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Jackie's Journal

Jackie's Journal

Last Post 18 hours ago

New additions to the garden

22 May 2017 07:58:22

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You know there is nothing better in life than spending some time with your family. And that's what we did this weekend. It's been just great. 

It was my birthday yesterday and Jimmy and Nicola bought me  these new additions to the garden, my new children lol. They know me wayyyyy too well. I love all these goodies in the garden so these are more than welcome. 

Of couse they are a boy and a girl, on a see-saw and a little girl sitting down reading with a little puppy by her side. So when the grandchildren arrived they were 'christened' with their names lol. We had to improvise and say that the little boy was in fact a girl dressed as a boy, to even things up as you can imagine. 

I just love them in amongst the plants and they add some fun too. It was time then to head out for dinner to celebrate  

Life is great!! 


Are you going to Bloom?

19 May 2017 08:46:54
Are you going to Bloom?

Are you going to Bloom?

I'm just wondering if anyone is heading to Bloom this year and if so when?.

I'm going on Thursday, opening day, to have a good root around but Im also heading there on Saturday. I usually go with my sister then. 

Hope to see some of you there and hopefully the weather will be good to us too. 

Kittybane Garden 14th May 2017

15 May 2017 20:37:29

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After we had visited Margot's garden, she kindly organised a visit to her friends Daphne and Andrew on Sunday, who live in Kittybane house near Strabane. 

This garden sits on a country hillside overlooking the River Foyle and the Donegal mountains. 

We were met by Daphne, who used to be active on this website some years ago, and her lovely husband Andrew. Daphne gave us a guided tour of her wonderful garden. Linda had decided that maybe this time she would 'sit' this one out and maybe just read and let us 'get on with it' But Daphne told her to maybe clear her head and go for a walk around the garden herself.............Well!!!! Linda met us along the way and her reaction just said it all. She said to me 'have you been up to the top yet?' I said no, why? 'Well wait until you see it'!! That was the first time I have actually heard Linda be enthralled about a garden. In fact, Daphne said later that the biggest compliment she got was that Linda walked around the garden AND loved it. 

But let me say, this garden just took my breath away. I just wasnt expecting to see such beauty on the side of a hill. A steep road up to a beautiful house and the garden seemed to surround the house! Daphne started the tour by showing me the stunning views overlooking the River Foyle and the Donegal mountains, pointing out the individual mountains across the water. She said that every half hour the view changed with the weather and believe me she wasnt wrong. It went from sunshine, to mist, to clear to rain all in a matter of minutes!

We continued on up through the garden, meandering  through fantastic plants, shrubs, stunning Rhododendrons and trees of all shapes and sizes. The garden has a lot of rock underneath and very little soil so you can see stunning rock formations, walls that have been built using these rocks and slate which really add to the beauty of the garden. Meandering paths lead the way up along the garden, showing off the amazing tapestry of perennials that have been planted by Daphne and she knows each one too! She also has amazing Acers, each one even more beautiful than the other!! Then we finally got to the top of the garden, where there is a lovely seating area and 1000's of native Bluebell's and their scent was amazing. From this advantage point the views are even more stunning than further down and it was in fact here we found Linda sitting on her own admiring the view! 

After a little break here we then came down the other side of the garden and it was a continuous ooooh and aaahhh as we went along. A lovely stream also adorns the garden and then we were taken to a stunning cottage garden. There was just so much to take in.  We were very lucky with the weather then, but all of a sudden the wind whipped up and the hailstones appeared and we had to race inside. 

Here we were invited to sit and have some lovely afternoon tea, with sandwiches and dessert. It was just amazing. 

Daphne's garden is just stunning. She said she is out there every day and I can see why, I would NEVER want to come in. Andrew said he is the 'labourer' lol, but usually that is always the way. Daphne was so welcoming to us and she was just lovely as was Andrew, they really made us feel at home. 

Then it was time for us to 'hit the road' home. 

It was a fantastic day out and one I will remember for a long time. To think I never met Daphne or Andrew before and they were so kind to us. Thank you for the lovely plants too. 

I will upload an album of Daphnes garden as I know she wouldnt mind one bit. I am sure you too will just love it as much as we did!

Had to take it easy now today after that weekend, the journey was long and hard but so worthwhile!!

Margots Garden 13th May 2017

15 May 2017 20:01:14

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Margot has been asking me now for almost two years to come to Donegal to see her wonderful garden. I really wanted to see it but I just wasnt sure if I would ever get there. But my brilliant daughter, Linda, told me she would drive me up and back if I really wanted to go! We decided to make a weekend of it and we booked a hotel so that our trip wouldnt be rushed. 

We arrived at Margots around 1.30pm on Saturday. It had been a very wet morning while driving up and even when we arrived. Margot, her daughter in law, Ann, and her adorable little grandson, Alex, were there to greet us. By the time we had finished our very enjoyable lunch,  the rain had stopped and we decided it was time to head to the garden!!

Firstly, can I just say that Margot's garden is a credit to her. This is a lady who does all the work herself aside from her son who cuts the grass. 

