Last Post 570 days 8 hours ago
31 October 2011 20:00:06
Picked up some nice plants today in Ratoath Garden Centre - Sambucus racemosa 'Sutherland Gold', Osmunda regalis (which turns a lovely shade of yellow at this time of year), Miscanthus sinensis 'Cosmopolitan' and Trifolium ochroleucon (which is a type of clover).
Also picked up some Thompson & Morgan seeds - buy 2, get one free packet: Sweet pea 'Day and Night' showing just 2 colours on the pack - a really dark red/burgundy and white, Aquilegia 'Chocolate Soldier', and Black Eyed Susan 'Blushing Susie'. Just one pack of new tulips this year - Lily-flowered 'Ballerina' in a lovely shade of orange.
31 October 2011 17:38:15
Forecast for the day wasn't good so we headed up to Ratoath Garden Centre. It was a very nice day until we left Ratoath (should've stayed there). It hasn't stopped raining since then. What a thoroughly miserable day.
As it was a few weeks since visitiing any garden centre, I decided to spend, spend, spend. But I didn't buy too much - just enough to plant in the allotted space my meagre garden will allow. As usual, the staff and the owner (John Lord) were extremely welcoming. After making my purchases John took us out beyond the existing garden centre to give us a preview and rundown of his plans for new borders for the new year.
There were some spectacular acers in planters and also small ones around the front pond at the entrance. Here is a photo to whet your appetites. Unfortunately I got distracted and forgot to get the name from John. Better go back next week!!!
31 October 2011 07:41:29
I like the effect this acer gives at the Upper Pond. The branches have a nice draping habit, I love its red stems. It's only planted since last year and has put on quite a bit of growth already. And it is in full sun for at least half of the day - that is, when we get some!
30 October 2011 20:04:12
A positive start
Finally made a positive start on fibre-glassing the cave for the new pond. The copper tubing structure is housed under a tarpaulin cover over the pergola. Perfect size. It was a slow start as the fibreglass was taking longer to 'go off' with the October air. The first coat will be the most arduous task. Each layer after that should get easier as the job continues. When two full layers have hardened, we will remove the structure and place it into the pond and continue from there, where it will be easier to manoeuvre around it.
30 October 2011 13:29:17
Steve is just back from a dive off Howth Head in 24metres of water. He discovered an interesting piece on the ocean bed which will adorn our Lower Pond that is already home to a very old anchor and chain, lifebelt, and oil lamps (all original).
This is called a 'dead-eye'. It is a wooden item that looks like it was made from oak and was used as a tension in the 'standing' of traditional sailing ships. Dead-eyes were used to guide and control a line and, particularly in old vessels, to change its direction.
30 October 2011 09:43:53
Autumn Foliage on Witch Hazel
I was out in the front yesterday collecting up as many leaves as I could. Filled a black bag. Looking forward to spreading some nice, rich leafmould in the borders next year.
But I was delighted to see that my Witch Hazels are providing me with some lovely autumn colour. Didn't realize that! I have three different varieties which were only planted this year. Looking forward to seeing them when they mature (it'll be a long wait).
30 October 2011 07:30:47
All ready to go!
I usually adjust my clocks way before bedtime. I forgot this time round. Luckily I'm not in work. :) Steve has just appeared downstairs and is invading my space. I guess he forgot too :) Silly Boy!
Looks like an ok day out there. Steve finally erected the 'tent' yesterday over the Pergola. Cave now in situ and fibreglassing will proceed today regardless of the weather.
Yesterday I planted some Fritillaria 'Uva-Vulpis' , Chionodoxa and Crocus 'Ruby Giant' on the sunny side of my newly transplanted Taxus baccata.
29 October 2011 19:11:46
How can I talk about my Schlumbergera without mentioning the banned word 'Christmas'. It opened today.
29 October 2011 17:32:37
I hate cats! Sorry, all you cat-lovers. In fact they terrify me. My Mam used to be a vet and the stories she used to tell me about the strength and ferocity of a very timid and cuddly-looking puddy cat would make your skin crawl. However, about 13 years ago when I spotted a big fat rat in my garden, I thought to myself 'I must get a cat'. I'd prefer a cat than a rat. And so I went to the rescue centre and picked out the cutest looking 8wk old kitten. I knew she would grow on me. She is the best thing since sliced bread. I still hate cats - but not her. Had her in the vets a few months ago so they could remove a tick from her head as she is now semi-ferrule, spending a lot of her time out in the field beyond, and the experience left me with a chill going through my whole body. If the legs are left inside the host animal, I think the tick can re-grow.
Steve spotted another tick in her head today. So I just gave her her dinner and stroked her to keep her calm. I used my tweezers to pull it out. Oh Jesus, I am imagining all kinds of crawlies on my own head now. Just googled on the correct way to remove a tick from a cat. It said 'twist and pull'. I pulled. Hope to God I got it all. I think I have just lost my appetite.
29 October 2011 16:31:06
Poinsettias in Homebase already
I hate the way garden centres try to get their seasonal bedding in way too early (whatever the season), in the hope of generating early and long-lasting sales. No wonder our plants are getting mixed up.
This morning I did my shopping without Zoe. I missed her company, but took the opportunity to head to Homebase. They have their Poinsettias in already. This is the first time I have seen them for sale in October. It's getting earlier every year.
29 October 2011 07:11:07
Just heard loud noises outside the back garden. Pulled the curtains, and 'lo and behold, Dublin Corporation are dismantling all the pallets that the 'kids' had stacked for their bonfire on Monday. Ooooh, thank God for that. Won't they be surprised today when they go to add to their pile! :)
Have my own computer back now, and it is performing better than normal. I'm back to annoy you all, :)
28 October 2011 20:36:51
Second chance for Phalaenopsis
This is more of a confession than a journal really.
I love Orchids, but they don't love me. And I know I said my patience has improved this year, but not where Orchids are concerned. My Phalaenopsis has flowered beautifully, and has now gone over, leaving (obviously) just leaves. I have very little space in the house for plants that are doing nothing. So, as Rachel has enough Phals, I threw it in a black refuse sack out in the garage. Steve spotted it in the black bag and was horrified that I had actually thrown out a plant. "It's dead", I lied.
