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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal October 2009

Last Post 3037 days 5 hours ago

No Words!

31 October 2009 18:40:07

Bring on that FRIDAY FEELING!

30 October 2009 06:20:00


29 October 2009 20:40:36


Such growth in only 2 weeks. And growing tip is starting already too.

Still no sign of my free bulbs from Mr. Middleton. I rang them on Tuesday and AGAIN they assured me that they would be going out that day. Never Again! Zoe texted me to say that they had arrived during the day and I raced home at 5.00 to have a look. But my disappointment was soon replaced when I realized that indeed the package was from Deborah Begley. Delighted to be getting my hands on that book.

New tomatoes

29 October 2009 20:23:28


This photo on the right is of the tomatoes I bought on a market stall in Lanzarote. Chilipepper reckons they are Zebra black, or green. They are quite sweet, and firmer than most of the tomatoes I have tasted so far. I have extracted the seeds and will grow them next year. Dave, there are lots to spare if you wish to give it a go!


29 October 2009 19:16:58
Bring back the Sun!

Bring back the Sun!

Garden Centre is a total disgrace. I left the place in tiptop condition before I went on holidays. One member of staff was asked to go out in my absence but refused because the weather was bad. Had it out with Manager this afternoon. I know his hands are tied on certain issues so it's not totally HIS fault. But come on! These are perishable goods we are dealing with. I think the Garden Centre Awards is cancelled for this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But thats ok with me. It seems such a waste of money really.

Finished at 5 today. Dark when driving home so that put paid to any plans I had for the garden, AND it was lashing. That hour going back is a right bummer! Now I am going to have to wait for weekends to get anything done.   :(


Problems with logging on to Garden.ie

29 October 2009 07:33:17


Didn't get any gardening done after work yesterday as Steve's Mam and Dad called up. And then it got too dark for the garden. Couldn't log on to this site all night so I gave up at midnight. I made some brown bread and had a lovely supper with my chutney. I bought a lovely Camellia in work 'Anticipation' so at the weekend I will have to plant that. It's lashing out here now so that'll save me watering this evening. I pay particular attention to watering issues with my Camellias at this time of year. Lots of buds on all of them at this stage.



27 October 2009 23:01:02


Here you go. My FIRST EVER batch of chutney! Talk about FIERY, hoo, it'd blow your head off.

Seeds from Lanzarote!

27 October 2009 19:58:28
Selection from Lanzarote!

Selection from Lanzarote!

Here is what I got in Lanzarote. I wasn't actually expecting to get anything good. When I visited the Garden Centre, I forgot to look for seeds. But these were either bought in the Market in Teguise, or Duty Free in Lanzarote. So I think I did ok.


27 October 2009 19:10:35


The garden didn't look too inviting today, so apart from having a quick look around, I didn't do very much outside. I planted garlic last Saturday before I went away and it's coming up already. Also the broad beans. Watered everything in the greenhouse and checked on seedlings.

Visited Dad and shopped. Came home and made chutney. Years ago chutney was used to get rid of any leftover foodstuffs, but this one has cost me a fortune today.

4oz ginger, peeled and chopped

2 1/2 lbs of eating apples

2 1/2 lbs of cooking apples

2 lbs of brown sugar

2 tablespoons salt

lots of peeled and chopped garlic

1 lb of raisins

2 pints of malt vinegar

Mustard seed (couldnt get these anywhere)

4 1/2 lbs of tomatoes, (most of my green ones turned red over the last week so it was a mixture of green, yellow and ripe ones).

Chopped chillies

2 lbs onions, peeled, and chopped roughly

Put everything into food processor

Now it is simmering away for another 3 hrs.

It smells divine!

I don't know whether to chance my Cyca outside for the winter, with protection, or in the safety of a centrally heated house. But I guess I want it for outside, so I better let it acclimatise to our weather first before I put it out.


Green green grass of Home!

