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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal February 2014

Last Post 1360 days 3 hours ago

"DO NOT DISTURB"

28 February 2014 20:21:27

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Today, I was taking a closer look for frogspawn in  the Greenhouse Pond, which is a wild life pond ie. no fish. Two mating couples.

I left them to it. Happy Days!

Shop-bought

28 February 2014 19:23:06
Shop-bought

Shop-bought

I bought garlic in the local supermarket, but as there was some left over I planted the remaining cloves into a big tub. Did this mid-January. Looking fine today, and looking forward!!!

Anemone

28 February 2014 07:31:32

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These little Anemone blanda are starting to open. They are great for spreading themselves about the place, without becoming invasive.

One disadvantage

28 February 2014 05:56:13
One disadvantage

One disadvantage

It's a regular occurence when mowing the grass and it sprays up and into the Lower and Greenhouse ponds as they are on ground level, and have no barriers around them. I was just about to scoop out the glass clippings on Thursday when I realised that I could possbly be removing any frogspawn that may be there. I suppose I'll have to get over my urge to clean it for a while more.

BEEootiful

27 February 2014 19:37:55

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Tough morning physically, but not in the garden. :(  So I chose not to venture out to do any chores. Instead I just took the camera on a stroll. Saw about 4 big fat bumble bees. And this one just couldn't get enough pollen. You can even see it on his bum and legs. He lifted my spirits immensely.

Arisaema

27 February 2014 10:16:06
Arisaema speciosum var. magnificum

Arisaema speciosum var. magnificum

I do love arisaemas. I would have a lot more only some of them are either very short-lived, or they just don't like our weather too much. I have lost a couple of real beauties over the years. Quite unusual garden plants, and that suits me. You either love them or hate them.

Here is one that just keeps on popping up without fail. Can't wait to see this baby again with its beautiful markings.

Thanks, Rachel

26 February 2014 22:01:54

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Omphalodes cappadocica 'Starry Eyes' is about to open. Let's hope the weather stays with us for the next few days.

And here she comes....

26 February 2014 21:00:03
Camellia japonica 'Berenice Perfection'

Camellia japonica 'Berenice Perfection'

Yes, Camellia 'Berenice Perfection' decided to perform as she was jealous of C. 'Margaret Davis' opening only yesterday. So many more blooms to open too.

Garden Ornaments

26 February 2014 20:02:32

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I took most of my ornaments in for the winter but left a few weathered ones out. Here are just two. The sun is to provide a bit of cheer on the North-facing wall of the Boiler House. The other one I got from a garden.ier the year before last at the get-together.

Tomorrow I'll be dusting off all the rest and letting them fend for themselves come what may.

Grass (not the smoking kind)

26 February 2014 18:24:50

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Hail, rain or snow I was out there with the intention of giving the grass its first cut of the year before the rain that has been forecast for later tonight. A bit squelchy, but I managed to get it done. The lawnmower sucked up a lot of the muck and debris that I had left on the grass since digging up the spireas and giving my North-facing border the recent change.

I normally leave the cutting of the grass for Steve to do, but hey, he was in work. And you know what it's like when a woman wants something done immediately. The sun shone all day, so it was a great opportunity to get it dried out a bit. It looks a bit scaldy right now, but once we have a bit of rain, it will bounce right back. I love the way grass puts up with such abuse.

Did more tidying up, and cut away dead or dying leaves from a couple of phormiums. 

Got all my geraniums sprayed against whitefly. Planted a few Watsonia bulbs that I think Paddy gave me at the IGPS Plant Fair last Autumn.

The garden is finally taking shape and I hope to keep up the good work tomorrow.

 

Camellia

25 February 2014 19:21:50

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This is a Camellia that was given to me by Mairin. We (Liga and myself) dug it up from Mairin's garden and it was transported back to my garden where I have had it in a big barrel for the last oh, 4 maybe 5 years?  I'm surprised at how well it has done being restricted after having the freedom of Mairin's garden soil.

And I didn't expect this one to open up before my 'Berenice Perfection'. So it goes! 

Pieris

24 February 2014 21:45:54

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Two nice Pieris in my garden. One is the common one 'Flame of the Forest', the other one that I got in Johnstown G.C. a few years ago 'Valley Valentine',

Indulging my 'other' passion

24 February 2014 19:34:33

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As I had business that took me into the city centre this morning, I took the opportunity to visit St. Stephen's Green. It's a place that I have been to many a time, but only partaking in recitals during my early twenties when I was in a Brass and Reed Band.  So I never really got the opportunity to have a proper wander around.

But I rectified that when my bits and pieces were done. I don't think I was expecting anything of real botanical value, but I did know that I would be witnessing my 'other' passion with the lake. That other passion was in the shape of our feathered friends. I have the same affinity with them as I do with gardens. 

