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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal April 2014

Last Post 1296 days 20 hours ago

Lithodora

30 April 2014 20:32:00

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Lithodora diffusa 'Heavenly Blue' is coming into its own in the front garden. It looks well, planted right beside the kayak.

Drop in temperature

30 April 2014 20:17:42

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It's amazing the way we can become so accustomed to the great weather we have been having of late. Today dawned cool, and cloudy. Although the rain didn't actually appear until after I had my lunch outdoors.

Didn't get a whole lot done today as I spent the morning with my sister. When I got back, I re-potted my aeonium and took some cuttings of it. Thinned out the peaches in the greenhouse, and made up a fresh windowbox of geraniums (low maintenance being top priority) for the front of the house. That was it for the day!

Lunch

30 April 2014 12:32:38

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Just in from having lunch in the garden. Have my smaller table and two chairs up by the patio door now where I can really appreciate the scent of Stock in a planter right beside me. It smells as delicious as my lunch. And I can smell it even better now that I have been off cigarettes over two weeks now. Yay!!! 

I think it's about to rain!

Flowering!

29 April 2014 21:58:58

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Bought a pack of mixed hostas in Dealz a few weeks ago for €1.49. Three hostas in one packet. The first of them has opened flowers today. Great value.

Three for the price of one!

29 April 2014 21:40:42
Three for the price of one!

Three for the price of one!

Hazel gave me some cute little violas a few weeks ago that seeds all around her garden. Today I was dead-heading them, ashamed to say they haven't been planted yet. But I noticed crocus foliage, and her very-much-loved celandine in the same pot. Nice one, Hazel. :)

Competition

29 April 2014 21:05:40
Competition

Competition

Steve broke part of one of my geraniums last year while he thought I wasn't looking!! He stuck the broken stem into some compost and hoped for the best. He said nothing to me. But I have been watching it since then.

Today, I was potting up different things and noticed that not only had the stem taken, but it is now just about to flower. Hope I haven't let myself in for a bit of competition now. LOL

Three of my favourites

28 April 2014 22:59:26

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These are three of my favourite plants that I bought at the Alpine Show.

Todays jobs

28 April 2014 22:26:45

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Had a bit of a lie in this morning, so once I was showered I was raring to go. Started off by listing all of the plants I bought on Saturday. Amongst those bought were two beautiful Auriculas which I divided while potting up today, and got a total of ten plants. Lots of healthy roots on all of the divisions. All planted into identical pots so if Steve decides he'd 'like' to make me a THEATRE, they'll be ready. LOL

Hazel gave me plants at the weekend too. So I managed to get all those planted also.

Three of my little home-grown tomato plants have come on in leaps and bounds in the last week with this great weather.  So as I had gone out and bought three in Homebase, these are just spare ones. But I think three plants is more than enough for just Steve and myself. So I'll give my home-grown ones to Dad.

My Sumac was potted into a much bigger pot. I actually heard him sigh with contentment when I was tucking him in all snug as a bug in a rug with fresh compost. 

Anything that I have been hardening off is now outside full time. Glasshouse is looking much more orderly.  I planted my Morning Glory in the big planter that I have a laurel in. That will add a bit more interest to an evergreen for the summer months. I love the leaf shape of the Morning Glory.

Lovely Laois Lady

28 April 2014 09:53:03

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Wow, what a glorious weekend I had!  What with my first visit to the Alpine Show, a very-much-wanted visit to KindredSpirit's garden in Limerick, and a super visit to Hazel, who opened her home and garden to me almost as if I was a member of her family! I had the best weekend and Hazel made all of this possible! Thank you so much!

Album uploaded with some nice photos of Hazel's garden.

A gorgeous Limerick garden

28 April 2014 00:26:23
A gorgeous Limerick garden

A gorgeous Limerick garden

I was so lucky to get the opportunity to see KindredSpirit's garden at long last. What an eye-opener and a very unique garden. Kevin seems to be a 'whizz' at growing so many sedums, saxifragas and many more alpines, and of course his 'pond' which is bigger than my entire little garden has got to be 'la creme de la creme' for me. I shall let my album speak for itself. Thank you, Kevin, for sharing it with us.

