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Jackie's Journal

Jackie's Journal

Last Post 6 days 14 hours ago

Update re site

19 June 2017 23:42:35

It's getting better as the Lilies open!

14 June 2017 07:48:18

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Well since the weekend that wind has eased and the rain has stopped. I don't know which was worse. Although the wind had a lot of plants bent in two!! Luckily they survived. But then the rain causes so much damage too. A lot of plants flattened and needed to be either staked or just cut back. 

But all is not lost. 

The lilies are making a great show at the minute with lots and lots more to open. I bought some after seeing Helen Dillon's garden last year and they are budding up nicely now. All going well they should be show stoppers. L. Prescott and L. Kushi Maya. Can't wait to see these in flower 

But for now here is a selection of what is in flower now!


Photo album problems?

11 June 2017 18:50:35
Photo album problems?

Photo album problems?

Has anyone noticed a problem with putting up an album?

Ive just tried to do my May garden album and it wont give me the option to 'add photos' So I was wondering if anyone else has that problem? Im using my laptop so it shouldnt be a problem.....


Seems ok with the journals!


Looking good.......

07 June 2017 08:54:18

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.......despite the wind and some rain! 

It's hard to imagine that it's Summertime when the wind is howling outside and the rain comes down. And then this morning wall to wall blue sky!! 

Despite all that, the garden is looking good. A little battered here and there too! 

A few shots from yesterday. 

First one you can see my Echium in full glorying in the distance. It was humming with bees yesterday. This is the back border and it's bursting now!  

Second photo is my Tetrapanex Rex which I got from Elizabeth and I just love it's exotic look  

Last photo is my North facing border, which although it's facing North gets the sunshine up until about 12pm as we are not overlooked on this side  it too is taking on a good look now  


Bloom 2017

04 June 2017 08:24:05

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Ive been to Bloom every year since it started. And I've always enjoyed the day.........until now! 

My daughter buys me tickets every year. One for the weekday and 2 for the weekend. 

I headed there on Thursday myself and met with 2 lovely ladies, Margie and Geraldine, who were both at the Get Together in January. I had gone around myself before meeting up and I have to say I was disappointed  

I headed for the plant pavilion first and couldnt believe how 'empty' it looked  Gone are lots of stalls from previous years, lots and lots of floor space......empty....and then a big central area for the Hub which was for any gardening enquiries etc . Where was everyone? Where was that lovely floral aroma when you entered? This area was about 1/3 of the pavilion and the rest was taken over by stalls for Tourism, clothing, bags, bric a brac, fashion show!!!! 

I did get some plants but they were just your 'everyday' plants, nothing special at all. 

Then I met up with Margie and Geraldine and we later went around the Show Gardens. Yes some were nice, but again I wasn't  overwhelmed. Lots of the same colours, purple and reds/wines in all the gardens. Similiar to last year when it was all Foxgloves and Lychnis, this year it was Lupins, Alliums and Scabious. 

Then on to the Super Garden. I am never overawed with these anyway but............

Yes I like the designer on tv and I loved his planters, again the purple/wine theme here too, but it was that awful rusty SHED at the back wall....remember these are city gardens, not your acres and acres of garden. So when you look out your kitchen this hits you in the face, I thought this was just awful. There were far nicer gardens in the show.......no definite it was not a winner for me!! Dreadful

I went back yesterday with Jimmy, we sauntered around and looked at the gardens again to see if maybe I was wrong and the pavillion too.......no it didn't get the juices flowing I can tell you. 

Overall I was very disappointed. I'm not sure if I would go back again next year. This show initially was all about the garden element and that's what drew me there. But now it's family orientated, which is fine, but that's not what I want. And it's expensive enough to go there as it is and the plants available are also available in Lidl or others and are more affordable prices. Will definitely need to rethink this for next year 

Not going to bother with an album as I only took about 12 photos. 

What did you think Of your trip?

Summer is definitely here

30 May 2017 07:33:39

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Ok Saturday was a total washout here, non stop rain all day. The garden has really benefitted from it too. Everything is growing well and bursting at the seams. Heat in the air which is good and the odd bit of sunshine to keep us going. 

Beautiful morning here now and I'm hoping to get out there today for a while. Lots of tidying up to do and lots to plant out also. But here are a few looking good right now. 

These Calendula are ones that I grew from seed last year. When they had finished I just cut them at the base and left them. My goodness I was surprised to see how well they are doing again this year, if not better. 

I don't have a lot of Poppies this year for some reason. Usually I've lots that have self seeded, unless it's a bit too early yet. But I have a few big Poppies coming through that are doing well despite the heavy rain from Saturday. I've no name on this one but love the 'hot' colour. 

My first lily to open is this litle yellow one. Lots around the garden and I can't wait for them to open too. Plus I bought some really big ones after visiting Helen Dillon's garden last year so they are in bud now too. 

So lots going on. I love this time of year as its so busy and everyday there is something different happening too!! 


25 May 2017 07:35:26

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The garden is really waking up now and lots happening every day. With the bit of sunshine and heat and dare I say the odd bit of water, things are growing at a great rate. 

Some Clematis that are now open are looking really good. 

Clematis 'Cardinal Rouge' is looking great at the moment on the pergola at one of the patio doors. Real rich wine in colour, some more have opened since I took that photo. 

The second photo is a Clematis I got from my father-in-law but I have no name for it. It looks like crepe paper but is a nice shade of pink. But this year I didn't chop it down and now it's brown all the way up but has the flowers right at the very top!! So must remember to give it a good chop when it's done flowering. 

Last photo is Clematis 'oooh la la'. I bought this in Bloom about 3 years ago and it's just stunning. Big bold 'Nelly Moser' style flowers and they last all Summer. 

Another stunning day forecast. Enjoy it while it lasts ;) 

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!!


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