Last Post 539 days 8 hours ago
30 November 2011 18:17:31
Growth on rose cuttings already
This year I decided I would take a chance on some rose cuttings for the first time. I planted 3 stems into the ground and thought it would be next year before I would see any sign of life. But this morning I noticed that there is growth on 2 of them. Wahoo! Happy Days!
So, do I just leave them there in the soil, or should I pot them up to ensure their survival if we have another bad winter?
30 November 2011 06:08:26
Rhododendron 'Christmas Cheer'
I mulled over buying this rhododendron for a long, long time before succumbing. I have it in my Acid Triangle. Yesterday I had a very brief trip out to the garden and discovered that this rhodie is already starting to flower even though it's not even December yet. All good! It can only get better.
29 November 2011 19:50:47
Forty shades of ......
This Bougainvillea, while on holiday, was spectacular with its multi shades of pink.
29 November 2011 06:18:29
It never ceases to amaze me when I see plants like Poinsettias used as hedges in Lanzarote. Most of them, at this stage have been cut down to almost bare stems, but lots of emerging growth. Hibiscus used in the same way. Crotons, Coleus and Schefflera are regular choices for gardens. This Schefflera (Umbrella Plant) is taller than Steve. But Steve was camera-shy!!!
28 November 2011 20:56:58
Sparrow or Canary?
This gorgeous little bird joined us for cocktails on the seafront during the week. He was smaller than a sparrow, although with similar markings, but I suspect he was more closely-related to a canary.
28 November 2011 20:33:17
Chancing my arm
Going back to our bungalow in Lanzarote at 4.30am on Saturday (great pubs there that don't ever seem to close) and found these great big seeds at the base of what I think was either Phoenix canariensis, or robellini. And of course I couldn't resist the call of nature (not what some people might think I am referring to) but I stashed these in my bag. I hope to put them into the electric propagator at the weekend and see what happens.
Did no gardening today as my fingernails were still in 'holiday mode'. It's not too often my colleagues see my hands like that. I guess ten minutes after working outside in the garden centre tomorrow that will all change. Must root out my thermals!!!
28 November 2011 19:54:43
Resurrection Plant (Selaginella Lepidophylla)
this is what it looks like after adding water at 2.00 today. When I get fed up with it, which I probably will, I can just dry it out and put away until I'm ready to go again. The foliage is showing some nice red veins throughout.
28 November 2011 19:34:14
Before immersing in water
Picked up this unusual plant in Lanzarote. It's also called the Resurrection Plant.
According to Christian tradition, when Mary, Mother of Jesus, fled through the desert from Judea to Egypt, she was introduced to the magnificent qualities of the Rose of Jericho. Mary blessed the plant she saw in the desert and ever since, the Christians tend to keep a Rose of Jericho in their homes as a talisman for health, fertility, and success in farming and other endeavours.
I bought it as a dried up clump of what looked like dead grass. Hard to decipher from the picture on the box. This plant should be immersed in a bowl of water and within a short time will open up revealing very fern-like foliage. I bought this one purely out of curiosity rather than its' beauty.
It can be dried out whenever wished, and re-soaked time and time again.
28 November 2011 08:49:20
Looking out the window
Just back from hols during the early hours of the morning, and now looking out to get some idea of what might need doing. It was a wise decision taking today off, we hadn't expected such long delays with technical faults and bad weather delaying our flight. The garden looks a total mess now that it is daylight. But not brave enough yet to get out there for a proper inspection. It's 'oh, so cold'. Today will be a day for acclimatizing, and catching up on what I have missed here. Good to be back.
13 November 2011 05:55:13
Fuchsia 'Lady Boothby' in the greenhouse
I must really get some electricity installed into the greenhouse. I've just been wateing everything in there. Spooky in the dark. A stray cat came in to keep me company (shudder with phobic fear!!).
I do hope this fuchsia pulls through the winter.
12 November 2011 21:26:16
Given a bit of 'Wellie'
Wellie (here on this site) sent me seeds for this months ago. Happy to report the seeds have bulked up nicely. Thanks again, Angie, and welcome back.
12 November 2011 21:07:25
Jasmine 'Clotted Cream'
This jasmine smells so strong during the height of the summer, but looks so delicate. Even after the heavy frosty night on Monday, it is still prepared to produce beautifully fragrant flowers. Never had flowers on it this late.
