Last Post 1449 days 23 hours ago
30 June 2009 20:39:15
Where has the last month gone to? It just flew by. But we all got a lot done in our gardens. When I got home from work I set to planting some of the plants I got for my enlarged border, Astrantia, Rudbekia, geranium, heuchera 'stoplight', Lysimachia, Dryopteris, Astilbe and Liatris. I spread bark mulch all over. But behind the pond, I have a mulch of shells and cobbles to emulate a nautical theme. Steve will connect the electricity of the lighthouse later this evening. We have an anchor, and lifebelt, and a salvaged lamp. I also left a small bank of clay as I am undecided what to plant there. Plenty of time for that. For once I haven't overloaded on plants. I'm going to give these plants time to grow and fill out before I decide on any more. We are pleased with the result.
Now we have to get matching edging blocks for the other 2 circles. Should be done by the weekend.
I harvested shallots this evening. I should have planted more. We'll consume them in a very short space of time. I'll plant at least 3 times that amount next year.
29 June 2009 20:30:40
Couldnt sleep last night it was so hot. So I got up at 5.00am.
The first thing to greet me when I went out to the garden was a broken pot. I had 4 small buxus in 4 identical pots. And during the night I heard cats fighting. One of them was my own. So they must have knocked them over and one broke. I was devastated. I loved them because they were so simple and unfussy. And the buxus were great in them. But I bought the pots years ago so the chance of me getting one replacement is rather slim. I was going to buy 4 new ones. But there were no nice ones in work. I can wait. So out comes the superglue until then.
The lilies in work are beginning to flower so when that happens I usually reduce them to half price. And lilies are one flower I just cannot resist. So I bought them. 3 bulbs in one pot for €5.99. So I got 6 lilies for €6. Not bad.
When I got home I watered everything. And potted up my lilies. They're gorgeous. I also potted up seedlings of Lychnis coronaria that had self-seeded in my small white agapanthus. They would have been handy to bring to Mullingar, IF I WAS GOING. So if any local members would be interested in taking them off my hands, please feel free to let me know.
Oh and by the way, what colour are snails eggs? My vine is covered in transparent pinhead things that I think might be snails eggs. Somebody please let me know. I have posted a bad pic on my latest album 'hot hot hot'. The best I could do. Hope you can make them out.
28 June 2009 08:15:42
geraniums in wall planter
Oh my God, what a glorious morning. What a shame I have to spend all day at work. I have just finished watering everything and they are all looking good. Steve is not quite finished doing the cementing of the blocks around the pond. I couldnt blame him for not doing a whole lot yesterday, it far too hot to exert any energy. As soon as it's finished, I can tidy up the garden and get the grass cut. Then I will take some good pics. Not until then. I must go out now and take a pic of my latest purchase. I love it.
27 June 2009 22:40:58
are these stachys byzantina?
Ok I am now doing my gardening at 6.00 am. Got all my baskets and containers and greenhouse plants watered and fed before I went to work. I am a morning person. Spotted my first lot of tomatoes. I love them. My courgettes are huge and my vine is growing out the window of the greenhouse. Peaches are coming along nicely too. And I have never had so many strawberries. Posted a few pics on my 'pond just for lilies 'album. In this album there is a picture of a small agapanthus, but there are seedlings of something all around the edges of the pot that look remarkably like stachys byzantina (Lambs Ears) Don't know where they came from. I never sowed them. Anybody who actually knows what they are, please let me know.
Brilliant day, but far too hot for working. However, c'est la vie. Bought a lovely wall container in work today. Its wrought iron with 2 cone baskets and has geraniums in them. Couldnt resist it. Had few drinks on patio this evening and just 'chilled'.
26 June 2009 20:40:30
It has been raining since I got in from work so no gardening done. Steve was off today and went out to Howth Quarry to get blocks for the pond. He had them all laid out when I got home. It's going to look great when it's finished.
There is a minor disagreement about what kind of edging will go on the other 2 circles. Steve wants 3 different edgings. Eh, no way. I win this one. I think SOME men have tunnel vision when it comes to garden design. All three will be identical. I will post a picture of the 'so far'.
26 June 2009 19:19:41
Blinkin Wimbledon. No Gardeners World. We suffer yet again. Why dont they show it on BBC 1?
25 June 2009 23:38:39
Fish are jumping........and Rachel knows the next line. ha ha. That was my mams favourite song. Fish are very active in both ponds.
