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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal August 2011

Last Post 2276 days 17 hours ago

Out with the old

31 August 2011 21:39:18
Here's one I prepared earlier!

Here's one I prepared earlier!

Emptied the contents of my flower pouch yesterday that contained impatiens. A few weeks ago I planted up another one with some winter violas. I left it lying flat while the roots expanded and 'took hold'. Looking good today. Hopefully it will see me through the winter. Ooooh I hate that word!

Free Talk

31 August 2011 21:06:33
Ratoath Garden Centre

Ratoath Garden Centre

John Lord will be giving a talk on Saturday, 3rd September on 'Late flowering perennials and ways of extending the flowering season' - with demonstrations. Also taking stock of the border to make plans for next year.

It's gotta be worth looking in on. Ratoath Garden Centre is only 10 minutes from the M50, Raystown, Ratoath Road, Ashbourne, Co. Meath. 

The talk will take place at 12.00 noon and there will be complimentary tea/coffee. These talks will take place monthly.

Persicaria

31 August 2011 20:16:48
Persicaria 'Red Dragon'

Persicaria 'Red Dragon'

This seems to be my favourite plant in the Bog Bed this year. The really small flowers are set off to perfection by the foliage colour.

Advice needed please

31 August 2011 06:56:59
Advice needed please

Advice needed please

I had some feet made from concrete which I sank into the grass. But the winter took its toll on them and now they have crumbled, making their shape undestinguishable.

At the weekend, I bought some concrete circles, about 18 inches in diameter, which will be embedded into gravel in the front garden. Maybe it wasn't a wise purchase..... Can anyone tell me how to weatherproof them, or do I just take a chance?

Just a little bit

31 August 2011 05:49:18
Cleared and ready

Cleared and ready

Thank God I was feeling a bit better yesterday, and thank you all for your kind wishes.  Didn't over-exert myself. I had a perennial sweet pea to dig up as it will also be in the way of David's new area. Unfortunately I have no space anywhere else for it, so it will be going to a very good home. I think, actually, that Steve was waiting until I decided for myself that the cherry had to go, before making a positive start here. That decision has taken me a whole year. But now I can see the sense in it. Did a good bit of weeding in the same area so it's almost 'ready-to-go'. Hopefully it can get started asap. I now have a metal obelisk that is naked. Hmmmm, what will I grow on it? Mount Venus, here we come! :)

 

Just when you thought it was safe enough......

30 August 2011 21:12:27
Just when you thought it was safe enough......

Just when you thought it was safe enough......

Just when you thought it was safe enough to STOP dead-heading Impatiens glandulifera........up come more flowers!!!!!

A round of applause for.....

30 August 2011 20:53:25
A round of applause for.....

A round of applause for.....

It's garden.iers who are constantly in the limelight here. How many of us have opened their gardens to all who cared to view them? How many of us have had the undying back-up of partners, who let us weirdos traipse around greenery, "ooing and aahing" at unusual, hard-to-grow plants, and wonderfully put-together gardens. And inside, their partners are working away like a Trojan, ensuring attention to detail doesn't go amiss.

When the visit is complete, and everybody is back at their computers again, how many of us write up a journal thanking PARTNERS and all they do? Some of them even drive down treacherous, crater-filled dirt tracks to get their cherished 'ier' to a garden of their desire, and make sure they utter their expletives completely under their breath. :) They are the 'unsung' heroes and deserve a lot more credit than we give them. 

So, raise your glasses (or spectacles, whichever is handiest) and let's toast partners and show them how much they are appreciated! Cheers!

You'd never die of thirst in a jungle..

30 August 2011 19:56:50
You'd never die of thirst in a jungle..

You'd never die of thirst in a jungle..

.........if you had Darmera growing near you! And you could pretend to be civilized too, using it as a cup, instead of scooping it up in your hands.

Dead Bamboo

30 August 2011 18:37:14
Not so dead now!

Not so dead now!

This is the dead bamboo that originally was put there to hide the junction box that serves the power for two of the ponds. Looks like he's back in business!

Preventative measures

29 August 2011 22:17:46
Kniphofia 'Bees Lemon' intact

Kniphofia 'Bees Lemon' intact

Aren't I glad I wrapped copper tape around the stems of these!

Lovin' this one

29 August 2011 21:24:19
Helianthus 'Sungold'

Helianthus 'Sungold'

This gorgeous sunflower opened today. Lovely double flower.

Sleeping sickness

29 August 2011 20:15:26
Dianthus 'Red Dwarf'

Dianthus 'Red Dwarf'

Awake all night with a tummy bug. Was as weak as a kitten this morning when I got ready for work. Got progressively worse so rang in sick and went back to bed where I slept most of the morning.

But enough is enough. Got fed up in bed and out to the garden, merely to observe. I discovered a long-forgotten-about azalea in the area where Steve chopped down the cherry blossom yesterday. It was looking very tatty and neglected, so I dug it up and potted it into ericaceous compost. Will give it a trim and feed tomorrow maybe. And then plant it into the Acid Triangle. Did more pottering around than actual work. Took some cuttings of Dianthus 'Coconut Sundae' and 'Red Dwarf'. Also collected some Aconite (Monkshood) seeds for some nice blue flowers at the greenhouse border for next year.

I decided to accept that my Gloriosa Rothschildiana (Glory Lily) is not going to get any bigger, or even flower. Bill did warn me that it was too cold to have it outside. So I unearthed that from the big pot that it's growing in. And of course, as luck would have it, all the greenery on it snapped off. :(  However I dug up the rhizomes and will keep them in the garage, and hopefully I will have the cop on to grow them indoors next year. You win some, you lose some! Saw 6 little frogs jumping around the borders today. It lifted my spirits immensely. That was the extent of my gardening today.

Advice needed please!

29 August 2011 07:43:02
Aldi climbers

Aldi climbers

Yesterday I bought 3 small climbers (2 Virginia Creepers and 1 Jasmine) to grow up the back wall. But obviously they have been stuck indoors in the warmth of a shop for the last while. So they need to be hardened off.

So here's the question. Do I pot them on, and overwinter them, or once they are hardened off, should I plant them out? It has become noticeably cooler in the last week.

Cambium Layer

28 August 2011 21:41:12
Cambium Layer

Cambium Layer

Each ring inside the trunk of a tree represents one years' growth. The thickness of the yearly ring depends on the environment of the tree. Some years the rings will be thicker than others. This usually signifies that growing conditions are excellent. Thinner rings could be as a result of drought or disease. Scientists can also build up a better picture of a trees' history by examing the cambium layer - they can identify flood, drought, lightning, insect infestation, earthquakes, or even climate change.

This cherry tree was 12 yrs old. It's going to be take a lot of getting used to not having it around. But it's for the best.

Cut down!

28 August 2011 21:11:16
Cut down!

Cut down!

I have been debating this one for a while now - whether or not to get rid of my cherry blossom tree. It's nice. But the blooms don't last that long really. And things have to earn their keep here. And the area that is planned for David needs a bit more space. So today, tactics made me go out with the saw and start taking off some of the branches. Ha ha. Steve (as I knew he would) came and took ownership of the saw. So I left him to it, and took Dad out to dinner.

While out, we couldn't come back without a visit to either Aldi or Lidl. Actually we did both. Bought a pack of three climbers for €7.99, 2 Parthenocissus quinquefolia and 1 Jasmine beesianum for planting at the back wall to help hide the electricity cable. Hopefully they will grow well. I also have a 7ft taxus baccata there.

