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JoanG's Journal

JoanG's Journal February 2016

Last Post 721 days 23 hours ago

Visit to Burtown House Gardens

27 February 2016 21:13:35

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Finding myself with a free day on Thursday, I made my first visit to Burtown House Gardens near Athy, inspired by the report and photos from Gracedieu Lass's recent visit. I wasn't going to post an album but was so taken by these gardens that the camera had to come out.

Burtown House was the home of botanical artist Wendy Walsh and now of her daughter, artist Lesley Fennell, whose beautiful paintings are displayed in the adjacent cafe and gallery.  Everywhere in the garden their artistic influence is evident, from the sculptures in the grounds to the layout and planting of the gardens themselves.  

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and plan to go back when the gardens reopen for the late spring and summer season. 

Hellebore mysteries

22 February 2016 22:39:55

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I chuckled to see PeterW's photo of his lovely 'Double Ellen Purple' hellebore earlier this evening.  A couple of years ago I bought two hellebores in Lidl, one called 'Double Ellen Purple' and the other 'Double Ellen Picotee'.  They were not in flower and only one appeared the following spring.

What's in a name? It's nothing like Peter's purple one, neither is it a picotee!  I'm not complaining as I like it and it's doing well.

For many years I also had a white oriental hellebore in the back garden, alongside various pink ones.  This year it has vanished and I don't recall digging it up.

It was a lovely day here today and looks like we'll have a few sunny days this week; hope you can all get out and enjoy them. 

I need to ...

20 February 2016 21:12:38
I need to ...

I need to ...

... cut the grass, divide some perennials, do some mulching, make a path through the back border, etc, etc.

I'm keen to get going, just wish this cycle of rain and wind would stop! 



10 February 2016 21:59:55


Today was a lovely bright day in Dublin to lift the spirits.  A few days ago, needing some cheer during the miserable wet and windy spell, I placed my first order of seeds from Seedaholic, encouraged by good reports from several of you about this seed company.

They arrived in the post yesterday and I'm really impressed by all the helpful information on plant characteristics, sowing and growing that accompanied them.  I'll wait to start sowing until March, though it will be hard to hold back!

A bit done, more to do

05 February 2016 21:52:45

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Being busy with non-gardening matters, and with the dicey weather lately, I've done little or no gardening since the start of the year, so was really pleased to get out yesterday.  I started with some tidying and watering in the greenhouse, where nearly all the rooted cuttings and over-wintering plants are doing ok, just a couple of inexplicable losses.  Then tidied the border around the greenhouse and tried to make some plans for a revamp of the back border but didn't get very far with that!  The big bamboo which I bought at Johnstown has had a baptism of wind since planting in its trough by the patio doors; it's been more horizontal than vertical for the past few weeks and I'll just have to hope it will forgive me and settle in. 

Spent the afternoon sweeping, weeding and picking up leaf litter in the front garden. Our neighbour's holly bushes shed leaves all year round and guess where most of them land! Though Fuchsia 'Hawkshead' was putting out new growth and flowers (hasn't stopped since last July), I went a bit mad and gave it a severe pruning, so fingers crossed there!  The front garden is coming on well since the revamp in Summer 2014; crocuses, snowdrops and two hellebores are now in flower, with daffs to follow and the shrubs and ferns providing a pleasing foliage backdrop. Finally came indoors at about 5.30 as the light was fading; feeling a bit stiff in the joints today but happy. 


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