12 November 2011 07:48:43
Aldi on Sunday
This coming Sunday (13th Nov) ALDI have a range of hedging plants for just €4.99. Select from Hornbeam, Hazel, Cornus Alba, Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Rose, Beech and Acer.
12 November 2011 05:36:16
I bought this gorgeous acer a few years ago because of its dark branches. It was never about the foliage, as all acers possess that wonderful range of colours for Autumn. But look at the branches now that the leaves are beginning to fall. I love it.
Aw Crap! It's been cropped.
11 November 2011 21:23:51
If I could present a single plant with the much-sought-after trophy (Award of Garden Merit) it would be for Abutilon megapotamicum. I bought this in full flower in September 2010. It lived in my cold greenhouse last winter with no added protection, outside during the summer, and now back in the greenhouse. It has NEVER been without flowers since buying it. I think I could nearly chance it outside this year, for a while at least. After so many predictions of another really hard winter, I think it's just another scaremongering tactic. Scientists just don't have the appropriate technology to predict that far ahead. So let's enjoy the mild winter as long as possible. And I will enjoy my great Abutilon.
11 November 2011 20:25:04
Let's Bypass Winter
My gardening time this weekend will be very limited. So this morning before work, I finished off planting stuff - Anemone de Caen, Dichelostemma, and Sparaxis. All in pots, including the anemones. The last of the Tulips can wait.
Tomorrow will be a day of sheer pampering, as we fly out early Sunday morning. My poor computer needs a holiday too.
This morning I delighted in witnessing the first buds of Magnolia, and it gives me such hope for the new gardening year.
11 November 2011 05:28:21
I bought this gorgeous climbing rose during the early summer. It's planted in a big pot at the front post of the Loggia. It rewarded me with the most gorgeous orange blooms, and is now producing more. Its companion in the same pot is a David Austin climber called 'Teasing Georgia (yellow), on Deborah's recommendation. Lovely combo of the two colours. But 'Schoolgirl' out on its own will do, for now.
10 November 2011 21:04:53
Soaking and ready to go
Soaked some anemone de caen last night. I was going to plant them this morning before work, but I got filthy just going out to get some photos so they are still sitting in the water. How well do they do just planted in pots. I won't be free to plant them until Saturday.
10 November 2011 20:23:45
A very big thanks to Blarney Castle who kindly sent up, from Cork, some much-covetted Ricinus seeds. ANd he also popped in seeds of Nicotiana tabacum 'Havana Cigar Tobacco', and Lupinus Arboreus (Tree Lupin). What a bonus. Looking forward to all of these for next year. I hope I can do them justice for you. Thanks again, Adam.
10 November 2011 06:05:36
Saxafraga 'London Pride'
I only got a few moments out in the garden yesterday morning. It's the first time I have actually seen dahlias blackened by frost. Usually I have them cut down way before that. Begonias are pure mush. But what surprised me most of all were the bedding geraniums that are still looking ok. Even the ones in the window box out the front. At this stage now the dahlias can stay where they are. I intend moving the compost bin at some stage, so I have decided to mulch the dahlias with the contents. But when? That's the 6 million dollar question. Still a few bits of good colour in the garden, but yesterdays short spell out there was too dark for any decent photos. I did manage this one though. London Pride is such a valuable little plant and I wouldn't be without it. It just does its own thing, and does it unthuggishly!
09 November 2011 05:44:31
Anyone for Coffee?
Bought some coffee beans in a kit from Aldi a while back. This is the result so far. Supposedly in about 3-4 years, it will provide enough coffee for at least 2 cups. Ha ha I won't hold my breath. I like the leaves on this one though.
08 November 2011 20:12:22
Given the choice......
......where would you be right now? Today was a dark, dreary and totally damp day altogether. I know where I'd like to be right now! Unfortunately, I have a bit more to wait. I think I'm suffering from SAD. :( Low light levels really get to me at this time of year.
08 November 2011 19:37:14
I like this
This planter has a combination of Phormium 'Platt's Black', Thyme, and Violas - nice for now. And it's underplanted with Tulip Kaufmanniana 'Fashion' (orange). That should add a good bit of oomph for Spring.
08 November 2011 05:43:15
I gave one of these shrubs away only a few months ago. But in work, these seed pods were littering the shelving for a while. I decided to pinch a few yesterday and try my hand at growing them from seed - not that I want them for a particular area, but just for the fun of it to see if I have any success. And if I do, I'll have have lots of seedlings to give away.
