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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal November 2009

Last Post 2915 days 23 hours ago

orchids

30 November 2009 21:14:41
Oncidium or Dendrobium?

Oncidium or Dendrobium?

For Rachel.

In denial!

30 November 2009 18:52:31
In denial!!!!!!!!!!

In denial!!!!!!!!!!

Freezing out there all day. Good job I had my handwarmers in my gloves and 2 pairs of really fluffy socks. All the bedding was frozen solid with the heavy frost that we had overnight. It didnt actually thaw out until about 3 o'clock.

Ok now comes the hard part:

My Name is Jacinta. And I am an ...........   ooooh I just can't say it. Ok maybe I couldnt consider myself an ............ just yet as I only own 4.  But I am finding them more appealing by the day. Lets see if I can keep these 4 alive. Bought some saucers and re-did the orchids just now.

I succumbed to another one today.

The Last of the Crocusses!

29 November 2009 19:20:24
Welcome Planter

Welcome Planter

I have been glued to this computer all day, getting one big pain in my butt. So here is the sum total of my gardening for the day. I have just planted the last of my crocusses(all yellow) into this little planter that I bought in Atlantic 2 yrs ago. I replant it every season.

I like this one!

29 November 2009 13:23:56
HEATH SPOTTED ORCHID

HEATH SPOTTED ORCHID

Dactylorhiza maculata

A plant of lime-free soils, it grows on peaty hummocks on top of limestone; local but frequent on high ground in the Burren; frequent on Inishmore. Common in Ireland especially on peaty soils. It can flower as early as late May.

Not to be confused with common spotted-orchid.

Precipitation!!!!!!!!!!!!

29 November 2009 09:18:49
Some fruit and veg

Some fruit and veg

I wont use the 'r' word. But it is bucketing down right now. I wont get much done in the garden today so I better look after my houseplants. On the right you can see my fruit and veg set-up. The pots for the blueberries only cost €2.49 each. But the window boxes cost 22 euros. The window box with the visible greenery has winter lettuce in it (Arctic King) and the others contain my onions, and spring bulbs. In the black trough I have Radicchio, which is used in chinese cooking, or it gives a bit of oomph to mixed salads. It goes redder later on in the season.

How about THIS for a laugh!

29 November 2009 08:19:34
What a joke!

What a joke!

To the right, you can see what a bumper crop of carrots I got. Ha ha. The ones in the foreground are no bigger than my thumb nail. And no, there ISNT one for every member of the audience. Ha ha. Next years' will be better, I hope!

I can resist ANYTHING but temptation!

28 November 2009 15:39:42
Primroses with Zantedeschia

Primroses with Zantedeschia

It has been very cold here all day, and extremely foggy. I can only just make out my back wall. It's going to be a hard one tonight. I went off to do the shopping.

 Normally I just go to my nearest Supervalu, but not today. Aldi have extended their premises in Coolock so I had to go and have a look. Pretty impressive. And of course, there were loads of Amaryllis left. When the Christmas-Get-Together was decided, I swore I would buy no more plants until maybe that day. I LIED!!! AGAIN!!! I can resist ANYTHING but temptation! But I was good, and only bought the one. I also bought a big bucket of fat balls for the birds. The other day I was saying to someone what good value Aldi were for their bird food. These were only12.99, (I forget where the euro sign is).   I filled up my feeders and hung out a few of these balls. The birds flock to them.

Got home and out to the garden, well wrapped up. Opened up the greenhouse for a bit of ventilation and a light watering of everything. Removed all the leaves from the peach trees. Then I removed more lower foliage from sprouts. I can't believe how many little sprouts are actually on one plant. Please, please, please let them be ready for Christmas Day. Steve's parents will be over for dinner. I did a bit of tidying up and shifted some pots around to make it look more organized. I also planted the primroses into the pot with the Zantedeschia. It looks a lot better now. I also checked my cuttings and seedlings in the coldframe, and gave them a watering. Fran, the other plant I gave you was a Lychnis coronaria (the silver leaved one).

I have just planted my Amaryllis, can't wait for this. I love them. Also the Hyacinths that I got in Homebase last Saturday are peeping through already. It looks like they will catch up with my other ones after all. I am updating my nov 09 album. And we are in the lead with the rugby. Steve is going to have a coronary in there. He is screaming at the tv. Ha ha.

Let's bypass Winter

28 November 2009 09:11:08
Dracuncula vulgaris 28.11.09

Dracuncula vulgaris 28.11.09

God I hate winter. Although I love Christmas. All the fuss and frivolity. And spending hard-earned cash gives me the best buzz. But I wish I could wake up tomorrow to Spring. I have just been out in the garden (still in pj's), it's freezing out there. There is a very thick fog. I was just looking at what needs to be done. I checked on my Dracunculus vulgaris (Dragon Arum) and I am still wondering where I will plant this. I don't want to plant it all the way down the garden. Ok it stinks. So what! It is definitely going to be a thing of beauty. So if I cant find a place up close to the house, I will just plant it into a pot. Then if somebody objects to its unbearable aroma, I can move it. Or they can stay indoors, but they will no doubt miss out on the beauty and fascination that this weird and wonderful plant can provide us with.

Here's how it looks this morning. Doing well!

 

Rules !

27 November 2009 23:49:35
Party Time!

Party Time!

Let's make just one rule for our Festive Meeting. Everyone must wear a Santa Hat or suitable festive headgear. Ok?

