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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal April 2013

Last Post 1665 days 8 hours ago

Acers

30 April 2013 22:22:39

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This is one of my favourite acers. It's going to find its 'forever home' tomorrow.

Phlox

30 April 2013 21:41:19
Phlox subulata 'McDaniels Cushion'

Phlox subulata 'McDaniels Cushion'

This is growing in my Alpine Circle and has become 'way' out of hand. It's spreading all across the circle. Day off tomorrow so I hope to thin this one out and pot up lots for anyone who wants it.

Photo cannot possibly do it justice. It's a gorgeous shade of pale blue which is impossible to capture on camera, and a definite 'doer'.

Space is a priority

30 April 2013 20:01:44

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So this little dwarf rhododendron goes really well in my Acid Triangle. It's been in my garden about 2 or 3 yrs and is only about 12 inches. Perfect for small spaces, or a pot. Love its purple leaves too.

Another little beauty

30 April 2013 06:38:48
Primula 'Ken Dearman'

Primula 'Ken Dearman'

Love this little primula which opened yesterday

Admitting defeat

29 April 2013 19:27:55
Skimmia up for grabs

Skimmia up for grabs

Feverfew (Evelyn) gave me this about 2 or 3 yrs ago. Planted it into my Acid Triangle. It has gone from bad to worse for some reason. Potted it up a couple of months ago after discovering something had been eating it, nothing apparent. It has improved immensely since then and is even starting to flower, but it's not going back into the garden. My plants have to earn their keep.

Who wants this Skimmia? I'm not holding on to it for long.

And....

29 April 2013 17:53:13

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As if all that previous lot wasn't good enough, Aldi have great offers from Sunday 5th May. 

Gardening aprons €6.99 for all you people who tend to lose their secateurs and stuff.

Gardening trousers (which I am particularly interested in, but not keen on the colour. They need to get a bit dirty) €11.99 complete with knee pads.

Plus a whole host of bargains. Check out the website.

Also......

29 April 2013 17:41:22
Hosta

Hosta

Same shop, Lidl, Saturday 4th May, Hostas €2.99,

Lavender, Ceanothus, 

Genista Lydia €2.99

Spirea 'Snowmound' €2.99

Cistus €2.99

and Dianthus. 

Garden Madness

29 April 2013 17:13:54

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Lidl have lots of really good bargains this coming Thursday 2nd May. And no, I don't get commission, although I should!

Geraniums, trailing, variegated, zonal, Osteospermums. All for good prices.

Tree Peonies (suffruticosa) in 13cm pots - pink, red, purple and orange for €7.99.

Hydrangea €7.99

Shrub Peony (lactiflora) 18cm pot €9.99

Standard Fuchsia €9.99

Acers in 10L pots €39.99

Clematis €5.99

Field Orchid €3.99

Primula denticulata €2.49

Plus lots of bedding, fruit and veg.

All at very affordable prices whether you're on a tight budget or not. Happy shopping, Folks. This is the 'real' start of it.

Taking the easy approach

28 April 2013 22:50:52

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As I will now only have every second weekend off, I've decided not to cram my free one with gardening, gardening, gardening. Myself and Steve took ourselves off to the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival out in Howth, had lunch out, and over to Dublin Port to see two great ships, one of which is a British Aircraft Carrier.

Just pottered around the garden with the camera when we got back, and did a small bit of weeding. And the man above was watching me idling away my time.

3 in 1

28 April 2013 08:22:46
3 in 1

3 in 1

An advantage of close planting in a small garden is you can capture three shrubs in one photo - Silver Birch, Photinia and Sorbus.

Ok, I'd rather a bigger garden, no secret there. But I think my plants actually LIKE snuggling up to each other. LOL

Companion Planting

27 April 2013 22:10:23
Companion Planting

Companion Planting

Finally got to plant out my Mangetout today. But I decided to brighten up the said container with some nice blue violas. Not as a pest deterrent, but just because I thought they would make nice companions.

As happy as a pig in muck

27 April 2013 19:55:31

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Steve has had a really stressful two days in work, being called in on an emergency job that took him till all hours. They were dependent on tides. So I didn't demand any meaningful tasks for him in the garden today. But one thing that I was delighted with was finally planting my Magnolia 'Stellata' out. It has ended up being planted next to the greenhouse pond to provide a bit of a focal interest between the patio doors and the end of the garden. In years to come I hope to create a kind of screen in this area so that I won't be able to see the whole garden in a glance from the dining room.

Planting the magnolia was a two person job. I held the big pot while he pulled. Mind you, when he pulled my rhododendron from its pot last year, it ended up being a 'standard'. But all is fine. And while he was pulling this from its pot, he plonked a shovel ful of soil over my head. I guess he was releasing the stresses of the last few days in work. So of course, I had to retaliate, and fill a pot of compost and pour it down the back of his t-shirt. LOL

A great day, after a coldish start. Not much done except enjoy each others company and laugh a lot.

A chip off the old block

27 April 2013 19:00:44
A chip off the old block

A chip off the old block

My eldest daughter, Kim, is in Art College but taking a year out. Just showing you what her talent produces just with doodling with simple colouring pencils. Can you imagine what she could produce with watercolours or oils? She's also planning on sketching garden plants. So that should be most interesting.

