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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal May 2010

Last Post 2731 days 20 hours ago

No Gardening This Evening

31 May 2010 19:49:46
Great Dixter

Great Dixter

Felt rotten with a sore throat when I got home. Went up for a nap. Came down with a throbbing earache. So no gardening done this evening. Hopefully I can get an appointment to see the doc tomorrow.

One Last Time

31 May 2010 06:16:10
Cucumber 'Crystal Apple'

Cucumber 'Crystal Apple'

I have sown 3 lots of cucumber so far this year (Crystal Apple). They all perished. Sowed a 4th lot 2 weeks ago. Have germinated. This evening I will pot them on and get them into the greenhouse. They need to get up and running asap. So the extra heat should make all the difference. Won't do them again this year if these ones fail. So fingers crossed.

Customer turn Friend!

30 May 2010 22:14:44
Michael's Garden

Michael's Garden

Was in work all day. But before I headed off, I tied up my mangetout, sweetpea that Myrtle gave me, and Radishes. Very time-consuming indeed. Did a bit of dead-heading. When I got home from work I got all the stuff that I bought in England planted. Happy camper. While in work today, someone called in to say hi. It was actually a customer of mine when I worked in Homebase years ago. When I made the move to where I am now, he brought his custom to me. Lovely that. He drops in occasionally just to say hi. He is into model ship building, something that Steve is also into. He is always saying to drop in if we are in his neck of the woods. So after doing a bit of planting we went over. Only home now.

I love his garden. Roughly the same size as mine, but he has done so much with it. He has 3 sheds in the garden, all made by himself. He also made a beautiful Dovecote. He has a little pond, filled with water lilies and a bit of a water feature. Plenty of fish too. We were over there last year, fish are huge. I took the liberty of taking some photos this evening. Everything in his garden is done from pure passion of the great outdoors and 'his' space. I was happy to have been able to take the few photos. And Steve came home with a few plans of ships. He was hoping that Michael would have the plan for Shackletons boat 'Endurance'. Will post an album Customer/Friends Garden. Maybe throw out some more ideas.

Wisteria Lane

30 May 2010 08:12:43
€24.99

€24.99

Just got an e-mail from Lidl. Next week Giant Wisteria (Lilac) on offer for €24.99.

It comes in a 24cm pot, Height ca. 90cm. Gotta be worth checking out.

Ok. You Can Stay!

30 May 2010 07:07:08
Doing their job nicely!

Doing their job nicely!

Early in the summer, I was thinking about getting rid of my Geums. Last year they reached a height of maybe 12 inches. But they have grown quite well over the last few weeks. When planting summer bulbs, I decided to put in some Gladioli to kind of hide the compost bin, without blocking it off completely. Obviously I need access to it. But over the last couple of weeks these Geums have surpassed my expectations. Sitting at the dining table now and I can just barely make out the compost bin. Geums are standing at about 4 ft now and have really bulked out, and are lovely just swaying in the breeze. They can definitely stay! For now.

New Poppy

30 May 2010 06:15:17
Papaver 'Ladybird'

Papaver 'Ladybird'

Ok this may not be new to all of you out there, but I was taken aback with its' beauty. As soon as I clapped eyes on it, I remarked to Fran that it looked like a ladybird. And sure enough, when I read the label, it was marked 'Ladybird'. So when we were in Chelsea, I managed to buy some seeds of same. Will sow them on Wednesday. I have until then to decide WHERE!

Apprentice Gardener

29 May 2010 22:33:12
First Cosmos Flower

First Cosmos Flower

Couldn't wait to get out to the garden today for a check-up. Such a spurt in growth in my 4 days absence. Mangetout need taller supports. Sweet pea need tying in AGAIN. Jack's lilies that he gave me last year are ALL up and looking strong. Trailing Verbena and Argyranthemums in a pot are all beginning to flower, and my first Cosmos has flowered. Liga I apologize, your ones that you gave me earlier died when hardening them off. These ones are actually the ones that Greta gave me after that.

Steve took care of everything in the garden. He did all the watering and everything is in order. Toms looking great, Aubergines shooting up, and peppers and chilipeppers are great too. I must go away more often now that I have a reliable Apprentice Gardener. I betcha Maria didn't do so well for Fran? Sorry, Maria.

I hope to be going to Bloom on Saturday with Greta and Steve. We hope to be there at opening time. So if anyone wants to meet up, just say so. If not, enjoy the day.

Wahoo! We have Lift-Off!

29 May 2010 21:49:32
Marrowfat peas

Marrowfat peas

I sowed some peas AGES ago. Nothing appeared, even after about 3 or 4 weeks. However, I couldn't find the rest of the packet in the garage. SO I sowed some dried Marrowfat peas, just for pure Pig Iron. While outside this afternoon, look at what I discovered. Hee hee. So delighted with my new pea seedlings. I might sow 'Marrowfat' from now on.

New 'wish' plant

29 May 2010 19:10:10
Heather, Me and Krista

Heather, Me and Krista

Ok this is just ONE more in a long list. There were Wisterias all over Sissinghurst House and Gardens. The Lilac form was breathtaking. Until I saw the White form. Judge it for yourselves.  I was speechless, like all my comrades.

Arisaemas

29 May 2010 17:18:19

Chelsea Experience

29 May 2010 08:58:08
Arisaema sikokianum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)

Arisaema sikokianum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)

In the Great Pavilion at Chelsea, I was gob-smacked with the array of plants, and the whopping great displays. Nearly fainted with the display of Eremurus (Foxtail Lily), and wondered what the hell was keeping MINE. In recent times I have become besotted with Arisaemas of all kinds. Last year I couldn't get hold of one of them (Arisaema sikokianum, Jack-In-The-Pulpit). At Chelsea, I fulfilled one of my dreams, and acquired a small bulb just coming into growth which cost £10. I was so relieved last night to see that it hadn't been crushed in my bags. Will plant that today at some stage.

 

We're Back!

