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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal January 2013

Last Post 1753 days 15 hours ago

God Bless my Greenhouse

31 January 2013 20:48:35
Arctotis still flowering

Arctotis still flowering

I don't know how I ever existed without my greenhouse. It has been a riot of colour throughout the whole winter, with pelargoniums and rhodochiton flowering, and it's great to keep on admiring the foliage of exotic, summer plants like cannas, hedychium and the like during the bleak months.

I have a couple of pots of Arctotis too, which are supposed to be tender. These have been flowering contnuously throughout the whole winter. 

If you can afford the space, get a greenhouse. You won't regret it. And buy the biggest one that you can afford, as you will ALWAYS be looking for more space.

It's not always about glamour

31 January 2013 19:24:15
Sorry about picture quality

Sorry about picture quality

Think about the kaleidescope of colours that present-day primroses are available in. Yes, they are all very beautiful, and do great things to cheer the winter gardener up during the transition period from winter to spring, and summer. And the more recent addition of all the Kennedy primroses (Irish bred) are all beautiful too.

But my very favourite has always been, and always will be, the common Primula vulgaris - the ones you find in country ditches and hedgerows.

 

I thought Ricinus were good!

30 January 2013 20:06:32
Pennisetum 'Purple Majesty'

Pennisetum 'Purple Majesty'

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly some seeds germinate, especially with the likes of Ricinus.

But Jeez, Louise......I only sowed these on Monday.

Last day of freedom

29 January 2013 19:48:17

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It seems like I have been off sick for ages. But it has only been just over a week. Haven't had very many opportunities to get out, on account of the hideous weather and injury. Seed-sowing, tending to houseplants have been the extent of my gardening, unfortunately. But I'm so glad I at least have made a start on the seeds. 

Had places to be this morning so when I got back, I took the bull by the horns before it started pelting. Started on the front, which has sadly been so neglected. Haven't done anything out there since about the end of Sept/Oct.  But then, it WAS a low-maintenance garden I wanted to create. Mission accomplished.

Cut back all the old flowers on my lovely white hydrangea. Lots of new, healthy shoots. Then I spent about two hours weeding the borders as all the daffs are well on the way. Also got a black bag full of fallen leaves. Did it all from a bending position, which wasn't a good idea. I should have taken the kneeler out with me. I was afraid to go back in for it just in case I got distracted with something else. I'm feeling it now. But luckily with my mid-week return, it's only three days to Saturday. Wahoo!

AND THEN IT WILL BE SPRING!  Boing! Boing! Boing!

This year I will make a positive attempt at replacing the delapidated fence between us and the neighbour. Might even get Steve to build a wall so the neighbours wild garlic stays in HIS garden.

 

Ahead of the posse

28 January 2013 20:56:56
Ahead of the posse

Ahead of the posse

I made a promise to myself to get some February sowing seeds done before Wednesday. So today I did just that. My working day is about to get longer, before the onslaught of impatient and demanding customers. So I probably won't have the energy to do much after work until I get back into my stride.

So far I've sown aquilegia, aster, asclepias, pennisetum, dahlia, delphinium, brugmansia and 4 lots of sweet pea. Happy camper! All in the propagator now. Better re-assemble the growing rack for potting on. 

 

"I'll huff and I'll puff......

28 January 2013 20:10:30
'I'll huff and I'll puff......

'I'll huff and I'll puff......

and I'll blow your house down".

It's seriously windy out there tonight. Hope I still have a glasshouse in the morning.

U 4 B A

28 January 2013 18:53:37
Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii 'Tasmanian Tiger'

Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii 'Tasmanian Tiger'

It's funny the way one can unconsciously develop a fad for certain plants. Recently I've noticed that some members here have developed a fad for sedums. I, myself, have ALWAYS been a bit smitten with sedums. You can never have enough.

But my latest fad seems to be Euphorbias (see above title).

I bought a really nice one in Johnstown yesterday and God bless my innocence (or stupidity), but I'm hoping to plant it tomorrow before I go back to work. 

Nearly tempted

27 January 2013 21:41:08
Gorgeous - isn't it?

Gorgeous - isn't it?

I saw the most exotic houseplant in Johnstown today. It was Medinella Belo. But sadly, priced at €18, I was racking my brains trying to think where I might put it. 