Sorry, Tina

27 April 2013 09:30:15
Sorry, Tina

Sorry, Tina

Fran kindly gave me this gorgeous little invasive plant - Celandine. I was smitten with it from the first time I set eyes on it, foliage AND flowers. I was so happy to accept it at the time, and against all the sound advice everyone gave me, I went ahead and introduced it to my garden. Love it when it is in flower. But this year I discovered that seeds had blown across the garden and settled in the soil over the cave.

Now, once this bloody cave is done, I won't be getting up there too often to weed, and I certainly have no intentions of keeping on top of the celandine's offspring.

Tina, I potted up some of this for you last week. But at the rate it is travelling, I will post it to you on Wednesday. It's not staying here a moment longer.

Thanks, folks, for warning me. I suppose I'm a bit slow on the up-take. But lesson learnt. And thanks again, Fran. It was lovely while it lasted. )

Who wants.....

26 April 2013 22:55:53
Atropa belladonna up for grabs

Atropa belladonna up for grabs

I was completely smitten when I saw this plant in Mount Venus a couple of years ago. It got planted into the Island in the greenhouse pond. And later in the summer it produced the most amazing big, fat, juicy black berries.

However, as gardens have a habit of evolving, it had to be taken up. Last year Steve acquired beautiful oak fenders from the River Liffey which I have used as focal points for the garden. One, which is now in that very area.

But I'd hate to see this going to waste. It's here for the taking. Hazel was brave enough to accept some. :)

Atropa Belladonna - Deadly Nightshade.

U4BA

26 April 2013 20:25:17

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A rather novel approach to planting a Euphorbia. It's planted in just a smidgen of soil (not much available) on the edge of the Upper Pond. I want it to trail over the edge, which I think it will do nicely. It's planted neck and neck with a little saxifraga and a self-seeded geranium.

Summer Bedding

26 April 2013 19:48:31

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I wouldn't normally advertise goods from Woodies, but yesterday a customer came in and commented what good value we were. Homebase is giving 30% reduction on their summer bedding, and our place is still much cheaper, but also with top class quality.

10 pack of pansies normally €4.49, down to €2.40 - 6 pack pansies €3.39 down to €1.67, and all with the further 20% reduction with todays sale. Open till 10.00pm if that's what you're after.

Lots of other bargains to be had besides plants.

Not what I thought it was

25 April 2013 21:16:25
Not what I thought it was

Not what I thought it was

I got so excited last week when I saw this little baby coming. In my stupidity I did think it was Cautleya spicata. But I have been reliably informed that I am wrong, once again. It has put on great growth this week. Can anyone tell me what it is please?

Oh, wow!

24 April 2013 21:09:38

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Yesterday, I spotted my first ever Peacock butterfly in the garden. He's gorgeous. I must be getting more observant in my old age.

Id please

24 April 2013 18:35:08
Id please

Id please

I posted a photo of this tiny seedling a few weeks ago. It was discovered in a pot of Arisaema from Limerick. But not sure whether the seed arrived before I took possession of it, or the seed just appeared since then. I suspect the latter as I have had the Arisaema at least two years.

It's a bit further on now, and hopefully more identifiable. Any ideas?

Bloody snails

23 April 2013 20:19:17
Osteo from Supervalu

Osteo from Supervalu

I had a whole tray of cosmos seedlings in the greenhouse. Sheered off by slugs/snails and so devastated. Jackie also gave me a lovely little Osteospermum when myself and Hazel and Jackie went to the Botanic Gardens recently. Same thing happened to this.

So, bought this little beauty in Supervalu this morning to make up for my loss.

Super day

23 April 2013 19:47:29

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After tending to my houseplants, I decided to dismantle my growing rack, put away the pasting table, and unplugged the propagator. So much more space in the dining room. Sowed plenty of seeds this year, but most of them perished. 

Just pottered about to start. But then decided to move my bird feeder further down the garden, to make room for the line and avoiding any poop on the washing. Had to laugh as it took the birds about two hours to discover that there was no longer any food up close to the house.

I have decided that the left-hand border will now be just for shrubs (well, mainly). So moved lots of primroses down to the back of the garden. I will plant out my Magnolia 'Stellata' in this area, as it really does deserve a 'forever' home. 

Planted out some Eryngium planum onto the soil over the cave. It's in full sun, and very well-drained. Potted up some celandine for Tina, and then discovered lots more. Ha ha, yea I was warned. If anyone wants any?????

Set up a tripod with 3 different types of sweet pea - 'Madam Butterfly', 'Night and Day' and 'Brigid Macaleer'. Should be nice with those three all together.

Planted Achillea 'terracotta into the shrub border. Ha, what was I just saying earlier about it just being for shrubs. I'm a hopeless case. And to make matters worse, the achillea is planted beside some poppies that I think are pink, or red! But when you're short of space.....you take the first available gap. It can always be moved at a later stage.

Planted up my tomatoes in the greenhouse. 'Ailsa Craig' in a big pot, and 'tumbler' into a basket.

Finally got my beetroots planted out. Did these last year for the first time and wasn't disappointed with them.

When Steve got home from work we had the pleasure of a few beverages on the patio. Lots of midge about so we're in now.

