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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal January 2011

Last Post 2485 days 10 hours ago

Corydalis

31 January 2011 19:56:05
Corydalis flexuosa

Corydalis flexuosa

I love the small purple veins on this evergreen plant. This is one for my 'area for David' this year.

Sunrise

31 January 2011 17:25:58
Sunrise

Sunrise

This is the sunrise at 7.55am when I was out de-icing my car in the front. It's a pity I don't have a better backdrop! But it's the sunrise I want to share with you.

Such a chore!

31 January 2011 16:52:54
'Stuttgarter'

'Stuttgarter'

Pipes burst outside the garden centre when we had the first lot of snow. I was basically relying on melting snow to water all the plants outdoors. Fed up reminding Managers that it needs to be fixed. Got the go ahead last week, but it wasn't done. Rang up the company in question and they said they had no instructions to pay us a visit. The job still hasn't been sanctioned by bosses here. So now at this stage, things outside really do need a good watering. Such a chore. I have a big dustbin on a trolley outside the Ladies. I have to use a kitchen jug to fill a watering can, as the watering can is too big to fit in the wash-hand basin. Then I empty the watering can into the bin. And in to the Ladies again, and again. The watering can is too wide to fit into the bin, so I have to water all outdoor plants with a bloody kitchen jug. How pathetic is that. Really time-consuming and a PAIN IN THE BUTT. Rant over.

I had decided not to do too many edibles here this year, but I really can't resist the urge. I bought onion sets 'Stuttgarter' and hope to get them planted by the weekend at the latest. Feel better now.

Achillea

31 January 2011 06:14:15
Achillea

Achillea

Look at all the little seedlings of this Achillea springing up everywhere. It's almost fennel-like. Can't remember which one this is, must consult my big label-box. Maybe some to give away in March.

Pleoine orchid

30 January 2011 19:54:59
Pleoine orchid

Pleoine orchid

After receiving much needed advice on my little Pleoine orchid, this evening I took the compost off it to investigate further. Liga said there may be another small bulb beside the original one. Liga, to be honest I am not sure that what's beside it is dead or alive. It is a bit smaller than the original bulb, which also is very small. Neither of them look too healthy. Have a look and tell me what you think, please. It's in the fridge now, but I'm not sure whether I should have just put it in the bin.

Humdrum errands

30 January 2011 19:39:48
3 Hardy Ferns

3 Hardy Ferns

Got nothing done in the garden today. Still on the search for a nice kitchen this afternoon, and decided to re-use the old cupboards out in the garage for storage. I will get a proper 'garden' section which will only take up about a quarter of the whole double garage, and Steve can have the rest for a workshop. Although there will also be a communal area ie. a 'dumping ground' for things that need to be cleared out of the house at short notice. The garage is soon to become the only place near the house that smoking will be permitted. So I don't intend spending too much time out there.  Tomorrow evening will be spent re-organizing that area.

While on the road, we just 'nipped into' B&Q garden centre. Got myself these three nice, hardy ferns Cyrtomomium fortunei (Holly Fern), Dryopteris erythrosora (Japanese Shield Fern) and Polypodium vulgare (Common Polypody Fern).

Little and often

30 January 2011 18:10:04
Helleborus 'argutifolius'

Helleborus 'argutifolius'

Tomorrow I should be finished work at 3 o'clock. So weather permitting, I will start shifting a few things around like this Helleborus argutifolius. I will put it with 'hybrid red' and 'nigra' down in the 'wilderness' area which is 'to be tamed' yet again!

Although in saying that, maybe I should wait until they have all finished flowering. I can't remember when 'argutifolius' will flower, no sign of buds as of yet!

Doubled up

30 January 2011 09:34:19
Helleborus 'red hybrid'

Helleborus 'red hybrid'

I have 2 clumps of Helleborus. One in the shady/now with sun border, and the other one in the 'wilderness' area (which was tamed last year). I thought they were both 'nigra'. But looking at the one on the right, it seems like the very one I bought in Ratoath last weekend 'red hybrid'. Funny when you get a liking for something, you seem to be 'drawn' to the same thing almost automatically, until it dawns on you that you already have it. Does THAT make sense?  :)

Senior Moment

29 January 2011 21:07:00
Senior Moment

Senior Moment

I was planting my Galanthus in the Bog Bed today when I discovered this new growth. I haven't a clue what it is really. I scraped back some of the soil around the root gently to have a better look. Hopefully it will be familiar to someone out there. Please?

Great Day

29 January 2011 19:18:00
Greenhouse/Pond Border today

Greenhouse/Pond Border today

The weather was just perfect for the garden today. A healthy, cold day, and one would need the proper attire. I decided it was time to cut back my clematis 'Polish Spirit', 'The President' and an un-named one. Then I decided to do the same with my climbing rose 'Ray's Scarlet'. The Pergola looks a lot neater now. I threw all the cuttings over the wall. Then I cut back all dead growth on Myrtle's everlasting Sweet Pea, and that went over too. When eventually houses get built in this field, they will have the best soil ever as a result of my discarded compost material.

I had the greenhouse opened all day for much needed ventilation, and gave everything a soaking with the hose. I planted my 2 new Galanthus down in the Bog Bed. Then I cut back the Miscanthus floridulus growing at the back wall of the Upper Pond, and nearly fell in. Oooh! That would have been cold!!!!  I also got another grass IN the pond cut back.

My new Camellia was planted in the new pot. 

While I was on a roll, I decided to weed the greenhouse/pond border, then finally spread the whole lot with the bark chip I bought WEEKS ago. A great day, and a pleasure to be out doing stuff.

Be cautious!

29 January 2011 18:27:41

Sarcococca

29 January 2011 16:26:43
Sarcococca

Sarcococca

A lot of people on the site are remarking on the beautiful scent of Sarcococca. I can't get it. Is the scent only noticeable in a confined space like a greenhouse? I have this one by my patio door. It's only recently that my sense of smell has returned and I was looking forward to sniffing this one.

Catch me if you can!

29 January 2011 08:36:55
A near escape

A near escape

I was bit concerned yesterday while inspecting the garden and discovered this lot of feathers from a Goldfinch lying just below the birdfeeder. I can only presume that Holly, our cat, tried to catch one. That surprised me actually, as they are so aware of their surroundings and possible predators. Anyway, it looks like he got away, minus a good few wing feathers. It probably left him quite unbalanced in flight.

Time flies.......

28 January 2011 22:02:51
Happy Birthday David!

Happy Birthday David!

The latest addition to our family is a year older tomorrow. He has been here for only ONE year, and has taken over COMPLETELY. And he is a little dote. He is almost mobile, but for now he is quite content to 'bum' around. By the summer, hopefully he will have lost his 'cautiousness' and be walking around effortlessly. And digging, lots and lots of digging. But ONLY where his Gran gives him permission.

Happy Birthday, Junior Gardener, and my first grandchild.

Spuds for this year!

28 January 2011 20:57:47
Spuds for this year!

Spuds for this year!

Got a couple of good bargains today. 2 Potentillas, 'Marian Red Robin' and 'Abbotswood White' which I will probably plant in the front garden, for 50c each. Also got a small standard 'Salix subopposita' which I am embarrassed to show you a photo of. Ha ha it looks really pathetic, but there are lots of new buds on it, so I have no doubts about its survival. That was only €2.

Last year my potatoes were a total disaster. I grew way too many varieties in a very small space. I grew all of them in bags, as I usually do. But they were absolutely crammed into the bags. Some rotted, some just sat there, and I was lucky to get a few decent sized ones. I swore I wouldn't do them again. However, our seed potatoes came in today. But I bought just one variety for this year. It was the first one that came to hand. There was no selection process. These ones are 'Celine'. And this year, I will do them PROPERLY!