My Best Friend!

27 November 2009 19:59:19
Heat Pads

Heat Pads

Nothing gardening to report today. It was a cold one. I just want to show you my Best Friend while working outdoors in cold weather. These are sachets containing  some sort of chemical that is activated when you shake them up. They slowly become nice and warm and fit into your gloves. Great for any outdoor activity in really cold weather. And they stay warm for up to 4 hours. They were certainly MY BEST FRIEND today. Brrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I am now in my pj's on the couch. There is a big open fire blazing. Toes are really toasty and drink in my hand. And it is FRIDAY!!!!!  The Late Late Toy Show later. Cheers Everybody!

 

WHO SAID THAT I DIDNT KNOW HOW TO RELAX. HEE HEE HEE

Done and Dusted!

26 November 2009 20:12:47
Onions 'Snowball'

Onions 'Snowball'

Well, I couldnt just sit there and look at the empty window boxes, could I? All onions are planted now. 4 window boxes in total. And each of them has spring colour in them too. These window boxes are just over 3ft each, so that should keep us going for a while. The only bulbs I have to plant at the weekend are the anemones (mixed, and de Caen).

Now I am going to relax!

Feeling Lazy!

26 November 2009 18:23:22
50c each for primroses

50c each for primroses

There was a biting wind in the garden centre all day. I was going to wear my woolly hat but then I get 'Helmet Hair' and a girl's got a reputation. Ha ha. So instead I wore a hoody under my fleece and just pulled up the hood. I still got 'Helmet Hair' and had to go shopping for the dinner after work. Jesus what must they think of me.

Tonight I am going to be lazy. I am getting out my sketchpad and ink and I am going to do a rough draft of what I want for my front garden. I bought 2 more big window boxes and hopefully at the weekend I will get the rest of my onions into them. I also bought primroses for 50c to plant in my container where the Zantedeschia is. I just bought 3 as there are hostas in that container too and I dont want to disturb them too much. That corner could do with a bit of colour right now. And maybe, just maybe, I could have a Friday Feeling...........maybe not on a Thursday. We'll see.

 

Front Garden Make-over

26 November 2009 07:38:36
Hebe cuttings

Hebe cuttings

Throughout the whole summer, and indeed since joining garden.ie all my gardening efforts have gone into keeping the back garden looking good. And as a result, my front garden is now totally neglected (Fran will tell you that). I don't pay much attention to the front, as I reverse in every day and just walk into the house without casting a second glance.

My New Years' Resolution is to concentrate a lot more on what my front garden says about me. OH MY GOD. It says maybe 'Squatters Residence' or 'Rented Property'. I shudder to think what my neighbours are saying about me. Ha ha.

Anyway, this morning I took a few more cuttings. This time I did Hebe Elliptica 'variegata'. This has lovely variegated foliage and purple flowers. I also have some Fuchsia cuttings and Abelia to go into the front. Getting there. We have great plans for this area next year.

Fresh or Artificial?

25 November 2009 21:28:44
Christmas Wreath

Christmas Wreath

Every year I try to decorate my house with fresh foliage from the garden for Christmas. I bought a fresh wreath years ago but when the foliage died off, I kept the ring that it was all attached to. So now each year, I do my own. It's a lot cheaper as I can usually get plenty of stuff from the garden. But I have artificial berries to attach also. I have a holly but never any berries. The main reason I do my own though, is because I love the scent. You can smell it as soon as you come through the door. And the smell of a real tree..........oh yes.

I also usually do my own garland for across the mantelpiece. But last year, I opened up my real fire again, after having a gas fire there for years. Now the foliage dies off much quicker because of the open fire. So I just decorate the mantelpiece with candles and pot pourri.

 Do other people decorate their houses with fresh greenery for Christmas?

P.S. THIS WREATH HAS BEEN DOWNLOADED FROM INTERNET

Zantedeschia

25 November 2009 19:29:23
Zantedeschia foliage

Zantedeschia foliage

Has anybody ever seen the foliage of Zantedeschia in all its glory so close to December? I had this planter full of foliage of hostas and zantedeschia throughout the summer and all the different colours and textures were gorgeous. I thought that I was going to end up with a bare pot for the winter. Not so! As you can see. I should really put some primroses into it now for some colour.

I have my onions planted now, but could really do with another 2 window boxes. But at €20 each, it will end up too expensive. So Liga or Mairin or Fran, if any of you care to give them a go, I have plenty left. They are yours for the taking. FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED. Just let me know. It would be a terrible shame to waste them, and I don't think they would last until next years planting time.

Still planting bulbs

25 November 2009 17:58:03
Onion-planting in window boxes

Onion-planting in window boxes

Ok it is getting REALLY late in the year, and I haven't even planted all my bulbs from Mr. Middleton yet. I bought 2 big window boxes today, so after dinner Steve will have to drill drainage holes in them, and I will plant the onions (Snowball) that I got in Johnstown Garden Centre at the weekend. I hope a windowbox will be suitable because I am NOT going to get a chance to dig another bed. On top of them, I will be planting mixed crocusses. So Spring colour and summer harvest. Not bad!

I also have Puschkinia, Allium Oreophilum, Triteleia and Anemone 'blanda' to plant. If I get the chance after doing the onions, I will plant these. And it will ALL be done in the kitchen!!!

Countdown to Christmas!