Houseplants

23 April 2013 19:24:11
Columnea arguta

Columnea arguta

I was off today, so the morning began with watering, and feeding houseplants. Then I decided it was time to give them more light, as my windows indoors are quite small. So put most of the hanging ones out into the greenhouse for a bit of a break. All I need now is to rig up some kind of shading so they won't scorch.

Epiphyllums, Aeschynanthus (Lipstick Plant), and Columnea arguta are what I'm talking about here. Fingers crossed they will survive. They have never been taken out of the house before.

Last man standing.

23 April 2013 18:15:37

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My last type of narcissus is open today in the front, thanks to the glorious weather. I think this one is 'Tahiti'.

First Acer

23 April 2013 07:01:09
Acer ribesfolium

Acer ribesfolium

This is always the first acer to leaf up in my garden, regardless of the weather. It's only beginning now. I love the citrus green leaf on this one.

Love this shrub

22 April 2013 19:41:36
Spirea 'Bridal Wreath'

Spirea 'Bridal Wreath'

It has been here at least 10 years. It stands at about 4ft, and obviously won't get any bigger at this stage. But it goes from strength to strength. The branches are just dripping with white blossoms, and each day it's getting more floriferous. One of my favourite shrubs.

Couldn't resist it.

22 April 2013 18:31:24
Couldn't resist it.

Couldn't resist it.

Aquilegia were looking so delectable in work today that I couldn't resist taking their photograph.

Favourite plants

21 April 2013 21:26:05

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I'm beginning to resign myself to the fact that my garden can only really take 'small' plants. I'm particularly loving things like sedums and saxifragas and primroses in recent times.

Two very similar saxifragas here at the moment. Saxifraga paniculata in the first photo - and Saxifraga 'Lissadell' donated by Hosta (Margaret) two years ago. But the latter has more dome-shaped leaves. Both very beautiful with a white edge to the leaves.

Better than expected

21 April 2013 20:08:13
Tulipa horizontalis

Tulipa horizontalis

Looking out the window at 6.30am today it was lashing rain. And the sky didn't brighten up much before heading out to work. But as luck would have it, it was a warm and fairly sunny day. The only shower we had in Coolock was when I was on my lunch. Still in T-shirt sleeves and hoping it will continue. Bees/wasps weren't as active today, thank God, as I'm still nursing a very swollen and sore arm from yesterday.

Busy all day. Wouldn't have it any other way.

I have been waiting for these little tulips to open for so long. They are certainly taking their time. But it's funny the way some of them are growing horizontally. I guess that's down to recent strong winds.

Back to the Stone Age

21 April 2013 08:53:44

Living in hope

21 April 2013 07:42:04
Living in hope

Living in hope

I had a feeling yesterdays great weather wouldn't last long. Very different outside today. Let's hope there will be lots of sunny breaks between the showers.

I planted this young tree down at the back last year. But I was having a 'senior moment' trying to put a name to it yesterday. The poison from my sting must have gone to the brain. Can anyone help please, because it was looking lovely in yesterdays evening sun.

So, Hazel.....

20 April 2013 21:47:49

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Which one of these Caltha palustris would you like? The one in the frog pond is taller, and is only a single. But gorgeous.

The one in the Lower Pond is a 'double' and more water-hugging. I hope to divide this one on Tuesday.

Taking the good with the bad!

20 April 2013 19:41:41

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What a great day today, in many ways. Weather couldn't be faulted. Customers came out in their droves. Plant sales were WAY UP, Management will be happy to hear. Worked my butt off, and battled to avoid stinging insects all day.

Normally they don't bother me. But at 11.00 this morning, just one hour after my shift started, either a bee or a wasp tickled my neck. I ruffled the neck of my t-shirt to shoo him away, my first day without my jumper. But whatever it was must have travelled down my back and exited out the sleeve of my t-shirt. But before he made his escape, zap! He stung my upper arm, and from my armpit to half-way down to my wrist is swollen, red, burning, and very itchy even at this late stage. The little Fecker! But I suppose what ever it was was only doing what nature intended. C'est la vie. 

Was asked to re-do the raised gravel area in work. So I came home with some nice variegated Pachysandra and a mountain of Muscari, which I have come to love. All good. They got planted as soon as I got home.

 

What a morning!

20 April 2013 07:28:33
What a morning!

What a morning!

Looks like today will be another scorcher. It's been a long time coming so I hope everyone makes the most of it. Happy Days!

Hey, Tina????

19 April 2013 21:08:55
Hey, Tina????

Hey, Tina????

Guess what I spotted coming up today?

Good old reliables

19 April 2013 21:00:03

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What a cracker of a day. Got my squash (spaghetti pasta) planted out into the greenhouse this evening. Never grew these before and I love the whopping great leaves on them. 

Planted my new primula rosea 'Gigas'. But tomorrow I'll dig it up and split it before replanting it. It was rather congested in its pot.

Most of my frost tender stuff got ousted from the greenhouse this evening. If they die, they die. It's everyone for themselves at this stage. 

Tulip Tarda is looking stunning today in its terracotta pot, topped with blue crushed glass. Can't see much of the glass at this stage, but that's alright!!! Such a cheery sight!

My 'piece de resistance' finally opened today too - Mairin's Camellia. Normally this is the first to open but not this year for some reason. And there are gazillions more buds to open too.

