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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal March 2013

Last Post 1694 days 9 hours ago

Photinia

31 March 2013 21:55:49
Photinia 'Red Robin'

Photinia 'Red Robin'

Photo of Photinia 'Red Robin' today, in all its splendour. It is recommended that it should be cut back at the end of March, to encourage more red growth. But I reckon I'll give it a while more. It's looking gorgeous today with the sun shining on it.

Koi

31 March 2013 21:08:00

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This fella is about 12 inches long, and I'm guessing he's about 1lb and a half, possibly more. Now you understand why I'm so obsessed about the local Heron catching him for breakfast.

Roll on summer

31 March 2013 20:19:21

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Isn't it great that we can go as far as 8.00pm before putting the lights on. It can only get better, and brighter, and warmer, and drier. 

Nice sunset this evening too.

My Easter Eggs

31 March 2013 16:11:08
Poached Eggs in Red Wine Sauce. Delishhhh!!!

Poached Eggs in Red Wine Sauce. Delishhhh!!!

I have lots of red wine here, Christmas pressies from my kind next-door-neighbour over the years. I HATE red wine, with a passion. Ha, bit of a contradiction there. But I was very reluctant to chuck them. So, this morning I put one of them to good use, and decided to cook with it. Yes, I do cook occasionally. :)

Bruno gave me the link for this gorgeous recipe, so I set about making it for lunch. Delicious! Now, it has given me the incentive to use up the rest in cooking. I won't be throwing it all in the bin after all.

Born again

30 March 2013 22:05:17

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Well, ok, I only spent about 2 and a half hours outside today in the garden. But I was as happy as Larry. Got to plant out a few plants in waiting, and some of ier's donations too.

I also made a start on moving stuff from the pink/blue/white border by the greenhouse that were way too cramped. Pulmonaria, dianthus, Dicentra, and Primulas got planted into the area to the left of the New Pond. Over the cave, I planted things like Saxifragas, Sedums and Sempervivums - things that will basically look after themselves. They may have to come up again at some stage, but they are better off in the ground for now. 

I have been promised that work will be resumed on the 'cave' and new pond tomorrow. Let's hope the forecast will be accurate!!!

I feel so invigorated with the bits I got done today, given the amount of constructive time I have spent outdoors in the last three weeks.

My favourite primrose

30 March 2013 18:24:10
Primula 'Marie Croisse'

Primula 'Marie Croisse'

Even the Kennedy primroses are not a patch on this one. It is my very, very favourite. And 'Quaker's Bonnet' is a worthy runner-up.

Ecstatic

30 March 2013 16:30:54
Dad's Mad Mushrooms

Dad's Mad Mushrooms

My Dad is not known for his spontaneous visits. But 'lo and behold, he arrived up a half an hour ago to show me what his mushrooms are doing. Ha ha, they actually lifted up the cardboard cover that was over them. Needless to say, I picked the bigger ones, and replaced the cover so the smaller ones could develop. Scrummy even when eaten raw. He wouldn't even stay for a cup of tea. Just happy to let me see how well they were doing. Daddy, you rock!!!

Multiplication

29 March 2013 21:44:02

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While cleaning out the Lower Pond today, I cut back some of the ferns that had been damaged by the bad weather. However, one such fern ( the name eludes me at present) had lots of spores on the underside of the leaf. Got to thinking I'd like to multiply this particular one in my garden. It's such a sexy fern. I do remember vaguely asking Martin about this process a couple of years ago. But in all honesty, it went in one ear and out the other. Maybe now I am more receptive to propagation procedures!!

I don't feel like a gardener

29 March 2013 21:24:03
Peaches hand-pollinated

Peaches hand-pollinated

Today I ventured out to the garden with great intentions. But before long, the grass was being positively churned up with my wellies on the swampy grass. So I gave up before I even started. Spent a bit of time taking out pond weed, and fixing up the netting around them.

I ended up in the greenhouse pollinating my peaches with a paintbrush, as there is very limited bee activity at this time of year to ensure thorough pollination. The only positive gardening activity all day, but in a few months it will all have been very worthwhile when I sink my teeth into delicious peaches. Mmmmm!!!

On closer inspection

28 March 2013 21:57:17

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We saw this planted 'en masse' in the Botanic Gardens today. From a distance, I thought they were crocusses. But on closer inspection, I realized of course I was wrong once again. But I haven't a clue what these are, I have never seen them before. But they looked so 'at home' under the trees. 

A much-needed day out

28 March 2013 19:09:03
Jackie and Hazel

Jackie and Hazel

Well, I've had ENOUGH of sitting indoors just vegetating for the last three weeks. A few of us here had planned an afternoon in Helen Dillon's garden last week. But as the weather had been so horrific, we decided to re-schedule our visit. 

We had planned on more people joining us today, but life sometimes gets in the way. Hazel, Jackie and myself decided at the last minute to visit the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin instead of Helens Garden. That way, if the weather turned nasty again, we could avail of the shelter of the glasshouses in the Bots.