25 November 2009 08:28:42

Early Night

24 November 2009 21:36:17

Libraries

24 November 2009 18:35:42
Library Weather

Library Weather

Ok this seems to be the weather for posting albums of our Libraries. Head Gardener posted an album of a very substantial Library earlier. Wow. Bill, with all those books, where do you get the time to do any gardening.

I just created mine. Check out ' My Other Gardening Books' Album 

Succulent Arrangement

23 November 2009 19:33:40
Succulents

Succulents

Just finished planting up a terracotta bowl with a selection of succulents that I bought yesterday in Johnstown Garden Centre. I am not sure that I like the painted echeveria but it will wear off eventually and look more natural.

 Now, where the hell am I going to put them?

3 into 1 WILL go!

23 November 2009 18:36:54
3 into 1 Will go!

3 into 1 Will go!

Not a bad day in between showers. Mild enough too.

Yesterday I made up an arrangement of aquarium plants in an old fish bowl. But because there is such little space left in the house, I decided to put them into 3 smaller containers this evening, which could be dotted around the house into smaller corners. My indoor plants are taking over.

As you can see, these 2 vases and 1 storm lantern are more suitable.  They remind me of the colours of jelly. Mmmmmmmmmm

Water Plants

22 November 2009 21:24:31
Change according to the season

Change according to the season

Very easy to make up this small arrangement of aquarium plants and combine it with different coloured  glass marbles and/or stones etc. to suit your own decor, or change it according to the season, whatever......

Mine is in an old fish bowl. But when I see something better, I will change it. It will do for now though.

Johnstown Garden Centre

22 November 2009 17:20:42
Lithops arrangement!

Lithops arrangement!

We were lucky enough to be able to get out this morning and headed off to Johnstown Garden Centre. This was my first visit and it definitely won't be my last. Great selection of plants there. I initially went there just to buy Lithops (Living Stones) and came back with a lot more than that.

I bought a selection of succulents, Rhipsalis, Stags Horn Fern (platycerium bifurcatum). They had no aquarium plants there so I went to Whackers Petshop in Donaghmede on the way home and got 2 there.

Came home and made up that arrangement with coloured glass stones, and the water plants. Pleased enough with that. Then I made up a terracotta container and planted up my Lithops. They look terrific. Over the moon with them. All of this makes up for my disappointment with my 'dwarf' carrots. Ha ha. And not to be put off growing my own, I also bought some beet chard and a pack of onion sets 'snowball'. I will add some photos to my nov 09 album.

EMBARRASSMENT!

22 November 2009 14:16:15
EMBARRASSMENT!

EMBARRASSMENT!

Oh My God, I am leaving this site. I am so embarrassed with the results of my carrots. I will NEVER be able to show my face again. Here is the result of my ignorance! And I suppose they are ALL miniature carrots. No point in hoping that there will be any harvestable sizes in this container. I can only presume that I didnt sow them thinly enough.

I WONDER IF I THIN THEM OUT NOW, WOULD IT BE TOO LATE FOR THEM TO GROW TO A DECENT SIZE?

The Calm before the Storm!

22 November 2009 08:16:56
DO THEY LOOK READY YET?

DO THEY LOOK READY YET?

I was expecting to wake up this morning and look out upon a  deluge. But funnily enough, everything looks quite normal out there. And all the pavements are dry, and look lovely and clean. I wonder...maybe the worst is yet to come.

IS THIS THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM!

JOHNPLOTMAN OR CHILIPEPPER, HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN TO HARVEST MY CARROTS. I THINK I SOWED THEM IN AUGUST. DO I LOOK OUT FOR SIGNS OF DYING FOLIAGE, OR WHAT. I DON'T WANT TO DISTURB THEM JUST YET TO HAVE A LOOK, AS I AM ALSO WONDERING WILL THIS ATTRACT CARROT ROOT FLY EVEN AT THIS LATE STAGE? IS IT CORRECT IN THINKING THEY SHOULD BE HARVESTED ROUGHLY 12 WKS AFTER SOWING? ALL ADVICE WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.

Fragrance to die for!

21 November 2009 23:20:59
Hyacinths doing well!

Hyacinths doing well!

I will now have 8 hyacinths flowering indoors (hopefully) for Christmas. I just adore the scent. The ones I placed on hyacinth jars are doing well. I just hope the ones I got today will catch up. But then, I suppose it would be best if they are staggered. Actually, now that I think of it, the ones I bought today will probably end up flowering before the older ones, as these ones are prepared for indoor flowering.

Family Commitments!

21 November 2009 19:10:02
New white Hyacinth and red and white glass marbles

New white Hyacinth and red and white glass marbles

Well, I wasn't going to get much gardening done today, so I decided to go up and clean Dad's house. Are all men blind when it comes to necessary housework? Only home now. Although he did treat me to a lovely 'Biker's Breakfast' so at least I don't have to cook dinner. I guess Steve will end up getting chinese.  While me and Dad were out, we took a quick trip into Homebase and I bought some lovely things for Christmas. I also bought another Hyacinth in a lovely pot. Going to pot that up now.

 And I managed to get red and white glass beads. These are going to be used to make up that arrangement with aquarium plants in a big glass bowl, vase, or fish tank, whichever I lay my hands on first. Hopefully the weather will be condusive to travelling down to Johnstown Garden Centre tomorrow so I can get those Lithops.

Look how dark it is!