A First

27 April 2014 22:41:16
A First

A First

Delighted that I made it to my first ever Alpine Garden Society Show yesterday in Cabinteely and it's definitely NOT my last. I was suitably impressed and made some nice purchases. But I sent Steve home with them, without me. It was dark when I got home tonight so haven't seen my beautiful babies. Tomorrow!!!

It was great to see so many ier's attend this show.

Thanks, Paddy and Mary

26 April 2014 07:49:16
Solomon's Seal

Solomon's Seal

When Steve and I were down in Grace Dieu Lass' garden a few years ago, Paddy kindly gave me a nice clump of Solomon's Seal which is doing great where I have it planted. It's taking over now where others have left off. I do love this plant.

Iris

26 April 2014 06:51:09

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This little beauty opened up yesterday. When the flowers appear, the stems are so thin that you would think they were going to flop over. Smallish flowers for an Iris, but very pretty. Needs winter protection.

This was given to me at the Get-together I think, and I can't remember by whom. So whoever you are, thank you kindly.

Rhododendron

25 April 2014 21:51:37
Rhododendron impeditum?

Rhododendron impeditum?

Another tiny rhodo that I have here opened today. I did label it when I planted it but it has faded. R. impeditum?

Gorgeous day

25 April 2014 20:55:00

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Quick trip to Homebase this morning to pick up some compost and a few plants for hanging baskets. But as I was busy all day I never got to do anything much. I managed to get about an hour outside this afternoon, but I was busy watching a butterfly on the borders. When he took off in flight, he revealed a gorgeous shade of orange, and white. One I have never seen before.

I googled his description and came up with Anthocharis cardamines - a butterfly who likes damp pastures and meadows, damp woodland edges, glades and riverbanks. So why did he land in MY garden? Is it as a result of the three ponds? All the better if that's the case.

He was loving whatever my Eremurus had to offer him.

Third photo from Internet.

Paris

24 April 2014 21:44:53
Paris quadrifolia

Paris quadrifolia

Paris quadrifolia has finally opened today. It's clumping up nicely.

Pretty thing!

24 April 2014 21:11:57
Pretty thing!

Pretty thing!

Oxalis adenophylla opened up today. Such a delicate shade of pink.

Making do!

24 April 2014 20:40:06

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I wanted to make up a hanging basket today but had no liner. So I used a hession sack, lined it with leftover pondliner for moisture retention. It's amazing the things a hoarder can find in a garage. I planted it up with Libertia and Vinca major maculata just for a change. I've left some space for a bit of bedding which I hope to pick up tomorrow to add a bit of va va voom!!! The Libertia was in a pot, so that's one pot less to worry about. :)

Should've gone to Specsavers

24 April 2014 20:22:48
Self-seeded peony

Self-seeded peony

When Greta was in my garden yesterday she spotted a peony in my Acid Triangle. Now why didn't I notice that before. This has self-seeded from the one beside my Primrose 5 Steps area - about 10 feet away from it. I wouldn't imagine peonies do this too often. AND it's about to flower, so it must have been there last year also, only I was too blind to see it. 

Laurel

23 April 2014 21:45:44

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Speaking of shrubs that you don't normally see flowering, I spotted flowers on my Laurus nobilis on Monday.

Todays meagre purchases

23 April 2014 21:19:30

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Here's a photo of two of the plants I bought today. Now how could you resist!! I certainly couldn't. That's how my garden is as packed to the gills as it can ever be.

Slight change of plan

23 April 2014 19:50:18

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Last week I posted a journal inviting any members who wished to join me at Malahide Castle in Co. Dublin today. As it happened, Greta any myself were the only attendees. So be it! I have never visited the 'Walled Gardens' so this was to be our first port of call. After a very wet and dreary start to the day, it improved steadily as the day went on. 

However, with an admission fee into the walled gardens of €7, we thought that it more than likely would not be worth it as most of the perennials, if there are even any there, would NOT be 'doing their thing' just yet. So it would have been mainly shrubs and trees that we would be looking at.

