20 February 2010 21:03:39
Went for a walk today in the grounds of Tullynally castle. The parkland surrounding the castle is actually farmland, with cattle feeding under the huge trees on one side of the avenue and on the other there is what looks like a crop of cereal planted with this lovely statuesque tree in the middle.
15 February 2010 21:22:02
I don't have a lot of houseplants but one I really love is Hoya. I got it as a cutting from Nadine and it had gorgeous flowers last year. They look as though they are made of sugar icing. I had it on a windowsill and I was away for a little while with the heating off and I think it didn't like it and decided to drop a lot of its leaves. I've read this can happen if there is a change in temperature. Has anyone any experience of this or could it be something else? I'd hate to lose it, and was hoping to take some cuttings to share around. I meant to pot it up into a nice fancy pot like it deserves but I haven't got around to it yet. I hope I will still get the chance.
14 February 2010 12:25:10
The Party is definitely over for this Shark's fin Acacia
I got to spend a decent amount of time in the garden yesterday. It was a lovely sunny afternoon, but suddenly I felt the chill and had to come inside. I had had enough. It was mainly tidying up and it felt a little like clearing up after a party. Getting rid of all the 'empties', dead stems and leaves, and many of the plants looked like they had severe hangovers. Some couldn't last the pace and have bowed out permanently. Any calls for last orders were greeted with a frosty reception. My Shark's Fin Acacia has turned brown and its uniquely shaped leaves surround it in a circle of rotten confetti on the ground. My Chilean Lantern, Crinodendron hookerianum, which is usually able to last the pace, will be lighting up the garden no more. Its boisterous crimson beacons will be sadly missed. However some die-hards are still going strong.
And after all damage has been assessed and the debris cleared up, it is time to analyse the pairings that may or may not have worked during the revelry. Sometimes putting two plants together can be a little like a blind date. How they will get on together is unknown and only time will tell. Other times you know from experience of these plants that one will dominate the other too much or that they are just not compatible. And sometimes you effect a perfect match. Plants that stumble together may end up standing the test of time.
Soon the drinking games will start again as plants race each other to get going. At the moment the Snowdrop is ahead but soon it will be the turn of the Daffodils and Tulips to shine. And by summertime the party will be in full swing again, everything wearing its party face, jostling for space, competing for attention and performing to the best of their abilities. And then it will be time for the Gardener to just sit back and enjoy the show.
06 February 2010 10:25:58
The last time we grew spuds.
I am resolved to grow a big crop of spuds this year. I haven't grown them in a couple of years and after throwing away yet another load of shop bought potatoes that were either green or rotten, I can't wait to be harvesting my own again. I grew Pink Fir Apple before and they were delicious, a bit nobbly and hard to wash but they taste like new potatoes even at the end of the season so I'll be trying to get some of them, and also Tibet from the Irish seed savers. I have my name down for an allotment in Skerries and we'll be moving there to rent at Easter time so at least I'll have some space to vent my horticultural frustrations at leaving my beloved garden. The garden at the house we will be renting is nicely kept but there is not much scope for development as it is only the size of a postage stamp. This whole renting thing is new to me and I am a little wary as I have read on this site of someone who was renting and was devasted as they lost their deposit because they had put in a garden. But while I will miss my own garden, I won't miss the endless to-do lists and I hope to have more time and opportunities to go garden visiting.