Last Post 901 days 22 hours ago
30 November 2010 22:10:19
Malus 'Red Sentinel'
Took this photo yesterday of 'Red Sentinel' in the snow. I think they look more like glace cherries than ornamental apples.
30 November 2010 21:22:39
Phormium 'Jester' was purchased for next to nothing and planted out last year. It survived last winter, so it must be hardy. It's providing a nice bit of colour in the garden, even though it is still quite small.
30 November 2010 20:16:11
He's on now. I nearly forgot.
30 November 2010 06:41:44
Pretty and Pink!
A little bit of colour in the garden still. Poor little Carnations.
29 November 2010 21:05:09
Took a few photos of snow that formed intricate patterns amongst different things in the garden centre that I thought were really pretty.
29 November 2010 18:35:06
Took a few photos of icicles in the Upper Pond this afternoon. I love the way no two are alike. Will put up an album 'Icicles'
29 November 2010 16:32:56
Spent all morning trying to clear a decent pathway in the garden centre, which doesn't have a canopy. Treacherous walking conditions. Got the whole place done, and now my shoulder blades are aching. I cleared it as much for myself as for the customers. Buddy followed me all morning. So he was treated to lots of birdseed. I actually managed to work up a sweat clearing the pathway. I couldn't water the indoor plants as the tap outside was frozen solid. After lunch, I noticed a considerable drop in temperature outside. At that stage, it was pelting snow all over the path that I had just cleared. And to top it all, the pipes outside had just burst and the water was turning to ice in front of my very eyes.
I closed the garden centre at 2.30. Too treacherous.
29 November 2010 05:58:23
If you have a pond in your garden, no doubt it has already been frozen. However, if it is stocked with fish, don't just break the ice. The shock waves will be so strong that it will probably kill them. Get a saucepan of boiling water and just place it on the ice for a couple of minutes until it melts some of the ice gently.
28 November 2010 17:59:50
He woke up a month too early
I think Santa is a little bit confused. It's only November. His sack must already be full of 'wish lists'. Looks like he is ready to go! AND he had the nerve to be sitting on my couch today enjoying the banter of family life! And I wouldn't mind, but his tiny little legs didn't even reach over the edge of the seat.
I don't know, I think this fellow looks a bit like an imposter! Never knew Santa was an 'elf'!
28 November 2010 13:02:04
It was sent for a reason!
I was beginning to get the impression that people here on this site were getting a bit 'stuck for words' doing their journals recently. It's not as if there is a whole lot to do in the garden right now. And Lord knows, if there was stuff to do, the weather hasn't been very condusive to working outdoors.
We were sent this snow for a reason. Now at least we have something else to talk about, and have some lovely collections of 'snow' pictures. But after last years bad weather, I must admit I was getting a bit bored looking at them.
28 November 2010 08:26:10
There is a breath-taking calmness all around. The cars going up and down the road out the front are 'swishing' by silently. The sky is tranquil and hushed and is the same colour as the ground. The garden has taken on a magical look. Even my compost bin is looking rather appealing to the eye. Birds are beginning to stir, in search of breakfast. Better stock up, as it looks like another snowfall is about to float down from Heaven.
Anyone who has to drive today, take care. Roads are treacherous. Hopefully Steve won't encounter any hazardous conditions on his drive back home from Wicklow.
And he better get some Briquettes and firelighters on the way back, or he'll be sent back out!!
28 November 2010 06:37:46
6.00am 28.11.10 (from bathroom)
Well, that's a much healthier fall of snow. This is going to stick around for a lot longer. I love the way everything looks so clean and crisp. Just beautiful!
It's going to be an expensive week for me, getting taxis in and out of work. I am NOT going to drive in THAT! Good job I work close to home!
27 November 2010 19:30:35
I was delighted to see my Pinus mugo today. It was only planted out during the early part of this year. Already it is producing some tiny little cones the size of my little fingernail.
27 November 2010 13:23:40
Last of the blueberries
Just in after picking the last of the blueberries. God, it's bitter out there! One more blueberry bush left in work. I will buy it for 50c. :)
27 November 2010 12:42:02
'Anything interesting up there, Gran?'
Great seeing Linda's son out there enjoying a good healthy day. It will be a while before I have the pleasure of seeing My Little Man doing that. This is him this morning, trying to grab my laptop and camera. Start them off early!!
27 November 2010 07:59:58
Wine Cooler X-mas day 2009
There must be a photographer out in the garden taking snaps of my garden, or maybe just me in my pj's! Just saw the brightest flash of lightning. It lit up the whole dining room. 8 o'clock and all the lights are still on.
Have a big fire lit, a wash on, and the heating on full blast. Ha ha Armchair gardening today! With maybe a beverage or two!
27 November 2010 06:10:59
View from front door
Going down the stairs this morning, I got a very strange aura all around me. Glanced at the Landing window. Looked out and saw that the garage roof was a blanket of snow. Didn't think it was cold enough to snow. Lots of thunder and lightning during the night. Won't get much done today now. I'm getting cabin fever already!
26 November 2010 21:13:57
Kept in the Shade - Hydroponics
Transform an old-fashioned glass light shade into an ingenious hanging planter, taking advantage of its fine shape and patterning to display houseplants to advantage.
Coloured-glass shades will look effective when hung in front of a window, as the light will show off the patterning and make the shade glow, especially if moisture-retentive crystals are used as the planting medium.
These crystals swell up when soaked in a mixture of water and plant feed, to form a clear jelly-like substance which can be used instead of compost: the crystals slowly release the water and nutrients to keep the plant healthy. The clear crystals will let light into the shade and make it shine: compost will not.
Moisture-retentive crystals are available from many florists and garden centres under a range of different product names. The moisture-retentive crystals will need to be 'topped up' with water every three or four weeks, depending on the plants used and the environmental conditions. Feed every six months to replenish the nutrients in the growing medium; always dilute the houseplant food before pouring onto the crystals.
To make this arrangement on the right, you will need an old-fashioned glass light shade, decorative chain, moisture-retentive crystals, wire cutters, food colouring, houseplant feed, strong hook, and Spider plant (Chlorophytum cosmosum).
26 November 2010 18:39:58
Flavour of the Orient
Enhance an Oriental meal with this stylishly simple centrepiece of decorative Spider Chrysanthemum heads floating on a shallow bowl of water.
