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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal February 2011

Last Post 2456 days 4 hours ago

Peaches in my greenhouse

28 February 2011 21:12:33
Peaches in my greenhouse

Peaches in my greenhouse

I grow peaches in my greenhouse. They are a dwarf variety 'Bonanza' and are growing in pots. They stand at roughly 4ft from the ground. The flowers are just beginning to open now. Because of limited activity by bees at this time of year, I pollinate them myself with my little artists brush. I will pollinate them every day for about a week to ensure lots of fruit. During their growth, I find it necessary to cover the fruits with netting as slugs and snails like to get their gnashers into them before I do. The netting definitely works. I feed them every two weeks when they set fruit, with a Tree and Shrub Fertilizer. When the peaches are roughly the same size as a marble, I thin them out to get bigger fruits. Each year the crop gets better. Last year I got about 8 decent-sized peaches from one tree. Well worth growing if you can spare the space. And very low maintenance - so long as you can control slugs and snails.

Dave, for a photo of the actual peaches, go to my album 'fruit and veg' . It's the 7th album from the top. 

Aint' this peachy!

28 February 2011 20:16:43
Peach flowers

Peach flowers

Oooh! I am getting so excited at the thoughts of eating my own peaches again. Flowers are showing already. It will be time for pollination with the paintbrush very soon.

Liga, How's your one doing?

The Early Shift

28 February 2011 19:14:26
The Early Shift

The Early Shift

Went in to work this morning earlier than normal. Very cold night. But any frost cleared pretty quickly in the sun. And you could really feel a bit of heat there too. And as I started early today, I clocked off early. Got the best part of the day in the garden. I have 3 tiny Acers that I got last year €7.99 each reduced down to just 20c. Today I bought 3 identical pots and potted them up finally. They are just coming into leaf. They are Acer palmatum 'Orange Dream', 'Sango-Kaku' and 'Little Princess'. Looking forward to these vibrant colours in full leaf.

Then I went in and watered all my houseplants.

Aconitum

28 February 2011 19:02:01
Aconitum

Aconitum

Very frustrating not knowing what's what at this time of year. But one thing I AM certain of is that this is Aconitum, which has a lovely blue flower.

The Final Countdown

28 February 2011 17:55:55
HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Only 5 more days to go now for our Christmas Get-together. It's been a long time coming. Just a little reminder to all of you to bring your Kris Kindle pressies. All will be put together, and each person draws one out.

If I promised anyone anything please remind me. I did have a list drawn up for December, but that's probably in the bin.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS, EVERYBODY!

Another No-Namer

28 February 2011 06:40:44
Another No-Namer

Another No-Namer

This pretty little plant was bought last year as a 4pack Perennial mix. There was no name on the plant itself. Would LOVE to know its name. It has come through that rotten winter and looks so delicate, but is actually flowering now. Tough as old boots, I reckon. Definitely one to repeat plant. This is very small. The whole mound probably only measures about 10 inches across. So......what do ye think?

Somebody's been eating my labels....

27 February 2011 21:26:52
Somebody's been eating my labels....

Somebody's been eating my labels....

I just can't understand it. Most of the stuff I planted last year had labels beside them. So where have they all gone. Can't for the life of me think what this is. Hope someone can help!

This years tomatoes

27 February 2011 21:04:17
Radish Daikon

Radish Daikon

This year, I won't be growing as many edibles. I just won't have enough time. I will be sowing some seeds over the next couple of weeks;  Pepper 'Hamik', Scallop Squash, Mange Tout, Peas, Cucumber 'Crystal Apple', Melons, and in May I intend sowing Radish Daikon (Mooli Minowase Nr. 2). These are large oriental radishes that have white roots measuring 12 inches long. These are traditionally used in stir-fries, and pickled. Also great in salads. I am also growing 'Homeguard' (Maincrop) and 'Celine' (Earlies) potatoes.

Got my tomatoes started this evening. Sowed  only 5 types;'San Marzano','Tumbling Tom', 'Russian Black', 'Demidov' and 'Rozovy Titan' (the last two were seed given to me by Dave (Chilipepper) last year. 

Today's jobs

27 February 2011 19:48:08
greenhouse border today - all tidy

greenhouse border today - all tidy

Got a few things planted into the shady border today; Chrysanthemum m. 'W. Supreme' that I got last year for 50c, Potentilla 'Red Ace' and 'Abbotswood', and my new Bergenias. Moved Shelser's Centaurea to a more suitable spot. It's a neat little plant so it went up on the soil around the Upper Pond so it will now be clearly visible. Planted the Oxalis Deppei around the edge of the greenhouse pond. 

I did a general tidy up and cut back more dead growth and filled 2 black bags in the process. My blue Agapanthus is total mush. But that gave me a free pot to plant up my Acer palmatum 'Ribesifolium'. This one has dark green, deeply cut leaves that turn to 'old' gold in autumn. The pot is nice and plain, so the focus will go on the plant itself. It was a right bummer with showers on and off all day - and some were really heavy. The grass is sodden, and I didn't make it any better traipsing around. 

 

Lidl - No More!

27 February 2011 17:45:14
Lidl - No More!

Lidl - No More!

I made my final visit ever to Lidl this afternoon. I need nothing else for the garden. Out of space. Got Amaryllis 'Belladonna', Dahlia 'Seattle' which is a gorgeous yellow and white, Acidanthera 'Murielae', Gladioli 'Atom', Lycoris 'Aurea' (just have to try this one again, nothing happened last year), Nerine 'Alba' ( planted these in the wrong place last year), and Babiana 'Stricta'. Never heard of that last one before. Got all of that for €19.

I was almost tempted to buy a Prunus Triloba for €7.99 but I know that the gorgeous little pink puffball flowers don't last too long, especially if it is in a windy site.

