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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal September 2009

Last Post 3034 days 3 hours ago

End of the month!

30 September 2009 18:47:19
Foxgloves potted on!

Foxgloves potted on!

Got nothing done on the gravel area today. Too busy with deliveries. Had the impossible task of shelving plants. Indoor plant area is way too small as it is. So most of them ended up on the floor around the shelving. That is going to pose a big problem when it comes to watering them. I dont honestly know why we do indoor plants. The shelving is not even watertight. I hate watering, because when I do, I also have to mop up after me. I could spend a whole day watering and mopping up. Ridiculous, but they will not put the money into a proper plant display area. But I must say that the selection is far better this year than I can EVER remember.

Got home and picked and watered tomatoes. My pepper plants have been very strange this year. Earlier on in the season the plant only produced 3 peppers. It wasnt long before 2 of them actually rotted. The other one remained and it was slowly turning red. But still very small. This evening I was examining it. Getting very impatient to eat them as I love peppers. But even though it was reddening up, it was also rotting. I cant even say that I was watering them too much. Anyway peppers take a lot of water, and plenty of feed, which I have been very diligent about throughout the whole summer. However, on closer inspection, another tiny pepper has appeared and about 6 more flowers. The tiny pepper is about the size of a hazelnut. I will leave it, and just see what happens. Very disappointing result this year. And very strange!

Potted on a heap of foxgloves. And have about twice that amount again to pot up. Will have to leave that for tomorrow as I had to go in and get the dinner. Can anybody tell me if I should leave these seedlings in the greenhouse, cold-frame or out in the open for the winter? Does anybody resent household chores, when there are FAR more important things to do in the garden? It really frustrates me. It wouldnt bother me if I didnt even HAVE dinner. I dont know why they had to wait for ME to make it. Have They-Indoors lost the use of their limbs, and cop-on!


Bulb problem solved!

29 September 2009 19:58:46

Another Standstill!

29 September 2009 19:15:04
New Planter!

New Planter!

Was so busy today that I never got round to that dreaded gravel area. Tomorrow's another day. The only thing I bought today was an Arbutus unedo(Strawberry tree). It's tiny. It came in a 9cm pot. So cute! And only €2.49. I had one for years but it died this year for some reason. I don't have any ericaceous compost left at home so for now, I can stick it into a container I have with heathers. Will pot it on at a later stage. Picked and watered tomatoes this evening and examined my sprouts and cabbage for caterpillars. No sign of any, thank God.

Gismo mentions re-cycling on her journal of today. I agree whole-heartedly. And her fathers boots make great containers. We had a barbecue here in july and when we were cleaning up afterwards, I skived off with a Heineken Keg that I thought I could make into a nice planter, and it will also be a reminder of that great night.


The Irish Garden

29 September 2009 08:30:18

Things at a standstill!

28 September 2009 19:44:44
Cotoneaster 'Coral Beauty'

Cotoneaster 'Coral Beauty'

Got a bit p'ed off this morning in the garden centre when I realized that nothing had been done with all that gravel that I shifted on Friday, after the Manager promised that he would get one of the lads to finish it. But what could I do about it? I just had to get on with it.

A delivery came in, so I got all those plants up, and then proceeded to finish the job I started on Friday. And of course, I didn't have my Weetabix this morning for breakfast. I really felt all the strain on my back. So now I have completely cleared that area of the gravel AND dumped 4 trolley loads into the skip. I put up a couple more pics in my ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE album. I'm glad I brought in my camera now because I can see that the algae on the top of the wall needs to be tackled. If I get a chance tomorrow, that will be my next job. Manager assured me that the 2 trellises will be in place by the end of the week. I gotta get this finished asap as the Examiner is on the prowl once again, to judge for the Garden Centre Award.

 After that, my plants called me back to them for a bit of tlc. Bought 2 lovely big pots today for a great price. One was for my newly-purchased Cotoneaster 'Coral Beauty'. I am sure I will find something to go into the second one.

Was late home from work, so I didnt get a whole lot of time in the garden. I watered and picked tomatoes, and planted my Cotoneaster. Then got the dinner and made blackberry jam. That's enough for one day!


General Pottering!

27 September 2009 16:39:12
What did I do wrong?

What did I do wrong?

Did a lot of tidying in the garden today and weeding. Weeded veggie bed. My sprouts are looking more and more like cabbages. I wonder did someone switch the label when I bought them as seedlings. Maybe Dave or Johnplotman can reassure me. When do the actual sprouts start forming?