A fresh flower centrepiece adds style to a meal, particularly if it is in keeping with the flavour of the food. This Oriental centrepiece is the ideal accompaniment to an authentic dinner, with its strong colours and shape. Alternatively, use pastel Summer blooms in a patterned bowl for an English-style arrangement.
Choose a wide, shallow bowl large enough to draw the attention, but shallow enough for your guests to look down at the flowers from above. Pick white flowers to contrast with a coloured bowl, and vice-versa.
Flowers in contact with the water will only last a few days, so replace them as they begin to fade to prolong the display.
Spider Chrysanthemums are the best choice for an Oriental look as they are readily available, good value and long-lasting.
Lilies make a really exotic Oriental display.
Camellias look graceful floating on water, but are difficult to buy as cut flowers.
25 November 2010 21:15:44
It's approaching that time of year again when we can't get out and we will still need our 'fix'. I bought sachets of crystal gels while in Lanzarote. Introducing 'Hydroculture'.
I remember my sister and myself growing plants in this coloured crystal gel years ago. It's possible to make up some really nice colour combinations, to compliment the decor of a particular room. One of these sachets will make up one litre of coloured cyrstals. I have already tried this with a spider plant (Chlorophytum) successfully. Now for a bit of googling. I love the challenge of growing plants without soil. Watch this space!
25 November 2010 19:50:14
Got a rake of jobs done today that had been put on the long finger. Everything looking ship-shape as we approach the festive season.
Spent a lot of time with buddy. Tried taking good shots of him getting closer. But there was a delayed action with the photos. But I managed it in the end. He is NOW eating out of my hand! You have no idea how excited I was having accomplished that. Now, my next ambition is to have him perch on my shoulder as I go about my business. Ha ha All I need is an eye-patch and a pair of wooden crutches. "Oooh Aaaar, Jim Lad! "
25 November 2010 19:34:33
Purchased 30th Nov 2009 (no sign of a flower this year)
Just looking through journal dated 30th November 2009. It's not so unusual to have this cold weather. I reported that the bedding in work remained frozen solid until about 3.00pm. Nothing new there.
And also, I had weakened and bought another Orchid. But this was just a temporary fad. More in control this year.
25 November 2010 18:04:03
I want to get my hands on this little beauty, Crocosmia 'Jackanapes'. Haven't seen it for sale anywhere. I have 'Lucifer' thanks to Fran, and the common one 'Montbretia', and I bought a few pots of 'George Davidson' during the summer. It would be nice to have 'Jackanapes' too. We are now entering the 'Danger Zone' with books and catalogues taking over from the practical side of gardening.
Question: do all Crocosmia's bulk up incredibly the way the ordinary one does? I dug loads out of the front garden a while back. I would hate to think the others might be as rampant. Beautiful plant, regardless!
25 November 2010 17:52:42
Aaaagggghhhh this one slipped my mind!
I forgot to lift this poor little Canna down at ground level by the Upper Pond. Mind you, it doesn't look like it has been affected by the cold weather yet. Not going out now. It can wait.
25 November 2010 17:00:43
Still frozen at 4.45pm
An onion has layers. So does an Ogre. And so did I. Hee hee. Leggings under my trousers, 2 pairs of sock, long-sleeved top under t-shirt, and fleece under fleece. I looked more like the Michelin Man with all the clothes. I was damned if I was going to let the cold weather get the better of me. Was like toast all day. Applied Mosgo on the other side of the garden centre today. An hour later it was all frozen. Who'd have thought!
Ponds still frozen when I got home this evening. Cor Blimey! It's a cold one. And gonna get colder.
24 November 2010 20:50:35
I have brought all my Camellias, and Magnolia 'Stellata' up towards the house now to provide them with some vital morning shade. That's the good thing about having them all in pots.
24 November 2010 20:28:27
On Mcdonalds' advice, I went in today and before I had the sh.. frightened out of me AGAIN, I decided to kick the bucket, to warn Mickey Mouse that I was approaching. Ha ha All quiet on the Western Front.......until.....I picked the bucket up. YYyyaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!! The little .........
No wonder it took him so long to get out. Nearly half the contents of the bag was in the bottom of the bucket. And the other half was probably in his stomach. I wonder could he do with a Motilium!!!!!!
24 November 2010 18:54:29
Getting By Fix!
Yes, I did type 'Getting By Fix'. I have beed going to bed early all week as I have a ruddy doze, sore throat, and a dasty cough ad dont feel like doing butch these evedings. Dosed up to the gills, and dot getting ady better. Uggghhh!
Bloody freezing all day out in the garden centre. But I had my little robin almost eating out of my hand. It's a joy to experience. Luckily there weren't many people around to scare him off.
24 November 2010 17:38:47
Which one is this (taken this morning)
This is one that I have planted at the edge of the Upper Pond. Kindred Spirit, is this the one you were talking about this morning. If anyone has the name of this, I would greatly appreciate if you could tell me. I have it years but unfortunately I didn't keep the label.
24 November 2010 05:51:07
Miscanthus sinenses 'Ferner Osten'
Grasses are so valuable in the garden, especially at this time of year. Miscanthus sinenses'Ferner Osten' is looking good even now after its lovely pink late summer colour. But unlike the plumes of a Pampas grass, I don't think these would last too well as part of an indoor arrangement. It looks a bit flimsy. Usually I let this die back unassisted. But this time round, I will see how architectural it may look with snow on it. But I can't see it lasting that long.
23 November 2010 18:47:07
Alan Titchmarsh again tonight BBC2 8.00
23 November 2010 17:50:11
A customer in my place was enquiring about an 'Orange Ball' tree a few months ago. I haven't seen it for sale at all anywhere. I only knew it as Buddleia 'globosa'. I have a very vivid memory of seeing it years ago in the grounds of Dublin Zoo, looking absolutely resplendent, whenever I took my girls there throughout the summer months. I loved it as soon as I clapped eyes on it. However, Fintan offered me a cutting of one recently. They came in the post today. Thank you so much, Fintan. All three are now potted up.
And while I'm at it, a big thanks also goes to Paddy and Mary who sent me a generous amount of Cardiocrinum cordatum seeds. If anybody would like to share this ample supply, just let me know. Plenty to spare. Thanks Paddy and Mary. Looking forward to seeing the results. Fingers crossed!
23 November 2010 07:00:15
Just a suggestion.