"But it's still green", was his reply, and promptly rescued it from the bag. We all know how little Steve knows about plants, so I refused to give him the opportunity to bring it back into flower, and gloat. It is now on its second chance in the house! :) If there is a God up there........
28 October 2011 19:15:54
Vigilance at Hallowe'en
We used to have a great big shed at the end of the garden. But every Hallowe'en it was a nightmare wondering if the bonfire in the 'over the wall' area would ignite our shed. In the end, the shed was a bit delapidated and a danger to anyone who was in it as the roof was falling asunder. Too expensive to replace it. So we took it down piece by piece and set it all alight - before Back Garden Burning was illegal.
This is what we have to face every Hallowe'en. The kids (they must have no parents) trek down from our local Supervalu with mountains of wooden pallets for their bonfire. And it's quite close to our back wall. Hopefully the direction of the wind won't bring all that choking smoke our way. They usually end up throwing unused tyres onto it causing thick black smoke all round.
27 October 2011 20:30:17
Kate from 'Kate & Graham' gave me this carnation during one of the get-togethers this year. I'm not a peachy person, but I must say I am rather taken by the colour which happens to be the only peach colour in my garden. I think it's a very mellow, warm colour. Hmmm ever-changing tastes.
But this one will be on the move as it's planted with purple sedum, sedum 'Frosty Morn', Knautia and persicaria - not a good combo.
26 October 2011 19:09:12
Great day weatherwise today.
It's only at this time of year I can make the most of a Bank Holiday Weekend now that my days have changed to Monday - Friday. I get Monday off too. Wahoo!! Still have some bulbs to plant. Some more of the soil at the new pond has collapsed after the deluges we had on Monday, but I will let Steve worry about that. Garden is still very soggy so I'm trying to keep off it until the weekend to let it dry out, so it won't hinder our plans.
Computer now having open heart surgery. Hopefully it will have fully recovered so I can have it back for the long weekend.
25 October 2011 18:50:01
Was lost without my car for the last few days. Luckily I don't live too far away from work and was able to walk there and back. But the weather wasn't a bit kind to me yesterday and I got soaked to the skin numerous times - and that was only in work. Then it pelted down on me on the way home. Had been on my feet all day, then had to walk home. Not a happy camper.
Got an awful wasp sting on the neck today in the garden centre. A horrible sensation that sends shudders through your whole body.
I now have my car back. It's good to be mobile again. Next on the 'get better' list is this computer. It's wreckin' my head as I am missing a lot of comments on peoples journals.
Being treated to having dinner cooked by Zoe's boyfriend, David, as my legs are totally gazzumped! Not as fit as I used to be. :)
My Hyacinths (not the treated ones) were put on vases of water about three weeks ago. As you can see they have developed good root systems and are now showing a bit of green. Happy days!
24 October 2011 19:07:26
Steve's new pond filling up with no help from us!
Having a major problem with my computer at the moment. I have just spent the last 2 hours deleting 'deleted' photographs. There were a lot, believe me. I thought maybe it had just 'frozen' due to the huge quantity of photos.
When I get an e-mail notification and click into it, that's it. I can't get in to it. I would rather not have to take this to the computer doctor and don't want to make a fool of myself. So if anyone technologically minded can help, please I am imploring you for a bit of advice.
If anyone comments on this journal, I will have to return My Journal and scroll down to check on comments.
I have never seen so much water in my life. Steve's unfinished pond is filling up rapidly (sorry about the bad quality of the photo), and the other three are fit to overflow. The garden is flooded right up to the middle pond and travelling....
23 October 2011 16:44:27
Oh how frustrating! Computer not allowing me 'click' into my e-mails, and the weather has been thoroughly miserable here all day. No work on the 'cave' today, and even Steve is getting cabin fever.
Just dropped my car over to my mechanic now, so have to walk into work tomorrow. Good job it's not too far away. Let's hope the rain stops before then.
Every year I say I won't buy any more Christmas decorations, but I couldn't resist this little cherub for the Lower Pond. That's it though! All it needs now is a bit of 'weathering' to make it look older.
If I don't reply to any comments, apologies. Not my fault. I'm hoping it's just the weather, and computer is not on the blink!
23 October 2011 07:12:37
While sorting out the Acid Triangle yesterday, I spotted this Dahlia that hasn't showed its face in a long time. Forgot it was actually there, so now it's earmarked for digging up and storing. Love it!
22 October 2011 21:56:20
'Facing' the winter with a smile
With all the turmoil going on in my garden right now, I attempted to plant up some pots to compensate for the 'demolition site' that it is now. Planted up my 'face planter' with the new sedum. Hopefully it will fill out well, and produce a nice display for the winter.
22 October 2011 19:38:58
Autumn foliage of Blueberries
Today, while Steve's brain was working overtime on the 'cave', I got stuck in to moving 3 pieris, a small rhododendron, and taking out a couple of heathers to make room for my 7 blueberry bushes in the Acid Triangle. Now, where to put the heathers? I still have a problem with close planting, but once Steve finishes this latest pond, I will extend it a bit!!! Finally the blueberries have a permanent address, and the plastic pots that they were in actually broke up in bits so I think the timing was, for once, perfect. Topped the whole lot with ericaceous compost and hope to topdress with same every Spring.
The pots had been bought last year to take all my tomato plants in the greenhouse. And rather than spend a fortune in a garden centre, I bought them in the €2 Shop, so not too pricey. They were waste paper bins. The Blueberries should give me great Autumn colour now they are planted all together. Edges need to be neatened. But not until the Pond is completed, as there is too much traffic going through this area right now.
This area will now be known affectionately as 'Blueberry Hill'. :)
22 October 2011 17:46:09
Looked good to me!!!