07 November 2011 20:53:29
Lampranthus seedling (I think)
Lanzarote Flora (Trish) whom I met in Lanzarote this time last year gave me a very small cutting of a Lampranthus. She gave me a whole lot more, most of which have perished in our climate. But the Lampranthus survived and thrived, producing lovely yellow flowers.
Yesterday, I took in a pot of Freesia bulbs that flowered their socks off during the summer. I want to keep them over for next year. But look what I found in the pot. I wouldn't mind, but the Lampranthus was nowhere near the pot with the Freesias. So unless someone else can think of something else that it might be, I'll be happy to nurture this one in the garage over the winter for next year, and enjoy my Freesias for another year too.
07 November 2011 19:17:52
Taming The Shrew
Sorry, I meant the Robin. He has been following me around all week looking for titbits in the garden centre. I left him/her alone all summer so he could concentrate on rearing his young so I need to start taming him once more. But googling just now on the life expectancy of a robin or most birds, and it states that on average they live for 1.2 years. So, this is in fact probably a different one completely.
Anyway, today I brought in a bag of mixed seed to start the process of taming all over again. He came quite close to me, even though this is probably a completely different bird. Either way, he/they do a lot for my positive frame of mind in the cold, barren months that lie ahead of all of us.
HERE'S TO THE ROBIN!
07 November 2011 06:30:14
Ooooh the cars are covered in a thick, thick frost. So relieved we had two good days at the weekend that I spent planting things, and bringing stuff in. I have lost soooo many white agapanthus over the years as I never protected them at all. Brought this one into the greenhouse yesterday - just in the nick of time too. Now, let's see if it graces my garden for a second year.
06 November 2011 20:44:33
.......look like I'm going to get any seeds from my Ricinus. Hope Fran has plenty!
06 November 2011 18:42:42
Corydalis 'Berry Exciting' (thanks, Margaret??)
Got a few more things into the ground up on the bank of this new pond. I can't take any chances of losing any more stuff this winter. Last year I had been collecting plants for this area, and as the project hadn't even taken off the ground I lost them to the elements. My own fault, I know. However, The bank that I have planted these few bits into shouldn't get covered by any more soil (fingers crossed). Got Hosta's Saxifraga 'Lissadell' planted, Sempervivum arachnoideum, and a gorgeous Corydalis which I think Margaret (Hosta) also gave me. It's in flower right now even though it says March on the pot. If this was, in fact, from someone else, please accept my humblest apologies. The choice of plants for this area will hopefully be able to look after themselves.
Planted 2 lots of Bergenias into the Bog Bed Extension - 'Cordifolia' and 'Lunar Glow', and a small un-named Astilbe that I got really cheaply at the end of summer. I found my fleece in the garage and wrapped my Musa Basjoo up in anticipation. I couldn't afford to get into any serious gardening as I was 'on call' for helping with the cave. And it would only annoy me if I had to interrupt what I was doing.
06 November 2011 07:23:10
Yesterday I made a start on planting stuff I got in Ratoath last weekend. I dug up a big clump of Bergenia and planted Trifolium in its place. Really, it's a lovely, lovely plant. And I have been told it will self-seed but not overly. Not a problem here. It is most welcome. The plan for today is to continue shifting and planting, and hoping to make a serious dent in the 'plants in waiting' bundle before close of day. Very cold out there right now. There's frost on the grass and cars, but it's going to be another pet day.
05 November 2011 20:58:49
Passiflora 'Constance Elliott'
I have been 'minding' this one really well over the last few months. Myrtle mentioned that this white Passiflora was a bit tender. A couple of weeks ago I spotted the emergence of the first flower. Wahoo! It opened today in the bright sunlit garden. While I was cossetting my hardy banana, I also gave this one a mulch of lots of hay. Fingers crossed it will pull through the winter.
05 November 2011 20:12:16
The Project continues...
I was going keep this new project on low profile as I was getting a bit dubious about its success. But today, I got out into the garden, and Steve, shortly afterwards, followed my lead (hee hee, it works all the time). He applied a bit more fibreglass and resin to the cave, and the sun helped a bit in making it 'go off', but not enough. We erected a 'tent within a tent' and plugged in a heatgun for just one hour to give it a bit of extra heat as, at that stage in the day, it was getting cooler. Happy days, it seems to be working out, albeit very slowly.