21 November 2009 10:34:59
So Dark!

So Dark!

It is 10.33am and all my lights are on downstairs. Look how dark it is outside. And the wind is howling around the house like a banshee! Creepy!

Rain stops play once again!

21 November 2009 08:50:27

Garden.ie members

20 November 2009 15:55:39
Meeting up with Fran!

Meeting up with Fran!

Isn't it funny how gardeners have the 'gift of the gab' Ha ha. I have met a few members from garden.ie and I have NEVER been stuck for words, or NEVER felt uncomfortable in their company. But then, I reckon, gardeners are a breed unto themselves.

This afternoon, I had the greatest of pleasure to meet Fran. Fran came up to my garden, bearing great gifts. He presented me with 2 ferns, one of which I will get possibly 3 from. Also a sumac seedling. I am dying to see the foliage on that next year. He also had another seedling in a pot with the fern. Fran, I can't remember what it is. Please enlighten me. Is it a cotinus? I gave him a tour of my jungle. Thankfully the rain had stopped. No, I am not joking. I wasn't lying about the length of my grass. As you can see, our feet are totally hidden by it.

 But best of all, Fran presented me with his lovely personality, and the ability to chat till the cows come home. Ha ha. Sorry Fran. Take that as a compliment. There is nothing worse than having to DRAG conversation out of people. And his profile picture doesn't do him justice. He looks EVEN better in real life. It felt like I have known him for a long time, and I felt so totally comfortable in his presence. I felt that we were well and truly on the same wavelength. Not just with gardening, but with life in general. Delighted to have met you finally, Fran. May this be the beginning of some long-term friendships.

 

Too much time on my hands!

19 November 2009 21:30:38
Chlorophytum in green and blue crushed glass

Chlorophytum in green and blue crushed glass

I am having withdrawal symptoms. At least when I am in work, I get SOME gardening done, even though it's not in my own garden.

I have had a spider plant rooting in a glass of water in my kitchen for the last few weeks. It's time to plant it up now as it has good healthy roots. But in a different way.

It's not quite HYDROPONICS, as the spider plant is actually planted into a small container of compost, and only hidden by the glass. But it is a little bit different. And if you get the right colour glass, you can pot up your plants to go with the decor of a particular room. You could even do a special red one for Christmas.

Water Plants!

19 November 2009 17:14:12
Water Plants!

Water Plants!

Rarely grown as decorative subjects in their own right, water plants can be delicate and beautiful, offering a wide range of shining colours and fascinating shapes. Water plants are sadly neglected when it comes to selecting houseplants, being used only in fish tanks, where their fine and varied foliage forms are often not appreciated. Many make beautiful and delicate subjects in their own right, and they are best displayed in a clear glass vase. A selection of glass marbles will provide added visual appeal.

Most aquarium shops sell a huge range of water plants, in many different shapes, sizes and colours.

The vase must be placed well away from direct sunlight, which would encourage the growth of unsightly algae in the water. A position in a shady part of the room would be ideal, as would one that was close to a North-facing window, but protect the display with net curtains.

Materials list:

Large glass vase

Glass marbles

Aquarium plants

 

Gardening WITHOUT a Garden!

19 November 2009 15:03:21
Gardening WITHOUT a Garden!

Gardening WITHOUT a Garden!

If you have cabin fever, and just need to be gardening, bring the outdoors inside and make yourself a CACTUS GARDEN. Ok it won't keep you busy for long, but it might make you dream of hot, sizzling holiday destinations.

All you need is a selection of cacti, a broad shallow terracotta container, a few stones of different shapes and sizes, gravel and compost.

Line the bowl with gravel for good drainage

Mix coarse sand and soil-based compost in proportions 1 part sand: 2 parts soil. Spread this over the gravel. Remove plants from pots with paper wrap. Experiment with arrangements. Dig a small hole in the compost and insert cactus. Firm around the base. Place a few stones with interesting shapes and colours in between the cacti to simulate a more natural setting. Water the cactus garden sparingly to prevent the roots rotting.

Hey Presto!

Lithops!

19 November 2009 09:21:52
Lithops!

Lithops!

I have just been on the phone to Johnstown Garden Centre. Guess what? They still have plenty of Lithops for sale. They come in 9cm pots and are priced at €6. Guess where I will be going at the weekend!

Phalaenopsis

19 November 2009 08:47:33
Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis

I have my Phalaenopsis on the mantelpiece in my living room. This morning I discovered a flower that had fallen off overnight. On closer inspection, I noticed little black spots of mould. The 2 remaining flowers also have spots of this mould on them, but not as many. Am I being an over-protective parent? Maybe this is nothing to worry about.

 I wonder if any of you ORCHID EXPERTS can tell me what ails this plant.

 

New Life!

19 November 2009 08:31:54
New growth on Aloe!

New growth on Aloe!

When I pulled this aloe from its parent plant in Lanzarote, I really wasn't very hopeful that it would grow here. I wasn't too fussy about how I acquired a piece of it and just snapped it off with no obvious growing point. But I was proved to be wrong. Just look at the new growth in the centre. Wahoo! You see! It pays to chance your arm.

Orchids galore!

18 November 2009 20:52:52
Orchids galore!

Orchids galore!