Bellis perennis

28 January 2011 06:14:01
Bellis perennis

Bellis perennis

Batchelors Buttons are another great plant for this time of year when basically we are relying on evergreen shrubs and Galanthus, Helleborus etc for a bit of colour. I planted these Bellis perennis at the Lower Pond last summer thinking I would never see them after the summer months. But yesterday I managed to get home before darkness. These are opening up. Lots more flower buds on the way. Lovely! I know they will never take over but they are so pretty. Not sure if they self seed so I may get more.

Back to the Future!

27 January 2011 19:09:24
Aquilegia 'Winky Blue'

Aquilegia 'Winky Blue'

We really deserve a longer Summer than normal, to make up for the longer Winter than normal. And in looking forward, I must look back.

This is a little beauty!  I love ALL Aquilegias. In fact, I love Summer!

We have 'lift-off'

27 January 2011 06:24:46
Aldi offers next week

Aldi offers next week

Watch out for garden related products in Aldi from Thursday 3rd Feb. Lots of bird-spotters, nesting boxes, feeders, birdseed. ALSO Camellias in a 2 litre pot for only €6.99. That can't be right.

On the seed front, my Penstemon, Verbascum and Coleus seeds have all germinated. Wahoo! Here we go again!

'Gardening on a shoestring' continued.....

26 January 2011 18:39:29
Cymbidium for guess who?

Cymbidium for guess who?

With a tight budget always in mind I bought just 2 Cymbidium orchids today reduced from €16.99 each to just €1. Only one of these is for me, though.

The 'feel good' Factor

26 January 2011 18:24:57
The 'feel good' Factor

The 'feel good' Factor

Yes, we are indeed heading towards a severe tightening of our belts. We can all do our bit to help in so many ways. And our gardens are testament to that, throughout each of the four seasons. But the last thing we need is to think that there is NO light at the end of the tunnel. Things can ALWAYS get better!

One of the things that I have done is to give up cigarettes recently. Ok, it was really because of a health issue, but look at how much money I have saved already. It's not easy to give up, especially since I have been smoking for 38years. Today has been my toughest day so far without them, and I needed a bit of a 'feel good' factor. We all need the odd reward, or so I keep on telling myself. We got some nice Camellias and Rhododendrons in today, so I bought one of each. Also there is 50% off selected pots. So I bought one of those to plant my Camellia into. Bought another couple of packets of seeds today 'Chilean Glory' and Pansy 'Black Beauty'. 

Last one standing!

26 January 2011 06:45:37
Hippeastrum

Hippeastrum

Like Cloncaw, I am waiting for my last Amaryllis to open. But Geraldine's one is one she got last year. Fair play to you, Geraldine. I threw mine out, and just bought more this year. Although the one in the photo was bought for 50c at the beginning of December. It was being sold as a double-stemmed Amaryllis and was quite pricey. A customer broke the first flower before it had the chance to open. So I don't know what colour it is.

But looking at the second stem, I think it's white. I hope so. The tips of the leaves are all brown. One would suspect that this was due to overwatering. Not the case here. However, I can turn a blind eye to the leaves once it starts to open! Oh and by the way, this will also be going into the bin after flowering so if anyone wants it for next year, just say so.

New fern

25 January 2011 20:44:34
Could this be hardened off?

Could this be hardened off?

I bought this new fern today in the indoor section. No name on it. The only label on it said 'foliage, indoor plant'. However, this is not like your average indoor fern, all delicate and soft looking. It looks like it could be easily hardened off to grow outdoors. I hope so, as it is a nice one. Cost only €2.99.

Keeping them on their toes!

25 January 2011 19:08:06
Primrose

Primrose

Don't we have a great postal system all the same? We're certainly keeping the postmen/women on their toes with seeds toing and froing from one end of the country to the other. Today I received an envelope with some Amaranthus seeds from Margaret/Hosta. Thanks a million. Really looking forward to reaping the rewards.

A couple of bargains!

24 January 2011 20:48:49
A couple of bargains!

A couple of bargains!

Got stuck in this morning, and started off disposing of plants that were 'past it' . Amongst those that had to go were lots of Astelias, Phormiums, Ceanothus, Lavenders, too many to name. Reduced the 'already reduced' stuff even further, and took advantage of that. Got myself a couple of bargains. Got hardy geranium 'cinereum Splendens' reduced from €7.99 to 50c, Chrysanthemum 'M. Supreme' down to 10c from €7.99, and Andromeda polifolia 'Compacta' down from €8.99 to €1, so I bought 3 of these. The whole lot cost just €3.60. Andromeda is a Bog Rosemary. I remember the last time we got this in, I wasn't impressed with the short flowering period, but they were SO pretty. Maybe the flowers will last a bit longer when planted out. Won't know till I try. And they are just about to flower!

Before I knew it, the working day was finished. You know what they say......time flies... It was good to be back.

Libertia

24 January 2011 19:22:36
Libertia 'Goldfinger' in garden centre

Libertia 'Goldfinger' in garden centre

I have Libertia planted in the garden centre. One in a big pot at the door, and the other one planted in the raised area that got the make-over the year before last. Both doing really well. And to think I just live 5 minutes away in the car and mine is looking pretty woeful!

Everlasting sweet pea

24 January 2011 06:04:34
Everlasting sweet pea

Everlasting sweet pea

Myrtle gave me a great big clump of this last year, and it got planted just in time to get the best out of it. It's climbing  up a wrought iron obelisk down in the back bed. I am so surprised that it is already turning green with fresh growth. Who'd have thought!

Phalaen poorly!

23 January 2011 20:58:17
Phalaen poorly!

Phalaen poorly!

A few weeks ago I made a big booboo in cleaning the leaves of my Phalaenopses with leaf wipes instead of milk. It looks like they didn't like it one bit. Actually, now that I think of it, did someone mention that Phals don't like their leaves getting wet? Slowly buy surely they have dropped their leaves. However, I'm not sure if they are actually dying or not. There are a good few greenish, firm roots in the centre of the two plants. Others at the edge look totally dead. I will put them into an album to show the experts a better picture. I need some help here. They are close to being 'binned'.

Witch Hazel - again!

23 January 2011 17:30:47
Witch Hazel - again!

Witch Hazel - again!

We went out to shop around for kitchens again this afternoon, and diverted to Ratoath Garden Centre, in Ashbourne. I was on the hunt for some Witch Hazels. Managed to pick up three different varieties, 'Diane', 'Arnold Promise' and 'Sandra'. Original price was €17.99, but as a 'good-will gesture', Graham knocked 20% off that price. I also got another Helleborus, this one is 'red hybrid', so looking forward to seeing that one open up. Nothing done in the garden today. Back to work tomorrow after being off for two whole weeks. Back to full health and rarin' to go!

 

Libertia

23 January 2011 09:05:01
Libertia 'Goldfinger'

Libertia 'Goldfinger'

This one is not looking too good. No sign of any healthy growth at all. Hmmmmm....

Little flower!

23 January 2011 08:32:12
Me and my niece, Harvie 22.01.11

Me and my niece, Harvie 22.01.11

Had a family day yesterday, so my thoughts were not on the garden very much. Normally, family get-togethers are such happy occasions. But this one was a bit of a tear-jerker.

My brother, his wife, and their little flower, Harvie, are emigrating to the Philippines. God only knows when we will get to see them again. My little grandson, David, and my niece, Harvie, (just one month between them) will be worlds apart.

Homework!

22 January 2011 12:57:06
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane'

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane'

For those of you out there about to, or having just bought a witch hazel;

acid to neutral soil pH is preferred (pH 4.5 - 6.5). Use a John Innes ericaceous or, less effectively, soil-free ericaceous or multipurpose compost. Witch Hazels can sucker. To minimise this problem, avoid planting too deeply and do not bury the graft union. Remove any suckers in autumn, after leaf-fall, as these will probably be from the rootstock plant (most Hamamelis cultivars are grafted onto Hamamelis virginiana).

Gotcha!

22 January 2011 08:49:26
Gotcha!

Gotcha!

Caught this whopper slithering up the boiler house door yesterday! He measures 5inches from tip to tail.

And this!