Instead of drawing out a name for a Kris kindle pressie prior to the Get -together, why not just put all pressies into a big box and pick a random package on the day. Nothing like the feeling of anticipation. And the limit should be €10 as it was last year.
What do you all think?
22 November 2010 20:08:59
Down for a Photo Shoot
This morning my little buddy landed for a quick photo shoot and he was off again. But he came back a few minutes later looking for food. I got some birdseed out of my bucket......................and a brown, furry, creepy mouse jumped out of it and over my hand. Uggggghhhhhh! I let a scream, dropped the bucket, and my buddy got the fright of his life and flew off again. Don't blame him.
But it wasn't long before he made another appearance. He's getting really friendly now.
22 November 2010 18:25:43
Aubergine playing Solitaire!
This should make it into the next Guinness Book of Records. Who has ever had their first ripe Aubergine on the 22nd November? All of the flowers fell off during the growing season. When I came back from Lanzarote on the October weekend, I spotted the first Aubergine. It has now ripened. What does one do with a solitary aubergine? Save seeds for next year?
22 November 2010 16:58:30
taken at 1.00
What a day! Here on the east coast we had a rotten, rotten day. Hailstones, heavy showers, thunder and lightning. And to top it all, it was blinkin' cold too.
Took a few photos of angry skies. You'd swear I had nothing better to do all day in work. :)
This photo was taken at 1.00. Looks more like 6.00pm.
22 November 2010 05:58:58
This Gazania is trying its' best to open. But where's the sun? Took this photo on Saturday.
21 November 2010 21:27:16
Look at what will be flowering for me in the next couple of days in the Upper Pond.
21 November 2010 20:58:30
Leucanthemum 'Snow Lady'
Leucanthemum 'Snow Lady'. Will hand it over on the 4th.
21 November 2010 20:07:06
3 Hebes READY TO GO!
Decided to dig up everything in the triangular bed to be prepared for Steve's next project. Dug up 3 Hebes for giving away at the get-together. Also Choisya 'Aztec Pearl, Leucanthemum 'Snow Lady', and lots of Ajuga reptans which went in the compost. SIck of that. It did its' job, now it's time for something nicer. Also dug up a rose Flower Carpet White. Will decide where to put that . The new triangular bed will be made up of 2 different levels. My Flagpole Cherry will go in the uppermost level. The lower level will have most of my acid-loving plants planted there. Fed up with all of them being in pots. And they will thank me for their freedom. But next week Steve has to work on Saturday so it won't be started then. The following week is the get-together. So we may be looking at the New Year before it gets underway. But at least I have the ground cleared now. And then the Southsiders sent the rain over. That was the end of that!
My Leucanthemum 'Snow Lady' is here for the taking, with a bit of Ajuga which has found its' way into the soil around it. First come, first served!
21 November 2010 19:48:45
Callicarpa a bodinieri var. giraldii 'Profusion'
Kate & Graham called up for a short time this evening. Had a great oul' natter and a laugh. Luckily it was dark by the time they got here so they didn't have to clap eyes on my long wet grass. And the garden is looking pretty grim at this time. Gosh, they brought me a gift of a lovely Callicarpa. Thank you both so much. One more plant off my 'wish' list.
21 November 2010 17:43:32
Ok this one isn't quite so good.
21 November 2010 17:37:15
Ok just in. This is the best I can do with my little camera.
21 November 2010 14:02:29
Eh what the....... was out enjoying myself in the garden, and getting lots done. All of a sudden, the Heavens opened. Could you not keep it over there? No. You believe in the phrase 'sharing is caring'. Hmph!
21 November 2010 11:26:26
Is now ok?
I have 2 small Azaleas in the Wilderness area. Because they are usually hidden by surrounding shrubs, I was thinking of moving them into my triangular bed, together with a few more acid-loving shrubs.
Is it ok to move Azaleas now?
21 November 2010 08:14:41
Cortaderia 'Splendid Star'
This is a photo of my Pampas Grass 'Splendid Star'. It was in a pot for about 2 years and this year I decided to plant it out. It grows MUCH better in the ground, even though they are recommended for pots. "The proof of the pudding is in the eating".
21 November 2010 07:50:09
I have this in a pot purely because I can move it into the greenhouse during extreme temperatures if need be. I am usually a bit dubious as to how hardy a new plant is, until I see evidence myself. However, just inspecting this one closer yesterday I noticed a couple of runners coming up out of the compost. I wonder how does Sarcocca perform when planted out in a border?
20 November 2010 20:13:55
Some of you may remember during the summer Steve accidentally pulled up my Rhododendron from a pot, not knowing what it was. It snapped in half. However, it is, thankfully, growing well, even if it is a 'standard' now! :)
There are plenty of buds on it and it's a nice healthy colour too. Maybe Steve did it a favour.
20 November 2010 19:26:36
Dark, and damp old day. I was going to try and get the grass cut, but really it was too wet. As it was, with all my toing and froing outside, the grass became a heap of muck. Hopefully I will get it done tomorrow. I don't want all my Crocusses coming up if the grass is long. I spent a bit of time today cutting back dead and blackened stuff. It looks so much better now. I also got the taller pond plants cut down, and while doing that I noticed a couple of Shabunkin still swimming just under the surface of the water. I would have thought they would be gone into hibernation long ago. I brought my Camellias and Magnolia up closer to the house where they will get shade in the morning and sun in the afternoon.
I planted some bulbs into the pond border : Leucojum 'Gravetye Giant', Frillaria Meleagris, Specie Crocus 'Fuscotinctus' and Chionodoxa 'Luciliae'. then I planted Galanthus 'Woronowii', single, and Trillium cuneatum into pots. That will give me a bit of time to decide where to actually plant these come next Spring. So that's it. No more bulbs to plant, thank God.
I spent a short while tidying up the front garden, mainly bagging all the Cordyline leaves all over the grass,and lots of litter that had blown all over the place since last weeks high winds.
Yesterday I bought some nice Cyclamen and planted them up into a pot for outside the patio doors.
20 November 2010 18:28:59
Aw! I love this! Not fully opened yet, but still beautiful.
20 November 2010 17:00:37
Got a haircut today. What do you think?
20 November 2010 14:42:50
Just down beside my flowering cherry. A lot more leaves to fall, but with the present colour, and the colour of the leaves that have already scattered on the ground underneath, it cast a lovely glow all around me, and gave me a lovely warm feeling! Ok, I may be a bit weird!