 I have 2 small apple trees in pots, one coronet 'Elstar' that has just 2 apples on it, neither of them look great. I think one apple is suffering from slug damage, and the other one has all spots on it. I expected this apple tree to produce a lot more when I bought it earlier on in the year. Maybe someone can shed some light on this for me? The second apple tree is Malus Domestica 'Redlane' which I am delighted with. Beautiful red apples. Almost ready for picking.

I bought some very small buxus a few weeks ago with the intention of trying my hand at topiary. I wanted to make a heron, as a feature, AND to see if it would be a deterrent for the local visiting heron to our garden. I planted 2 of the small buxus into a pot for now. They look so pathetic. But given time, they will hopefully be transformed into a work of art! Ha ha. I won't hold my breath. I also came across a wire frame in the garage, which I had bought in Homebase about 7yrs ago. It's in the shape of a squirrel, so I planted a larger buxus and clamped this squirrel cage over it. I wont do anything else with this until next spring, when it produces a bit of growth. Adding a few more pics to my sept 09 album.


26 September 2009 23:36:54

Autumn colour!

26 September 2009 21:28:37


How's this for autumn colour. I killed my old blueberry, so bought another one this year. I am ashamed to admit though, that it is still in its original pot. Maybe that's the reason it hasn't given me any blueberries. But boy! is it providing beautiful autumn colour.

Had to visit the optician today. My eyesight does not even meet driving regulations. Will have glasses by Wednesday or Thursday. Maybe then I can start producing proper photographs. Ha ha. After all the poking and prodding, and blowing bursts of air into my eyes, I couldnt see properly. Reversing into my driveway and drove into the bloody pillar. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lazy Day!

26 September 2009 20:37:14
geranium cuttings

geranium cuttings

Did most of my gardening this morning. Then I just drank in my freedom. It feels brilliant getting 2 days off together now. I did a few geranium cuttings. A customer so kindly brought them into me yesterday. I love the colour of the flower, and the leathery leaf. 

Shoulders feeling the effects of shovelling all that gravel yesterday.

Flowers from the babies!

26 September 2009 14:24:28
Flowers from the Babies!

Flowers from the Babies!

A couple of weeks ago, I split up my canna lily and got 7 new ones. In the greenhouse this morning watering and noticed that 2 of the bigger babies are flowering.

Help Needed! Apply within!

25 September 2009 20:31:39


Got straight down to work when I got in. Looked at my drawing, and lunged in, all guns blazing. What a lot of gravel to shift. Filled up a whole trolley with it, and took it out and shovelled it into the skip in the warehouse yard. In for more. Filled  3 whole trolleys to capacity. Actually, bringing it out to the skip was far worse than filling the trolleys. Ground levels leave a lot to be desired out in the warehouse  yard. This is where us women really have to admit, OK YEA WE NEED MEN. SOMETIMES!!!!!! It was so bloody heavy, it wouldnt move.

Bumped into Manager. He took over. Such a gentleman. Brought him into garden centre to show him what I proposed. He saw what I had already done, and was adamant for me not to do any more. His resources are somewhat limited. He couldnt give me anyone today. But tomorrow he is getting one or 2 of the part-time lads to continue what I had started. He went about his business, and I set to clearing the mess I had made. Couldn't leave it the way it was. I was emptying the water feature and putting it on a trolley so it could be sold off from inside the shop. I lost my grip on it, and down it came. On my foot. It didnt feel heavy until it landed on my foot. Steel toecaps are definitely a necessity. I am quite sure my foot would have been broken if I didnt have them. I think the steel toecap took the brunt of the weight. But my foot was so sore, I couldnt fasten my boots all day. It was a lucky escape.

However, shortly after I tackled the gravel, I discovered that what I thought were sleepers, were in fact only planks. So with a bit of elbow power I managed to get them up. OOOOOh you should have seen what was underneath. Lots of lovely soil. Lovely texture. That changes everything. I will keep the raised part, where the table and chairs are. And plant up lots of different things in the lower part. But enough for one day. I will post up a new album called ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE!

What have I done!

25 September 2009 08:12:50

Latest Purchase

24 September 2009 22:45:18
Cotoneaster suec. 'Coral Beauty'

Cotoneaster suec. 'Coral Beauty'

Bought this lovely Cotoneaster today. Don't know where I am going to put it yet.