Shopping and brekkie with Zoe this morning, while Steve was 'coming to'. My head was not the best after a 'seisuin' last night so had a 'power nap' after I got home and before heading out into the garden. At that stage, Steve had the wheels in motion. We finished off lining the copper tubing for the cave with the last of the chicken wire, and cable-tied it all in place. Now to erect some kind of tent to protect it once the fibre glass was started. Steve secured a big tarpaulin over the Loggia at the patio doors, while I held the ladder and passed him bits and pieces. After much huffing and puffing, and general frustration, he decided that it wasn't good enough and took the whole lot down. Not a happy camper. It's back to the drawing board.
22 October 2011 07:11:58
Initially I was drawn to this shrub for its gorgeous foliage, which is leathery and evergreen. The flowers start off a dull orange and open up to the sunniest yellow. I have been told that this shrub gets a bit 'woody' over time. But until that happens, it's a great addition to my greenhouse border.
21 October 2011 22:45:07
This Kinder Surprise capsule makes the perfect pod for storing seeds.
21 October 2011 21:12:39
Time is ticking on....
And we haven't talked about our venue for the Christmas Get-together, presuming people want one. I know it's a bit early, but you know what they say.......'the early bird...'
I won't be organizing it but am willing to help out with whatever I can. Isn't it time to start discussing it?
21 October 2011 06:45:53
I love this little Toad Lily so much that I and went and bought another one, not realizing I already had it planted in the greenhouse border at the edge of the pond. It must be one of my smallest flowers in the garden, but I love it. I will buy a couple more as I would like this one to bulk up. I could propagate by root division, and probably will when they get bigger. But I will buy more in the meantime.
20 October 2011 22:12:59
Pressies from Ladybird, and Paddy and Mary
The Southsider called in this evening bearing gifts from Ruth (Ladybird), a gorgeous geranium, and two big pots of Hemerocallis from Paddy and Mary (Gracedieu Lass). Thank you so much for welcome treats.
But even if he wasn't bringing donations from other ier's, he was most welcome. Fran, thanks for delivering the 'goods' and for your company.
20 October 2011 21:28:40
Spotted this late bloomer on my Digitalis grandiflora this morning. I have Chilipepper to thank for this. And now that I mention it, where is he? Has the novelty of this site worn off him?
20 October 2011 19:30:13
Fed up with not being able to get anything done mid-week now with the darker evenings. So my jobs are being 'stored up' for the weekends now. Bought a 4pack of a nice Sedum to plant into my 'face' pot (it came in with no name so I have no idea if it even flowers), and I hope to get a few planters done that will last throughout the winter. I also have to tackle my 'Acid Triangle' once again!!! I have to move 2 Pieris, some heathers, and a Rhodo forward to make space for my 7 blueberry bushes that really need a 'permanent address'. Although I can see me having to extend this triangle a bit to accomodate them. The shrubs may end up in the front!!! Steve hopes to get the first coat of fibreglass onto the frame of the cave. But first we have to rig up some kind of 'tent' to protect it from the elements as it hardens.
20 October 2011 05:46:11
Often known as White Bunny Ears, Opuntia microdasys gets the common name from its large ear-like appearance and the bristly white hairs that cover it. It has been doing really well for me since I got it 2 years ago. I'm beginning to re-think my choices of houseplants. Low-maintenance is definitely the way to go as I kill most of them. Now I will stop watering it altogether and move it to a cooler spot, the Landing windowsill. There is lots of new growth on this since buying it. But it seems to be losing it's likeness to 'bunny ears'.
19 October 2011 19:05:22
A timely move
Cheated when I bought this tree fern in work during the summer. Just plonked it into a big decorative pot, as I knew it would be moved inside later. The oil man was coming this morning to top up. I suppose I wouldn't have moved my tree fern so soon was it not for that. Couldn't have it end up black with oil. It's now in the greenhouse until next year.
Heating is on full blast now, and in pj's and slippers. Ooooh cozeeeee!!
19 October 2011 06:15:14
It's very tempting looking at plants still flowering away in a garden centre every day. But I am being very patient and biding my time until these perennials, that are already reduced by 40%, will be reduced by maybe 70% or more. I have developed a 'thing' for hardy gerberas. Especially this one 'Pam'.
18 October 2011 20:45:38
Spirea 'Bridal Wreath'
I know all our plants are very mixed up with the seasons right now. But what the..... This Spirea is a Spring-flowering shrub. It's starting already. Have we by-passed Winter? Did we have it yesterday?
18 October 2011 19:04:16
Deborah sent me these seeds. They have performed very well in the greenhouse border all summer long. I love their lime green foliage. I have been collecting seeds of just 2 plants (the others died before they got planted), and today I decided to just pull them up. I was delighted to discover they had formed nice healthy looking tubers. It's like a double insurance policy. But should I keep the tubers planted in fresh compost, or dry them out and plant in Spring? Delighted with these. There may be hope for me after all with the seeds (unless someone tells me they are 'easy-peasy' and any child can grow them)!!!
And another question: will the plants from tubers grow bigger and better than those grown from seed?
18 October 2011 06:16:45
One advantage of having moved my Taxus baccata at the weekend is, now it will provide me with a bit of dappled shade at a South-East facing wall for some Cyclamen coum or hederifolium. I couldn't have done it before as it had been planted next to a concrete path. Now, I'm going browsing for suppliers.
17 October 2011 21:10:12
Brave little soldier
The cheek of this Jasminum 'Clotted Cream' to be still flowering. Brrr!!!! Admittedly, there aren't many more flowers on it.
17 October 2011 19:55:23
Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily)
Why is my Spathiphyllum flower green? It's kept on the Landing, where it gets poor light. Would this be the reason? That's the only thing I can think of.
17 October 2011 19:09:15
What an understatement! Had to remove all pots from top shelves. Spent all day sweeping up compost and securing bins/pots/fence panels. Netting that screens us off from the premises next door has all blown down too. What a mess. I'll have my work cut out for me tomorrow. Had to close up the garden centre at 3.30 for safety reasons.
Did nothing when I got home. I'm lucky that the greenhouse is still standing. There are a few panes of glass on the roof that have slipped down over the last couple if years. Must get Steve to secure them with silicone. The grass is like a quagmire. So didn't want to be on it unless it was necessary.
17 October 2011 05:55:31
This Birdbath comes in two pieces. Under the rim of the top crumbled a bit during last winter as can be seen in the photo, but it still looks good. Who wants it?