21 January 2011 21:28:06
Thalictrum delavayi 'Album'

Thalictrum delavayi 'Album'

Isn't it 'to die for'?

Really have to have this!

21 January 2011 21:25:12
Blechnum gibbum

Blechnum gibbum

This is Blechnum gibbum. I have never seen this for sale anywhere. Magical!

'Must Have' Plants!

21 January 2011 20:21:36
'Must Have' Plants!

'Must Have' Plants!

Spent a lot of time going through gardening books today. I am now beginning to gather suitable plants for 'David's Area' which should get started when the weather picks up. Not sure where to start looking though. So I am starting to compile a list to keep on my person at all times.

Below are some of the plants I will be searching for. Maybe some of you know where I might get hold of them.

Bergenia ciliata (pink or white flowers)

Bergenia 'silberlicht' (white flowers)

Blechnum gibbum

Morina longifolia -evergreen perennial which is hardy

Passiflora quadrangularis

Phlomis russeliana

Primula florindae

Serapias cordigera - terrestrial orchid - can't see me finding this one too easily!

Thalictrum delavayi 'Album'

Watsonia pillansii - half hardy perennial

Hopefully I won't be waiting too long before acquiring SOME of these!

 

The sky ablaze!

21 January 2011 18:45:04
The sky ablaze!

The sky ablaze!

Captured this photo this evening just as the sun was going down.

Which Yucca?

21 January 2011 16:51:53
Which Yucca?

Which Yucca?

I have just been googling Yuccas and can't seem to pinpoint which one I have here. It resembles Yucca filamentosa 'Bright Edge', but I think the yellow band on my one is broader than that. Any ideas, anyone?

Beschorneria

21 January 2011 15:49:07
Beschorneria yuccoides 'Quicksilver'

Beschorneria yuccoides 'Quicksilver'

Out in the greenhouse again this afternoon briefly. I haven't really watered my Beschorneria very much over the winter, as I didn't want it to freeze overnight. So it came in today and got a good drenching at the kitchen sink. I will keep it inside now for a while, just until the water has had a chance to soak in. Then it's back out to the greenhouse. Looking pretty healthy, pleased with that!

Blechnum

21 January 2011 08:42:30
Blechnum magellanicum

Blechnum magellanicum

Wasn't holding out any hope for this little beauty. Not only has it survived, but it has thrived all winter, and better still is that it is evergreen. "Now, Blechnum, grow, grow, grow for Mammy".

Another good 'doer'

20 January 2011 21:40:25
Abutilon megapotamicum 'variegatum'

Abutilon megapotamicum 'variegatum'

I bought this in September and IT has been flowering non-stop since then, despite sub-zero temperatures in the greenhouse all winter. Took it into the house the other day to give it a good soak.

First edible of the year

20 January 2011 21:29:43
Chilipepper 'Scotch Bonnet'

Chilipepper 'Scotch Bonnet'

This is my Chilipepper plant (Scotch Bonnet) that I have been overwintering. Throughout Christmas it has doubled up as a rather festive looking plant for the house. And has little chilipeppers ready for use too. Not sure if they are supposed to be this small but I am sure there is SOMEONE out there who can assure me!!!!!!!!

Gotta try this....

20 January 2011 21:18:45
Persea americanus 'Hass'.....or will be!

Persea americanus 'Hass'.....or will be!

Bruno posted a photo of his avocado plant in his latest album 'Temporary House Plants'. He was also saying that there was one in his parents garden for about 10 yrs until last winter. I have been looking out for the same avocado since. They didn't have the same one in Aldi the first time I went looking. But I bought one anyway. Was in Tesco today and spotted the very one.  This is 'Hass'. He says it germinated in an espresso cup filled with water. It's got to be worth getting plants for the garden, albeit skinny ones, for the price of an avocado. So here we go!

New Arrivals

20 January 2011 19:49:57
New Arrivals

New Arrivals

Before joining this site, my postman was never really welcome, as all he did was post bills, bills, bills. But I feel like giving him a big hug these days. It's pressies all the way now! Got some lovely seeds in the post today from Wellie (Angie). Brilliant, thank you so much. And even better, all can be sown in February.

Lazzzzzy Day!

20 January 2011 17:00:09
Fremontodendron with frost

Fremontodendron with frost

What jobs did I do out in the garden today? Eh, none! But I did take my camera on another tour. Then Zoe, David and myself went out to brunch, and did some retail therapy. Went into Homebase and was shocked to find that all I came out with was a bag of compost. Oh, come on, Lads. 'Where have all the flowers gone'? 

Spooky Moon

20 January 2011 14:42:42
Spooky Moon

Spooky Moon

Took this photo this morning of the moon dropping behind this house across the field from our back garden. I thought it looked really spooky with the blanket of fog below, but beautiful.

Where have all the sparrows gone?

20 January 2011 09:55:42
Where have all the sparrows gone?

Where have all the sparrows gone?

I have seen very few sparrows here all winter. But more and more goldfinches by the day. Is one species replacing the other. They're going mental at the feeders this morning.

Dipladenia

20 January 2011 07:40:55
Dipladenia 'Sundaville Red'

Dipladenia 'Sundaville Red'

I kept this little beauty in a pot and used it as a 'dot' plant in the new pond border during the summer. It is a tender plant, but with a good deal of winter protection, it may survive. I have this in the house since the weather turned nasty. It has beautiful cerise coloured, trumpet-shaped flowers and is 'to die for'. It brings a bit of luxury to any border. I spent a bit of time watering houseplants yesterday and noticed lots of new growth on this. Also my Bougainvillea that I bought for half price is producing lots of growth.

OBVIOUSLY THIS IS NOT MY OWN PHOTO!

Californian poppies

19 January 2011 23:10:06
Californian poppies

Californian poppies

are showing themselves in my garden today.

Erodium

19 January 2011 22:37:53
Erodium reichardii 'rosea'

Erodium reichardii 'rosea'

Someone told me this little alpine was a bit tender after buying it. However, it has been visible all through the winter.This will produce pretty little pink flowers late into the summer.

What the....

19 January 2011 20:12:53
What the....

What the....

Just going through my photo albums here on the site. They used to be displayed in chronological order. Not so anymore. They are all jumbled up. Is anybody else experiencing that right now?

More frost damage

19 January 2011 19:54:30
More frost damage

More frost damage

Where I was lucky enough not to lose plants so far this year, I have had my fair share of breakages. Another one I discovered today was my lovely stone birdbath. It's just crumbling underneath the rim. Although, maybe the 'distressed look' is still fashionable!!!!

Sharp Day!

19 January 2011 18:13:49
Frosted Primrose

Frosted Primrose

I spent a bit more time outside today, just surveying all, and taking some lovely photos with frost on plants. Two of the ponds stayed frozen all day.Got my mixed Dutch Irises planted into pots today.

I was surprised to see plenty of green growth on Myrtle's everlasting Sweet Pea. Hellebores are almost open. Primulas coming up. New growth on my herbaceous Clematis 'Gazelle', bulbs coming up better now. Kim's old rabbit hutch has been home to my many empty pots since she moved out the year before last. But it is now rotting, and rotting FAST. Time to re-organize an area now for these. They usually ended up blowing all over the garden. Rabbit Hutch will be burned on the open fire.

I think, compared to most people on this site, that I have been pretty lucky with plants over the winter. The only thing that has perished, but not completely, is my Mahonia. My echium pininanas are the only things that have actually died.  Maybe that is a Godsend though, as their roots can really get in the way of future planting in that area. They go down so deep it can be a bit of a chore digging them up. Took a few seeds off my Pieris 'Valley Valentine' and sowed them. Have never done this before, but while they were there, why not avail of them. Hoping to get the same breath-taking display from this Pieris as when I bought it last year. But nothing yet. Patience.....

Crummy Feet!

19 January 2011 16:58:51
Crummy Feet!

Crummy Feet!

