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TerriShoos's Journal

TerriShoos's Journal

Last Post 25 days 13 hours ago

May the fourth...

04 May 2017 10:34:57

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....be with you! Isn't the May weather glorious? Apart from all the watering - and thank God our well taps into a strong spring. The garden is really starting to bloom despite the dry soil. 

We have a love-hate relationship with this Spanish gorse. It's very well-behaved, doesn't self-seed and apart from one brief spasm in May is as boring as mud. We've gradually taken it out everywhere else and just these two bushes are left. Their days are numbered because the earth wall of the forest garden house will be there, so we're enjoying the flowers now. 

The silene was a slip from Nuala Shanahan at a Johnstown some years ago, its own slips are all over the garden and it's gorgeous. 

Open Arms is just a lovely neat climber. It's buds are the most wonderful deep rose, and the flowers are a honey-pink fading to white. Scented too! It's a bit susceptible to bug attack, but you can't win èm all. 

Lovin' this gorgeous season!

Terri's Happy Place

02 May 2017 10:13:06

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Now, I don't like to moan but the old potting shed just didn't cut the mustard. It was grand at first, but its only window faced north, so you had to work with the door open for light, and if a west wind was blowing it blew stuff about and was chilly to boot. Then we had to have a water filtration system and that took up a big chunk of space. Then we got a shredder and leaf-blower and they had to be kept in Alan's studio because there wasn't room. Then I got really into growing plants from seeds and cuttings and the polytunnel staging started to burst at the seams. Then the filtration system sprung a leak and it all had to be dismantled and suddenly there was no space for me at all at all. 

Our friend Padraig said he had some old double-glazed windows. And we had some greenhouse panes sitting outside for years. So one basic shed later and I have an absolutely gorgeous propagation area, with great light, lots of staging and workspace, and the cold frames can go on the front once the guttering is finished and the waterbutts connected. 

I am one happy, happy bunny. 

Perverting the pensioners!

02 May 2017 09:59:10

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So off we went to Ennis to hear Mary Reynolds give a talk and see her film about the Chelsea garden she did back in the day. And of course we bought her new book. Well, talk about a can of worms... more like a whole compost bin! I don't think we are quite as extreme as Mary in our views about gardeners and their gardens, but we have always seen our garden as a collaboratin between us and all the life in it, from the soil organisms upward, asnd we don't mind nature creeping in and taking over bits. 

But there we were sitting having coffee on the front bench Saturday morning trying, as we have for the last six years, not to see that Godawful expanse of useless tarmac (we always use the other entrance and of all the visitors we've had, nobody has ever parked their car on this side). It's just a wind trap, ugly as sin and an offence to Nature. So I got a bit of squared paper and started doodling with ideas for a forest garden. As you do over a cup of coffee.... 

And Himself gets that new-project gleam in his eye that makes me say, 'I want my staging finished first! And my guttering and waterbutts up on the new shed! And you're a pensioner and too old for digging that much tarmac!'  'Hmmm....' saith he thoughtfully, 'it's a thin enough layer. I could do it in bits. And you'd leave the bits where the paths will go...'

Now, on the first night we were in the house four hares came and sat in the garden and we said, 'Ah, the cailleachs have come to bless us!' So on Saturday night a big hare came and sat right in the middle of the drive. We looked at each other. 'Well, that's that. The hares say we should do it.' And yesterday a pheasant came and walked right across the garden. I guess the wild neighbours think it's a good idea. We'll remember that when Himself is in traction!

LGT Rides Again.... or not!

25 April 2017 10:17:42
LGT Rides Again.... or not!

LGT Rides Again.... or not!

Well, the Little Green Trolley was very excited! After a winter spent dozing in his cosy shed, the lengthening days made him wake up and stretch and say to himself, 'It's about time my nice owners went to a few garden shows!' So he was thrilled when the lady gardener came and took him out of the shed. ' Come on, LGT,' she said, 'We're off to Fota and we'll need your help!' 

Well, she tried to fold him up but he was a bit stiff after a winter indoors, so she called her husband. 'How does this yoke fold up?' she asked. LGT was more than a bit offended at this, but he said to himself, 'She's English. She obviously uses some Irish colloquialisms without understanding that 'Yoke' is a term used to denote inanimate objects, not sentient ones. ' But after all, she was a nice lady, so he decided to forgive her.

She had soon worked out the problem, and in no time LGT was in the boot of the car and they set off.  But they were only just down the road on the way to Ennis when a worrying warning light came on in the dashboard. Being sensible people, they turned back. LGT was very disappointed, but soon found that he was in demand as the nice, if colloquially challenged, lady re-potted some plants and asked him to transport them. 

LGT was pleased to help, and was even more pleased to hear that the following weekend was the Ennis Garden Festival, when he would no doubt be going for another outing. He was looking forward to a very busy summer!

Alan's Tesco special

21 April 2017 10:10:05

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Alan came home from Tescos a few years ago and presented me with a pretty little aquilegia he just liked the look of. It's has just kept on getting prettier and bigger every year since. One of his best buys!