The 'Ice Queen'

27 February 2011 13:39:51
The 'Ice Queen'

The 'Ice Queen'

OMG that water must be at least -50. Got in, sorted the upside down bulb on the Island (it was a Hyacinth) and got out as quickly as possible. Feet are wrapped in a nice warm towel now!

Wading Bird!

27 February 2011 10:02:56
See the bulb pushing upwards?

See the bulb pushing upwards?

I'm going to sink that bloody island in the middle of the pond very soon. Just outside looking around. All the bulbs that I planted in the island are coming up nicely. Last week I noticed some white rootie things growing on the surface. I thought they may have been weeds in the compost.

However, on closer inspection just now it seems that there is a bulb planted upside down. The roots are growing upwards and the green growth growing downwards has pushed the bulb itself up. It looks like I'm going to have to wade in again to sort this one. I will wait until my hair is dry though. Quite cold out there this morning.

Camellia

26 February 2011 23:21:25
At least I didn't kill this one!

At least I didn't kill this one!

Here is another gorgeous Camellia. The label says 'Double Red'.

I have 5 Camellias altogether. 'Wisley White' which is my ultimate favourite, 'Debbie', 'Double Red', Mairin's one and 'Tiptoe'. All looking good right now.

R.I.P.

26 February 2011 21:00:13
R.I.P.

R.I.P.

I was utterly disgusted to discover today that my Baboon's Bum, (Fascicularia that Clare had so kindly given to me) had rotted. It was only recently beginning to take on its' scarlet colouring.  I pulled away all of the mushy, rotten sections and was left with the actual crown of the plant. If it survives, well and fine. I removed it from the pot and planted it into the wilderness. Now I have a lovely Aztec style pot to replant.

Pretty as a picture

26 February 2011 20:43:58
Primula 'Quaker's Bonnet'

Primula 'Quaker's Bonnet'

Just observing plants in my Alpine Circle today. Everything is still alive, thank God. This little Primula is looking lovely. Full of flowers. And very pretty!

I TOOK THIS PHOTO WITH MARTIN IN MIND AS THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF MY PHOTOS ARE BEING CROPPED ON HIS COMPUTER. HOPE YOU LIKE THIS, MARTIN.

Who wants.....

26 February 2011 20:23:14
Berberis thunbergii?

Berberis thunbergii?

While digging the wilderness, I discovered a Berberis that I carelessly discarded years ago that I got fed up with. I found it underneath all the old growth of Stipa gigantea. It wasn't even in a pot. God knows how it managed to survive all these years. However, I don't want it. I potted it up in the hope that someone might want it next Saturday. I think it's Berberis thunbergii. But the leaves on the lower part are green. Maybe that's due to zero light levels under the Stipa.

First come, first served. Otherwise, it's going 'over the wall'.

Not enough hours in a day!

26 February 2011 19:40:04
Rhododendron 'Ginny Gee' flower buds

Rhododendron 'Ginny Gee' flower buds

We were in the swimming pool by ten, shopping by 11.30 and home by 12.15. Quick spot of lunch and out of the 'good clothes'. I spent a lot of time digging and weeding the Wilderness area. But half way through, I wondered why the Hell don't I do it properly for once and for all, instead of re-doing it year after year. It causes me a lot of needless annual back-break. So today, I made a start on sorting this.

While I was digging, I planted my flagpole cherry that I got in Ratoath Garden Centre for a mere fiver. I also wondered why I had a Nandina domestica in my shady border that contains herbaceous plants. So that got whipped out and planted in the wilderness. Then the newly-planted stuff got 'puddled' in. The Nandina (Sacred Bamboo) looks more at home now. And I have a good space in the shady border now to plant my new Bergenias. I also planted Euonymus alatus, and Forsythia into the wilderness. And stuck a few purple and white Gladioli under the obelisk that supports Myrtle everlasting Sweet Pea. They will ensure the colour display is extended a bit. I tried to KILL my Gunnera by driving the spade viciously through it's coconut-like growths. What a waste of energy. If anyone has a magical solution, please don't hesitate to suggest it. I have outgrown its monstrous foliage display. I now know more about what I want in this area. I am now accepting the fact that I don't have enough space for these mammoth plants (even though I love them). But I don't think it's possible to kill a thug like that. Maybe a 2.2 rifle would blast it to bits! Or an early bonfire!

While shopping in Aldi I bought some more bulbs, but only 2 packs. Very controlled indeed. I got Allium moly and Oxalis (pink). I managed to plant the 'moly' into my greenhouse border (the orange/yellow/red end of it).

Ventilated the greenhouse all day. Then I decided to move all the bird feeders back towards the end of the garden so I can enjoy my summer bedding without droppings, and then refilled them. Oh, I also bought a Morello Cherry for €4.99 which got planted into a big pot. I lost one last year. And I also got some seed potatoes 'Pentland Javelyn'. Didn't have enough time to get these down. Tomorrow is another day. Knackered now! Gosh, that's a lot of typing. I need a drink.

Taking the plunge!

26 February 2011 17:58:15
Look at me! I'm a big boy!

Look at me! I'm a big boy!

Ok the journal title is a bit misleading. I just wanted you all to look at my grandson in his togs (oops, I hope they're not Martin's). Took him to the swimming pool this morning for his first dip. I thought he would be screaming the place down, but no, he took to it like a duck to water, even though he stayed a little bit cautious. Hopefully next week, we will get a bit more adventurous with him.

Good Morning Fran!

26 February 2011 07:21:02
Good Morning Fran!

Good Morning Fran!

This is how your Chaenomeles looked yesterday. Wahoo. It's timing is just right. Oops, a bit blurry!