I bought 4 concrete feet in a garden centre in Athlone years ago. It was only last year that I set them into the grass leading up to the Lower pond. I thought it made a comical feature. Disgusted today when I went out and realised that they all had crumbled with the bad weather. Obviously they were hollow.

Cycas revoluta

19 January 2011 10:21:59
Cycas revoluta

Cycas revoluta

I bought this Sago Palm in Lanzarote in 2009. It has been looking grand since. But there has been no new growth on it at all, even though all the foliage has remained healthy looking. However, little by little, I have noticed the fronds yellowing slightly since October. It had been living in the greenhouse all winter until maybe 3wks ago. Still no sign of new growth, but the 'yellowing' hasn't become any worse. I gave it a bigger pot yesterday with some cactus and succulent compost. I hope it's not actually dead/dying. I like this one a lot. Rachel, I know you have one of these, probably a lot bigger. And I remember LindaB saying she has kept hers inside the house. Any advice on same would be very much appreciated.

Mini Boss

19 January 2011 07:36:12
Checking to see if I did my job right!

Checking to see if I did my job right!

No internet here since Monday night. Yesterday I spent a bit of time washing pots in readiness for the seed-sowing season. I got a few things planted like Hemerocallis 'Frans Hals', Tigridia, and the first lot of Sweet Peas 'White Ensign' , and 'Beaujolais' which is a lovely burgundy. Looking forward to these. Need more toilet rolls before I can get the rest in. But no hurry.

Caught my little grandson with a pile of unwashed pots in his mouth when my back was turned for just two minutes. Hmmmm looks like he approves of the taste of 'clean' dirt!   :)

Light in the dark!

17 January 2011 21:13:52
Lonicera nitida 'Baggesen's Gold'

Lonicera nitida 'Baggesen's Gold'

I love this one. It is Lonicera nitida 'Baggesen's Gold'. I think last year HeadGardener remarked that it needed a lot of cutting back. Maybe I'm wrong. But my one was planted here in the shady border about 8 years ago. I have never even trimmed it. It's a great one for giving a bit of 'lift' to a shady area.

Soldanella

17 January 2011 18:21:49
Soldanella dimonlei

Soldanella dimonlei

Not really sure how this little plant should grow. Nothing on Google. It came in a pot measuring about 9cm in diameter.  I think I bought it at the Rare and Special Plant Fair last year. It should also produce little violet flowers in Apr-May. I am hoping that over time it will provide me with some decent ground cover. Maybe I am being way too ambitious here. But surely at €4.50, I could be expected to get a fair size plant after a while. It was good to see that something so tiny has actually pulled through the winter SO FAR!

Sunset

17 January 2011 17:33:13
Sunset

Sunset

It has been so cloudy and dull in the last few weeks that there hasn't been any opportunity to catch stunning sunsets. But managed this one a few minutes ago. Maybe tomorrows will be better.

Another old reliable

17 January 2011 06:12:43
Fatsia japonica

Fatsia japonica

With all this talk about valuable evergreens in the garden, everybody seems to be forgetting the good oul' Fatsia japonica. I have one in a pot up at the patio door, and another one in the shady border/now with added sun. And I wouldn't be without it. I did have a massive one in the border down at the back wall years ago that grew quite large so had to be taken out. But I think if planted in shaded areas, it keeps it in check somewhat. Looks great ALWAYS!

Ilex crenata

16 January 2011 20:47:06
Ilex crenata 'Gold Tip'

Ilex crenata 'Gold Tip'

This Ilex or Japanese Holly is low-growing, evergreen and fully hardy. It is an ideal choice for pots or the small garden. When established, it will produce purplish, black berries. Ideal for sun or semi-shade.

Living Screen

16 January 2011 19:51:52
Living Screen

Living Screen

I hate sitting at the computer in the dining room and looking over into the kitchen that we had put in 24yrs ago. Press doors not sitting right. Door knobs loosening all the time. Everything looking pretty grotty after all these years. Before Christmas I decided I needed a new kitchen.

Today we went looking at kitchens. Armed with lots of brochures we came home to pore over them. Then I decided to take things into my own hands there and then. I got a window box measuring 3 and a half feet long and planted it up with 3 different Sanseverias, Haworthia, Echeveria and 2 different Crassulas. Topped the lot off with gravel. That will stop me getting annoyed with the kitchen now that it's not so visible. Now, let's look at those brochures.

Ready to go!

16 January 2011 19:19:58
Ready to go!

Ready to go!

All ready and waiting, Hazel. Won't feed it just yet. I will let it settle into its new home first.

Myrtus ugni

16 January 2011 17:26:11
Myrtus ugni

Myrtus ugni

This is quite similar to the shrub Fran posted on his last journal. I think yours is definitely Pernettya. But look at how alike the two are. The leaves on your one, Fran, seem a tad longer though. And mine has edible deep red berries.

See what you started, Paddy?

16 January 2011 17:06:05
Galanthus 'Elwesii'

Galanthus 'Elwesii'

So taken with all the different Galanthus that Paddy was showing us this morning. I want ALL of them.

Haven't been out too much all week as I have been sick. Really needed to go somewhere (ANYWHERE) today so we headed off to B&Q to check out all these bargains that everyone has been availing of. Haven't been to that particular branch in years and was pleasantly surprised. Nicely stocked for a garden centre of its caliber. And tidy too. I bought 2 packs of Hemerocallis 'Frans Hals' for €6, 2 packs of Tigridia, also €6, a pack of 75 mixed Dutch Irises for €4.55 and two different types of Galanthus (Elwesii and Nivalis).  These Galanthus were pricey enough at €4.55 a pot, but I have to start somewhere. 'Nivalis' is yet to open. Now all I need is Steve to get his .... in motion and get that 'new area' started asap.

Paddy, thanks for spurring me on.

Re-cycling!

16 January 2011 09:44:12
Re-cycling!

Re-cycling!

So what do YOU do with your Christmas tree when you're finished with it? Not ready to bring mine to the re-cycling centre just yet. So to cover up a bare back wall temporarily, I tied it up to the bare cherry tree yesterday to give an illusion of greenery. It works for me!   :)

A favourite of mine....

16 January 2011 08:35:12
Arum italicum 'Marmoratum'

Arum italicum 'Marmoratum'

This is a big favourite with me. I love the marbled effect and the arrowhead-shaped leaves. Great in a shaded area too.

And speaking of laurel.....

16 January 2011 08:27:11
And speaking of laurel.....

And speaking of laurel.....

Deleted this journal by mistake last night. Like I said, I have this for about 7yrs or more, still in the same pot all this time. Did nothing with it. Had nowhere for it. It has been moved from pillar to post in search of the right place. Didn't want it. Still don't. So, TheH, it's all yours. Will re-pot it today, its pot has been cracked by the cold weather. It looks like it could be a nice day.

Sitting on my laurels!

15 January 2011 19:30:35
Bulb-filled Mini Island!

Bulb-filled Mini Island!

Did very little out there today except take mental notes. Can't believe that everybody elses bulbs are sprouting up all over the place already. Mine are only barely peeping above the soil. Maybe I planted mine deeper than most people. That can only be good, with the approach of more cold weather. I have been watching and waiting for some growth on my mini island, and today I finally glimpsed some bulbs emerging. I was getting a bit worried. But no need. This little area is going to be a riot of colour very soon.

I started filling the compost bin again today, with lots of veg peelings, and shredded paper that Steve busied himself doing this afternoon. Then gave it all a bit of a soak by just leaving the lid off the compost bin for the day. Very wet and mild but very wild, and winds are to reach over force 10 during the night. Made sure there was nothing left in a vulnerable position, and jammed lots in together for stability. Spotted some crocusses coming up around the greenhouse pond. Really looking forward to all of these. I planted about 150 of them in a series of staggered arcs in the grass around the pond just for a change. I was hoping to get the grass cut before Christmas so they would be more noticeable when the time came. Unfortunately that didn't happen. However, maybe next week....

Less is more - NOT!