27 October 2009 08:39:53
Differen variety of tomatoes

Differen variety of tomatoes

It's good to be back. Late last night getting in. I Just had time to flick quickly at a few journals. Looks like all have been busy. We had a ball, and caught a few good rays. Also we got to visit a garden centre (I never realized there would be one there). I was very pleasantly surprised. The plant quality was excellent, also growing conditions. So much space is given over to each plant. It puts our garden centres to shame. And overhead misting during business hours, regardless of customers. I bought myself a Cyca there and was hoping there would be no problem getting it through customs. Also bought some seeds to try for next year, a sweet italian pepper, an heirloom water melon 'sugar baby', melon, and Petroselinum crispum 'parsley'. 

Went to visit a market in Tequise, great selection of all kinds of everything, and visited the vegetable stall where I bought a bag of tomatoes of a different type. Looking forward to eating these, and saving seed for next year. Dont know which ones they are, maybe Chilipepper could help on this one.

Ok Have lots of washing to catch up on, and shopping for vitals. Hopefully I will get a bit of time in the garden today, although its looking pretty miserable out there. Back in to work tomorrow.


19 October 2009 06:10:50


18 October 2009 20:05:48
Great for Hay-fever Sufferers!

Great for Hay-fever Sufferers!

Had great intentions of getting lots done in the garden today. But with In-laws dropping in unannounced, and my own family, time just flashed by. But I made sure to plant Jacks Lilies into the border before heading off tomorrow.  And the campanula given to me by a friend.

This photo is not my Sunflower, just an image from a book.  "Did you know that sunflowers don't produce pollen, so they are perfect for hay-fever sufferers".


18 October 2009 09:29:54


'Kent' is one of a group of roses known as the County Series, which includes other roses such as Suffolk, Wiltshire and Berkshire. Kent stands out from the crowd though, as a ground-cover rose. Bred by Poulsen of Denmark in 1988, it really is exceptionally good and of very high quality. In the early 1990's, it won many awards which highlighted the fact that a ground-cover rose could hold its own among all the other roses being introduced at that time. The flowers are small and semi-double to double, and are a brilliant pure white. It repeat-flowers very well, with flowers continuing throughout the summer. The scent is light and musky and the foliage is small, dark and a glossy green. These dark leaves make a wonderful backdrop to the purity of the white flowers.

Kent looks absolutely fantastic planted 'en masse' and many landscapers use it as ground cover on banks. It's also a super rose for growing in containers and could even be trained to trail over a balcony. It's worthwhile trying other roses from the County Series as they come in a range of colours from cherry-red to soft pink and even bright yellow. They're all exceptionally good but 'Kent' is a great choice for its elegant, long-lasting display.


Easy Living!

17 October 2009 20:37:39
Miniature tulips and tete-a-tete

Miniature tulips and tete-a-tete

Decided to take things easy today. Didn't bother cutting the grass. That was the biggest job on my list for the day. It can wait. Sunflowers are fading fast now. Potted on my blueberry into Brown Gold. I have never used this before so I hope it does what it says on the tin. I also potted up my Leucothoe 'Scarletta' into the same compost. It's a lovely colour at this time of year. I don't know why I never got one until now. I potted up all my tulip bulbs and the tete-a-tete that I got in the plant sale in Glasnevin last Sunday. I also potted up the rhubarb I dug up during the summer. This is ear-marked for Mairin. Mairin, it's looking fine.

 I also planted some garlic into a window box. First time for this so it'll be interesting to see the results. But the good thing about it is, it needs no more attention until Spring. The Lettuce seed that I have had for the last 4 years has actually made an appearance. I was doubtful if it was going to be viable. Nothing happening with the broad beans yet.

Hopefully tomorrow, the grass will get done. Also I have to find a spot for Jacks Lilies and a campanula that a friend gave me about 3 wks ago. And a lavendar, arum, and a shrub that I cant remember what its called because I am on my holidays, if you know what I mean!!!!!!!!! Ha ha!