I like garden ornaments

19 April 2013 19:37:27

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It's good to inject a bit of humour into the garden by adding ornaments, and quirky features. I think it brings out ones personality. 

I'm fed up buying terracotta ornaments that flake away and crack in frosty conditions. They are usually labelled as 'frost-resistant', not 'frost proof'. Covering their backs, I reckon. We got a few nice garden ornaments in the other day and as I have been so good in recent times, I decided to treat myself to a concrete ornament today, which is sure to bear the brunt of the harshest of weathers.

I had reduced lots of perennials over the last few months as they had been there since way before Christmas. But today, most of them were looking as fresh as the day they were delivered in. So the 'reduced' stickers got peeled off and are now back to full price. However, I couldn't resist this little primula (Primula rosea 'Gigas') and at the lower price. I think I deserve it. The one in the photo is more advanced than the specimen I bought. But it's good to see what it will soon look like!!!!

E-mail notifications

18 April 2013 21:41:00

The sky at night

18 April 2013 20:59:25

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What a fantastic sunset this evening. Half an hour ago, the sky took on an orangey glow. And within minutes it was streaked with red. Beautiful.

I like variegated plants

18 April 2013 19:54:41
Erysimum linifolia variegata

Erysimum linifolia variegata

So today, after looking at this since my return to work, I bought one. 

I think it's wise to limit the amount of variegated plants in a garden, as there is a danger of things taking on an insipid look.

What a nightmare!

18 April 2013 18:02:11

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Wild and windy all day, as I'm sure you all have witnessed. A big huge pot that was anchoring the netting down over the Lower Pond was actually blown INTO the pond overnight. I had a lovely camellia on the patio chair, stupid I know. But the chair and all had been toppled over. Luckily no damage done though. It landed on the grass.

Spent the first full hour in work just picking up plants, looking for their pots UNDER the benches, and sweeping up pots from the top shelves that had been smashed to smithereens. Not an easy day by any means. On top of that I had a big delivery in, and had a few really heavy downpours to contend with. Sometimes I feel like just giving up!!!

And to top it all, a man ran into the back of me on the way home. He had a water bottle on the driver seat floor and it rolled under his brake.

Magnolia 'stellata'

17 April 2013 21:23:01
Magnolia 'stellata'

Magnolia 'stellata'

I was always under the impression that Magnolia 'stellata' needed acid compost, therefore it has stayed in its pot since buying it. But only last year, while visiting Dad, I spotted this humungous 'stellata' growing in a local garden. I was totally gobsmacked. Then Dhu Varren Gardens informed me that they didn't actually need ericaceous compost. I have been wracking my brains trying to look for a bit of free space to plant this out. I haven't found it yet.

Today when I was on my way up to Dad's, I spotted the one that caught my attention this time last year. The owner was actually out at her gate talking to a neighbour. I was going to stop for a photo, with her permission of course, but chickened out at the last minute. I didn't want to interrupt the flow of conversation, like. So I continued on to Dad's. However, I couldn't resist. I went around the block, and came back to the same house. Nobody to be seen. Whipped out the camera and.......

It's stunning, and stands about 18ft tall. There just HAS to be somewhere in my garden that I can plant mine.

Another Camellia

17 April 2013 20:51:30
Camellia japonica 'Saturnia'

Camellia japonica 'Saturnia'

This one opened yesterday.

Oh, Elizabeth, I DO love you!

17 April 2013 20:40:25
Stowaways are the best!

Stowaways are the best!

Elizabeth gave me a good big clump of Kniphofia at the get-together in January. A couple of weeks ago I managed to split up the clump into three. And today I spotted some Leucojum coming up from one of the 'splits'. I was looking to bulk up my existing snowflakes, so this came as a very welcome surprise. Stowaways are just the best! And Elizabeth, you're not half bad yourself! Thanks, again.

The less time, the more organized

17 April 2013 19:51:46

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Every year at this time, it takes a lot out of me, knowing that I'm working weekends. It's only every second weekend, but it means that it's only every two weeks that I'll get two days off together. 

Up at the crack of dawn as usual today. Got vacuuming done, two washes, back windows cleaned, shopping, and a visit to Dad. Spent three hours or more on my backside in waterproofs just weeding, with occasional showers. Being on my backside meant that my back wasn't taking any unnecessary strain. Haven't done as thorough a job on this area in such a long time. And it was great to discover plants that I had forgotten I had. Cut back my penstemon 'Garnet' as it had become quite woody over time. It was very exciting to see my Lysimachia coming up underneath. I love this plant. I have the green form AND the variegated. Both are 'tops' in my books, although I know lots of people abhor it. Astrantia also on its way, and so much more.

Pulled up loads of a very annoying, but pretty, geranium with tiny pink flowers that just about gets everywhere. Even in the Alpine Circle. Weeded the Alpine Circle too, and the Acid Triangle (soo many buttercups and wild garlic coming up), which has somehow lost its triangular shape over time. Lawn-edger to the rescue at a later stage.

Fish are getting rather peckish at this stage, so they got a miniature banquet after their winter hibernation living off their reserves.

Very happy with what I accomplished today. All I need now is to top the long border off with some nice fresh barkchip, after I tackle the edges with a lawn-edger. But that will have to wait.