The best news ever!

25 February 2011 22:47:59
some of my tulips

some of my tulips

I have NEVER ever germinated sweet pea in the greenhouse. However with all the talk on the site, I decided to do just that. How long ago was that? 4? 5? 6 weeks ago? Had a good look around today after work as I was off at 3 o'clock. Wahoo, sweet pea has germinated. But only JUST! I was even going to sow more indoors tonight. Now I don't have to. A few things coming up in the border that I just haven't a clue what they are. I guess it's the same story with me every year. Plenty of growth on my tiny little orange acers, and Euonymus 'alata', tulips all looking nice and plump. Forsythia starting to flower and I haven't even found a spot for it yet.
But the best news ever is that my Arisaema seeds that Deborah sent me have finally germinated. One tiny seedling in the pot of 'mixed arisaemas' (so tiny I can't even capture it on a photo), one tiny seedling in the pot of 'consanguineum' and 2 other types waiting. Now I don't mind waiting for the others. Oh, you have no idea how close they were to being dumped tonight! Happy Camper!

Do you think.....

25 February 2011 20:55:24
Are these foxtail lilies?

Are these foxtail lilies?

Last year, I dug up everything from my triangular bed in the hope that I would re-do the whole thing. I did have my eremurus in there originally. But after realizing that they weren't going to 'do' anything I didn't bother even relocating them. So do you think that this is them?

Temptation

25 February 2011 19:50:11
'Donation'

'Donation'

I was holding this lovingly today. Wondering could I justify ANOTHER Camellia. But I actually think I have this one already. My flowers are a long way off. Look at the size of the flower. Isn't it beautiful!!

Being a good girl.

25 February 2011 06:42:20
Being a good girl.

Being a good girl.

I have deliberately avoided both Lidl and Aldi in recent weeks as I am running out of space for things rapidly. However, there are a few gaps in my shady(now with added sun) border that are not easily accessible. So to avoid weeds growing there and me having to trample all over everything to get at them, I will be planting Bergenia. I bought 2 varieties yesterday 'Rotblum' and 'Rose'. That should improve things a good bit. Got 3 Bergenias for the price of 2 - costing €9.99. Can't go wrong with that.

Oh, it's good to be alive!

24 February 2011 21:43:35
Oh, it's good to be alive!

Oh, it's good to be alive!

By God, we have really been blessed with the weather this week. People are coming out of the woodwork now. It's great that I can once again share my garden centre with all. And their moods are of hope and anticipation - all looking forward to what the summer has to offer them.

I got loads of important jobs done today. Among them was removing the racking from shelving, scrubbing down, removing all moss and compost, and then cleaning with Jeyes Fluid. My Climber shelf is READY TO GO, just waiting for next weeks delivery. Hopefully at the weekend, we will be able to spare one of the lads to power wash all shelving and ground. Wahoo! Don't ya just love it!

Is it, or is it not?

24 February 2011 17:48:19
Is this a weed?

Is this a weed?

There is lots of this groundcover growing in the grass verges of the carpark in work. It looks rather nice. Today I noticed that some of it is actually growing through the fence inside the garden centre now. If it isn't a weed, I would nearly pull some up for my garden. The leaves are quite pretty. I can't remember if it flowers. I have noticed that it kind of 'hugs' the Pyracantha that's planted up against the fence in the carpark, and it doesn't seem to take over much. Well?    Weed, or not?

Puschkinia

24 February 2011 06:38:50
Puschkinia

Puschkinia

I remember last year going up the wall trying to find out what these were. They're in a pot. All out in flower now. Still don't know where I actually got them. Pretty little things though. Will plant them somewhere after they have 'gone over'.

Sharing the Shamrock

23 February 2011 21:10:58
Sharing the Shamrock

Sharing the Shamrock

It has finally germinated. Thought it was just a gimick. Depending on its growth rate during the week, I will try and pot up some small pots for anyone who would like some.

Just call me Daffy!

23 February 2011 19:15:31
Daffs in the back garden

Daffs in the back garden

Nearly crashed the car this evening reversing in as I spied what I thought were my first open daffs. Not quite open, but definitely will be by tomorrow. A pot of fully open ones in the back garden though. Happy camper!

Shamrock has germinated well in time for St. Patrick's Day. Will investigate further tomorrow. Feeling a bit sorry for myself right now with a head cold coming on.

Happy Hippeastrum

23 February 2011 06:51:01
Happy Hippeastrum

Happy Hippeastrum

What a beauty this one is. It's my last one. Hopefully next year I can get all three to repeat flower instead of buying new ones!

Finally!

22 February 2011 19:16:25
Finally!

Finally!

What took her so long to flower?

Just in time!

22 February 2011 18:36:01
Irises open

Irises open

I only made up this window box on Sunday. It's a good job I didn't leave it any later. Irises flowering today. It looks like I will be getting more plants to replace them.

What's wrong?

22 February 2011 17:41:02
What's wrong?

What's wrong?

I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm not sure if this is a Magnolia or a Camellia. Either way, it's not looking too good. It's in a pot, all the leaves and flower buds are falling off, (maybe the pot is too small). When I tested this one in my hand, the outer skin just fell off revealing the flower. I THINK it's a Camellia but the leaves are more pointy than the other ones.

A gem of a day!

21 February 2011 20:06:31
A gem of a day!

A gem of a day!

What a cracker it was today. Working in T-shirt sleeves in February. It was a gift. Got tedious tasks done today before the onslaught of customers - here's hoping for a productive summer. Even the rain this afternoon was quite pleasant.

A new record!

21 February 2011 19:31:27
A new record!

A new record!

I do believe I have beaten Frans record of germination with Amaranthus caudatus, having sown this only on Saturday. 2 days! Wow!

