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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal February 2012

Last Post 2088 days 9 hours ago

Curiosity

29 February 2012 21:08:30
Curiosity

Curiosity

Not a gardening journal, but it's still about produce. I did a Stir-Fry tonight and laughed when I was coring and chopping up the peppers. A tiny baby, in its entirity, inside Mammy Pepper. Isn't it amazing what Mother Nature throws at us.

My memory fails me

29 February 2012 06:19:17
Erythronium?

Erythronium?

I bought two different colours Erythronium last year. Can't remember where I planted them. I initially thought this little baby was a tete-a-tete.  But now I'm thinking Erythronium as there are no inner petals. And, it's way too early for it to be flowering. What do you think? I want to move it if it IS Erythronium.

Not so sure about this one

28 February 2012 20:32:48
T. Blumex

T. Blumex

During Tulipmania last year in Aldi I bought these unusual ones. Loved it last year as I thought it was so unusual. Now though, I expect tulips to be regal, and refined. This one doesn't exactly fit that description. It also opened today.

Silly me!

28 February 2012 20:20:08
T. 'Celesta'

T. 'Celesta'

I was stupid enough to think I'd be the first amongst to have an open tulip.  Silly me! However, I do think it was worth the wait.

Coprosma

28 February 2012 06:33:48
Coprosma 'Lemon and Lime'

Coprosma 'Lemon and Lime'

Have been tempted to buy this one for a while. Love its foliage colour. Has anyone else got this, and how easy and hardy is it? 

Somethin's rumblin'....

27 February 2012 22:12:32
You don't want to see tiny seedlings.

You don't want to see tiny seedlings.

Sowed 7 seeds of Rachel's Ricinus last Wednesday. 3 have just peeped up. Wahoo!

Well, I never!!!

27 February 2012 06:21:13
Nasturtium seedling in February

Nasturtium seedling in February

I know we've had an exceptionally mild winter and all our plants are growing fast and furious. But I was truly amazed yesterday to find a seedling of Nasturtium growing in one of my pots here.

Guess what???

26 February 2012 21:56:43
Tulip kaufmanniana 'Fashion'

Tulip kaufmanniana 'Fashion'

The pink tulips that started to open yesterday have completely changed colour today. They are more what I was hoping for. Still not orange, though. But certainly getting there!!!

Great day

26 February 2012 20:44:35
Cordyline australis 'Karo Kiri' potted up

Cordyline australis 'Karo Kiri' potted up

Took Steve's Mam and Dad to the Airport this morning, so I used that excuse for us to veer off the motorway, and visit a garden centre that I had never visited before. We went to Jones in Donabate, don't know why we never ventured there before but glad we did. It's a nice family run business that has recently been refurbished. I must say I was impressed with it. Everything is clean, clearly signed, tidy etc, etc. And of course customer service is second to none. I hadn't really gone with the intentions of buying, just looking. However.............

these are the things I bought;

Veronica 'Georgia Blue'

Leucothoe 'Curly Red' (hopefully this one will survive)

Cayenne pepper plugs

selection of Elatior Primulas

2 Crinum powelli

Cordyline australis 'Karo Kiri' (max height 1.2m) 

pack of Asiatic lilies 'Netty's Pride (maroon with white edges) and GORGEOUS

pack of lilies 'La Landini' (fully maroon)

Packs of seeds; Striped Caterpillars, Canary Creeper, Asclepias, and a pack of white sweet pea with maroon edges to grow up a wigwam combined with the maroon lilies. The sweet peas are called 'April in Paris'. How romantic does that sound.

I couldn't believe that they had all their plug plants in already and it's only February. It is getting earlier every year. Madness, I reckon, as most non-gardening people don't realize that they should be kept indoors until all risk of frost has gone. However.......

The first things that went into the ground were the primulas. Then I planted the Leucothoe 'Curly Red' with Pieris 'Little Heath' that I had bought a few weeks ago, and finished the planter off with a small heather. Planted up a Kalmia that I bought in Lidl a while back, watered everything in the greenhouse. Then I decided to turn the hose on everything in the garden, as we haven't had much rain recently. Of course, it's bucketting down now. Isn't that just typical.

Disappointed

26 February 2012 07:13:19
Tulip kaufmanniana 'Fashion'

Tulip kaufmanniana 'Fashion'

Way back...... I planted up a nice slate grey, square planter with a black Phormium 'Platt's Black', some beautifully scented thyme (as they all are), Violas, and underplanted with Tulip kaufmanniana 'Fashion' which are orange, just to give the whole look a warm glow. The tulips appeared yesterday, but I was expecting a zingier orange. Hmmmm! They look more like pink to me. Maybe when they open further....