BRASSIA ARANIA VERDE

The brassias are the well-known spider orchids, so called for their extraordinarily long, thin petals and sepals which are held out stiffly. The lip is large by comparison, but also narrow and pointed. The flowers are extremely fragrant, and are produced in long sprays of up to 10 blooms. They are largely green, as seen here, with rich chocolate-brown barring along the petals and sepals. The plant resembles an Odontoglossum, with which genus it will interbreed, and has robust pseudobulbs and two broadly oval leaves. The flower spikes appear in late spring as the pseudobulbs mature, and the blooms will last for 5 - 6 wks in intermediate temperatures. This hybrid was raised in 1990.

So many orchids that I have never even heard of in this book: 'Introducing Orchids' by Wilma and Brian Rittershausen. But then, my knowledge on Orchids is VERY basic.

Lithops

18 November 2009 18:53:37
Lithops (Living Stones, Split Rocks)

Lithops (Living Stones, Split Rocks)

There is little argument that living rocks are the most unusual succulents in the world. They were not discovered until 1811, when a plant collector noticed that some of the stones underfoot were not stones at all, but living succulent plants.

Lithops are not difficult to grow provided you follow their natural growth cycle. In late winter and spring, new leaves push up through the cleft between the bodies. The new leaves take up the moisture and nutrients in the old leaves, so the plants need no water during this time. Do water them a few times in late spring, after the old leaves have shrivelled away. Then allow the plants to become quite dry through summer. In autumn, flower buds may emerge from the cleft provided the plants are fully mature. This is a good time to water the plants lightly for several weeks. Then let them rest again through winter, until the life cycle begins anew.

I have always found these little gems extremely fascinating so I think I will try and source some. If anybody knows of any Irish suppliers, please let me know. I wonder if Jack has every tried to grow these?

Just what the doctor ordered!

18 November 2009 17:49:40
All these books for €42.95

All these books for €42.95

I was up and out by 10.00am. Took a trip into city centre and picked up some great bargain books in Chapters, Parnell Street. As Chilipepper informed me, upstairs houses second-hand books. Selection was quite good and I got 6 books altogether. Then I headed up to Mr. Middletons and bought myself a gojiberry bush. While in there, I spotted amaryllis for sale for a princely sum of €8.99. Eh no thanks, Lidl for €2.99. Pity they are all gone though. Not to worry. I have enough to keep me going for the winter. I was almost tempted with a mushroom kit, but having bought one earlier in the year in Homebase, I decided not to bother. Anyway the bag on my back was heavy enough.  Nothing happened with my Homebase mushrooms, so I won't be trying them again in a hurry.

 

 

Christmas Dinner

17 November 2009 20:42:05
Hopefully they will ready!

Hopefully they will ready!

I was inspecting my brussels sprouts today, along with the cabbages. I hope the sprouts will be ready for Christmas Dinner. They are doing really well. I think the cabbages will be a bit while longer though. Tomorrow I might get myself a gojiberry bush in Mr. Middletons. Chilipepper, I sowed my carrots (I think) in August and I am not sure when to harvest them.

Few days rest!

17 November 2009 18:45:07
Mr Middletons bulbs waiting to be planted

Mr Middletons bulbs waiting to be planted

My wrist has been giving me a bit of bother in the last couple of weeks. So I made an appointment to see the doctor this evening. I was getting a bit concerned as when I injured my wrist in work, it did actually get better when I strapped it up. But the relief was short-lived. However, after a thorough examination today, the doctor told me that I just had tendonitis. So with anti-inflammatories and complete rest, I should be a new woman soon.

Now all I have to do is stop myself doing too much in the garden for the next few days while off sick. I still haven't got round to planting Mr. Middletons bulbs. And I have a few shrubs to plant also. Plus cutting back, sweeping, tidying etc etc. And maybe if we're lucky enough to get a good dry day, I could mow the grass. It's like a jungle.

Sorbaria sorbifolia 'Sem'

15 November 2009 19:08:53
Sorbaria sorbifolia 'Sem'

Sorbaria sorbifolia 'Sem'

This is a striking ornamental with eye-catching leaf colourings. Young foliage is orangey yellow. Later, this turns a beautiful pale green. The leaves are lacineated. Flowers during July and August, producing creamy white blooms. Deciduous and winter hardy. Grows to 1m. Attractive shrub for display in a smaller garden or for use in a planter or beds of shrubs. Likes sun and semi-shade. 

Does anybody have this in their garden. I was thinking of getting one. Actually, it looks quite similar to a Sumac.

Tidying up

15 November 2009 17:31:12
Crocus bulbs in strawberry planter

Crocus bulbs in strawberry planter

It turned out to be a great day. Temperatures weren't too bad either. I potted up the crocus bulbs finally, into the strawberry planter. I put 2 bulbs in each hole. And 4 or 5 into the top opening. They should look good when they are in flower. I swept the patio and hosed it down. Looking at it now I realize that it needs to be power-hosed. That will be a job for next weekend. I gave the sprouts and cabbages a good watering. All the rain we have had in recent days wasn't really enough. And the bulky foliage stops the rain getting to the roots. And I believe that sprouts need PLENTY of water while they are still small. Then I watered everything in the greenhouse. I am thinking to myself that I should really pot on the Cycas revolutas that I got in Lanzarote. But that will be next weekend too.

I potted up my new Camellia. I gave 2 of the other ones a feed of sequestered iron about 3 wks ago. It seems to have done the trick. The leaves are becoming nice and healthy looking again. I have added a few more pictures into my Nov 09 album.