Plug Plants

21 February 2011 16:45:34
Plug Plants

Plug Plants

Thursday 3rd of March heralds the start of the plug plants in Aldi. 7 varieties to choose from : Gazania Tiger Stripe, Aster Colour Carpet, Geranium Scarlet, Geranium Mixed, Lobelia Trailing, Petunia Double and Petunia Mixed price €2.99. In my opinion it is way too early for these. I know from the Garden Centre that gardening novices DON'T WANT to know that these shouldn't go outside yet. Then they come back to me afterwards and complain that they are all dead. I might get the Gazanias.

They also have Magnolias again. 3 Litre pot €9.99 Same varieties as last year: Soulangiana, Stellata or Susan.

All 'Maxxed' out

20 February 2011 20:39:19
New watering can

New watering can

I have only been to T.K. MAXX once. Dropping Steve's Mam and Dad to the Airport this afternoon so Steve could hardly refuse bringing me to the one in the Pavilions Shopping Centre. Lots of garden ornaments. I bought a lovely book on Birds and this cutsey watering can.

Smile, you're on candid camera

20 February 2011 19:32:20
Smile, you're on candid camera

Smile, you're on candid camera

Made up this window box for the front today. It's a long one, 3ft. But I think there could be lots more in it. Will get something tomorrow. Just as I was taking the photo, Steve made himself visible!  :)

Help!

20 February 2011 19:08:30
Help!

Help!

Haven't a clue what this is. Help, please!

Tidying up

20 February 2011 17:11:15
Wild garlic everywhere

Wild garlic everywhere

Spent about two hours just tidying up the front garden. Can't dig the border as it is way too soggy. Imagination working overtime as I was tidying up leaves and litter and pulling scutch grass. The grass out the front is very spongey, and slopes out towards the pathway. I wish Steve was as 'garden-minded' as me as I need the big Cordyline dug up from the middle of the garden. Actually it will be more a job for a chainsaw and pickaxe. It is hindering my way of thinking. Once that is gone, it will be like a blank canvas. I have lots of shrubs in the back in the 'holding' area, that can possibly be planted out the front. But as of yet, I have no plan.

I cut back my 2 hydangreas. I have a slip from a colleague that will eventually get planted out the front also. This one has a beautiful deep crimson flower. Getting rid of all the leaves and litter has opened my eyes to all the blinkin' wild garlic growing all over the place. And the STINK of it is unreal! It's all coming in from my next-door-neighbours garden. Yea, it has lovely little white flowers, but it's almost impossible to eradicate. Up until recently, I didn't actually realize that the smell was so strong.

Paddy's Day

20 February 2011 08:57:58
St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day

I have been on the lookout for Shamrock seeds to sow for years now. Yesterday while Zoe and I were out, I dropped in to the €2 Shop, and 'lo and behold, what did I spot? Yes, you guessed. Some shamrock seeds. And for once the sowing instructions, even though it was written in 'pigeon-english', they were quite clear, even to someone who never sowed seeds before. Looking forward to this for St. Patrick's Day. Sowed them last night, so they are all tucked up nice and warm in the propagator now.

Late developer

19 February 2011 21:52:30
Late developer

Late developer

It seems like all my plants are flowering way later than everybody elses. Crocusses only opened today. And I am STILL waiting for my Helleborus 'niger' to open. Nearly there though. I can wait.

Plans going awry!

19 February 2011 20:41:36
Plans going awry!

Plans going awry!

Had great intentions for today. What a cracker of a day. Went swimming with Zoe this morning. We did 'brunch' then. We needed to keep out of Steve's way as long as possible as changes for the new kitchen were taking place. Washing machine now out in the garage. Old sink going in over it. So I will have my own potting place - utility room of sorts.

The back garden is so soggy that I decided not to be out there too much. Front is obviously just as bad, so I didn't get to dig the border. Another day.Opened up the greenhouse, temperatures had risen to 30 degrees.

Got some more stuff from Mr. Middletons planted into pots. Not many more to go. I am as happy as a 'pig in .....'. This new kitchen means that I will have my own area in the garage to potter about in without worrying about compost all over the floor and compost clogging up the drain.

Sowed some more seeds this evening: Musa sikkimensis, Nicotiana sylvestris, Amaranthus caudatus and Polyanthus 'Large-flowered mix' .

At last!

19 February 2011 20:26:52
At last!

At last!

Gosh, it seems like I have been waiting an absolute 'age' for these crocusses to open. I planted loads in the grass around two of the ponds, and the line pole. They finally decided to open today (well, some of them did). Beautiful sunny day.

You learn something new every day!

19 February 2011 07:50:35
You learn something new every day!

You learn something new every day!

I have this camera since May of last year. I only found this particular 'zoom' setting yesterday out in the garden centre. :) Now I'll be able to post a much better photo of my neighbouring Heron.

What to do now....

18 February 2011 20:23:50
What to do now....

What to do now....

My animals (sorry, Ricinus) are growing like there is no tomorrow. 6 seedlings in the one pot. Do I separate them and pot them on? Do I keep them indoors still? Do they look like they are struggling to reach the light? All advice welcome.

Spring is here!

18 February 2011 19:54:50
Pulmonaria starting to flower

Pulmonaria starting to flower

This weekend marks the beginning of my healthy eating regime (ish!!), and regular exercise. Summer is a killer on the muscles that have been allowed to relax somewhat over the cooler months. Starting with swimming tomorrow morning. Non weight-bearing exercises can be very beneficial for all aches and pains.

Then it's home and hopefully I will get all that stuff I got in Mr. Middletons last week into pots. Bought lots of compost today so no excuse. I have some primroses and irises from Lidl to plant up into a big window box. Front garden needs a major tidy up. Hopefully will get the bed running down the length all weeded, maybe even dug over, weather permitting. Tomorrow I also hope to get more seeds sown.