As it turned out, it was a beautiful dry, bright day, but quite cold. It was exactly what I needed, as I have to get moving before I head back to work next Monday. First time to meet Jackie, and not the last. At the end of the walk we dropped in to the restaurant for a coffee. And 'lo and behold I discovered that I had either lost my money out of my jeans pocket in the Ladies, or it was still in my other trousers that I had worn earlier today.

My money is still on my bed. And no, it was NOT planned LOL.  But very relieved that I didn't lose it. Thanks for the coffee, Hazel. :)

Had a very pleasant afternoon. Thank you, Ladies.

 

Another cold one

28 March 2013 06:25:56
Another cold one

Another cold one

The weather has been busy again overnight. Still coming down. 

Anyone who HAS to be on the roads in and around Dublin today, drive safely and keep warm.

First time this year

27 March 2013 22:16:10
First Great tit this winter

First Great tit this winter

It's funny, but normally I have lots of blue tits and great tits here throughout the whole winter.

I now have two regular back caps, which I had never had before, but no tits......until today. Hmmm, that got me wondering if the two species are incompatible. Except when the bad weather leaves them no choice but to get on. 

Tits are sooo difficult to capture on camera. As soon as you reach for the camera, they're GONE!!! I got lucky today.

No gardening

27 March 2013 20:05:19

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Virgin snow covered the entire area around here overnight and it looked so beautiful until my footsteps ruined it all. There was no way I was able to do anything outside apart from take a few pretty snaps.  

But I laughed to myself when I was looking at the Oak fender on the Island of the greenhouse pond. It looked like Witchypoo had her hat decorated for Christmas. She's either a bit late, or probably like me and way too early. Either way, the garden looked magical this morning. Thank God I'm not back to work yet.

So much for my SUNNY front garden!!!

27 March 2013 08:14:38

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Don't think I can say that about it today! Although it does look quite beautiful.

Eccremocarpus

26 March 2013 21:22:55
Greenhouse Eccremocarpus 'Tresco Hybrids'

Greenhouse Eccremocarpus 'Tresco Hybrids'

If you thought my outdoor one was pretty, this is what the one in the greenhouse is looking like at this time of year.

Distracted

26 March 2013 19:37:17

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As it was snowing all day, on and off, I was delighted to have the distraction of my daughter and grandson. I wouldn't have bothered going out today anyway. Wee Davey had a ball looking at what I had 'hiding' in the growing rack, and propagator. And he examined any new gardening tools that he hadn't already seen. I do feel he is going to be a 'hands-on' man. But I will love all of his tender years, and hope they last for a while.

Here comes the sun!

25 March 2013 22:26:51

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I seem to be talking and thinking of the sun all day today. And in the back garden in two of the ponds, this gorgeous plant will soon be awash with bright yellow flowers. Great pond plant, and definitely NOT invasive. Would highly recommend this one and it's reliably hardy.

Sunny!

25 March 2013 19:41:18

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No, silly! It wasn't sunny here today. But I got fed up looking out at my swampy back garden and not being able to do anything in it because of the wet. It's soooo wet. 

So I got myself out into my SUNNY garden today - the front, and did a bit of weeding, and tidying up litter that blows in from the road. Looking a bit better now.

Last years' makeover has been the best decision made. As the front garden is sloped down and away from the front door, it remains pretty dry at the best of times. And now that most of the daffs are open there, it looks even sunnier. Won't be getting 'the factor' out just yet though!!!   lol

Itching to go.

24 March 2013 21:33:45
No likey radishes!!!

No likey radishes!!!

Well it looks like my back is well on the mend, thank God. I stayed with Dad last night as he is totally on his own for the last five years. Got home here at 7.00am and  started pottering around looking for gardening related things to do quietly so Steve could remain snuggled up in bed.

Planted up the lily bulbs I bought in Lidl the other day, and my Glory lilies. I found a little bag of Strelitzia seeds (on the bag it said 'Strelizia nicolai'). Now, are they Strelitzia nicolai, or did they just come from Bruno???  

Also sowed some Mangetout and radishes. I don't like radishes so I wonder why I bought the seeds during the week. But maybe I just haven't given them a proper chance. Maybe they are an acquired taste?

Animals on the loose!

24 March 2013 19:46:20

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Sowed some ricinus about a week ago, maybe more. Nothing happening. Don't know whether I was supposed to soak these overnight, but I didn't. Kept schtum. And was prepared to bin these. But before doing so, I shelled more seeds and soaked these beforehand.

Came in this morning at 7.00am, and 'lo and behold, the first lot had erupted through the compost. And I just get such a great kick out of their speedy growth once they germinate. Nothing like Rachel's 49, I'll settle for 9 in my small garden. And even 9 will probably be overloading it.