I cut down all my dahlias and roses got a haircut too and pulled up loads of weeds there. Then I gave the whole bed a thick layer of bark chip for winter protection.

AIR PLANTS!

14 November 2009 17:05:47
Airplant display

Airplant display

Coming from the tropical rainforests, Airplants, which take all their nourishment from the air, can create an intriguing and mysterious display without visible means of support.

Materials list

You will need: a large piece of driftwood (Fran, have you got any to spare)

Reindeer Moss

Airplant Fertilizer (like, who knows where THAT is available)

Airplant fine spray mister

Airplant adhesive (???????????????)

chisel

selectin of airplants such as Tillandsia butzii, T. usneoides, Spanish Moss, T. kammii, T. ionantha

Caring for Airplants is straightforward: Spray-misting is necessary, on a daily basis, using a special fine mister sold by Airplant suppliers. It is best to use rainwater, or to soften hard water with one tablespoon of vinegar added per gallon.

Good, indirect light ensures health plants.

Fresh circulating air is essential, especially to ensure that the plants dry quickly enough after misting, to prevent rotting.

Feeding should be carried out sparingly, giving quarter-strength general fertilizer added to the spray once a month in Spring and Summer; alternatively, use Airplant feltilizer as directed.

Sometimes coming up to Christmas you can find these airplant displays on sale at a big fruit and veg market. It's a novelty thing. I bought a few, years ago. They look great. Might be worth googling on airplant suppliers.

 

HYDROPONICS (Just for GISMO)

14 November 2009 16:46:03
HYDROPONICS (Just for GISMO)

HYDROPONICS (Just for GISMO)

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants entirely without soil, which has developed with the increased understanding of the function of plant roots. They have 3 main jobs to perform; they take in essential nutrients, they absorb oxygen, and they keep the plant upright.

By planting in a sterile soil-substitute, typically moisture retentive clay pellets, and supplying nutrients with a specially designed hydroculture fertilizer, many types of plants can be grown in glass containers to provide fascinating displays.

Confessions of a Gardener!

14 November 2009 07:43:35
First task completed

First task completed

Well, as per usual, I was up BEFORE the crack of dawn. Yea even on a Saturday. How sad is that!

 I don't know about anyone else, but with me, it can be a regular occurence bringing a big bag of compost into the kitchen and doing my planting there. I have just done that. I have completed my first task of the day. I planted my 7 blueberries. Now, to get the place cleaned up before anybody wakens up. There is compost all over the floor.

Now for my next job. The cherry tree is already soaking in a bucket. I will have to do that outside, because I forgot to bring that compost in last night and it is VERRRY mucky. Ah we'll have another cuppa first!

Chilipepper, do you think corn would do ok in a big pot? I don't have the space for another bed. I thought if I had just 5 to 1 really big pot that they might be ok. Also I want them for their lush foliage, it's almost tropical looking.  And maybe I could plant the odd one here and there in my borders.

Tomato and Basil Sauce

13 November 2009 19:53:54
Yum!

Yum!

300g/1lb of roughly chopped tomatoes

3 fresh sprigs of basil, torn in pieces

salt

pinch of sugar

HEAT THE TOMATOES WITH A LITTLE SALT IN A COVERED PAN OVER A LOW HEAT FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES, TO SOFTEN. PUT THROUGH A SIEVE AND RETURN TO THE PAN TO WARM THROUGH WITH THE BASIL AND SUGAR. THIS IS A SUMMER SAUCE SUITABLE FOR PASTA OR RICE.

Coughs and sore throats

13 November 2009 18:57:32
Taken from this book

Taken from this book

An infusion of elderflowers will help to cure a throat infection, and a hot elderberry drink is one of the best-known remedies for soothing an inflamed throat and quietening a cough. Simmer the berries, strain, sweeten with honey and drink a wineglassful, hot, 3 times a day. Ginger and cloves simmered with the berries or syrup add their warming, antiseptic properties. Blackcurrants make a good substitute for or addition to elderberries.

All members of the onion family are helpful for treating colds, coughs and sore throats, but the mild-flavoured leek is most acceptable. Cook 2 sliced leeks in a very little water then squeeze their juice through a coarse cloth or press through a fine sieve to make a puree. Stir in honey to taste and eat a spoonful or two when necessary.

Did You Know!

13 November 2009 08:00:05
Did You Know!

Did You Know!

For anybody who has intentions of growing peas and beans for next year:

Pea and Bean crops require less fertilizer than other vegetables because their roots are home to bacteria that take nitrogen from the air and fix it in the soil. Leave the nutrient-rich roots to break down in the soil after harvest.

Expanding Library!

12 November 2009 21:41:42
A long way to go to be as good as Johnplotmans

A long way to go to be as good as Johnplotmans

Today I bought myself two new books for my Library that is NOTHING like Johnplotmans. I wish.....   However, the first is an RHS publication called Vegetables in a Small Garden. The other one is another RHS book called Vegetable & Fruit Gardening. I can feel a very different aspect of gardening coming on! I wonder who we have to blame for this!!!!!!

Pomelo!

12 November 2009 19:32:37
Pomelo!

Pomelo!

Has anybody ever tasted a Pomelo? I hadn't even heard of it until this evening in Lidl. I had to buy one. Did a bit of research on it. It is a citrus fruit native to South East Asia. It is the largest citrus fruit. Other names include Chinese grapefruit, jabong, lusho fruit, pompelmous, or shaddock.

