. Wet ground!

Regarding Tulips and the arguments for ditching after the 1st year or just leaving them in situ and having a nice surprise the following or even years, continues.  What is  good advice?  What conditions do they like? Where will they thrive?  

I thought that because they really do repeat flower for me for many years, just getting a little weaker as the years pass by, it was because mine are very deeply planted in full sun, on very light sandy soil.  But the attached picture of atown house, shows two clumps of red ones that have been in situ since that house was built over 12 yrs ago.  The position totally contradicts what I have said above!  The border is NW facing, getting the sun only from 4pm and their feet are in the wet.  Even very wet  in winter.  Can you credit it?  There is absolutely no sign of these weakening in any way.  Perhaps they get a wee sprinkle of rose fertiliser.?   Rose fertilzer is the very best thing and money well-spent.  

The bottom line is : talk to them And wish them luck!  

Amaryllis sequel - the unwrapping.

27 April 2017 20:56:01

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You may remeber my Journal of 4th April where I showed you a very amazing and unusual presentation of and amaryllis which my daughter in England had bought.  When I was with her,  the flower had already gone over.  

So here we are yesterday unwrapping it back at home.  

1.  I removed the wire stand from the base.

2.  Peeled off the orange wax.

3.  What do I find as the inside layer?  A tight rubber  vest round the bulb, a bit like a thick ballooon.  When I removed that wrapping, there were  young roots forming in the moisture which I tried to capture in the picture.  

4.  I will now pot up the bulb and hope for a flower next year! 

Garden helpers

23 April 2017 23:03:49

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My composters have been falling apart for the past couple of years, and I get lots of promises that they will be fixed .... soon.  And so they have.

So my youngest son  and his wee man set to and cleared out all the old compost (6 mth old).  The wee fellow is 6 and 2 weeks and is the most capable , hard working child ever.  He was working away, shovelling the compost out on to the path, then like a grown-up, or like the road-men of yesteryear, leaned on his shovel and pronounced "This is very satisfying work, Dad!"  

Then, when they went down to the lower garden, he was ready with the paint brush. 

That topiary Castlewellan gold was just for fun.  Quite a few years ago, I wanted to try my hand at topiary, so I grew 6 Castlewellan Golds from slips, and after a few years I tried on one of them.  Could not do it.  Threw it away.  Then the others got in the way and grew too big, and were ditched.  But I kept one, just in case I would get the urge again, and then one fine day, when I least expected it, I found myself busy with the hedge shears starting at the bottom and beginning the spiral.  Other jobs took over and I abandonned it half-way.  The following year, I thought it really looked quite well and I decided to carry on and reach the top. Success!  That was about 4 years ago and my daughter and daughter-in-law have re-trimmed it for the past two summers.  

It still gives us a laugh, and "sure" isn't that a good thing?  


Our little damsels

23 April 2017 15:15:25

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just a quick journal.  Aren't these sweet damsels just so sweet?  And fragrant too!  

Such intense colour too. ( Not like those cheeky senoritas. ) 

And more loveliness

13 April 2017 22:31:44

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So, having stood admiring the view going downwards Through the garden, I went out the hall door.  More delight.  

Al that very artfully placed mossy saxifrage is quite wonderful.  But it is total serendipity!   All this spread at its own volition, since the autumn when it was looking very sparse indeed.  I had to tell myself in October, not to worry.  All would be well.   

Notice the embothrium at the gate is coming into bloom.  

The topiary box bush, of which there are a couple, where grown from slips, at first just clipped into a cube type shape, and then I got fed-up looking at them, one was clipped into a round ahape, as you can see, and the other has square sides.  It wasn't hard to do, and that was about 3 or four seasons ago.  

To my great surprise

13 April 2017 21:49:20

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It was late on Monday night when I got home to Shroove, having been absent for two and a half weeks. What a surprise when I looked out on Tuesday morning.  The whole garden had become alive and so full of colour.  

I have taken 3 overlapping pictures,  panning from the right, and looking through to my neighbour's drive and grass.  

The tulips in these pictures are their 4th year, at least.  I usually throw a wee bit of general purpose fertilizer around them before they gomover, i  order to nuild up a good bulb for next season.  Its just the cheap stuff for farmers I get in the co-op.  10-10-20 or some variant on that.  

Two different cordylines. The big one with the brown leaves is Cordyline indivisa and the one over to the far right is the usual Cordyline Australis.   Still in a pot and waiting to be placed, I have Cordyline objecta Kasper, given to me at Johnstown by Bruno.  Thank younto him.  it is a strong looking plant. 

This is best blossom I have seen on magnolia soulangeana Susan. 

Succulents and the like

09 April 2017 00:40:00

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those of you who listen to Gardeners' Corner on Radio Ulster at 9am on Sat morning, will I am sure agree with me Conrad did a wonderful interview this morning.  He was talking about his new passion which are succulents in general and  sempervivum and crassula and ...... all the others.  

He is planting out in his new  garden but has a shed-full of them as well.  He is most erudite and his enthusiasm certainly comes across.  

Interestingly, last year I cleared a steep part of my rockery and tentatively planted out a few varieties of the above to see how they would do, looking straight at the sea.  So far, so good.  So I will be adding to the display when I get home  and clearing some pots.  

I am showing you a few pictures of Hodnet Hall , Market Drayton, Shropshire,  which I visited a few days ago.  The yew is enormous in width; the base of  the trunk is away iff to the left of the picture.  I shall write journal about this garden when I get home 


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