I PUT IT BACK!!!   :(

One step forward, two steps back

27 January 2013 19:20:55

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Looked out this morning after all that horrid, heavy, overnight rain, and realized that the top of the cave was about 2 ft lower, or maybe more. During the night, we had an almighty landslide. Steve didn't want me to post this journal as he thought lots of people would be thinking at the beginning of the project that his plan was NEVER going to work. 

However, this is MY journal.

The problem CAN be rectified by applying the last two layers of fibreglass, or maybe more, with the help of a supporting post underneath while the fibreglass is 'going off'. The early onset of bad weather put a sudden stop to work on this area during autumn.  But it's going to have to wait until the garden dries out quite a bit. But my main worry is that the shrubs I planted up at the back wall have now come slightly adrift. And it was impossible to get up there today to firm them in again. Hope they will be ok for a while.

I have every faith in Steve sorting out this minor problem. But it's all 'weather dependant'.

Johnstown - yet again!

27 January 2013 18:00:31
Living Stones for €2

Living Stones for €2

I've been there three times in as many weeks. The day before the Get-together to hang all my paintings, the following day, and today. No time to browse for plants on the first visit, as it took so long to get the paintings looking right. At the Get-together, we had my Dad with us, and he was anxious to be home asap, so I was very restricted.

But today marked the end of my exhibition. I told Steve if he got fed up waiting for me to pick out a few plants afterwards, that he could go home without me. :) Happy enough with the few plants I chose. And I didn't have to hitch a lift home. :)

Very cold, and blustery with torrential downpours, and snow most of the way home. 

A plant I am most happy with, though, is this lovely clump of Lithops (Living Stones) and ALL FOR JUST €2. What a bargain, as I can share some around.

Datura

27 January 2013 07:30:11
Datura or Brugmansia?

Datura or Brugmansia?

Got seeds of this in Lanzarote last year. Only now am I sowing the last of them. They are soaking for sowing later on today. So I'm actually wondering are they Datura, or Brugmansia (even though they are labelled as Datura)? Too lazy to Google. Whatever they are, I only hope I can do them justice.

Sedum

26 January 2013 23:00:11
Sedum behind primroses

Sedum behind primroses

Unfortunately I don't have a name for this lovely little sedum. But it's a great ground cover plant. If anyone wants any, I have lots.

Something in the air...

26 January 2013 20:26:51

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I made a conscious decision this afternoon to get something positive done so I finally got some tulips potted up and ready to go and some Fritillaria 'Uva Vulpis'. Had to do it in the dining room as by the time I was ready to do it, it started to rain. 

Went through a mountain of seeds I plan on sowing this year, and there is a serious amount. I could only hope to sow a quarter of them. But with the main sowing time being in March, I realized I can't wait - as usual. I am due to go back to work on Wednesday so I hope to sow Lychnis, Aquilegia, Malope, Aster, Amaranthus, Delphinium,  Brachycome, Pennisetum and a few more before I go back, if I have the space. Better root out the pasting table, and propagator.

I have decided to grow 4 different varieties of Sweet Pea, 'Brigid McAleer', 'Butterfly Kisses', 'Madame Butterfly' and 'Night and Day'. They are all soaking as we speak. So hopefully I haven't bitten off more than I can chew yet again!

I'm 'morto' now.

25 January 2013 21:12:50
Hands up!

Hands up!

Some kind ier gave me this little seedling two weeks ago. I'm getting itchy feet to get planting now that I am on the mend. So, whoever gave me this seedlng, please put your hand up. And then tell me what it is so I can plant it in the right place!!!!

And thank you so much.

Stir Crazy

25 January 2013 18:09:44
First drumstick primula to provide colour

First drumstick primula to provide colour

For once I'm doing what the Doctor ordered. But it's killing me to think I have been at home a whole week today and the sum total of my gardening has been tending to my houseplants. Today, during a dry spell I donned the wellies (yes, they are needed) and went out with my camera to see what is about to shine. Definitely not the sun!!! 

So looking forward to seeing this, the first of my drumstick primulas, in full flower. It still has a long way to go. But at least it is providing a bit of colour even at this early stage. What an evening. It's bucketting down right now.