16 October 2011 21:11:58
First come - first served!
I love this concrete seat. I have it about 8-10 years, and really only found a suitable home for it when we made the Alpine Circle a couple of years ago. I bought it in FairyHouse Market. But, but, but, I now have no space for it. This is a reality check. So if I can find a good home for it, let me know. It is not cemented together, so comes in 3 parts - seat + 2 legs. Quite heavy.
16 October 2011 20:35:03
Got this from Terra Nova earlier this year. Took it into the greenhouse about 5 wks ago as the sun decided on a 'no-show'. It rewarded me with another flower today.
16 October 2011 19:10:10
Ok, after my fit of 'depression' earlier, things got better. What a glorious day for working in the garden.
Steve created a skeletal structure with copper tubing. Then he surrounded the structure with the chicken wire. We ran out of chicken wire , so ended up having to buy another roll. Clamped it all in place, ready to receive its first coating of fibre glass, which will probably be next weekend. With a bit of tweaking on the copper tubing, Steve was happy with the general shape.
16 October 2011 13:36:14
New Home for Taxus baccata
I just hope Steve hasn't bitten off more than he chew with this new project of his. I am at my wits end watching him continue to bury things up to their necks in more soil - next on the 'hit' list are Photinia, Euonymus, Silver Birch (only planted last year) and a few things from the Bog Bed Extension.
I have just successfully moved my Taxus baccata to the far right of this new pond. Now my Laburnum has to be moved. I am getting myself worked up into a right tizzy here. I decided also that the time was right to lift some dahlias before they disappear altogether. Have trimmed their stems and cleaned up their roots, they are now in a container of dry compost and labelled. If anything dies I'm just going to check in to 'St. John of God's'.
16 October 2011 10:32:42
Taxus baccata on the move
Yet another tree has to be shifted, to facilitate the desired contours of the new pond. Luckily this is the right time of year to move evergreens. If Steve had his way, the few trees I have (which are all pretty cramped anyway) would be completely taken out and dumped. Eh, that will not happen. The only thing I'm worried about now is making sure it doesn't go without regular water until it has re-established. It's in the original spot for at least ten years.
15 October 2011 22:10:19
Erysimum 'Rysi Gold'
Looking good right now, something which I should bulk up on.
15 October 2011 19:39:31
And if the mood takes Steve, he will incorporate this years old Easter Island face into the banks of the new pond. I got it for nothing years ago when I worked in Homebase. A customer had broken its neck.
15 October 2011 18:04:24
Humdrum jobs and Landslide
What a waste of a day. Shopping took longer than expected. We were later getting out into the garden. Sky looking quite grim. Grass too wet to strim properly. Then I ran out of strimmer line. Rain came down as Steve was 'moulding' his mound of clay, and I couldn't get the lawnmower out to finish the grass. During a heavy shower there was a major landslide. But that's ok, as Steve was planning on digging out that clay anyway. Just not yet. If anyone wants any topsoil, just say the word. We have nowhere left in the garden to throw it. Phone never stopped all day. Sometimes it's not good to talk!
Tomorrows plans will involve Steve placing chicken-wire at the entrance of the 'cut-out' in the clay to form a cave. He will layer it up with fibreglass, lots of layers. Then slowly but surely most of the clay will be put back over the cave to form undulating beds, and it will (hopefully) be strong enough to take the weight of an adult. Only then will I be able to proceed with this new planting area. The water will flow down over the entrance to the cave. And it will be visible from the standing height of the average adult, without having to stoop to have a look inside.That's the plan, anyway! Fingers crossed!
15 October 2011 07:32:01
Very happy with the way 'the island' in the greenhouse pond turned out this year. In the middle is my Atropa belladonna (which I cut back by half a few weeks ago). Around that I have lots of bronze-leafed begonias which I have never really seen much of since planting them. And around the very edge I have trailing fuchsias. I underestimated the strength of the fuchsias and as a result I haven't clapped eyes on the begonias at all. They are there! I was going to pull up the fuchsias today to give them a chance. But that would be a sin. I love fuchsias. Begonias can last well into November and I'm sure the fuchsias will have died back by then and I'll get another season out of 'the island', or even a few weeks.
14 October 2011 21:56:57
Bought a bag of Cactus and Succulent Compost today. Normally I buy J. Arthur Bower's. Both bags come in a 10 litre bag. J. Arthur Bower's is nearly twice the weight of Westland. It must have a lot more sand and grit in it. Westland feels more like multipurpose compost but I haven't opened it yet.
So which one do you use?
14 October 2011 20:09:50
The Postman always rings twice!
Zoe had the Bejaysus scared out of her this morning when she saw a 'dark stranger' open the porch door while she was inside. Knowing it wasn't the postman, she texted me in a bit of a panic. Ha ha. Good oul' Bruno was leaving a few promised plants for me, instead of the usual bills from the postman!!!
In his 'goodie bag' he left a hardy fuchsia 'Zauschneria Californica 'Dublin', Ceropegia, which is a beautiful dainty, trailing, indoor plant that I had been admiring on our visit to his garden (the one on the left), and la creme de la creme, ahhhhhh Melianthus major, which I have soooo covetted for a long time. Bruno, thank you so much.
14 October 2011 06:00:53
Someone gave me this a while ago. I hate the way labels disappear. Hopefully someone can help. Need to id plants on the bench before winter sets in.
13 October 2011 21:13:09
This looks nice
My obelisk holding the herbaceous clematis has been 'chucked over' so its foliage is flopping all over the greenhouse border. But the seedheads of it look nice with Paddy's Brunnera (don't know which one?????).
13 October 2011 20:38:01
Malus 'Red Sentinel'
But unfortunately it was dark by the time I was free to go out. This photo was taken this morning before heading off to work. Malus 'Red Sentinel' wasn't this red until at least December last year. No trick photography here!
13 October 2011 08:27:51
Sedum cauticola 'Coca-Cola'
This is another great sedum that I bought during the summer.