I was very impressed with the planting schemes. A lot of people wouldn't agree with me. But the primroses that they used were planted with such precision, almost as if the gardeners had used rulers to keep the lines intact. Yes, here the planting worked really well. I didn't scout around the whole green as I was heading East and the sun was blinding. Good complaint for the end of February. 

I did so much walking that I had to 'crash' for two hours when I got home so I did nothing in the garden. This sickness with my knee has really knocked the stuffing out of me. I'm finding it really difficult to build up the fitness level that I had way back in November.

However, I'll be taking things very easy over the next couple of days as the forecast isn't great.

I hope my album doesn't bore you too much.

Veronica

23 February 2014 22:39:11

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This Veronica peduncularis 'Georgia Blue' (syn. V. p. 'Oxford Blue') is cascading over the bank that I called 'Primrose Hill' last year. But in truth, there is now only ONE primrose planted in this area so it will have to be re-named.  This is the bank that is adjacent to the future 4th pond. Ha! That's a good one. Year four in the making. Let's hope it will be completed this year.

Anyway, this Veronica is doing so well that it will shortly need to be divided. Growing prolifically, and flowering at the moment. Older foliage is green, newer foliage bronze. If anyone wants any, just shout. Will hopefully be divided during the week.

One of my pet hates

23 February 2014 20:52:20
Pulmonaria

Pulmonaria

Actually, two plants come under this category for me -  Pulmonaria and Myosotis. I love their blue/pink spring flowers. But I detest the way the leaves go brown before the flowers even appear.

What's YOUR pet hate?

The Worlds Tiniest.....

23 February 2014 20:22:04

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.....primrose opened up in my garden today. It measures about 1 inch small, and another flower ready to open, weather permitting. 

Better than expected

23 February 2014 19:44:41

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Ugh!!! Looking out this morning, I didn't visualize much gardening today. It was so dark and very frequent showers. But as I had to go out to lunch with Dad, I wasn't letting it bother me too much. Luckily we were home earlier than usual. And....at 2.15 I headed out. Wild horses weren't going to hold me back, as I didn't get anything done yesterday. Miraculously the rain had stopped at that stage, and it stayed dry for the rest of the day.

Started off lifting all the shrub cuttings, and stones, and pulled weeds, that had been left there for the last two weeks when I decided to uproot the Spireas. Jeez, no wonder Wee Davey thought the garden was a mess yesterday. He was so right. Got two black bags full.

Weeded around my primrose area, and did a bit more cutting back. Uprooted as much of my vinca as possible. Even though I love it for its evergreen foliage, and ground cover properties, I'm a bit fed up with it. It's just flowering at the moment and it seemed a shame to be pulling it up in its prime. But........c'est la vie.

I was admiring my U4BA that PWiseman just posted a photo of a few minutes ago. It's a real stunner. It just lights up a dark corner.

In the greenhouse, I noticed that there were a lot of whitefly in and around all my geraniums. So, I gave them a good tidy up, and have them in the garage until tomorrow when I spray them with the appropriate chemical. I took a few cuttings of a beautiful variegated geranium 'Frank Headley'.

Was in Aldi when I was out with Dad. I hadn't managed to get there all week, so I bought 2 packs of hostas (like I need any more),  1 Heliopsis helianthoides, and 1 Anemone de Caen, and all for only €1.49 a pack. Potted all of those up when I was finished in the garden. And that's where the garden tray on sale next Thursday in Aldi comes into its own. I was able to do it all on the kitchen counter.

 

And keeping on the yellow theme...

23 February 2014 19:06:09
And keeping on the yellow theme...

And keeping on the yellow theme...

my first dandelion opened today too. I'll bet you're all jealous.  LOL

Yellow

23 February 2014 18:39:03
Hacquetia epipactis

Hacquetia epipactis

This tiny flower opened up for me. I nearly always overlook it as it is so tiny. But oh, so welcome.

Fun and Games

22 February 2014 18:18:08

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Had the pleasure of my younger daughter, Zoe, and grandson, Wee Davey over for the afternoon so not much done outside.

David insisted on having a walkabout though. And he wondered why the garden was looking 'messy'. Huh! The cheek of him. I guess if it was a bit warmer, he would have liked to put things right for his Gran. I'll give him a few years and then he will have all the opportunities he wants. He also asked could he plant some sunflower seeds to take home.

When that was done, we spent the rest of the afternoon painting polystyrene eggs in readiness for Easter. Bless his little heart.

 

Garden birds

21 February 2014 20:57:23

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I have not seen one single goldfinch in my garden since last year. I've come to realize that they only arrive when the biting cold arrives too.

I spotted a blackcap here for the first time last year, and have seen only one or two flitting about in recent days.

Has anyone come across any differences in visiting patterns, or visiting birds this winter.