A womans work is never done

24 March 2013 16:25:55

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Spotted magpies and blackbirds gathering nesting material all day today. Too much of a wuss to do anything outside as it was bitingly cold. And I've pampered myself too much over the last two weeks.

I can't tell the difference between a male and a female magpie, but this female blackbird was busy gathering tufts of the roots of this 'unwanted' conifer still in its pot, and the roots are protruding through the bottom. She obviously regards it as first class nesting material. Good to see my unwanted goods have a use for Mother Nature.

Time for a barbecue!!!I

24 March 2013 11:27:48
Time for a barbecue!!!I

Time for a barbecue!!!I

I don't have many occasions to use a barbecue, but the one I used to have really wasn't big enough to cater for the whole family - sisters, nieces, nephews etc. So I splashed out on a new one two years ago. 

The cover is being ripped to shreds by the gusts out there right now, although it's dry today. And the barbecue is still waiting to be Christened. Sad that I never got the opportunity to put it to good use since buying it. I'm hoping for a decent summer this year. And a slap up feed al fresco. I suppose one can only dream. LOL

Chuffed with himself

23 March 2013 14:42:01
Chuffed with himself

Chuffed with himself

Dad bought more mushroom kits from Aldi again this year. Followed the instructions and then just forgot about them. We had a peek this morning. Wahoo! You go, Dad! I'm always very jealous that I can't grow them. I don't have our house warm enough. But the good thing is......I usually end up getting what Dad produces. Yummy.

Moisture loving plant

22 March 2013 21:53:36
Corydalis flexuosa 'Purple Leaf'

Corydalis flexuosa 'Purple Leaf'

And let's face it, we could ALL do with a few of these right now. Hosta (Margaret) kindly gave me a lovely one at my Open Day two years ago. Unfortunately I planted it in a place that was way too dry.

Recently I bought another Corydalis, (flexuousa purple leaf), and I planted it in the shade of some shrubs. Today it turned up trumps. Ok, it's not fully open. But it's lookin' like it appreciates that extra bit of moisture!!!!!! Another day or two and it should be fully open.

I'm a gardener 'GET ME OUT OF HERE'

22 March 2013 19:26:07

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Good God, this weather has me fit to kill. It's bad enough being off sick and not being allowed do much outside. But this weather just seems to be rubbing it in right now. A few of us had planned a little outing for the afternoon, but we will have to re-schedule. Possibly for the latter part of next week, when the weather should be a lot dryer, but maybe colder.

By 12.30 today the level of water in the greenhouse pond was about 2 inches away from the top of the brickwork. I daren't even look at it at this stage. Just hope the Lower Pond doesn't overflow or the fish will end up swimming in the grass and be prime targets for Holly, and the local heron. 

I sowed some Nicandra seeds today and that's about it.

 

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head

21 March 2013 22:26:58
Raindrops keep fallin' on my head

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head

This sanguisorba was looking pretty delectable today just after a downpour.

Experience is the best teacher

21 March 2013 19:50:11
Horizontal? Or vertical?

Horizontal? Or vertical?

A couple of years ago, I bought loads of stuff in Mr. Middletons shop and spent a small fortune. Amongst my choice of bulbs/seeds was a Glory Lily. I was soooo dying for this one to grow and flourish. And not many people I knew actually had them. So that was a bonus.

However, it grew, and I planted it outside into a big big pot with my climbing rose. And IT DIED. :(

That summer Bill (Headgardener) had an Open Day which myself and Steve went to. And what did I see in his conservatory? You got it in one! The most gorgeous Glory Lily specimen in full exotic bloom. I hadn't realised it was for either a greenhouse or indoors.

But.......today, spurred on by Jackie's recent visit to Dealz, I decided to check it out as I hadn't been there in a while.

Guess what I picked up for just €1.49? Got two, just to be sure. But, I can't remember whether it should be planted horizontally or vertically?

MY BABY BRUG!

21 March 2013 17:32:52

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Seeds of these were bought in Lanzarote about 2yrs ago. Nothing germinated first time round. Success this year. But only one out of six germinated. However, one is better than none.

Now, let's hope I can keep it alive.

Bullets in the gun

20 March 2013 20:20:41
Lovely celandine

Lovely celandine

Not sure at this early stage whether they'll be used in Shankill. But Fran donated this gorgeous (in MY eyes) plant to my garden. I was warned that it is invasive. But today I discovered it growing on the opposite side of the garden. Hmmmm! Should I pull the trigger.......or not!!!!  Or just chuck it over the wall.

Every little helps

20 March 2013 16:32:14
Muscari 'Blue Magic'

Muscari 'Blue Magic'

Thought we were in for another horrific day today when it started snowing again this morning. Luckily, it was only a quick flurry though.

It turned out to be a bright, sunny and dry day. Although the garden is still soooo wet underfoot.