13 October 2011 06:02:59
Well, after being so patient all summer trying to get a few different things to flowering stage, I have finally given up on Cobaea scandens ever flowering now. Poor thing got a very late start, and there was virtually no sun all summer. Time to call it a day. Will succeed next year though (I hope). Into the compost it will go at the weekend, which is a shame as the greenery is very healthy looking.
12 October 2011 20:47:17
'Let me out'
I pulled up the last of my cosmos this time last week. Hadn't sealed up the black bag that they went into, and today I spotted a chance survivor peeping its newly-opened head out!
12 October 2011 20:11:01
Most of my sunflowers are now beginning to 'go over'. But inside the greenhouse I have a hanging pot that had a sunflower seedling in it, thanks to visiting birds from the birdfeeders outside. It has just started to open today. Thanks, birdies!
12 October 2011 19:08:14
Pieris 'Valley Valentine'
Didn't get much done in the garden at all for the last two days. A short while today was spent walking about, and planning for next year. In such a hurry to get new pond area planted up, and hopefully we will see further progress at the weekend. All plants will have to tolerate full sun up to about 3 o'clock. So the Acers will have to go elsewhere. I have a virginia creeper and jasmine to clothe the wall to the back, and the one to the side. Fran's Sumac will go on 'top of the hill'. Also I will plant out my sorbus sorbaria 'Sem' and release it from its confines of the pot (empty pot?). Will plant my 'spare' geranium 'Rozanne' up the hill and let it romp away. Most of the plants will have to be pretty low-maintenance as I'm not fully sure that the structure that Steve will be building from fibre glass will be strong enough to hold the weight of an adult. Will take my time filling it with plants. This 'patience' thingy feels really weird. Am I finally maturing?
My 7 blueberry bushes badly need new pots. And they are constantly being moved around. So......big decision here.......the triangular bed that I replanted during the summer and filled with ericaceous compost will now be a permanent home to them. Already in that bed I have Rhododendron 'Christmas Cheer', 2 Pieris, Rhododendron 'Ginny Gee', and a couple of heathers. These may all get shifted to the front garden and I will now plant the 7 blueberries into the acid triangle. It should give a good blast of late colour right where I need them and give them a fixed abode at last. They do deserve it.
11 October 2011 22:06:35
At our last get-together I was lucky to get a lot of seedlings from Geraldine (Cloncaw). The get-together was a bit dis-jointed in that the car park was a bit away from where we were meeting up. So Fran and myself seemed to be the sole recipients of all Geraldine's hard work with so many seedlings. I got lots of sunflowers and zinnias. Both have rewarded me with lots of gorgeous blooms all summer long.
And only today, I was collecting seeds of Geraldine's zinnias. But yet another one has graced my garden. I haven't grown them before, and didn't really know what colours to expect. They come in reds, pinks, oranges. All welcome summer colours. And zingy to boot! Looking forward to sharing the seeds around with ier's.
Once again, thanks Geraldine!
11 October 2011 21:08:47
Deborah sent me dahlia seeds in winter which produced the most amazing flowers in vivid colours, as they all are. I will try to dig these up and overwinter them.
Most of my other dahlias will have to take their chances with the harsh elements. But I also have 'new' ones this year which I got at the get-together in Johnstown in February - Honka, and Honka 'Red'. I wasn't that impressed with them to begin with. But as the dahlia season progressed, they proved to hold a certain element of the 'weird and wonderful'. Worth preserving!
11 October 2011 19:24:34
I have 3 or 4 Acers planted in the Bog Bed. They were initially planted into ericaceous compost on top of homemade compost, and I was supposed to top-dress in Spring each year after. However, I didn't do that this Spring.
I have another 5 Acers, most of which I hope to plant in and around the new area for David. But I have seen plenty of Acers growing in gardens in Dublin, where we have alkaline soil. Do they do well in garden soil, or would you say they are constantly being top-dressed with acid soil? Don't want to lose them as I adore them.
The one in the photo is a very erect form and lacks the arching branches of most Acers. I like it a lot for that reason. But also in Spring, the stems are dark red.
NOT A GOOD PHOTO. I NEED TO ISOLATE THE POT AND TAKE A PHOTO OF IT ON ITS OWN. IT'S A LOT NICER THAN THE PHOTO SUGGESTS. TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY!
11 October 2011 19:02:08
'Hurry, Gran. They're heavy'.
How could I forget about these?
I have found that things do better in my garden if I don't shower them with constant attention. Obviously these beetroots thrive on neglect.
11 October 2011 15:43:30
Not in work today as I am looking after my 2 babies. Had Zoe with the doctor last night and she has a rotten viral infection with a temperature of 103. So after my NCT at. 8.15 this morning I went over to work to tell them in person I wouldn't be in. My babies need me today. All is ship-shape in the gc, and no delivery due in. Rain has only just stopped so I got out for a few photos (daughter and grandson asleep, so taking advantage).
11 October 2011 05:32:07
Cortaderia 'Splendid Star'
I have had this one here for the last 3 years. It began life in a pot, didn't do too well but took off from the time it got planted out. If I could have just one grass here, it would definitely be this one. I couldn't recommend it more highly.
It is compact, and very well-behaved. It is evergreen. It is NOT invasive, and its plumes are luxuriant. Here to stay.
10 October 2011 20:52:50
Things are hanging on!!
Sorry about the quality of the photo but it was getting dark. Good to see the last bit of summer colour hanging on in the greenhouse border.
10 October 2011 06:30:20
Now you see it, now you don't!
This is a photo of a Dahlia that just opened before Steve had to bury it under a trug-full of soil. Aw!!!!!
09 October 2011 20:22:14
Murder, she wrote
Tough day with all that digging. We wanted all the soil dug out of the new pond before retiring for the day. But right at the last minute, we uncovered a Superquinn bag and inside it were a mass of small bones. Initially I had thought that the residents before we moved in 25yrs ago buried a dead pet, they way they did years ago. It was big enough to be a dog. But I couldn't rest easy until we uncovered as many bones as were there. If we had found a skull, we could then be certain that it wasn't a human skeleton. Ugh! We must have shattered a lot of bones, thinking they were old tree roots in the process. We didn't find a skull, thankfully.