It tastes like a sweet, mild grapefruit and has little or none of the common grapefruits bitterness. The peel is sometimes used to make marmalade. The peel is also used in Chinese cooking, or candied. I wonder is there any point in trying my luck with its seeds!

That what Dad's are for!

12 November 2009 18:42:42
Rubber plant! I don't think so!

Rubber plant! I don't think so!

Dad has just dropped in to me with a pressie. He got it in Lidl during the week. He thought he had bought me a rubber plant, and paid a tenner for it. But he was even more delighted when I told him it was in fact a 'musa'. He doesnt often come bearing gifts, so when he realized it was a tad more exotic than a rubber plant, it made his day! It's in need of a bit of tlc, that's why they were reduced. So I assured him that I would give it what it needs. Bless him! I guess I didn't lick my 'bargain hunting' skills off a stone. Ha ha!

But there is no space left in the greenhouse, so it will have to stay in the house.

Lidl

12 November 2009 18:27:15
Cherry 'Stella'

Cherry 'Stella'

Lidl is not a shop I usually go to, so I decided to go today while shopping for the dinner. A few weeks ago I asked my Dad to get me a 'stella' cherry there, but they were all gone. Guess what I spotted from the corner of my eye? You got it. The very same. Only this one is bare-rooted. It cost €5.99. I couldn't believe my good fortune. I think I Bizzybea has one in her garden and in a pot. That is exactly what I wanted it for. She said the autumn foliage on it is great.

They also had really good size azaleas there. No price on them, and I didnt bother asking. I was so delighted with my cherry tree that I didnt bother.

Valuable Information.

12 November 2009 06:26:35
Mouth-watering!

Mouth-watering!

Well, every now and then, I feel that my journal entries are so pathetic when I read the content of them. Chilipepper, you put us to shame. You ARE an inspiration. I may not embark on some of your projects just yet, but I have added most of your entries on my 'Favourites' for later use. Your latest task, making marmalade, has just had me drooling. I can almost taste it. I really have to be more adventurous, and less lazy. It was great to meet you and Madeline, finally, last night.

Cheers, Dave, for a brilliant job. And for converting so many garden.ie members to growing their own.

Veg and Herb Seeds on Offer!

11 November 2009 19:38:49
Veg and Herbs

Veg and Herbs

I also have Cabbage 'Robinson's Champion Giant', Pea 'Show Perfection', Carrot Navarre F1, Carrot 'Autumn King', Beetroot 'Detroit', Leeks 'Musselburgh',  Turnip 'Purple Top Milan', Garlic Chives, Sweet Basil, Lettuce 'Webbs Wonderful', Lettuce 'Lollo Rosso', Tomato F1 'Sweet Million'.

Seed Swap!

11 November 2009 19:23:27
Anybody want any of these?

Anybody want any of these?

So what seeds have you got lying in a drawer, waiting for a good home? Let's get them in circulation. And keep everybody happy. I have:

Diascia 'Asca Apricot', Antirrhinum 'illumination mix', Swan River Daisy 'Summer Skies', Geranium 'Bedder Mixed',Penstemon 'mixed colours', Aubretia 'whitewell Gem', Lupin 'Russell Mix', Delphinium 'Magic Fountains' mixed, Poppy 'shirley mix', Brompton Stock 'sweetly scented mix', Mesembryanthemum 'Apricot Tutu',Begonia 'Tomfoolery Mix', Malva 'Apple Blossom', Aquilegia 'McKana's Hybrids', Linum 'Sky Blue', Coneflower 'Echinacea purpurea', Gazania F1 'Daybreak Bright Orange',Cornflower 'Cottage Mix', Nicotiana 'Sensation Mixed', Nicotiana 'Tinkerbell',  Night-scented Stock 'Evening Fragrance Mix', Rudbeckia 'Autumn Colours', Reseda odorata 'Machet' and Thymus 'serpyllum',  Hollyhock 'Chater's Mix', Sweet William 'Perfume Mix', Penstemon 'Sensation Mix', Sweet William 'Excelsior Mixed', Polyanthus 'Large Flowered Mix',  Leucanthemum x superbum 'Alaska', Hollyhock 'Queeny Purple',  Sunflower 'Ring of Fire'. This is a list of packets of seed that I have. I also have my own seeds in a box which I haven't listed yet. And I will have a separate list of veg and herbs. Will do that later.

Anybody who wants any of these, just let me know.

 

Think Positive!

11 November 2009 07:28:44
Think Positive!

Think Positive!

I often wish, like Spider, that I could hibernate for the winter. I hate it. But think, how many plants need a head-start in the cold to get them going again for another year. Spring will be here before we know it and we will be wondering, once again, where the time went. It seems to pass, in the blink of an eye.

Think, if we DID hibernate, we would miss Santa. Ha ha. And who knows what he has in store for us all. And remember, folks, if we don't believe in Santa, we might end up with a big bag of 'soot'. You younger ones will probably have to ask your parents what soot is! Hi Gismo!

No, it's time to take stock for the coming year and embrace whatever life brings us, hail, rain or snow. Lets just sit back and ponder on the gardening season just gone by and congratulate ourselves on such a successful summer, in spite of the weather. And next year we all promise to be so much better. We cannot BUT succeed. And we all have enough plans and reading material for all our future plans to come to fruition.