28 May 2010 22:39:31
Heather (Fraoch), Fran, Bea, Me and Krista

Heather (Fraoch), Fran, Bea, Me and Krista

An experience of a lifetime. I would highly recommend meetings amongst Garden.ie members. But the few days together were 10 times better. They were worth their weight in gold. Built up a real rapport with friends. Merriment Gardens, Nottcuts Garden Centre, Chelsea, Wisley, Great Dixter all stunning. Architecture and topiary there were so astounding. I have come home with lots of new ideas. Wisley Garden Centre was quite expensive. I think Krista is now smitten with Clematis. Watch this space with her :) Krista and myself spent most of the day together. We took the woodland walk, where we witnessed so many different types of Rhododendrons and Azaleas, Handkerchief Tree, Magnolias and so many more.  And the perfume was to die for. And saw an abundance of Arisaemas, and Arums. A few of the plants that I bought over the last couple of days were Arum italicum 'Marmoratum', Pelargonium 'Ardens', Asplenium trichomanes, Eryngium giganteum, Persicaria microcephala 'Red Dragon', Gladiolus communis ssp. byzantinus, Hosta 'Fireworks' and Paeonia miokosewitschii. This morning I had to peel off a lot of the compost around these plants so they would fit into my rucksack.

Good to be back!

Giving up this 'Gardening' lark!

24 May 2010 19:03:58
Now hands that do dishes......

Now hands that do dishes......

Have worked my fingers to the bone all day. Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Hands in and out of water. Lashings of moisturiser. Wow, it's a long time since I had lovely clean nails. So now I have a taste of how the 'other half' live. I may never garden again! Actually the 'other half' employ their own cleaning ladies. Don't they? :)

Sweatin' buckets!

24 May 2010 14:11:40
Sweatin' buckets!

Sweatin' buckets!

That's it. If BizzyBea has any complaints about the lack of hygiene here, tough. What's the point in dusting, it only gives more dust a free space to land again. Bathroom shining like new. But Vacuum cleaner not sucking up any more. Have had to clean carpet on hall, stairs and landing with a wet cloth. My beautiful hair is destroyed. Rivulets of perspiration gushing down my face. Ruined. Need another shower. Hump this for a game of soldiers. BizzyBea, sorry. But that's IT!

On a more positive note, looking forward to seeing you again later. Bring the 'Raybands'.

My 'griffithii'

24 May 2010 10:12:01
My 'griffithii'

My 'griffithii'

Here we go.

We're in for another scorcher.

24 May 2010 06:14:42
Gherkins

Gherkins

Thick thick fog here right now. The back wall is as far  as I can see. Definitely time to get out the factor. Should have cut the grass yesterday, but was enjoying the sun too much. So instead, I will just trim the edges, and trim around my feet. Sometimes it takes just that to get away with the strain of hard work.

Have to pot on my Cayenne peppers, and sweet peppers today. Then lastly, gherkins and melons. But these need a bit more growth on them before I can do that. Won't be doing much else in the garden, except tweaking here and there. And enjoying my freedom.

Whatever the weather, enjoy your garden. And don't forget the factor!

One of my favourite....

23 May 2010 23:16:19
One of my favourite....

One of my favourite....

areas in the garden is the Lower Pond, which we only made last year. It has really taken off, and the water is so clear you could actually scoop out a glassful, only there are snails somewhere down there after this morning. We have a marine theme going at this pond. And it is finished off with a few nice ferns, one of which Clara presented me with.

All My Bags Are Packed.....

23 May 2010 22:22:18
All My Bags Are Packed.....

All My Bags Are Packed.....

and ready to go.!!! Spent so much time trying to decide what to bring. Good job I am only going for 4 days. Won't be online tomorrow night as I will be entertaining.

Chillin' in the Heat!

23 May 2010 21:27:36
Chillin' in the Heat!

Chillin' in the Heat!

Started out the day with great intentions. Before long, I decided to get into the bikini and take out the sun lounger. However, I couldn't settle for too long. Got very hot under the collar. Did a few bits. Planted a few small things into the border, including 5 sunflowers (4 Tall Yellow, and 1 Early Russian). Still have some 'Italian White' in the greenhouse waiting to be hardened off. Potted all the rest of my tom seedlings. Roma, Marmande and San Marzano all planted in either pots or the veggie patch. Happy with that. Potted the remaining two chilipepper seedlings. Did a bit of tidying up. And watered everything a bit earlier than usual. Things were wilting before my very eyes. Tied in my sweet pea. A bit slow to grow, which seems unusual with all this great weather.  Had to earth up spuds again. Tidied up the greenhouse to accomodate the extra tomatoes and chilipeppers. Cannas are now outside. Hope they will be ok. Having a drink now, gosh it's still very hot. Mind you, I have my own inbuilt central heating here. Got a few more rays than I had intended. Ouch!!!

How to make a snail squirm!

23 May 2010 08:29:00
How to make a snail squirm!

How to make a snail squirm!

Just out in the greenhouse, and removing SOME of the foliage on my vine. Snails have a habit of munching on my grapes before I get the chance to. Three cheeky chappies I found on the foliage, making their way to my tiny grapes. I was going to stand on them. But decided against it. Yesterday evening there were flies and bluebottles all over the greenhouse. Maybe it was on account of all the carnage in there.

Threw the 3 snails into the Lower Pond just now. Boy, did they squirm! They came RIGHT out of their shells. Very surprised at that really. And I was beginning to feel a bit sorry for them. Does pond water emit some kind of chemical that is lethal to these molluscs? Would a bucket of water have the same effect? I am hoping the fish will eat them. Now isn't that a nice eco-friendly way of disposing of them?

He didn't get all of them!

23 May 2010 06:35:22
He didn't get all of them!

He didn't get all of them!

My local Herons' recent escapades have left Steve very down-hearted indeed. He swears that he is not getting any more fish. But on Friday while I was off, I had plenty of time to investigate this Lower Pond. When Steve came in from work he was overjoyed when I told him that there are still actually 6 fish in the pond. Obviously the fish were keeping a very low profile as they were scared to death that they would be nabbed. We have a couple of lengths of pipe at the bottom of the pond. Good to see that these are working. That is their little 'hidey-hole'. Best thing we ever did to provide some protection. And this pond needs it more than the Upper one, as it is much shallower.

Copper bands definitely work!

22 May 2010 22:49:45
Copper bands definitely work!

Copper bands definitely work!