New Ideas!

24 September 2009 20:25:04
Proposed plan

Proposed plan

My manager put a challenge to me this evening. At the back of the garden centre is a raised gravel bed in a corner. It is raised to about 2 1/2 feet. It is a total eyesore. Usually something or other gets dumped onto this gravel area purely because I have nowhere else to put it. But during the summer, I displayed a small wooden table and 2 chairs there, and set out picnic tablewear and had a water feature to the side. It looked ok. But I know it could be a lot better.

So my manager now wants me to transform this same area. Last year, during a brief lull in business, I scraped back some gravel to see if there was any soil underneath. The gravel goes down about 6 inches and then a small bit of soil. Below the bit of soil is what I think are cut up railway sleepers. I have ideas, but not the brawn, and we are so short-staffed at the moment that I reckon I am going to have to do it on my own. If I cant hack out parts of these sleepers, I am going to have to pile up topsoil in an upward slope. I was thinking of erecting 2 6ft trellises at a 90 degree angle to each other and a small gap between, for walking access. I already planted a clematis montana on the back wall, so next year that should look good. In front of the 2 trellises, I think I will plant a few phormiums and different types of grasses ie Miscanthus, Cortaderia, Ophiopogon and some low-growing shrubs. If I cant go down very deep, I could plant up some lovely spring bulbs and top it all with bark chip. This has to be completed by Monday at the latest. Oh I dont know. Talk about bringing your work home with you! I will try and sketch roughly what I have in mind. And photograph it.


New Bulbs

24 September 2009 08:07:36
More bulbs

More bulbs

I wish my free bulbs would arrive from The Irish Garden Magazine as I have bought more bulbs and need to plan where they will be planted. I was hoping to do them this weekend, it being my first free weekend in a long time.

Tomato Soup

23 September 2009 20:22:40
Serve with homemade brown bread!

Serve with homemade brown bread!

After work, I weeded my veggie bed. All doing well. I picked lots of tomatoes and watered the rest. Got the dinner, and then I made my own soup.

                             HOT CHILI TOMATO SOUP

2lbs tomatoes

1 heaped teaspoon of chili powder

Chopped chives

1 onion

2 peppers

salt and pepper

parsley for garnish

Dice peppers and chop onion, and throw into a saucepan. Add  roughly-chopped tomatoes. Add enough water to cover the end of the saucepan. Add about 3 dessertspoons of chopped chives and the chili powder. Leave to simmer for about 20 minutes and strain through a sieve into a bowl. Go off and have a cup of coffee and, when its finished, press remaining pulp through sieve so you can get as much liquid from the mixture as possible. When the soup is cold, pour into a container, seal and label. Store in freezer to use on a cold winters day.

Winter Accommodation!

22 September 2009 18:45:23
Winter Accommmodation!

Winter Accommmodation!

Ladybirds are using their house already.



Sign of the Times!

22 September 2009 18:03:22
Camellias in need of a feed!

Camellias in need of a feed!

I had a very short day in work today, due to the sign of the times. However, on the plus side, it gave me ample time to peruse my domain and make mental observations.

Picked lots of tomatoes, I have homemade soup in the freezer. The greenhouse is absolutely busting at the seams with over-wintering plants. Why didnt I get a bigger one 5 yrs ago. I have carrots, radicchio and radishes growing in containers behind the greenhouse, so I brought them up closer to the house for more comfortable access during the winter months. I also have herbs in hanging baskets, and cut and come again leaves in pots. All up at the patio door. Brussels sprouts are doing great, and cabbage. I saw a ladybird in the recently purchased Ladybird House. Maybe it is actually going to do the job. I only applied the attractant last week. If I saw 1, maybe there are more inside. Only time will tell. Think of all the aphids and greenfly that they will consume next year. No more chemicals.

I moved 3 camellias, in pots, to a more shady spot for the winter. No morning sun now. They are also looking a little bit chlorotic right now. I gave them a good tonic of sequestered iron. There are lots of buds on them already. And the pansy seeds that I sowed a couple of weeks ago have germinated.

So now that my working hours have been reduced dramatically, I will have lots of free time to continue to be vigilant with the garden. And now I will probably HAVE to be more self-sufficient. At least I can bank on some winter veggies.

Great weekend!