20 November 2010 08:22:30
Introduced this flower to my garden during the early part of the summer to give my grandson some interest in the garden at an early age. Gotta say it is still looking as good now as when it was planted. I would definitely recommend this for long-lasting colour!!!!
19 November 2010 22:05:21
Is it a fern, or moss?
Yesterday in work I was merchandising different plants. On one of the shelves I had a display of Lavender. I used a big opaque, upturned plastic box to gain extra height with a display and to give it a tiered effect. However, when I removed the plastic box from the capillary matting I noticed this growth underneath. It had no access to daylight and just obtained moisture from the seepage off the lavender beside it.
I had to sweep down the shelf before displaying other plants in the same area, and I didn't have the where-with-all to keep the growth for further inspection. Is it a fern of some sort, or a moss? It wasn't even rooted on the capillary matting. It just swept away cleanly. I knew there was one person who could answer my question.......I hope!
19 November 2010 20:36:28
Abutilon megapotamicum 'Variegatum'
Was off a bit earlier than normal today but didn't get out to the garden until quite late. Watered everything in the greenhouse and aired it for a while. Abutilon megapotamicum 'Variegatum' is still flowering inside. Hopefully next summer I will try my hand at a few cuttings as an insurance policy.
19 November 2010 06:11:57
Still a little bit of colour....
Surprised that this geranium is still flowering after the cold spell. I thought it would be long gone. However, it is very welcome as there isn't much else to provide much needed colour here.
18 November 2010 21:28:45
Smoothie with a difference!
It's nearly Party Time.
Slugs make nutritious snacks for certain animals
(fish, cats, ducks) as they contain protein,
vitamins, calcium and oils.
1. Handpick a selection of slugs.
2. When you have enough, stick them in a
blender and do a quick whizz to make
a lovely slimy brew. This delicious and highly
nutritious smoothie will benefit your cat
(and garden) no end.
3. Alternatively, kill the slugs first and feed
them to your fish, which will merrily snack
away on them.
4. Don't forget to give your blender a
18 November 2010 20:42:02
He was contemplating hopping onto my hand when suddenly a customer came bursting out and frightened him off. Ah, well. Tomorrow's another day!
18 November 2010 19:36:47
Took this photo while stopped at a red light on the way home this evening. The chap selling newspapers was looking at me very weirdly!
18 November 2010 07:23:13
This is the result of a couple of pieces of Schlumbergera that fell off a plant in work last year. Of course, one can't help resisting the thoughts of free plants. Well worth the effort. It's now open fully. And another one on its' way.
Don't ya just love 'freebies' !
17 November 2010 20:26:44
Just in with Dad this evening. We got talking about days of yore. He was such a frail and skinny child that his mother would always try to dissuade him from expending too much physical energy. She wanted to 'fatten' him up.
He remembers on a regular occurence his 5 sisters and 3 brothers taking trips to the Bog in Castlekelly, beyond Boharnabreena and coming home bragging about all the Frockin Berries they had picked. "Frockin Berries", I hear you all say. Hmmmm, no, I never heard of them either. But he didn't know them by any other name.
Just googled on all possible spellings of the word Frockin. Bilberries (Vaccinium Myrtillus) are found in very acidic, nutrient-poor soils. One characteristic of bilberries is that they produce single or paired berries on the bush instead of clusters, as a blueberry does. The fruit is smaller than a blueberry but has a fuller taste. The red juice was used by European dentists to show children how to brush their teeth properly, as unproperly brushed areas will be heavily stained. Bilberries are extremely difficult to grow so are seldom cultivated.
In Ireland, the fruit is known as Fraughan, from the Irish, Fraochan. Traditionally gathered on the last Sunday in July known as Fraughan Sunday. It doesn't look like I will be swapping my blueberries for a Fraughan any time soon. But it's a new berry in my vocabulary. And I just LOVE hearing snippets from my Dads' childhood.
17 November 2010 18:28:01
Closer each day!
What a wild night we had. Pots smashed and all over the garden centre this morning. Shrubs rolling around the ground minus their pots. SOme split beyond redemption. I don't ever remember seeing so many leaves all over the place. The place was like a bombsite. And to top it all, the bamboo screens around the perimeter are now flapping about like flags. If I was tall enough I would fix them myself. I got great satisfaction out of getting the place back into 'ship-shape'. And all the while, my little pal was getting closer and closer. Hopefully the bamboo screens will be back in place by close of business tomorrow.
I never got the chance to get out in my garden this morning for my usual 'walkabout' and it was too late when I got in this evening. It definitely feels like I am missing out on SOMETHING as a result. Sad, or what!
17 November 2010 06:01:07
Hippeastrum no. 2
I can't really take any credit for my two Hippeastrums this year as they were only bought a couple of weeks ago. ANd there are only leaves on last years one.
But this other new one is just about to burst open. I like it!
What a wet and wild night. If you have to go out, take care on the roads.
16 November 2010 18:58:56
Tonight on BBC2 at 8.00 Alan Titchmarsh's Garden Secrets.
16 November 2010 18:01:26
I have been trying to source some shrubs with berries, for winter interest, and also to attract more birds into the garden. We have a selection of Berberis in our place, but these are all deciduous. Not what I am looking for. So I am on the lookout for Berberis Stenophylla, which is an evergreen shrub.
This one is fast-growing and very prickly. It has small dark green leathery leaves held on graceful arching branches. In Spring, the fragrant cup-shaped yellow flowers smother the stems, and in Autumn there are lots of blue/black berries which are very attractive to birds. Serious thorns and a dense habit make a useful roosting, hiding and nesting place.
Now all I need is to find one!
15 November 2010 21:44:42
Got these Bellis perennis during the very early part of the Summer. I wasn't expecting to see any more flowers on them until at least Spring. Today, while taking some snaps, it surprised me. On their way to flowering once more. Bless their little hearts.
It looks like a little eye.
15 November 2010 20:53:08
Malus 'Red Sentinel'
Wasn't in form for gardening today, so took a few photos instead. Really cold all day. New pond was frozen over, and remained like that up until about 3.00pm. No fear of any fish being killed here as this one is not stocked. The Upper Pond has a pump, so this enables it to remain relatively ice-free. The Lower Pond has an Airstone, which basically gives the same effect.