Greigii mixed

16 April 2013 20:58:51
Greigii mixed

Greigii mixed

Don't like these tulips. They open up too close to soil level. So they don't hold the grace that normal sized tulips would. These only opened yesterday, and already they have been whipped about by the ferocious winds of last night and today. Won't be getting these again. I thought I was getting something 'special' when choosing them, but maybe someone else's experience with these will lead me to change my mind.

Primula

16 April 2013 20:44:41
Primula

Primula

I can't remember who gave me this dote. I suspect it was Myrtle? I am not particularly bothered if I don't get a name for it, but I WOULD like to know who gave it to me. It's been flowering its' socks off for the last 4 weeks or more at this stage, and it doesn't look like it's going to stop anywhere in the near future.

Dontcha jus' luv' it!!!

16 April 2013 20:11:09
Dontcha jus' luv' it!!!

Dontcha jus' luv' it!!!

That time of year again when hibernators start to come out of the woodwork. Love it when I'm run off my feet in work. And love it even more when I know I can help people. The place was pretty chocabloc for most of the day.

Got home, had a cuppa, put the feet up for a few minutes,  and went out to the garden to survey any possible damage after the winds of last night and all day today. Not too bad. And I have an idea about the jobs I'll be getting up to tomorrow on my day off. Hail, rain, or snow, I'll be out there tidying up and weeding. Have the waterproofs and wellies at the ready. 

Every little helps

15 April 2013 20:00:37

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Bought some orchid compost today and gave my Cymbidium a bigger pot this evening. Just happened to 'find' some orchid feed in the garage. No wonder I'm hopeless with orchids. I never think to feed them. However, I'm full of great plans for this year. It says I should feed it every time I water it.

I really hope to get this flowering this year. It's been too long.

Dead-headed all the daffs in the front this evening. I didn't notice the one on the right last year. Don't know which one it is, but it would have been nice to see it without being all shrivelled up with the wind. There is lots of weeding to be done.

My weekends in work are starting again come this weekend. But on a cheerier note, I'll have a day off mid-week. And I'll have the June Bank Holiday weekend off for Bloom. :)

Hemerocallis

15 April 2013 19:16:37

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Took this first photo on Saturday. Looking pretty chewed up by slugs/snails. Paddy posted a great photo of the same plant (his) on Facebook just to put me to shame. LOL.

I scattered a few slug pellets when I saw his. And 'lo and behold, together with todays' sunshine, it is beginning to look like it should. It's onwards and upwards. This is a gorgeous plant, and I can see it bulking up already. Only bought it last year.

Small is beautiful

15 April 2013 06:41:26

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It may be tiny, but I have been waiting with bated breath for this little beauty to open. It obliged me yesterday. It is like a little precious gem. A bit on the windy side all day yesterday so photo slightly out of focus.

Cymbidium

14 April 2013 19:06:50
Cymbidium

Cymbidium

I have this about three years now. It hasn't flowered yet (well, not for me anyway). On Liga's advice, I put it out in the garden last summer, and took it back in around the end of September. It's on a North-facing windowsill, on the landing. New shoots coming out, but is it too cold to put it out into the greenhouse at this stage, and does it look like it needs potting on?

Cama, cama, cama, camellia

14 April 2013 18:21:10

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Normally my camellias are well and truly open by early March, the one that Mairin gave me being the first with its white blooms edged with pink. Lots of blooms on this one and I was hoping for it to be open within the next few days, with a bit of sunshine. But the flowers are now turning brown, and will probably just fall off. But this little beauty has beaten Mairin's one to it this year. Lovin' it so much. 

My Magnolia 'stellata' opened today also.

Leucojum

14 April 2013 08:13:39
Should I move these snowflakes?

Should I move these snowflakes?

I have three decent clumps of this under my Yew, which is on a slight mound so they have good drainage. But most of them have come up blind. Only one flower. 

So, the question is, should I move them to a less-drained spot, and/or somewhere more shaded? I absolutely love these, and am very disappointed with just getting one little flower. I even prefer these to snowdrops!!!!

Tomatoes

14 April 2013 07:28:03
Can't go wrong for 85c each

Can't go wrong for 85c each

I sowed a few tomato seeds this year, but as I couldn't really provide them with enough light, they ended up very puny and sick looking. 

My Dad normally gets his tomatoes much later in the season from a grower in Skerries, and they are whoppers by the time he collects them. But he never asks which variety they are, and that would bother me. This year I was thinking of asking Dad to order a couple for me too. The ones we have in work are tiny and priced at €1.75. Dearer than last year. I refuse to give them that kind of money for one plant.

But I spotted some lovely ones in Lidl yesterday priced at just 85c. They were very fresh looking, must have just come in. I put some into my trolley, and took them out again. I put them in again and out again. Went around to do my shopping. Queued up to pay for my groceries and left Dad to put groceries on the conveyor belt.

I got just 4. 3 for a hanging basket and 1 for the greenhouse. Not overloading myself or the greenhouse this year. Melons have germinated so I'll need space for them. Also squash, chilis and more.

Spurred on by Dick planting out his tomatoes in the greenhouse yesterday morning, but I'll keep them in the house maybe for the next few days. I don't have heating in my greenhouse.

