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ClaireE's Journal

ClaireE's Journal

Last Post 899 days 1 hour ago

German beer radish

09 June 2015 18:17:10

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This is a sample of our "German beer radishes", which we have started harvesting and eating. Quite different from the pinky red varieties, but they definitely taste like radishes, which I love. They are quite spicy/peppery. And they are very large! The first ones we harvested were smaller, but we knew they were supposed to be big, so left them a little longer and we are getting closer to the real size now. A nice variety anyway!

The second photo shows our raised bed, quite full now. Despite unauspicious beginnings, with all of the seeds scattered all over the place with the wind, everything recovered and is growing really well!

A little gardening before the rain

30 May 2015 19:40:53

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Today I got a new "toy", a new lawn mower! Much lighter than the old one, it was a pleasure to cut the grass this afternoon, just in time before the rain starts for the week-end... 

Thanks Hazel!

26 May 2015 10:05:53
Thanks Hazel!

Thanks Hazel!

Hazel gave me this kniphofia at the get-together 2014. It didn't flower last year as it was still quite small, but grew well. I'm delighted to see it flowering this year, thanks Hazel!

I have another kniphofia, which is yellow. It always flowers early, but I could see nothing coming this year so got a little worried. Looking more closely yesterday, I was glad to see there are flowers coming up, just a little later than usual I think. I'm hoping that eventually both will flower in sync :-)

Knockrose garden, Kilternan

25 May 2015 10:15:57

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Yesterday I went to visit Knockrose garden in Kilternan with my friend Yuko. I had barely heard of it before, despite having driven past its entrance nearly every evening on my way back from work for several years. Yuko was there a few weeks ago as part of an event and thought I would like it, so went back with me, and she was so right, I loved it!

It's not a huge garden, but there is so much to see there. It's located at the side of the Scalp hill, and some areas of it apparently get no sun at all during winter, so it's amazing to see all the beautiful and healthy plants that grow in those less than ideal conditions. There was an amazing amount of different ferns, which I loved, but also many many other gorgeous plants. The garden is laid out in a succession of small areas which made it even more interesting, as each time I thought that was it, there was more to discover. A real gem, that went straight to the top of all the nicest gardens I have ever visited. Thanks to Yuko for bringing me there!!

Unfortunately, I still cannot upload photos in albums on this site so I will only upload 3 with this journal. I hope it works.

Not starting the name debate again!

14 May 2015 17:37:35

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This is my version of the dark geranium a few people posted about recently. It was given to me by my mum a few years ago, a division from a slip which was given to her by somebody else! No name with it but I guess it is a version of the Geranium Phaeum.

I like it and think that the flowers are very pretty, but find that it doesn't flower much, it has only three or four stalks (with several flowers on it) this year. Also the flowering season is short (about a month from what I saw in previous years). Having read that Fran gets a second flush of flowers on it by cutting it to the ground after the first flowers are finished, I think I will try that this year!

One big plus is that it is not invasive and keeps fairly compact...

Vegetables

10 May 2015 21:53:16
Vegetables

Vegetables

After the less than auspicious start a few weeks ago with our little greenhouse blowing down in the wind not once, not twice but three times (despite addind weight to it), things are looking up. The seeds have all sprouted and we have radishes, broccoli, peas, broad beans, onions happily growing in the raised bed. Potatoes in a large container, and two cherry tomato plants in pots. As for the herbs, there is new parsley growing as the old one is nearly over, as well as coriander and fennel, and even basil (the basil outside is an experiment, we will see how it does...). Mint, thyme and French tarragon also there in pots, and 3 blueberry bushes covered in flowers, even the new ones planted in the autumn. I hope that out of all that we will harvest a few things soon... Most of the work on the vegetables is being done by Jonathan, and he is doing a great job!

Spectacular

10 May 2015 16:38:42

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I find the unfurling of these fern fronds quite spectacular every year, and it gets better every year as the plant gets bigger!

Aeoniums after the rain

05 May 2015 13:15:33

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A couple of pictures taken earlier today. Aeonium Zwartkop always looks great with drops of water on its shiny rosettes. The green one looks a little worse for wear after the winter, but hopefully it will recover well, and I have planted out a baby one just in case...