09 October 2011 19:02:52
Spent the morning washing and cleaning out my car. NCT this week.
The afternoon entailed no gardening at all. I decided that Steve needed a bit of assistance. So his attempts to dig out this new pond were made easier, with me digging the ground and breaking up the lumps - and him filling the trug with soil to distribute to other parts of the garden temporarily. Slowly but surely, I am seeing some trees and small plants being covered with soil. But it will be put back in place once the structure is built for the back of the pond. We had to come in a few minutes ago as we could no longer see. The whole bottom of the pond is now dug out. Next weekend should see it getting really exciting and ever closer to my new undulating area for planting. Ooh my back is breaking!
09 October 2011 06:38:02
Round or Angular
In my head, I tend to like square shapes, or rectangles, 90 degree angles and sometimes even a bit of symmetry. But don't tell anyone! Symmetry is sooooo 70's. When planning the garden the way it is now, a lot of thought went in to making the ponds circular. It took me a long time to get used to it. And now I can finally see the beauty of circles and curves. They tend to draw the eye into the subject with far more aplomb.
But my deep-rooted love of things that are angular brought about this arrangement of mainly herbs at the greenhouse door. I think these pots, different sizes, heights, but basically the same shape, look like an ariel view of an apartment block (ok maybe it looks like these apartments have some rooftop gardens :)). I have just taken into the greenhouse my climbing fuchsia (it's the grey one just inside the door). And boy, was it heavy! So I had to re-arrange all the other pots yesterday. I do think that the angles look well where I have them. And it's only a little area where I can indulge in my 70's way of thinking.
So, are you a roundy, or a square??????
08 October 2011 21:32:50
Passiflora 'Constance Elliott'
Lots of people here lost their Passiflora cerulaea over the winter. I had one coming in over the wall from my neighbour and every year I have enjoyed their gorgeous exotic blooms. However, it also died this year.
Earlier in the summer I bought a white-flowering one 'Constance Elliott'. Myrtle said she had a white that she also lost. So I was a bit concerned about its chances of survival. And I certainly didn't expect to see it flowering this year. But should the sun shine for the next few days, I will be rewarded with gorgeous white flowers.
08 October 2011 20:36:46
Well, all I really got done today was plant up some new ericaceous-loving plants. Loropetalum 'Fire Dance', Skimmia 'Magic Marlot', and Calluna vulgaris 'Luisa'. Underplanted with Chionodoxa Luciliea and Crocus 'Ruby Giant'. Colour for Autumn and Spring.
08 October 2011 18:52:44
Another job off the list
After Irelands loss with the Rugby this morning, Steve was fit to kill!!! As soon he could, he got out there with the Jack Hammer and steadily whittled away at the foundations, and slowly but surely his temper diffused. Gotta say, it made very light work of the job. I was very surprised at how easy it was to use, but it was so heavy I couldn't lift it.
Now that the foundation is 'gone', more digging will ensue and asap I can get planting before winter comes. Don't want to lose any more plants. I already had them lined up this time last year and the project had been put on hold for the soil to 'settle'. So these are new ones. Still not sure how I want to plant it up. Will position what I have, and tweak a bit until I am happy.
08 October 2011 08:29:10
Polianthes tuberosa 'The Pearl' (net photo)
Polianthes tuberosa requires a minimum temperature of 15 degrees C so is ideal for a conservatory. It can also be grown outside in containers. But I'm blaming the lack of heat and sunshine for this little beauty not flowering. I will keep this one in the house for winter - just in case the temps plummet in the garage like last year.
As with a few other 'different' things grown here this year, it didn't end up getting thrown onto the compost heap. There might be hope for me yet!
07 October 2011 22:41:35
Weight training for the future
Every evening I am met at the door by my adorable little grandson, David. He ALWAYS carries something in from the car for me. Usually a plant. But today, it was time to start giving him 'weight-lifting' exercises. With grunts and groans, and huffing and puffing, I had to step in. Plenty of time for that. Let's face it, the potatoes probably weighed more than he did. Bless him. He is so anxious to please.
07 October 2011 21:37:33
Nobody wants me!
You've no idea how my heart strings are constantly being tugged at when I pass by the 'reduced shelf' in work. At the first sign of deterioration, I reduce plants in the hope that they will go to a deserving home. However, in recent times, these plants have just been sitting there looking up at the passersby in the hope for a better life! The plants are reduced initially by 20%, then 50% and finally 70%. After that, it's down to a couple of euros. And all the while, I scrutinize the choices, wondering if I can provide a good home to them. Finally the whole lot got reduced by 70% today. And I bought a Phygelius 'Trewidden Pink', and Knautia macedonica 'Mars Midget' at a mere total cost of something like €3.
07 October 2011 21:02:14
Climbing rose 'Penny Lane'
I bought this rose during the year to plant in the front garden. It was the name that initially attracted me to it. But when I saw how beautiful the flower was, I knew I had made a lovely choice. And the name reminded me of my sister, whose name is Penny. Just the odd flower now at this time of year, but soooo beautiful with its blushed pink blooms.
07 October 2011 19:41:37
Lily the Pink!
A few late lilies opened in the last couple of days despite the horrible weather. You'd wonder what made them do it!!!
07 October 2011 06:19:53
Verbascum chiaxii 'alba'
Another performer giving us an encore.
06 October 2011 22:08:16
Mitraria coccinea (Mitre Bush)
Yet another example of the seasons mixing up our plants. This was flowering in July. And now again!!!
06 October 2011 21:20:13
Was blinded out in the garden this morning when the sun was shining on one of the remaining towers in Ballymun in the distance.
06 October 2011 20:38:22
Loropetalum (photo from internet)
I really only went back to work today to buy compost! :) What a horrible day with the winds, and a definite touch of winter in the air with a big drop in temperature. Productive day and sorting out sheer neglect of a delivery that came in while I was off sick. Watch stopped at some stage today. Didn't notice, I was that busy. When I went in to check the time, I only had 10 minutes left of my shift. Wahoo!