Got home, and tree was completely removed to ground level. I was going to plant my Physocarpus 'Lady in Red' just in front of where the cherry was until  I saw Steve using Roundup stump killer on the cherry. Not sure how long it will take before I can plant in that area again. Must read what 'it says on the tin'.

Am I the only one!!!

28 August 2011 09:03:20
Bruno's Rhodochiton

Bruno's Rhodochiton

Everyone seems to be growing Rhodochiton this year. And growing them well. This is Bruno's fine specimen. I'll really have to give it another go for next year.!

Mallow visit!

28 August 2011 00:45:40
Mallow visit!

Mallow visit!

After Bruno and Chris's garden, we headed off to visit Hosta (Margaret) in convoy, with Bruno and Chris leading the way. I recognized it as soon as we pulled up, from Rachel's description of the planting outside the garden. Margarets garden is a typical country cottage garden, with soft planting everywhere. mature shrubs and huge gorgeous trees, acers, piceas etc. She has lots of gorgeous little 'nooks and crannies' that makes one just so eager to explore. I would truly be at home in this garden. Treats at the seating area made for a very convivial air, and made the perfect end to the perfect day. Margaret, thank you so much.

Two completely different gardens. Both beautiful, and as unique as an individual fingerprint.

Blackrock Visit

27 August 2011 23:49:14
Blackrock Visit

Blackrock Visit

Well, what can I say. A well-packed day today in the Second Capital of Ireland. Bruno's homeplace is not even on the roadmap, so after texting and phoning Margaret, and finally Bruno, we eventually got there. Bruno and Chris's garden is a tiny bit smaller than mine, but it looks so much bigger. I think mine lacks the spaciousness that a decent stretch of lawn provides. It got me thinking that I should get rid of two of my ponds to accommodate my evergrowing 'wish list'.

Bruno and Chris's garden has interest around every corner, with tropical and unusual plants dominating. But they also grow more common plants that look top class as they have all been given plenty of space to expand and come into their own the 'natural way'. Bruno is brave enough to chance a lot of his less hardy plants to the harsh elements that our recent winters have bestowed upon all of us.

It was a relatively small gathering, and so much more intimate. I loved every bit of their garden. Chris and Bruno treated us to beautiful buffet lunch, with scrummy desserts too. It was also a great opportunity to get to know them a little bit better. A very relaxed atmosphere. And definitely worth a visit if you haven't already been there. We also got to welcome NoelleP to the site in person. It was her first 'Garden Visit' and hope there will be plenty more to come for her.It was great meeing you, Noelle.

Chris and Bruno, thank you both so much. And Bruno, please don't forget the cutting of that trailing plant on your patio.

Fuchsia

27 August 2011 06:06:50
F. 'Lady Soothby'

F. 'Lady Soothby'

This is reputed to be the only climbing fuchsia. And is also 'said' to be hardy. As you can see, it will be flowering any day now. Awaiting its' arrival in anticipation. The flowers are going to be fairly small, but look at the size of the leaf!

Killing two birds with one stone!

26 August 2011 21:26:13
Verbena bonariensis

Verbena bonariensis

Don't get me wrong. I would never ever harm a living creature, except for slugs and snails. So I'm not about to kill two birds.

But soooo looking forward to tomorrows day out in Cork. Bruno's garden in the early afternoon and Hosta's in the early evening. It will probably be the last of the garden visits for the year. Great that we can fit in two gardens in the one day. So, you guys down in Cork, don't be stressing yourselves. You will be amongst friends! Just 'enjoy'. And thank you both for giving us that wonderful opportunity. Looking forward to it immensely.

Weather for Cork - Saturday 27th August 2011:

Sunny intervals - 17 degrees. We can cope with that! 

Is there any hope for this?

26 August 2011 21:08:37
Cobaea scandens

Cobaea scandens

Sowed seeds of Cobaea scandens a little bit too late. But it is growing away despite that late start. I have it growing up the front post of the pergola to take over from Clematis 'Polish Spirit' and its' now twiggy stems. But I think the dull damp summer is taking its toll on it. I am not too hopeful for any flowers on this. What do the 'experts' think? Am I just being impatient once again!!!

Effects of the weather

26 August 2011 06:22:38
Triplets on dahlia

Triplets on dahlia

Not a great year for butterflies in my garden this year. I did see a few at the beginning of the summer, but they seemed to peter out very quickly. Last year, with the addition of the greenhouse pond, I was spellbound just watching damselflies and dragonflies around the place, and even inside the greenhouse. However, we have lots and lots of bees and hoverflies everywhere. The dahlias seem to be providing the biggest source of nectar for the bees, with at least 2 bees to each flower (all day). Yesterday I captured these 'triplets. All good. Maybe 2012 will see the return of the dragons/damsels!!! And maybe we'll actually HAVE a summer too.

One step ahead

26 August 2011 06:00:23
One step ahead

One step ahead

I didnt get to witness flowers on my Kniphofia 'Bee's Lemon' last year as they had been ravaged overnight by snails. Yesterday I decided to wrap copper tape around the stems so hopefully....... It does look a bit weird, though!

Hardy geranium

25 August 2011 22:42:02
Geranium 'renardii'

Geranium 'renardii'

This has got to be one of my favourite geraniums in my garden. I only acquired it this year, from Deborah in Terra Nova. If it were never to flower again, it wouldn't bother me too much. Just look at its' gorgeous glaucous foliage. And so compact too!

The Corkonian Thug!

25 August 2011 22:07:05
The Corkonian Thug!

The Corkonian Thug!

Help! It's 'at large' again. Bruno's Impatiens got chopped down. ANd I left the roots there to dig up at a later stage! Look what has appeared already. Is there time for this to produce any more flowers at this late stage? One thing is for certain, something invasive is starting all over again!  :)

Bonny Bonsai

25 August 2011 21:36:32
Bonny Bonsai

Bonny Bonsai

Ha ha I remember at the beginning of summer when this appeared in the greenhouse border, thinking it was my hardy ginger. Such an idiot! However, it wasn't long before Fran put me straight, and burst my bubble by telling me it was a sycamore seedling. :(

I dug it up and potted it immediately. But I didn't have the heart to throw it away. It has been growing away, with wire bound round it for the last four weeks now. I bend the wire ever so slightly each day. I will pot it on next spring. Who knows, it could end up being a nice topic of conversation!

It's getting hot in here!

25 August 2011 19:54:42
It's getting hot in here!

It's getting hot in here!

Another call out for the fire brigade this evening. Such a waste of a vital public service. If I could get my hands on those little blighters.........

I have added another few plants on to give away on Saturday if anyone wants to take a look at my 'Up for grabs' journal.

Ricinus

25 August 2011 06:21:49
Ricinus

Ricinus

Have to get more for next year, and plant it in a more prominent position. It's a bit lost in behind the Helenium and Yucca gloriosa variegata.

Autumn colour

25 August 2011 05:59:39
Sorbus sorbaria 'Sem'

Sorbus sorbaria 'Sem'

Love this little shrub with its' lovely rich autumn colour. It's in a pot - I believe it 'suckers'.

Rachel

24 August 2011 23:13:19
Dahlia 'Rachel'

Dahlia 'Rachel'

This little bedding dahlia opened today. And just Rachel's favourite colour too.

Clearing the way!

24 August 2011 22:18:19
Fireman Sam

Fireman Sam

We have this problem quite a lot 'over the wall' from our garden. Maybe today, when those little thugs lit this fire, they were just paving the way for me to take over the field.

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me.....

24 August 2011 22:11:35
Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me.....

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me.....