Dreary day

13 April 2013 20:03:33
Erysimum ''Sweet Sorbet'

Erysimum ''Sweet Sorbet'

Good job I had family commitments today as it was such a dreary and wet day all day. All I did was water the contents of the greenhouse. Just out taking pics this afternoon and thought how lovely this Erysimum looked.

Dual Purpose basket

13 April 2013 06:48:15
Dual Purpose basket

Dual Purpose basket

Holly is an outdoor cat, and very low-maintenance. We can even safely go away for two weeks at a time, and leave out enough food for maybe 3-4 days. She doesn't always sleep in the boiler house, but always manages to find somewhere nice and cosy.

Yesterday when I got in from work, I found her curled up in a ball on top of the unused hanging basket, and basket liner giving her lots of cosy dreams. I found it impossible to make out which end was her head, until she looked up at me.

Don't mind me. I'm only bragging.

12 April 2013 21:14:44
Don't mind me. I'm only bragging.

Don't mind me. I'm only bragging.

And let's face it. I don't often have anything to brag about. But if the weather doesn't heat up soon, how will I find the space for this dahlia indoors? 25 inches at the moment.

Squash 'Spaghetti Pasta'

12 April 2013 20:08:14

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This is a nice low-carb substitute for pasta. The seeds were sent to me by my sister in Canada. I only sowed them on Tuesday and have germinated already. Looking forward to a nice 'dish with a difference' sometime over the next few months.

I have never grown Squash before, so if anyone has any advice to give.......all will be taken on board. I suppose they're similar to growing gourds. I've never grown gourds before either.

A near miss!

12 April 2013 18:39:26

Good Dealz

11 April 2013 20:21:57

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Was delighted when I saw this for sale in that budget shop Dealz. Grew it two years ago and planted it out, only later I was to learn that it would do its thing in a conservatory, or greenhouse.

1 out of the 2 has germinated. And I'm hopeful for the second one too. A good return for €2.98 if they flower for me.

Only, the one I grew before was 'rothschildiana'. This one is labelled as 'superba'. They look the same to me.

I'm only pretending to be a gardener

11 April 2013 18:31:40
11th April LAST YEAR - so different

11th April LAST YEAR - so different

I do feel like I don't belong here on this site when I read all about how much everyone has been looking forward to rain. I know the gardens need it badly right now. And I suppose I'm lucky in the respect that my garden is only an itty-bitty patch, compared to lots of you. 

Went back to work yesterday for the first time in 4 weeks. It rained. 2nd day today, and it rained, and lashed, and my hair turned curly, and my socks were wet all day which made me feel cold. But I had a big delivery in today and, as usual, no help. But the last thing I wanted when I got home was to venture outside in the torrents. Muscles are aching now but the g.c. is looking a lot more loved since my return. 

On a more cheery note, it was a good idea to go back to work on a Wednesday. A nice three day week before I really get stuck in.

And tomorrow's FRIDAY. Wahoo!!!

 

 

Tina, help please.

10 April 2013 19:30:01
Tina, help please.

Tina, help please.

Do you remember the plant you sent me last year? Well, I was bringing it out to the greenhouse yesterday. And the name, which was just on a scrap of paper, blew over the wall. Can you remind me what it is please?

My Thoughtful Spot

09 April 2013 21:04:12

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This area just outside the patio doors is one of my favourite areas in my garden. During the summer it is lush and green, with occasional stripes and variegated foliage. The hostas provide a very calm refuge from competitive colours in the borders. This is where I do a lot of my thinking.

Today, I spent a good while weeding the surface gravel of all of these, cleaning down the table, and re-placing them. A few with cracks, and some breaks. But nothing that Steve can't overcome. Need to top up the gravel mulch on a few, and replace some of the copper strip which is very effective against slugs and snails. Tried and tested. And Holly was nuzzling in to me all the time. Wet weather due over the weekend, but the patio needs power-washing badly.

Last Chance Saloon

09 April 2013 20:02:34

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Was annoyed that I had some errands to run this morning. I was later than I had liked in getting out to the garden. Last day for long stints as I'm thankfully back to work tomorrow.

I had potatoes chitting away in the garage for some time now. I normally plant them on St. Patrick's Day, or as near as possible. But we all know how bad it has been. So that was the first job I tackled today. I have First Earlies 'Sharpes Express', and main crop 'Maris Piper' - two of my very favourites. They are growing in Potato Bags, where I always grow spuds. Luckily I had the topsoil and didn't have to trek over to work prematurely. :) I have them in a fairly sheltered spot and it won't take too much thinking about if there is a frost forecast. Fleece is at the ready.

I also got all the roses in the back garden fed with Blood, Fish & Bone, and Epsom Salts - didn't have any Rose Feed, but these should be just as good. Happy about that.

Yikes!!!

09 April 2013 09:08:54

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Oooh, I think I've killed this one. It's a lovely evergreen shrub, with flowers that last right throughout the whole summer, and longer.

About a month ago, when the weather had been a bit milder, I decided to cut it back  as it was beginning to cast too much shade on the greenhouse. Rachel had advised that this would get quite woody over time. That was ok. As I had decided it was eventually going to get planted down at the back wall over the cave. 

However, that area is now already taken up with other plants. So no room now. 

I really hacked this back. There is absolutely NO sign of new growth. I love this, and hope to God I didn't pick the wrong time to do this job. Fingers crossed.