Oh yea, I have just remembered, it's called Coprosma.

Couldn't resist these!

16 October 2009 22:22:25


It was only by chance I found out today that these Guzmanias were scanning at only €2.99 each. Originally €7.99. Bargain or what? My knowledge on Guzmanias is very limited, so we'll give it a shot. I couldn't resist the cheerful colours.

12.50: ADDENDUM: Guzmania is a perennial plant of the Bromeliad family. It can be finicky to keep happy. It likes acidic soil, add peat and make sure not to use lime. Keep it moist and expose it to humidity relularly ie. in a bathroom.

Time to Let my Hair Down!

16 October 2009 21:09:59


Went to work. Visited Dad. Did shopping. Had sister here after. By the time Sheila and her boys were gone, it was dark. So, I got no gardening done. But, today I bought something especially for RACHEL.

Now it is time to just kick off the boots, and let my hair down! It has officially started!

There IS a God, after all!

15 October 2009 19:41:43
seedlings doing well.

seedlings doing well.

Pet day for working outdoors. No wind, no rain, perfect temperature. What more could a girl ask for! Did my usual essential but VERY tedious chores. Dead-heading, and tidying up cyclamen. I find that this has to be done at least every 2nd day. And it takes forever. But it gives me plenty of time to plan my garden. Customers' spirits were way up today. They are amazed with the kaleidoscope of colours on entering the garden centre. All good comments from customers today. It does the heart good. It makes all the gruelling tasks worth every minute.

Yesterday I had nothing but NEGATIVE FEELINGS about the place. But last nights' marathon sleep sorted all that out. Fighting fit today. And lo and behold, who walked in this afternoon. THE JUDGE! He scrutinized everything in great detail and expressed satisfaction. Phew! There IS a God after all!!!!!!! Now I can go on holidays with nothing but relief and contentment. I did my bit, to best of my ability. But enough of that. It's all over now until next year.

Guess who came calling today? I wish everybody would put their photo on their profile as this puts me at a distinct disadvantage. She recognized me before I even knew who I was dealing with. Ha ha. She's lovely. Very chatty, pleasant, friendly. Mairin, it was a delight to meet you. And guess what, she presented me with a pot of Crocosmia 'Lucifer'. It is going to be great in my 'hot border' with all the orange, yellow and red dahlias. Thanks a million, Mairin. I must root out that rhubarb 'Timperly Early' for you. In fact, this evening I went out to water it. I dug it up earlier and put it into a pot. Every day I thank my lucky stars that I love the job I do. But it can also be a great social opportunity. I have met Clara here, and Jack. And now Mairin. I love it.

This evening I checked on my pansy seedlings. They are doing great.

In need of a Holiday!

14 October 2009 17:53:15
Size 7! Nice one, Jack!

Size 7! Nice one, Jack!

This morning I took a photo of the largest of the bulbs that Jack presented me with yesterday. Just look at the size of it. Size 7. Jack, can you tell me which one it is? I have the very place for it, but that will have to wait until Saturday.

Just in from the garden. Off at 4 today. It's getting a bit chilly in t-shirt sleeves. Just planted my anemones, and an aster (Dasfour) that I bought today. Sprayed my Flower Carpet 'Amber' as it has a bit of greenfly. Flower Carpet 'Gold' is still flowering well. But I don't know whether or not I am disappointed with them as they are quite small.

I don't feel like going on holidays. Judge hasn't been in yet. I am afraid that he will come in when I go away and the place will be like a bombsite. I know that the  Manager won't put ANYONE out there in my absence. And all my hard work will have been for nothing. I am on strike in the kitchen tonight. So I am waiting for dinner to be handed to me. I am worn out today.