Ok, it's not until December. But these days I am getting bored in the garden. And constantly being driven indoors with the weather. So I bought myself an early birthday present today. Oooh, my list is getting bigger and bigger.

Help, please!

24 August 2011 21:47:07
Help, please!

Help, please!

This is coming up in the border. Haven't a clue what it is. Any ideas, anyone?

Short time in the garden

24 August 2011 21:25:59
Ajuga reptans 'Atropurpurea'

Ajuga reptans 'Atropurpurea'

Didn't get as much time as I had hoped for outside today. I decided to tackle the little mound of compacted earth where the jasmine and honeysuckle are growing. Was wondering what could I plant there. Had loads of ajuga here that nobody wanted. So, what better way to start. It can always be ripped out if I get fed up with it - and at no cost since they were my own seedlings (roughly 9 or 10 seedlings). I used my own compost and mixed it in with the soil, then took out any weeds, and roots that got in my way. Planted the ajuga, and a Brunnera 'Jack Frost' courtesy of Paddy and Mary earlier in the year. It's only a very small area, so it should be easy-peasy to maintain. And there's no hope of ever extending this as the Oilman will only traipse all over it when we get a fill-up. I may transfer some of the Persicaria from further up into this small area to add a bit of colour. Will top it all with golden/cream gravel to highlight the ajuga better. Doesn't look like much now, but give it time!

Up for grabs!

24 August 2011 19:57:12
Malus 'Red Sentinel' (Pot NOT included)

Malus 'Red Sentinel' (Pot NOT included)

I have no use for these plants. If anyone wants them, just say the word and I will bring them to Cork with me on Saturday.

I have a Hosta 'Gold Standard', Verbena bonariensis (just beginning to flower), Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding Heart), Fagus sylvatica atropurpurea (Purple Beech). Ribes rubrum (Redcurrant, very small bush), and a Malus 'Red Sentinel'.

The Red Sentinel was bought in Aldi this year. It was bigger than the one I bought last year so I had to have it at just €7.99. However, there were no flowers on it, hence no ornamental apples. I did think that it was self-fertile, so I don't know what went wrong!

P.S.  (25.08.11) I HAVE DECIDED TO HOLD ON TO THE 'RED SENTINEL' AND GIVE IT ANOTHER CHANCE NEXT YEAR TO REDEEM ITSELF.

Calla Lilies

24 August 2011 06:13:19
Calla Lilies

Calla Lilies

Oh, I was so proud of my beautiful Calla Lily display, especially when I decided to get a pot with a difference. They produced trumpets of gorgeous 'hot' colours, and just got better and better. Sadly, I do realize that they were never going to pull through the winter. But I wasn't prepared for them to go to 'mush' just yet. But they did. Now it's just an oval pot. Nothing left!

The days are definitely getting noticeably shorter. Dawn was much later this morning. Only now am I able to see clearly outside. And Fran, no, I do  have my glasses on  :)

Lychnis

23 August 2011 21:58:18
Lychnis

Lychnis

Margaret (Hosta) kindly gave me some Lychnis that I couldn't get at Bloom. But unfortunately I have forgotten its' full name. Help, Margaret? It's doing really well. This one has lovely white flowers.

Miss Bateman

23 August 2011 21:21:27
Clematis 'Miss Bateman'

Clematis 'Miss Bateman'

I have this clematis growing at the back wall of the Upper Pond in a rather unorthodox fashion. It's just spilling into the pond. It creates a lovely effect. However, it has just decided to produce more flowers.

Persil White

23 August 2011 20:55:49
White phlox

White phlox

Phlox just opened today and it just 'lifts' the shady border. Must get more.

Adios, Amigos!

23 August 2011 20:30:11
Adios, Amigos!

Adios, Amigos!

My Sleeping Mexican has decided to go back home. He's getting chilblains on his chilblains. Just not used to this weather! I wonder would he have room in his bags for me!

Nandina domestica

23 August 2011 20:01:25
Nandina domestica 'Sacred Bamboo' (Heavenly Bamboo)

Nandina domestica 'Sacred Bamboo' (Heavenly Bamboo)

This has been shifted from 'pillar to post'. Started off in a pot, transferred to a larger one, and yet another one. Planted in the shady border.This year it got planted into the 'wilderness' border. Such a traumatic start in life! But as you can see, it is alive and well, and rewarding me with the emergence of some nice flowers. Obviously happy in its 'Forever Home'!!!!!!!!! Looking forward to the lovely Autumn foliage colour in the next few weeks.

Rachel's seedlings

23 August 2011 18:28:56
Rachel's seedlings

Rachel's seedlings

These are growing nicely in the greenhouse border. But unfortunately I can't get in to see the plant label as there is so much growing there. So I don't know what they are, and I am hoping Rachel will come to the rescue???????

Is this normal?

22 August 2011 22:54:18
Aster 'Barbados'

Aster 'Barbados'

I bought a lovely Aster last year for the greenhouse border. I think this one is called 'Barbados'. But get this, it stands at chest height this year. I'm 5ft, 6 and a half. It will be flowering verrrrry soon!

 

Waterbaby

22 August 2011 21:32:21
Waterbaby

Waterbaby

He wouldn't let me water the garden on my own. And the wetter he got, the better. It was brilliant to just listen to his squeals of delight, and shock when the spray got him. Good job he still wears a nappy!!!

Sizzling Santry Sunset

22 August 2011 20:57:13
Sizzling Santry Sunset

Sizzling Santry Sunset

Looks like it's gonna be another good one tomorrow - "Red sky at night......"

Pity I can't cut down those awful lamp posts, and clean my camera lens!!!!

Cork Open Day

22 August 2011 20:44:40
Fuchsia 'Swingtime'

Fuchsia 'Swingtime'

Really looking forward to our day out on Saturday where we can all visit Hosta's and Bruno's gardens in Cork.

So whose garden is first on the 'hitlist' and at what time? Just need to know what time to set off at!

Un-named Fuchsia

22 August 2011 20:28:43
Name please!

Name please!

Bought this fuchsia as a hanging basket plant, in a 9cm pot, at the beginning of summer. Most of them come in with names on them. But not this one. I don't understand why, as it is very unusual in that the flowers open up looking skywards. If anyone knows its' name, I would appreciate it if you could tell me. One for minding over winter, no doubt.

This is a nice one

22 August 2011 05:52:37
This is a nice one

This is a nice one

Here is yet another dahlia grown from Deborah's seeds. I really love this one!

Curious about this

21 August 2011 20:34:37
Curious about this

Curious about this

Did a bit out in the garden this morning. Up at 5.00am as usual, but not in work until 11.00 So I spent a bit of time weeding, dead-heading and cutting back stuff. Noticed a rudbeckia leaf that had been almost 'folded' in half and sealed with a web of some sort. Of course, I just had to have a look. See what was inside it? It's about the same size as a big pea. Wonder what it is?

What's this, please?

21 August 2011 20:10:26
What's this, please?

What's this, please?

I have this growing in the front for years now. It originally came from my brothers garden. I keep removing it to make way for other things, but it always springs up in other places. It's not a very vigorous grower, a nice little plant, I am wondering is it some type of oxalis? The foliage you see in the photo is belonging to a weed, not this plant.

Bee's Lemon

21 August 2011 06:39:56
Kniphofia 'Bee's Lemon'

Kniphofia 'Bee's Lemon'

I remember this kniphofia from last year. I was so looking forward to seeing its flower and watching it daily (as you do!). Then the moment of truth came. Went out first thing in the morning and discovered that the whole flower had been sheared off by some marauding molluscs. Such frustration!