We went to Ratoath Garden Centre today and bought more pond plants. Costing a blinking fortune. We bought 2 more waterlilies, Nymphaea 'Sioux' which is a yellow orange colour, and 'Firecrest' which is pink. These are for the new pond. Also bought Lysimachia punctata 'Alexander' (Loosestrife), Polygonum bistorta, Ranunculus flammula and Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Blue Spire' and Hostas, Astilbe, Geranium, Lupins, and 2 more oxygenators. Also another tall grass for the bigger pond. And Noel, Aquatic compost. We also went to Howth Quarry and picked out stone for the 3 circles which Steve will pick up on Saturday. Maybe when I get home from work, at least one of the circles will be edged. Can't wait.
I extended the shady border out so now there is part of it which will get full sun. Planted up everything that I bought. So unusual for me. But that was after I caught some rays. Did it when the heat went out of the sun. Couldnt waste it, glorious day here.
For anybody interested, a place on the far side of Ashbourne called 4Home is having a closing down sale. Its a place like Woodies. Might be worth checking out their garden centre. We didnt bother going. But somebody else might pick up some bargains. They will close their doors on Sunday week.
24 June 2009 19:46:08
water feature? or ornament?
I have been so busy recently in work that by the time i get home, I have just been unable to do anything in the garden. All my energy is being zapped in this intense heat. I have been even too tired to switch on the computer.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. I'm off tomorrow. And so is Steve. So hopefully we can spend some quality time together and in the garden. We'll head off to Howth Quarry in the morning and pick some suitable edging for the pond. And the alpine circle will have matching edging. It'll tie in all 3 three circles if we match them up.
I was thinking of having a water feature in this new little pond but it being mainly for waterlilies, movement in the water is a no-no. I have a lovely terracotta fish that will spout water out of his mouth but I think for now I will just use this as an ornament. But if the water becomes stagnant, I will have to use the terracotta fish to oxygenate it. I can also use oxygenator plants but I think it will take too many of those without the flowing water. We'll play it by ear.
Bought a couple more alpines for the alpine circle, Arabis ferdinandi-coburgi 'old gold' and Pratia angulata (treadwellii) ,and 2 more ferns for the shady border, Asplenium scolopendrium and Dryopteris sieboldii.
22 June 2009 01:06:03
21 June 2009 23:56:58
new pond by night (unfinished)
Headed off to Ratoath Garden Centre and bought marginals, water plants and alpines. Did NOTHING about edging for the pond as we cannot decide what we want yet. No hurry. But I WAS pretty keen to get the pond planted up. How sad is that! No discipline at all. No wonder my garden is such a mish-mash of plants in the wrong place. However, enthusiasm can be half the battle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's my excuse anyway.
When we got back, Steve dug out the final circle to accommodate the alpines and I planted up the pond plants. Tomorrow I will lay porous membrane and begin to plant the alpines.
I incorrectly stated 'pond plants and alpines' on my latest album. It's late, and I'm half asleep. The album only contains alpines. Sorry. The list of pond plants are as follows, Houttuynia cordata 'Chamaeleon', Gratiola officinalis, Ranunculus lingua, Houttuynia cordata, Lythrum salicaria,Myriophyllum aquaticum, Hippuris vulgaris and Typha minima. And 2 water lilies, Nymphaea 'james Brydon' and 'Albatros'. So much for this new pond being ONLY for water lilies. Ha!
20 June 2009 22:18:14
Steve wasn't happy with the pond this morning. One side was SLIGHTLY higher than the other. By only 1 or 2 inches.
We went off to B&Q to have a look at what was there in the way of slates. Nothing took our fancy. But because of family commitments we didn't have time to look elsewhere. It's going to have to wait.
Anyway, we got home and I emptied the pond with a watering can. And Steve went down to my dad to do some jobs. I tell you its a long time since my garden got a such a great watering. Ha ha.
We took out the liner, and made the shelf deeper on one side. Then filled it up again. It DOES look better. I would have been happy with it but it would have been niggling at Steve until he sorted it.
19 June 2009 22:37:31
Well, we have finished digging out the 'puddle'. Its deepest is only 2 and half feet. Enough for what I want. It's filling up as we speak. The soil we took out is banked up behind it. So I will be planting on a slope. Not a problem. Going to get pavers tomorrow so hopefully it will be finished then. And then I can start choosing suitable plants. just had my first bacardi and coke (oops sorry, Noel. Irish Coffee). Cheers.
18 June 2009 22:13:31
Thats It! Enough punishment. Steve and I have been trying to shift more of the soil from our new 'puddle' since we got in from work. You could see the showers approaching from nearby areas. We have only got down to one spades depth. Another spade to go before I'm nearly happy with it.