Just look how perfect these hostas are, after applying the copper strips to the pots that they are in. Money well spent.

Help!

22 May 2010 21:45:40
Help!

Help!

I have this big pot at my drainpipe. This year I planted trailing geraniums (white) around the edges, and I planted my sweet pea at the back so they could climb up the ugly drainpipe.  I am constantly sowing seeds that I cant remember. This 'thing' has appeared in the pot. It looks like a tomato plant, but there is no way I would have sown tomato seeds outdoors. So, what is it then?

Cheapskate at large!

22 May 2010 21:00:32
Cheapskate at large!

Cheapskate at large!

So hot in work all day. The heat just reflected all day off the tarmacadam. I must have lost a gallon of perspiration. Drank 3 litres of water to hydrate myself. Wow, it was tough. Just didn't have any energy to do anything when I got home. I just about managed to water everything, and nearly turned the hose on myself.

I need more pots for more tomatoes and chilipeppers. So I bought some more waste paper baskets today for €1.79 - 15% discount. I got Steve to drill some holes into them this evening. Just have to line them with black plastic bags. Ready to go. But will wait until the morning. I am officially on my holidays. Will not be answering my phone if work rings. So it's a night of hydration, until I have quenched my thirst!

Santry Sunset

22 May 2010 20:48:05
Santry Sunset

Santry Sunset

Different to the normal sunsets.

The Countdown Begins!

22 May 2010 05:10:24
The Countdown Begins!

The Countdown Begins!

Weird looking fog this mornng while looking out the bathroom window from the shower. It was down in a layered affect. You could see clearly ABOVE the fog, and BELOW.

Ok last day in work. From 5.00pm I don't even want to HEAR the word 'work'. And if they ring me, I won't be answering my phone. I am going into 'Idle Mode'.  Definitely need this short break. Have lots to do now, seems that I got sweet damn all done yesterday. I just hope Steve manages to keep all my stuff ticking over in my absence.

Best of luck for RUSS

21 May 2010 11:24:13
Bloom 2009

Bloom 2009

Just reading through the June edition of The Irish Garden. There is a detailed list of all the gardens for this event. Russ, your design 'The Californian Courtyard' looks very inspiring. Can't wait to see it in reality.

The very best of luck for the event. I am sure you will do yourself proud. Looking forward to meeting you there.

So foggy

21 May 2010 07:27:46

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

20 May 2010 22:31:19
Bracteantha (Strawflower)

Bracteantha (Strawflower)

I really need to get the finger out. Luckily I am off tomorrow. Have lots to do. When I got home this evening, I planted up the Topsy Turvy and also planted up the bed where I recently planted my Taxus fastigiata (Golden Yew). I took out all the yellow primroses. And replaced them with Bracteantha . This is a new one for me. Can't find the notes I took down from the internet. But I think it's also called 'strawflower' or 'Paper Daisy'. On Monday I am expecting a guest from Garden.ie. So hopefully we can start off the holiday with a few drinks on the patio and a bit of finger food.

My latest Conquest!

20 May 2010 21:33:00
Little Fecker

Little Fecker

Got this little blighter on the greenhouse door this morning. Needless to say, he got crushed underfoot IMMEDIATELY.

Holiday put on Hold

20 May 2010 21:18:23
Arisaem griffithii in Bog Bed

Arisaem griffithii in Bog Bed

Manager rang me tonight to ask could I work on Saturday. :( Of course I said 'yes'. But I am off tomorrow. So Saturday at 5.00 my holiday officially starts. So tomorrow I will get grass cut, front and back, borders weeded, some plants planted, lots of watering, pergola area cleared of plants in waiting, compost tidied up, Mangetouts tied up, and Rat-tailed radishes, plant chilipepper plants that Dave came over with today, and Cannas taken outdoors to make room for tomatoes etc etc. And that's for starters. Better get up at 4.00am.

Purely for Research Purposes!

20 May 2010 20:12:14
Topsy Turvy by JML

Topsy Turvy by JML

I promise I am NOT a 'gadget' woman. I have had so many customers in the last 3 weeks looking for the recently advertised 'Topsy Turvey' tomato planter. However, they were on a shelf nowhere near the garden centre, so I never got the opportunity to have a proper look at them. Well, just thinking about it today. I have so many tomatoes on the 'go' this year that space is definitely going to be a priority. So here goes. I bought one of our own tomatoes today, as they are already hardened off. My ones are way too small. Dave's ones are way too big. So this was the ideal solution. It's funny really how stupid some people can be. So many customers actually thought that this Topsy Turvey came with its own compost and tomato plant. Hee hee. Now THAT would be a miracle.

I have it planted up now, and it is hanging out of the Loggia. This will be interesting to see the results. It retails at €9.95 (plant and compost NOT included).

Arum maculatum

20 May 2010 06:10:12
Arum from Castletown House

Arum from Castletown House

While leaving Castletown house I spotted lots of arums growing under a tree. My breath was taken away with their beauty. And so close to me. Steve's Dad saw my excitement, and before I knew it, he had his penknife out and was digging it up. Mortification. However, damage was done. I accepted his gift willingly, only to find that he didn't get down deep enough. I got home, dipped it into hormone rooting powder and planted it immediately. It is now standing up on its own. Maybe he actually got enough of the bulb. Happy days if this growth continues.....

Guess what!

19 May 2010 23:22:04
Arisarum proboscideum

Arisarum proboscideum

I discovered today that my Mouse Plant (Arisarum proboscideum) is in full flower.

First Water Lily

19 May 2010 21:37:04
Nymphaea 'Dolores'

Nymphaea 'Dolores'

This is one of my first water lilies to flower. Took this photo today. I can't remember its name. It won't actually flower until July. It's first time to flower was two years ago, after spending the whole summer watching and waiting, and watching some more. It opened just when we arrived home from my Mams funeral. I affectionately call this waterlily 'Dolores'. It holds a lot of sentiment. Looking forward so much to seeing it in flower. It is pink, my Mams favourite colour.

Morello Cherry

19 May 2010 20:50:01
Morello Cherry

Morello Cherry

I bought a Morello Cherry this year in either Aldi or Lidl. It's doing great. However, today I noticed a lot of activity on it with the Coaltits. Now there are no flowers on it yet, so what was attracting the Coaltits? I decided it was time to throw a bit of netting over it. Birds love cherries, don't they?