Drosera capensis

05 May 2015 12:56:57

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I bought this about a month ago on an impulse as I thought it looked pretty and I was interested in the fact that it is a carnivorous plant. It was quite small but has now grown quite a bit and I need to find a better place for it than the kitchen sill... Assuming that the temperature outside is not going to go under a certain level during the summer, I might even try and put it outside and see what happens. I read on the internet that it can be ok with temperatures as low as 7º, so fingers crossed!

At certain times of the day and depending on the light that shines on it, the long reddish leaves look a bit like little flames, very pretty.

Jeffersonia

03 May 2015 15:11:08

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I bought this plant a year ago at the Alpine show in Cabinteely. I went there with Lucie, who really liked it because its leaves look like the wings of a butterfly. She really wanted to buy it but I was a bit reticent as it cost 8 Euros if I remember well, and I had no idea what the plant was, how to care for it, etc. The lady selling it assured us that it was a hardy and easy little plant, and I must say she was right.

We planted it out of the way of direct sunshine and left it to its own devices. At the time we bought it it had already flowered so we didn't know what the flowers looked like, nor the leaves when they emerge from the ground in spring. As it totally disappeared during the winter, I was keeping an eye on the spot to be sure we didn't forget about it, and sure enough, it started appearing towards the end of March. But surprise, what emerged from the ground were deep purple stalks, which first produced flowers, and when the flowers were finished, grew leaves, which were also purple at the start and have now turned green as you can see on the photo. What an unusual and interesting little plant!

Also thank you JoanG ;-)

30 April 2015 20:45:48

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Stealing Peter's journal title, sorry Peter :-)

Today Myrtle, Clare and I went to Joan's for a chat, a tea and a visit of her lovely garden. It was a really lovely day, and as an added bonus, the sun was shining all day, so having visited the garden under the rain previously, it was great to see it in the sunshine.

We spent a good while outside admiring and discussing the many beautiful plants Joan has, and observing several small birds feeding in turn in the feeder. Joan's garden is so well looked after and each plant has its own place, but what really struck me today was the way the many pots are arranged together, and how well they look. My favourite was the Pieris pot, but unfortunately the photo I took of it came out blurry. It reminded me of Japan! Also the ingenious way Joan found to raise her other pots, brilliant! And having seen the 2 Acers in pots, I am tempted to get another one myself...

Thank you Joan for the lovely afternoon, and of course Clare and Myrtle for the company. I was particulary delighted as recently I had not had much time to get on garden.ie or garden much, having been busy with work and visitors. And I won't forget to mention the delicious almond and apricot cake!

Acer

29 April 2015 12:44:08

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The leaves of my only Acer have now fully opened, and the tree is beginning to cascade down the stones towards the lower part of the garden, which was the intention when it was planted there several years ago. Before I got this one, I wanted to buy one for ages but couldn't find a small enough specimen which was not too expensive as I was afraid to kill it! I eventually found one, and it seems to like its location :-)


The woody/slightly dead-looking plant just below it is a Ceratostigma. A gorgeous plant in october, with such pretty blue flowers, but it is annoying how long it takes to get green in spring!

Lathyrus vernus

28 April 2015 17:41:42

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This lathyrus is full of flowers now, and looks great. I bought it last year on a little shopping trip to Mount Venus :-) It's deciduous so disappeared over the winter and I was watching anxiously to be sure it would come back, and it did so I'm happy!

A forest...

28 April 2015 11:37:54
A forest...

A forest...

...of echiums, that's what I would get if all of the seedlings in the photo grew! Having seen the amount of tiny flowers and then seeds on each of the six spikes last year, it's to be expected that some would end up in the flower beds, but I couldn't see anything for ages so I was wondering where they all went. Then I think the warm sunny weather coupled with a bit of rain gave them what they needed, and literally from one day to the other, I saw a carpet of green seedlings. What's in the photo is a small section of it. They won't all grow, and I won't let them all grow either, but it's nice to see that the next generation is getting ready :-)

Narcissus 'Jenny'

14 April 2015 21:22:55

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I have been quite busy in the past while, work, visitors and various other things, so I haven't been on the site as much as I would like. And in addition to this I still cannot upload albums properly, which is frustrating, and the few times I tried, I had to give it up.

In the meantime however, spring has really arrived (summer even today :-) and the garden is suddenly getting very colourful. The first narcissi are nearly gone, but other, which I planted really late (late November) are in full bloom now. I'm particularly happy with this one, narcissus 'Jenny', which I bought for the first time this year. I planted lots of them together, and at the moment it is giving the only flower bed in the front a real boost!

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