13 October 2009 19:27:29
Completed terrarium

Completed terrarium

Yesterday, Jack from Raheny said he might drop up to where I worked sometime this week, as he lives fairly close by. This afternoon he called. I recognized him immediately. And he came bearing gifts. He told us all in a recent journal entry all about the lilies that were taking over his garden. And in he saunters with a plastic bag full of the bulbs in question. I have never seen such big bulbs. I was absolutely over the moon. I just love those lilies.

I gave him a brief tour (all of 2 minutes) of my workplace. It's only a small garden centre, but it is MY castle. I don't know what he thought of it, but I was glad he called in today. Only this morning I had reduced Fuchsias and I knew he was looking for some. I was just hoping that they wouldn't all be sold before he came in. His timing was perfect. I had only just reduced them about 30minutes before he dropped in. It was great to see him. Such a gentleman. Hopefully I will see him there on a regular basis. Once again, thanks a million, Jack.

I bought cloves of garlic in the supermarket this evening. I am going to try and grow them over the winter. I never did this before so before the weekend is upon us I better read up on it.

When I got home, I planted up that terrarium PROPERLY. I also added a Carex 'Everest' and small outdoor ivy. I bought a nicer specimen of Asplenium but it wouldn't fit in the bottle, so put the old tatty one back in.

One more!

12 October 2009 23:29:51
Ernest Shackleton's 'Endurance'

Ernest Shackleton's 'Endurance'

I was so impressed reading all about this expedition that it inspired me to paint 2 pictures of the ship. Here is the second one.

I must make an album with all my paintings. I sold 4 at the exhibition. Did better than I expected.

Shackleton's 'Endurance'

12 October 2009 23:19:49
Ernest Shackleton's 'Endurance'

Ernest Shackleton's 'Endurance'

And here is MY masterpiece.


12 October 2009 20:13:19


Why not try planting up a Terrarium this weekend. At least you don't have to rely on good weather. You will need:

Bottle (the bigger the opening, the better)

Small plants

Potting compost

Sphaghnum Moss

Small pebbles

Activated Charcoal - from pet store

Tools like a spoon or fork for firming plants in

Some kind of decoration (optional)

Place 1-2inches of pebbles or gravel into the bottom. 1 inch of activated charcoal - from pet store. Ina closed environment, this will help filter the environment and keep it clean. This is optional, but will keep your terrarium healthy for longer.

1inch sphaghnum moss - this will separate the soil from the water accumulating down in the pebbles, and prevent root rot.

Several inches of soil - judge this for yourself by how the bottle looks. Filling the bottle so the bottom third is full of soil usually looks just right. Gently add your plants, firm them in with spoon and fork. Surround with more sphaghnum. Before closing it up, tilt bottle slightly and dribble water down the inside of the bottle to avoid dislodging the plants. A bottle terrarium is a closed environment and can be sensitive to water and light, so once it is first made you will need to monitor it closely for the first few days. Pay particular attention to the moisture level inside. Make a top for the bottle, a piece of cork made to measure is ideal. If the moisture level is too wet, leave the top off for a day or so, to dry some of it out. If the moisture is right you may only need to water it once a month.

No fertilizers should be used as you want very slow growth. The plants are almost in a state of suspended animation.


Brown Gold!

12 October 2009 18:38:29
Leucothoe 'Scarletta'

Leucothoe 'Scarletta'

Today I bought 2 new plants to go with my Aroid collection (Dieffenbachia and Philodendron) which I have put into my Aroids Album.

I have a few plants in my garden which require ericaceous compost. And because I don't want to alter the pH of my garden soil, they go into pots. When I was studying, we were told that Brown Gold had very little acidic content. People think it is the same as ericaceous compost. However, last year we got in a pallet of Brown Gold and on the bag it said 'ericaceous'. Now we are getting in pallets of the same Brown Gold and it just says 'soil enricher'. I think I am going to have to take a handful tomorrow and do a soil test. People are very confused. Myself included. Today I bought Leucothoe 'Scarletta' for some good autumn colour. But planting it will have to wait until I test the Brown Gold. We dont have any ericaceous compost in our place as Shamrock won't deliver any less than 7 pallets, and we can't afford that space in the warehouse. If anybody can shed any light on this subject, it would be greatly appreciated.