Of course, the heron is a 'constant'. :(

Anemone

21 February 2014 20:13:31

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I was all prepared for getting stuck in this morning. But.....same old, same old. As soon as I attempted to go out, down came the rain.

Did a bit more clearing up,  then housework, more outdoor clearing up, more housework. Jeez, my house is, as my dear Mam used to say 'like a little dairy'. You could nearly eat your dinner off my floor it's that clean. LOL

It wasn't really a day for getting down and dirty as I was expecting my hairdresser to arrive at any minute. She is ALWAYS late!!!! Hate that!. I always feel it's a total waste of a day outdoors, but at least my hair looks good now.

I did manage to get a lovely lilac/blue anemone down that Jackie kindly gave me the other day at our Botanic Gardens visit. Thanks again, Jackie. This is planted into the new area with the hellebores and snowdrops, so it's looking like a spring-flowering border now. I think a nice lot of eranthis is on my wish list for here too, after viewing it in all its glory in the Botanic Gardens.

 

Pink Haze

20 February 2014 21:54:32
Pink Haze

Pink Haze

Pulmonaria 'Pink Haze' also opened today. Pretty little thing.

Hamamelis

20 February 2014 20:20:53
Hamamelis

Hamamelis

My second witch hazel opened today in the front garden. It doesn't say which one on the label. I'm assuming it's 'Pallida'.

Oops!!

20 February 2014 19:40:01
Two trunks on acer

Two trunks on acer

Spotted not one, but two trunks on one of my acers in the retaining bed today. How come I never noticed this before. It must have been grafted onto a different rootstock but I certainly don't recall seeing a graft. And if there was a graft, I must have planted it below soil level.

All advice welcome.

Was all ready.....

20 February 2014 18:42:28

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to head outside this morning to do a bit when my sister and niece called for a visit. Huh! Talk about chomping at the bit. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing my family. But I knew quite early today that I was going to be in and out with showers. They finally went off with themselves at about 2.00 so straight out I went to make the most of it. Not a bad day, despite frequent heavy hail showers. So I finally got to moving the rest of my snowdrops down to the 'new' area by the Lower Pond.

Steve built a retaining bed at the back of the Upper Pond a few years ago, and this is where all of my snowdrops were until just two weeks ago. 

The new area is beginning to take shape at last. I planted the rest of my Lidl Hellebores in this area too and transplanted a couple of U4BAs also. This area is going to be mainly a foliage area, apart from the snowdrops and hellebores. And I will use the retaining bed for any baby snowdrops that I anticipate bulking up before transferring them to the new area. There are lots of plants in this bed and they really will benefit from the extra space. I have 4 acers here which look gorgeous in summer, also bergenias, darmera peltata, rogersia, primroses, vinca, campanula, astilbe, pampas, plus more.

I think I have left enough space between plants to allow them to spread a bit. The sooner I get this new area planted up, the sooner Holly will look for somewhere different to use as a toilet. Hopefully I'll get the bark chip spread all around tomorrow. Getting fed up looking at it all stacked up waiting to be used. It's still looking pretty messy at the moment as there is soil scattered all over the grass. But with the help of my trusty lawn edger tomorrow, I hope to get it neatened up. Hopefully the grass will grow up through the soil that I dumped there.

Looking through the window.....

20 February 2014 07:58:56
Web photo

Web photo

and it's doing my heart good watching two robins gathering nesting materials. I could sit and watch them all day. Spring is definitely on its way.

Making hay while the sun shines

19 February 2014 19:58:45

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Beautiful morning here in Dublin. And a last minute decision by myself and Jackie last night to visit the National Botanic Gardens today. We couldn't have asked for better weather. At times it was even warm enough for me to contemplate taking off my jacket. 

We had a very leisurely stroll around the gardens. And even though I had visited less than two weeks ago, there was so much more to offer today.

Sunshine and blueskies all the way.

Thanks, Jackie.

It's raining outside now, but I'm ever hopeful for a bit of dry weather in between showers tomorrow.

Just put up an album of todays visit. Hope you enjoy!

Sorbus

19 February 2014 09:43:27

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I love the emerging foliage of this Sorbus. A beautiful morning here in Dublin but I don't think it's to last.

Plant ID please!

18 February 2014 22:10:39
Plant ID please!

Plant ID please!

I have this growing in the 'raised bed' behind the Upper Pond. I've gone back on last years photos and can't find anything that might suggest what it is. Hoping someone here can possibly jog my memory?

Primrose

18 February 2014 21:48:33
Kennedy primrose 'Claddagh'

Kennedy primrose 'Claddagh'

Got a few different types of Kennedy primroses last year. But, even though they are lovely, I find that the flowers themselves tend to be a bit 'watery' in colour, almost translucent.