This year the cherries have bloomed their socks off, so hopefully we'll get a nice crop if the cold weather promised for the weekend doesn't do for them. I like the blossom and green leaves against the red cherry leaves, the woodland corner is getting nice and full now. 

Everything's bustin' out!

21 April 2017 10:05:01

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Going out in the mornings for a look round before getting onto the PC and work is so exciting these days, there's something new in bloom every day. The new roses are putting on great growth, I'm blown away by the freeby sparaxis we got from Mr Middleton, the tulips arre great this year ( when did we plant all those colours?) and the work we have done in fertilising and improving the soil in the borders has really paid off, the growth is great. 

We have been under some strain lately with family problems, and it's been such a comfort to spend even an hour doing some simple chore like a bit of weeding or pricking out or watering. Gardens are so blissfully uncomplicated! Even if I had a flat I'd have to have a little balcony and pots and window boxes, just for those moments when you need to escape outside your own circling worries. 

Uncurly-wurlies

08 April 2017 05:57:32

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You can keep Easter chocolate, just give me all thos April goodies in the garden. I've put up an album of April pictures, but although the flowers are the big muscles, let's not forget the glorious uncurling ferns. 

It's not Jimmy Shoos, but it's exciting!

08 April 2017 05:51:57
It's not Jimmy Shoos, but it's exciting!

It's not Jimmy Shoos, but it's exciting!

Some people get very excited about shoes or designer handbags. Me, I'm beside myself waiting for my new potting shed and propagation house. A friend has given us some lovely double-glazed windows so we've ordered a basic shed and are going to insert them into that, our carpentry skills not being up to designing one from scratch. I suspect it'll be cheaper than designer shoes! That'll leave the other shed for all the big machinery and tools. As it is I can hardly move in there, especially as the water filtration unit is in it and it's currently in bits with a fault. 

Once the new shed is up, you'll find me in there, in my old gardening boots, happy out!

Mr Shoosmith's Opus

02 April 2017 16:47:15

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Well I must say I'm pleased with Mr S! In the nick of time he's made this lovely cold frame, the first of two which will go on the front of my new potting shed, which he has also ordered! Not bad for a man who is not any kind of carpenter. No sooner painted than it's filling up.... Happy days!

Tulip Sylvestris

29 March 2017 12:32:01
Tulip Sylvestris

Tulip Sylvestris

We got several new varieties of bulbs from Heritage last year, including these Tulip Sylvestris. How exquisite they are! 

Surprises all over!

29 March 2017 12:30:08

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So good to have the light evenings back and to know we'll have light, light, nothing but light for months. Also delighted that a lot of new plants are flowering or budding. The erythroniums we bought last autumn are in flower, though the slugs are already having a nibble, I see. I couldn't remember which varietry they were, but they're obviously 'Pagoda'. The camassias are also in bud and the 'Bodnant' in the circle bed has just burst into bloom. Daphne or viburnum? I can never remember! (Yes, I do have this stuff all written down but it's in another room.)

Thanks, Elizabeth!

21 March 2017 12:26:52
Thanks, Elizabeth!

Thanks, Elizabeth!

This little clematis was a present from Hazel's sister Elizabeth (Liztai). I believe it's an alpina, and it's delicious and very brave - it's in the teeth of the north-east wind and flowering like a good 'un. 

For the weather that's in it

21 March 2017 12:24:35

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We'd tried to keep the week free for gardening and what does it do? It snows. And hails, and rains. Well, this is Ireland in Global...er...Warming??, I guess.  But we did get some nice pics of the garden last Sunday in brief spells of sun between showers.  Thrilled to have our first fritillaries.

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE!

21 March 2017 12:21:28
BUY ONE GET ONE FREE!

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE!

Got this bargain in a B&Q near our son's house when we went to buy bedding and strawberry plants for his small garden. He's hoping to move so we planted up some planters. Mr Spotty was declared free of quarantine so they tried to buy up the garden centre. Cathy was particularly keen to buy every flower that had a Pollinator Friendly label, and though I wholeheartedly approve of her stance towards bee protection, the budget wasn't that big! They had a great time planting and were very proud of their efforts, though we had to curb a little enthusiasm at times. 

Just tried to download Alan's photos and the PC has lost them all... grrr!

Off to the spotty twosome....

13 March 2017 12:18:11

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Off to Scotland tomorrow to visit our chicken-pox-ridden grandchildren. Cathy's pretty much recovered but poor Aaron is covered. So lots of stories and games, but if we can get to a garden centre we'll get some bedding plants and maybe plant up a bit of Daddy's little garden with them. 

Meanwhile we had a lovely few days catching up with jobs, including taking out the two front round beds and replanting them in a symmetrical pattern - that'll teach me to do random planting! Sometimes it just doesn't work and you have to be a bit disciplined. 

Still, lovely as the weekend was, our hearts kept turning to the Darlingtons and our thoughts were constantly with them. 

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