Plant Sale in Glasnevin

11 October 2009 18:23:23
Our Lady of Dolours Church, Glasnevin

Our Lady of Dolours Church, Glasnevin

Headed off to Glasnevin to a Plant Sale in the Pyramid Church (Our Lady of Dolours). It started at 11.00. Good and early. Nice little set up with a good range of plants on offer. And extremely cheap too. I bought Arum pictum for €5, Aeonium €3, Coprosma 'Fire Dragon' €4, and Lavandula 'dentata' €3, and a bag of 20 daffodils 'tete-a-tete' for €2. Total was €17. You certainly cannot beat that for value. All in mint condition.

 But the highlight of the event was meeting up with Deborah Begley. I recognized her immediately from her profile picture. She certainly stands out in a crowd. An extremely attractive lady, with a very warm and homely personality. And after we were done with the sale, she presented me with my long-awaited babies.  She gave me Amorphophallus 'konjac', Arisaema griffithii, and Dracunculus vulgaris. Now I am a mother all over again. Only, these babies won't answer back, the way REAL children do. Ha ha. She also gave me a free plant (Arisaema ciliatum). Thanks a million, Deborah. It was a pleasure meeting you and Martin.

When I got home, I planted the echeveria that the customer gave me during the week. And my Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln'. I also made up that long window box for the front of the house which I was threatening to do during last week. And if THIS is stolen, I give up. That was enough for one day, considering it is a 'day of rest'.

Begonias For Rachel!

11 October 2009 08:11:45
Begonias in a Pot!

Begonias in a Pot!

Hi Rachel. Here is a photo of my Begonias that I have done NOTHING with in the last 4 years, apart from summer feeds and watering.

Lack of Journal Entries!

10 October 2009 23:17:09
White Nerines

White Nerines

Over the last week I have observed a considerable LACK OF journal entries. Why? The gardening season is NOT over, lads. It has just changed. That is what gardening is all about. Nothing ever stays the same. Otherwise, life would become SOOOOO monotonous. Where is the banter that we had a couple of months ago? Do people replace 'gardening' with a different way of life during the colder months? Am I abnormal? Am I missing out on something? Please let me know! Ok, maybe I need to get out more! Ha ha.

Small but Sumptuous!

10 October 2009 18:45:55


After a bit of retail therapy this morning, I got stuck into clearing the greenhouse of all tomato plants. Still loads of tiny green ones Some are decent sized ones, others are marbles, others are peas. I am not sure if I can make chutney or something else with these. Any advice? It will seem such a waste if I have to throw them on the compost heap. With tomato plants removed, there is more space now to walk around. I was going to plant bulbs, but my wrist prevented me using the trowel properly.  I admit defeat for now.

 Head Gardener mentioned earlier during the summer that his wife had an alpine bed which just seemed to sulk and not do very much. I have to say, I am quite pleased with mine. All plants have filled out. But the little gem of the Alpine Circle is my Calceolaria (Sunset Orange Bicolour). It was flowering when I planted it. I dead-headed it at least 3 times since then. And it is STILL flowering now. And yea it is small, but such a little jewel in the garden, especially at this time of the year. The flowers are so delicate looking. I would have thought that this would be the first to die off. During the week a customer brought in a gift for me (echeveria) and this will be going into the Alpine Circle asap. I have updated my Oct 09 album. And includes last of the toms.

I Got That Friday Feeling!

09 October 2009 21:55:01


Had to do a lot of work on the Fuchsias today. They are looking a bit worse for wear right now. So cleaned them up and then reduced all of them. This is the last 'black spot' in the Garden Centre, in my quest for good results in the Garden Centre Awards. Braved the weather outside until 1.00. Lunch then. After that, indoor plants.