We decided to just wander around the castle grounds. A lovely woodland area, and the brilliant sun filtering through the canopy of trees was just idyllic. Hazel's much-loved Celandine growing everywhere and Muscari still out in full force. Munchies afterwards in the Avoca Cafe, and on to Plantagen near to the castle where we were tempted to buy just a few plants.

Tipping about!

22 April 2014 20:28:27

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Went out to cut back my lovely white hydrangea in the front and that was all I had intended doing. But then I decided my privet, and euonymus was looking a bit tatty so I cut a bit off that too. Dead-headed all my daffs and did a general weeding around. And out came the Round-Up. My neighbours wild garlic is all over the place, so checking that nobody was looking out his front window I decided to accidentally spill some Round-Up over it. It's raining now, so I'm hoping it's not going to be diluted. I need this gone. I noticed that some of the plants in his little raised bed where the garlic is have been taken away, together with some of the brickwork. He is now renting his house and my guess is that he is going to do away with this little raised bed to make more space for cars. Please, please, please!!!!

My climbing rose that I have growing along the dividing 'bitty' fence was COVERED in greenfly. One disadvantage of having only a few plants out the front is that there are very few ladybirds. However, out came the soapy spray, and I tied it up to the downpipe between the two houses. I'll get Steve to stick in a few vine eyes and train it underneath the front windowsill. 

Emptied my big long window box, and saved the 'tete-a-tete's', and thyme. All daffs and tulips in pots/planters got uprooted and put into pots with fresh compost for next year.

Bruno's Challenge

22 April 2014 19:53:55

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I normally can't resist a challenge. But flower arranging is NOT one of my fortes. In fact, I hate it. Normally if I have flowers, I just plonk them into a vase haphazardly and hope for the best. 

But after a bit of work in the front today, I came in with some variegated Privet, Physocarpus, and the last of my daffs, which has made up my first arrangement.

The second arrangement is made up with stuff from the back - Photinia, Yew, and my precious Exochorda (it nearly killed me to cut off a bit of this, but hey!). This looks a bit unseasonal, but I like it. The colours are bold, just the way I like them.

The sun is gone AWOL!

22 April 2014 08:38:12

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Looks like the sun may be on a short vacation. But it's great while it lasts. We're lucky that the back of our house faces west so we get the best part of the sun for most of the day. Beautiful sunset yesterday evening. 

Keep focused, girl!

21 April 2014 20:55:11

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No matter how hard I tried today, I couldn't spend long on any one job for some reason - except for weeding the Primrose 5 Steps area. Dead-heading has paid off yet again and I am constantly weeding here too. It's also the area where we both trample up the hill with trugs of crap for 'over the wall' so things also tend to get a bit squashed from time to time.

Spent ages on my bum weeding out the Alpine Circle. Loads of that little bothersome geranium that just about gets ANYWHERE it fancies. It is pretty, but only in selected places. It's perfect in the North-facing border as it puts a stop to lots of other unsightly weeds. I put a few new plants into the Alpine Circle today, and I have to say that I can't wait for all that membrane to be gone. I've been cutting off bits and pieces since creating the Alpine Circle. It's difficult to hide when you have pulled it up to enable planting new stuff. And no matter how hard you try, it's almost impossible to bury it again, even with the existing gravel here. Tomorrow I hope to divide a few of these plants before they take over completely.

Made a dent in my plants in waiting. But you'd never even notice. Potted up the hostas I got in Lidl/Aldi/Dealz. I did think I got 5, but I can only find 4????? One of them is flowering already.

I had intended planting out most of my stuff in pots this year. I particularly hate the pots around the Lower Pond as you now have to be up close to it to see it. But where to plant all the stuff???? Not only do I suffer with S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder), but now I seem to be developing N.M.S. (Need More Space). After taking out most of my plants in the North-facing border so I could spread them out, most of them are right back in there, apart from a few plants I gave away. Jeez, Louise!!!