Took a few photos of my frosty garden, and nothing else! Feeling VERY lethargic all day.
15 November 2010 14:15:17
Eyes like a Hawk
Only he's not a hawk. He's a Heron. This fellow has been hanging around the back gardens all morning. Luckily all the fish have gone down for the winter.
15 November 2010 09:15:49
Nandina domestica (Sacred Bamboo)
There's one good thing about frost or snow.
IT MAKES YOUR LAWN LOOK AS NICE AS YOUR NEIGHBOUR'S!
15 November 2010 09:06:11
Mitraria coccinea (Mitre Bush) with frost
So beautiful out there this morning. Everything is covered with a heavy frost. It looks magical. I love walking on crunchy grass. They say you shouldn't walk on a lawn covered in frost. But it has never done MINE any harm. A good dry crisp day on the cards. Enjoy. I am off sick. And for once, I don't feel like doing a whole lot.
15 November 2010 06:13:00
I posted a photo of my Hippeastrum on 3rd November. Some of you wanted to place bets on when it would actually be in flower. Two of the 4 flowers opened on Saturday but I was waiting for the whole thing to open before posting results. But then, I didn't want the first 2 flowers to be dying off for the next photo.So here it is. Gorgeous!
Clare said 10 days (13th November) so I guess that makes her the winner. 10 random packets of seeds will be sent tomorrow morning. WIll decide later this evening which ones. Wahoo, congratulations, Clare. Couldn't have gone to a nicer person!
14 November 2010 22:09:42
'Scotch Bonnet' today
I keep on saying these are the last of the chilipeppers. But the truth is, I keep finding little ones, and I let them mature, and ripen. At the moment, I still have 3 chilipepper plants left in the dining room. I took the last out of the greenhouse today. It was hiding in an inaccessible corner. This last plant is 'Scotch Bonnet'. I can't believe I nearly overlooked these little beauties. I do remember Dave (Chilipepper) saying that some chilipeppers can be over-wintered indoors for next year. But can't remember which ones.
14 November 2010 20:51:05
Nerine alba from Trish
I have never spent so much time downloading just a few photos. Wow!
Anyway, this album contains all the plants/cuttings that I got from Lanzarote Flora. Unfortunately, she consistently has problems logging on to Garden.ie
If anyone has any ideas as to the identity of plants marked with ? I would be eternally grateful.
Now you know what my daughter, Kim, is on about. There was no shortage of indoor plants here before Trish's generous offerings. So they are all battling for space.
14 November 2010 19:33:07
Bicycle planter with pansies/violas
With errands to run and other things, like cleaning windows and the house in general, I didn't get as much time in the garden as I would have liked. My eldest daughter, Kim, came visiting on Friday and said the house looked like a 'Madwomans' with all the plants. She likened the house to a film about a woman obsessed with cats. And there were about 50-60 cats running riot about the place. :) Actually, she wasn't far wrong! So I had to clear a major amount of clutter. A lot of the plants went up to the spare room, landing and bathroom windowsill. I got very little gardening done. But in the afternoon, I got the place tidied up somewhat. The already cut Jasmine and Honeysuckle finally got bagged. In a couple of days the grass underneath will be back to its' proper colour. It's great the way grass always bounces back. Opened the glasshouse for a while and gave all a good watering. Tidied down the bench.
Planted up 3 planters, one with one of my new Ilex, another with the Myrtus ugni, and a little bicycle planter with my own seedlings of pansies and violas. Re-organized bookshelf to see what space I would be able to afford for some new books over the coming season.
14 November 2010 10:17:07
Signs of life
This is a plant that Trish (Lanzarote Flora) gave me as a cutting 3 weeks ago. Already it is showing signs of growth. Now, I wish she would tell me what it is.
14 November 2010 10:05:57
Feeding on sunflower seeds
Another bad photo, the magpies just wouldn't sit still long enough for me to take a proper photo.
AND IT MIGHT HELP IF I CLEANED MY WINDOWS!!! :)
13 November 2010 23:31:30
Told you it was crap! :)
Ok Martin, I may be ridiculed for this pathetic photo. But moons are not my strong point. So here goes.
13 November 2010 22:42:38
I also have 4 successful cuttings of this Sedum. Myrtle knows the full name. It's Sedum ........ Sieboldii or something like that.
They're yours for the taking. First come, first served.
13 November 2010 20:01:11
Anybody want these?
I have 3 white-flowering Hebes here that I will be digging up. They are in my Triangular Bed, which is going to get yet another make-over as soon as weather permits. Was going to do it today, but that didn't happen.
I can bring them to the Christmas Get-together.
13 November 2010 16:10:14
Mahonia 'Winter Sun'
Had a 'girlie' morning with Zoe this morning. Baby David was with his Daddy. Zoe and I made a start (Well, I did) on our Christmas shopping (Zoe has her shopping done since September), and then went for brunch. Bought myself a new touch phone. OMG how in God's name do I use it!!!! I feel old age creeping up VERY fast.
Got home. Went up immediately to change into gardening gear. Came down. Lashing rain. Ok, so I need some practice on the new phone. The rain is down for the day. This morning, looking out the window I spotted 2 magpies feeding voraciously on the sunflowers seeds that I was too lazy to pull up. Unfortunately by the time I got the camera, they had high-tailed it.
I am bored! Mmm gotta water my houseplants. That could take a while:(
12 November 2010 20:07:05
Ilex altaclerensis 'Golden King'
Beautiful bright, crisp and dry day. Perfect for work. On my quest for 'berried' shrubs, today I bought another Holly (Ilex altaclerensis 'Golden King'). But this one will only have berries if it is pollinated. However the foliage is lovely. Not spiky like your usual holly. And maybe there are male Hollys in the vicinity.
Getting fed up not doing anything in the garden. Have lots of tidying up to do. I was going to leave Rudbeckia in over the winter to provide interest after a night of frost. That won't be happening. It's looking really crap now. It's out with the secateurs, shears and rake, and black plastic bags tomorrow.
12 November 2010 06:15:53
Ilex aguifolium 'Argentea Marginata'
Decided I am going to start getting a few more plants for the garden that produce berries. I need winter interest too. The garden is looking so drab and lifeless, and VERY wet. Yesterday I bought Ilex aquifolium 'Argentea Marginata'. Maybe that will help to draw in more birds, and possibly different ones. I might try and grow this Holly as a standard. It will take a while though as it is quite small.