Spirea

26 February 2012 06:47:22
Spirea 'Magic Carpet'

Spirea 'Magic Carpet'

Potted this one up yesterday. Now all he has to do is perform.

Time is ticking on, and we can't stop it.

25 February 2012 21:37:30
Time is ticking on, and we can't stop it.

Time is ticking on, and we can't stop it.

Sowed seeds of Ipomaea 'Crimson Rambler' on Wednesday and popped them in the propagator. This is what's looking at me this evening. Wahoo! There's no turning the clocks back now! Off the heat now, and waiting for a couple of weeks to be potted on. Yay, yay, yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Time flies.....

25 February 2012 20:59:40
Time flies.....

Time flies.....

Got the shopping done early and back early, just the way I like it. Had an early lunch and went up for a quick power nap. Then out to the garden. Such a glorious day. I spent most of my time just pottering about, removing weeds from the tops of pots, potted up a nice Spirea 'Magic Carpet' which is starting to 'glow'. Took the top 3 inches of old compost off my 5 acers and top-dressed them all. Did the same with my two magnolias. Now they're ready to do their thing. Cleared out lots of blanket weed from 2 of the ponds. Then after discovering Elizabeth's waterlilies in the compost bag, I potted them up and placed them in the Greenhouse pond.

When in Aldi this morning I bought a four-pack of Muscari and planted them up onto the Primrose Bank. Looking well with the few other blue flowers, like primroses and irises. Filled up the bird feeders. Cut back some more stuff, and did a general tidy up, sweeping up spilt compost and leaves. The place is looking way more respectable and my conscience is now eased as I hadn't managed to do a whole in the last week while being off from work sick. Still lots more to be done, but I have to wait for Steve to get his arse in motion on the cave. Happy with what I managed to do today. 

So, are these Alliums?

25 February 2012 19:28:45
So, are these Alliums?

So, are these Alliums?

I have been watching the progress on these all week. The speed of growth is amazing. Never had them before so learning all the time. Are these alliums? Hope so!

OMG Elizabeth, I'm sorry!

25 February 2012 17:44:03
New shoots on waterlily

New shoots on waterlily

Ah, I was in my element in the garden this afternoon. I haven't been able to get much done all week as I haven't been well. Looks like I'm back in top form again, Thank God! Was potting up a lovely Spirea I got last year and needed more compost. I had two already-opened bags so I decided to use them and bin the bags.

Sweet Jesus, what was that in the end of one of the compost bags? It took me a while to figure it out. Elizabeth, it just dawned on me that they were clumps of waterlilies that you gave me at our Christmas Get-together. Talk about neglect!!!

I suppose being in the compost bag helped to retain a certain amount of moisture, and inside of the compost bag being black kept them in the dark. There are a  couple of visible buds so all is not lost. I managed to take off any dead growth, and split them up into three good-sized baskets for the Greenhouse Pond. All done now, so fingers crossed I wasn't too late!

Datura

25 February 2012 08:20:48
Datura

Datura

Gonna sow seeds of Datura arborea (Solonaceae) today. Any tips?

This is the reason....

24 February 2012 21:52:14
This is the reason....

This is the reason....

that I uprooted my Salix. This lovely acer was bought last year. It is just coming into leaf now and it definitely needed that other pot. 

This needs a home!

24 February 2012 20:47:13
Salix caprea 'Kilmarnock' goin' a beggin'

Salix caprea 'Kilmarnock' goin' a beggin'

This has been stuck in a pot for years. I never really got to plant it in a permanent home. And I have so many pots in my garden that this has become a thorn in my side looking for a suitable place for it, even while in its pot.

I don't want it anymore. Today I uprooted it from its pot, so I could plant an acer that I bought last year into it. So who wants it? Or does it go 'over the wall' ? 

ZZZZZZZZ! Wake me up when summer is here!

24 February 2012 18:23:14
ZZZZZZZZ! Wake me up when summer is here!

ZZZZZZZZ! Wake me up when summer is here!

Caught this little fella having his winter nap amongst primulas while dead-heading today.