Jumping the gun

18 February 2014 20:22:21

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Ok, so far Aldi and Lidl have only had a smattering of gardening goodies. But looking at the catalogue for Aldi for NEXT week, it seems to be the start of all things good for us lot.

Thursday 27th Feb:

Compost Bins (220lt) €19.99

3 and 4 tier greenhouses €19.99 and €22.99 respectively)

Raised beds €9.99

Fruit and Vegetable starter plants €2.99

Multipurpose compost €1.99

Seed and Cutting compost 20 litres €1.99

Work Trays €7.99

Garden sieve €6.99

Potting bench €39.99

Magnolia €9.99

Mediterranean Plants (height 70-100cms) €19.99

Bedding plug plants €2.99

 

 

THE FUN BEGINS!!!

Check your receipts

18 February 2014 17:55:40

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Those of you who bought the terracotta pots in Dealz over the last few days check the back of your receipt.

Buy 6 gardening products and get one of them free. But I think the offer only lasts until 20 February. I now have 13 nice new pots for this year. Hoping to remove all the big planters in front of the Lower Pond this year as the pond is no longer a risk for Wee Davey. And it'll be nice to have no obstructions so we will be able to see more of it. Might do identical planting in however many I decide to place round it. 

Snap, Jackie

18 February 2014 15:37:14
Snap, Jackie

Snap, Jackie

Laughing away to myself here seeing that Jackie has a tulip beginning to open today. Me too, and it looks possibly the same one. Must be a Northside thing! LOL

Thursdays Offers

17 February 2014 21:24:02
Thursdays Offers

Thursdays Offers

Just looking through the Aldi Catalogue here. Summer Flowering perennials €1.49 each (includes 17 popular varieties), English Grown Roses - choose from 30 varieties (bush, shrub and climbing) - 2yr old, root-balled plants for only €2.99. 

Also Flower and Fruit Hanging Basket - includes 4lt bag of compost and bulbs, runners or seeds for just 5.99

Seed potatoes - Pentland, Maris Piper and Kerrs Pink for €1.99.

 

Olearia

17 February 2014 20:02:58
Olearia traversii 'Tweedledum'

Olearia traversii 'Tweedledum'

I bought this shrub a few years ago. It's, at the moment, in a planter. But it's definitely worth a place in a border. I may plant it at the back of the newly-acquired free space in the North-facing border. I feel it's not looking as good as it should being restricted in a planter. And I do need some cover for the awful bare brick wall now that the ivy is gone. It certainly won't take over the wall as it only gets to about 1.2m.

Geraniums

16 February 2014 21:22:56

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Didn't do anything outside today except observe. Still getting new flowers on my Arctotis outside the greenhouse, and all last years geraniums are still flowering in the greenhouse and in a long window box on the garage windowsill, plus lots more.

It was my first time to even bother keeping all my geraniums (and I have a lot) over winter. It has been just as easy, although more expensive, just to buy more in work each year. My subconscious must have been telling me that my budget would be less expandable this year. I've been off work sick since 11th November. I haven't lost ANY geraniums yet, so I reckon it's looking good for the summer display. 

This is a lovely variegated pelargonium I got at the IGPS Sale in Palmerstown last year - P. 'Lady Plymouth'. It's on the kitchen windowsill, didn't want to chance it outside. And there is lots of fresh growth on it which is great news. Tomorrow I hope to take some cuttings.

My Growing rack is now assembled. I had forgotten it was a 5 tiered one, and BIG!!! A few major changes will be made in the dining room over the coming weeks so space now will be very limited for future years. Hmmm, get the thinking cap on!

At long last

16 February 2014 20:38:28

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After looking at this tiny crittur for weeks it finally opened up today in the dry spell. I love its yellow ovary and inner markings. It just warms the cockles of my heart!

Getting all fired up

16 February 2014 07:22:27
Getting all fired up

Getting all fired up

That good spell we had a long time ago got me all fired up for the garden. I even sowed some tomato seeds. Sadly they perished. I'll never learn. But the seeds that I got from Moya in the Botanic gardens have all come up. Happy days! Rudbeckia and Basil are also up. 

But it seems ages since the weather has been really good for little more than a day or two at a time. My enthusiasm is beginning to wane. Hopefully there is an end in sight to this cold/wet weather. Won't get anything noteworthy done outside today as the ground is pretty cold.

If there's a Weather God up there ...............

A Work in Progress

15 February 2014 19:29:52

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So much rain today that I decided to cheer myself up with a painting. I'm concentrating on getting a botanical exhibition together so this was a good start today. And just as I really got stuck into it, the sun decided to come out. Typical!

Valentine Cheer

14 February 2014 19:36:29
R. 'Christmas Cheer'.

R. 'Christmas Cheer'.

No gardening for me today. Horrific day, and I didn't even go out to take photos. That must be a first.

