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JoanG's Journal

JoanG's Journal May 2017

Last Post 269 days 12 hours ago

Pyracantha musings

27 May 2017 23:22:39

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Our oldest Pyracantha on the back wall is covered in blossom at the moment.  It was originally planted on the left of the main path and gradually grew across.  You'll notice that the gardener has been snipping away at it!  

When I decided to run a path through the back border earlier this year, I had to move back the large pot that holds a canna in the summer and daffodils and tulips in spring and the only way to do this was to cut into the pyracantha. I had notions of creating an archway effect that would frame the pot. What I found was a tangle of dead branches and twigs two to three feet deep behind the surface greenery, with the thick bare main arteries criss-crossing against the wall.  Clearly this novice gardener hadn't a clue about pruning and training pyracantha back in the day.  

Now I'm wondering what to do with it.  I thought of continuing to cut away higher and wider to make an arch that would accommodate a small seat without scratching the life out of whoever sat there, but then I would have to move the big pot (where?) or squeeze behind it to sit down and peer out. I have even considered cutting it down in the hopes that it would resprout and could then be trained properly ... but how long would that take?  And in the meantime, what about the birds that find shelter in it?  I am growing newer plants of the same to the left of this one with the aim of covering all of the back wall eventually but progress is slow.  

Hmm ... to be decided.  Any thoughts dear friends? 

Charleville visit, catch up

26 May 2017 21:38:38

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I've been busy with other matters since our visit to Charleville Gardens in Enniskerry, so this is just to say thank you to everyone who came.

Mary (Gracedieu Lass) has already posted an album and journal here and Paddy, Rachel and Clare have fabulous photos up on Facebook for anyone who wants to soak up the atmosphere of these lovely gardens.  

It was great to see Fran, who joined us for lunch, Rachel & Ori, Myrtle, Paddy & Mary, Clare, and the first timers on one of our outings: Brid (Creggrose), Joan H(Edulis) and her grandson Joe, and Clare Gill.  We hope you enjoyed the visit and will meet up again soon.

We're hoping to arrange another visit to Charleville when they open for Heritage Week (19th-27th August).  By then, the hot borders which they were planting in during visit should be zinging! 

Visit to Charleville Gardens on Tuesday 23rd May

20 May 2017 21:16:47
Visit to Charleville Gardens on Tuesday 23rd May

Visit to Charleville Gardens on Tuesday 23rd May

Following on from my earlier journal (15th May), here are the arrangements for our visit to Charleville Gardens, Enniskerry, next Tuesday 23rd.

We're joining up at Powerscourt first at 12 Noon for lunch or snack at their Avoca cafe (self service). Meet at the entrance to Powerscourt's Garden Centre just opposite the car park.  

After lunch, we go on to Charleville (about 2 miles up the road) to arrive for 1.30 pm.

Charleville is a private estate; the entrance gates are kept closed and visitors admitted as they arrive.  Entry to the gardens is €6.  They are extensive and varied, so allow a couple of hours to go around and enjoy, and anyone who wishes to stay longer can do so. The gardens close at 5pm. 

Those going are: Paddy & Mary (Gracedieu), Rachel, Joan H (Edulis) and friend, Clare Rodgers Gill, and myself, with possibly Myrtle and ClaireE joining us.  If any others would like to come, we'll be delighted but please indicate below so I can confirm final numbers to Charleville. 

The weather forecast for Tuesday looks good!  Looking forward to seeing you all and hope you enjoy the visit. 


More white and purple

19 May 2017 22:48:50

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Hazel's journal made me think about white and purple flowers in my own garden. While I enjoy them at any time of year, it is now during the quiet time of the so-called 'May gap' between the zing of the spring bulbs and the exuberance of summer's full on colour, that white and purple provide a lot of the interest.

Allium 'Purple Sensation' is of course a real star that many of us grow.

In the shady corner of the back garden, Smilacina racemosa (now called Maianthemum racemosum) provides a nice beefy clump alongside the delicate flowers and foliage of Thalictrum aquilegifolium, which Elizabeth7 gave me at her open day about six years ago now. Both are stalwarts of the garden here in May. 

Outing to Charleville Gardens, Enniskerry, 23 May

15 May 2017 20:33:15

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A few of us are planning an outing to Charleville Gardens in Enniskerry, which only opens on limited dates. Charleville is a large private estate beyond Powerscourt, the present house dating from the late 1700's, with restored gardens.  We are visiting on Tuesday afternoon 23rd May and planning to meet at Powerscourt first for a bite of lunch at 12 Noon. 

So far Paddy & Mary (Gracedieu), myself, and hopefully PCON are going and we are hoping that others will be able to join us. If anyone wants to travel by public transport, we can arrange to pick you up at the No.44 bus stop in Enniskerry village, or another mutually convenient point. 

Charleville is only open until early June, and again for Heritage Week in late August, so this is a chance to visit an interesting and varied garden not often seen.  We hope you can join us; please indicate below as Charleville have asked me to confirm numbers.

Enjoying the sunshine while hoping for rain

09 May 2017 22:28:35

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Though the east coast has been cooler than other parts of the country lately, it was another beautiful sunny day here today.  I was busy with other jobs until late afternoon, then it was great to get outside for some pottering.  

I tidied up some pots of "plants in waiting", took plants out of the greenhouse for their fourth or fifth day of hardening off and decided they will stay outside now, though I won't plant them in the ground just yet.  Tied up clematis shoots as per Monty's instructions last Friday, potted on geums from the seedlings Jackie gave me at Johnstown (Jackie, are they the lovely red ones in your April album?).  Then a quick sweep of the paths of today's deposit of petals from the very floriferous Camellia 'Donation' before taking a few photos at about 7pm. 

I got the hose out to water as the garden is bone dry, only to discover it is kinked beyond salvation, so hoping we get some rain later this week as forecast, though it usually only amounts to patchy drizzle here.  Meanwhile, it's off the the shop for a replacement. 

Outing to Charleville Gardens, Enniskerry

06 May 2017 21:19:14

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In Gracedieu's journal on garden outings a little while ago, one of the gardens suggested for a visit was Charleville in Enniskerry, which only opens on limited dates. Charleville is a large estate beyond Powerscourt, the present house dating from the late 1700's, with restored gardens. They are open during May and up to 8th June, also for Heritage Week 19th-27th August. Would anyone be interested in a visit in late May?

Opening times are: Weekdays 1pm to 5pm; Saturday & Sunday 9am to 1pm.

Suggested dates (when I can go!) : Tuesday 23rd or Thursday 25th May for an afternoon visit; Saturday 27th or Sunday 28th May for a morning visit. 

Lunch options either before or after our visit, depending on the chosen date, would be the Avoca restaurant at Powerscourt (with the added temptation of an adjacent garden centre) or there are a few nice cafes in Enniskerry village. 

A get-together at this time of year would be nice; please say if you are interested and your preferred date.  

Photos are from our visit in mid-May 2014 which Rachel arranged. 


Arctotis, non-stop flowering

01 May 2017 22:45:04

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In summer 2015 I planted this Arctotis 'Hayley' in a friend's coastal garden in north Dublin, along with a few other perennials that we had chosen together at a local garden centre. I knew nothing about Arctotis, except for the lovely red one I had seen in Myrtle's garden, and thought it might be slightly tender but it was so cheerful that we went for it anyway. 

Well, I needn't have worried, for it has never been out of flower since the day it was planted.  Yes, that's right, through two winters and heading into its third summer. The flowers are fewer in winter but always some.  The only attention it has had since planting is dead-heading.  I guess the last two mild winters have helped. 


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