Lazy Day

19 May 2010 19:33:23
Echium pininana 'White Tower'

Echium pininana 'White Tower'

Was supposed to be minding my Grandson, but a change of plan. Zoe, David and myself went out for lunch (KFC Yum!) and we did a bit of retail therapy. That kept us busy for a while!!!!

Went up for a nap after getting back. And felt very refreshed afterwards. Spent too long on the phone. The sun was beginning to shine at that stage. Didn't feel like doing a whole lot. Bought a new pair of runners for Chelsea and I was breaking them in so I couldnt get too dirty.

Geums are starting to flower. I am surprised at the height of them this year. Last year they only grew to about 18inches. This year they are twice the height. No sign of my bishops from last year, but the new ones I have in pots have now pushed through. After watering my rescued Camassia and feeding it, I got it into the ground today. I also planted Deborah's Echium pininana 'Snow Tower'. This one is obviously a pure white form of the common blue one. It sends up 15ft tall towers of white flowers. Can't wait for this one. It is down behind my Bog Bed, so that should look stunning as a bit of a backdrop. The Laburnum that I rescued from the garden centre last year isn't really doing anything yet. I am still wondering if it is dead or alive. Patience....

Peas, grow for me!

19 May 2010 08:16:14
Peas, grow for me!

Peas, grow for me!

Weeks ago, I sowed loads of pea seeds. And assembled a wigwam of bamboo canes for them. I know pigeons and mice can be a bit partial to these little beauties, but that hasn't been the case with them. I have these dried Marrowfat peas in the food press. As far as I know, they haven't been subjected to any 'heat' or 'cold' treatment. They are now soaking in water (something I didn't do with the other ones). It's gotta be worth a shot.

Tree peony finally flowers

18 May 2010 22:30:02
Tree peony finally flowers

Tree peony finally flowers

Isn't this a lovely rich colour? And quite 'muted' compared to my garish taste. Maybe my tastes are changing with 'age'  Aghhhhh!!!!!!

Chelsea Itinerary

18 May 2010 21:40:52
Chelsea Itinerary

Chelsea Itinerary

Depart Dublin Airport Tuesday morning. First visit it to Sissinghurst Gardens. Wednesday Merriment Gardens, Thursday Chelsea Flower Show, Friday Wisley Gardens. Then home. Can't wait.

Heaven Scent

18 May 2010 19:46:08
Choisya 'Aztec Pearl'

Choisya 'Aztec Pearl'

I have this very small evergreen shrub in my triangular bed Choisya 'Aztec Pearl'. Walked past it this evening, and the gorgeous scent just filled the air. Can't wait for this to grow a bit. The delicious aroma from it, even though it is small, is 'to die for'. It is only about 24 inches at this stage. It is so white, it just sparkles in the garden.

I'm Showing Off Now!

17 May 2010 22:24:59
3 seeds, 3 cabbages

3 seeds, 3 cabbages

After all the disappointment with my seedlings again this year, I am happy to report that I am delighted with the results so far of my Cabbage 'Mammoth Red'. I sowed just 3 seeds and have 3 nice plants now. Here comes summer!!!!!

Cannas

17 May 2010 21:56:55
Cannas with yellow flowers (no variety on label)

Cannas with yellow flowers (no variety on label)

These came in on my day off last week and were left out all night. By Friday they were looking crap €12.99 each. I reduced them to €8 on Saturday. Looking even worse today so the Manager asked me to reduce them to €1 so I took two. Got them home and took off all the dead flowers and foliage, watered them well, and gave them a healthy dose of tomato feed. I guarantee by next week I will see a major difference. These ones have lovely yellow flowers. And are quite small, they stand at about 12-18inches. I will keep them in the greenhouse.

Greenhouse Gardening

17 May 2010 20:00:45
Melon 'Edonis' doing well

Melon 'Edonis' doing well

I can't believe I bought a plastic hanging basket with trailing Petunias in it. I paid €15.99 for it. I really only wanted the plastic basket for my 'Tumbling Tom Reds', and later for an indoor plant to hang underneath the beam between my kitchen and dining room. I took the Petunias out and planted them in a pot. I then proceeded to plant my little tumbling toms into hanging basket. I also planted a basket full of Garden Pearl.

Dave gave me so many tomato plants and I can never repay him for them. However, I persisted with my own ones. And to date, I now have small but healthy looking seedlings thanks to the advice of all here on this site. My own ones include:

Tumbling Tom Red, Garden Pearl, San Martana, Marmande, and Roma. Just single plants (except for the Tumbling Tom and Garden Pearl), but delighted with them.

Gherkins doing very well, as are the Melons. Also Cabbage 'Mammoth Red' is really taking off in the last week.

I also noticed that some of my Cannas are beginning to sprout. Happy days! I watered everything in the greenhouse, and gave my tomatoes that Dave me another Epsom Salt feed. Flowers are appearing on 'Polar', 'Orange Giant', 'New Yorker', 'Black Cherry' and 'Pink Giant'. Well pleased with that.

I have updated my 'fruit and veg for 2010' album.

The trouble with herons

17 May 2010 06:00:37
Topping up water levels

Topping up water levels

After being almost cleaned out of our fish in the Lower pond, something has to be done. The heron has left us with possibly one or two fish. Plus he must have punctured the liner. Yesterday morning I had to top up the pond. This morning the level of water has gone down about 3 inches. There must be a hole somewhere. Luckily this is only a small pond. But Steve will now have to remove the edging bricks and renew the liner. Very annoying. And most annoying of all is to see our little shoal of fish being eaten for dinner. And if there are ANY fish left, they have become very 'koi'. There might be 2 left, or possibly 1.

Ident

16 May 2010 21:09:24
Hosta identity!

Hosta identity!

Fell asleep on the couch when I got in from work. So no gardening done. However I took my tomato seedlings in and the compost. May get the inclination to do them later.

But my main concern here is the identity of this Hosta. Don't remember planting it. And don't think I had it last year. But Hosta it is, nevertheless. But which one?

The Disadvantage of Summer....