21 September 2009 19:17:32


We all had a great weekend. The wedding (Steve's brothers) went very smoothly and there was even a tear in my eye for a while. And of course, the bride was beautiful. I didn't get to bed at all on Saturday night, so I did nothing when I got home yesterday afternoon. And isnt it ALWAYS a pleasure to get back into your own bed!

I was greeted by Zoe when I finished work on friday with another parcel from Heritage Bulbs. I got a heritage variety of tomato 'Russian Black', Cucumber 'Crystal Apple' which is a Victorian favourite in the shape of an apple (Suitable for growing outdoors), chillies 'Hungarian Hot Wax', Sweet pepper 'Hamik' (small pepper) and Mixed Bean and Pea collection which included Broad Bean 'Aquadulce', Dwarf Bean 'Purple Queen', Climbing bean 'Sultana', Runner bean 'Painted Lady', and Mangetout Pea 'Reuzenzuiker'.

This morning before work I inspected, watered and picked tomatoes. Lots of them ripened while we were away. The neglect they suffered over the weekend didnt do any harm, thank God. Dead-headed dahlias when I got home this evening and pulled one row of radishes. Lovely and crispy, and a fresh taste. I will definitely grow these again. Steve took today off work. It's well for some. So I got him to cut the grass. I should have got him to pick blackberries too. The branches are weighed down with ripe fruit. I reckon I'll be baking again next weekend.

Wish it was Friday!

17 September 2009 19:06:01
Winter Basket

Winter Basket

Very busy today and the day flew.

Watered greenhouse. Took in some zonal geraniums for the winter. And made up a winter basket. In it I included 2 types of thyme, uncinia, parsley and some yellow primroses just for a splash of colour. We are all away for the weekend to attend a wedding on Saturday so I hope the sun doesnt shine too strongly or my tomatoes will dry out.

Nothing else to report.

Out with the old!

16 September 2009 19:55:35
Spring bulb planting and cyclamen

Spring bulb planting and cyclamen

Garden centre needed a lot of tlc today. Stocktake over, thank God. I haven't been outside since Saturday so you can just imagine the state of it by the time I got out to it this morning. And on top of that, a big delivery also came in. And my hours were cut. So I am trying to do the same amount of work in less time.

After indulging on KFC for dinner, mmmmmmmmmmm, I got out into the garden. Pulled out all my beautiful begonias from my paved circle. There was still plenty of life in them and it nearly killed me to get rid of them. Last year they lasted right up until the beginning of November. Such value for money. But that is where I was planting some eremurus and anemones. And they just couldnt wait.

I planted my Allium bulgaricum, eremurus, and anemone blanda 'white splendour' in their place. I hope to God the eremurus do their thing. Rachel reported that she had got them in the past and that they did nothing. I hope that was just a 'once-off'. And then, just to give a bit of 'now' colour on top. I planted up some cyclamen. The brick edging hasn't been cemented down yet. I am hoping for Steve to finish this the weekend after next.

Sigh of relief!

15 September 2009 20:06:32
Sunflowers doing well!

Sunflowers doing well!

Another tough day today in work, but at least it only lasted till 6.30. Hopefully at the start of business tomorrow it will all be completed ie. stocktaking.

Watered tomatoes this evening and picked blackberries. Still loads more ripening. Did a walkabout in the garden. Dahlias are still looking great. I need to dead-head them again. That can wait until tomorrow. And the sunflowers are doing great too. Its great to see so much colour in the garden still. I was going to head in to Mr Middletons to purchase my dracunculas vulgaris (Voodoo Lily) and arisaema. But I wont get time until the weekend after next. Busy busy.


14 September 2009 21:55:36


13 September 2009 19:17:43


Well, talk about not being able to make an omelette without breaking eggs! The mess in my garden today after doing a TIDY-UP is unbelievable. Steve spent the afternoon trying to forget about toothache and cleaned out the pond. And of course, being a man, didnt bother to clean it up off the grass. But he did a great job. so I wont complain. Tomorrow is another day. I will put it all on the compost heap in the morning. He also had to clean the pump as the flow wasnt as good as it should have been and the pump was labouring. Much improved.

I managed to divide my canna lily and got 7 more plants out of it. 8 for the price of 1. Not bad, eh? Have them all potted up and in the greenhouse now. Gave the greenhouse a good tidy out, got rid of all the crap cluttering it up. I also brought in my geraniums and some fuchsias, and kangaroo paw. Still more to come. And while doing all that, we had a few drinks and laughed all day. That has to be worth more than anything. Still drinking, and still laughing. Now I have him cooking dinner. Ha ha. Oh yes!