Have a nice day!

A New Day!

10 November 2009 06:12:17
A New Day!

A New Day!

Sorry about last night, Folks. You are all so encouraging on this site. Yea, feck the whole lot of them. I have one big thing in my favour,  I LOVE WHAT I DO! And that won't change. So 'It's a new dawn, it's a new day'........... Ta da da da! I forget the rest of the words.

Last night, rather than subject Steve to my bad mood, I went to bed early. And I actually slept. Closed my eyes at 9.00 and woke up at 5.45am. Wow, I can't remember the last time I had 8 hours sleep. I feel like a new person, with a new lease of life. So talk to you all later. And once again, thanks for everything!

Edible Hanging Basket

09 November 2009 08:21:07
Edible Hanging Basket!

Edible Hanging Basket!

Picture on the right is my edible basket just hanging outside the patio door. Uncinia (grass), 2 types of thyme, parsley, and warm yellow primroses.

08.11.09

08 November 2009 08:29:04
Clematis 'Polish Spirit' still flowering today!

Clematis 'Polish Spirit' still flowering today!

Just back in from the garden and had a good look around. Sprouts and cabbage doing really well, I must remove a few of the lower leaves, that are a bit yellow, from the sprouts. Carrots and garlic are looking good too.  Penstemons still have plenty of life in them and look better now than when I planted them a couple of months ago. I wont get much time for the garden today.I hope none of the neighbours saw me out there in my pj's. They might think I have joined the 'pyjama brigade'. Going up for a shower now and getting into my gardening gear so I can get a little bit done before heading out for dinner (Big Brothers 50th Birthday).

Frustrated. But Determined!

07 November 2009 20:56:22
Parachute Plant

Parachute Plant

This not being able to do something without the aid of my children is just doing my head in. I think I have it sorted. Here is a photo of my recent ceropegia (Parachute Plant) just for Liga.

New Computer!

07 November 2009 19:27:41

Orchids!

06 November 2009 23:14:09
Orchid

Orchid

Question: Why do they sell clear pots for orchids when they usually get placed into ceramic pots anyway?

Apple Scab

05 November 2009 18:15:14

Mr Middleton

04 November 2009 20:59:30
Orchid cactus

Orchid cactus

Finally, after having phoned Mr Middleton yesterday for the 3rd time, my free bulbs arrived today. The bulbs that they were offering were Anemone de caen, chionodoxa, sparaxis and allium moly. The anemones came, but they are 'blanda mixed', and instead of chionodoxa I got mixed crocus. I also got puschkinia which were not on the offer and allium oreophilum, which I dont know. Gotta look that one up. And I suppose as a bit of a good-will gesture, they sent triteleia (didnt specify which one so I dont know whether they will be blue, white or cream). Needless to say, I am NOT impressed.

On a lighter note, I succumbed to that ceropegia (Parachute Flower). So now I have to look for a suitable place for this. And my plants that I fed this morning are looking well satisfied with themselves tonight, especially my begonia 'tiger paw' and orchid cactus. They have perked up big time!

Gardening Fix!

04 November 2009 19:55:17
Guzmania

Guzmania

Whats the point in giving out about not having enough daylight hours for gardening. This morning, before heading out to work, I got out in the garden and had a good look around. My sunflowers are miserable looking now so they got pulled up and seedheads brought indoors for drying. I dead-headed my dahlias which are still holding their own for now. And I gave everything in the greenhouse a light watering.

Then I went back in and watered all my houseplants and gave most of them a well-diluted tomato feed. Especially my amaryllis. I also misted my Guzmanias which I have in the bathroom. They are a great little plant, and the flowers last for ages.

Severe Withdrawal Symptoms!

03 November 2009 19:58:02
Cycas revolutas (Sago Palm)

Cycas revolutas (Sago Palm)

Bad weather and family commitments put a stop to my gardening tasks over the weekend. ANd since the clock went back, it is now dark when I get home from work. I seriously need some outdoor lighting in the garden. And in the greenhouse. I cant even take photos of my garden, as my computer went in for an operation today. And my old computer is not recognizing usb connection for the camera. So I have to resort to downloading photos from the internet. What a nuisance! The absence of my computer and gardening opportunities is having such an adverse effect on my mood.

I didnt even enjoy my job today. It was so cold as I was in one spot all day performing tedious tasks. And on top of that, there were very few customers. The day just dragged by.

But on a happier note, in the delivery was also 20 Cycas (Sago Palm). This was the plant that I bought in Lanzarote for €5.20. And it came in today, very same size, priced €14.99. So how's that for good luck.

Unusual Plant!

03 November 2009 18:16:16
Ceropegia (Parachute Plant)

Ceropegia (Parachute Plant)

Has anybody had any experience growing Ceropegia (or more commonly known as Parachute Plant, or Umbrella Flower)? We got a delivery in today, this is a peculiar looking plant. I was between two minds whether or not to buy it. At €14.99 I thought I should do a bit of research on it first. Its Origin is Mozambique to Natal. A member of the Asclepiadaceae family. This is one of the more striking specie of the genus. From fleshy, narrowly fusiform clustered roots. Flowers can measure up to 10cm. Light green to striped green white. Flowers appearing in succession from spring until autumn  - light watering - about once a month (that should suit me) with warm water.

Catching up!

02 November 2009 19:50:45

Not much done!

01 November 2009 17:25:55

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