15 May 2010 20:36:19
Primula auricula in Bog Bed

Primula auricula in Bog Bed

is me having to work every second weekend. Weekends start from St. Patrick's Weekend, right up until the end of September. I hate it. I end up not knowing what day of the week it is. However, can't change it.

Mad busy all day. Got home, and planted ALL my primulas that I got in Celbridge last week. Most of them are now in my Bog Bed. And looking lovely. Put a few into my shady border. Also planted Soldanella dimonlei. That takes partial shade. I also planted one of the plants that I got from Deborah yesterday into my Bog Bed. Not sure whether it is an Arum or an Arisaema. Looks good though. Also planted my Skunk Cabbage into the lower pond.  Judging by the size of Deborah's one, it looks like we are going to have to build a bigger pond. But it will take a while to grow to that size.

 

For Deborah

15 May 2010 19:27:42
What is this, please?

What is this, please?

Hi Deborah, what is the plant you gave me yesterday? Is it an Arum or an Arisaema? And which one?

A treat for the senses!

14 May 2010 20:41:57
Skunk Cabbage

Skunk Cabbage

Fran and I decided to foist ourselves on Terra Nova today. Last minute arrangement. We witnessed first hand a small taste of a harmonious existence in the lush planting of Terra Nova. So much to see, so much more awaiting discovery, one area flowing into another. No jarring of the senses. Everything just perfectly blending in to the next treat down winding pathways. Custom-built Pergolas, stone bridges, wells, Thai House, Tea House, all built by Martin himself. And all complimented perfectly by the choice and abundance of Deborah's planting schemes. Host and Hostess lacked nothing.  Look, it doesn't really matter how I word this journal. I will NEVER be able to do this place of peace and tranquility justice. The best way for me to say this, is to say that today.......

I died, and went to Heaven!

Still my Favourite Aquilegia

13 May 2010 22:06:54
A. ' Winky Blue'

A. ' Winky Blue'

We have had a few different Aquilegias in our place in the last couple of weeks. None of them come anywhere near to my Aquilegia 'Winky Blue'. I have 4 different types. My latest purchase is 'Black Barlow' and still waiting for this to flower. But you have to admit 'Winky Blue' is a beauty. And it only reaches about 12 inches.

New Addition

13 May 2010 20:01:14
Camassia

Camassia

Like I need any more. I was off yesterday and a delivery came in in my absence. I was horrified this morning to see that the whole delivery had been left outside with all the indoor plants on it. Draceanas left out. Tibouchinas, Abutilons, Thunbergias and Hibiscus. All the leaves fell off 2 of the Tibouchinas this morning. And 3 Camassias (white) had 'fallen' off the trolley, leaving them looking in tatters. €16.99 each. The Hibiscus are only fit for the skip, as are the Thunbergias. And the Camassias I had to reduce to half price. I bought one, even though it is looking pretty crap right now.  I hope once I cut back some of the foliage, it will look presentable.

Heron Watch!

12 May 2010 21:12:33
Berni The Bolt!

Berni The Bolt!

On Sunday when we got back from the Rare Plant Sale, we disturbed a heron hunting for prey in our garden. He took off like the clappers. Steve got himself a Slingshot today. We spent the entire evening on target practise. We have to be able to hit the target on the first go. This is not funny any more. We had 4 goldfish and 4 koi in the lower pond, and now we only have 3 goldfish and 1 koi. This means war!

Having a 'ME' day!

12 May 2010 07:40:53

How's this for a 'beauty'

11 May 2010 22:45:59
How's this for a 'beauty'

How's this for a 'beauty'

Look at this gorgeous little thing. Got this from Deborah's stall on Sunday. Darmera peltata. Should be planted in slightly acidic compost. I thought this was so pretty that I just couldn't resist it. I planted it in my Bog Bed this evening.

Weird or What!

11 May 2010 21:41:11
Weird or What!

Weird or What!

Climbed up onto the raised veggie bed today in work, to earth up my spuds. Look what I discovered! Has anyone ever seen a mushroom as weird as this? Is it edible?

Putting My Best Foot Forward

11 May 2010 20:03:10
Putting My Best Foot Forward

Putting My Best Foot Forward

Productive day in work. Weather was dull, and drizzly. But plenty of people out in the garden centre.

As soon as I got home an almighty shower came down. Had a quick cuppa and a Batch Loaf heel with lots of real butter. That is one of my failings!

Ok shower over. Got out the spade and did a bit of planting. Bought oriental poppies in work today, red and orange. Doesn't look like any of my Bishops are coming up. So the poppies were planted there, just for a bit of emergency colour. Dahlias may come up yet, although I am not hopeful. I planted Darmera peltata (from Deborah and Martin) into my Bog Bed with a generous helping of ericaceous compost. I also planted my Helleborus foetidus into my woodland border. This will flower in winter so I have a long wait. But one good thing about it is, it is evergreen. Then I managed to plant Nectaroscordum siculum (Sicilian Honey Lily) into the same area where I planted Frans Kaffir lily. Can't wait for this one to flower.

I made a start on planting some of my 'creche' plants, White Foxgloves and a Rodgersia which was totally in the wrong place last year. This is now in my Bog Garden too. I hope it doesn't grow too large. Then I sunk my four feet (I found another one behind all the undergrowth at the weekend). Delighted with these.

Not a whole lot done today

10 May 2010 20:32:24
Another one for the Hosta Corner

Another one for the Hosta Corner

Bad day in work. Dropped in to Dad afterwards, so I was home late. I wasn't going to do anything in the garden, I had to force myself. First time for that. So I watered everything in the garden and greenhouse. Then I decided I had better make a start on planting things. All I planted was a Primula vialii which I got a couple of weeks ago, and one of Deborah and Martin's plants, Hosta 'June'. Put the copper tape on the pot, even though it said on the label that it was virtually slug-proof. Never believe what it says on the tin! Can't be too careful.

Even an hour spent in the garden is so therapeutic! Good Move! Feel better already.

Another Smashing Day

10 May 2010 06:24:00
Beautiful (which one?)

Beautiful (which one?)