A case of hidden identity

24 February 2012 16:22:32
A case of hidden identity

A case of hidden identity

I have been soooooo good with labelling things in the last year. Planted these 'thingys' a few months ago and of course the labels magically 'disappeared'. Last week I was beginning to think they were tulips. But I had decided I had enough tulips last year and didn't buy any new ones. So I'm now completely stymied as to their identity. Pleeeeeeeeezzze help!

Hippeastrum

24 February 2012 13:04:52
Hippeastrum

Hippeastrum

Well, I honestly thought this one would NEVER flower. A bit disappointing though that there are only 3 flowers. But boy, what a colour!

Delphinium

24 February 2012 08:25:24
Delphinium elatum 'Dark Blue with White Bee'

Delphinium elatum 'Dark Blue with White Bee'

I was always very wary of growing Delphiniums as they are reknowned for being massacred by slugs. But last summer while holidaying in the West, we visited a very small garden centre called Little Moon, right beside AitAlainn. Not much on offer there as it was late in the season.

But I was persuaded by the owner (a Dublin man) to try this one. I did so. Still in its pot but yesterday during my brief visit to the garden I noticed lots of healthy growth. And I do remember seeing on this site that slugs and snails don't really bother Delphiniums as they get older. I hope this will be the case here as I love tall, narrow plants - and of course it's flowers are blue and white!

Posting this photo

23 February 2012 23:04:30
Posting this photo

Posting this photo

because it cheers me up!

Guess what I saw today!

23 February 2012 21:14:58
Guess what I saw today!

Guess what I saw today!

And I don't need my glasses to make out this photo. This huge frog was in my trug half-full of rainwater. I think this is the frog I got from a customer the summer before last, whom I named Joe. He couldn't possibly be from the frogspawn that I got from Hosta? Or could he?

Urban Plant Life

23 February 2012 19:31:38
Urban Plant Life

Urban Plant Life

After a bit of personal business in Smithfield this morning, I decided to go and have a look at a garden centre I discovered on Facebook. Wasn't in walking shoes, so I was nearly 'disabled' by the time I found my destination.

A lovely garden centre nestled in the heart of the Liberties, with grounds steeped in history. Pity they didn't have pamphlets for me to take away as I have forgotten most of what the owner was telling me about its past. This place is very different to what we encounter in most garden centres. No multiple shelving filled to capacity with bedding plants. Things merchandised almost haphazardly, but attractively. The owners have a laid back approach to selling and displaying.

They have a new cactus house (small but with good varieties). They even had one of those massive Euphorbias you see in the likes of Lanzarote for over €100. Calamondins were expensive at €49, but they were a good size. They also had a massive indoor area. At the back of it they have lots of Plants-in-need that originally had been supplied to offices. These came back for rehabilitation, and to be sold off cheaply whenever the opportunity arose. I had to hightail it out of there as I was melting with the heat!

Nothing stood out for me to buy, apart from a pack of Darwin Tulips 'Apeldoorn's Elite' which I got for €1 and a pack of Nemophila seeds, with gorgeous white flowers with blue blotches, but then I knew it was going to be either a taxi or a bus home. WIll wait for another day. So glad I made the effort.  I'll post up an album of same name.

Handle with care!

22 February 2012 20:28:00
Still waiting for tulip to open

Still waiting for tulip to open

Feeling a lot better today, thank God. But it was a bit miserable out there so I chose to tend to my indoor plants by soaking them in the kitchen sink and cleaning all their leaves down. Dracaenas are a bitch to do this with as the leaves are so fragile and narrow. But it looks well after the attention. I also bought a Beaucarnia in Ikea about two years ago that has gone totally haywire. Growth has become very brown too so I took off lots of that, gave it a good soak, and have decided that it now needs a much bigger pot. But that's a job for tomorrow. Actually, I took off so much dead bits that I'm wondering if it's worth the bother of a new pot. Will wait and see.

 Potted up some nice extra large double Freesias, and Ixias, and sowed some seeds of Ipomoea 'Crimson Rambler', and Clematis pinwheel 'Tangutica' which is a new one for me with lovely yellow flowers.

But la creme de la creme was getting seeds in the post of Ricinus from Tenerife. So armed with gloves, I cracked open the shells and sowed the seeds so I'm hoping germination rate is as speedy as the ones I did last year. If I remember rightly they germinated within two days. Thanks a million, Rachel.

The things I do........

22 February 2012 08:49:05
The things I do........

The things I do........

Good God, it's going to be really difficult. But I have made a conscious decision to forego all my little sweet treats for Lent. I'll have more money in my pocket for all the essentials in the garden - like plants!  Here's to success!