Gathered a couple of plants and lots of compost onto a trolley before I clocked out. After Myrtle's journal the other day on Skimmia 'Magic Merlot' I decided that it was time for me to try it out. I will make up an acid-loving planter at the weekend. And companions for the Skimmia are a couple of Heathers, and a lovely Loropetalum (a member of the Witch Hazel family) which I lost last winter. I will also underplant the whole lot with maybe pink tulips. Haven't decided on that yet. If we get the same weather this winter, the container can be brought into the greenhouse.
06 October 2011 05:55:45
Nepenthes 'Rebecca' doing really well
When we got our new kitchen installed in March, I had to put some of my houseplants out in the greenhouse, namely my Nepenthes 'Rebecca'. However, it had been doing so well out there that I decided to leave it there for the summer. When I eventually took it in about 6 wks ago I decided to put a hook in the ceiling just above the sink, and in direct line of fire from the steam of the kettle, and the vegetables when I strain them into the sink. Look how well it's doing! Very happy with the amount of pitchers it has now produced. Let's hope it will continue.
05 October 2011 20:48:18
I stole this little baby from its parent in Lanzarote nearly 2 years ago now. He is happily settled in to life on the cooler side! Not sure whether it is an Agave, or an Aloe of some type, but he is growing away, albeit slowly. But still looking very healthy.
05 October 2011 18:35:28
Saxifraga 'Mother of Thousands'
Have been off for the last two days with a bad ear. Yesterday I managed a bit outside. Today was a different story. Very windy out so just did a few minor jobs. Donned my very sexy waders and got into the pond. Cut down Deadly Nightshade to half its size as it was becoming a bit ungainly and being blown to bits. Planted another Tricyrtis (Toad Lily) at the edge of the pond where I can't normally reach on foot. And I didn't realize I already had it. But now they can bulk up well. Planted my newish rose 'Rhapsody in Blue' when a more decorative pot became vacant after picking the rest of my corn. Took the corn into the kitchen to prepare it for dinner. OMG never doing it again. It was covered in woodlice again. Same happened last year. Straight into the bin with it! Was soooo looking forward to it.
Spent the rest of the afternoon reading, playing happy families with Zoe and little David, and concentrating on my houseplants. I really need to get back to work.
05 October 2011 11:05:03
New for 2012
Just got this weeks copy of Amateur Gardening. It gives a Top 10 list of new products for 2012. You might be interested in this one.
With consumers keen to target chemicals precisely, Roundup Gel could be the answer. The ready-to-use stick can be used to precisely target weeds in awkward places. You simply touch the weed with the bottle, which dispenses a gel that sticks to the leaf. No contact is made with the soil (or other plants), roots are killed and each pack can wipe out up to 750 weeds. Weeds can be targeted in borders, lawns and veg patches without affecting other plants - and it's even claimed to kill bindweed too.
04 October 2011 21:44:21
Sedum Sieboldii 'mediovariegatum'
Another beautiful sedum is 'sieboldii mediovariegatum'. It has been in a pot for the last two years. I think Bill recommended that it be taken under cover for winter. However, I have yet to do that and it's doing just 'dandy'. Starting to flower now. I think Myrtle has this too.
Photo is not picking up the variegation. Will post an album.
04 October 2011 20:32:02
Nerine Bowdenii finally opened - way behind their Wexford cousins. Looking good amongst Persicaria, purple Sedum, Sedum 'Autumn Joy', Knautia macedonica and Dianthus 'Passion'.
04 October 2011 19:14:38
Still a bit of colour in greenhouse border
Off today, but couldn't get out to the garden until later. And boy, did I cut stuff back. Even though lots of my cosmos are still flowering, I was really only letting them keep going until I had enough seeds for next year. So they got the chop today. They were a bit untidy looking. Cut back my gorgeous Potentilla 'Red Monarch', Hordeum jubatum, Thalictrum, the Rudbeckia in the greenhouse border (not sure which one). Goldstrum is still hail and very hearty. My Laurentia also got the chop, even though it was still in full flower. And because I have lots of pots of stuff all over the place, a lot of these got placed into any of the gaps I created today. Had to clean up all the dead growth from the pond, which we left just lying on the grass last weekend. Cut down Persicaria 'Red Dragon' too. Just looking out now, and normally I would be thinking "Oh, my God, why did you do that". It definitely looks a lot better and there is still plenty of colour for this time of year.
Sometimes I do get carried away though!!!
04 October 2011 18:20:11
Pampas 'Splendid Star'
This is great for a small garden. I grew it in a pot for a couple of years but it didn't perform too well. However, since planting it out, it has really taken off, and won't outgrow its space in a hurry, and it's evergreen. The plumes have just appeared in the last couple of days. I love it!
04 October 2011 08:28:02
The Year of the Spider
Has anybody noticed how many huge spiders are about the place this year? Every morning when I go under the honeysuckle above the patio doors, I walk into webs. And you can feel how strong they are. Looks like the spiders are trying to fatten up for the winter too, as they are filled with trapped, mummified insects. The spiders are banquetting like kings!
03 October 2011 22:16:07
Ooooh it's too early for frost
Yesterday after all Steve's work with the angle grinder, it left a dusting of concrete residue on my small Pinus mugo. Hopefully the lime content won't do it any harm. It got washed off almost immediately.
03 October 2011 21:48:59
Eccremocarpus (Chilean Glory Flower) today...
Did you ever have something growing in your garden that you absolutely thought the world of, and you were dying for it to produce its flower? When it does, you get sooooo excited about its appearance and immediately post a photo for everyone to admire. And everything falls flat on its face. Nobody comments. It's amazing what lights different peoples candles.
This year I have grown a few different things for the first time ie. Gloriosa Rothschildiana (climbing lily), Cobaea scandens and Eccremocarpus (Chilean Glory Flower). Gloriosa Rothschildiana should have been grown indoors so that was a none-runner. Cobaea scandens is still growing - just leaves - and with the total lack of sunshine this summer I really should have binned it long ago. This year I seem to have acquired a lot more patience than ever before. But for the last couple of weeks, I have spotted what I thought might be a flower on my Eccremocarpus. Wahoo, yes! but!!!!! it doesn't seem to be opening any more. I thought tonight I would post a photo of how it is today, just in case the flowers fall off overnight.