Luckily I had the distraction of meeting an old friend for lunch so I wasn't tempted to do more than I was capable of out in the garden. But when I got back, I planted up the big clump of Rogersia that John (Owner of Ratoath GC) gave me on Sunday. Plenty of new growth on it already and it had been in its plastic bag since he gave it to me. Also planted up the Helleborus foetidus in beside all the primroses/primulas and other hellebores.

I also planted up some pretty little Muscari. Years ago I would have run a mile from muscaris. But it's funny the way my taste is changing. And it certainly helps that the flowers are blue. I have more of these in a big pot that contains a lovely variegated rose. Once they finish flowering I hope to also get these into the ground to bulk up what I planted today. Very pretty.

Being impatient.

19 March 2013 21:33:04

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Yea, I think we are all getting a bit browned off waiting for the weather to warm up and brighten up and dry up. What an awful day today. It can't get much worse.

Just to compare now with the same date in 2011, at the moment ALL my tenders are hogging the greenhouse. I literally cannot move inside.

The same date in 2011, I had emptied everything out into the garden, ignited a smoke bomb (to eradicate any overwintering pests) and cleaned the glass till it was gleaming. Oh, for a bit of sun! I have a good feeling that the weather is about to improve. It had better, as I have a weeks holidays next week. :)

Eccremocarpus

18 March 2013 22:18:39
Eccremocarpus 'Tresco Hybrid'

Eccremocarpus 'Tresco Hybrid'

I don't have a great record growing things from seed (way too impatient and not enough space). But I sowed these seeds when.....the year before last? Good climbing plant with  delicate looking foliage. It flowered well during last summer. I have another growing in the greenhouse. But I can't believe that this plant has a few flowers on it even outdoors, and actually had flowers throughout the whole winter.

So, I reckon it's an eezy peezy plant for any beginner!!!

They'd shoot a horse for less

18 March 2013 20:34:42
They'd shoot a horse for less

They'd shoot a horse for less

Cor Blimey. I went back to work today after being out for nearly 10 days. I lasted until lunch time and had to return home. I guess I just need a little bit more time and rest. And luckily I have next week off. If I'm not better by then, just shoot me.

Not a bad day to be outdoors and quite mild compared to recent days. But the afternoon was very wet and miserable.

This photo was taken before the rains, obviously. He looks a happy chappy, lost in a world of pollination!

Curing Cabin Fever

17 March 2013 18:49:10
Prunus incisa 'Kojo-No-Mai'

Prunus incisa 'Kojo-No-Mai'

It was pelting snow here from early morning and I was worried that we weren't going to get the chance to get out. Suffering from serious cabin fever after being sick all week and this was to be my reward for being obedient (for once).

However, it dissipated after about 2 hours, some of it was seriously heavy.

We headed off to Ratoath G.C. as John had posted photos of a couple of new Hellebores he got in. Unfortunately he didn't get as many in as he had been expecting so.....I consoled myself with two other ones, Helleborus niger 'Joseph Lemper' and 'Ice Breaker'. The rain was coming down in buckets at that stage, and John went out with his spade to  give me a clump of H. Foetidus, and a big chunk of Rogersia that he had no more space for. 

I got a few more plants, small growers, so I should be able to find suitable spots for these - Sempervivum 'Hey-Hey', Sedum spathulifolium purpureum, Saxifraga paniculata, Dicentra formosa 'Spring Magic', Muscari 'Blue Magic' and a lovely little Prunus incisa 'Kojo-No-Mai' which I will put into a nice pot.

Weather gone scatty!

17 March 2013 08:43:46

I'd forgotten about this beauty

16 March 2013 20:47:50
Blechnum magellanicum

Blechnum magellanicum

Funny the way you take certain plants for granted - like this fern, for instance. It was only today while cutting back frost-bitten Francoa that I noticed how beautiful the foliage on this Blechnum magellanicum is(think that's the name). 

Doubting Thomas at large again

16 March 2013 19:26:57

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Spotted this seedling in a pot that contains one of my Arisaemas (courtesy of Deborah) today. 

It looks like some sort of Salix to me. But I'll undestand if nobody wishes to comment after the journal of a few evenings ago. :) I will believe the FIRST suggestion this time round.

I gave the Arisaema a fresh top-dressing, and potted up the seedling in a pot of its own.

Good day in the garden

16 March 2013 19:08:58
Good day in the garden

Good day in the garden

Once the thick frost thawed out this morning, it turned out to be a really bright and cheerful day, apart from regular hail showers. But luckily they were short-lived.

I spent a good while doing more cutting back, and the second half of the day it was done sitting on a patio chair. Still feeling the back ache and I'm due to return to work on Monday. Gathered a black bag of green waste. It's good to see the results of the work.

Spotted two massive frogs the size of my hand gallivanting in the wildlife pond. 

Inspected the Ricinus that I had overwintered this morning to see visible signs of things to come. Emptied the pot of compost and noticed that the roots seem to be pretty ok. However, I gave it fresh compost and a bit of water. If it's a no-goer for this year, I sowed some more Ricinus seeds this morning. At the rate these babies grow, they should appear by tomorrow or the following day. :

What a day!