So instead, I'll post a photo of my Rhododendron 'Christmas Cheer' which opened this day last year. It'll still be a while before it flowers for me this year.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Peep!

13 February 2014 20:21:43

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Hello!!!   Just popping up to see what the weather is doing. 

 

 

 

I love the way the flowers open as soon as they reach the soil surface.

I gave up!

13 February 2014 19:07:36

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After numerous attempts to get out and do a bit today, the weather put paid to all my good intentions. Admittedly the grass is pretty squishy with all the rain, but it's great at bouncing back so that didn't bother me too much.

I have some snowdrops growing under the foliage of my small cortaderia and are completely hidden. So I took it into my head to transplant them up in the shady border. Probably not the best time for transplanting snowdrops, but they do say they are better planted 'in the green'. And I have plenty for now so I'm not too worried. Now in my shady border I have plants for all seasons, ferns, hellebores, U4BAs, snowdrops and will put more stuff in later when the weather gets a bit better. And the stuff in this border will be seen easily, without having to trudge all the way down to the back wall in bad weather.

One of my recent purchases from Lidl decided to open today. So pretty.

When I realised that I was fighting a losing battle with the weather I decided to sow some Livingstone Daises and Cosmos. So they're cooking away in the propagator now.

The basil and tomatoes that I sowed last Saturday are now peeping up!!!

'Spindlestone Surprise'

12 February 2014 20:58:59
'Spindlestone Surprise'

'Spindlestone Surprise'

Thought I'd post a photo of how this Galanthus is looking today just in case it takes off during the night and I never see it again. I love its yellow ovary. Lovely inner yellow markings too but I'll have to be patient to witness that.

I was sent one bulb last March, and as you can see there are two about to open this year. Worth €25, I reckon!!!!

Bring on the summer

12 February 2014 20:01:18
Bring on the summer

Bring on the summer

If ever I was in need of some summer sun it is NOW. 

Just a photo of my pergola the year I joined this site.

Praying for early nightfall

12 February 2014 16:49:54
Greenhouse in a nicer season years ago.

Greenhouse in a nicer season years ago.

......because I don't really want to SEE my greenhouse and the whole garden taking off into outer space!!!!!     I've never witnessed such winds here before.

Stay safe, everyone. And only go out if you really have to.

What's this, please?

11 February 2014 20:48:07

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A few days ago, I brought all my containers of tulips out from under the cover of the trees/shrubs down at the back of garden. They needed to be weeded and top-dressed. But I saw this peculiar looking plant coming up in a couple of the pots. No idea what it is. Any takers?

Weather interrupts good intentions

11 February 2014 13:14:08
Blechnum magellanicum

Blechnum magellanicum

Snowing here now so I have to stop transplanting stuff.

Shady Border

10 February 2014 20:15:55
Shady border taking shape

Shady border taking shape

After I had my bits and pieces done this morning, I got out and made the best of the brief dry spell. Dug up a couple of ferns from down the back and planted them into my new area by the Lower Pond. Not an easy task WITHOUT a spade!

Got a lovely evergreen fern (Cyrtomium falcatum) in Johnstown that went in too. Had a lot of juggling around to do to accommodate these plants, and all the whlle raking out bits of old roots and foliage. Also put in some snowdrops and hellebores. It'll be great not to have to trudge down to the end of the garden to see these winter/spring beauties next year. Got most of the job done before the rain came down. Hopefully tomorrow I can spread lots of bark chip in this area. 

Watered everything in the greenhouse and took geranium cuttings. Also cut the top off a pineapple and potted it up. Obviously I will never get pineapples but the foliage is quite lovely. Doesn't always take, but always worth a try for something a bit different.

Pelargoniums

09 February 2014 19:41:55
Pelargoniums

Pelargoniums

Could I safely take a few cuttings or pelargoniums at this time of year? In the greenhouse today and a few stems of this were just dangling over the edge. They look nice now, but later on in the season they will no doubt look very gangly. So I was wondering about taking some cuttings now?

I need something pretty to look at.......

09 February 2014 18:20:10
I need something pretty to look at.......

I need something pretty to look at.......

.......so here's my first 'tete-a-tete' to open!

You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs

09 February 2014 17:52:44

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Did you ever wonder why you start certain jobs in the garden!!!!

I don't know what possessed me to start upscuttling all my plants in the North-facing border. I suppose it was an impulsive 'whim'. I'm beginning to regret it already, and I only started on Thursday by cutting back three spireas.

When I got back from lunch, we both got stuck into the garden. It started off with me wanting the Fatsia 'out' as it was sticking out like a sore thumb. I didn't have a pot large enough to accomodate the rootball, so it's now in black plastic bag.