12 September 2009 06:24:58


I love Mairins last journal entry on REDUCE RE-USE AND RECYCLE with the shredded paper. Very funny! But also very good. I try to re-use lots in my garden and one thing I have started to do is to re-use the snail shells after I have been flathulach with the little ol' blue pellets. The snail disintegrates completely and we're left with a nice clean shell. I now use them as cane-toppers as I am ALWAYS poking myself in the eye.

Gardeners World!

11 September 2009 21:56:00


11 September 2009 20:23:18
'Tequila sunrise'. Still going strong!

'Tequila sunrise'. Still going strong!

Oh! I was so envious of customers who strolled in all day today in strappy tops and shorts. And there was I cooped up in a uniform and safety boots, with big thick socks on. I have to wear thick socks because the boots are too big. The boots are too big so I can wear an extra 2 pairs of socks in the winter. It's a bummer. Moods were high in the garden centre all day. It is amazing what a little bit of sun can do for us all. Home late. Top priority - get the boots and socks off. Ah! the pleasure of walking in the grass in my bare feet. Sheer bliss! Didnt get a chance to do anything except water my tomatoes.

I also brought my canna lily into the greenhouse. Must remember to open the door tomorrow as it looks like it's gonna be another good one. Pity I am working again. Brought my musa in closer to the greenhouse where it will have a bit more shelter. Dont have room in the greenhouse for it just yet. I have to do a clear out first. Or just buy a BIGGER greenhouse. I think I will take all my shelving out for the winter and just put them into the garage. Took my Kangaroo Paw in too. Dont want to get caught out by a sudden cold spell. Quite cold out there this morning when I went out to open greenhouse door. It's coming! No doubt about that.

Not much done!

10 September 2009 19:41:00
Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hamelyn'

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hamelyn'

All I did today when I got home was water the tomatoes. Also took a few cuttings of a shrub that ClaireE wasnt too sure of. (Akebia)

I bought 2 pots of Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hamelyn' today. So I just placed them where I want to plant them at the weekend. Then did a bit of research to make sure they were going in the right place. This should only grow to about 3 ft in height and about 2 1/2ft wide. Not too bad. I bought 2 to create more impact, as you do! That was it, I'm afraid.

day off!

09 September 2009 19:31:43
Canna lily at sunset!

Canna lily at sunset!

I had a very broken sleep last night because of calf cramps and a throbbing finger. Had a lie-in till 8.00. Up and showered and out. Went for a spot of retail therapy before settling in to the garden. Need some new clothes for my holiday. Pity all the summer wear is gone from the shops, though. So that put paid to that! Had to get anti-histamine tablets for wasp sting. My finger is very swollen and red. Didnt get back till 1.00 and had lunch with Zoe, she doesnt often have her mother making lunch for her.

When she went back to school, on with the trackbottoms and boots. I extended the shady border. I'd say ina week or two, I'll decide to make it even bigger. Some people are never happy. Along with the existing plants, I put in Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm', Libertia 'Goldfingers', Kniphofia 'Bees Lemon' and Phormium 'Jester'. And in front of that I put in my free iris reticulatas which came free with my order from Heritage Bulbs yesterday.

Then I started planting my new arrivals. Eremurus need very good drainage so I threw in about 2inches of horticultural grit, and then planted the corm on top. Eremurus also need full sun so its the perfect spot for them. When I was planting the 2nd one, I accidentally spliced some daff bulbs which I had forgotten that I had planted about 2 wks ago. Sh.. ! It ended there. I also put in my newly-purchased white rose into this bed. Couldnt put Eremurus 'Stenophyllus' into the Dahlia border, as it too full at the moment. I couldnt get in between the sunflowers. I have loads of tulips to plant. Where am I going to put them? They'll end up in pots, I reckon. But not just yet. It was a bit freaky being out in the garden today as Holly had caught a mouse and was running around with it in her mouth, releasing it, and pouncing on it. This lasted about 30mins. Then she had enough, and bit off its head. Oh My God, disgusting! But at least it is dead now. And Holly ate every morsel of it. Ugh!!!!

Just in now, the sun is just shining through my Canna lily. The colours are beautiful. I have about 5 more smaller cannas coming up in the same pot, so maybe tomorrow I will attempt to pot up these. The 2 pomegranate seedlings that a customer gave me a few weeks ago haven't done much since I got them. They were both in the one pot. Funny looking compost he used. Potted them up separately into proper compost. They look happier already. Also I had them in the house, so now they will stay in the greenhouse.