Rescued plant

22 February 2012 07:53:53
Rescued plant

Rescued plant

I was on a guided tour of a big East Coast garden last year. During the tour, I spotted this little hemerocallis jutting out from a crack in the steps. I prised it out very gently while the Tour Guide was preoccupied, and popped it into my bag. This is it today. I'm looking forward to seeing which one it is.  :)

Doctors and onions

21 February 2012 20:32:53
Doctors and onions

Doctors and onions

Well, this morning I was feeling bad enough to warrant a visit to my Doctor. Was told to go home and mind myself - bad respiratory infection. Took meds and had a doughnut. Now what! Little David was wired to the moon, and I had to respond to his divilish antics, God bless his cotton socks.

But this afternoon I couldn't stick indoors any more. Went out and planted more stuff into Primrose Bank on the new pond - primroses and a nice aquilegia that someone gave me at a get-together 'Fruit and Nut Chocolate'. Did a bit of dead-heading there too. And cut back lots of stuff in the shady border. Finally got to plant my onion sets into three big window boxes for convenience. Finished off my few jobs by watering everything in the greenhouse and leaving the door open for the afternoon. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit more productive. 

The Early Bird

21 February 2012 07:42:49
The Early Bird

The Early Bird

Well, it looks like my 'friendly' heron is on the prowl for breakfast earlier than normal. Good job I'm going to be here all day to keep an eye on the fish!

Lacking energy

20 February 2012 10:03:02
Crocus 'Ard Schenk'

Crocus 'Ard Schenk'

Have been feeling rather poorly with a head cold since yesterday so didn't get anything done in the garden. I did go in to work this morning but am now home. Can't get the heat into me. I have been lucky enough with my health in the last twelve months but today I just couldn't face being stuck outdoors with that wind howling around. Need a bit of pampering, so I think it's time for a Lemsip, and few gardening books.

So close.

19 February 2012 06:52:53
So close.

So close.

This tulip is nearly open. Just a little bit more sunshine. 

Indoor plants

18 February 2012 21:09:09
Sanseveria cylindrica

Sanseveria cylindrica

What makes a person decide not to have plants indoors? I personally don't understand it. I won't tell you how many I have. Ok, some of you are overwintering lots of tenders indoors right now. But with all my indoor plants, I just don't have the space for that. My tender plants are either in the cold greenhouse or the garage. But here is one indoor plant guaranteed not to take up too much space, AND it's low-maintenance too.

Through the front window

18 February 2012 20:18:10
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold Promise'

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold Promise'

Lovely to be looking out on this little baby witch hazel in the front garden today, while toasting my tootsies at a big open fire.

Feelin' like a wuss!

18 February 2012 18:57:28
Primroses in baskets

Primroses in baskets

Didn't do a whole lot today as I am a bit choked up with a headcold - the first in a long, long time. All I did outside was fill up the bird feeders, take a few photos, and made up two hanging baskets for the front. The last time I had baskets in the front, they were stolen 3 days later (they must have been REALLY good. LOL). So, if that happens this time round, never again.

 

Dichelostemma

17 February 2012 21:40:37
Dichelostemma 'Ida-Maia'

Dichelostemma 'Ida-Maia'

Planted these in Autumn and kept them in the cool garage. So they haven't been subjected to frost of any kind. I have to keep turning them as they are growing towards the light. But this evening I noticed that some of the leaves are flopping over - almost like narcissus foliage dying back, but the leaves are still a healthy green. Is there something I'm doing wrong? Is it too cold in the garage?  They are being watered moderately. First time for growing these so I would appreciate all advice.

"Here's Gran"!

16 February 2012 19:21:30
'Here's Gran'!

'Here's Gran'!

Wee Davey greets me with his biggest smile every day when I get home from work. Ah, it warms the cockles of your heart!

Seeds

16 February 2012 18:39:49
Dierama (pink)

Dierama (pink)

Just rooting through all my seeds this evening seeing what  I can sow now. Some of them are old packets, but I'll give them a try anyway. Was just about to sow my own Dierama (pink) seeds just now and I was going to ask should they be soaked overnight, as they seemed to be quite hardy and 'nutty' looking. But just happened to prise open one of them, and realized that the actual seeds were inside what I thought was the seed. 

So they are now sown. Never did these before from seed so I'm wondering should they be sown on the surface, or below? All advice welcome. I'd love them to germinate. I don't know, but I always feel more satisfied when my own seed germinate as opposed to bought seed.  