Dropped in to Dad on the way home. He is still eating his own home-grown tomatoes. His azaleas are starting to flower. Nerine bowdenii are pushing up in his bed already. And his pulmonaria are flowering. It's on its way!

Taxus baccatta

18 February 2011 06:37:39
Taxus baccatta

Taxus baccatta

This has been growing down at my back wall for maybe 8 years. It's only about 5ft tall. I love its loose habit and it doesn't grow too vigorously. It's a really good evergreen. Yesterday I noticed these little growths on it. Surely they aren't the beginnings of little cones?

Sprekelia

17 February 2011 22:20:00
Sprekelia formosissima

Sprekelia formosissima

Another new plant here for this year will be Sprekelia formosissima. This forms a bulb, takes full sun and is frost tender. Why did I buy it? Just look at what I will have if it grows for me!

House to let!

17 February 2011 19:12:16
House to let!

House to let!

I was off today to conduct some personal business. The day started very foggy and cold. I couldn't even make out the wall down at the back. Bit by bit the fog lifted and temperatures didn't rise too much. The garden is so wet. God knows when I will be able to give the grass its first cut. Didn't get anything done outside today at all. But just in the greenhouse after opening it up for the day, I noticed at last some growth on my peach trees inside. Better late than never.

All day I was watching some sparrows flying in and around the birdbox that Steve made last year. I actually have an old robins nest inside it that I got from inside a furry catbox which was inside the shop last year. I hope this will do something to encourage some sort of bird to set up home in this birdbox. Steve would be chuffed, to say the least.

For Mary

17 February 2011 12:42:26
For Mary

For Mary

This is primarily used as a potting tray, but could easily double up as a receptacle when watering plants. This one cost €13.95. They are very handy to have.

Visiting!

16 February 2011 19:25:46
Good Indoor Display Area

Good Indoor Display Area

Spent all day today at another store, partaking in an In-store Workshop. Dealt with merchanising, signage, hygiene, innovative displays etc. Also touched on stock adjustment, and happy to say that our store was nowhere near the bottom. I nipped out to have a nosey at their garden centre when we had a ten minute break mid-morning. The store in question for todays course clearly had a big delivery in prior to the big gathering so it was well packed. Great selection of plants, all facing out neatly like soldiers, lots of colour, and everything in its place. With all the attention going on stocking the place with fresh stock, it was a terrible pity that nobody thought to remove all the moss that was growing on the shelving. Attention to detail is so important, this could have been dealt with quickly and easily.

On the 'doss'.

15 February 2011 18:05:29
Pick-me-up-photo of my Helleborus

Pick-me-up-photo of my Helleborus

Ok I don't normally create excuses to stay indoors. But I did today. It was just horrible out - cold and wet and windy. And seems that there were NO customers outside, I didn't see the point in getting cold and wet needlessly.

I watered all the indoor plants (well, I pretended, as I had already done them yesterday). It took me ages. I didn't feel very good just pretending. I don't take too kindly to dossing. Not doing that again.

Bougainvillea

15 February 2011 05:41:11
Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea

I got this Bougainvillea in Ratoath Garden Centre months and months ago for a knockdown price of something like €7. A couple of weeks ago I was becoming a bit desparate as it was totally without leaves. But look at it now. Can't wait to see if I can get a few flowers on it for the summer. These ones will be a dusty pink.

The Pearl

14 February 2011 20:21:14
Polianthes tuberosa 'The Pearl'

Polianthes tuberosa 'The Pearl'

Another new plant for me this year will be Polianthes tuberosa, which is a tender perennial with semi-erect thin leaves up to 18 inches long. It has spikes of tubular, INTENSELY fragrant, waxy white flowers produced in summer. It hails from Mexico. It can be propagated from seeds (sown fresh) or offsets which should be removed once the plant is dormant.

Doing well

14 February 2011 06:41:03
Goji Berry looking well

Goji Berry looking well

On Chilipeppers (Dave) recommendation last year, I bought this Goji Berry. In my innocence I thought I may have gotten fruit from it then. I soon found out. It has almost been on the compost heap so many times. However yesterday I decided it was looking way too healthy for that! Roll on the Summer!

Pairing off

13 February 2011 20:09:20
Pairing off

Pairing off

 Today, a new bird graced my garden, the Pied Wagtail. I have never seen one here before. And there were two of them, chasing each other all around the garden. I am presuming they are male and female. Is this the start of the mating season?

Doin' a little bit!

13 February 2011 18:50:40
Calla 'Flame'

Calla 'Flame'

I was a bit unsettled today, and wasn't sure what to start with outside. All the walking to and fro on the grass is just churning up mud, and it's to rain again tomorrow. The grass is not getting much of a chance to dry out. Steve spent a lot of time clearing out the garage and piling up anything that is to be thrown out in a heap in the garden, so he was on the grass/mud a lot. I started off planting up 4 window boxes with the onion sets. Glad that's off the list. Then I stuck the random daffs and tulips that I discovered yesterday into a spare bit of soil.

Found 3 small pots of 'Bridal Crown' narcissus that I never got round to planting last year! They went into the Wilderness bed until I can decide on the best place for them. Lots and lots of Myosotis (Forget-me-nots) all over the place which I tried to remove. That will take a lot longer than I was prepared to devote to it. While I was at it, I also removed lots of echium seedlings.

I planted 75 mixed Dutch Iris in the Pond Border, and the Greenhouse Border. Let's hope now that I won't forget they are there during the summer when I decide to buy new plants/bedding! Planted Calla 'Flame' into a pot and it will remain in the garage until it warms up a bit. 