Looking really good for today. Very frustrating have all those new plants in my 'plant creche' and not being able to decide where to put them until I get home later. I think that everything I bought is winter hardy. Will have to take more precautions this year. I am very surprised with my selection of 'newbies'. Normally I go for big and bold plants, with strong colours. This time round, I opted for little dainty primulas, and in pale pinks, and lilacs. Strange for me.

But what I got most excited about was seeing this arisaema actually planted in the grounds. It was almost like somebody planted it there just to taunt me though, as Gismo got the last one (different variety, obviously) from the stall. Still beautiful though. Tried googling on Soldanella dimoni (not sure if this is spelt correctly as the label was written in handwriting) Couldn't find any info on it. Haven't a clue what kind of conditions it likes so if anyone wants to impart any suggestions, all will be welcome.

Have a nice day!

Castletown House, Celbridge 09.05.10

09 May 2010 19:33:20
Saw this growing by a tree on the way out!!!!!!!!

Saw this growing by a tree on the way out!!!!!!!!

Good day had by all, I think. Blessed with the weather. Plenty of plants to pick from. Mind you, Gismo showed me the Arisaema that she managed to pick up, and I high-tailed it back to the stand where she got it. :( All gone. Just my luck! Ah well, I did ok. The plants I got today were Primula auricula x2, Primula 'Guinevere', Primula japonica 'Appleblossom' x 2, Primula japonica 'Valley Red', Darmera peltata, Helleborus foetidus, Nectaroscordum siculum subsp. bulgaricum (Sicilian Honey Lily), Hosta 'June', Lysichiton americanus (skunk cabbage), Soldanella dimonlei, Corydalis flexuosa and Sempervivum calcareum. So, pretty happy with my lot.

Steve's Mam and Dad came with us too and they enjoyed the Barber Shop Singers 'Blue Heaven'. We had a nice meal in the restaurant, even though we were waiting for ever to be served. Got to meet Liga, Liam, Nikki, Krista and her little girl, Gismo and Paul, and Rachel. Rachel where did you fly off to. Never got much of a chance to chat. Thanks for the Rodichiton seedling.

Also got a HUG from Martin, and admired his 'new sneakers'. Hee hee. Martin, they are LOVELY! I hope you and Deborah managed to sell most of your plants. And as if it wasnt bad enough that Gismo got the last Arisaema, look what I spotted growing under the shade of a tree on the way out. If only I had brought my spade!!!!

The Perfect Day!

08 May 2010 20:02:28
Dicentra spectabilis in front garden (old Camera)

Dicentra spectabilis in front garden (old Camera)

Got my camera, very happy with it. Spent all day in the garden. Not necessarily working in it, but in it all the same. Dug up the Robinia, and replaced it with my Taxus 'Fastigiata aurea' (Irish Yew) which I bought in Mullingar in March. Happier now. The robinia got 'lobbed' over the wall. :)  Planted 2 Acers into Bog Garden, one green, one purple. One of them was replacing the Phoenix canariensis that had died. Did a lot of tidying up of more pots. Also planted up a planter with Argyranthemums and impatiens, and another one with similar bedding. I have a Chaemarops humilis in a pot on the patio. I was thinking of planting that into the Bog Garden too. Tomorrow, though. I also got to plant Myrtle's Sweet Pea into the tamed area. And I fitted the obelisk over it. Couldn't tie it all in as I have mislaid my garden twine. Will buy some more on Monday.

Got the front grass cut. Also cut back 2 Prunus (don't know which ones) and dug up a Broom. It had become very woody. I mowed all my daffodils out there. Don't care what happens to them as I hope to change the whole front garden during the summer.

Chelsea Purchase

08 May 2010 19:32:17
Bellis perennis

Bellis perennis

Bought my new camera. Have been playing with it all day. What do you think?

Out with the old!

08 May 2010 08:05:07
Fighting for survival

Fighting for survival

I have had this Robinia for a few years now. It has already been moved 3 times. This time round, only about one third seems to be growing back. Things in this garden really have to earn their keep. I was thinking of pulling it up and replacing it with my new Exochorda. However, yesterday, on closer inspection, didn't I discover new growth on the main trunk down at ground level. I still think it won't perform its best if I leave it there. A lot of dead wood on it. If I cut this off, I will be left with a pretty poor specimen. I think it's gotta go!

Any minute now.....

08 May 2010 07:45:30
Any minute now.....

Any minute now.....

This little fella will burst open and reward us with a beautiful globular flower. First time for Allums in my garden. But definitely in the wrong spot. I gave over the planting inner circle last year to Begonia semperflorens and they did NOT disappoint. And indeed, they created such impact. Will go back to them next year and place the alliums in the borders.

Shopping for Chelsea!

07 May 2010 22:21:40
Shopping for Chelsea!

Shopping for Chelsea!

Pulling into the carpark in work this morning and took the opportunity to take this photo of a thrush. Needless to say, I really DO need a decent camera. My own vision was actually more 'close-up' than the photo. Chelsea in just over 2 weeks. Shopping for camera in the morning.

Water-Snail eggs?

07 May 2010 21:31:39
Would these be Water-snail eggs?

Would these be Water-snail eggs?

We have 4 solar floating lights in the lower pond. Initially, when I bought them, I thought that they would be very tacky. But I was pleasantly surprised. They change colour, from green, to lilac, to pink, to green, and all 4 simultaneously. They actually cast rather a romantic glow on the pond. However, today when I was inspecting the fish eggs, I took one of the solar lights out for pure curiousity. On the underneath was a collection of jelly 'capsules'. ANd inside them were little black dots, what I figure could be water-snail eggs. These little jelly 'capsules' are on all four of the solar lights. That's the only thing I can think they might be.

Out Early for 'Good Behaviour'

07 May 2010 20:26:28
All  neat and tidy!

All neat and tidy!

Was asked to start this morning at 8.30. Suited me fine, so long as I was let out early. Not a bad day.