16 March 2013 18:44:19

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And this evenings sunset is just as good!

Jac and the beanstalk

16 March 2013 17:03:09
Ready for a bigger pot

Ready for a bigger pot

Wow! Potted up this overwintered dahlia tuber only on the 3rd of Feb. It is looking so good at the moment, and is about 18 inches in height already. And having it in the kitchen window with full light has improved its colour immensely. I think it's time for a bigger pot, and a move out to the greenhouse at this stage. It's reminding me of Jack and the Beanstalk!

Ja wanna be in my gang, my gang!

15 March 2013 20:36:22
Ja wanna be in my gang, my gang!

Ja wanna be in my gang, my gang!

Well, over the last couple of weeks I have been feeling very 'left out' when people were posting photos of their future frog population. All week, while I have been off, the ponds have remained frozen for the best part of the day so I didn't notice it. But today, the ice thawed quicker than normal and GUESS WHAT????

Lots of frogspawn!!!!

More tulips

15 March 2013 20:05:28

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Some miniature tulips opened for me today.

Snap! Crackle! Pop!

15 March 2013 19:14:37
Out with the old!

Out with the old!

Ok, yesterday my old camera went on the permanent 'blink. No more snaps. It had been acting up since before our holidays at Christmas, but decided to do the necessary while abroad. Finally given up the ghost. But as I'm normally one who has a 'back-up' plan, I had purchased a new camera before Christmas. Old one kaput. Lens won't even retract now. New one on the go, and soooo much clearer. Hello, Fuji Finepix T360. 

Begging forgiveness here!

15 March 2013 17:40:47
Amaryllis belladonna (oops)

Amaryllis belladonna (oops)

Last night I posted a journal enquiring as to the identity of a bulb in a pot here. It was great to see all the suggestions, and I, of course as usual, was doubting all of these. 

Today I decided to tidy out the garage. In it I have a big box with labels and wrappers of plants bought in the last year. In amongst these, I did find a package photo of Amaryllis 'belladonna'. So for all of you who took the trouble to give your suggestions, and those of you who were indeed correct, I APOLOGISE sincerely.

That perfect circle

14 March 2013 22:02:35
That perfect circle

That perfect circle

I planted this saxifraga in the front garden last year during the 'make-over'. Love the perfect circle it is forming. And loads of flowers on the way!

Plant ID please!

14 March 2013 20:29:06
Plant ID please!

Plant ID please!

Ok, these bulbs are not even planted under the compost. They have been as they are, outside, all winter long. I have NO idea as to their identity. They must be pretty hardy. If anyone can enlighten me as to what they are, I would be forever grateful????

Tulips

14 March 2013 19:43:01
T. kaufmaniana 'Fashion' with Phormium

T. kaufmaniana 'Fashion' with Phormium

Didn't get a whole lot done outside today except for planting a gorgeous 'double' hellebore that I got last year. 

I made a point of going to Lidl to see what was on offer, and made up my mind yesterday that I would probably buy an acer for €4.99. Lots of other nice shrubs there too but I didn't look at them. They weren't on my shopping list!!!

I ended up buying two small acers - 'Little Princes' and 'Katsura' - both palmatums. And at €4.99 each, if they die, it hasn't broken the bank. I bought 'Katsura' before in Atlantic Homecare a couple of years ago and lost it. It cost a whopping €12.99 so if these ones die, it will still have cost less than that one.

Also couldn't resist buying a new dahlia 'Fire and Ice'. I think Kitty/Michelle may have bought this one recently??? Anyway, got home and potted up the dahlias (3 tubers in a pack). I surprised myself that I was very controlled. Actually, that scares me a bit. :)

I also made a point of potting up some allium bulbs that have resided on the kitchen worktop over the whole winter. New shoots sprouting so at least there is some hope for them. All watered and placed in the greenhouse. Happy with my 'small' lot. :)

The photo is of my Tulips which are planted in a container with Phormium 'Platt's Black'. They contrast well with each other.

F.A.O. Kitty

14 March 2013 08:04:55
P. 'Blue Ensign'

P. 'Blue Ensign'

Here is a photo of the pulmonaria I have for Hazel. I might have another one to spare just for you.

Taking things easy

13 March 2013 21:02:25
Hebe 'Baby Boo' will be planted tomorrow.

Hebe 'Baby Boo' will be planted tomorrow.

For once, I am doing as the doctor ordered. But at this stage in the week, I'm really getting itchy feet.

I got a few plants planted today. The soil over 'the cave' has been a no-go area for me for way too long. Over the last two years I have bought suitable plants for this area, thinking that it was nearing its completion. However, that didn't happen and the plants in pots perished. Today I took a gamble and planted a few things into the soil in this area. The way I'm looking at it is they will have a better chance of survival if planted. I am aware that they will possibly have to come up once work on this area resumes this year.