Yesterday, I spotted it. I had totally forgotten it was there. In fact, I even thought I had dug it up. Luckily not. Although, something tells me that Fran gave me a kniphofia last year. Maybe it's this one. However, I will be watching it like a hawk. But I have to restrict my use of slug pellets now as the frogs are out and about. Maybe Vaseline around the flower stem would do the trick? Or Copper Tape!

"Evenin' all".

20 August 2011 21:34:59
Culchie frog

Culchie frog

What a great day. It almost felt like summer!!!! And just when we thought a good spell was really and truly on its' way, down came the rain. Ah well. A short taste of what it should have been like.

Watered everything when I got in, especially all of my Camellias. The flower buds are forming now for next year so it's very important  not to let them dry out, or there will be a case of 'bud-drop' just before they open. I also gave them all a feed.

This morning on my daily 'walkabout', I nearly stepped on a movement in the grass. It was one of my little froggies. I gotta say I am as happy with these culchie frogs as I am with my garden plants. Gosh, they seem so tiny, still. How in God's name are they going to make it through the winter. Sorry about the photo quality. He jumped, and so did my hand!

Rose

20 August 2011 05:57:37
Flower Carpet 'Amber'

Flower Carpet 'Amber'

This one has started to re-flower. It's flower carpet 'Amber'. Hopefully it will join the other roses out the front.

Geranium cuttings

19 August 2011 22:43:40
Geranium cuttings

Geranium cuttings

Kate gave me two geranium cuttings when she and others came to visit on 27th July. The second one has just opened today. Gosh, I do love the colour of this one. Thanks again, Kate.

Dahlia

19 August 2011 22:23:53
Dahlia

Dahlia

I planted this in one of the display pots in work in spring. And the most pathetic thing is, a customer was petty enough to remove the label. So I don't know which one it is.

Corn on the Patio

19 August 2011 21:58:12
Corn on the Patio

Corn on the Patio

I had my corn planted in the 'Wilderness' last year. When the time came to harvest them, I discovered lots of earwigs and woodlice inside them. Ooooh, enough to put a girl off. So this year I have them in big pots on the patio. Quite architectural too. Looking forward to insect-free cobs this year.

The Ten Commandments for Growing Tomatoes

19 August 2011 21:06:55
A stolen photo

A stolen photo

1.   Thou shalt not start seeds off too early.

2.   Thou shalt not plan a new kitchen during seed-sowing season.

3.   Thou shalt not plant out seedlings too early, and in pots that are too big.

4.   Thou shalt not squeeze 2 plants into each pot - thus trying to save space.

5.   Honour ventilation and regular watering - or face Blossom End Rot.

6.   Thou shalt not covet Chilipeppers bumper crop.

7.   Thou shalt not over-feed.

8.   Pinch out regularly.

9.   Thou shalt not buy supermarket tomatoes and have them pose as your own.

10. Thou shalt not admit to ANY of the above.

Feeling despondent!

19 August 2011 20:16:33
Give me SUN!!!

Give me SUN!!!

Did nothing when I got home this evening. Not even watering. Tonight I just don't care! Went to bed for a power nap. Still no better. I think the bad weather we have had is to blame. I need to be planted into the sunniest border - like maybe Australia!

Miscanthus (for Anne, and others)

19 August 2011 07:20:57
Miscanthus floridulus

Miscanthus floridulus

Anne, here is my Miscanthus planted at the back of the pond, in soil. It has been there about five years and is about 7ft tall, with a spread of roughly 4 ft. As far as I am aware, it hasn't flowered so far. Great for screening unwanted vistas.

New Plant

19 August 2011 06:06:56
Sedum cauticola 'Coca-Cola'

Sedum cauticola 'Coca-Cola'

Bought this lovely sedum yesterday. Hope to get it planted into the front garden. Starting to gather plants now, and divide some in the Alpine Circle. The name seems very familiar. I have a feeling that I already have this plant!!!

This should be my last weekend in work and it's back to the winter roster (weekends free). So now I will have my 2 days off together at last.

Eucalyptus

18 August 2011 22:20:12
Eucalyptus 'youngii'

Eucalyptus 'youngii'

This was growing way too tall for my small garden and looked totally out of proportion. Steve cut the top 12 feet off a couple of months ago. New growth already and looking more in keeping with its surroundings.

Miscanthus

18 August 2011 22:04:28
Miscanthus 'Ferner Osten'

Miscanthus 'Ferner Osten'

I have Miscanthus Ferner Osten growing beside the Upper Pond. However, I have found that this year it is only reaching half its usual height. Hmmm, I wonder are the last two bad winters responsible for this?

Make believe!

18 August 2011 20:13:17
Dianthus 'Coconut Sundae'

Dianthus 'Coconut Sundae'

I am astounded that Fran's Hibiscus is flowering so nicely so early. Mine was bought in Aldi last year. At the moment it only stands at about 24 inches. But flower buds are just about forming. They are the size of a very small pea.

If I squint my eyes tightly and look at the photo on the right, I could nearly make believe it was a Hibiscus!!!!!!! Soooo jealous  :)

Dinner for two

18 August 2011 07:41:46
Dinner for two

Dinner for two

These two bees were inseparable on a dahlia. Plenty of pollen for both of them. Sharing is caring!  :)

What a cutie!

17 August 2011 22:28:28
What a cutie!

What a cutie!

Fran donated a small plant grown from a cutting of his Cuphea. Its flowers opened today. Such a cutie.

Last of the lilies

17 August 2011 20:22:02
Last of the lilies

Last of the lilies

This is my final one for this year. It opened this morning! Hoverflies have been all over it all day.

Busy day off!

17 August 2011 20:08:10
Liga taking cuttings of Jasmine

Liga taking cuttings of Jasmine

Took my two daughters, Kim and Zoe, out this morning for retail therapy and brunch. And a chance for a 'catch-up' with Kim, as I don't seem to see very much of her since she moved out last year.

Liga, Liam and Nikki called in this afternoon. It was a lovely day, so we spent our time outside with coffee and chat. So, no chance of any gardening being done here at all (not that I am worried. I'm getting used to doing nothing in the garden these days). Luckily I had all the watering done by the time Liga called in. I carry my cigarettes in my handbag. Liga carries her secateurs, plastic bags for cuttings and I'm sure a whole lot more useful gadgets concerned with gardening! Great to see you all, Liga.

Another lily

17 August 2011 07:12:23
Another lily

Another lily

This is my second last lily to open. These are planted in a pot, with eccremocarpus growing up a bamboo cane in the centre. Looking forward to eccremocarpus (Chilean Glory Flower) as I have never grown it before. It is taking forever!!!

Pitcher Plant

16 August 2011 21:43:17
Nepenthes 'Rebecca'

Nepenthes 'Rebecca'

Delighted with how this one is performing. I moved it from the kitchen in March, out to the greenhouse. I have been watering it with the hose all summer - not rainwater as was recommended. It now has 10 new pitchers. Have to pot it on asap.

Loosestrife

16 August 2011 20:35:57
Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

Have this in the Lower Pond. The same story with this with overnight winds and rain. Was going to cut it back this evening but I think it's beginning to stand up again. Not ready for cutting back stuff just yet. As soon as I do that, I will think it's winter!!!

On the work front, the Manager phoned that hideous customer yesterday evening. He reckons she just made a mistake about the price she says she paid for the camellia. He offered another one free of charge and she was supposed to collect it yesterday evening. It was still sitting there when I clocked out today.

Down, but not out!

16 August 2011 20:16:42
Down, but not out!

Down, but not out!