Camellias

21 April 2014 20:06:11

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Admittedly I only have 6 camellias here - 'Anticipation', 'Debbie', 'Double Red', 'Saturnia', and the last two are 'Margaret Davis' and 'Berenice Perfection'. And of course the last two are actually my top favourites.

Love 'Margaret Davis' to bits with its deep pink edges, and ADORE 'Berenice Perfection' for it's absolutely flawless petal formation. If only I could give them freedom they really deserve. I envy people who can plant them in the open with their preferred soil and perfect aspect, and let them just romp away. Sorry to keep on bringing up Camellias but I am totally in love with them. I need to win the Millionaire Raffle tonight!!!

A little bit of chocolate

20 April 2014 21:29:27

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I bought this tiny Aquilegia early last year and all it did was produce foliage. A slight brown tinge to it and very pretty without ever flowering.

As a very timely gesture, it opened for Easter. And this chocolate contains NO calories. 

Happy Easter

20 April 2014 06:08:34
Happy Easter

Happy Easter

Have a very Happy Easter, everyone. And DO watch the calorie intake!!!    :)

Black and White

19 April 2014 21:36:33

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I know I posted a photo of this little alpine Viola a few weeks ago. But it was only starting to flower. And even though it's planted amongst sharp gravel, the slugs and snails had no problem making their way over and having a right old banquet on them. I resorted to the pellets, and boy has it made a dfference!!!

Convallaria (Lily of the Valley) is looking good now too. I had a lovely variegated form a few years ago that just never came back. So fingers crossed for this one. It's such a delicate little beauty.

Living Stones

19 April 2014 20:57:25

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I love the way these little Lithops resemble stones, hence their more common name of Living Stones. Such a bother-free plant for the greenhouse, so long as they are not overwatered. One of them has new growth now. Happy Days!!!

Did only the bare essentials today as I was out to lunch with Dad, and made the most of the lounger and the rays afterwards while it's with us. Forecast for tomorrow is for a bit of rain late afternoon. But then, I normally don't go by that anyway. Just one look out at the sky and I know what it's going to do.

Small but beautiful!

19 April 2014 07:15:57

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My last Rhododendron in the Acid Triangle has finally opened. It has got to be one of the smallest rhodos available, standing at only twelve inches. Only one or two flowers open yet, but so many more to come.

Good Friday! Best Friday!

18 April 2014 21:03:45

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The weather was so gorgeous, and just perfect for spending with family in the garden. I never even thought of getting any gardening jobs done today. But had great pleasure in watching Wee Davey getting crash courses with power tools. He he! My future maintenance man, and soil distributor.

Malahide Castle

17 April 2014 22:13:14
Malahide Castle

Malahide Castle

I have only visited Malahide Castle once in recent years. And that particular day the Walled Gardens weren't open to the public. I'm thinking of heading to Malahide Castle this coming Wednesday 23rd April. I think the weather is to be fairly good too and we could have a bite to eat in the Avoca Cafe on site.

There seems to have been a few garden visits recently, organized by members here. And had I known about them I might have been able to attend! It is a club after all!

This meet-up is for anyone who wishes to join me. Meet in the carpark at the Castle at 11.30am and later maybe in Avoca Cafe for a cuppa and bite to eat. Looking forward to it.

 

 

Erysimum linifoleum 'variegatum'

17 April 2014 07:54:39
Erysimum linifoleum 'variegatum'

Erysimum linifoleum 'variegatum'

As you can see my erysimum is very similar to Jackie's.

Not what it says on the tin

17 April 2014 07:29:55

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I have these tulip 'Ballerina' planted in the Spring Border. I've never had any other tulips here and I don't have any yellow anywhere else. Soooooo......where did the yellow one come from???

Exochorda

16 April 2014 22:28:39

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Looking lovely now as it has finally opened, and seems to have way more flowers than last year.

I particularly like the 'un-opened' buds.

Amorphophallus konjac

16 April 2014 21:24:29

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I thought that these seeds were going to take months and months to germinate. Sowed these on the 5th February. They have just taken over two months. Happy Days!

But how do I look after them from now on? I'm assuming they should now come off the heat. Should they be potted up and put out into the greenhouse or stay indoors. All advice will be much appreciated.