Blue flowers

15 February 2012 19:40:20
Mecanopsis grandis 'Lingholm'

Mecanopsis grandis 'Lingholm'

Last year I was on a mission to acquire lots of different blue-flowering plants for the garden, given that blue is my fave colour. I bought this one late in the year.

This afternoon I spent a bit of time tidying up individual potted plants on the outdoor bench. And discovered this one. I had actually forgotten I had it. Pulled away the bits of dead foliage and was really ecstatic to find lots of healthy growth. Now, I really MUST find it a proper home this year, actually maybe this weekend. I think the new foliage looks really scary, and hairy, and very fascinating.

Looking good - still

14 February 2012 20:35:06
Sempervivum 'Bronco'

Sempervivum 'Bronco'

No protection needed. And still looking good, even over the last two harsh winters.

All that trouble.......

14 February 2012 19:06:48
Roots formed and flowering within two weeks

Roots formed and flowering within two weeks

How many of you who had Hyacinths flowering indoors this year bought the prepared ones? Why? I always buy just the ordinary garden ones and plonk them on vases of water. I always have success with them. Ok, they may be a bit later than the prepared ones, but beautiful all the same. Two weeks ago, I found another pack of them out in the garage. No visible roots but they were planted on the vases and already they have started to flower. I find that quite amazing. Two weeks - that's all they took to look and smell as beautiful as they do now.

I like this one

13 February 2012 20:50:20
Pulmonaria 'Pink Haze'

Pulmonaria 'Pink Haze'

I have only recently (in the last year) come to appreciate the beauty of Pulmonarias. This one is starting to open.

Cama, Cama, Cama, Cama, Camellia

13 February 2012 19:09:23
Camellia japonica 'Debbie'

Camellia japonica 'Debbie'

Here's another one of mine that has opened today.

Can you smell it?

12 February 2012 22:02:33
Sarcococca

Sarcococca

I used any excuse today to pass by this one, just to get the gorgeous scent.

Grass

12 February 2012 20:43:45
Mushrooms under Norway Spruce

Mushrooms under Norway Spruce

Well, I found the waders buried under my garden tools in the garage. So I struck while the iron was hot. If I had hesitated for one more minute I would have put it off for next weekend, or the weekend after. Got into the pond and cut back the dead growth of Atropa belladonna, and while I was in there I also cut back the fuchsias. Not sure if they are hardy ones, they were used as my summer island colour around the Deadly Nightshade. So if they come back, they come back. If not, I'll buy more.

Sick of the grass being sodden. And I'm waiting for a lot of dry weather before I can cut it. But it's just getting longer and longer. The mower would have difficulty getting through it as it hasn't been cut since September. So I decided to strim most of it with the strimmer. The edges around two of the ponds, and the Alpine Circle now look like there might actually be a garden there somewhere instead of a grassy swamp.

And I'm sick of squelching through a mucky hill to have a daily look at my mini-bog bed with my Hellebores. So I dug out a decent sized pathway and piled the soil up even further on the mound. At least now the muck won't be engrained in the grooves of my boots. Noticed some drumstick primulas coming up. Oooh, I love them.

I uncovered lots of pots of bulbs under the trees at the back of the garden, so I decided they would benefit greatly from a bit of daylight to help them along their way. And I spotted a couple of mushrooms under the Norway Spruce. The colour reminded me of mice (shudder!!!). But they were cute.  

Deadly Nightshade

12 February 2012 09:07:13
Atropa Belladonna

Atropa Belladonna

Just in from the garden and noticed lots of fresh growth on my Atropa belladonna (Deadly Nightshade). I'm wondering if it's a bit early still to cut back last years dead growth? It's planted in the centre of the Greenhouse Pond so I hope I can find my waders.  Brrrr!!

Ground Cover

11 February 2012 21:04:23
Pachysandra variegata

Pachysandra variegata

I planted Pachysandra variegata into a raised bed in work last year, as I wanted to see how it performed as  ground cover. Didn't think much of its spreadability, but loved the variegated foliage. Today, I took the opportunity to stop and stare. Couldn't believe that the new growth has appeared about 2 ft from the parent plant. You can see the new growth in the foreground just in front of the cyclamen. Looking ideal for the new pond area. 

AND IF THIS JOURNAL DISAPPEARS, I'LL EAT MY HAT!!! 

He's watching the calendar!

11 February 2012 20:27:23
He's watching the calendar!

He's watching the calendar!

