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JoanG's Journal

JoanG's Journal July 2017

Last Post 115 days 1 hour ago

Plants-in-waiting get a revamp

27 July 2017 22:27:06
Plants-in-waiting get a revamp

Plants-in-waiting get a revamp

You probably won't remember but, until this year, my plants-in-waiting sat on Aldi greenhouse shelves to the side of the patio, up against a wall.  That started out ok but developed into an over-crowded mess with too many plants, the taller ones having to sit on the top shelf and those underneath deprived of light as the shelves were deep.  It involved lots of moving around to try and keep plants alive and eventually I just had to discard some. 

So, time to stop being silly about how many "spare" plants you can keep going in a small garden.  A few months ago, I spotted these folding metal plant stands in Lidl and bought one to try out.  It looked nice, would hold about six small plants and there was good space between the top and bottom shelves for light and air.  I returned a few days later and was lucky to get the last two plant stands which fit the space perfectly.  You know how it is in Lidl, these items never come back into stock. 

Quite pleased with the result and it may help curtail my over-enthusiastic propagation. Needless to say, the "permanent" plants in pots in front of the stands in the photo are a separate matter altogether!  The Aldi shelving got moved into the greenhouse.

A few photos from this week

22 July 2017 23:03:00

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The air has been very still in the garden these past few days and I'm just pottering, doing a bit of dead-heading and little else, enjoying calm summer weather after the rain freshened up the planting.

Clematis 'Star of India' has been better than ever this year on the patio trellis; last year it got mildew so I've been keeping it well watered.  The red geum seedlings that Jackie gave me at Johnstown are flowering now (love them, thanks Jackie). I have four Thalictrums and only a definite name for two of them, not this one which may be 'Hewitt's Double' though I'm not sure.  I really like these plants and hope to introduce a few more. 

Enjoy the weekend in your garden everyone. 

 

PeterW's fabulous fuchsia

21 July 2017 20:33:35

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And now for something much nicer than Japanese knotweed.  Fuchsia 'Hawkshead', which Peter gave me as a small cutting at Johnstown a few years ago, goes from strength to strength. It is planted in the border just outside our living room window so I can enjoy it from indoors and out.  Thanks again Peter, I absolutely love it!

A daughter of this plant recently went back to Cork. When hearing of its origin, Elizabeth commented that it was sure to do well because, when it comes to plants, Peter has "it".  I reckon this is a sentiment we can all agree with. 

Japanese knotweed alert

20 July 2017 21:52:22

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The dreaded invasive Japanese knotweed that has been written about in the media recently has come up in our lawn ... yes, in our small enclosed suburban back garden. Unfortunately I didn't recognise it at first, pulled some bits up and cut the grass, which of course only aided its spread.  So be warned, it's in the Dublin area.

When it first appears its leaves are pointed and tinged slightly red; you could easily mistake it for something like a sucker from a cherry tree as the root is woody. If left to grow it develops bamboo-like hollow shoots which can eventually come up through tarmac, paving cracks and house foundations and it spreads rapidly even from the tiniest piece of root.  I've read up about it over the past few weeks and the only effective treatment seems to be a strong concentrate of glyphosate applied to the leaves to be taken down into the roots.  It may take several years to eradicate. There is plenty of information online and good advice on the RHS website. 

Treatment has started, the first two photos are 'before' and the third about ten days 'after'.  I applied the weedkiller with a paintbrush, not spraying, and you can see where the grass around is dying so it is taking some effect already.  A lawn can be easily resown in due course; the problem I fear is that it has come from the large garden behind us, in which case it is under the borders as well (sigh!).  Wish me luck!

 

 

Visit to Elizabeth's

11 July 2017 00:05:20

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Last week my sister-in-law and I visited Elizabeth's garden en route to a family holiday in Kinsale.  Quite apart from the anticipated joy of seeing Elizabeth and her beautiful cottage garden again after several years, a promised Daphne 'Jacqueline Postill' also awaited me, to be dug up while we were there.  I would mind it in our guest house over the following days ... or so I said. 

We spent a delightful afternoon with Elizabeth, wandering round the gorgeous country garden she has created out of a 3/4 acre farm field, marvelling at the wonderful planting and in awe of the labour of love around us.  Then chatting over tea and cake, Elizabeth and I discovered we had more connections in common than either of us knew, which made the visit all the more special.  

So engaging was the conversation that we suddenly realised we were running late and departed hastily and (can you believe it?) without my Daphne!  So I had the pleasure of returning to collect it a few days later when Elizabeth was busy preparing for her forthcoming Open Day, along with her trusty helper Eddie. 

If you can get to Cobh on Saturday 22nd July, do go along to her Open Day in aid of Marymount Hospice.  You'll be in for a treat and a very warm welcome too.  Thank you Elizabeth for a lovely visit and for your friendship.  

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