The weather was so depressing here in Dublin that the store was like a 'ghost town'. There was only so much tidying and watering a person could do. Wrist a little bit better, but I didnt put too much strain on it. If I 'couldnt' do it, I didn't!  Persuaded Manager to let me go at 4.00. I felt like a kid on the 'mitch' from school. Did a bit of shopping, came in and had cup of coffee and went up to lie down for an hour. Oh Bliss! My 2 favourite places to be, my garden and my bed. Ordered a Chinese, and watched Gardeners World. Not impressed with it. Content very poor. How come RTE are not broadcasting any gardening programmes. NOW I'm on my Friday Feeling! Ha ha. I reckon I could tackle the world right now. Mustn't overdo it though, I have bulbs and plants to plant tomorrow. Forecast is pretty good. Mustn't waste it.


Moan Bloody Moan!

08 October 2009 20:17:17
Ta da!

Ta da!

Wrist very bad all day. I can't wear gloves for a lot of jobs so, as a result, the bandage became wet and soggy and cold. It even hurt to put 'reduced' stickers on pots. And before anyone suggests it, I WASN'T reducing stuff for myself. Ha ha.

We really take our health for granted. It's only my wrist, for God's sake, and I spent the day feeling sorry for myself. And of course, the day dragged. There was so much to be done, and I was feeling very guilty. Oh what a moan. I plodded through the day doing as much as I could. I managed to get a photo of the gravel area which had the make-over last week (Without the Bamboo Stand in front of it). I am really annoyed that Manager wouldn't go to the trouble of getting someone to put up the Shiplap Fence Panels. I think it would really improve the look of the place. Bought horticultural fleece today. No plants. And fishfood. It was dark when I got home as I had to visit Dad, and then get dinner. So no time for gardening.

Mags in Galway (New member) suggested soaking my wrist in the cooled water from potatoes, so I have that cooling now. It's got to be worth a try. I bought waterproof bandage for tomorrow.


Common As Muck!

07 October 2009 19:17:50
Jumbo  Primroses 6pk for €5.99

Jumbo Primroses 6pk for €5.99

Got great work done today. Lots of deadheading and tlc. I decided I would shift the Bamboo Stand myself, otherwise it wasn't going to get done. I think I strained my wrist in the process, but now the work I did last week can finally be appreciated. I feel it in my bones that the Judge will be in by Friday. I didn't have my camera with me so I will take a photo tomorrow.

Every year I say I won't buy primroses for baskets and containers at home, and every year I buy them. I just can't resist their bright colours. Some say they are common as muck. But I am ALWAYS drawn to them. I will plant them up in a big long window box for the front of the house. It can wait, though. I will just have to take it easy with my wrist for now as I still have 2 more working days.

New Invention!

06 October 2009 20:15:38
Windscreen wipers could be useful!

Windscreen wipers could be useful!

Good excuse today to tend to the indoor plants. They dry up pretty quickly with the indoor heating. Spent all morning cleaning and tidying and watering them. A customer came in to me today with a present. She had dug up a few echeverias and didnt want to dump them, so she hopped into her car and drove over to the garden centre, knowing that I would give them a good home. Wow! Human nature! It never ceases to amaze me. I bought Anemone 'hupehensis 'Splendens' today. Lovely shades of pink.

A delivery of outdoor plants came in at lunch time. And I had enough of being stuck indoors. Manpower was very tight today so I had to haul 6 trolleys in from warehouse. Normally this is done by one of the lads. I don't usually ask for help with my job, but from experience, this is one thing that I totally REFUSE to do. The level of the ground in the warehouse yard is horrific. Last year when I was bringing a delivery in, the trolley got stuck in a pot-hole. And the whole thing just tipped over. 8ft tall. And all the plants hit the ground in slow motion. I was powerless to stop it. So from them on, I WILL NOT do it. However, today NOBODY would help me because they didn't want to venture out in the rain. So I did a couple of trips and brought back small amounts at a time. Before long, the task was completed. But I was hindered by my glasses fogging up all the time. How come somebody hasn't invented wipers for people who wear glasses.