I pulled up a good bit of Armeria at the Upper Pond as it was beginning to take over. So I put some Aubrieta in its place. I planted more of the same into the Bog Bed. 

Planted my new lilies 'African Queen' into a pot which will be sunk into a gap during the summer. Most of my new bulbs are tender so will be put into pots so I can bring them in.I also managed to plant my new Gladioli 'The Chocolate Gladiolus' down by the compost bin. It should be interesting now to see if they really smell like chocolate.

Ventilated the greenhouse all day as it was such a beautiful day. 

Against all odds

13 February 2011 09:02:31
Against all odds

Against all odds

I only got a few minutes out in the garden yesterday. Every year after all my daffs and tulips have 'gone over' I move the pots in under cover of the shrubs down at the Wilderness area, where they stay until this time of year. A couple of weeks ago I brought most of them back out and am happy to say they are flourishing. However, yesterday I spotted some that I forgotten about completely.

This pot was underneath another pot, which was under another pot. How in God's name do they manage to survive in the most harrowing conditions. These were obviously a mixture of bulbs that I just emptied into this pot so I could use the other one. They look to me like a mixture of daffs and tulips so I will pot these up properly today and make them look like they are wanted! And note that the pot inside has broken with the bad weather even though it was placed inside another pot. 

Primulas

12 February 2011 22:36:20
Primula japonica 'Valley Red'

Primula japonica 'Valley Red'

Bought this candelabra primula at the Rare and Special Plant fair last year (I think!) and loved this one. It has scarlet flowers with an orange eye. Happy to see today that it has self-seeded just beside it in the Bog Bed. Hopefully it will keep on doing that for a few years to come.

I must be improving with age. Do you see I actually have a label on this one!

Chocolate lovers

12 February 2011 20:45:52
Chocolate lovers

Chocolate lovers

It must be the season for chocolate lovers. I also bought a chocolate-related plant/bulb yesterday. These are Chocolate Gladioli. Mmmmmmmmmm!

Wild animal growing at a rapid rate!

12 February 2011 19:42:19
Wild animal growing at a rapid rate!

Wild animal growing at a rapid rate!

Look at him this minute. And I never even gave him his Weetabix this morning!

Wild animal in my propagator!

12 February 2011 19:30:16
Wild animal in my propagator!

Wild animal in my propagator!

Help! This monster appeared in my propogator this morning. Only sowed the seed on 6th Feb.

Canna visit your garden?

12 February 2011 08:25:06
Canna 'Rosemund Cole'

Canna 'Rosemund Cole'

This is the Canna I got in Mr. Middletons yesterday. Looking forward to this one for a change. I hope 'Tropicanna' welcomes him with open arms!

What is this, please?

11 February 2011 22:36:59
What is this, please?

What is this, please?

Here we go again. Every year I promise I will label things. I didn't label this one and haven't got a clue what it may be. Any ideas, please?

Gloriosa Rothschildiana

11 February 2011 22:00:54
Gloriosa Rothschildiana

Gloriosa Rothschildiana

A new one for me, this bulb is a climbing lily, a native of South Africa. It will have to be over-wintered in the garage as it is tender. Will go into a big pot at the Loggia. Can't wait....

A rainy day, and bulbs on a bus

11 February 2011 18:20:37
Bulb selection today

Bulb selection today

Took a trip into town today as I was off. First up, Chapters Book Shop, 2nd the €2 shop in Moore Street where I bought a Lonicera tatarica and Potentilla fruticosa both for €2 each. Next stop Mr. Middletons where I was like a child in a sweet shop. I was going to buy exactly what I wanted, regardless of how much they cost. I have been off cigarettes a whole 16 days and put aside a bit of money that I would have spent on them. Amongst what I bought were:

Sprekelia 'formosissima' x2

Gloriosa 'rothschildiana x2

Calla lily 'Flame' 

Amaryllis 'belladonna'

Canna 'Rosemund Cole'

Ornithogalum saundersiae

Pleione 'formosa'

Polianthes tuberosa double 'The Pearl'

Vallota purpurea x3

Zephryanthes 'Candida

Lilium 'Montego Bay'

Lilium 'African Queen' x3

Crinum powelli

Gladiolus 'The Chocolate Gladiolus'

Very impressed with the selection. Every time I go in there, I forget to look at the seeds until I am on my way out of the shop. But this time round, I think I can do without them. Lashing rain all morning. When I was on the bus, the paper bag that they had been put into burst open as it was wet. Bulbs went rolling all over the place. Oh the embarrassment. I was scurrying around trying to locate them, with wet hair and fogged up glasses. A little old woman approached me when she stood up to get off, and with eyes glinting, she presented me with 2 gladioli bulbs which she found at her feet. :) I could sense people staring at me like I was some sort of lunatic!!!!

 

 

 

 

Picturing how things were.....

11 February 2011 14:46:28
Getting into 'her' world!

Getting into 'her' world!

Just back from town with a backpack full to the brim. Nipped into Chapters on Parnell Street where I was hoping to get a book on Ferns. Sadly none in the second-hand section. But I consoled myself with others; Orchids: a care manual by Brian and Sara Rittershausen €8.99, Fuchsia: a care manual by David Clark €6.99, The Illustrated Book of Flowerless Plants by B.E. Nicholson and F.H. Brightman €6.99, and finally a lovely little old book on Auriculas & Primroses by W.R. Hecker €5.99. Money well spent getting the whole lot for €28.

Just reading through the book on Auriculas (Printed 1971) and came across bookmarkers belonging to the previous owner, leaves and petals lovingly wrapped in tissue paper, and became very aware that this once belonged to possibly a woman of older years who had a deep love for plants, Auriculas and Primroses in particular. I was thinking morbid thoughts that maybe she died, and her relatives were just clearing out all her loves and passions without even realizing what her plants truly meant to her. I will never know. But I do feel priveleged to be a part of that expansive world by flicking through these cherished pages.....