I have been waiting and waiting for this one to open. However, with all the rain and wind we had last night, it was flat on the ground this morning. Staked it up and went to work. Voila!

Gardenia

16 August 2011 06:35:19
Gardenia

Gardenia

I bought this a few months ago at half price. It has been outside all summer, out of direct sunlight. Took it in at the weekend. It's a very handsome plant, with dark, glossy leaves. On googling it's care, it seems I might have a problem in getting it to re-flower. Humidity is required, rainwater for watering, regular misting, and higher winter temperatures than I could possibly give it in this house. So, here we go. Can only do my best.

Always room for ONE more!

15 August 2011 22:44:36
Penstemon 'Raspberry Ripple'

Penstemon 'Raspberry Ripple'

Bought Penstemon 'Raspberry Ripple' today. Couldn't resist its feminine charm. Hope it's hardy!

Bigger is not always better

15 August 2011 22:12:01
Bruno's Monarda

Bruno's Monarda

Bruno kindly gave some garden.iers some monarda in Rachels last week. Unfortunately I was last on the list (Fran got the best one). But today I discovered new healthy growth on mine, as Bruno had predicted. Nice one, Bruno. And thanks a mill. Looking forward to some flowers this summer/autumn!

Albino Earwig

15 August 2011 21:57:01
Albino Earwig

Albino Earwig

Spotted this little crittur climbing down the wall of the raised area in work today. Never saw an 'albino' earwig before!

'Honka Red'

15 August 2011 21:42:04
D. 'Honka Red'

D. 'Honka Red'

Bought loads of different dahlias in Johnstown in March at the last major get-together. I was feeling a bit like a fool when only one type opened (Honka). Delighted to see this evening that 'Honka Red' has decided to open finally.

So, where are the 'hotlips' gone?

15 August 2011 21:14:33
Salvia 'Coldlips'

Salvia 'Coldlips'

Like Frans hotlips, I am wondering what has caused this. Just noticed this when I got in from work this evening.

What goes around comes around!

15 August 2011 20:10:58
Prickly character!

Prickly character!

Bitch of a day in work. Customer was in on Saturday abusing staff while I was off. She was accusing me of selling her a 'bad' camellia that died over the winter. Tried to use her financial status to her advantage (a psychiatrist, and with lots of property), and belittle my expertise. When I rang her back this morning and introduced myself, she instantly accused me of having an 'attack manner'. Now come one, I introduced myself! She never shut up yakking and complaining about the company for at least 40 minutes with me getting in one or two sentences. I went on lunch immediately afterwards but don't actually remember eating lunch. Sorry for bringing this up but I was so stressed afterwards that my head felt like it was permanently creased.

I am friendly and helpful to EVERYONE in work. If I can't help, I will call upon the assistance of someone who can. And if the person is rude and arrogant, I will be civil. And there are a few of those people. Can't understand people with an 'attitude' like hers. But the crux is, she didn't buy it from us. We don't sell Camellias priced at €120. So whoever sold it to her, God help you!

I went out of work thinking I should apply for a different job. I don't get paid enough to have to put up with that kind of abuse! I know all of you out there love and appreciate helpful staff. Be aware that we are under constant pressure from the public to be 'nice' even though there are some 'dipsticks' out there who demand more than is possible! She will get her comeuppence!

 

 

Thriving on a routine

15 August 2011 07:25:32
Thriving on a routine

Thriving on a routine

Steve can't go anywhere without his little apprentice tagging along. Yesterday, David reached for the fish food and brought it over to Steve to remind him that the koi needed feeding. He took Steve by the hand firmly, and brought him out to the ponds to give them their daily sustenance.

Gazelle

15 August 2011 07:01:30
Clematis 'Gazelle'

Clematis 'Gazelle'

My herbaceous clematis is making a comeback. It doesn't produce many flowers, but they are sooo pretty! Hopefully it will become more floriferous over time.

Never too young!

15 August 2011 06:16:35
Never too young!

Never too young!

During one of the many heavy showers yesterday I came in and gave wee Davey his first Art Lesson. God, that boy is a fast learner.

Agapanthus

14 August 2011 22:06:10
Agapanthus

Agapanthus

Love this plant. And it comes in my two favourite colours (blue, and white, just in case you didn't already know). This one is called 'Snowball'.

Another Dahlia

14 August 2011 21:55:46
Another Dahlia

Another Dahlia

Another one grown from Deborah's seeds. I love this one.

Zantedeschia

14 August 2011 21:26:28
Lovely foliage

Lovely foliage

I bought these in full flower about 4 or 5 years ago. They were gorgeous. However, despite regular feeding throughout the summer months they have still refused to flower a second time for me. But I do love their speckled foliage. Maybe next spring I will divide them and see what happens.

Disappointed with edibles

14 August 2011 20:30:24
One for everyone in the audience!!

One for everyone in the audience!!

Very unreliable day, weatherwise. Sunny between frequent, heavy showers. But spent most of my time dodging the showers so I couldn't really get 'stuck in' to anything. Ended up sulking in the greenhouse. At least the temperature was constant. Took away lots of tomato foliage. Spotted my first ripe tomato and picked it. So disgusted to find that it was suffering with Blossom End Rot. After waiting so long to get a ripe one! Picked a few more from the same plant with the same. However, my peppers are doing excellent this year. I have never seen so many and all in great condition.

I also have 2 baskets of tumbling toms. And again, one ripe one. Oh. Wow! (sarcasm).

Just pottering around the garden and noticed lots of seedlings of Ajuga in the Acid Triangle. Dug them up and potted them if anyone wants them. 

For Bruno

14 August 2011 07:13:37
Zingiber 'Mioga'

Zingiber 'Mioga'

Just had a look through archive journals. That day in Mount Venus, I bought Zingiber 'Mioga' which I planted into the greenhouse border. So I guess we will have to wait and see.

Unplanned seedling

14 August 2011 06:33:59
Unplanned seedling

Unplanned seedling

Years ago I had Lychnis coronaria planted here. But after a while I got a bit fed up with it and decided to whip it out to make room for other plants. But yesterday when I was weeding the Acid Triangle and removing all californian poppies I discovered this little seedling. I know the label behind it says 'bulbocodium', but I can assure you, THAT is planted behind the seedling.

Does this seedling look a bit like Lychnis? If so, well and fine. Happy to have it back! What do you think?

Please, please, please!!

13 August 2011 22:47:25
Please, please, please!!

Please, please, please!!

Please tell me that this is my Hedychium (Hardy Ginger). I have been waiting for some sign of life for sooooo long!

Perfection!

13 August 2011 22:23:45
R. 'Schoolgirl'

R. 'Schoolgirl'

I have a big pot on the patio. There are 2 climbing roses in it, 'Teasing Georgia' and 'Schoolgirl'. They are yellow and orange respectively. I reckon this schoolgirl must be a bit of a  'teacher's pet'. Look how perfect she is!!!!!!

New flower

13 August 2011 21:43:49
Limnanthes (Poached Egg Plant)

Limnanthes (Poached Egg Plant)

Another new one opened for me today (Poached Egg Plant, grown from seed). I believe once you have it, you will never be without it (in a good way).

Twisted Devil

13 August 2011 21:22:55
Twisted Devil

Twisted Devil

Fran gave me some much-sought-after Crocosmia 'Lucifer' last year. I decided to plant them into pots and sink them into the border to stop them from misbehaving. However, while weeding in the greenhouse border today, I got a closer look. The emerging flowers seem twisted and stunted. Is this because they have been restricted in the pots, or what?

In the nick of time....

13 August 2011 20:28:35
In the nick of time....

In the nick of time....