Came home from work today and my growing rack had been re-assembled. I guess Steve is trying to give me a hint. But it's not March yet!!!!

New Camellia

11 February 2012 19:49:22
Camellia japonica 'Saturnia'

Camellia japonica 'Saturnia'

Was in work today. It's dangerous to let me out. My wages goes straight back into the company. Bought another lovely Camellia. I like its' strong Barbie pink.

Leucothoe

11 February 2012 06:41:35
Leucothoe Keiskei 'Royal Ruby'

Leucothoe Keiskei 'Royal Ruby'

Leucothoes are mostly evergreen, with nicely-coloured foliage. But this one has very attractive stems. Waiting to be potted up if that blinkin' rain would ever stop.

I really like this Hellebore

10 February 2012 20:13:00
Helleborus argutifolius opens today

Helleborus argutifolius opens today

The garden is sooo mucky today, and I had to traipse over the mud hill that is the spoil of the new pond. Once the cave is done, the soil can be relocated over it for further planting. In the meantime, I have to trundle through wet, soppy muck to get a glimpse of my mini bog bed, where my Hellebores are. This one opened today, it is one of my favourite Hellebores.

Apologies about the photo quality. 

A second chance

10 February 2012 19:48:45
A second chance

A second chance

I was raging the other day when someone commented on How To Grow A Planet. If only I had known beforehand. However, tonight there is a second chance to see this. And it's for a whole hour - and Steve is heading out. TV to myself.

:)     BBC2 9.00pm

It does your heart good

10 February 2012 07:12:01
It does your heart good

It does your heart good

I spotted 4 bees out in the garden centre yesterday, flitting from flower to flower drinking in all the pollen.

F.A.O. Moya and anyone interested

09 February 2012 19:41:30
Skimmia 'Magic Marlot' and Loropetalum

Skimmia 'Magic Marlot' and Loropetalum

Here is the photo of my Skimmia 'Magic Marlot' in a pot. As you can see my specimen is not half as good as Periwinkle's. I think she has a much bigger one, but I can wait. This is planted with Loropetalum (purple leaf) which has a very delicate looking bright pink flower, and a Heather, and underplanted with crocuses, which will be out shortly.

Do I need to be concerned?

09 February 2012 15:50:16
My dark hellebore (which I love)

My dark hellebore (which I love)

Home early today but it's lashing out, so I've just lit the fire and kicked off the boots.

Turned on computer and was met by a friend request from a Jasca. Clicked into messages, and nothing there. Clicked on to view his/her profile, and it logged me out. Just a word of warning in case it's another hoax !!!

Final resting place!

09 February 2012 06:27:08
Final resting place!

Final resting place!

I dug up these daffs last year as they were in the wrong spot. Couldn't find a suitable home for them so just plonked them into a plastic bag until a space became free somewhere. Forgot about them all winter. Hopefully they will be planted in the front garden at the weekend so they can reward me with the beauty that they were bought for in the beginning. It's amazing they way they'll still 'do their thing' in such an odd place!

"Oyez, oyez"!

08 February 2012 18:47:53
'Oyez, oyez'!

'Oyez, oyez'!

Book your place on the couch tonight. Sarah Raven is sowing perennial wildflower borders.....etc in 'Bees, Butterflies and Blooms' on BBC2 at 8.00. A full hour. Enjoy!

Another early tulip

08 February 2012 06:48:05
Another early tulip

Another early tulip

Don't remember this tiny tulip from last year, but it's close to opening. I guess I won't know which one it is until that happens, which should be any day now.

Luvin' this!

07 February 2012 20:01:09
Sorbaria sorbifolia 'Sem'

Sorbaria sorbifolia 'Sem'

This is a small shrub I picked up in the job two years ago for just €2, I think it was reduced from €12.99. It's in a pot at the moment, but the foliage is definitely worthy of a permanent home in the border. Last year the first lot of foliage only appeared at the end of March. I love it.

Nice surprise

07 February 2012 06:15:33
The more the merrier.

The more the merrier.

I bought some new snowdrops at Altamont on Saturday. Couldn't figure out why my old ones never appeared in the garden, except for a small clump bought in B&Q last year. Yesterday it was still daylight when I got home from work and was chuffed to bits to find that there are two clumps coming up in places I had forgotten I planted them in. One clump is practically hidden by my small Cortaderia (Pampas Grass). ANother over the far side of the Upper Pond. 