He's gotta start SOMEWHERE.......

10 February 2011 21:43:06
He's gotta start SOMEWHERE.......

He's gotta start SOMEWHERE.......

I'm hoping that my little Grandson, David turns out to love working and playing in the garden. Today I caught him cleaning the window of the patio door with his tongue. Well, "What's the point in Gran doing the garden if I can't see out", I heard him think.

Crocus

10 February 2011 19:50:18
First crocus

First crocus

I have a rotary line in the garden. The metal receiver sits proud of the grass so I have a broken slab positioned just so people are warned not to trip on the receiver. Last Autumn I planted loads of crocusses around this, just to add a bit of interest. My first crocus is just about visible now, but someone must have moved it while I was sleeping. This one is right in an area that gets most foot traffic. I only hope all the rest come up where I planted them!

Trachycarpus fortuneii

10 February 2011 06:09:37
Chusan Palm

Chusan Palm

I have two of them. The big one that I bought last summer is doing fine despite the weather. But Junior is not looking too good! This damage has only appeared in the last 2 weeks.

Watering in comfort

09 February 2011 20:09:48
Watering in comfort

Watering in comfort

I sometimes get fed up not having the ideal conditions for watering the indoor plants. So I took over the canteen this morning and brought them all up bit by bit. Watering the orchids was, for once, a pleasure. None of our shelving is watertight, so the water usually ends up dripping down onto the floor, resulting in a safety hazard.

I gave all the orchids lots of water in the sink in the canteen, and was able to leave them on the draining board for a while before bringing them down to the shop floor again. I only wish it had been rainwater. I noticed lots of speckles on most of the flowers. So what has happened to cause this? But more importantly, what is the prognosis?

Aldi next week

09 February 2011 17:33:33
Check out Aldi next Thursday

Check out Aldi next Thursday

Just looking through the catalogue for Thursday 17th February. Lots of offers in Aldi. This is the start of it: 3 or 4 tier Greenhouse €19.99, Raised Border - interlocking planks €15.99, Cold Frame €37.99, seed and cuttings trays, Strawberry/Herb Planters, Soil testing kits, Galvanised planters, Blood fish and bone Feed, Fruit and veg starter plants €2.99 (includes asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, onion sets, shallots or white garlic), seed and cuttings compost, seed potatoes €2.99 - includes Maris Piper or Pentland javelin, Mushroom growing kit €4.49, Seeds, Spiral obelisks €5.99.

I believe Lidl have good offers too, so check both out.

Hippeastrum

08 February 2011 21:06:26
Hippeastrum

Hippeastrum

This was/is a double-stemmed Amaryllis that I got for 50c as one of the flowers got broken off before it had a chance to flower. I haven't had a pink one until now. It's just starting to open.

Oh, and my Gazanias have germinated.  :)

Nothing done yesterday

08 February 2011 06:22:04
Nothing done yesterday

Nothing done yesterday

It was a weird feeling yesterday being stuck indoors all day and not even seeing what the weather was doing. Although I did hear a couple of really heavy showers on the roof of the building throughout the day. I felt terribly deprived of the great outdoors as we started the main section of the stocktake. Worked from 9.00am till 10.00pm (13hours). And I can tell you that I just didn't even have the energy to turn on the computer when I came in last night. Cup of coffee and straight to bed. Hopefully it will finish early today as we are well ahead of target!

Interruptions

06 February 2011 18:46:55
Helleborus orientalis today- nearly open

Helleborus orientalis today- nearly open

Was in work for a few hours this morning, stocktaking the garden centre in torrential rain. Could have taken a break, but I wanted it finished. By the time I was done, my hands were numb. Quick shower when I got home, just to thaw out.

Spent more time doing more stuff out in the garage. Then got stuck in to sowing some seeds. Having a grand time, and then the doorbell went. I hate when the spell is broken. But I had most of what I planned to do sown. I got some seeds that Deborah sent sown at last: Rosa moyesii 'Geranium', Angelica atropurpurea, Cleome - purple, Mirabilis 'jalapa'and some of the Red Ricinis. Wellie also sent me some seeds a while ago which were sown too: Festuca glauca and Festuca amethystina. Musa sikkimensis 'Himalayan Banana' need to be soaked in warm boiled water for 3-4 days. But water needs to be changed every day to get rid of germination inhibitors. Looking forward to all.

Crocusses

06 February 2011 05:57:08
Lost and found

Lost and found

The other day I was wondering if I was only dreaming when I planted all those crocusses in the grass around the line pole and the 2 lower ponds. Not a sign of anything. But yesterday, I bared all that rain just to find them. And find them I did. Thank God for that. Was going to sign myself in somewhere.

Stocktaking the garden centre soon, and it is PELTING down. Jeez, the things I do for fun....

Aladdin's Cave

05 February 2011 18:06:54
Some of my seed trays

Some of my seed trays

I couldn't put it off any longer. Today I got out to the garage to shift all my gardening stuff out of the way to make space for the washing machine. It's amazing the things I found out there. I already have a big bench with a shelf below it, but it has been out there yonks now. Steve proposes to use the old worktop in the kitchen for a new shelving unit purely for gardening stuff. He will hopefully make a few good sized shelves underneath it. I spent nearly all day getting rid of pure rubbish that I have been hoarding all my life! I was completely ruthless. If I didn't know it was there, I didn't need it. Definitely a day for miracles here. I found some lovely photos of the girls when they were small. Don't ask why they were in the garage. Also some photos of Mam. I found my little set of Espresso cups. Oh I could go on and on and on.....