 

Fritillaria

08 April 2013 21:39:20

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Love these little beauties. No sign of a bud yesterday so you can imagine my delight when I went out today to find them all opening. It was quite breezy so please forgive the quality of the photos.

Indoor gardening

08 April 2013 21:11:35
Sweet peppers from supermarket

Sweet peppers from supermarket

Didn't get a whole lot done today as I had other commitments. But when I got home, I ended up potting on lots of stuff like peppers, grown from supermarket bought peppers. It's looking like space will be tight in the greenhouse so these won't fit in. I potted on just 5 seedlings (5 of the strongest), and discarded the rest. They will be grown in the porch.

Potted on radishes and nicandra, and sowed squash, tomatoes, melons and chilipeppers.

Started to take the seedlings from the kitchen windowsill outside to the greenhouse now. Hoping night temperatures are ok for my little babies that have been cossetted for the last couple of months. Watered everything in the greenhouse, and any newly-planted plants in the garden.

F.A.O. Moya

07 April 2013 21:16:39
F.A.O. Moya

F.A.O. Moya

This is what the little 'smoke bombs' look like, should you ever see them for sale.

The humble little viola

07 April 2013 20:53:29
The humble little viola

The humble little viola

These are planted in a terracotta window box outside the kitchen. They have only been dead-headed twice since planting them in October. Now, how good is that?

Identity please?

07 April 2013 20:11:30

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I have had this cactus/succulent in the greenhouse for the last three years. I think I bought it in Johnstown, but sadly I don't remember seeing a label when buying it. But that's not to say I just lost it!!!!

It is such a low maintenance plant, and doesn't have lethal spines or thorns, so is very easy to handle (it must be a succulent, so). But I'd love to find out its' name. I have a good book on Cacti, but it's not in it.

It has an embellishment of a fairy on a chunk of amethyst crystal, bought it in Lanzarote. It reminded me of my late Mam. Her engagement ring was made of Amethyst, which would have been considered unusual in her day.

The right move

07 April 2013 18:55:35
The right move

The right move

As said in previous journal, the three peach trees finally got planted into the soil of the greenhouse last year. They were like 'standards', but today I noticed some extra growth coming from ground level. I wonder should I remove this, or leave as is?

Great day!

07 April 2013 18:14:39

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I think this was the first real gardening day I have had since being out sick 4 weeks ago. I have to try and get back into the swing of things before heading back to work on Wednesday. So today I decided to tackle the greenhouse. I have been hardening off a lot plants in the last few days. So today they were taken out for longer. And I got Steve to take out the bigger pots. No point in doing my back in again before going back. While the greenhouse was empty I decided to let off my last 'smoke bomb' before visiting Dad. Had to cover the three peach trees with fleece as they are now planted in the soil of the greenhouse, I let it do its work in my absence. Last year I kept all my plants in the garage overnight. But then they hadn't been hardened off properly.

So once the smoke had a chance to circulate around inside, I busied myself taking off any dead and dying foliage of everything while I had them outside. I then removed the top 50% of compost of most pots, and replaced it with fresh stuff. A lot of the compost was completely dried out, even though I have been watering it regularly in the last week. And you know how difficult it is to re-wet dried out compost. Plus now they'll all have the extra nutrients that fresh compost can provide. All back in snugly for the night.

I cut back a non-productive vine as much as I could. I can't dig it up as the roots are actually growing outside. And now there is a narrow strip of concrete over where it was originally planted. I bought a new vine in October, and planted this in its place today. But looking at it, it doesn't have a sign of growth on it. And there's Dick with grapes already on his vine!!!!

I have the kept the left hand side of the greenhouse empty as I intend getting my tomato plants in work this year. So growbags here we come, and lots of juicy tomatoes. I can put out the plants on the right hand side at my leisure, and when the weather warms up reliably.

Back is sore right now, but I think it might be a 'healthy' sore. :)

Second Chance

07 April 2013 08:04:00
Second Chance

Second Chance

If you were like me, and missed Fridays episode of Gardener's World, tune in the BBC2  for a repeat (8.15am), followed by The A to Z of TV Gardening, and then 9.30 Beechgrove Garden. A good two hours to proper TV. Yay!

Hard to capture

05 April 2013 20:54:42

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Other things on my mind today other than gardening, I'm afraid. But yesterday I spotted a wren here, and soooo difficult to capture on camera as they just flit in and out, leaving few opportunities for getting a decent shot of them. Sorry about the picture quality as I had to 'crop' the photo twice to get an up-close picture.

Waiting

04 April 2013 20:08:02
Waiting

Waiting

Still waiting for that kick up the arse to really get going in the garden. I'm blaming the weather. What else? Spent the morning chasing my tail. And when I got home, I went outside every five minutes to see what difference I could make????

Delighted with the few bits I've managed to do in the last few days, since the weather became that bit dryer. I have planted at least two or three (or more) plants each day. And bit by bit, I'm making a dent in my plants-in-waiting. I planned on doing a bit of 'potting on' but unfortunately that didn't happen. But I did manage to finally get Bruno's passiflora caerulea into the ground, right beside my white passiflora 'Constance Elliott'. If they manage to flower at the same time, that should be a stunning combo.