No gardening when I got home. Soaking wet. Had shower, into pj's and stuck heating on. Going to have a read of The Irish Garden, and members journals.

Free Bulbs

06 October 2009 08:29:35
Amorphophallus konjac

Amorphophallus konjac


However, I can now look forward to receiving a nice parcel in the post from Deborah Begley @ terranovaplants@eircom.net.

Weird and Wonderful!

05 October 2009 19:06:11
Arisaema griffithii

Arisaema griffithii

Watered EVERYTHING in the garden this evening. They were bone dry after todays smashing weather. I certainly wasnt expecting it to be that good. Picked a few tomatoes.

Over the last few weeks, I have been in contact with Deborah Begley @ terranovaplants@eircom.net trying to acquire a few different plants. The ones that I have chosen are Arisaema griffithii, Dracunculus vulgaris and Amorphophallus konjac (What Liga would call a 'smelly plant'). When Rachel was getting her Amorphophallus she kindly offered to order me one at the same time. But because I had already contacted Deborah looking for this, I declined the offer. Thanks, Rachel. Deborah has confirmed that she can supply same. If anybody wants some weird and wonderful plants, give her a shout.

Arisaema griffithii has a sinister, wide, dark spathe and sits almost on the ground, under the umbrella made by its two leaves. Each leaf is divided into three diamond-shaped leaflets, darkly veined. The spathe is striped at the bottom, veined at the top, and has 2 flaps either side like an elephant's ears. Between them hangs the long, narrow spadix like the tail of a swallowed mouse. Arisaemas are not carnivorous but you feel you do not want to put a finger too close, just in case. Its flowering season in Apr-May and is fully frost hardy. It grows to 24in. Deer, rabbits and mice leave arisaemas alone, because all parts - tubers, foliage, spathe and spadix - contain an unpalatable oxalic acid.The worst problems come from slugs and snails who are particularly partial to the juicy spears of arisaemas as they come through the ground in summer.

Malus domestica 'Redlane'

04 October 2009 20:08:37
Malus domestica 'Redlane'

Malus domestica 'Redlane'

Not much done in the garden today. Had the In-Laws over. Before they called over, I inspected my sprouts again and actually got down on my stomach to look properly. I can't believe that I didn't spot them until now. Yes, there are tiny little sprouts forming at last. So chuffed with that. Now I can relax.

Did a bit more tidying up today. Patio is looking decidedly bare with a lot of the pots gone over. But all the more room for some winter crops. I sowed some Lettuce 'Arctic King' into a very long window box.  I got this lettuce free with a magazine 'Grow Your Own' which I bought about 3 or 4 yrs ago, so I hope it's still viable. I used to buy this magazine regularly. Can't see it in the shops these days. It was a very interesting magazine. This variety of lettuce is renowned for its exceptional cold resistance. Should be ready for harvesting from April. It seems a long wait. I have another Lettuce 'Winter Gem' to sow but it requires an unheated greenhouse and at the moment, the greenhouse is crammed with plants that require winter protection. Maybe I can shift them into the garage tomorrow. My Raddichio is taking on its winter colour. Looking good. I will post a few more pics into oct 09 album. Have a look at this photo above, red inside. Very delicious. Softish texture, almost like a french golden delicious, but a bit more tart in taste. Delighted with these.

Horrible start to the day!

03 October 2009 19:07:28
Gunnera flower

Gunnera flower

My God, that weather was just awful this morning. I was thinking I might just as well have a 'duvet day'. But it brightened up periodically. Still cold though. And strong gales.