I have a very substantial amount of seed trays, one would almost think I was going to open up my own nursery !!!!! I got a lot of those washed, removing all cobwebs and creepy-crawlies. Yeuk!

I now have my potatoes chitting and put at the window in the garage until the time is right for planting them. Moved around a lot of my houseplants, but gave them a good watering first. Have my propagator in now and cleaned. Won't sow any seeds tonight. Too knackered. Took out my 3 tiered growing rack. Thank God Steve had the foresight to tape all the metal bits together, now I know that they are all there. Can't stop sneezing and sniffling on account of all the dust out there. I hope NEVER to do that again!

 

Life after death

05 February 2011 16:24:58
Sprouting Eremurus

Sprouting Eremurus

Autumn 2009 I got my first order from Heritage Bulbs. In the order were some Eremurus (Foxtail Lilies) which I was really looking forward to. But they never did much for me. ANd then Rachel said that even she had problems with Foxtail Lilies. So I didn't worry about them too much. Just found some from that order out in the garage in their original packaging, (5 corms to be exact) and 'lo and behold, they are sprouting. Now if that isn't a miracle, then I will eat my hat.

 

Anticipation!

05 February 2011 08:34:28
Anticipation!

Anticipation!

Gosh, every day I am going out there inspecting all my bulbs. Yea, I know I still have a long wait. But I haven't even seen sign of foliage on my crocusses at all. It looks like I planted complete 'duds'. I planted them in little arcs staggered around my line-pole just to cheer that area up a bit, and more little arcs around the two lower ponds to bring a bit of colour close to the house. But no, not a dickie bird. God, I HATE waiting! But this little container brings a smile to my face each time I pass it. I always say I hate Pansies, but they are probably the most reliable source of colour in bedding throughout the winter. This is planted with Pansies, Uncinia rubra, and two types of Thyme. Oh, and I see a bit of yellow peeping up through the lot. I forgot I had Primroses in there too.

A night on the tiles!

04 February 2011 21:17:22
A night on the tiles!

A night on the tiles!

What a day, weatherwise. Pulled into the carpark at work this morning to be greeted by half of the horticultural fleece from the garden centre, which had taken off over the wall. Had to secure what was left when I got in. It's all tied up like sails now, and actually, it is rather appealing to the eye. The garden centre was a total mess. Pots everywhere. Compost everywhere, bins and lids everywhere. Most of the day though was taken up looking after the indoor plants as there is a stocktake here starting on Monday, so won't get a chance to do it until at least Thursday.

Got home to bedlam. Kitchen a total mess. Dining room a total mess. Steve took all the tiles off the kitchen walls, all presses have been emptied and contents plonked on dining room floor. Dust everywhere, and all over my plants. Gas will have to be disconnected sometime over the next couple of days so facilitate plumbing of washing machine, which will be going out to the garage. And all because the Lady wants....... a new kitchen. He's zonked in the armchair as we speak, God bless him!

Used Goods

04 February 2011 06:41:55
Used Goods

Used Goods

As I have mentioned recently, we are on the verge of a stocktake once again. Out in the garden centre I planted up this lovely hand-crafted pot and displayed lovely lavenders in it. However, the manager wants a different pot planted up once the stocktake is completed. The lavenders had gone pretty tatty over the winter, so they were discarded. And I got the pot for just €2. Wahoo! Original price was €40.00. I already bought a different shaped one of the same type last summer. So they will look well placed in close proximity.

My new cymbidium

03 February 2011 22:06:55
My new cymbidium

My new cymbidium

Here is the one I kept for myself!

Fostering Again!

03 February 2011 21:01:14
Fostering Again!

Fostering Again!

So far so good. Fowers are still on this cymbidium. But only just. And for how long? I have been looking after it to the best of my ability. Don't have a very good track record with orchids. I hope the recipient is very understanding if it appears a bit 'off' when I hand it over. Hurry up 5th March.

Freebies

03 February 2011 19:56:55
Freebies

Freebies

Such a wild day out there all day. Pots flying everywhere, was a bit of a hazard really. But work goes on....

This evening I sowed more seeds, these were given last year with Amateur Gardening. Sowed Rudbeckia, Swan River Daisy, Gazania and Cleome. 

Clearing out!

02 February 2011 21:06:24
Chaenomeles

Chaenomeles

With the approach of our bi-annual stocktake, I am reducing lots of shrubs to less than half price, those which have been in the garden centre rather a long time, like since last summer and longer, and those that have seen better days.

I picked up two Chaenomeles for €3 each today. The labels have long since blown off the plants so I don't know their names. It's 'Pink something or other'. I guess I'll just have to be patient. Flowers are already starting, so not long to wait.

Tempted!

02 February 2011 18:36:33
Mikado

Mikado

I was nearly tempted today when a delivery came in. This unusual looking plant looks like a group of miniature knitting needles stuck into a small, grass-like plant. Just googling on this plant (Mikado), a native of Brazil so it requires a lot of heat and humidity. Glad I didn't buy it. Most people nowadays would consider my house to be way too cold. We don't tend to like too much heat here. Although, my open fire is lit every evening in the winter. So this could possibly be kept in the front room. And at €3.99, it's not exactly going to break the bank. It's very eye-catching. Hmmm..........thinking..........

Everything in moderation

02 February 2011 06:24:18
Everything in moderation

Everything in moderation

Last year, I got really carried away with the seed-sowing, and left myself in such a tizzy when I couldn't find the space to look after everything. This year I will still sow plenty, but just a pinch here and there into individual pots.

And not to be 'outdone' by Myrtle's and Fraoch's babies........here are mine :) (Verbascum, Penstemon and Coleus)

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