Nice and Easy

23 January 2013 21:31:07
Rhipsalis pilocarpa

Rhipsalis pilocarpa

Fed up indoors already. And Steve is coughing and spluttering now. So, after he got his Lemsip brought up to him this morning, I opened up all the windows for a couple of hours to eradicate some 'man-flu' germs and stale winter air.

I spent a while watering all indoor plants and tidying them up. Luckily most of them are suspended from the ceiling, so it wasn't too difficult. Took a few cuttings of Rhipsals pilocarpa. If they take, I will take some more and hopefully will be able to give them away.

Potted up some Galanthus from Milliemouse in Johnstown. Not much, but it gave me a lot of satisfaction.

Timing is everything

22 January 2013 20:50:37

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Well, it looks like my injury has happened at a perfect time. I don't have to drive to work in lethal conditions - yay! - and the ground is too frozen to plant anything, so my present 'sick leave' will be just that! Time to take it easy, and plan for the summer garden.

The garden looked magical this morning. Just posting up a few snaps I took before I headed out to the hospital.

The light of my day

21 January 2013 21:37:47

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Nothing done outside, not that I would have been fit to do anything anyway. Seeing this helleborus open fully put the first smile on my face all day.

Bored witless!

20 January 2013 21:08:50

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Well, I can honestly say I did nothing outside for the whole weekend, apart from filling the bird feeders. Feeling the strain of some kind of ailment/injury and heading to the doc tomorrow. I have a funny feeling it may be due to lifting and pulling heavy weights in work. Only recently have we started getting in 50 litre bags of compost, but before that I was lifting 75litre bags, and bags of gravel which weighed 25 kilos. I'm beginnng to feel the effects now, and not getting any younger.

Ladies, listen to your bodies. Men and women are NOT equal. They have the braun, we have the brains. So let's hope I have the brains to STOP pretending I don't need any help in the garden centre.

Better late than never

19 January 2013 20:13:05
Rhododendron 'Christmas Cheer'

Rhododendron 'Christmas Cheer'

Another really deplorable day here. The rain didn't stop until about 4.30. So I ran out to capture this beauty before the weather turns as cold as tomorrow suggests.

Another one bites the dust

19 January 2013 19:40:50

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I hate cats (correction: I am wary of cats). But not my own. Holly is a great one for catching mice, and the dreaded rats. And only occasionally she injures birds, but usually sets them free when she is finished having 'fun' with them.

Today I spotted this Starling floating in the Lower Pond. When I fished it out, I realized that it had been there for a while. The stench that came off him was like that of a dead rat. I would say it was probably there since we were on holidays, and that Holly injured him and he fell in and drowned. Poor thing. But that's the Law of nature. 

Natural Pond

19 January 2013 14:57:33

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Well, I wouldn't even consider this to be a pond yet. At least, not until it is filled with water. And construction on the cave has not resumed yet ths year. It has only just stopped raining here in the last hour, and the pond water is almost at ground level already. Let's hope it recedes a bit, or we'll soon have a swamp in the garden.

Sleep time

18 January 2013 22:11:48
Still awake!

Still awake!

We have three ponds at the moment (the other one STILL under construction). One pond is for wildlife only. The other two are for fish. One is a raised pond. The one closer to the house is a sunken pond. Most fish have 'sleep time' during the winter months. But the ones in the Lower Pond are still VERY visible. Ths one is lower than ground level (obviously), so this acts as an insulator. Therefore the fish don't require hibernation time. But this is the first year that they are clearly visible on the surface of the water over winter. I even fed them today. It's weird.

"Rained Off"

18 January 2013 20:36:06
Dianthus 'Candy Floss'

Dianthus 'Candy Floss'

Good Lord, what a day. I spent the guts of the morning picking up plants, and large ornaments that had been blown over. I ended up closing the garden centre, as customer safety (and my own) was a priority.

I was allowed home early, surprisingly enough. Stuck the heating on as soon as I got in. But had a quick look around the garden for any damage, before settling in for the day. It was a joy to witness this dianthus flowering away to its' hearts content. It brightened up such a dreary day.

Dahlia

16 January 2013 21:27:23
EARLY or LATE?

EARLY or LATE?