I tasted the berries from the new Myrtus ugni. Mmmmm quite nice. It's funny really, as most people would think that berries on plants are inedible or even poisonous.
11 November 2010 19:56:16
'Elstar' apples 11.11.10
I am delighted with my 'Elstar' apple tree which is growing in a big pot. I only have it 2 yrs. This year I have eaten about 20 apples from it. Picked more today. That's about all I managed to do.
Also still picking chilipeppers. I have two plants here which I brought into the house when I got back from my holidays. And they are ripening daily.
11 November 2010 17:35:30
Oh! What a day!
I was blown all over the Garden Centre today. But there were things to be done. Got all the roses cut back, and clematis. Then top-dressed all of them. Nobody outside today. Took all plants off the top shelves. Trees had to be tied up. But I am human, and can only take so much. Closed the Garden Centre at 3.00. It was just way too dangerous.
I took some nice photos of the trees in the carpark yesterday with the sun glinting through the foliage. Today, most of them are bare!
10 November 2010 19:00:01
During the summer, I asked Steve to chop down/dig up my 3 Pyracantha shrubs. They had really overtaken the area down at the back wall. And I used to do myself some serious damage every year while trying to thin them out. Of course, the berries are a valuable source of food for the birds. But I wanted it gone! Too much hassle, and too vigorous a grower. So they went.
However, this morning while looking out, I realized that now I don't have an awful lot in the way of berries to offer the birds during the leaner months of the year. I have Cotoneaster and I think that's about it. So I decided to buy a shrub, preferably an evergreen with berries today. Was going to buy Ilex aquifolium 'Argentea Marginata' but wasn't sure if it needed male and female plants to produce the berries. However, on Googling this, I will be buying it tomorrow.
But today I chose a nice evergreen shrub Myrtus ugni. Googled this one too. And after reading about the berries being delectable, I may just buy another one. One for me, one for the birds.
This one is known by several common names, includine Chilean Guava, Murtilla, and Tas Myrtus Berry. In New Zealand it is being marketed as New Zealand Cranberry. It has a taste combination of strawberry, pineapple and apple. Will taste them in the morning. Too cold out there now!
MR. GOOGLE HAS A LOT TO ANSWER FOR!
10 November 2010 17:13:59
Really heavy frost this morning. Had to wear my fleece until I did enough work to build up a sweat. Applied the Mosskiller on the side of the garden centre that I scrubbed down on Friday. Then I scrubbed the left side. Will have to apply Mosskiller on that some other day. Couldn't miss this opportunity as it should be applied when you are pretty sure it won't rain for at least 4 - 5 hours. Crisp, dry and bright all day.
I also took this opportunity to sweep under the shelving. Bad design really as the bottom shelf sits about 8 inches up off the ground. Things get blown under, and when any of the lads are sweeping (which is very rare), they tend to sweep all the dirt UNDER the shelving when they think I'm not looking!!!
While sweeping underneath, I was visited by my little buddy. He displayed absolutely NO fear of me. I find it a great 'lift' to see him. By the time I was finished, he was perching on the trolley that I was working from. Gave him some bird seed. Soon he will be eating out of my hand again.
10 November 2010 06:30:09
Kaffir Lily taken 7th November
Gosh, there is very little flowering in my garden right now. I have Asters, a few Gaillardia, Clematis cirrhosa 'Freckles' and Agryranthemum. But the one that's flowering the best is my Kaffir lily. It seems to take everything the weather is throwing at it.
I do also have Cyclamen and Carnations, which were freshly bought in. And I have my flower pouch filled with Patiola (lovely blue) that I grew from seed.
I am trying to resist cutting back completely some flowers like Rudbeckia, sunflowers and others to provide either food for the birds or to provide the garden with a bit of interest come the heavy frosts. The Rudbeckia is looking pretty grim with all its black foliage. Hmm! I feel it's for 'the chop' at the weekend. Verbena bonariensis is still looking great. They will stay. Now it's time for the evergreens to take centre stage. These are usually placed in an 'out-of-way' place over the summer months. Must sort them out and bring them back into the limelight.
Can't wait for all the bulbs to come up. I guess it's almost time for the birds to take over our gardens for the winter.
09 November 2010 22:24:21
Sorry about the quality of this photo. The flower, as you can see, is totally out of focus. But I was waiting for an important phone call yesterday, and ran when I heard it. As you can see, the foliage on mine is a bit darker. This is only my second winter with this though and I haven't seen any berries on it yet.
09 November 2010 21:54:16
New Years Resolutions in November
I started buying a weekly gardening magazine 'Amateur Gardening' from about March of this year. One reason for this was they were giving a free packet of seeds every week. My New Years Resolution is to stop buying magazines. I have nowhere to put them. Does anybody want these? I have about 45 editions. I can bring them all to the next 'get-together'.
09 November 2010 21:13:12
While in Lanzarote I had the joy of witnessing Trish's Stephanotis (Madagascar Jasmine) growing up to roughly 7ft against a trellis in her sunny garden. Wow, the scent of the flowers was enough to make one swoon!!!
Plenty of seed pods there, so she gave me one which has ripened fully since coming home. Tonight I sowed just 5 seeds in the hope that I can even get a very small house plant. I live in hope! Oh! I would be so delighted if they were to germinate!
09 November 2010 19:57:58
Trish's cuttings finally potted up!
What a morning! Everything from the top shelves was on the ground when I went in. Some of the pots split. Tomorrow these will have to be reduced, as the water will just run straight out of them, not providing them with adequate moisture.
Swept everywhere, and scurried inside to the heat of the shop. Spent the rest of the day piddling about with house plants and deciding which Christmas decorations I will be buying this year. First time ever that I didn't work for my wages.
No gardening when I got home for obvious reasons. But after dinner, I potted up the rest of Trish's plants and cuttings. Now all I need is some more space indoors!
09 November 2010 06:23:20
Posted a journal about this on 3rd November. 10 random packets of seeds to the person who can guess when it will open. This is it today. Slower than I expected. Story of my life. Impatient as ever.
08 November 2010 21:53:18
Bought this lovely book today called The Wild Flowers of Ireland by Declan Doogue and Carsten Krieger. It has a couple of very useful chapters outlining lots of Woodland plants which will be going on a 'must have' list for my woodland area for next year.
