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TerriShoos's Journal

TerriShoos's Journal

Last Post 1 day 5 hours ago

That Father Christmas moment...

21 July 2017 10:00:12

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...When you look out the window at what is supposed to be a glorious new garden and think 'F-f-f-Father Christmas, what have we done?' Mind you, we thought that about the new septic tank and now it's a fantastic mass of flower. Nature, as a friend once poibnted out, is very forgiving, and we are hoping that when the grands are here next week we can plant some trees, including one for Josh Darlington. I hope Mummy has packed lots of muddy-play clothes, but they'll have a whale of a time helping out, and we'll ony do everything twice as slowly as we would on our own, bless them!

Hazel's Open Day

11 July 2017 09:04:25

Bodnant Gardens

02 July 2017 11:12:56

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I last went to Bodnant as a 12 year old with my mum, dad and sister, and my aunt and her family, while on a caravan holiday in Wales, so I had some very happy memories. I didn't remember much about the gardens, but they were lovely. It was around 30 degrees, and very humid, so just as well I'd gt fitter as the Welsh hills are pretty steep! But the formal gardens are lovely, and the rose garden just stops you dead in your tracks. Then you dip down into the beautiful Dell and wander round by the lakeshore where there are some great places to sit and watch for kingfishers. We came back through the Arboretum and across the wild meadow, a warm walk but a lovely one. The family motto is 'Nefoedd ar Ddaear', which for the non-Welsh speakers among us is 'Heaven on Earth'. We wouldn't argue!

I've tried all ways to get the album to upload but it still won't so I'll put some up on FB. 

RHS Harlow Carr

02 July 2017 10:58:45

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We were  really looking forward to the Flower Festival, but wouldn't you know it, it poured thick drizzle all day. The gardens were beautiful, especially the streamside garden that threads all the way down the valley, and the new Woodland Gardens. The veggie gardens for me are the showcase of Harlow Carr, they are so unusually set out and very attractive as well as useful. And the collaboration between the local army unit and schoolkids to recycle old boots was gorgeous. But sad that it was so soggy and gloomy. 

Barnsdale Gardens

29 June 2017 11:54:43

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This garden was really the icing on the cake on our gardens-friends-and-family holiday. We both love Geoff Hamilton - no better man for brightening up a wet weekend in February than one of his DVD series. The individual gardens were so full of inspiration, and each was beautifully situated among borders and plantings that complemented and enhanced each other, so that the gardens borrowed from the borders and vice versa. It was a literal masterpiece.

Bodnant, RHS Harlow Carr and Wisley are all magnificent as showcases, but Barnsdale is a gardener's garden, whether you're a beginner or an experienced gardener looking for new ideas.  We spent a very happy hour in a sunny pub garden down the road that night with paper and pen, sketching plans and pick-n-mixing ideas. There is inspiration for everybody. I just wish it had been a garden.ie outing! The cafe is good too. If you want to go to the UK and see gardens, don't miss it. 

It's an ill bit of sand that blows no good!

08 June 2017 09:20:02

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While we were on the beach with the grandkids in Scotland, Alan got sand in his camera, and the manufacturers have told us it's banjaxed and not worth repairing. So yesterday we treated ourselves to a new camera. I really love doing close-ups, but we didn't want to burden ourselves with a big SLR, so we got a nice little Canon digital and spent a happy hour yesterday in the rain playing with it. We used Oscar as a model yesterday evening for some close-up shots and I have to say he was most unimpressed. Plants are generally much happier to sit still and be photographed!

Meanwhile, back in Blanchardstown....

06 June 2017 15:48:53

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... Jackie has probably forgotten our visit, so far back  in the mists of time was it. But we flew off to Scotland that night and when we got back our Internet had failed completely and we have been a week out of the ether. Having said many times that it's a nuisance and I'd rather live without it, I am now admitting that no, I can't! We have got a new provider who has upgraded us from 1.8mg to 89mg so now we can live stream, whatever that is. 

But I digress from Jackie's wonderful garden and even more wonderful hospitality. No photos I've seen really do justice to this lovely garden. It was a perfect place to sit and chat and while away a sunny morning, drinking coffee and wandering round to look at the myriad of glorious flowers. It's a garden that throws the rule books out the window, it's full of exuberance and fun and colour and is obviously created with such love and passion that it shines. And Jackie provided a delicious lunch and some slips and cuttings too! What more could you ask... 

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!

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