I dug up this dahlia and placed it in a pot with MOST of the soil taken off. Someone here mentioned dahlias in the last couple of days, so I decided to check the garage for signs of growth on mine. Well, can you believe it! New leaves already growing, and a flower bud! It hasn't even been re-potted yet. That must be a record. So is it a LATE flower, or an EARLY one?

Me & my bayside garden

16 January 2013 20:46:01

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Did anyone happen to pick up a copy of Amateur Gardening dated 12th January? Our very own Dorothy (Periwinkle) features in a smashing 6 page article depicting the trials and tribulations of gardening in an exposed site overlooking Donegal Bay. As we all know here, Peri has ample space, and lots of expertise when it comes to planning and planting. The photos speak for themselves. An out-and-out Haven, which I really do hope to get to see this year. Congratulations, Peri. You should be very proud.

Ajuga

16 January 2013 19:09:22
Ajuga reptans 'Braunherz'

Ajuga reptans 'Braunherz'

We got a biggish delivery of Ajuga in a few months ago. A lot of them had small white blotches on the upper side of the leaves but I wasn't too concerned. I had thought that maybe their water supply contained chemicals/chlorine.

But as time goes on, the white blotches are becoming more prolific. Today I had to rub most of it off with a wet finger (a very long and tedious job). I don't think it's Botrytis as the plants themselves are very healthy looking. Possibly Downey Mildew?But they certainly wouldn't inspire anyone to buy them.

Crocosmia

15 January 2013 21:36:00

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Got a short while outside this morning as I was on a later shift in work than normal. I inspected all in the greenhouse. Botrytis affecting one or two plants, so they got chucked out in case of further problems. But couldn't believe the new growth on my Melianthus major that I dug up for over-wintering.

Also spotted lots of Crocosmia emerging.

Just the one.....

15 January 2013 21:16:06
Just the one.....

Just the one.....

tin of Quality Street, and it's a serious diet for me. I'm happily munching my way through this after a 'tough day at the office'.  Thanks, AitAlainn  (raffle prize).

No damage done!

14 January 2013 21:24:30
Columna arguta

Columna arguta

My Dad had been warned yesterday what to expect, and indeed he really had a terrific day. I was proud to be able to say that everyone who attended were 'my circle of friends'. He was astounded to see so many happy faces and bubbly personalities. Could you imagine what a few people might be like with maybe a few beers, or gin & tonics on them. Now THAT could be worth the wait. :)

Once the lunch was over, and raffle and Kriskindle, I could see Dad looking at his watch on a regular basis. So once we got to the carpark, I put him into the car with the radio and heater on. So sorry that we had to be one of the first to leave, but I knew he was getting a bit bored and anxious to be home.

I did have a very brief visit back inside to put some 'sold' stickers on some of my paintings (wahoo!) and buy a houseplant that I had seen and wanted on Saturday after we had 'set up'. I didn't get the opportunity to visit the great outdoors and do any damage to the credit card, although I would have enjoyed that even with all the lovely seeds/cuttings/plants that were bestowed upon me.

Short and Sweet

13 January 2013 18:51:55
Thanks for everything, Hazel. You can relax now. :)

Thanks for everything, Hazel. You can relax now. :)

I just want to say what a great bunch of people we all are. Lovely afternoon, and everything ran very smoothly with Hazel's organizational skills. A few other people involved with things like the KRIS KINDLE and raffle. 

And a big 'Thank you' to Johhnstown Garden Centre for creating such a grand space for what I think has been the largest of our get-togethers, and especially to Jim Clarke (Owner) who agreed to exhibit some of my paintings.

And my Dad says a big 'thank you' too.

So confused

12 January 2013 20:39:22
So confused

So confused

What with seeing a couple of bees in the garden centre the other day, I spotted a lone Ladybird in the garden this afternoon. Hope it's tucked up well for the night, and for the next couple of weeks.

A few new purchases

12 January 2013 17:49:35

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Guess where I was today!!!   

But don't worry. I left plenty of plants for you all tomorrow. :)

Any objections?

12 January 2013 15:36:34

Rudbeckia

11 January 2013 22:42:35
Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' today

Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' today

I have this planted in the raised gravel bed in work, in the MOST exposed part of the garden centre. Doing a good tidy up today and spotted one getting ready to flower, and it's only January.