15 January 2011 07:07:58
Summer 2009

Summer 2009

Woke up with a jolt this morning, thinking "Oh, I never took in my seedlings before that wind and rain". It was really only when I got downstairs that I realised I had been having a bit of a nightmare. OMG I need help. All this talk about seeds has made me imagine all sorts.

However, just thinking about the changes I have made in the garden since joining garden.ie There was NO Alpine Circle, there was NO Pond beside the greenhouse, or even a border for that matter, and there was NO Lower Pond, and NO Bog Bed. Plants weren't jostling for space anywhere, there was plenty of grass for walking around. There was a bit of a veggie patch, but most of them were in pots. It was a low-maintenance area. And oh, so boring! 

As a result of all the changes made, and through making lots of errors in the process, I have now ended up with quite a range of different plants in the garden that are now host to many more different types of birds and insects. And many of these new plants have been as a result of new friendships made through this site. I am happy to be working with Mother Nature. So I am content with my lot.....for now.

Garden.ie, and everybody else out there, thanks a million!

Another evergreen

14 January 2011 23:12:02
Clematis 'Pixie'

Clematis 'Pixie'

is this Clematis 'Pixie'. Very low maintenance. And ideal for a pot, as it is as its name suggests, a pixie of a plant. It produces lovely lime green flowers in early summer. A little bit different. For a photo of it in full flower, go to 'My Garden' album, (my first album) photo no. 6.

Beautiful prize!

14 January 2011 21:33:22
Beautiful prize!

Beautiful prize!

I had this prize delivered to me during the week for guessing which recently-joined member of garden.ie is Martin's brother.

Martin crafted this butterfly himself. And I have seen lots of other work on display in his workshop. Very gifted at his trade, he also does stained-glass windows. 

But how cool would this be, if these butterflies were made to hang in trees/bushes etc.

You could have your very own 'Butterfly Bush' without actually owning a Buddlea!

Final List!

14 January 2011 19:06:56
Final List!

Final List!

Here is my final list of seeds to be sown for this year.

Swan River Daisy, Zinnia, Dahlia, Nicotiana 'Tinkerbell' and 'Sylvestris', Sweet William, Cornflower 'Cottage Mix', Aquilegia 'McKana's Hybrids', Ipomoea 'Crimson Rambler', Brompton Stock, Night-scented Stock, Pansy 'Swiss Giants mixed', Selection of Sweet Pea, Poppy 'Oriental mix', 'Shirley Mix', Coneflower, Hollyhock 'Chater's Mix', Larkspur, Passiflora caerulea, Campanula, Honesty 'Purple and White', Cornflower 'Blue Ball', Delphinium 'Pacific Giants mixed', Sweet William 'Excelsior mixed', Gypsophila elegans 'Covent Garden White', Night Phlox, Polyanthus 'Large Flowered Mix', Malope, Malva 'Apple Blossom', Viola 'Velvet Mix', Physalis alkekengi, Pyrethrum, Reseda odorata 'Machet', Cosmos 'Candy Stripe', Lupin 'Pink Fairy', Gazania, Rudbeckia, Cleome 'Colour Fountain', Cobaea scandens and a selection of sunflowers. Plus Deborah's selection and any other seeds donated over the last year by others.

Now if that doesn't inject a healthy bit of colour to my garden this year, I give up.

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

14 January 2011 13:00:59
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

"I was disobedient to my parents and teachers, I took the name of the Lord, thy God in vain. And I told lies"

I don't know about anyone else, but when I was a child I used to tell the same sins to the priest over and over again in Confession. But one of those sins was one that I am guilty of yet again. Yea, I told lies.

 

Here lie the seeds of my newly-sown Arisaemas. (Thanks, Deborah) And Verbascum 'phoeniceum Mixed', Penstemon 'Mixed colours' and Coleus 'Flame Dancers'. I feel better having gotten that off my chest!

 

SORRY. THEY COULDN'T WAIT!

Lost Label

14 January 2011 10:17:19
Lost Label

Lost Label

Can't remember what this is. Would it be Tiarella? Or what?

Smash!

14 January 2011 08:16:14
Smash!

Smash!

Another breakage due to the bad weather. One thing's for sure, there are plenty of crocks in my garden, including myself.  :)

The list goes on.....

13 January 2011 20:24:02
Ladybird on Myrtle's everlasting sweet pea

Ladybird on Myrtle's everlasting sweet pea

Flowering cherry is breaking bud, as is Exochorda macrantha 'The Bride'. Laburnum is also looking well despite the poor start it had. It was so pathetic looking after buying it, that I was convinced I had bought a 'no-hoper'. Salix caprea 'Kilmarnock' is now producing its first tiny catkins. It lifted my spirits immensely witnessing all that new growth today.

I cut back all my geraniums in the greenhouse, and cleared up all debris from Peach trees, which should have been done a lot earlier. This winter, I had the 'cop on' to bring in my white Agapanthus. Luckily it has survived. Cut back Cannas and the vine. Blue Agapanthus outside is not looking too hot. Chrysanthemums are coming into leaf once again. Surely it's too early for that? Also my Tree Peony is forming flower buds.

And here is one of my Ladybirds!!!!

 

A bit of Freedom - and Strangulation!

13 January 2011 19:33:28
Ouch!

Ouch!

Spent a good bit of time outside today. So mild that I didn't need a jacket. Way to go! Today was the first time I appreciated my freedom all week. Feeling much better today.

Lot's happening in the garden. On my bench there is plenty of growth in individual pots, like Brunneras, spring bulbs, Pulmonaria, Pansies, Aubrieta etc. Lots of growth also on the blueberries. And another one of those 'cheapie' pots have crumbled with the bad weather. It goes to show, you get what you pay for.And thanks, Fran, for the reminder. I topped up all my old spring bulb pots with fresh compost after the blackbirds had uprooted lots of them.

Cut back old leaves on Helleborus niger to reveal the emerging flowers. Foliage of Aquilegia is also appearing. Taxus baccata has never looked so good. Had to tie in my Silver Birch, and secure with my heel. Root rock would do it no favours.

Also made a point of checking my latest purchase of Prunus serr. Amanogawa (Flagpole Cherry) which is still in its pot. Original price was €41, but I got it for a fiver a few months ago. The stake was tied tightly to the tree and was strangling it. Well timed, I reckon, before the growing season is upon us. Lots of Ladybirds about too. It does your heart good!

Seed Give-away!

13 January 2011 17:39:27
Seed Give-away!

Seed Give-away!

I have finally sorted out all the seeds I have here. Below is a list of things I am giving away - mostly edibles, but SOME flowers too.

 1. Pepper 'Heatwave'

 2. Cabbage 'Durham Early'

 3. Broadbean 'Aquadulce Claudia'

 4. Runner Bean 'Scarlet Emperor'

 5. Lettuce 'Arctic King'

 6. Cabbage 'Offenham 2'

 7. Leek 'Almera'

 8. Runner Bean 'Painted Lady'

 9. Climbing Bean 'Sultana'

10.Dwarf Bean 'Purple Queen'

11.Broad Bean 'Aquadulce' (2nd packet)

12.Mushroom (Agaricus) dry spawn

13.Radicchio 'Treviso Precoce Mesola'

14.Chives

15.Catmint (Catnip)

16.Wild Flower mixture

17.Everlasting Sweet Pea (Latifolius Mix)

18.Night-scented Stock

19.Viola 'Velvet Mix'

20.Chelsea Wildflower Mixture

21.Petunia 'Confetti Mixed F2'

22.Lobelia 'Cascade Mixed'

23.Night-scented Stock 'Matthiola Bicornis'

24.Agastache anisata 'Honey' mixed

25.Silene 'Shell Pink'

26.Cos Lettuce 'Winter Density'

ALL OF THE ABOVE ARE WITHIN THEIR EXPIRY DATE!.