Margots garden is just incredible. It is set in 3/4 of an acre of stunning gardens. There are beautiful sweeping borders around the house with all sort of planting of every type of perennial, trees  and shrub. I was amazed at how much  colour she had in the garden and how lush the grass was too. So we walked around the garden with Margot carrying a garden fork, while I was allowed to pick and choose what plant I would like, that is how generous Margot is!!So while we continued around the garden,  Linda took a walk along the beautiful beach which is literally across the road from the house along with a gorgeous lighthouse. This house has views to die for and you would never EVER want to leave it, we certainly didnt want to go home.  We talked and talked non stop about the planting, the history of where some of her plants came from, how she acquired others and when she planted them and general chit chat too. I feel like I have know Margot for years, she is so welcoming and so easy to get along with. After looking around the top garden it was then time to head to the lower garden. 

There are steps and gravel paths leading down to the 'lower garden'.....this is just stunning. Here the garden has a rock formation which has been there since the house was built and Margot has planted around these rocks so lovingly. Every turn you take you see something more special.......I have never seen such an array of planting, garden ornaments, beautiful trees, shrubs.......it even has its own pond. Steps leading back up the garden with more outstanding planting. Its all these little extras that give this garden its uniqueness

We were looking around the garden for over 3 hours as there was just so much to take in. I absolutely loved every single minute of it and of course Margot was more than generous in all the plants she gave me, the boot of the car was full. This is one garden that has to be seen to be believed. When you stand at the end of the lower garden and look back up at the house, it is then that you see the full extent of the beauty of the garden where all the rocks are covered in such fantastic planting. 

It was all over all too soon but after a little rest we headed out for dinner in a lovely fish restaurant in Redcastle. Good food and great company ended a fantastic day.  Margot organised another garden visit for us on Sunday, Daphne and Andrew's garden in Kittybane house.....but thats another journal!!

Margot's garden was one garden I was determined to see and I am so glad that I finally made the journey to see it. This has to be seen to be appreciated. I will upload an album which will show you exactly what I mean and will explain to you much better than I can, just how beautiful and stunning this garden is. 

Thank you so much Margot for such great company and such a great weekend. Both Linda and myself thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!!

Looking good now

12 May 2017 08:40:19

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Well we have had a few dribbles  of rain this morning and a small shower last night. Not enough for the dry garden that's outside! But then after having gorgeous days it's hard to get back to dreary days isn't it. Everywhere and everyone look so well in the sunshine. But still the garden keeps on giving.....

This is Rosa'For your eyes only' a gorgeous rose which changes colour as the flowers go over. Not bad for a Lidl purchase  

I tidied up my Tree fern yesterday  taking off all the dead fronds and ones that were ripped to shreds by the Winter winds  

Astrantia 'Hadspens Blood' is starting to flower now  this is a deep deep red Astrantia which I bought in Johnstown a couple of years back.  Really vivid  

Hope the weather doesn't stop us gardening  have a great day! 



Amaryllis for SallySarah

11 May 2017 07:37:16

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Here is my Amaryllis looking great in the sunshine ;). Two more flowers have yet to open. 

Change is coming

10 May 2017 08:14:01

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As Mary has said in her journal it's quite chilly this morning. Here in Dublin it's a gorgeous sunny morning but it's only 3C degrees and it's nippy in the shade in the garden. 

But we shouldn't complain because the weather has been so nice, even if we do need a bit of rain. And it looks like it's on the way. But for now, well today, I'm going to have a good one in the garden. That's the plan. 

A few trips ferrying Nicola and a few indoor jobs but then it's the garden for me for the afternoon. I see Mary and PeterW mentioning they are putting out their Dahlia. Mine have been hardening off for agEs now so I too am going to take the plunge, if I can find space for all those pots.

These Camassia leichtlinii 'Alba' are just flowering now. They look more creamy in real life but a lovely addition to the garden. 

Also this lovely white Geranium, no name though, is flowering away  

Finally Osteospermum looking good in the sunshine yesterday. 

Have a great day whatever you do! ;) 

Neglected Amaryllis

08 May 2017 21:50:16

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Here are some photos of my Amaryllis which was neglected and has now resurrected and is producing these stunning red flowers. Two are already open with another two to come!

Its just beautiful and if you could only see the petals on the flowers, they actually look like silk when they sun shines on them. 

Cant believe how this has flowered after being in the shed for so long without water or food. Mother Nature really surprises us when we least expect it!!

My April Garden 2017

08 May 2017 21:35:40

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I have uploaded my album of the garden for the month of April!! I cant believe we are already into May.

What a great month April was and with little or no rain! The garden is transforming before my eyes and I really love it. Within weeks everything just changes. From the beginning of the month to the end of the month sees so much happening and thats just April. There are changes in every corner and everything is growing really fast now. 

My favourites have to be, dare I say it, my Tulips! I have fallen head over heals in love with them now! I never thought I would hear me say that but what I had here for the past few weeks has been nothing short of stunning, even if I do say that myself, what with self praise being no praise! But I just thought they were so eye catching. And anyone that came to visit were fascinated by all the stunning colours and shapes. They are a real treat for the garden. 