When I got home I was full of the 'joys of Spring'. Poured myself a drink and started planting. Steve was off early today too. And by the time I got home, he had the grass cut. Bless! You can get away with SO much when the grass is all neat and tidy. Garden looks good now. I managed to plant a few things. Nerine'Alba', 2 Phlox's, a red one and another one, and Aquilegia 'Black Barlow'.  I also got a planter planted up with white New Guinea Impatiens and trailing violet Verbena. I also earthed up the spuds that I found in the kitchen. Watered everything in the greenhouse again. Everything was so dry. Noticed that my blue Agapanthus is sprouting a bit of greenery. Wahoo! Happy days! I also sowed some Eschscholzia 'Carmine King' around the lower pond. They should provide us with a lovely bit of pinks and peachie colours. Steve tied in a few Clematis and Honeysuckle. I also uprooted a big Phoenix canariensis that I have had for about 7 years. Dead as a dodo after the bad winter. I plan on planting a green acer there tomorrow, in the bog garden. Just got a chinese, having a drink, and off for the weekend. What more could a girl ask for!!! I feel a barbecue coming on.....

Not tonight. Tomorrow. Weather permitting.

Senetti pericallis

07 May 2010 19:30:51
Senetti pericallis

Senetti pericallis

For the last couple of summers we have got in Senetti pericallis. In my experience, they deteriorate very rapidly in garden centres. And the stems are extremely brittle. They would only be in a week or two and I would have to reduce them to half nothing. However, people keep coming back and saying how wonderful they are. And secretly I think they must have been 'on something' to have picked such a weak annual.

However, today I decided to bite the bullet. No point in having something in the garden centre without actually knowing how well or how poorly something will perform. I bought two. Planted them up when I got home into a planter by the greenhouse door. Watch this space. I must admit, they DO look beautiful. But still not sure how long-lasting they are. Here's hoping!

Alpine Circle

07 May 2010 06:55:23
Alpine Circle

Alpine Circle

is doing really well this year. All plants so far have survived. But one in particular is gorgeous. This is Lewisia. I must go through my little box to look up the names of the other ones. There is another really excellent plant there, it is a lovely shade of yellow, and forming a good sized clump. Will put up some photos later. In the meantime, here is my Lewisia.

Helleborus

06 May 2010 21:26:42
Helleborus

Helleborus

Took this photo yesterday of a seed pod of a Helleborus. I was thinking of trying to grow them from seed. When do I collect the seed? And what conditions should I give the seed to ensure successful germination? And finally, how long must I wait before a flower appears?

 

 

Dry Day

06 May 2010 20:45:32
Aquilegia 'Spring Magic'

Aquilegia 'Spring Magic'

It was a grand dry day, even though there was a lot of rain forecast for this morning. Not complaining. And the sun eventually came out at about 4.00. Run off my feet all day. And GC is chock-a-block with trollies of plants.

Got home and took the strimmer out. I always like to get that done the day before I actually cut the grass. It saves so much time. Then I watered everything in the greenhouse. I hope Steve can get the shelving unit made for the melons. They don't like water on the plants, just into the compost. And if these plants are on the same level as my tomatoes, I know they will probably end up being drenched.

Bought some strawberries the other day to make up a hanging basket. But decided to plant them into a nice planter instead, with a white New Guinea Impatiens in the centre. The variety of strawberry I chose is 'Temptation'. New one for me. Let's hope they're a good cropper. I also bought a small Aquilegia 'Spring Magic' which is blue and white. Lovely little thing.

And finally, I earthed up all my potatoes. They were in bad need of it. Ran out of compost after that, so I couldn't do anything else. Tomorrow's another day. And I am off this weekend. Yippee!!!!!

Liga's Pleoine

06 May 2010 19:46:43
Liga's Pleoine

Liga's Pleoine

Planted a small pseudobulb that Liga gave me a while ago. 3 small bulbs, growth on two. But this one is the tallest, standing at approximately 4 inches. I wonder will it flower for me?

Next Sunday

06 May 2010 06:38:44
Next Sunday

Next Sunday

The Rare and Special Plant Fair will be on in Castletown House, Celbridge, Co. Kildare from 10.00am to 6.00pm on Sunday 9th May. Anybody going? I hope to soft-soap Steve into driving up.

A Lazy Day

05 May 2010 20:10:55
Developing fruits

Developing fruits

Was minding my grandson until 4.30. Had great plans for when his Mam relieved me of my duties. Spent a bit of time tidying the greenhouse. I de-foliated my peach trees, and removed a lot of the smaller fruit to give the others a fighting chance to develop. I then covered the 4 trees with netting, and wrapped the copper tape around all 4 trunks. Hopefully that will do the job nicely. Then I gathered up all the leaves, to remove all hiding places for the slugs and snails. Happy enough with that. The older of the 4 trees has lots of decent-sized fruit on it. The others obviously not as good.

Will update my May 2010 album.

 

Something Fishy Going On Here

05 May 2010 18:42:21
Something Fishy Going On Here

Something Fishy Going On Here

The other day Steve and I noticed that the fish in the lower pond were very frisky. They were chasing each other all over the place and breaking the surface of the water constantly.

Great discovery today. Hundreds of tiny eggs have been laid in one of the plants in the pond. Gotta think of the best way to safe-keep these now until they hatch out. Koi and Goldfish are known to cannibalise. They may eat these eggs before they hatch. It may be difficult to make out in the photo. The eggs are the tiny white spots.

Pot Luck

05 May 2010 07:29:40
More Frost Damage

More Frost Damage

I have a few lilies in pots. During their dormancy, they were placed in a hidden area in the garden. But yesterday, I went searching for them to check on their progress. Found them, growing well. So I brought them out into the open to admire their beauty in the coming weeks. Lifted them out of hiding, and they crumbled in my hands. More blinkin' frost damage. These were very simple little pots with a deep red rim, which matches the colour of the lilies. Disgusted.

Help for Daddy

04 May 2010 22:25:33
What is this?

What is this?

Dropped into Dad after work. He is famous for 'cultivating' weeds. He has window boxes all over the place with seedlings of birdseed. You can't tell him when he has a weed in his garden. Well, you can tell him. But he won't get rid of them. He is forever throwing bits into his border that runs alongside his corrugated iron garage that he had built when he won the Pools in 1963. Ha ha. He has teasles growing everywhere. He has apple trees, doing very badly in big bins, that have weeds growing all around them. I gently advise him regularly. But he ALWAYS chooses to ignore. After all, Dads know best! One must tread carefully with my Dad. Or he will just 'shut down'.