I have a beautiful fern down beside the Upper Pond. Steve was in the garage repairing the spade as I guess he realized that his braun was going to be called upon before long. Magic! He just shortened the handle of last week and made it more to my size. I wanted him to move this huge fern so I could transplant it beside the Lower Pond, as I'm going to concentrate mainly on ferns, foliage and texture in this area. I uprooted lots of plants to make room for this.

Meanwhile, Steve dug down to Australia. But.......midway.......crack!  Oh, the air was blue!  LOL  Being the 'lady' that I am, I could not possibly repeat his expletives!!!! He did manage to dig up the fern. And I dug a hole with just the blade of the spade so he could plant it before nightfall. Oh, I am laughing away to myself here. Even though there is now total chaos in the North-facing border, we had a great day! I needed to make the most of his presence before he went to work in the morning.

The whole garden is a total mess at this stage. Plants dug up, potted. Muck, and I mean 'muck' all over the grass which is at this stage quite like a swamp after the incessant recent rains. But when I get round to giving the grass its first mow, I will just re-sow seed on top. Hey Presto! Lush lawn here we come! Some day I might have a garden 'to die for'. One can only dream!  But in the meantime, we're having lots of fun and getting a great work-out to boot!

 He's enjoying a nice beer now and it's not even dark! LOL

Workshop: Willow Structures for your Garden

09 February 2014 09:34:03
Web photo (not from Botanic Gardens)

Web photo (not from Botanic Gardens)

Award-winning artist Breda Marron will guide you through the creation of outdoor willow structures. Enjoy working as part of a group while learnng skills and techniques, which can be used to create pieces for your own garden, such as tripod plant supports, decorative vegetable dividers and domes. Suitable for complete beginners, limited places available, pre-booking required. To see Breda's work check www.bredamarron.com

Date: 8th March 2014

Tme:  10.30am (meet at Education and Visitor Centre)

Cost:  €35 Booking essential

Venue:   National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin.

Meanwhile back at the ranch....

08 February 2014 20:35:06

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Steve wasn't idle in my absence today. He didn't fix my spade yet, but unbeknownst to me, he hacked away at the three Spireas with a pickaxe!!!!!  And I'm so relieved he stopped at the spireas and ivy!!

Whatever chance the well-pruned shrubs had of regenerating is completely out the window now. However, it has opened up my new free space even more. Although, I'm not sure I like the bare wall. Hmmmm!   Imagination working overtime here. :)

Blessed!

08 February 2014 18:43:17

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After the horrific forecast for today, we were pleasantly surprised. Met up, had a quick coffee, and headed off on our leisurely stroll. Such a glorious day. Somebody up above was looking after us. It was a very relaxed atmosphere, something which doesn't really happen too often with a large gathering. And you get to chat with everyone present. Fair play to Moya for the long trek down. It was great to see you all. Thank you for making an otherwise mundane Saturday such a pleasure. Hope to see you all again soon.

As soon as I reversed into the driveway, the Heavens opened. Thanks all for the plants, seeds and magazine. I have sown the basil and tomatoes already.

Favourites

07 February 2014 23:18:40

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My two favourite colours opened up today.

'Baggesen's Gold'

07 February 2014 22:11:53

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This is another shrub that I ended up having to cut back today. It has never had a haircut since I planted it all those year ago. I won't be getting rid of this as I love the way the evergreen foliage of this Lonicera turns yellow/gold during the summer months. I will be keeping a better shape on it though. But here's the thing!  All those years in my garden and I never before noticed any berries on it. Lovely shade of purple. 

Space

07 February 2014 21:00:15

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Got the best out of the morning in the garden. Today I was concentrating on removing as much of my Spirea in the North-facing border, to make space for some more desirable plants. Where I did like the idea that you couldn't see the whole length of the garden from the patio doors, I love open spaces better, especially in my suburban garden. I spent a couple of hours cutting the spirea back and bagging. And what I originally thought was just one shrub turned out to be actually three. I planted them about 15-20yrs ago so the base of them and roots are rather large. A job for Steve some time soon hopefully.

I also now have to tackle lots of ground ivy. Not ready for planting yet, but lots of time to think about what I actually want - ferns and shade-loving plants. I have gained at least 6ft depth of planting space between the neighbours wall and the lawn edge and a length of about 12ft. The whole place looks so much larger. But Fatsia is now sticking out like a sore thumb, so that will have to be moved further back towards the wall. And.......I'm aware that my Fremontodendron looks completely out of place over at the greenhouse. I was hoping to move that over to this new space. But after a bit of googling, I now know it NEEDS sun. So that's a non-runner. However, it's all just in the planning stage. It's fun, though, just thinking about it.