I just sowed 3 seeds. So 2 out of 3 ain't bad!

Another cracker!

16 April 2014 20:20:50

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Unfortunately I was busy for most of the day. Didn't get out to the garden till about 4.00.  I now have my Clematis 'Polish Spirit', Niobe', and 'The President' all tied up. Tied up climbing roses too. 

Got compost in Homebase today and picked up a jumbo six-pack of Bellis Perennis reduced from €10 to €5. They now look nice in my pink/blue/lilac border. They're starting to reduce some bedding already.

I decided that now is the time to cut back my aeonium. I have it years and it's very leggy. But I have been rather afraid I'd cut the wrong section, or basically just make a total hash of it. However, while in Greta's yesterday, I saw how surgery was performed so she encouraged me to give it a go. If it dies now, I'll know who to blame. LOL I'm looking forward to it bulking out a bit now, and planting up the piece I cut off.

Another few plants

16 April 2014 07:10:22

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On the way back home yesterday we dropped in to Plantagen in Clonee and picked up a few more plants. Quite pricey but very healthy plants. I got a nice fern Dryopteris erythrosora, Pelargonium mintrosa 'Lady Diana' which is a lovely variegated geranium (no idea what the flower colour is but will google later. The foliage is what sealed the deal for me), and Primula 'Sunset Shades'.

Greta's Garden

15 April 2014 21:31:29
Greta's Garden

Greta's Garden

As Greta mentioned earlier today we both spent a glorious few hours out weeding and cutting back in her garden today until we could do no more. Can't believe how much her garden has filled out in the 4 short years that she has been in her new home. Well done, Greta.  Just sorry I didn't get time to take more photos but I'll be visiting again very shortly. I'll put up a small album of the few snaps I did manage to take.

Pastures New

15 April 2014 20:18:47

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I decided that it was time to check out this new Superstore that Andy had mentioned in Ashbourne, McD's. I had heard it being advertised on the radio so Greta and myself wanted to see it for ourselves. Quite a decent sized store, kind of on the same lines as Woodies or Homebase. Lovely well-kept garden centre and two very knowledgeable staff at hand for any queries we had. I think we should keep an eye on this place as it's only starting off and yet still looks great for them being in their infancy. They also have another store in Galway.

We both bought a few plants. My haul was a few alpines, Erysimum 'Golden Jubilee', Phlox subulata 'Nettleton Variation', Sedum 'Cape Blanco', Eleagnus x ebbingei, and Physocarpus 'Diabolo' and a large pot of Narcissus 'White Lion' reduced to €1.99. Good quality plants. So I reckon it's definitely worth a regular visit.

April and still producing

14 April 2014 11:18:12
H. Double Ellen 'Purple'

H. Double Ellen 'Purple'

I don't think I've ever known Hellebores to be flowering still in April. My recent Lidl ones are still producing. 

For Shazzsamsudin and others

14 April 2014 07:11:59

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Shazz was voicing her doubts on obtaining catmint for her garden. I have it since last year and yesterday I decided to whip it up. I've never seen Holly (our cat) touching it before. But as I sat down on the grass to remove it, there she was munching happily away on the catmint. So I pulled it up completely and presented it to her. She looked at me very quizzically. LOL

In its place, I planted Coleus canina, which I purchased in Arro last year. I had never seen this plant before and was drawn to it by its kind of waxy texture. And the scent?  Well, it's not what one would call pleasant. But it's not offensive to the airways either. I bought it, and also took cuttings. And when I produced it today, Holly ran a mile. Funny to watch. He he.

Here it is!

Rhodochiton

13 April 2014 20:20:20

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I took a stool out to the greenhouse today and tidied up my last years Rhodochiton. Quite a time-consuming job. It almost looked like the aeonium beside it was put there deliberately, they go so well together.

Got lots of seeds from the Rhodochiton. Will sow as soon as I buy more compost.

Pulsatilla vulgaris

13 April 2014 18:27:07

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Got a few things planted today. Bought a lovely Pulsatilla vulgaris in Kilquade on Wednesday and it is now looking very happy in my pink, lilac, blue area at the far end of the greenhouse border.