Spotted these after cutting back a bit of the Lysimachia today. I remember spotting them last year, only it was too late. They had been ravaged by slugs and snails. Today I remembered that they were still in their pot. So easily enough, I removed them from behind the Lysimachia and brought them out into the open - and covered the soil with a 'dusting' of slug pellets. Enough is enough.

Crocosmia

13 August 2011 20:16:55
Crocosmia 'George Davidson'

Crocosmia 'George Davidson'

I love this Crocosmia. It's low-growing and a beautiful shade of yellow. I had bought about 4 pots of this at the end of last summer for next to nothing. Unfortunately they weren't planted out and I lost all of them. Good job these ones were planted.

Costa de Hosta - minus the 'shade' (for CorkTony)

13 August 2011 20:03:28
Not so bad!

Not so bad!

Can't find the photo with all the overhead greenery. This is what it looks like after cutting back the honeysuckle and jasmine.  :(

List went by the wayside

13 August 2011 19:16:20
Ugly bare stems and oil tank

Ugly bare stems and oil tank

I had so many plans for today. Very few of them got done. Instead, I decided to cut back the jasmine and honeysuckle growing up over the Loggia. This has been a great source of shade all summer long and filled the air with a delicious scent, morning and evening. It has also provided shade for all my hostas, which are displayed in pots on and under a mosaic table outside the patio doors. By 8.30am all of this was cut back and bagged, ready for disposal. Now that most of the honeysuckle and jasmine is gone, I'm really missing it. But it definitely needed a serious tidy-up. And now I can see that I really do have an oil tank under it. And it is now nice and bright in the dining-room.

Cut down some of my Galtonia to tidy it up. Ricinus looking well, even though nobody gets to see it. It's planted in at the back of the greenhouse border well out of harms way as it is toxic. Dead-headed rudbeckia 'Moorheim Beauty'.

Pulled up the mangetout plants that were growing up a tripod of canes in a huge pot. Managed to get lots of mangetouts before binning the plants. Cut back Sidalcea also, and hoping to get a fresh flush of flowers. 

Having watered everything this morning, I went back this evening to feed them all their last feed of the season. 

Pulled up all my escholzia californica (Californian Poppies). They had become very untidy but were a terrific source of 'zingy' colour all over the garden. Didn't bother saving seeds as I am quite sure they have already dropped lots. Managed to get a nice white campanula and my blue salvia planted. Divided up a couple of plants to give away at Bruno's Open Day.

Pretty whacked now!

Pond Colour

13 August 2011 06:44:26
Lobelia cardinalis

Lobelia cardinalis

Really happy with the vivid red flowers that Lobelia cardinalis is producing in the pond. Great splash of colour (pardon the pun). This is reported to grow well in damp conditions. Not sure if it should be in the pond, though. However, I will lift it for the winter and place it in my shady border.

At last!

12 August 2011 22:11:38
At last!

At last!

I knew Clare had given me seedlings of Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy'. It opened down quite low today amongst other foliage.

Brown Viola?

12 August 2011 22:00:43
Brown Viola?

Brown Viola?

We got some of these brown violas in today. Most peculiar looking.

Another 'Blue'

12 August 2011 21:02:22
Delphinium elatum 'Dark blue with white bee'

Delphinium elatum 'Dark blue with white bee'

While I was away last week in the West, we called in to a tiny garden centre (Little Moon) just outside Doonbeg on AitAlainn's recommendation. I wasn't prepared for a garden centre THAT small. But the owner was ever so helpful and chatty, AND he is a DUB!!! It looked like he had just used his front garden to sell plants from. I managed to pick up a nice delphinium. It is a plant that I have always admired but knowing the damage that slugs and snails can do to it, I have always been put off acquiring one. Resisted this time round. And I'm not regretting it. And so far, the slugs have been nowhere near it (without the use of slug pellets!).

Encore

12 August 2011 05:59:30
Verbascum chaixii 'album' (thanks Dave)

Verbascum chaixii 'album' (thanks Dave)

This gorgeous verbascum is giving me an encore. A few more flower spikes beside the original one are coming up. Lovely strong plant  (originally from Chilipepper).

I feel like a new 'blue'

11 August 2011 22:12:29
Salvia patens 'Guanajuato'

Salvia patens 'Guanajuato'

On my quest for some really nice blue plants ( but not too many, or people might think I have a 'problem'), today I bought another salvia. Love this shade of blue.

Babiana

11 August 2011 21:47:24
Babiana 'stricta'

Babiana 'stricta'

Babiana stricta is included in the iridaceae family. The flowers are similar to freesias. It is also known as Baboon Flower, as the corms are supposed to be irrestible to baboons. Not a problem here as my Baboon's Bum (Fascicularia) rotted and died over the winter. They are native to South Africa, so it is recommended to dig them up and overwinter the corms - store as for gladiolus.

Have been waiting all summer long for these ones to 'do their thing'. After all the rain we had here yesterday I suppose it had no choice but to open.

Chrysanthemum

11 August 2011 20:52:16
Un-named chrysanthemum

Un-named chrysanthemum

Bought this last year, 'un-named'. I have it planted in the greenhouse border with lots of other yellows, oranges, and reds. I love the flower bud colour before they even open, and then surprise, surprise, yellow when fully open. Nice two-tone plant and it pulled through the rotten winter no problem. In fact it is better this year than last. Wouldn't you think it deserves a bit respect and have its name on the pot!

Monkeying around, with caffeine

11 August 2011 05:52:54
Monkey Nut and Coffee Plant

Monkey Nut and Coffee Plant

No plants worth talking about in Aldi yesterday. But I decided to let the child in me loose and bought these two little growing kits, Monkey Nut and Coffee Plant. Sown now and awaiting results. :)

This is the moment......

10 August 2011 23:00:01
Atropa belladonna

Atropa belladonna

.....that I have been waiting for.

I bought this plant 'Atropa belladonna' (Deadly Nightshade) last September in Mount Venus. It was the big black, shiny berries that attracted me to this plant. However, on googling it afterwards, I discovered that it was deadly poisonous, hence the name Deadly Nightshade. After much deliberation, and taking my little grandsons safety into account, I decided the safest place to plant it would be in the centre of my island in the greenhouse pond. The berries are being produced now. Oooh , I just adore this one. Definitely one for keeps! And it's perfectly hardy - which is music to my ears.

Incey Wincey Spider

10 August 2011 22:41:23
Incey Wincey Spider

Incey Wincey Spider

Captured this little fella during a brief respite between showers this evening.

And here's one I prepared earlier

10 August 2011 21:12:50
And here's one I prepared earlier

And here's one I prepared earlier

This is my summer pouch with impatiens. Plastic is well and truly invisible (except for the handle). This is in my shady corner under the honeysuckle and jasmine. Impatiens are a great choice for a sunless area, and there's no dead-heading involved. The wall ornament is to fool me into thinking that the sun is actually shining!  :)

Time to think of winter colour

10 August 2011 20:32:00
Viola Flower Pouch

Viola Flower Pouch

As I was getting wet anyway, I decided to plant up a new flower pouch with some violas. I will leave it lying flat for the next few weeks so the roots can spread out and anchor themselves in well.

The advantage of these flower pouches is that they don't need a bracket to hang them. They can just be raised up on a nail in the wall. And the fact that they sit flush with the wall means they don't get blown about quite so much as a hanging basket. Therefore they don't dry out as quickly.

And the pouch can be re-used time and time again. This would have cost me €16.99 to buy already planted up. As I had the pouches already, it only cost me the price of a 10 pack, and a 6 pack of violas - €7.78

You can buy the pouches for €4.99 (pack of 2).