New Bird

06 February 2012 22:11:29
Blackcap

Blackcap

This bird graced my garden last winter for the first time ever. This year I noticed he has a partner. Wahoo! All good. I must be doing SOMETHING right with the feeders. Extremely difficult to get a decent photo of him as he doesn't sit still long enough.

Camellias

06 February 2012 21:20:33
Double Red

Double Red

I dunno about you, but I really don't mind dead-heading my camellia flowers that have gone over. I mean, we dead-head summer bedding, don't we? ANd that season goes on a lot longer than the life of  camellia flowers. But maybe it's different for me as most of mine are quite small and live in pots. And someone mentioned that white camellias die in the most horrible way - very ungainly. But that's not the case with my white one 'Wisley White'. Not sure if it's a japonica or williamsonii. Either way, IT is my favourite white. Here's one that's about to open - Double Red

Peanuts!!!

06 February 2012 06:07:53
Peanuts!!!

Peanuts!!!

Bruno very kindly gave me this Melianthus major. It has been in the greenhouse since. Yesterday I watered everything in there and took a closer look at all inside Whenever I'm in there, I am immediately drawn to the Melianthus. I love it. Trying to decide now where I'm going to plant it once the weather improves. But I decided I'd let it have a short stint as a houseplant until then, as I'd go mad if I let it dry out and it died. But did anyone ever get a very pungent scent of Peanut Butter from it, and how come I never got this gorgeous scent before? I love it. Now I have peanut butter on my shopping list for today. Haven't had it in years!

A bit of planting and keeping clean

05 February 2012 19:17:04
Scilla siberica

Scilla siberica

There's nothing worse than waiting for someone to arrive, and realizing that you could be gardening during the wait. Dad was late home from his Band Rehearsal this afternoon and I was thinking of cancelling our dinner arrangement. Such a waste of time. However, the few new plants that I bought yesterday were all for the pond bank so I was able to step down into the recess of mud for this yet-to-be-finished pond and just reach across the soil to plant. Happy that I got most of it done, and managed to stay fairly clean in the process. The bank is filling up rapidly!!!

So, which way is up?

05 February 2012 12:21:02
So, which way is up?

So, which way is up?

Can't get too dirty today as I have to take Dad out to dinner. But I'm inside trying to plant up a few perennials in the garage. This big tuber is of Incarvillea. It won't fit into a 2 litre pot. Do I plant it on its side, or upright? I have a plant already in the garden, but it was bought in the pot so I'm not sure.

Altamont - at last!

04 February 2012 19:34:10
Favourite area

Favourite area

I was sooo jealous of all of you last year when ye took the trip to Altamont. If I remember rightly, it was during the summer and I was working that weekend. So I was delighted that Steve agreed to drive Liga and I all the way down. Steve got up this morning feeling a dose coming on, but downed a Lemsip and got on with it. It was a long drive down, but soooooo worth it. It rained all the way down, but then had the manners to stop during our walk around. I was gob-smacked with the woodland wonderland. Not only with the snow-drops, but winter aconites, arums, leucojums, and the trees.....wow, a sight to behold. Rachel was there guiding us through with a running commentary on how it looks during the summer also. Liga was behind, fiddling with something. And I turned swiftly when she expleted 'Jaysus' in her best Dublin accent. So funny, but not if it had been me! She had mistakenly left her memory card in her computer. I was feeling just as foolish a few minutes later when my battery died. But, ha ha, luckily I had also taken a spare camera.

 After the lovely walk around, we headed to my favourite part - the sales area. I spent very modestly. And will enjoy seeing the few bits flourish in my garden. 

We then drove to Bunclody for a lovely tasty lunch. And Rachel's garden is looking just as lovely in winter as it does in summer. 'Thank you' Rachel and Norman, for your lovely hospitality. 'Thank you' Liga, for the chat and laughter on the way down, and finally a big 'Thank you' to Steve who is now gone to work in Arklow. Tough day for him, and not a word of complaint.

Toolip Too Early!

04 February 2012 07:33:29
Toolip Too Early!

Toolip Too Early!

This one is getting ready to appear already.

First Helleborus

04 February 2012 05:40:28
First Helleborus

First Helleborus

Friday is one of my days for visiting Dad after work. Yesterday evening I bade him farewell that little bit earlier than normal so I could catch the last bit of daylight in the garden. Good stretch both morning and evening now. Glad I did too as I spotted my first Helleborus to open.

