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JoanG's Journal

JoanG's Journal August 2013

Last Post 1543 days 18 hours ago

End of August colour

31 August 2013 21:59:17

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Well, we've been blessed with a lovely summer and I suppose it officially comes to an end today but, as Clara posted earlier, there's still good colour in the garden. 

These are showing well here this evening:  Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm', my favourite late summer/autumn perennial; one of my mother's fuchsia's "babies" in a pot at the front door; and sedum 'Purple Emperor', only acquired last year so will get even better in future.

And welcome autumn tomorrow, there'll be more colour to come.  Happy gardening everyone.

Geranium questions

31 August 2013 21:16:30

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I've only had geranium 'Midnight Reiter' since last year, chosen for its nice blue/lilac flowers and purple foliage.  It's a good plant up to flowering time but I'm a little disappointed to find that the flowers last a short time and don't repeat, even if you cut it back. 

I wouldn't mind this too much if the foliage colour held well but it's completely covered in mildew.  Maybe not surprising this summer but the same happened last year after flowering.  Does anyone else grow this plant with better success and, if so, can you offer any advice please?  I have watered it.

Otherwise, can anyone suggest a small hardy geranium with blue flowers that would perform better?  All suggestions welcome!

Charleville Gardens, Enniskerry

24 August 2013 22:15:13

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Yesterday, Clare (Clara) and I visited Charleville Gardens in Enniskerry.  It's a pity that this wonderful garden is only open for a short time each year.  It was open for a while in May/early June and in August for this week only, finishing tomorrow, Sunday 25th.

I was there on the same day last year (it rained then too) and posted an album and Clare has already posted some photos from our visit yesterday.  Myrtle also mentioned her visit earlier this week, so I won't repeat except to give you a flavour of the hot border and greenhouse.  Yes, that classy building really is their greenhouse! 

If you ever get chance to visit during their limited opening times, Charleville really is a treat.

Flower power

19 August 2013 21:40:25

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For the past few weeks I've been thrilled with the flowering of agastache 'Blue Fortune'.  Having lost this plant previously, I bought this one at the Mount Venus sale last October, kept it in the greenhouse over winter (just in case) and planted it out in spring.

It really has come on well and has over 50 flower spikes on the one plant, so I'm well satisfied with my purchase and hope it will come through this winter ok.

Can you add to my plant knowledge please?

17 August 2013 23:33:11

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There were so many people at Carmel Duignan's open day that we couldn't really corner her to ask the names of plants, so perhaps you experts out there identify might identify some of these for me:

1) Yellow dandelion like flowers on plant about 5ft tall with long serrated leaves.

2) This amazing large leaved plant growing at a 45 degree angle over the patio.

3) Plant with dangling red flowers, somewhat fuchsia like but with thicker leaves, purple hued and slightly curling at the edges.

Thanks in advance for any info.

Carmel Duignan's garden open day

16 August 2013 22:43:11

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Last Saturday Clare and I visited Carmel Duignan’s garden in Shankill for her open day in aid of the Hospice and what a treat we had on a lovely warm afternoon.  Some of you may know Carmel from her writings and gardening talks to clubs and groups.

Carmel’s small semi-detached bungalow is surrounded by a quarter acre beautiful garden:  first, a small well planted area in front, next a little courtyard to the side featuring a stunning dahlia‘Admiral Rawlings’.  This leads to a broad patio/terrace behind the house framed with raised beds and containers, then steps up to a pristine lawn running the length of the garden to an arbour at the back.  On both sides of the lawn are deep borders lavishly planted with trees, shrubs and perennials, each with a parallel path running through its length, so you can double back on either side and uncover further treasures.  At the very back on one side is a hidden area with shed and glasshouse.  In the borders were sturdy obelisks covered in roses and clematis; in fact almost every tree and large shrub in the garden had a different small flowered clematis growing through it.  A magnificent grass, stipa barbata, held a prime position at the top of the steps and everyone was asking Carmel for its name (I didn’t get a photo of this but maybe Clare did?); also a fantastic hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ drew gasps of admiration.  The open day was very well attended, raising much needed funds for the hospice. 

We were delighted to meet Ruth (Ladybird) and Henry there and share the chat, tea and cake, and wandering around this delightful garden.  Thanks Clare for your great company, as always, and for the lovely plant pressies.

Garden stroll - early August

02 August 2013 22:32:47

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Well, I haven't done much gardening this past week or so, being busy with other things.  Finally got the grass cut this afternoon and had a stroll round.

As Elizabeth said earlier, there are a few signs anticipating autumn:  leaves starting to crisp on the hawthorn tree, some plants gone over etc.  But others are coming or looking their best right now.  Here are a few in the early evening light:

Clematis 'Star of India' ... bought at Bloom last year.

Agastache 'Blue Fortune'.  I had this plant before and lost it over a relatively mild winter.  Replaced it with this one from Mount Venus and am thrilled with it this year.

Agapanthus and Inula ... old and new respectively, like them both.

I hope you are all enjoying your gardens in early August.

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