We have called it a night. We can finish it either tomorrow or at the weekend. I'm off. Wahoo. Seems ages since I had a weekend off.
17 June 2009 20:45:05
The danger of boredom!
The day dawned under a thick gloomy cloud of a torrential constant downpour. My day off! Typical! What a waste of a free day. Had a cup of coffee at about 7.30 and went back to bed. Not my usual routine. I slept until 11.30. The day was nearly over. But there was a good break in the clouds even though it was still raining.
Most of the day was taken up entertaining a good friend. When she went home at about 6.00 I decided to dig a circle in the lawn. The sun had come out by this stage. I will be making another circle when this is finished. I want the garden to be a series of circles. This one is for a very small pond 6feet in diameter, and to be home to just plants like lilies. But the underlying reason for this pond is to have access to the soil around it, so I can introduce more plants into the garden. When I buy a plant for the existing pond, I have to get Steve to plant it as there is NO WAY I am walking the plank to get in at the little bit of soil that is available.
Now, with this little pond, I can do the planting whenever I want and don't have to ask for ANYONE'S help. And I can do it at MY leisure. I will be making another circle beyond the one the Steve has already made. This will possibly be slightlymounded (a way for using up some of the topsoil) and I will plant alpines maybe. I am going to have more specific areas for more specific plants. I am going to be more organized. God, it all sounds too good. That is so unlike me. Ha ha. But my planting areas are becoming very restricted. So this will overcome that problem.
Steve will be putting a winding path from the house down to the raised pond and I wanted to make these circles before he started that project. Otherwise his path may have got in the way of my planting scheme. Now he has a free rein to bring the path in ANY direction he wishes. Both of us will be happy then. After all, a garden is for sharing.
15 June 2009 22:56:45
I am going to take Monica's advice, and take time to just 'chill out' in my garden. After all, it is a labour of 'love'. Whats the point in killing myself getting it looking good, it I can't sit back and enjoy it.
Got in at 6.00. had 2 cups of coffee, then got dinner. Then watered and fed everything. Now I'm sitting outside with bacardi and coke with steve. His irrigation system is working a treat. Put a few more photos on latest album.
Nothing more to report.
14 June 2009 22:32:26
rhododendron 'gold flimmer' with bee
Not a whole lot to report on MY garden front. Fed up with work. Its getting in the way of my garden. I have been too knackered when I get home these days, to do much.
On the other hand, Steve is really getting into this 'gardening scene' this year. Always looking for different projects to be getting on with while I am at work. He successfully added an irrigation system throughout the borders, AND the bog garden behind the pond. Very impressed with it, I have to say. The plants are going to love him for that.
When I decide where to put my next border, the system is all ready and waiting. Just a few perforations to puncture and we're away.
The only thing I have done in the garden in the last 2 days, is walk and observe. And take photographs. I'll post some in my latest album.
11 June 2009 22:35:08
11th june 2009
Home at 6.00. Myself and Steve finished off filling new pond bed with more topsoil. Then the planting began. I'm going to post pics of the finished result. I think I have too many plants in, but I can always take the odd one out when they start to crowd others. I am a bit of an 'all or nothing' person really. I usually end up putting in way too many plants. All criticism will be taken on board. We covered it all with bark chip and it looks great, I THINK! I hope i can trust you all to post your honest opinion. I need this. I'll post some pics on my latest album.
10 June 2009 20:30:43
new bed with home-made compost
Up and showered by 6.30am. Fed all greenhouse plants and hanging baskets by 9.00.
Went off and did my errands. Back here. Breakfast. Was thinking of you, Rachel, when I had it. But had no intention of doing hard labour in the garden. I was catching more rays. But I first went to a garden centre and bought small pampas grass like the one I bought last week , 'splendid star', and 3 verbena bonariensis.
I sat in the sun until Steve came home from work. Then we both got stuck in to filling the new bed with topsoil, manure and home-made compost. It looks great. Any plant that refuses to grow well in that mixture is a fool. Home-made compost looks so delicious. The wall isn't quite finished yet so I'll give Steve a chance to do that and then in go the plants.
So the plants that i will be putting in will be, verbena bonariensis, astilbe, fatsia, lychnis, hostas, armeria(pink and white), campanula, aubretia, sempervivums, sedums, lysimachia, japanese blood grass, acer palmatum dissectum (atropurpureum),and clumps of chives. Oh, and my newly-acquired dicksonia antarctica. And a Phoenix canariensis which has been in a big pot for the last 6 years. Can't wait to see the finished result. Then I will put bark chip all over it to hopefully slow down the weed growth.