1. Lettuce 'Webbs Wonderful' Exp. Sept 2004

2. Lettuce 'Lollo Rossa' Exp. June 2009

3. Sweet Basil Exp. June 2009

4. Sprouting Seed 'Alfalfa' Exp. June 2009

5. Spinach Beet (Perpetual Spinach) Exp. Jan 2009

6. Garlic Chives Exp. 2008 (2 packets)

7. Tomato 'Gardener's Delight' Exp. 2008

8. Mixture of salad leaves Exp. 2007

9. Penstemon 'Sensation Mix'

10.Nicotiana 'Sensation Mixed' Exp. 2006

 

 

 If anyone wants any of these, just say the word.

 

 

Perennial gerbera

13 January 2011 08:35:56
Perennial gerbera

Perennial gerbera

Last summer was my first with perennial gerberas. I was doubting their hardiness. So after planting just three into the pond border, I kept another one in the greenhouse as an insurance policy. Just out there yesterday and happy to report that there is new growth on that one. Will have a closer inspection on the ones in the border later today.

Reward No. 1

13 January 2011 07:55:54
Reward No. 1

Reward No. 1

After making that life-changing decision yesterday, I immediately went into the plant section in Tesco yesterday and bought myself a second Bonsai. Lots of healthy growth on it, and lots more on its way. :)

I'm not going anywhere today so my money saved will be saved!!!!

Mahonia not so good!

12 January 2011 21:06:04
Mahonia

Mahonia

And there was I only singing its praises last week. Lovely evergreen, architectural shrub. I was down in that area today inspecting things. Brushed up against the Mahonia, and lots of leaves, which were beginning to blacken, and branches just fell to the ground. Anybody else have this happen to Mahonia? I did think that they were indestructible. I would hate to lose this. But will wait with bated breathe.

Uniformity - or lack of....

12 January 2011 19:02:32
Uniformity - or lack of....

Uniformity - or lack of....

I thought these two Hyacinths were going to end up flowering round the same time, and DEFINITELY thought they would end up the same size. A little bit of uniformity would have been nice.

They are still lovely though.

This works!

12 January 2011 16:31:28
This works!

This works!

A couple of months ago I posted a journal looking for advice on how to re-use plant labels. I write with permanent marker, and all of these labels have been written on the reverse too. It was either Hosta or Feverfew who advised using nail varnish remover on them. Just did this. Ok it didn't remove it completely. But they are certainly suitable for using once or twice more. Thanks!

Nicotiana (with a difference)

12 January 2011 12:14:20
Nicotiana (with a difference)

Nicotiana (with a difference)

My New Years Resolutions usually are NOT to make any at all. That way, I can't fail.

However, I am about to change all that. Have been literally choking since Friday, due to a bad dose of Bronchitis. Can't even walk up the stairs without struggling for breath. And sleeping in a sitting-up position is NOT very comfortable. Smoking since I was 12yrs old. That's a long, long time. So this year I have decided NOT to sow any seeds of Nicotiana. It may just put 'the longing' on me all over again. 

Just bought this little gadget in the chemist. It's a fake cigarette, it lights up when you pull on it. It releases a small dose of Nicotine, and hopefully will help to satisfy this stupid craving I have developed over the years. And listen to this! It plugs into a USB connection and charges in the computer. How cool is that! Wish me luck! More money for plants too. Hee hee!

MAYBE THIS JOURNAL COULD HELP OTHERS OUT THERE TOO!

Another evergreen

11 January 2011 23:03:40
Fremontodendron 'California Gold'

Fremontodendron 'California Gold'

Another good evergreen for the winter garden is Fremontodendron. This is just a baby one. It's doing really well.

Heuchera

11 January 2011 21:47:25
Heuchera 'Rave on'

Heuchera 'Rave on'

This one is still in its original pot. But still looking very good for this time of year. I found in recent years that the new varieties of Heucheras are pretty sporadic in growth, and a bit unpredictable. But this is looking as good now as the day I bought it.

Haworthia

11 January 2011 20:19:45
Up for grabs!

Up for grabs!

I bought this Haworthia a few years ago, planted in a glass vase with decorative gravel. Yesterday I noticed a few plantlets which could possibly be potted up separately.

This evening I did just that. Unfortunately not all of the plantlets had developed their own roots. But I potted them up anyway, in cactus and succulent compost. I know the one with roots will definitely 'take'. Not so sure about the others, but we'll see.

Myrtle, you say you have very few houseplants. These Haworthia are very low-maintenance. And cacti and succulents take up little space. They are, as I am sure you know, slow-growers. The one with the healthy roots is yours if you would like it.  It's the one on the top right of this photo.

If the others take successfully, they are up for grabs at the get-together. First come, first served. And I take no responsibility for those that 'fail'.

 

No ill-effects!

11 January 2011 17:20:37
Chusan Palm

Chusan Palm

Really splashed out on this Chusan Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) during the summer, paying €49 for it. I gave it no protection for winter, and was hoping for the best. But I'm happy to say it is well and truly fine, showing NO ill-effects. I also have a much smaller one which is perfect too. Now that's what I call hardy!

Arisaema seeds

11 January 2011 15:49:17
seeds from Deborah

seeds from Deborah

Have just been going through my seed collection. Oooh it's very hard to throw anything out. That's usually why I end up with so much crap.

But, I found a collection of Arisaema seeds that Deborah sent me. I didn't realize I had put them away so safely! Amongst them are A. consanguineum 'silver centre', Mixed, 'speciosum', ' ciliatum' and 'tortuosum'.

Just a quick question, Deborah. When is the best time to sow these?

 

P.S. I HOPE BY MY JOURNAL TITLE THAT PEOPLE DIDN'T THINK I WAS GIVING THESE SEEDS AWAY!

Careful planning!

11 January 2011 07:36:05
Careful planning!

Careful planning!

Looks like the next week will be a time for laid-back gardening jobs. Today I will begin by sorting through all my seeds. Shouldn't take too long, and these are pretty ordinary seeds, lots left over from last year. Not holding on to ANY that I know I won't use. Will also discard any that are past their 'sell-by' date. And I promised myself that I would be realistic in any future choices of new seeds. I won't settle for any that will require endless patience, and care. I get too stressed when they don't come on. Plus, this year I have my grandson to contend with, who is getting more mobile by the day.

The only job outside that I may do is to spread the barkchip over the Pond border.

Wisteria

10 January 2011 18:10:13
Photo from net

Photo from net

January is an ideal time to prune wisteria. This will encourage flowers and help to keep the plant tidy. It's also a good time to put well-rotted farmyard manure around the base of the plant - wisterias are really greedy plants and so will appreciate this. When pruning, cut branches back to about six inches, which should be enough to encourage the development of flower buds.

Weather permitting, January is also a good time to plant wisteria.

Trying to be strong here!

10 January 2011 13:44:54
Small selection

Small selection

I have sworn not to sow any seeds until at least March this year. And what have they got in Aldi on Thursday week (20th Jan). You got it, seeds for 69c. Here we go again. Mind you, the selection is quite small for starters. But they're trying to tempt me. Gotta be strong!

Just back from the doctor and was on my way out to gather some used pots for scrubbing. But it is raining down buckets. It can wait.

The best of both worlds

10 January 2011 03:47:42
Birds of a feather......

Birds of a feather......

It never ceases to amaze me when I see the Brent geese, or Herons basking in the sun on greens in and around Dublin. These were spotted on the green while we were driving through Harmonstown yesterday. I reckon they felt that the Nature Reserve at North Bull Island, near Dollymount, was getting a bit crowded for them. They seem to be getting braver and braver. Couldn't believe how close they let me get. Although they were probably thinking that there was 'safety in numbers'. Don't you just love it!

Dublin's answer to Fungi

09 January 2011 22:59:16
Howth Head today

Howth Head today

Both last week and today, we went out to Howth for a drive just to get out. I love the scenery all around Howth Head, and being able to look down the East Coast as far as Dunlaoghaire, taking in the whole of Dublin Bay. 

Again today, there was a massive throng of people (mainly foreign tourists) watching the antics of the 'resident' seals in the harbour. Soon they will become as famous as Fungi in Dingle. Will put up an album.