I planted a pot of cerastium kindly donated by Hosta last year, and primula secundiflora given by Drumanagh into the shady border. Also a lovely phlox 'Red Riding Hood' which should look great tumbling over into the pond if it ever gets finished), and a Eupatorium. And for coverage of the back wall I planted a small specimen of Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn' for its beautiful scent and evergreen foliage. The planting in this area will, yet again, be quite dense. So I'm hoping the viburnum will take kindly to a bit of pruning. 

I also found a few hellebore seedlings that finally went into the ground. Looking forward to having a few flowers on them in the next couple of years.

I spent a bit of time tidying up unused pots that are a constant eyesore in the garden, and removing marking canes in the borders. They have been a constant source of annoyance all winter as they were not even vertical. Sometimes little things like that really annoy me!!! That was enough for my first days work outside.

Inside I sowed some Godetia seeds, and Cosmos 'Purity'. 

Variegated rhododendron

13 March 2013 19:31:24
Rhododendron 'Goldflimmer' today

Rhododendron 'Goldflimmer' today

I posted a photo of this rhodo a couple of weeks ago. And I think it might have been NoelFitz or AccSean who mentioned that it seemed to be reverting to its original green form. Now that would be a disaster as I adore the variegated foliage. However, just looking at it today, it will just involve the taking out of one branch to retain its variegation. Happy days!!!

Aldi next week

13 March 2013 18:05:25

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Lidl had some nice rhododendrons last week. Now it's Aldi's turn. 

Next Thursday 21st March they are selling nice rhodos for €8.99 ( I think a euro cheaper than Lidl) - five different varieties - Polarnacht, Cunningham's white, Nova, Percy Wiseman and Alfred. I'm particularly drawn to 'Polarnacht'. Hmmm!

They will also have ornamental trees. Photo is quite small, and I'm quite blind but they look like Prunus, and Malus - for only €5.99. Worth checking out.

Good to be back

13 March 2013 09:18:53
Grevillea

Grevillea

I was very frustrated all day yesterday as I couldn't log on here, even though I was getting e-mail notifications. However, the problem seems to be solved finally.

I didn't do much yesterday, but plan on doing a little bit more for the next few days before I go back to work next week. So I spent most of the short time in the garden just observing. Happy to say that this lovely Grevillea, a gift from Fran a couple of years ago, is still looking great. It could do with bulking up a bit more, so maybe when this cold spell is over, I will treat it to a bigger pot. Thanks again, Fran.

Welcome visitor

11 March 2013 21:09:02

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A new type of bird to my garden here today - and there were a pair of them. Now let's hope they want to stay for a while.

Gracedieu 13.03.11

10 March 2013 23:34:16
Gracedieu 13.03.11

Gracedieu 13.03.11

Another lovely table arrangement, almost two years ago, in Gracedieu, Waterford.

Better get the blue pellets out

10 March 2013 22:54:06
Nibbled Cautleya spicata

Nibbled Cautleya spicata

I think it may be time to start protecting young emerging plants. Noticed today that my Cautleya spicata has been nibbled by molluscs. Can't let that happen. So its out with the blue pellets tomorrow, hail, rain, or the dreaded snow!

Couldn't have asked for much more today.

10 March 2013 20:04:24

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Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Well, as the weather wasn't very nice for the garden, I had the utmost pleasure in spending the day with one of my daughters, Zoe, and Grandson, David. My other daughter, Kim, unfortunately could only be here in spirit. 

We went out to an early lunch, and spent the rest of the day here and rambling around the garden. Got some lovely pressies, but the best part of the day for me was spending quality time with my family (minus one).

Wee Davey couldn't get enough of the garden, and nearly fell into my daffs, trying to drink in their scent. I laughed. He is getting so big.

Introducing 'The Stick'

10 March 2013 08:06:55
Introducing 'The Stick'

Introducing 'The Stick'

Well, I WAS under the impression that I was overwintering my last years Ricinus. Sadly, it doesn't look much like a Ricinus now! I guess it'll be good to use as kindling for the fire. Boo hoo!!!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, LADIES. 

Time for seeds

09 March 2013 08:24:50
Web Photo

Web Photo

Ok, as the weather is miserable out there, and my movements are a bit limited, it looks like I will begin seed sowing in earnest today. I was chancing my arm a couple of weeks ago sowing cucumbers that were way out of date. But just looking in my seed box now, and I have a few seeds left of another type of cucumber that I grew a couple of years ago called 'Crystal Apple'. The are round, like an apple obviously, and they don't repeat on you the way a normal cucumber would. So these will be sown today, amongst others. I'm still looking.....

The passing of time

08 March 2013 22:29:29
Spirea 'Snowmound' or 'Bridal Wreath'.

Spirea 'Snowmound' or 'Bridal Wreath'.

It's hard to believe that just two weeks ago this Spirea was void of leaves. 