I am hoping some of them might come back again next year, but anyway, just in case they dont, I am going to buy lots more bulbs and plant them up again and hopefully replicate what I have had or even better!

There were so many photos taken that I didnt know when to stop, so apologies if they go on and on and on!!

I hope you enjoy the album 

Meconopsis Lingholm

07 May 2017 18:32:48

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Ive always loved this little blue poppy, but would never even consider growing it as I was told it would be too difficult!

But last year when I was ordering seeds, I came across them on the website and decided to give them a shot. A few people told me I was wasting my time as they would never succeed as I didnt have the right conditions etc. So I though, oooh I will prove you wrong!

So I sowed some seed in the greenhouse and they germinated. But I wasnt overly enamoured with them and basically I was going to just leave them, when I saw Monty on GW saying he was putting his out! So I did the same!! planted them out and left them, neglected them until about October when I decided that  I would switch them to one of the circles in the garden as I wanted to plant in the bed they were in already, didnt think they would even survive after uprooting them!

I had Mary Keegan , Keego, visit me here a couple of weeks ago and she spotted one and how well it was doing!!I hadnt even noticed lol,  it was then I realised that they were all doing very well, in fact I have about 8/10 seedlings on the go. Then I noticed a flower bud on one of them and yesterday it opened and a bit more today, I think it might open another little bit but I dont mind, its gorgeous! I love the Cobalt colour.  Now I noticed that another two seedlings are in bud too.

Really delighted with myself and moreso that I got them to flower afterall!!



Prize surprise

04 May 2017 08:56:12

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A few weeks back I won a prize from Johnstown Garden centre on Facebook.

It's an Aquilegia and it arrived today. 

I don't generally enter competitions, so this is a real shock to actually win it. But I'm delighted with it. I love the navy and white flowers. Just need to find a home for it now ;) 

Eccremocarpus scaber

04 May 2017 08:08:37

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Moya kindly sent me seeds of this lovely plant, which I sowed  and are now really shooting up. I planted some up against the shed, which is just outside my kitchen window. Hopefully they will produce beautiful flowers. 

The first photo is obviously the seedlings in situ. Second photo is a web picture. Hopefully soon mine will look like these ;). Thanks again Moya 

Clematis Miss Bateman

03 May 2017 07:32:18
Clematis Miss Bateman

Clematis Miss Bateman

My C. Miss Bateman doesn't have that green stripe that is mentioned. It's a pure white and a wine coloured centre. This one I bought in Lidl a few weeks back. I have another one growing up my cherry tree but that too doesn't seem To have that green stripe either. It's hasn't opened yet! Yet when I've googled it, Google shows both varieties. So both correct it appears!! 

A good start

02 May 2017 08:04:23

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The 1st May heralds the first day of Summer for me and well, yesterday says it all. After the dull wet day on Sunday, which was needed, but not enough rain fell to quench the thirst my garden has at the moment. Very dry still!! But wasn't that a real stunner of a day. Wall to wall sunshine from morning til evening. And long may it last. Sun out again here so can't wait to get out there again today. 

I got a little bit done yesterday before the in-laws arrived. I put out all my Dahlia for a while plus the hanging baskets. Watered the plants in the greenhouse, which incidentally hit over 40C at one point! Tidied up some plants that got a battering the day before and then we all sat in the garden relaxing. 

Such a great start to, hopefully a good Summer. The dogs certainly enjoyed the heat and had a fairly 'easy' day lol 

Its amazing how well everywhere looks with the bit of sunshine. 

Hope you all get good weather today and enjoy it while you can. 

Summer is on its way!

30 April 2017 19:27:40

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So tomorrow is the 1st May......and Summertime begins, well for me it does!

The weather man said we can look forward to warmer days and perhaps some sunshine too, I hope they got that right as today was very wet and windy, especially this afternoon. I had to put my pots of Tulips into the greenhouse for a while to stop them being battered!! I want to have them for another few weeks as I am enjoying them so much.

Not a lot done over the weekend. Today I did a little tidying up of all my pots!!! yes Ive literally hundreds of them, big ones, small ones, plastic ones, terracotta ones, square ones, round ones, long ones ....the list is endless. But while I was doing that I realised it was a good way to start my database that I have been promising myself for so long! So I took a photo of each label on the pots of the plants that I have in the garden. I also have lots and lots of labels in a bag waiting to be inputted onto the computer! My aim this year is to try and set up this database so I can refer to it now and again especially when someone asks the name of a plant and I am saying 'oh I will let you know when I look it up!' 

So after tidying that area, I then went to the greenhouse and decided to water the plants in there. I have lots of Dahlia potted up and my goodness they have taken a leap in the past week or so. They are literally growing at a fast rate. I had to move some of them out and into the potting shed as they were getting too big for the shelving in the greenhouse. 

So after I watered up all the seedlings etc it was almost dinner time and some more family arrived. So it was back inside. But tomorrow is another day and hopefully the weather will be somewhat better and hopefully I will finish mulching the rest of my borders!

The photos show some of the Dahlia I have that are making a run for it!

Also my hanging baskets in the potting shed, sheltering overnight for fear of frost!



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