05 November 2011 17:55:00
What would have made me really happy today would have been getting the grass cut. But sadly, it didn't happen. Apart from the fact that it is way too soggy, I got engrossed in planting up some bulbs around the New Project area. I can't be hanging around waiting for the area to be completed. Last year I lost lots of plants in the winter, as this project has been on the go all this time. So I planted in 2 very small Virginia Creepers that I bought earlier in Aldi at the dividing wall for a bit of 'now' colour. I also got Scillas, Chionodoxas, Iris reticulata 'Harmony', Iris danfordiae, and some lily-flowering tulips 'Ballerina' (orange) planted. I dug up some pulmonaria and planted it under the taxus bacatta, and planted my new Gerbera 'Sylvana' in its place. I finally planted 2 lovely sedums that were gifted to me by Hazel (yellow-flowering ones), and a lilac Campanula that SallySarah kindly gave me in August, and Narcissi 'Tete-a-tete'. It seems like it's going to be a blue/lilac/yellow theme. Not planned. It just happened!
After a cold start to the day, it turned out to be magical. I managed to protect my Musa Basjoo with lots of hay. I have 'lost' my fleece somewhere in the garage. A job for tomorrow. But happy its roots are now protected.I have decided to leave most of my dahlias in situ this winter to take their chances. But I did dig up Deborah's dahlias that I grew from seed for overwintering. They have formed lovely healthy tubers.
05 November 2011 07:26:29
Here we go again!
Great little plant, this Verbascum chiaxii 'alba', that I got from Chilipepper. It's sending up yet another flower spike. Dontcha just luv it!!!
05 November 2011 06:32:34
Nice contrast in the Bog Bed
My Bog Bed is home to too much stuff. I'm getting impatient for Steve to be progressing with the new pond so I can start shifting stuff out and around it. The Bog Bed is bursting at the seams - it has Darmera peltata, Arum pictum 'marmoratum', Primulas, Rogersia, Arisaemas, ferns and 3 acers and more..... Love the effect but the acers need a more sheltered spot. But in saying that, they have been in that place for 2 years now and the damage has mostly been caused by strong winds, not sun, (their leaves are a little bit crinkled from recent gales but still looking great) so........ maybe I should leave well enough alone and leave them there. But other stuff definitely needs moving. I don't know why I keep referring to this area as a Bog Bed. I think I just have a fancy notion of actually having
one - but in reality most of these are not really bog plants.
04 November 2011 22:02:13
The cheek of this Hosta 'Wogon' to be flowering at this time of year.
04 November 2011 21:09:43
More bulbs and Dichelostemma
I just gotta protect my tenders over the weekend. It's my last chance. I went out to the garage a few minutes ago and discovered a few more bulbs in the press above my 'gardening sink'. Thought I had planted all my bulbs last weekend. It seems I was wrong.
Bought some Dichelostemma 'ida-maia' today, not much info on Google. But will plant them up in pots tomorrow and leave in the garage by the window. So much tidying up in the garden to be done. Hopefully I will get the grass cut, but I'm not going to be too hopeful. It's still sooo wet out there.
04 November 2011 19:29:27
Today I felt sorry for this little Prunus Triloba. It's original price was €9.99. I reduced, reduced, reduced. Some of them sold, but I was afraid that this last one was going to get an inferiority complex. So I bought it for €1. They flower beautifully, but flowers are very short-lived. Maybe they last longer when planted out. We'll see.
I want to protect my cheapie Musa Basjoo for the winter now that it is planted into the greenhouse border. So today I bought a pack of pet bedding (hay) to cover the soil round where I have this planted. Then I will wrap in fleece. And us Dublin Jackeens don't have access to straw the way our country cousins might. Will this do the same trick as straw?
So here's the confession:
I DON'T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAY AND STRAW!
04 November 2011 05:57:12
I still have 3 gorgeous acers in full leaf down in the Bog Bed, two of which are scarlet.
But this one was all green two weeks ago. Look at it now. Desperately wracking my brain looking for a permanent home for this, since hearing that acers don't, in fact, need ericaceous compost - just a spot out of the sun.