Rain has its uses! :(

10 August 2011 19:37:44
The grass is always greener on the other side

The grass is always greener on the other side

Before myself and Zoe went shopping and brunch, I got the grass cut. While we were out it started to bucket down. And it didn't let up all day. However, I needed to re-seed the lawn where Steve had unfortunately walked a very strong weedkiller all over the place. So when we got home, I raked all the dead grass out and scuffed up the soil to give the seed something to 'cling on' to. Hopefully germination will take place sooner rather than later.

As my decent rainjacket had been left in work, I decided to hold off on any more gardening jobs until the rain stopped. Ha ha - it didn't. And one drenching was enough for one day. So my bedroom got the full works, and believe me, a big tidy-up was badly needed. For once, the rain had its use today. But now I have lots to do at the weekend when I hope to be off.

Wet! Wet! Wet!

10 August 2011 16:21:18
Wet! Wet! Wet!

Wet! Wet! Wet!

Jeez! The weather wouldn't inspire anyone to be out in the garden today. Maybe we will be lucky enough to get a couple of dry hours later?

Paul's comeback

10 August 2011 06:25:48
Paul's comeback

Paul's comeback

I gave this climbing rose 'Paul's Scarlet' the chop 2 weeks before I had some ier.s over to my garden, in the hope for fresh flowers. Ok, so it's better late than never! But here he comes!

Fuchsia

09 August 2011 22:35:35
F. 'Snowfire'

F. 'Snowfire'

I got this one in Bloom this year. It opened today. Lovin' it!

A big move for the Alpine Circle

09 August 2011 22:13:20
Some bulbs for the front

Some bulbs for the front

The dilemma for planting up the front garden has been solved.

All plants in the Alpine Circle have outgrown their spot. I need a bigger area. Everything now will get transplanted into the front garden where they will have more room to spread, and will be topped off with gravel. I will also be planting daffs(mainly Tete-a-tetes), Chionodoxa, Scilla, Irises and Anemones. I scooped up bargain bulbs at the end of spring for next to nothing. These will be planted among the few shrubs around the perimeter of the garden.

That leaves my Alpine Circle empty. Question is, what will I now plant in the old Alpine Circle?

Rudbeckia

09 August 2011 21:04:47
Which one, please?

Which one, please?

I thought I was planting some rudbeckia seedlings from Clare (Clara) which she said were 'Cherry Brandy'. But they turned out to be a different rudbeckia altogether. I don't remember getting any other rudbeckia from anyone else. And the only other ones I have here already are 'goldsturm', and last year I bought 'Tiger Eye'. They are neither of these, and I'm too lazy to google. Has anyone any idea which one it is?

Nice combination

09 August 2011 06:39:18
Lilium 'African Queen' and Helenium 'Moorheim Beauty'

Lilium 'African Queen' and Helenium 'Moorheim Beauty'

I absolutely adore my new lilies 'African Queen'. But I think they look really good from a different angle, next to Helenium 'Moorheim Beauty' for whom I have Rachel to thank.

Any ideas?

09 August 2011 06:02:04
Any ideas?

Any ideas?

Spotted this on some impatiens yesterday. It didn't budge when I went right up close to him. Does anyone know what it is, please? I have seen a few of them around the garden centre. But not in my own garden.

Jinnyjos

08 August 2011 19:06:15
Jinnyjos

Jinnyjos

This is freaky. My short journal this evening was sparked by the appearance of a couple of jinnyjos blowing about in the garden just now. It suddenly dawned on me that there have been very few dandelions in the garden this year. And I am now seeing quite a few jinnyjos floating about in the garden.

I was just googling the net for an image of a jinnyjo, and up came my own journal from Garden.ie dated 4th August 2010, just over a year ago. Mother Nature has her own timetable, regardless of the weather.

 

Houttuynia

08 August 2011 05:46:50
Houttuynia cordata

Houttuynia cordata

This one is just coming into its' own in the Lower Pond now. It has nice heart-shaped leaves and is a nice manageable plant. It makes a great plant for a small pond.

Did I finally sow the seed?

07 August 2011 22:48:42
Kalanchoe flowering for a 2nd time - Well done, Zoe

Kalanchoe flowering for a 2nd time - Well done, Zoe

I have 2 daughters. One, the eldest, who thinks I'm a bit 'loopy' where gardens are concerned, and the youngest who would pipe up with latin names of plants while walking to school when she was probably as young as 8yrs. "Kim, Mam told me that this plant is Fatsia Japonica". Kim would look at her younger sister as though she had 10 heads. But secretly I knew there was hope for Zoe.

Although the garden wasn't in perfect nick when I got back from my little break, Zoe did her best. But today I was pottering around at the kitchen sink and noticed that the Kalanchoe she bought before Christmas, which is sitting on the windowsill, is coming into flower again. Hmmmmm I could never manage that! And not only that, while I was away she bought some seeds of Venus Fly Trap which are now sown and awaiting germination. Hopefully this will develop and wee Davey will have plenty of encouragement from two generations.

Cerinthe

07 August 2011 21:52:38
Cerinthe major 'purpurascens'

Cerinthe major 'purpurascens'

Yesterday while in Jurgas garden I noticed the most gorgeous plant with petrol blue foliage. It's Cerinthe major 'purpurascens' and a hardy annual. But self-seeds freely. Hoping Jurga will save some seed of this and share because 'sharing is caring'!!! I noticed earlier that Rachel also has a different variety in her garden. Definitely one for next years list. Thanks, girls!

The humble marigold

07 August 2011 21:15:36
African marigold 'Crackerjack Mixed'

African marigold 'Crackerjack Mixed'

I know lots of you don't like marigolds. I was a bit like that myself a couple of years ago. However, this year I decided to sow my own african marigold seeds 'Crackerjack Mixed' and germination was 100%. Thank God, as I was nearly thinking of giving up on sowing seeds. They have been flowering their socks off all summer long. So far I haven't needed to dead-head. They have grown much taller than I had expected (about 30 inches in height). And they don't need staking. Nor do slugs and snails bother with them. How low-maintenance is that! They are welcome in my garden always!

Mmmmm, Chocolate!

07 August 2011 12:06:39
'The Chocolate Gladiolus'

'The Chocolate Gladiolus'

Chocolate? Not quite chocolate, but certainly leaning towards 'brown'. Some of you may have seen these in my greenhouse border on the 27th. The rest have opened. It makes a change from all the other colours that gladioli come in.

A new dahlia

07 August 2011 06:17:43
Dahlia 'Seattle'

Dahlia 'Seattle'

Just lovin' this one. It has just opened overnight. It's called 'Seattle'. And verrrrry sunny looking.

The Dark Horse with the Blonde Hair!

06 August 2011 23:39:35
Talk about feeling broody! I wanted all of them!

Talk about feeling broody! I wanted all of them!

Headed up to Avoca in Wicklow after Wexford. Mind you, if I had known the roads were going to be so treacherous, and winding, and so full of 'craters', I probably would have turned down the invitation! Got to Jurga's and knew from the moment we stepped out of the car that it would also be a beautiful place to be. Jurga doesn't tell us half of what she gets up to. Certainly a dark horse with blonde hair! She has a front and back garden, the back being divided into a 'garden' area with lots of flowers and pond, and a lot of extra space beyond, where the ponies roam freely. Her polytunnel is filled with lots of delectable edibles. She has a big veggie patch too, with onions, cabbages, peas, beans etc. That area lead us on to where she has her ducks, hens, and geese (and the cutest little 10 day old chicks that I was almost convinced to adopt there and then). A couple of stray sheep also decided to pay us a visit. :)The whole place screamed 'Rustic Charm'.