09 June 2009 22:47:23
Off at three today. Bliss. Sun came out at about 1 here and I decided NOT to do anything in the garden if at all possible when I got home. Didnt even go to the shops. If I couldnt find the makings of a dinner in the kitchen, that was it. I was going to dial for a 'Chinese'. As it happened, there was loads in the kitchen.
Took out the sunbed at half three, donned the bikini, and went unsconscious. Was totally zonked till Steve came home from work at 5.30. Can't believe I wasted that time asleep.
Got the dinner. Watered. And potted a chaemaerops humilis which I purchased from Bakkars last week. And THAT WAS IT. Steve finished the retaining wall behind the pond. So all we need is a pile of topsoil now. Then the fun will begin! Plants!
Had a few drinks out in the garden tonight. We have just come in. 10.45. Beautiful mild night. I can feel a barbecue coming on!
08 June 2009 22:46:01
Weather grand for work.
Didnt do too much when I got home. Had to visit my father after work so it was well after 7 by the time I got home.
Did my usual weeding and watering. Steve started building the retaining wall behind the pond, he doesn't hang about. He really enjoys projects like that, as he has no real horticultural knowledge. That suits me fine too.
I 'puddled' my robinia this morning before I went to work. And again when I got home. I really don't want to lose it. I did the same with my photinia. I bought a cortaderia the other day in work. Its suitable for small gardens. Its called 'Splendid Star'. I planted it in a pot just for now. I may put it in the new bed behind the pond. We'll see.
07 June 2009 23:27:14
Well it just NEVER stopped raining all day yesterday. So that put paid to ANY plans I had for the garden after being in work for a couple of hours.
Today was grand. When I planted my Gunnera manicata 2 years ago, I really didn't believe that it would grow so large. But over the last few weeks, I could see that my Robinia was really struggling. The bottom part of it is in full leaf. But just bare branches on top. The gunnera was choking it. Something had to be done.
I got Steve to dig up the robinia so we could re-locate it. While he was on a roller, I also got him to dig up a photinia which was just as close to the gunnera as the robinia. So I moved that elsewhere.
I transplanted the robinia further up towards the house where it could be appreciated more. I love its growth habit, and the colour of its leaves. I know it's not the correct time for transplanting it, but it would surely have died, had I left it where it was. Hopefully, it will be ok.
Steve is building a raised bed behind the pond. When the pond was up and running I realized that there wasnt really adequate planting space. So the raised bed behind now will rectify that problem. Can't wait to get more plants in. I'll put rodgersia, fatsia, lychnis, bergenia, armeria, ferns and a few different hostas all round. It should look very tropical, I hope.
06 June 2009 09:33:48
Well, we all knew deep inside that it wouldn't last. Another few days and we have the longest day. Then we have to brace ourselves for another winter.
But lads, enough of the doom and gloom. With all the torrential rain we have had so far this morning, at least we don't have to water. Everything in the garden is going to get such a boost from all the heaven-sent moisture. I adore looking at alchemilla mollis with big fat raindrops on their leaves. Gorgeous!
I am just contemplating going in to work for a few hours. Didnt manage to get a few jobs completed yesterday and my conscience is at me. Couldn't sleep last night because of it. How sad is that? But I'll wait until the rain eases off before I go in. My colleagues, no doubt, will think I'm a 'nutjob' but they don't seem to get the same sense of job satisfaction as I do.
Ok it seems to be stopping. I'll have another cuppa, and head in. Hopefully I'll be able to get something done here in my garden later on in the day.
04 June 2009 20:39:53
we are definitely being rewarded for the rotten summer we had last year. I hope it will last a few months at least.
Got my first order from bakker today. I got a Chaemaerops humilis (dwarf palm), a sundial, and a miniature rose including a pot designed to fit onto a down-pipe. I usually forget to paint my gutters and down-pipes. So this miniature rose will hopefully obliterate at least a portion of this eye-sore. I was a bit disappointed with the size of the dwarf palm. It's REALLY a dwarf. Posted a pic on my latest album.
My first Gazania appeared today after all the sun we have been having. I never realized that they could keep going for years. I have them in a pot near the pation for about 4yrs now. And they have really grown into a fairly decent-sized clump. I adore Gazanias.
I'm very pleased with my sundial. But it was also smaller than I expected. But I bought a pedestal that will go perfectly with it today. And it has raised it quite a bit. It's not quite so 'piddly' now. Pic on my album.