U 4 B A

08 March 2013 21:39:29
U4BA 'Silver Swan'

U4BA 'Silver Swan'

I wonder is this the same Euphorbia as the one Fran posted yesterday. This is Euphorbia 'Silver Swan'. Looks the very same to me!!!

Too close for comfort

08 March 2013 20:13:31

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Click to zoom

Click to zoom

I usually love watching the Heron perched on the lamp post over the back wall, at the end of a cul de sac. I didn't see him today - until I heard a commotion with accompanying herring gulls. Then a 'darkness' came over the garden, and I spotted that the blinkin' heron was perched on the dividing garden wall. 

I hope he doesn't think he's getting our remaining Koi for lunch. That would mean a very expensive lunch on our part. The koi is at least 5 years old, weighing over 1 lb. And would probably cost in the region of €250 at this stage.

Narcissus

08 March 2013 18:25:40
N. 'Bridal Crown'

N. 'Bridal Crown'

Another great daff that is just beginning to open here is Narcissus 'Bridal Crown'. I believe it has a delicate, sweet scent, but I couldn't get down close enough to take a whiff today. A bit of sun will see it opening fully. These are one of my favourite daffs. So luxurious!

Good All Year Colour

08 March 2013 17:58:43
Phormium 'Alison Blackman'

Phormium 'Alison Blackman'

I know Phormiums tend to outgrow their allotted spaces over time. I'm not in too much of a hurry to plant this one out into the open ground. I feel it will reside permanently in a big pot, whenever I get round to it. I bought this one last year some time. And it has been moved around a fair bit, to provide me with a bit of interesting colour where needed. It's looking really great these days. 

Corydalis

07 March 2013 21:29:16
Corydalis flexuosa 'purple leaf'

Corydalis flexuosa 'purple leaf'

Bought this one recently, and - wayhay - it's actually planted already. Things are lookin' up. Love the way the raindrops twinkle on the foliage. Then I also have the sky blue flowers to look forward to. :)

The postman always rings twice

07 March 2013 19:40:49

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Click to zoom

I was in work this morning but had to admit defeat with this recent back injury and was back home here before 10 o'clock. I need lots of rest, but not too much, and a whole week off work - doctor's orders. Nice, considering the forecast.

Ten minutes after getting home the postman called with a package that I had been awaiting eagerly.

This is what I ordered from a Guy in Tipperary. Pricey, but sooo worth it. Now if the slugs DARE masticate on this, they are gonners for sure. It'll be nice when they bulk up. These are going to be handled with extreme care.

Once a chancer.......

06 March 2013 20:17:51

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Click to zoom

I found these seeds out in the garage a few weeks and decided to chance my arm, even though they were WELL past the expiry date. Look at the date on the second photo closely and price !!!!!  :)

This time the gamble DIDN'T pay off. The expiry date wasn't exactly last year! It pays to sow fresh seed. Looks like it'll be shop-bought cukes for me this year. :)

Mr. Heron

05 March 2013 21:13:15
Mr. Heron

Mr. Heron

God, he was getting an awful time from other birds today. In the end he took off.

"I'm not havin' this any more".

A few bits

05 March 2013 19:22:30
A few bits

A few bits

Off sick today resting the bad back, but I got a few bits done. Got some new plants in Lidl on Saturday (my first time shopping there and not the last). I planted them up today - Saponaria ocymoides and Eryngium planum. Lots of healthy growth on them already so I have great expections from these plants.

Someone gave me a waterlily at the Get-Together in Johnstown, but I can't remember who - please own up? Yesterday I finally got the topsoil, and today I planted it. Not the right time of year to be plunging the arms into freezing cold water.

I also sowed some Hedychium densiflorum 'Stephen', and Iochroma australe, both from Bruno. I'm just hoping they weren't sown too late. I lost them temporarily. 

The back is much improved so hopefully I will be in work tomorrow.

Acid Triangle

03 March 2013 20:18:14

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Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Well, it may be acid, but it's a right mess this year. My Rhodo 'Christmas Cheer' which is looking spectacular this year is shorter than the Pieris 'Forest Flame' in front of it. So as soon as the flowers go over, I will switch their positions. I want to be able to see the rhodo from the patio.

A skimmia that Feverfew gave me at one of the get-togethers is NOT looking good at all. I posted a journal on it fairly recently. Lots of chewed leaves, and only one flower. I uprooted that today and potted it up so I can keep a better eye on it. Some of it is looking really healthy. But I have another pieris just beside this, and its foliage looks very 'burnt at the edges. Now I'm thinking that the cat (or the neighbouring cats) may be using this small bed as a latrine. What do ye think?