However, this evening, he asked me to have a look at something in his garden, in the border along the garage. He wanted to know what this was. Unfortunately, I couldn't enlighten him. Any suggestions?

Tomorrows Plans in the Garden

04 May 2010 21:05:14
Tomorrows Plans in the Garden

Tomorrows Plans in the Garden

Looking at the sky now, I suspect the weather is going to change. One of my main jobs for tomorrow was to get the back grass cut. And mow the dandelions.The front needs a serious dose of weedkiller.

I bought 3 lovely White New Guinea Impatiens today, they will go into a planter in the shady spot under the loggia. 2 of my Strawberry baskets are not doing too well. SO I bought 6 more strawberry plants and plan on redoing them also. The poor ones were bought in the €2 Shop. Only failure there so far. I must also plant my new Exochorda into a pot for now, as there is loads of stuff coming up where I want to plant it later. Still tidying up unused or broken pots. Greenhouse also needs a major tidy up.

Did NOTHING this evening. Too tired. Off tomorrow. But I also have to mind 'Wee Davey' so all this lot will have to wait until about 4.00pm. I will deserve a medal if I manage to get that lot done.

Nettles

04 May 2010 06:48:32
Nettles

Nettles

Nettles are normally despised by gardeners, but they are very good for most crops especially potatoes and horseradish, because they protect against aphids and mildew. Nettles are also a 'good sign' that your soil is fertile.

Most peculiar!

03 May 2010 21:16:45
Dwarf bean 'Purple Queen'

Dwarf bean 'Purple Queen'

I sowed some dwarf bean seeds (Purple Queen) about 4 weeks ago. Put 3 seeds into 4 pots. I was just about to give up on them. I thought they would be for the compost bin until 3 days ago. Most peculiar looking seedling. This is the only one so far that has germinated. It is real leathery, and about half the diameter of my little finger. Surely this couldn't be a 'dwarf bean'! It looks like it could come from 'Jack and the beanstalk'. I wonder will any more germinate? Should be very interesting though.

'Pixie'

03 May 2010 20:46:45
Clematis 'Pixie'

Clematis 'Pixie'

This is my dwarf clematis 'Pixie'. I have it about 7 years, and in a pot. It is semi-evergreen. I love the lime green flowers. Out in full flower today. I love it.

Few bits

03 May 2010 20:17:49

Question for Chilipepper

03 May 2010 18:14:55
'Mammoth Red'

'Mammoth Red'

Hi Dave. The other day I was chatting with you and Madeline, I brought up the subject of my Cabbage 'Mammoth Red'. I did ask you this question but I think I got waylaid by a customer. So here it is again.

The cabbages (3) are in pots that measure 9 inches. The growth looks a bit like the Rat-tailed radishes ie. not in a 'heart' the way a normal cabbage grows. Actually I don't know how a normal cabbage grows! Does it take a while for the heart to form? And before anyone mentions it, no I didn't lose the label (ha ha). It almost looks like it should be tied up to a cane.

Do I really have to.....

03 May 2010 07:06:42

David John

02 May 2010 23:40:47
David John

David John

My grandson. Only 3months old and already he has acquired a nickname (DJ)

Blueberries

02 May 2010 22:04:11
Bumper crop

Bumper crop

All 8 of my blueberry bushes are in flower at the moment. And looking really good. Full of antioxidants.  Can't wait for a bumper blueberry crop this year.

Did you know........

02 May 2010 21:03:31
Did you know........

Did you know........

that black banana skins placed just under the topsoil or compost around plants, especially roses and geraniums, will provide them with valuable plant food quickly. Banana skins are rich in calcium, sodium, silica, sulphur, magnesium and phosphates, beneficial to most plants.

Ok all you knowledgeable people out there!

02 May 2010 20:25:06
Ok all you knowledgeable people out there!

Ok all you knowledgeable people out there!

Please tell me what this is. Another unlabelled plant. The bottom of it is lilac. Don't remember seeing this before, so I must have planted something from Aldi or Lidl.

Lazy evening

02 May 2010 19:47:12
Lazy evening

Lazy evening

He's a little treasure. Handed me my dinner as soon as I stumbled in from work. Straight after that, I went out to water the greenhouse, and planted up an Aubergine that I bought in work yesterday. Never tasted aubergine. Don't even know how to cook it, or what to have it with. This is a first for me!!!!

Planted up a little planter that I got in work last year. Put 2 geraniums into it. Looks ok. That was the extent of my gardening today.

Here you go, Myrtle

02 May 2010 19:40:08
Astrantia maj. 'Sunningdale var'

Astrantia maj. 'Sunningdale var'

This is a lovely plant. I have seen it in flower.

For Myrtle

02 May 2010 19:27:44
Astrantia maj. 'Sunningdale var'

Astrantia maj. 'Sunningdale var'

Hi Myrtle. Is this one of your plants that your friend gave you. Took a photo of it in work today. It sure looks the same. Astrantia maj. 'Sunningdale' var

Suncity

01 May 2010 22:25:08
Suncity

Suncity

Couldn't resist this tonight.

Psychadelic toms

01 May 2010 19:32:42
Psychadelic toms

Psychadelic toms

Miserable morning here in Dublin. But at lunch time the sun came out. Didn't last too long before the showers started.

Got home and after a quick cuppa I went out to see what needed doing first. Everything in the greenhouse was very thirsty. I can't leave the greenhouse door open all the way when I am in work, as Holly (the cat) goes in and sits on everything. Steve has to rig up some kind of barrier to over the opening. This has to be done asap, as it's getting pretty hot in there at this stage.

After that, I decided to pot on all the toms that Dave gave me. The roots were showing through the pots. I also potted on my gherkins. Very happy now that is done. Watered them all in. A couple of toms have a tiny bit of slug/snail evidence so I scattered the trusty pellets to be on the safe side. I love my new psychadelic pots (waste paper bins) for them. But I reckon they will probably fade in the heat of the sun before long. Toms are in great condition, except a bit of scorching on some of the leaves of the 2 'New Yorkers'. It will be a long long time before I have my own tomatoes in bigger pots. Teenchy weenchy still. That's it for this evening. Sun is out. Steve is cooking dinner, and I am going to pour myself something nice. Happy MayDay, everyone.

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