A few of last years geraniums went into some of my many vacant pots and things were juggled about on the yard so it will be a different display for this year. I bought a lovely Myrtus 'butterball' last year, so that also got a new home. Planted stock to have at the patio doors and enjoy its intoxicating scent. 

Sweet pea also got planted out finally. Made up a tripod of canes over a pot that I already have planted up with some nice gladioli. So double interest in one pot. I also left some over and planted that next to my Yew in the Spring Border. There would be very little colour here for the summer months normally. Spent ages on my backside weeding out hundreds of pulmonaria. And at long last, I got my Veratrum into the ground, and everything that was planted today got labels, except of course the geraniums and stock. Yay!!!

Flagpole Cherry

13 April 2014 07:42:01

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I remember being so lucky when I went to Ratoath the year before last looking for a flagpole cherry. Was told that they had all sold out. But John disappeared for a few minutes and came back clutching a poor specimen that he found out the back, seemingly forgotten about.

He offered it to me for a fiver. A fiver well spent, I reckon. It's still only a baby, but I don't mind waiting!!

Veratrum

13 April 2014 06:16:33

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People have been posting comments on Veratrum lately. And I have been keeping very quiet about mine. Rachel got Leamore Nurseries to put one by for me at Bloom last year. I was delighted about that as I'd been on the look out for one for ages.

However, in recent weeks I could see sign nor sight of it - that is, until yesterday while cleaning down the yard. I thought I had actually thrown it out by mistake. The pot I bought it in is covered with self-sown Mimulus, and the foliage of Veratrum has been well eaten. But it was a timely discovery. With a dose of slug pellets and weeding out of the Mimulus it should be fine.

So glad I didn't throw it out as it cost me €14.95.

Busy enough day

12 April 2014 20:57:52

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Had to drag the heavy pots from the yard and off the patio this morning so I could finish power-washing. Steve disposed of all the bags of ash. The place is looking so much more loved now. I've left all pots on the grass until tomorrow so the place has a chance to dry out. Grass very squelchy and any pulling of pots is making ugly tracks in it. The power-washer is also great for getting rid of unwanted mould on terracotta pots.

Spent a bit of time sowing more seeds. And this time it's with proper compost - 2 types of Silene ('Shell Pink' and 'Jack Flash'), Morning Glory 'Heavenly Blue', Corncockle, Linum 'Blue Saphyr', Sweet corn and Sweet Sultan (Amberboa moschata) which is a hardy annual that has a long flowering season and a very pleasant scent.

Planted out my Convallaria. Had a variegated form in the garden a few years ago and it never reappeared the following year.

Pulled up my U4BA 'Clarice Howard' and any seedlings that were scattered around. And there were a LOT!!!!!

Lagurus ovatus (Bunny Tails) mysteriously appeared in my garden last summer, it must have hitched a ride on some other plant. So rather than leave it to chance, I actually bought some seeds for this year which I broadcast over the area that they appeared in last year.

 

Lookin' good!

12 April 2014 20:36:19

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Tree Peony is laden with buds.

Spuds

12 April 2014 20:06:29

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Finally planted out my First Earlies today. I don't have the luxury of a veggie bed, so they make do in bags designed for growing potatoes 'Sharpe's Express'. Some of them went all yukky while chitting out in the garage. And very gooey inside when I broke them. But it was only about 4. So let's hope it didn't spread too much. You can't beat your own spuds.

And another

12 April 2014 16:02:08
Pieris japonica 'Valley Valentine'

Pieris japonica 'Valley Valentine'

Although I'm cheating a little bit as this photo was taken on 6th March. Still a few flowers on it but not as good as it was then.

Pieris

12 April 2014 07:26:35

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I love the coral colour of this Pieris that I have in a planter.

Lady in Red

12 April 2014 06:00:07
Physocarpus opulifolius 'Lady in Red'

Physocarpus opulifolius 'Lady in Red'

A fairly recent addition to my front garden is Physocarpus opulifolius 'Lady in Red'. 