Great day

06 February 2014 22:16:22

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Well I went around the house this morning like a hen on a hot griddle trying to get as much done before daylight. I opened all the windows in the house to eradicate all stale winter air. It was great to have this opportunity as I can't do this when Steve is home at the weekends.

Then, the fun began. Got really stuck in working outside, clearing up, bagging leaves, cutting back more stuff, and a general tidy up. I spent ages weeding and top-dressing all my planters. And believe me, there are lots.

I finally decided to cut back any dead foliage on my lovely deep pink Tree Peony, it looks so much better now. My yellow galanthus is almost at flowering stage. This was a purchase from Guy DeSchrijver in Tipperary last year, so seeing it about to flower for the first time is very exciting. I'll hold off on the photo until it's fully open. I also cut back any dead twigs on my 10 acers. The whole place looks so much better. That is......if you're a gardener. 

At one stage I went out to the garage to get the Roundup for my Gunnera. I'm determined to kill it this year. But I ended up with Windolene and a cloth in my hands (how did that happen). So I cleaned the outside of the windows in the back. Stay focused, Girl, stay focused! 

I took out all my tulips, which were dumped in behind the trees at the back once they had finished flowering last year. So now they are growing well, but suffering a bit from lack of light. I noticed that a lot of them seemed to have been slightly uprooted in their pots, so they got a fresh application of compost and were brought out into the light.

The fish never really 'went down' for the winter and I have been giving them just the odd bit of feed. Today was no exception. Good to see that the heron hasn't managed to get his teeth into any of them. Original plans for tomorrow were cancelled so I should be able to get more done before the next wintry spell.

Backside up!

06 February 2014 20:04:33

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You're probably browned off reading about Hellebores at this stage, and how their flowers face the ground so we can't see their true beauty.

But today I was tidying up my niger. The flowers really are beautiful, and I was almost willing them to face upwards. But I just couldn't help admiring the 'underside' of them.

There's a reason for everything.

Will we, or will we not?

06 February 2014 17:13:35

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A few of us had planned on going to the Botanic Gardens on Saturday morning. However, as the weather forecast won't really be conducive to walking around, or even for driving long distances safely, I'm wondering should we re-schedule the trip for maybe the following Saturday? The chances of a big improvement in the weather would be greater.

I don't mind walking around in wellies and raingear. But then, not everyone is as mad as I am. So.........let me know. Most votes carry. All opinions are welcome.

Hazel

05 February 2014 21:35:41

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Greta and myself took a trip to Northwood in Santry on the 9th January this year. What a truly peaceful place, and a place that I had never stepped foot in before. Well, I did see it from the other side, on the road up to Gulliver's Retail Park. 

However, I was smitten by a few hazels planted all together, dripping heavily with yellow catkins. I decided there and then I wanted one. And.....not having thought of bringing my secateurs, I just whipped a piece of one the branches off. I trimmed off the broken bit to give a clean cut and stuck it in damp compost when I got home. I've kept it on the kitchen windowsill since then.

This is what it is like today. Yay! Success! It does your heart good.

Not so hot now!

05 February 2014 20:18:29
Not so hot now!

Not so hot now!

I only posted a photo the other day of my two Hippeastrums, mentioning how differently they are both growing. One with just leaves, and the other with two flower buds. 

Today I noticed that the leaves of the one on the left are beginning to keel over. It hasn't been overwatered, and it's still a very healthy green. And it certainly hasn't been underwatered either. So I'm wondering what happened, or what's NOT about to happen. Hmmmm!

 

Myosotis

04 February 2014 22:32:29
Myosotis

Myosotis

My first Forget-me-not opened today!

Who'd have thought!

04 February 2014 22:23:54

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I love bergenias, and have just two or three different ones in my garden. While examining the progress of my yellow galanthus this afternoon, the sun was shining through one of the bergenias. Something which I have never noticed before. But then, I'm usually at work at this time of year. The bergenia was BEAUTIFUL.

Ivy

04 February 2014 20:48:00
Ivy

Ivy

My next-door-neghbours' ivy always reminds me of the Loch Ness Monster.

Innocence

04 February 2014 18:37:51

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Who would believe looking at the blue, blue sky earlier on today that it could possibly turn out as horrific as it is right now. I could have done a bit of gardening. But to be honest, the grass is just soooo soggy. I was delighted to see that my Helleborus argutifolius has finally opened.

I spent the afternoon with the paints again. This is where I would rather be right now! May even get to finish it tomorrow if this weather continues.

Botanic Gardens

03 February 2014 21:38:02
Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens

Some members here are meeting up at the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin this coming Saturday. I know this clashes with an already scheduled visit to Altamont. But it's an outing that doesn't require too far to travel for most of us (sorry Moya). And let's face it, who wants to be travelling very far in weather like this.

January was 70% above normal for rainfall, and about a months' worth is lkely to fall this week. More stormy weather forecast for Friday, and into Saturday. 