Biting off more than I can chew

03 March 2013 18:30:47

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Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Well, I went back up to Dads today. Enough has been done on the back garden for now. So this time I tackled the front garden. He has a rectangular bed about 8ft by 12ft.  took a 'before' photo, but didn't bother with an 'after' as it's not even NEARLY finished. It is just a heap basically and resembles a very mounded grave, with more Passiflora than I ever seen in one spot. I was being a bit careful hacking it back as it was impossible to tell what stuff he had underneath. As it was, there were lots of dead and brittle shrubs that were just holding up the Passiflora. God only knows what they once were, but to remove them with the fork probably would have ended up with a casualty as the fork has seen better days.

Probably the wrong time to hack back the passiflora, but I think Dad just wants a garden/patch that can look after itself, without too much intervention from him. I got rid of most of it, and 6 black bags later I could see lots of daffs, tulips and pulmonaria, low growing stuff. So if I can remove the dead shrubs at a later date, it should look pretty ok. He has lots of ancient plastic window boxes and pots filled with weeds and are so brittle that they're falling apart when you lift them, and if I dispose of too many too suddenly, he will notice their absence. But that's what I intend doing next week. It was getting late, and I had been cut to shreds with lots of brambles growing in this area too. I began to get disheartened, and my back was beginning to ache. The concrete scalloped edge could almost be completely seen after all that. Called it a day after about 4 hrs, and went home to my own garden.

Planted some more plants, it's great to see the pile diminishing bit by bit, and my garden taking shape slowly. Had the greenhouse open all day and gave everything a good watering. I feel an early night on its way!

Brugmansia

03 March 2013 07:47:17

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Click to zoom

Bought these seeds in Lanzarote 12 months ago. Nothing happened by way of germination then, but I held on to the packet of seed. 'Lo and behold, yesterday one seedling has just come up after a repeat sowing.

Now, how do I look after it from here on in?

Is it a 'pig in a poke'?

02 March 2013 22:40:17
quite costly at €39.99

quite costly at €39.99

For the last 7yrs I have taken my holidays in the winter months, as I would be so concerned about dead plants in work in summer. We have booked this years holidays at this stage, and for a change will be the end of August. Oh, bring it on!!!

However, a problem arises. What am I going to do with my plants while I'm away, especially in the greenhouse. It's just Steve and myself here now, so there is nobody to water my plants. Steve rigged up an irrigation system last year, which can run independently of the regular hose, if needed. Talking to him tonight, it is possible to run it for the two weeks that we're away, but it would need to be on a timer, which doesn't seem likely.

Yesterday we got these growbag waterers in. They state that the reservoir holds enough water for 14 days. But that would only cater for 2 tomato plants. And it costs €39.99 - 15% staff discount. Has anybody got any better ideas? I will have at least 6 plants, if not more. Plus cucumbers, chilipeppers, and God knows what else at that stage.

Every cloud.....

02 March 2013 20:19:45

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Click to zoom

And before the plank split, I discovered a pond plant that I haven't seen since the building of the Upper Pond 4/5 years ago. I wonder why it has decided to grace us with its presence now. I must have the label here somewhere, but regardless of its name - I LIKE IT!  Every cloud has a silver lining - and I didn't have to get wet to discover it!!! :)

He got a right dunking!

02 March 2013 16:21:42

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Click to zoom

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OMG He'll kill me for posting this. But I'm still laughing. 

He got jealous watching me doing stuff out in the garden today. So he came out to to join me, and proceeded to cut back some of the pond grasses. We have a couple of planks that Steve uses to stretch across the Upper Pond to gain access. But right in the middle of his job, the plank split in two. He wasn't a happy camper when he got dunked in the freezing cold water. 

Frosty Morn

02 March 2013 12:10:39
Frosty Morn

Frosty Morn

I haven't been posting many albums recently as, I am still downloading photos the 'old' way. Blind as a bat and have to double click onto each individual photo. So I'm stuck with waiting FOREVER for downloading. That's why most of my photos are now getting downloaded onto Facebook. It's much quicker.

 

I really wasn't expecting such a harsh frost this morning, even though it had been forecast. It's a case of 'just when you think it's safe.....'.

Head like a sieve

01 March 2013 20:44:23

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Click to zoom

Have great plans for my own garden tomorrow. And I was finally going to pot up a nymphaea (water lily) that a member gave me in Johnstown. Bought the basket and when I got home I realized I had no blinkin' topsoil. Ah well. I won't be going back over to work tomorrow so that will have to wait - unless they sell topsoil in Lidl. New store opened here since yesterday so looking forward to having a nice gander at my leisure.

Dad's garden again on Sunday. And thankfully most of the heavy work is now done.

Bought another lot of seed potatoes yesterday 'Sharpes Express' (First Earlies) so they are also chitting out in the garage with the first lot.

Solar Butterflies

01 March 2013 20:25:32

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Click to zoom

Talking about this solar ornament yesterday got me checking today if it still actually works. Normally I draw the curtains when darkness approaches so I wasn't sure if was at the end of its expiry date.  Happy to say, nearly three years on, it is still in fine working order. 

Just posting an album of some of my garden ornaments.

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