No need to comment. But I am like a child with a new toy just looking at this one daily!
03 October 2011 20:06:38
Fuchsia 'Lady Boothby' is the worlds only climbing fuchsia. From July to September (and even into October) this hardy shrub bears a multitude of pendulous magenta and deep purple flowers on tall red stems. Provide it with some support and it will quickly cover walls, frames and trellises. Height 3m. Plant in sun or semi-shade - can also be planted in containers.
This is my first season with this fuchsia. It's in a big pot, together with my Laurentia (Isotoma). It stands at about 3ft so far. Hoping to bring the pot into the greenhouse over winter and plant it out permanently next year. I have already taken about 8-10 cuttings, one of which has sprouted. If the others take, they are there for the taking.
03 October 2011 05:19:18
Fuchsia 'Lady Boothby'
Took some cuttings of my climbing fuchsia a few weeks ago. Happy to say one has started to sprout new shoots. Wahoo! Hopefully the rest will follow suit any day soon.
02 October 2011 22:17:58
Aster (Island Series) 'Barbados'
This one is really putting on a show now. I think this is Aster (Island Series) 'Barbados'. And it comes up just past the guttering of the greenhouse. Do they normally get as tall as that?
02 October 2011 21:02:40
I potted up two identical pots with Tulip 'tarda' topped with blue crushed glass.
02 October 2011 20:32:09
This is what you have to look forward to with your Francoa. It has flowered its socks off and more coming! Photo taken today.
02 October 2011 19:38:16
Next years Gazanias (hopefully)
After getting myself into a 'depressed' rut early on today, I opened a tub of Jelly Beans and proceeded to 'pig out'. It seemed like the rain was just never going to stop. But regardless, Steve got into his mucky gear and ventured out with appropriate tools for the job in hand. I watched from the dining room and thought "Bonkers! Pure bonkers". However, I couldn't waste the day so the Jelly Beans got scoffed at an alarming rate and I joined him. He is having a bit of bother digging out concrete foundations of the very large shed that used to be in that area. But that's for another day. He continued to dig the soil deeper than I thought was necessary. But, we all know how much of a perfectionist he is. Whatever I suggested, it wasn't good enough. He will do things his way and the hard way, and I will no doubt be very impressed with his accomplishments.
I pottered around tidying, and seed collecting in the rain. I also divided my Gazania up for nice new plants next year, I think it was an article in this weeks Amateur Gardening that spurred me on. This is a variegated Gazania, so it's worth having more of for next year.
I also planted some white Crocus 'Ard Schenk', Allium 'Purple Sensation' into the greenhouse border. And finally, I took just 4 cuttings of that lovely deep red rose. If they take, I will do some more.
02 October 2011 18:26:25
Looking forward to lots of purple
This was given to me last year by Kate of 'Kate 'n' Graham' as a gift one day that they called up. I was chuffed to bits as I have never had one before, and knew nothing about its requirements. But it is a beautiful shrub. It had a mass of violet berries on bare stems when she presented me with it. I have done very little with it since Kate gave it to me, and indeed I have also been guilty of starving it of a drink during the summer months. I potted it on, and forgot to label it, so I forgot what it was. So it was a lovely surprise today to spot the berries on their way. All is not lost!
Once again, Kate (and Graham), thank you so much.
02 October 2011 05:00:12
Play Misty for Me
Wow, I can barely make out the silhouettes of the trees down at the back wall with the mist. There is a small Cul-de-sac that runs to the right, behind our wall, and a street light that provides us with a small bit of back-lighting. Right now it's just a blurry bright 'blob'. After all yesterdays rain, I suppose the mist is not so bad. I just hope the Heavens have completely emptied for now!
Yesterday I bought myself a couple of books to keep me going today, just in case we have more of the same.
01 October 2011 21:38:40
While assessing the health of the Koi today, we also decided to give the 'lighthouse' a last-minute check before winter sets in. Steve did a major 'overhaul' on this Homebase-bought basic lighthouse that I bought years ago. He gave it a brand new, custom-made 'top' with a rotating light inside the housing, which rotates at 5 rpm, just like a real lighthouse. He even made sure the light didn't shine any higher than 5ft so as not to irritate any neighbours. All in perfect working order. Now, time to unplug it till next year.
01 October 2011 20:08:48
'All I need is the air that I breathe'
For the last couple of weeks I have noticed that the Koi in the Upper Pond have been on the surface a lot more than usual. The pump fell over during the summer, and Steve decided to turn it off and leave it off to see how they would fare. Today I decided that they weren't looking too healthy. They seemed to be constantly gasping for air. They have been in an environment of stagnant water. So Steve searched for the lost pump underwater and plugged it in again. He also pulled out lots of invading grasses. We took out lots of oxygenating plants too and transferred them to the wildlife pond. And by the end of the day, the Koi were looking way healthier. Months ago, Aldi were selling really cheap fish food, and I got enough for the next year. But in truth, they didn't really take to it. So today I went over to work and bought 'the real McCoy'. It's not worth trying to economize if they don't like it. We need to get them in 'fine fettle' before winter sets in. It was definitely false economy. But luckily we noticed before it was too late. They are big fish - about 14 inches - and a Koi that size would cost at least €400 each.
01 October 2011 18:08:31
He did it of his own free will!
What a wet day!
It was obvious from the onset that there was going to be very limited gardening done today. They promised that it would dry up later. That didn't happen!
During the nights' very heavy rains, there was a mini landslide on the mound that Steve had been carefully sculpting during the week. Steve got bored this afternoon waiting for the rains to stop, but wanted to make the most of the angle grinder that he had borrowed for the weekend. He got out there in the torrential rain and hacked away at a section of path that need to be removed to accommodate the new pond. He spent the afternoon with angle grinder, lump hammer and pick-axe, while I supplied him with liquid refreshment and the constant flashing of camera, much to his annoyance. But I have to catalogue his progress. And the photos give him the incentive to complete the project asap. Hopefully tomorrow will the less wet!!!