Measly Offering

11 January 2013 20:34:46

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Off early every Friday and got a look around to see what I could donate for Sunday. I spotted a Thuja which I bought in Aldi, oh it must have been two years ago, sitting on top of another big pot. I was bringing it inside and literally had to tug and tug. It had taken root in the compost of the pot it was sitting on. It's a decent size, and in a 2 litre pot. I don't know what variety it is, but the brain has struggled to find a suitable place for it since I bought it. That's on offer for Sunday.

I also have 1 Salix caprea 'Kilmarnock' which I dug up a couple of years ago, and the same scenario with that. Also on offer.

Lastly, I have a Doronicum caucasicum 'Little Leo', and a small bergenia seedling.

I also have a Black & Decker Cultivator for Lady Gardener, and a couple of sedums I promised Bruno. 

And if anyone wishes to have a look at some of my paintings, they will be on exhibit adjacent to the dining area.

This morning

11 January 2013 19:15:49
This morning

This morning

Went outside the building in work this morning for a smoke, after having my breakfast. Nice sky.

BTW

09 January 2013 20:11:15
Tete-a-tetes to give away

Tete-a-tetes to give away

I may not have much to give away on Sunday. But today while outside, I was reminded that I have to find a planting place for all of these blinkin' 'tete-a-tetes' that I got as a great bargain last Spring. Realistically I don't have enough space for most of them so if anyone wants any, feel free.

I may also have small things that I got as bargains throughout the year. Will have a proper look on Friday and see what I can come up with.

And all for the sake of vanity!

09 January 2013 20:04:49

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Frosty but bright day today. Gone for two weeks - back two days - and the robin ate from my hand today. Wahoo! It gives me such an uplift. Saw two bees in the garden centre. I wonder do they realize that it will be cold for the next three weeks.

Got home early enough today to have a quick wander around the garden and was delighted to see my double Helleborus open. I really must find it its permanent home.

Just making a start on the name badges for Sunday and the air is blue (my favourite colour) with the expletives from me. My long nails are sticking together with the PVA Glue. Steve suggested that I cut them. "Cut them? No way! It took me so long to grow these that I refuse to cut them until after Sunday". It's not often people get to see me without grime under my nails and cut right down. 

Ok, half-way there. The rest can be done tomorrow.

Paperwhites

08 January 2013 18:52:53
Paperwhites

Paperwhites

This is my first year to grow N. 'Paperwhite'. I know they're a tender bulb, but my question is, will they flower year after year? I didn't get the best of them this year as they were just opening when we went away. 

What a smashing day it was for my first day back in work.

All is well

07 January 2013 19:52:57

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I was concerned with how well my Poinsettia would do in my absence.  So I devised an idea that would hopefully keep it alive while we were away. A basin of water with one end of a towel dipped into the water, with the Poinsettia on the other end on the draining board, and the towel acting like a wick, soaking up the water. However, with leaving my packing so late I totally forgot about doing this. But it looks like Poinsettias thrive on a bit of neglect.

The garden isn't looking too bad, and even though I think there was a lot of rain the grass hasn't grown too much. 

Delighted to see my Witch Hazels looking well too. And my Rhodo 'Christmas Cheer' isn't far from opening fully.

Oooh, it's good to be back.

 

 

Nearly home!

06 January 2013 16:32:16

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I didn't hold out too much hope of seeing different plants in Lanzarote this time round. But then, I normally go in either November or February. Was pleasantly surprised on our walks when we saw different things in flower. And it struck me how 'green' the landscape is at this time of year. It must be the 'rainy season' there now, although we only had a few misty spells on some evenings.

The holiday was the most relaxing I have every had, spending our time lolling by the pool, and eating out. The most taxing decision I had over the last two weeks was deciding where to eat. :)  

We're still Cork, so I'm dying to get a look out in the garden tomorrow. I don't think I am going to have any swaps for Johnstown next week. I won't have time to dig stuff up or divide. We'll see.

Here's a lovely plant that I hadn't seen in Lanzarote before. It looked so refreshing entwined around a post at a taxi rank. The flowers remind me of a Clivia, but not the foliage. Maybe someone can help?

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