Clever Clivia!

09 January 2011 17:17:05
Clever Clivia!

Clever Clivia!

Too cold this morning to get anything done outside. However, I was so bored that we ended up taking a drive out to St. Anne's Park in Raheny. Not a lot to offer there really. Took a few nice pics of trees and tree trunks. WIll post album in a few minutes.

Then we went out to Howth for Lunch. Only the place was so packed we came home hungry.  Couldnt be bothered with food after that. Before heading home, we went down to the harbour to take more photos of the resident seals there.  Have been up since 3.30am with a cough that almost sounds like croup. No better now.

On the positive side, my Clivia has decided to flower again. Wahoo!

Acer

09 January 2011 07:47:38
Acer

Acer

Fran, I just found the label from that big Acer I gave you yesterday. It's Acer palmatum dissectum 'Flavescesn'. Will post it to you this week, so you can stick it on your plant. This one has lovely fresh green, soft foliage.

Never saw this before!

09 January 2011 04:10:29
Crassula ovata

Crassula ovata

I have this Crassula for a good few years now. But yesterday I noticed lots of little white roots, or something growing out of individual branches. Not sure if these are just new shoots, or whether this plant is producing flowers? Do Crassulas produce flowers, ever? I have the same white growths on my Orchid Cactus (Ric-rac Cactus), except they are 'finer'.

New Feathered Friend

08 January 2011 19:32:27
Fieldfare (oops, I mean Redwing)

Fieldfare (oops, I mean Redwing)

A different type of bird graced my garden today. This, I think, is the Fieldfare. Very like a Thrush, but with a pronounced eyebrow and russet markings just under the wing area.

 

20.11

Not a Fieldfare, but a Redwing! My mistake!

Birds Only!

08 January 2011 17:34:59
Out of reach!

Out of reach!

Didn't spend too much time outdoors today as there was a distinct bite in the air. All I did was fill up the emptied-too-soon feeders. Goldfinches to beat the band all day. Great to see. I rigged up another feeder with the fat off the ham under the Loggia. Left it a bit late in the day, so hopefully tomorrow, they will be literally fighting for titbits from it. Holly was a bit disgusted though, as it was positioned just out of reach for her.

Early morning visitor!

08 January 2011 13:10:01
Grevillea

Grevillea

I had the pleasure of an early morning visit from the Man from Shankill. He came, as usual, bearing gifts, being in the general area.

He gave me a lovely Grevillea, as I had lost one last winter. I hope to God I don't kill this one. He also presented me with a Helleborus seedling, Clematis 'Niobe' on a trellis, and one of his carefully nurtured grasses, which I am hoping he will be able to furnish me with the name at his earliest convenience. Fran, thanks a million. 

Driving Miss Daisy

08 January 2011 10:01:05
Driving Miss Daisy

Driving Miss Daisy

I told him when he was picking out a new car, to get one that is robust enough to fill up his boot with a load of plants. And have a tow-hitch, and to be prepared to also put lots of plants on the back seat if necessary.

But no, he just wouldn't listen to me. Instead of a Landrover, or something more practical, he went and bought this. A man of great taste! I suppose it'll do! After all, he is my chauffeur.

Unprepared Hyacinths

08 January 2011 07:14:20
Unprepared Hyacinths

Unprepared Hyacinths

Both of these Hyacinths are the 'unprepared' kind. I only bought them as the bulbs in our place had been reduced by 75%. As you can see, the one on the right is way ahead of its brother. And white. Yay!

Another Evergreen

07 January 2011 18:11:56
Aucuba japonica 'Crotonifolium' (Spotted Laurel)

Aucuba japonica 'Crotonifolium' (Spotted Laurel)

On my quest for some evergreen shrubs in the garden, I bought Aucuba japonica 'Crotonifolium' today. Plenty of new shoots emerging. Good to have an evergreen shrub that will do well in sun OR shade.

When googling it for a bit more info, it said that it was now an 'unfashionable' shrub due to OVER-USE. It wouldn't appear to ME that there was too much of this around! What say you all?

Pachysandra

07 January 2011 06:01:17
Pachysandra variegata

Pachysandra variegata

I bought 3 pots of this for 50c each last year. They will get planted into my 'New Area for David' whenever/if ever the weather improves. I did a dummy run with it in the garden centre to see how well it would perform. Very happy with the result. For once, I have made the right choice. It provides variegated groundcover while being evergreen at the same time.

Another Oops!

06 January 2011 20:54:05
Aeonium

Aeonium

This Aeonium was on the same shelf as the plant on my previous journal. I got this one from Lanzarote Flora. Hope she doesn't manage to log on and see this. Don't really know what happened this. I am now wondering will it sprout more growth later on?

Oops!

06 January 2011 18:33:58
Euphorbia?

Euphorbia?

This little baby was forgotten about over the Christmas period after being placed on an 'out-of-the-way' shelf to accommodate Christmas decorations. Just discovered it this evening. I got this one in a very run-down garden centre, that actually had very few plants for sale, in Lanzarote in October for just 50c. I think maybe this garden centre is on the verge of closing down. I hope this recovers. I think it's some sort of Euphorbia. Gave it a good watering, so hopefully that will do the trick. Otherwise I have wasted a WHOLE 50c!!!!!

Choisya

06 January 2011 17:55:56
Choisya 'Aztec Pearl'

Choisya 'Aztec Pearl'

I bought this one last year. It's still in its pot awaiting to be placed in just the right place. It's a good evergreen, and is starting to flower now.

Little by little

06 January 2011 06:26:00
Heuchera

Heuchera

You can see a bit of colour returning to the gardens little by little. While spending a bit of time cutting back last weekend, I was delighted to see this Heuchera trying to push it's way out to make itself counted. I love foliage plants, and there are so many Heucheras worthy of a space in one's garden.

Plant damage

05 January 2011 18:27:39
Loropetalum

Loropetalum

No gardening today. On Monday when I was off, I was going to do a bit more cutting back, and spreading bark chip on the new greenhouse border (I can't keep calling it the 'new greenhouse border'). But myself and Zoe did 'brunch' and I didn't leave myself with enough daylight hours when I got back. Doesn't look like I will get any time now until the weekend. Some of us have to work for a living. Won't mention any names here.

Fran, how has your Loropetalum fared over the bad weather? I will be disposing of a few damaged ones tomorrow.

Things that go bump in the .......

04 January 2011 18:16:46
Things that go bump in the .......

Things that go bump in the .......

Had an urgent phone call from Zoe in work today. David had taken a fall. I came home immediately. Got a bit of a fright when I saw the bump on his little head. He already has a rotten cold, so wasn't looking the best when I was leaving for work this morning.

However, just back from the Doc. Nothing to worry about. Fine strapping lad. Such a relief. I'm sure this fall will be the first of many. Now, where's the Disprin? Gran needs one badly!

Good old reliable.

04 January 2011 13:57:03
Good old reliable

Good old reliable

I have a couple of hanging baskets here with cyclamen and variegated thyme in them. Cyclamen are all washed up. But thyme is so reliable.

One of my favourites

04 January 2011 06:08:57
One of my favourites

One of my favourites

Is this Mahonia. Don't you just love the spiky, architectural foliage.

Birds in the garden

03 January 2011 20:26:50
Dunnock

Dunnock

Isn't it very uplifting seeing all the different birds availing of the food we put out. Today I had magpies, blackbirds, starlings, sparrows, robins, bluetits, great tits, thrushes, goldfinches, other finches which I am not familiar with, a couple of gulls, pigeons and a DUNNOCK. A dunnock is a 'Hedge Sparrow' but markings are not as pronounced  as their cousins. And they kind of hug the ground for food. Saw these here last year. Very easy to overlook as they are VERY similar to the sparrow.

New Book

03 January 2011 19:21:24
New Book

New Book

Took ages to pick out a new book with one of my Christmas vouchers. I find that I usually tend to go for glossy pictures rather than sketches. And the paper that a book is printed on also goes a long way towards making me buy it. How childish is that. I also adore  the smell of a new book. Ok, I know I'm weird, before Fran mentions it.