08 November 2010 20:19:21
Deborah, you gave me a Brunnera in a little black square pot the other night. Can you tell me which one it is please? I potted this one on into a slightly bigger pot.
08 November 2010 19:30:16
Traveller's Joy (for Myrtle)
Myrtle posted a journal last week with a photo of a 'wild clematis'. Bought a book today on wild flowers of Ireland. Just spotted the same one that Myrtle mentioned.
Myrtle, it is also called 'Traveller's Joy'. It is a close relative of the garden clematis, though its flowers are not as showy as most. It is believed to be a native in the south of England but not so here. In recent years it seems to be getting commoner and is spreading to new ground by means of its feathered fruits, which become airborne towards the end of summer.
08 November 2010 18:59:02
Said goodbye to Penny, my sister, and got cracking with planting up bulbs into pots. It has been great having her up for a whole weekend. I don't get to see her often enough. Planted T. 'Super Parrot', 'Flamenco', 'Blumex', 'Triumph White', 'Helmar', 'Abba' and 'Upstar'. The last two of these are doubles. Can't wait now for a bit of vibrant colour in the garden once again.
I also got the plants that Deborah gave me at the weekend into pots. All out in the garden now getting a good soaking as it lashing here. Feel better now.
08 November 2010 07:17:49
And I still have lots of bulbs to plant. Galanthus, Leucojum, Chionodoxa, tulips and Trillium. I just haven't been able to make time to get these planted. Off today, but taking my sister out for brunch and a natter before she heads home to Tralee this evening. Weather not great either, but not half as bad as expected.
I think at this late stage, I better plant these into pots. Will do this in the kitchen later. Then I hope to sink them into the borders so I can lift them when they go over.
07 November 2010 23:03:00
Like a bat out of Hell!
Called in to Clare's house before heading to Fran's. Got a guided tour of Clare's garden. In darkness, just the way she wanted. Ha ha. I'll get her again. I have made an appointment for June. The boys (Sorry, Men) got a bird's eye view of Greg's (Clara's husband) skills in making motor bikes. In a world of their own, they were. Well done, Greg.
07 November 2010 22:25:58
Reeling in the years!
We checked out this morning and took a long stroll down the beach in Bray, towards the Dart. It brought back many good memories of years gone by. I used to be in a Brass and Reed Band way back then, playing the trumpet. We used to perform Sunday recitals in the Bandstand regularly. Good to see some thing never change. It is still standing today.
07 November 2010 21:16:24
Weird or what!
Having a drink in the bar of the hotel yesterday before heading off to Frans place, looked out the window and spotted this weird phenomenon on the horizon. I have never seen a rainbow like this before. Hope it shows up properly on the cropped photo. This shot was taken in Bray, Clara's neck of the woods.
07 November 2010 19:59:14
Surprise party/Plant swap
Busy yesterday with a Christening in the morning, and Frans surprise party last night. The look on his face was priceless. Ha ha. Great night had by all. Fran, Maria did you proud. Nothing was left to chance, and she sailed through the night like it was second nature. Thanks for the invite.
And of course we seem to always avail of every opportunity to do a bit of plant swapping. Still haven't got round to potting them up as I was with my sister all day who came up for yesterdays Christening. Off tomorrow, so hopefully it will get done then. The rain is starting, the winds are picking up. Hope I'm not housebound.
06 November 2010 08:21:14
New Greenhouse/Pond border today
It looks really cold out there. Maybe it's because we ran out of oil during the week. The house needs a good blast of heat. Got oil delivered on Thursday. But heating system won't 'kick in'. It has been dark every evening so we can't see what we're doing out in the boiler house. And the burner is blocked in by loads of bamboo canes. My brother is having his daughter Christened today so we won't get the chance to work on it. Brrr. And most importantly, I won't get the chance to get out and do a bit!!!!!!! The honeysuckle and Jasmine that I cut back last sunday is still littering the grass.
So in effect, I have LOTS of leaves on my lawn now, Fran. Surely that allows me access to your new club.
05 November 2010 20:28:03
Volunteer NOT found
Guys, I am NOT an organizer. I don't mind helping out, and doing the odd bit. But really, I would only get too stressed if things were to fall apart. I don't want to organize this Christmas 'do'. So please, I am imploring you all out there, someone else do it. Maybe someone who has a bit more time on their hands.
I only wanted to remind you all that Christmas is coming!
05 November 2010 19:41:07
Gone to Snail Heaven
As soon as I went out to the GC today, I decided to do something about all the moss that has gathered on the tarmac. I was so busy during the summer rush that I never got the opportunity to do this. All of the products used for Moss recommend that you scrub it first. So I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed like my life depended on it. OMG I spent most of the day doing that. I only got one half of the garden centre done. Will do the other half next week some time. As it was showery all day, I couldn't apply the Mosskiller. That will also have to wait. Tied up all the fruit trees in readiness for the tail end of Hurricane Thomas which is likely to hit us on Sunday/Monday. At least now they won't be falling all over the place.
Spent a good bit of time cutting back brambles that are encroaching on our premises from the one beside which is now vacant.
Now, let's see if I can get my fork up to my mouth.
AND BEFORE ANYONE SUGGESTS IT, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT A GARDEN FORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
05 November 2010 06:38:53
Vacancy for Volunteer
5th November already. We should really be thinking about our Christmas get-together now. Where are we having it? Somewhere pretty much central to accommodate our Coastal friends who wouldn't normally be able to attend a get-together. When are we having it? You are probably all thinking to yourselves "She has lost the plot". But time has a habit of slipping by. Before we know it, Christmas will be upon us.
But most importantly, WHO is going to organize it?
04 November 2010 22:26:50
Frozen Pond Jan 2010
Hopefullly the frosty night that was forecast for Saturday night won't happen. Just thought I would remind you all of last winters sub-zero temperatures.
04 November 2010 21:10:01
More Goodies from Trish!
Steve's Mam and Dad spent the last 5 weeks in Lanzarote. We just joined them for two. During our two weeks away, we met up with Trish (Lanzarote Flora) and she opened up her home and garden to us. I came home 2 wks ago armed with cuttings of all sorts.
Steve's Mam and Dad flew home last night. But Trish called to see them one more time yesterday, and with lots more plants and cuttings. Oh wow. Some of them are REAL beauties. Thanks a million, Trish, AGAIN. Guess who's going to be busy tomorrow evening!