03 November 2011 21:42:58
Hardy gerbera 'Sylvana'
I reduced our perennials today from 40% reduction to 50%. They are at a positive standstill. I picked up two nice hardy gerberas for €7.88 - a lovely pink one with white edges to the petals 'Pam', and a gorgeous white one 'Sylvana'. Hope to get them planted this weekend, weather permitting.
03 November 2011 20:52:15
I was giving out earlier about finishing at 5.00 today and the bad lighting outside at that time now that the clocks have gone back an hour. That's the latest I ever work till.
It would wreck my head totally if I worked indoors having to listen to those badly chosen CD's piped throughout the shop. The hour going back gave me the benefit today of listening to the kerfuffle of the birds roosting in the tree on the right. A customer came out shortly after it began and thought I had my own CD on outside. Another customer actually thought that there was an aviary near that tree. I have to say I consider myself to have the best job in the store, regardless of the weather. Could you listen to a sweeter sound? I don't think so!
03 November 2011 07:54:53
Don't start till 11.00 this morning, but don't finish till 5.00. It's a bummer at this time of year, don't know what the manager was playing at when he rostered me for those hours at this time of year. I mean, the lighting is so bad out in the garden centre now at 4.00 that today I will surely have to have a white stick with me so I don't bump into anything. :(
On the plus side, I have extra time here in the morning. And today it was worth it. Just spotted a bloody heron perched on the pergola eyeing up the koi. I did a bit of clearing out in the Upper Pond last weekend and forgot to put the netting back up. So todays hours, I suppose, are a blessing in disguise! "Be off with you, Hungry Heron".
OMG he must be really hungry. He has just landed right beside the Lower Pond as I type this. Maybe I should 'pull a sickie'!
03 November 2011 06:22:20
We all know how disastrous I am at keeping any kind of orchid - even the 'easy' ones. Liga called in here during the summer. During her visit she went upstairs very briefly and came back down with my Cymbidium in her hands. She said it needed watering, and gave it a good healthy dunk in the Lower Pond. Then she told me to leave it out. I was horrified at the thought, but did as I was told. I left it outside for about 6 weeks. Look at all the new growth on it now. Dead impressed with this.
02 November 2011 21:37:04
Is this the same as the Aster you have? (Laterifolius - for my own record!)
02 November 2011 20:47:41
They have a good selection of birdfeeders in Aldi now. I bought these two on Saturday. The one on the left is for nuts. The one on the right is for mixed seed, great for small birds - but this one is a bad design. You would need to fill this one up 5 times in one day as there is only room for a small amount of seed before it starts spilling out the holes.
02 November 2011 19:39:35
I spent the best part of Saturday afternoon raking up fallen leaves from my front garden and bagging them in a black refuse sack. Unfortunately I forgot to take them in- the bag was full. I do believe someone stole the bag. Now who would do such a thing!!!!
Luckily there are just as many leaves in the garden again. Will repeat the process and take care of my leafmould properly this weekend.
02 November 2011 18:31:29
'Pucker up, Hotlips'
Shortly after buying and planting out this Salvia 'Hotlips' during the summer, the red disappeared from most of its flowers. However since the weekend, the red seems to be returning. I wonder is this reappearance of the red down to lower temperatures. It has become disctinctly cooler over the last few days.
02 November 2011 06:07:45
Was dead-heading the two containers outside the front door in work yesterday and noticed a mass of mushrooms all over the compost. I immediately thought that the mushroom spores had been lurking in the compost I used, but dismissed that notion rather quickly as the same bag of compost was used for both containers. Mushrooms are only in the one container.
01 November 2011 22:01:55
Another beauty at Ratoath
John has this gorgeous acer planted beside a small pond at the entrance to the garden centre.
01 November 2011 20:45:47
Managed to pick up this hardy tropical plant (Phoenix robellini) for just a tenner today. They have been sitting here unsold all summer long, actually since April. I reduced the last three from €49.99 in the hope that they would shift. I reduced them by 20% ages ago, then 50% and two weeks ago, they were down by 70%. Not a budge on them. Who could refuse with a price of €10. All three sold today.
And its lethal spikes are just as lethal as 'canariensis'. Will leave it outdoors for as long as possible, only bringing it into the greenhouse if our winter is as bad as last year and the year before.
Has anybody any experience with this?
01 November 2011 19:32:29
Bergenia 'Lunar Glow'
I also bought this Bergenia in Ratoath yesterday. Lovely deep red to its leaves.