Meeting at 11.00am, strolling around the gardens and glasshouses, and on for a spot of lunch to the local pub. A nice way to spend a few hours. And if the weather proves to be bad, we can always take shelter in the glasshouses. All welcome!

 

Bringing the mountain to Muhammad

03 February 2014 17:46:50

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What a let down the weather was all day after such a glorious one yesterday. So as we couldn't get out, I decided to get stuck into a new painting - Fuchsia. Hope it looks like a fuchsia!!!  LOL    First sitting today. Enjoying doing this one as I don't normally tend to concentrate of floral images. It's far from finished, but it lifted my spirits a bit today.

Weather is to improve for tomorrow, but be bad again on Wednesday!  Arggghh!!!

Hippeastrums

02 February 2014 22:03:48
Two very different Hippeastrums

Two very different Hippeastrums

ClaireE and Clara, I have two that I bought in Aldi long before Christmas. Both had been very slow to take off. But as you can see, one has only leaves so far. The other one will obviously flower before the leaves appear. So it must depend on the variety?

Hope this will be ok

02 February 2014 21:08:14

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During the recent gales, my Fremontodendron freed itself of its stake and was standing at an angle of 45 degrees by this morning. Let's hope it hasn't been effected by root-rock. The stake had actually been pulled up out of the soil. So it got re-secured this afternoon.

Late summer last year, I gave this shrub a good short, back and sides. I may lose the flowers for this year as a result. But the shrub itself is in fine shape. And it's a good evergreen.

Pet Day

02 February 2014 19:28:57

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I am not fond of Sundays as I usually have to take Dad out to lunch. I don't normally eat mid-day, and waiting around for him to be ready seems to be such a waste of time. Although I am very lucky that I still have Dad with us at his age. But when the weather is as perfect as it was today, it is so frustrating not being able to get out.

However, as the RBS Six Nations Cup was on, he was anxious to get back asap. Music to my ears. It was such a beautiful day. Ok, the garden is still very wet, but I managed to get a couple of nice irises planted beside the Greenhouse Pond, beside some sibiricas. They should make a really lovely display during the summer. Did more weeding and cutting back further. And while I'm waiting for the garden to dry up somewhat, I am all the time planning on what I'm going to move, and where I'm going to plant stuff, or change an area.

I have decided to get rid of a couple of shrubs on the North-facing border to accomodate more ferns. So when I got back, I cut back a nice Ligustrum ovalifolium. It was easier to tackle it after trimming. This produces lovely scented flowers if left alone. If it's kept trimmed back, you won't get to see any flowers which is such a shame. Anyway, I struggled to get it out of the ground. My injured knee is my digging leg. So I had to call upon Steve. Only I had to wait for the rugby to be over before he was prepared to help. :) CRACK!!!!Soooooo, now he has to buy me a new spade. LOL Ligustrum is now potted up if anyone would like it. The Spirea will have to wait.

Started off chitting my First Earlies 'Sharpe's Express'. Had the greenhouse open for fresh air from early morning.

Was over in Dealz this morning and got myself some blue agapanthus for €1.49 each, so they got potted up too. Not a bad days work considering I could do virtually nothing around the garden this time last month. And as Marty says.....'Every little helps'.  :)

 

That's more like it

02 February 2014 18:14:00
That's more like it

That's more like it

I posted a photo of this double hellebore last week, and mentioned that the flower seemed to be much smaller than last year. It wasn't fully open last week, but I didn't think the flower itself would get any bigger. Just more open. How wrong was I! Isn't it a beauty! My best one to date.

Fingers crossed

01 February 2014 20:59:43

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Sowed seeds on Tuesday. Sweet Pea, and Rudbeckia peeping up already. Now for the tough bit - trying to give them enough light so they can move on.

A brief photo session in the garden shows the very interesting seed heads of Exochorda macrantha - AND new little shoots emerging.

A welcome distraction!

01 February 2014 19:03:25
Look at my '4' badge!

Look at my '4' badge!

What a day! Hopefully you all kept safe and warm. Certainly NOT a day for outdoor activities.

I was delighted to have been otherwise preoccupied with Wee Davey's 4th Birthday party. It's so hard to believe that 4 years have passed since his arrival. Time flies when you're having fun. 

 

And so it starts

01 February 2014 04:50:51

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Well, I think Aldi and Lidl can take a lot of credit for getting us all fired up to get out to our gardens at last. Days are becoming longer, temps SHOULD improve too. And the planting urge is getting stronger and stronger.

Unfortunately I had no opportunity for gardening yesterday because of the rain, and had a physio session in the afernoon. But I'm beginning to see some signs of the little bit of effort I've put into the garden in recent weeks. Still have a long way to go though.

Happy February, everyone.

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