Nothing done!

08 September 2009 20:18:52
'Monsters from The Deep'

'Monsters from The Deep'

Got a terrible wasp sting on my finger while dead-heading bloody pansies in the garden centre today. SO sore, my ears were tingling.

Late home this evening as I had to visit Dad. When I did get home, everybody's stomachs were growling so had to get dinner. Nothing done in the garden today.

Zoe, my youngest, greeted me with a surprise. Wahoo, it was a package from Heritage Bulbs. Couldn't wait to get my hands on it. When I cut the tape around the box and opened it, I wondered had they delivered this to the wrong person. I have never seen eremurus crowns before. Pardon my ignorance. They were like octopusses. And each crown came with its own net sack, these will be very useful in the garden.

After I got over the initial shock, I got excited again. Tomorrow is my day off, this couldn't have arrived at a better time. Pity there wasnt 48 hrs in every day. SO much to do. Bishop collection to follow. :o) Happy days! I have already compiled a list for my next order, from their veg catalogue, which accompanied the order. The cheque is already in the post. Thanks Dave, for recommending Heritage Bulbs to me. I think it was you.

Here comes the sun, doo doo doo doo, Here comes...

07 September 2009 20:42:57


Is it really coming............the sun, that is? Maybe the forecast is actually going to be correct for this week. It was a grand day, with the sun on the back of my neck. Oh it seems such a long time ago. And to think I have had my heating on for the last 2 days.

Did a lot of really tedious jobs in work today. So glad to get home to my garden. And as soon as I walked through the door, down it came. :o(  All I did was water tomatoes, and plant up some carnations. The rest can wait.

On a more positive note, Steve and I have just booked a holiday in the sun. I havent had a holiday since February.

Tidy-up time!

06 September 2009 18:48:10
Scent on the breeze!

Scent on the breeze!

I was like a caged animal today with all the MOISTURE in the air. But it just got to the stage that I couldnt just sit back and wait for it to dry up. Donned the rainjacket and boots, armed with secateurs. Cut away my runner beans. They more than passed my expectations this year. Initially I only wanted them so they could climb up the post of the loggia. But the runner beans themselves were a welcome bonus.

Then into the greenhouse. Did a bit of tidying up in there. So many green tomatoes. I cut back a lot of foliage from them. I also did a bit of weeding at the back bed where I discovered hundreds of seedlings of echiums growing all over the place, smothering my little azaleas. I will have to get back to that arduous task on Wednesday when I am off again.

This is my first year with the loggia and it is a lovely addition. It really gives the impression of a 'room outdoors' when all the climbers do their business. I had the runner beans growing up the post on one side, and honeysuckle on the other, where its delicious aroma has been carried on the breeze, while (the very odd time) having refreshments on the patio in the evening. I think there were about 4 occasions for this, that's all. Sad, isn't it? Here's hoping next year will be half decent.

Take a Break!

05 September 2009 18:45:20
Flower Carpet 'White'

Flower Carpet 'White'

Just home from work. Finished watering tomatoes. Bought a lovely white rose today. Its Flower Carpet 'White'. I didnt buy it for a specific area. I just liked it. AND it was reduced. I just got a fill up of oil and the heating is on. I am going to blast this house with heat.

I am going to have a few bacardi's tonight. Off tomorrow. Steve is making dinner as we speak. WaHOO! I am just going to kick off my boots, and be waited on, hand and foot tonight.

Potting on Peach Trees

04 September 2009 19:34:11
All tucked up for the winter!

All tucked up for the winter!

Bought 4 new pots today and potted on my dwarf peach trees when I got home from work. Next, they will have to be given an application of Bordeaux Mixture. The 3 extra ones that I bought for a fiver each had a bit of 'peach leaf curl' on them over the summer months. But I am going to have to wait until all the tomatoes are finished before I do that. I could bring them outside and do it, but I cant treat them until leaf fall. So the tomatoes will be well finished by then.

Weeded my veggie bed. Cabbage and brussels sprouts are doing great.

Advantage of a Small Garden.

03 September 2009 20:06:12
Still intact!

Still intact!

I was browsing some photo albums and I realized that in one way, I am lucky to have a small garden. It is small enough to provide vital shelter to my plants from the ferocious winds and torrential rain that we have been having of late. September, and my musa and canna are still looking fine. Thank God, because not much else is.....