Inside, we were rewarded very generously for managing to eventually get to her house, and we were served beautiful hot, homemade soup and a selection of fresh home produce.  All were very welcome. And it didn't knock a feather out of either Jurga OR Killian, and Simon was just lovin' all the attention. Such a welcome. Killian and Jurga, you should both be very proud. Thank you very much. 

I feel totally privileged to have seen both of these wonderful and very different gardens. 

Day Out for the City Girl

06 August 2011 23:05:25
Day Out for the City Girl

Day Out for the City Girl

Wow, what can I say! It has all been said before. Rachel's garden is a credit to her. Lots of planning and nurturing everywhere to be seen. This was my first visit to Rachel's garden, and it certainly wasn't a journey wasted. So delighted I finally got to witness all the hard work personally. And that Persicaria ditch! Oh! Absolutely delightful!

Big turnout! What a brave woman Rachel is. And what a spread for everyone too. Great banter all round, which made for an excellent day. Rachel and Norman, let me take this opportunity to congratulate all of your achievements, and to thank you sincerely for a terrific day out. Take a bow!

Fresh Fruit Salad

06 August 2011 08:51:31
Blueberries and grapes

Blueberries and grapes

I have it every/most mornings for breakfast. Yesterday I picked some nice ripe blueberries and grapes. Can't remember ever being able to pick my blueberries so early.

African Queen

06 August 2011 06:30:19
Lilium 'African Queen'

Lilium 'African Queen'

I thought I had mislaid these, or mislabelled them when 'Montego Bay' opened before I went away. Look at what greeted me yesterday. Wahoo! It's the long-awaited lilium 'African Queen'. I had remarked on how strange it was that the 'Montego Bay' had opened its LOWER flowers first, amongst the foliage of other plants. But I didn't realize that I had planted both types beside each other. OMG The scent of 'African Queen' is to die for. We could smell them as soon as we went out to the garden. These lilies are now standing over 5ft. Just gotta lift and protect these for the winter!

Back to my own plot

06 August 2011 05:30:32
Sunflower

Sunflower

It was great to walk into the dining room yesterday and clap eyes on my own little familiar plot. Everything is in need of deadheading. I left things in Zoe's hands for the few days as regards watering. But one hanging basket will never recover as she forgot to do those. Tomato plants in the greenhouse were looking pretty shrivelled, but I can forgive her for that. So all that was needed yesterday was deadheading. Shouldn't take too long to get back to its original state. But I was delighted to see my first sunflower open. Don't know which one this is. I don't remember sowing any that colour. And the seedlings that Geraldine gave me earlier are 'Sungold' I think. Could this possibly have self-seeded from last year? If it's a 'rogue' seedling, it will be the only one. Ah, what's a summer garden without sunflowers.

The Burren

05 August 2011 22:28:50
Bloody cranesbill

Bloody cranesbill

I have only ever seen the Burren during winter months - until now. I couldn't believe how rich in flora the roadsides were, with a great selection of plants I never knew existed in the Burren. Lots and lots of Bloody Cranesbill all over the ditches.

I'm 99% sure I saw both a lilac and white orchid, but because of traffic behind we couldn't stop at that point to check their identity. Posting up an album.

AitAlainn's garden

05 August 2011 20:33:53
Looks like a 'bad hair' day! - It was, with that wind!

Looks like a 'bad hair' day! - It was, with that wind!

Yesterday we got to catch up with Nuala. We met her at Doonbeg Golf Club and had a bite to eat together. She was telling us that Diarmuid Gavin was responsible for the planting scheme in the beginning, but staff had to remove and replace a few things in the last year or two. We followed Nuala on to her garden. She showed us the remnants of lots of trees and shrubs that she has lost over the winter. I must admit I would find those harsh elements in the garden so frustrating and intimidating. It was 'supposedly' a very calm day yesterday and we were being blown to bits. Nuala also has to contend with salty air, which doesn't help. Her garden is lovely. What with working full-time, and tending to 75 cows morning and evening recently, she doesn't get very much time in the garden. Her displays of agapanthus are gorgeous, but she admits that she has lost quite a few. Nuala, thank you so much for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to accommodate Steve and I. It was great to meet you again.

SallySarah's Garden

05 August 2011 19:49:26
Sally's Sanvitalia that has lasted 3 years

Sally's Sanvitalia that has lasted 3 years

A special thanks must go to my dedicated chauffeur, who took me wherever my heart desired.

We got to visit 2 garden.iers gardens while away - SallySarah's and AitAilainn's. We travelled to Sally's garden in Westport, from Mullaghmore, which involved about 250 kilometres or more. Gosh, I admire Sally's energy. Her garden is on a steep hill. She and her husband, Peter, have 2 lawns in the front. The front wall is planted up with lots of begonias that Sally painstakingly grew from seed.

And I got to admire Peter's buxus hedge going up the steps to the front door.  So well-manicured and well-kept. Lots of plants in the front, and little nooks and crannies that only the informed would realise were there. It makes for a very cosy garden. Her back garden has a steep hill which occasionally throws rocks and stones into the garden. Lots of curios, like a cute little dolls house, with dolls (some which stay outdoors. Others, because they are made with cloth, get taken in at the first sign of bad weather), chimney pots (the 'real McCoy') nicely planted up, and bric-a-brac from car-boot sales converted, with lots of imagination, into garden items. All fitting in perfectly to the ecclectic mix that is Sally's garden. A lovely lunch prepared and great company all round. Lovely genteel couple. Thank you both for a lovely afternoon.

Spanish Point, Co. Clare

05 August 2011 17:55:15
Sunset at Spanish Point

Sunset at Spanish Point

Our second port of call was in Spanish Point, in the Armada Hotel. Spanish Point is 2.5km from Milltown Malbay. It was named after the unfortunate Spanish who died here in 1588, when many ships of the Spanish Armada were wrecked during treacherous, stormy sea conditions.

We had a corner room, which had the advantage of windows on 2 sides, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Beautiful hotel, very friendly and accommodating staff, lovely food and scenery. What more could a girl ask for! Spanish Point is a haven for windsurfers, and people who crave water sports of all types (sadly my windsurfing days are over!).

Much needed 'time-out'.

05 August 2011 17:09:45
Much needed 'time-out'.

Much needed 'time-out'.

I never needed a short break as much as this time round. Normally I wait until October to take holidays. But after getting constant reminders to submit holidays, I decided to do just that! Those reminders were meant for everyone else. I'll bet they were disgusted with me. But, c'est la vie!

Started our short break in Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo. Very picturesque little place. Up at 4.30am the first morning. Was sitting out at the 'smoking area' when the Hotel porter came out to see if I was ok. Not a sinner around. Was treated to coffee 'on the rocks'. I had kept my August edition of The Irish Garden for my hols but I couldn't concentrate on anything in it. I spent my time just gazing at all around me as the dawn broke, and realized how lucky we are to own such a beautiful country. A deep-rooted urge in me wanted to pen a few poetic words. The tide was on its way in, and very calm for the Atlantic. It just 'licked' the harbour walls very gently as it came in, with hardly a ripple. And the view of Benbulben in the distance was breathtaking. 

Good to be back, re-charged and energized.

Galtonia

01 August 2011 05:42:15
Galtonia candicans

Galtonia candicans

It's amazing the growth this has put on since Wednesday. Almost there now. But a big bonus is not having to stake it.

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