However, today I chose an RHS publication which explains and illustrates skills that every gardener requires through step-by-step colour artworks. Whether you want to grow fruit and veg, have a garden full of colourful climbers, bulbs, flowers, trees and shrubs, this book has all the answers. All subjects are covered in encyclopedic detail, from wildlife gardening to water gardens, and greenhouses to containers. I reckon I will be coming back to this one time and time again. Money well spent.

Lost and Found!

03 January 2011 17:27:49
Safe and sound

Safe and sound

Does anybody else get as stressed as I have just been because of my 'lost' plants? I have been biting the head off Steve and Zoe because I couldn't find my baby tree ferns that I knew I took into the house. However, I can now breathe a sigh of relief. I was up in my bedroom, Zoe's bedroom, and the spare bedroom. Nothing.

I went to my unheated porch as a last resort. All I have out there is a Christmas Boot filled with some Holly. But......wait for it.....my little babies had been nestled snugly in behind the boot. Phew! Sorry, Steve and Zoe. Now, public apology over.

Just gave them a nice watering and they now will reside on the unit behind where I sit while on the computer. 

And I am €10 richer for having found them myself. Hee hee

Reward Offered

03 January 2011 16:02:23

What about this?

03 January 2011 08:01:54
What about this?

What about this?

What would you all think of this idea?

Most of us could have oddments from our gardening world that we might not use any more, like maybe an old trowel, riddle, seed trays, whatever. Maybe we don't read some of our gardening books any more. Old magazines that usually don't get read a second time. Although in this case, I was able to provide canteen reading to a Horticultural class, which I was delighted about. Kate, as you can see, I have already started to gather more. Huh, habits are HARD to break!

But we could gather all of these items and turn it into a raffle, or just a 'giveaway' at the next 'get-together', instead of these things gathering dust on shelves that are already packed tightly, or sheds that need clearing out. And if someone doesn't have any plant/cuttings to swap, they could offer things that they don't have a use for any more.

Feel free to tell me that this is a ridiculous suggestion!

Bonsai

03 January 2011 06:22:10
Bonsai

Bonsai

This is my new Bonsai. Not great with these as I suspect they require a lot of patience, so it will be a real challenge for me. If anybody out there can make its life here a little easier, please divulge all the secrets on how best to look after them.

Lost!

02 January 2011 22:16:20
Redshank

Redshank

Drove down to North Bull Wall. Years ago one could actually drive down the beach. But all has been cordoned off with boulders now. Pity, because it's a lovely calm drive. These Redshank can usually be seen in the estuary and mudflats. They must have taken a wrong turn somewhere.

My Second Love

02 January 2011 20:42:47
Seal of approval!

Seal of approval!

My first love is gardening. My second is all things nautical. Had a very relaxing afternoon on the Dublins coastline, visiting a few of my favourite haunts. The seals were a big hit will foreign tourists in Howth. Gotta say, I have a soft spot for seals.

A gift for Rachel

02 January 2011 19:04:20
A gift for Rachel

A gift for Rachel

While in Kinsealy Garden Centre today this Orchid (Phalaenopsis) stood up on the shelf and screamed "Hey, look at me". Who could deny its sheer magnificence! I nearly bought it, despite my lack of knowledge on Orchids. But I did think "there is ONE person on this site who would really love this". Rachel, I was tempted, very tempted. However, a photograph will have to suffice as it was €25.

In search of some Brent Geese

02 January 2011 17:05:46
Found in Portmarnock

Found in Portmarnock

We took to the roads today, as I was fed up indoors, and jobs in the garden are very limited. Went to Kinsealy Garden centre, not impressed. I would rather see bare shelves than dead plants. Why do they do this? Bought a Bonsai tree for €10, food, spare dish and bag of bonsai compost for potting on in Spring. Never had one before. Have never been able to look after them properly in work either, until now. With the water shortage, the only tap working is the one in the Ladies. So I took all them in there and gave each one of them 2 litres of water at a time. It took a long time, but it was worth the effort as they are all looking very very healthy for once. Normally I try to sell Bonsais asap because I can't give them their required care. I also bought a good sized Sanseveria for just €6. More squat than my two other ones here.

Went on to Plantagen (Formerly Garden Works) in Malahide. Same applied to that Garden Centre. I bought a Eucalyptus there for just €7.99. Not one I have seen for sale before (Eucalyptus niphophila). Must look it up now to see if it's hardy. 

On into the village, and took the coast road round to Portmarnock (where I got to see some Brent geese). Then on to Howth, Clontarf and finally Dollymount. Bit of a dreary day, but at least it was dry. Lots of locals and tourists taking advantage of the fresh air.

The Party's Over

02 January 2011 10:17:16
The Party's Over

The Party's Over

Malus 'Red Sentinel' has been providing me with lots of visible pleasure during the winter, and then food for the birds. It's looking decidedly tatty right now. I hope to plant this into one of my borders when the weather improves, so it will get bigger and better.

Fly away home!

02 January 2011 07:43:31
Brent Geese

Brent Geese

Yesterday, and indeed all last week, I noticed a lot of goose activity in the sky. I think these are Brent Geese. You see them flocking together on a lot of suburban greens all year round, I think. But yesterday I got to wondering, do they migrate at all? If so, they are heading East!

Prepared or Not Prepared!

02 January 2011 07:19:04
Prepared or Not Prepared!

Prepared or Not Prepared!

I decided not to get any Hyacinths this year as I just can't afford to give over any more space indoors. However, when I got some bulbs that were reduced by 75% I decided to buy some. These were put on top of the vases on 19th December. So I thought to myself that it would be well into January before I would see any flowers. Looks like I was wrong. Obviously, having been stored in the heat of a shop for months has had more or less the same effect as the PREPARED ONES.

Still a mystery

01 January 2011 19:31:15
Still a mystery

Still a mystery

This is growing in a small pot that Deborah gave me early last year. I thought it was Arisaema ciliatum, but was mistaken. But I still don't know what it is, although I'm thinking here it looks a bit like a wallflower. Any ideas a year later?

Todays therapy

01 January 2011 18:22:43
Part of the garden today

Part of the garden today

This morning, while still in pj's I got all my orchids watered, did 2 days dishes and put on 4 loads of washing before the water was cut off again.

Such a joy to spend quality time out in the garden today. It was way overdue. Started off by cutting back blackened, slimy and dead stuff, but only scraped the surface as I want to leave SOME protection still in place. After all, it IS only January. It was so mild out there that I had to take off my fleece. Cut back all plumes from Cortadera, Verbena bonariensis and lots more. I had pots of last years bulbs hidden under trees for protection. Took them out to inspect them. Was it the frost and snow that pushed them and the compost up higher in the pots? The bulbs themselves look like they have been uprooted, but untouched by birds or anything else.

Got the last of my tulips planted into pots today. These are definitely the last of the bulbs. I got these the week before Christmas when they were reduced by 75%. So all in all, the place looks a lot more loved than before!

 

My Lovely Echium

01 January 2011 15:55:34
My Lovely Echium

My Lovely Echium

Had a good opportunity today to inspect things more closely in the garden. OMG Just look at the 'mush' that USED to be my lovely Echium. It got lobbed over the wall to the field out back to 'Plant Heaven'. But the amazing thing is, there are still loads of seedlings in that border that have survived completely unscathed. Weird or what!

The first on the first

01 January 2011 06:59:19
Hydrangea cutting

Hydrangea cutting

Two weeks before Christmas, I got some cuttings of a beautiful Hydrangea with a deep pink/plum colour from a colleague in work. Cut them down to size, stuck them in a glass of water, and hey presto. Never did Hydrangea cuttings before. In fact, I thought it was just the wrong time of year, but chanced my arm. Out of four pieces, two have taken. I have just potted them up. Wahoo, here we go again. Happy New Year ,everybody!

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