Dawn

03 February 2012 21:27:10
Dawn

Dawn

I was NEVER one for lying on in the morning, or even putting my alarm on 'snooze'. I'd much rather be up with the lark. Heading off to work this morning and I couldn't resist this photo of dawn - excuse the electric wires. I'm not as lucky as some having the ocean as part of the panorama.

Need cheering up a bit AGAIN!

03 February 2012 20:45:17
Primula vulgaris 'Marie Croisse'

Primula vulgaris 'Marie Croisse'

Oooh what a cold and brisk day. Good job I was wearing my thermals under my work trousers! All the plants were frozen solid when I got in and the frost formed some lovely patterns on the foliage - I will put up a few photos. By the afternoon, most of them had thawed out. As there has been no rain all week, and they have been neglected by me during our stocktake, I had to water everything before finishing up. 

A small delivery came in and I was in need of 'cheering up' again! So I bought a lovely Primula vulgaris 'Marie Croisse', and dry packs of Incarvillea 'Chinese Trumpet Pink', Incarvillea 'Snow White', Freesia, Ixia and Papaver 'Picotee'. Also bought some Saxifraga 'Peter Pan', and seed potatoes 'Home Guard'.  

Hyacinths

03 February 2012 06:48:48
Hyacinths

Hyacinths

Some of you reported that when you planted your Hyacinths outdoors, they failed. I have only started to do this in the last two years. Ok, the flowers are usually smaller than when they were growing indoors. But they still do ok in my garden. And I have put most of them out the front, as nobody really goes out the back except myself, in the winter. So the scent that visitors get is gorgeous. Here is one of a few coming up now.

Supper time

02 February 2012 21:12:04
Supper time

Supper time

And my reward for all that hard work is a big chunk of home-made apple tart with whipped cream.

Windows of the world

02 February 2012 20:27:03
Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic

Day off today. But it looked like there would be very limited gardening done as the ground was frozen solid. Moped about the place all morning drinking coffee and on the computer. Decided to do a bit of Spring-cleaning, and started off by opening all the windows in the house to allow the winter stagnant air to escape into the great outdoors. Spent at least an hour cleaning my bedroom. Then cleaned all the front windows. While doing the downstairs ones, suddenly I was aware that I had a garden out there that needed looking after. The sun was out and it was enough to make me finish the windows pretty quickly.

Late last year I started the make-over of the front garden on a very small scale by just cutting out a triangle in the lawn and planting my 3 witch hazels, rhododendron, choisya and lots of bulbs. That small area had become pretty grotty over the winter with weeds growing through what I had planted. Daffs are just starting to open now so the weeds are not welcome.  Cleaned up all the litter that had been blown in too - quite a lot. Then tackled all the wild garlic that is growing in my garden around the perimeter, thanks to my friendly neighbour who thinks that they are lovely flowers. I dug up most of it. But I found lots of tiny ones growing in the small triangle too. I found that if you just tease the soil around where they are growing, you can just gently pull them up with the bulb still intact. I think this is going to be with me a long time. I will just have to be persistent. 

Head to Head

02 February 2012 14:47:33
Narcissus 'Tete-a-tete'

Narcissus 'Tete-a-tete'

Have been soooo jealous (no, envious) of everyone who has some daffs out already. However, just in from the garden and nobody to share my excitement. Well, would they if they were even here! I don't think so. My first narcissus 'Tete-a-tete' has opened. Wahoo!!

Brain-dead

01 February 2012 21:27:48
Primula 'Quaker's Bonnet'

Primula 'Quaker's Bonnet'

Not used to being confined to 'indoors' at work. The last 36 hours have been very traumatic for me with constant counting and checking. But rather than pay overtime, they have opted to give us time off instead. All good for me.

Tomorrow I won't be setting my alarm. Hopefully my body-clock won't have me awake at 5.00am as is usual. Either way I intend making the most of my time off tomorrow. 

Pennisetum

01 February 2012 06:54:24
7 out of 8 aint bad! (Pennisetum 'Purple Majesty')

7 out of 8 aint bad! (Pennisetum 'Purple Majesty')

When I was buying these Pennisetum seeds I was warned that the germination rate wasn't great. However, I went ahead and bought them. They will look great in the greenhouse border for the summer. Sowed the seed on Sunday and popped them into the propagator. Well, 'lo and behold, 7 out of 8 have germinated!!!

The only problem is...... they are in a seed tray that also contains Aquilegia seeds, which have yet to germinate. So do I pot the pennisetum on gently and remove them from the heat, or leave them there to 'cook' ???? 

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