Elizabeth gave me a big pot of Kniphofia in Johnstown, which I managed to split into three separate plants. So looking forward to having this dotted around the garden.

Pond Maintenance

03 April 2013 21:54:24
Pond Maintenance

Pond Maintenance

I was happy enough with the few bits I got done today. But, sometimes I see little jobs that need doing, and I know they won't take me long. So, I nip out and do them, come back, and start thinking again.

The pond weed has been annoying me of late, but hadn't the physical ability to do much in the last few weeks. But I'm well on the mend now, thank God. So later today I decided, at the last minute, to remove some pond weed. Good God, the water was freezing. I wonder is there somewhere that sells gloves that go all the way up to the shoulders? It would make life a lot more pleasant in cold weather.

Life is good

03 April 2013 20:45:50

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Well, today was a real spring day. So bright, but still cold. This morning I spent a good bit of time getting my banger ready for its N.C.T. It took longer than I had thought. But then, it has a years supply of grit and compost on the floor and the back seat.

I took everything out of the greenhouse for the afternoon, to start the hardening off process. Back in again after about three hours and watered all. Hope to do the same tomorrow, but for longer. My days at home are numbered. :)

I planted JoanG's Buddleah 'Ruby Red' over the soil on the cave, and Monarda 'Gardenview Scarlet'. These will compliment the Laburnum at the back wall. And Sambucus 'Black Lace', which I thought I had killed after planting last October. I was a bit remiss about watering it after planting, as the weather had taken a nose-dive. So I was very happy to see lots of new growth on this today.

My Celandine has opened. Yes!!!!   Now I must be vigilant about its spreading capacity. Just luvin' it!

Ok, Own up!

03 April 2013 19:21:05

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I was under the impression that I got this one from the King of Invasives. But having posted this also on Facebook, he assures me it wasn't him.

I finally got to plant this today, and whoever gave me this lovely invasive plant, thank you very much. It would be nice if I knew who gave it to me though??? Someone was giving them out at Johnstown. Maybe someone can recognize the handwriting???

Roses and Clematis

02 April 2013 22:14:58
Roses and Clematis

Roses and Clematis

On Thursday 11th April Aldi have Clematis on offer - 2 litre pots for just €5.99 - all montanas, 'Rubens', Grandiflora', 'Warwickshire Rose' and 'Broughton Star' - 2yr old plants. And they also have some nice English grown patio/bush roses. Varieties include 'Baby Bio', 'Sweet Dreams', 'Holly Jane', 'Pink Fairy', 'White Fairy', 'Red Fairy', 'Yellow Fairy', and lastly 'Nina Weibul' all for just €3.99 each.

Water, water, everywhere

02 April 2013 21:42:57

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No, it wasn't a wet day here, surprise, surprise. But over the last few weeks you would think the reservoirs in the Dublin area have more than enough water. We are on rationing at the moment, and every drop after 7.00pm is monitored.

Another visit to doc today, and another week off. So I made the most of the water while I could. I had to water the plants I have planted in the last few days, and everything in the greenhouse. Tomorrow I hope to take everything out of the greenhouse to begin hardening them off.

Rachel gave me a lovely plant last year - Omphalodes cappadocca 'Starry Eyes' which has started to open. Lovin' it. Thanks again, Rachel.

Nice sunset

02 April 2013 20:17:10

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Sky is looking tops this evening. Hope it's a good sign for tomorrow.

Dahlia update

02 April 2013 19:03:04

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I potted up this over-wintered dahlia on 3rd February. I've already removed about 6 developing flower buds so it can put all its energy into growing healthily. More on the way. So I think at this stage I might like to have a flowering Dahlia houseplant for now. It measures 21 inches at the moment, nice and green and lookin' good.

It's just a waiting game

02 April 2013 08:55:28
C. 'Mairin' almost there!

C. 'Mairin' almost there!

This time last year ALL my Camellias were in full flower. Getting impatient now. Mairin  dug one up from her garden about 2 or 3yrs ago and I gave it a home in a great big barrel. It has done really well considering it was up-rooted and had its roots confined. It's almost there.

 

U 4 B A

01 April 2013 20:24:11

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I bought this really pretty Euphorbia today - 'Ascott Rainbow'. It sure lives up to its name. This is definitely one that I will try from cuttings later.

Chili con Carne

01 April 2013 17:20:20

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After much coaxing earlier on, I persuaded Steve that we needed to get out away from the confines of the home. Where to go? Hmmmm! Ended up in Malahide in Plantagen. It's a long time since I have shopped there and I ended up spending a mere €15. Surprise, surprise. But by God, it was bitingly cold (chili???). And of course Steve didn't have a proper jacket with him so he was feeling the brunt of it. Headed to Malahide Castle then. We had planned on taking a walk through the gardens. But as there was nobody manning the turnstiles, we weren't prepared to wait. Steve's nose was turning bright pink at this stage. But I managed to get a couple of pretty photos from over the railing.

Next, we headed to Kinsealy Pet Shop for another couple of Koi to keep our 'biggie' company. We were promptly told that it was still too chilly to introduce baby koi to the great outdoors. We'll have to wait another couple of weeks.

Just bought 3 plants in Plantagen, and as I'm back to work tomorrow after a long absence, I decided to plant them today. Glad that's done.

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