Summer is definitely over!

03 September 2009 18:24:06
Kniphofia 'Bee's Lemon'

Kniphofia 'Bee's Lemon'

It was a cold one today. I normally work in t-shirt sleeves, even sometimes in winter. But not today. Maybe it's old age creeping up.

I wasn't happy with the size of the 10 buxus I bought yesterday. It'll take forever for them to grow to any decent size. I bought just 2 bigger ones in work. I have been thinking about the topiary heron all day, wondering where to start. I have to make 2 long skinny legs, so that will involve removing all the lower foliage. Then I will have to wait ages to get plenty of topgrowth for the body.  I think I should plant the 2 buxus into a pot to begin with, as they would look ridiculous planted like 2 random bushes at the pond with no form or shape to them. Sometimes I wonder why I bother! Maybe buxus is the wrong choice for this topiary? Would Taxus baccata be better, I wonder? All advice welcome.

I bought more Rudbeckia for the border that I am extending. Love that plant. And also bought Libertia 'Goldfinger' (only reaches 60cm), and Kniphofia 'Bee's Lemon' which eventually will reach 90cm. 


Still raining!

02 September 2009 20:06:03
Buxus and alliums

Buxus and alliums

Well, that was a waste of a day off. I didnt even water my tomatoes today. Didnt pick any either, because none of them have ripened since Monday.

However, with my Homebase purchase of alliums today, and the anticipation of an order from Heritage Bulbs any day now, I can get a better picture of the colour that I will have in the garden next year.

Tomorrow I must get some chicken wire and make up a cage in the shape of a heron. I will use this as a guideline for my buxus. Now there is something that a lot of patience is called for. But the buxus are still very small so no real hurry there.


02 September 2009 16:13:55
Blackberry and apple pie

Blackberry and apple pie

Weather wasnt too bad this morning when I got up. But I had a few errands to run. And as soon as I got home and changed into my gardening gear, the heavens opened. Typical! I have been sitting here most of the day messing around on the computer and reading. I kinda knew what the weather was going to do, so I bought myself ANOTHER early birthday present. Its a big book on Bulbs written by Anna Pavord. I have only flicked through it for now but I cant wait to sink my teeth into it. I also bought another smaller book '200 veg-growing basics'' Speaking of sinking my teeth into something, I made 2 gorgeous blackberry and apple tarts with the windfalls and my own blackberries.

While I was out, I dropped into Aldi on the off-chance that they would still have some climbers. Not a one! All cleaned out. Then I dropped into Homebase and bought 20 Allium 'bulgaricum'. And a pack of 10 small buxus. I am going to do a bit of topiary. I want to make a living heron to plant beside my upper pond. I think it would make a good 'talking point' in the garden, AND it might just deter the real herons.

I have just gone out to pull a radish to see if they are ready. Not quite, so I replanted it and sowed another row. The rain is supposed to ease later.

6.15 still raining.


01 September 2009 23:07:37

A new beginning.

01 September 2009 18:59:08
A new beginning.

A new beginning.

September already. Where has it gone. No summer yet.

I am off tomorrow and I hope to be extending my shady border out more into the lawn, weather permitting. But I don't have anything to plant in the extra bit of space just yet, except a phormium. I really am undecided on what I want. And that bothers me. Because our daylight hours are getting less and less, I feel that I want to do it all tomorrow. But maybe I'll just get the digging done for now and cover it in plastic until I have made up my mind. Normally I buy plants just because I like them, but this is a new beginning. Planning properly is the key to success, I think.

Not as many tomatoes to pick this evening. A sure sign of the coming season. But if I am left with a glut of green tomatoes, I will make a green chutney going by one of Dave and Madeleine's recipes. There are plenty of blackberries to pick so I will leave that until tomorrow too. Havent picked any since Friday. I have a heap of them in the freezer already so I will be using those to make blackberry and apple pie tomorrow. And then freeze the fresh lot.

Just looking at the Aldi catalogue for next week. Selection of autumn plants for baskets, pack of 6 for €5.99, also 6pk of Autumn Heathers for €6.99 and 20 spring bulbs for €1.99 14 varieties to choose from, including: Tulip, Dwarf Narcissi, Crocus, Puschkinia, Allium, Anemone or Muscari. All of these are on sale Thursday 10th September.

Thats it for tonight.


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