04 November 2010 20:02:43
I haven't even been off sick, and already I am bored. All I managed to do today was take a couple of photos before work this mornig. Asters still looking good. Hopefully they will clump up for next year.
Maybe I should go and tidy my bedroom!
04 November 2010 06:16:55
Indoor Hibiscus is still doing well too. The red is producing more flowers too. Very surprised and delighted with these. They were a bargain. I got the Solanum 'rantonetti', and 3 indoor Hibiscus standards for just €20.
03 November 2010 22:24:27
Dad promised to dig up a big clump of Nerine bowdenii for me when they start to die off. Happy days!
03 November 2010 22:13:38
Who'd have thought that there would still be Antirrhinums in bloom. This was in Dad's garden this evening.
03 November 2010 22:00:59
Geranium 'Vancouver Centennial'
This is still flowering away to its hearts content. I took it into the greenhouse this morning, as there is colder weather on its way.
03 November 2010 21:18:55
Ah this cheating lark is no fun. I only bought this on Sunday. Looks like it could be open by NEXT Sunday.
The REAL challenge will be to get my last years ones blooming a second time. Now THAT could take some time.
03 November 2010 20:09:20
It was so horrible outside all morning that I decided to give the indoor plants a bit of tlc. Stripped the whole shelf down, dickied everything up, removing dead or dying foliage, reduced and watered. Then in order of size and price, shelved everything in block form. Looks much more organized now. Happy with that.
A small delivery came in. Double-stemmed Hippeastrums for €8.99. "I'll have one of those." Also put a Zamioculcas aside. I have wanted one of those for a while. When paying for them on my lunch, my conscience was at me. "Will I, won't I?" It was nearly like the ad for McDonalds (or was it BurgerKing?) where the child is faced with a dilemma of wanting 'Daddy, or chips'. I was proud of myself. I put the Hippeastrum back. Well............I did get 2 small ones on Sunday.
Zamioculcas, or commonly known as 'Zanzibar Gem', is usually grown for its attractive foliage, and its air-purifying qualities. It will tolerate very low light. And can be propagated by leaf cuttings.
Got to finish off outdoor jobs after lunch.
Nothing done in the garden this evening, again. Now I know why I usually end up buying so many indoor plants at this time of year. But I think I am learning!
02 November 2010 22:10:51
Just looking at my 2 new Amaryllis that I bought on Sunday. I bought 2 different sizes. Obviously to lengthen the interest in the flowering period. Hopefully the shorter one will be open for Christmas or thereabouts.
The taller one is already beginning to lean over even though I am turning it every day. I must remember what happened to Cloncaw's Amaryllis last year. And was it Fraoch who used the knitting needle to keep hers from falling over? The white will be first to bloom.
02 November 2010 21:13:13
Lots of free leaves
A lot of you out there have the makings of some lovely crafts right on your doorstep. Take some choice leaves that have fallen in your garden. Place them separately in between 2 sections of kitchen paper. Flatten them gently and place them inside a heavy book, and leave to dry. This could take up to a week.
Buy some clipframes, and coloured paper, to match or contrast with your decor, as a backdrop for your handiwork, and place just one leaf (if it's a big one) in the centre. You could repeat the design in each clipframe creating unity. Or you could make up a series of different sizes with the same type of leaf in each, also creating unity. If you are suffering withdrawal effects from gardening in this hideous weather, use your imaginations and get cracking.
I took this photo of the carpark in work today, and collected some of the leaves. Hopefully in the next week or two, I will have a couple of new pictures for the house at very little cost.
02 November 2010 20:00:23
Clematis cirrhosa 'Freckles'
What a horrific day. Not one customer in the garden centre. Raingear letting in, gloves splitting, boots letting in. Still cleaning up after my holiday. OMG When did I decide that office work just WASN'T for me! It hasn't let up all day, and looks like it will be here for at least the next week.
But there was beauty in my otherwise sodden garden this morning. My Clematis cirrhosa 'Freckles' opened. Ahhh!!!! Every cloud....... (And there were lots of them all day). This one is evergreen and scented, and also flowers in Summer.
02 November 2010 06:20:13
With the hour having gone back, at least it's a bit brighter in the mornings. But that rules out completely any gardening done in the evening. I will have to stick to 'weekend gardening' for now. Hopefully I will be off that little bit earlier this evening and may get some more bulbs planted. All I managed yesterday was to water the greenhouse. :(
I feel the need to buy some books now, to keep myself amused over the winter months!
GOD, I HATE WINTER!
01 November 2010 19:24:03
Fortefog 'P' Fumers
My Dad used to always use smoke bombs to fumigate his greenhouse at the beginning of each growing season. However, for the last few years now, he has been finding it impossible to locate them. Yesterday, he was successful. We bought 2 each, just in case their stocks dried up. The print on the packaging is so small, I had to google on it.
They are used for killing and deterring fleas, bugs, cluster flies and stored product insects.
Forte Fog Fumers are easy to use multi-purpose products using an insecticide of low mammalian toxicity for insect control in enclosed spaces, in hard to treat areas without the need for additional spraying equipment. Forte Fog Fumers are the strong fumer alternative. They are ideal for use in areas that are difficult to control by normal spraying methods, or where spraying of water or solvent-based insecticides is not possible, or desirable.
Forte Fog Fumers are READY TO USE. They are completely self-contained. No additional chemicals are required. No mixing or complicated calculations are needed. Just light the fuse and walk away.
Place the fumer on a heat-resistent surface and remove the top. Light the wick and leave the greenhouse for a minimum of 2 hours. Then ventilate any remaining smoke. Once smoke-free, the greenhouse can be re-entered.
01 November 2010 07:26:41
A rare sunrise
I don't often get the opportunity to capture a photo of a sunrise. We usually sit in the back of the house, which is west-facing. Was putting out a Charity bag this morning and couldn't resist this photo. Pity I don't have the sea or mountains in the foreground, but what the heck. It's a sunrise. And beautiful. Red sky in the morning..... C'est la vie!
01 November 2010 06:10:18
When is a cucumber NOT a cucumber
When it is an apple, or a pear.
This is the last of the cucumbers, which I picked yesterday. This one is called 'Crystal Apple'. Funny that, as it looks neither like a cucumber, NOR an apple. Delicious nonetheless!