My sunflowers took a bit of a hammering and a couple of branches snapped. Still looking good though. Did a bit of cutting back of honeysuckle just to tidy it up, and kept enough to keep Steve happy. When he's not looking, I will take more off. Ha ha. Examined sprouts for caterpillars. None so far. Surely now they won't be as abundant as during the summer months? No? No sprouts yet. When should I expect them to start forming? Pulled some radishes. Pulled up a good few echiums down the end of the garden. Better to pull them now rather than wait until next year when I HAVE to wear gloves. Awful prickly to touch. Ouch! Pyracantha is producing lots of berries now. Cleared away a few pots to tidy up patio. Sowed some broad beans 'Aquadulce' into a big pot on the patio and put a wigwam of canes in place. Didn't get the chance to cut the grass after all that rain this morning. It can wait. I cut back a lot of Gunnera leaves. Left a few there for winter protection for some of the bigger echiums. Dahlias are still looking good. Posted a few more pics into oct 09 album. Have the heating on full blast and I'm going to dial for a chinese and have a beverage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


02 October 2009 23:01:26

Word of Approval!

02 October 2009 20:32:42
Finished. For Now!

Finished. For Now!

Was beginning to think that Manager didnt give a sh..... about the garden centre. It wasnt until about 4 o'clock that he ventured out into the great outdoors. Told him I wasnt impressed with the lack of action in Garden Centre, i.e erecting fence panels. But I can understand that the garden centre is not his ONLY responsibility. Fence panels will probably never happen. C'est la vie. I gotta get over it. But it minimised all the back-breaking work I did there since last Friday. I can safely say that I am happy with my end of it. I only hope that he will NOW get the 2 stands of bamboo canes shifted from in front of this area. I cant get a proper photo with them in place. I also added Bergenia to this area, and 2 small conifers. I will be going on holidays in 2 weeks, and he tells me that the Judge will DEFINITELY be popping in before then. Couple more photos in ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE album. Manager has asked me to paint the shelves next week. Didnt get the opportunity to do anything in the garden this evening.



Done In!

01 October 2009 19:47:51
So far!

So far!

Manager was supposed to see that 'someone' erected 3 6x6 fence panels at back of the gravel area. I had my doubts if that would ever happen. I have wasted nearly a full week, waiting for someone else to do their bit, before I could successfully improve this area. So I took the bull by the horns this morning when I went in. Armed with an axe and a shovel, I hacked away at the planks of wood. Even though they were pretty rotten, they were a bitch to take up as they were wedged in all around with 2x1's. Ooo my back is feeling it now. And because it wasnt my own garden, I couldnt afford to make much of a mess doing it. Had to take all this wood out to the skip and lob it in, with as much strength as my poor aching biceps would allow. Nails and splinters all over the place.

A lot of what I thought was soil, is actually sand. So I had to rectify that by adding 500 litres of compost and 2 bags of topsoil and work it in. I planted Phormium, Bamboo, cortaderia 'Splendid Star', Rudbeckia, Libertia, Pachysandra, Miscanthus, Heuchera, and put in 50 daffs. Then to the front of the bed, I planted wallflowers and primroses, which can be replaced according to the seasons. Topped the whole lot with 2 bags of barkchip. The reason I planted it up with ordinary run-of-the-mill plants is WE have to sell them. It doesn't look like I did much, now that I can see the photos, but believe me, you should see the dirt of my t-shirt after all that. Not happy with it yet. Log roll has to be fixed and straightened and the pots will have to be moved around. If Manager still wants to get someone to erect the fence panels, I will KILL them if they walk all over the plants.  On top of that, I was keeping customers happy all day and had to check for watering issues. We have an irrigation system  in place, but not all areas operate as expected. I managed to get all the roses cut back and soil topped up, and sprayed them for black spot.

Barely had time to water my own tomatoes when I finished dinner this evening. I did it in semi-darkness. Too dark to take any pics. Wrecked. I put a couple more photos into ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE album.



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