Geum

11 April 2014 22:22:33
Geum 'Eos'

Geum 'Eos'

I love the citrus coloured foliage on this Geum. Later it will produce lovely vivid orange flowers. But I don't need flowers to appreciate this lovely grower.

Water Gardening

11 April 2014 20:33:24

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When I awoke this morning I wasn't sure what garden tasks I would carry out today. But as I sat looking out, I pondered a bit. Most of the garden is looking pretty ok at this stage. Just waiting on two more major areas to be finished. And Steve is involved in one of them.

During the winter our yard gets quite grubby with algae marks around planters, and then constant traipsing in and out of soggy grass. We also leave all our coal in the yard so there is always a certain amount of coal dust, and ash lying about. Not interested in getting a coal bunker as then we would be stuck with it during the summer months. So we just work from the coal bags. 

So........I decided to do a bit of power washing. Didn't do it last year so it was really mucky. When I had it all set up, off I went. Only, it wasn't doing the job properly. Actually, it was doing NOTHING but spitting water out. Hmmmm. Not good. Struggling at the moment with giving up the dreaded weed. And when the power-washer wasn't working, I thought I'd go down to Dad and borrow his. And I'd be passing the shop on the way, so I could buy some cigarettes!!!!! Gave it one more try. Switched it off, unplugged it, and fiddled with the settings. There is a little blade that runs through the centre of the nozzle. I moved that about a bit, and switched it back on again. Hey Presto!!!   Can't ever remember the spray being that effective. However, I was aware that the noise may have been annoying our new neighbours so just did half the yard. Mood lifted, didn't need to borrow Dad's power-washer, so wasn't passing by any shops. Didn't buy cigarettes. Gone from 30+ a day to just 5 in the last week. 

While I had the waders on, I got into the greenhouse/froggy pond and cleaned it out a bit, being careful not to disturb the tadpoles. Planted up a nice equisetum that I got from Deborah at the Get-together. And did a bit of weeding in the border that can only be reached from this pond.

I'm so excited!

11 April 2014 06:26:15
Eremurus

Eremurus

Over the years I have spent a small fortune on Foxtail Lily (Eremurus) roots. Very interesting when they arrive in the post. They used to remind me of a dried out octopus or a monster from the deep. Anyway, they NEVER did anything.

So a few weeks ago I spotted some growing in pots, something which I have never seen in a garden centre before. HeyHo! Here we go!  Snapped one up. Dear enough, mind you at €13. But worth it, I reckon! Not long to wait either.

Did a bit.

10 April 2014 21:50:57

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But only just. Was busy all morning and by the time I got my gardening gear on, the rain appeared. Got a few plants into the ground that Hazel kindly gave me yesterday. And split up a lovely primula veris into 5 plants. Watered everything in the greenhouse and now ALL of my geraniiums are outside at last. Time to position my edibles into their final home in the greenhouse tomorrow. Showers on and off, so hoping tomorrow will be a bit better as I will be free all day. Yay!!!

When I grow up .......

10 April 2014 21:01:08

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My Mammy planted me out into the border only last year, after being cooped up in a pot for about 5 years before that. Oh, the freedom was breathtaking, I was able to stretch my toes like never before. While I was restricted in my pot (that really was too small) I only produced about 4 flowers each year. 

This year, I have so many more. 

But after visiting her father today she came to show me a photograph of a really grown-up Magnolia 'Stellata' and told me if I behaved, I too would become as grand as this gorgeous specimen. 

Is it a bird. Is it a plane!

10 April 2014 20:25:51
Is it a bird. Is it a plane!

Is it a bird. Is it a plane!

Man-made noise drowning out the natural sound of birdsong all day. It must be the start of the holiday season. Planes flying over our house all day and only 4 minutes apart.

Vamoose!!!

10 April 2014 07:46:22
Vamoose!!!

Vamoose!!!

Myself and Holly (our cat) have just chased the bauld heron out of my garden. The cheek of him!!!

Compost

10 April 2014 06:55:15
Compost

Compost

I hate the look of those ugly green compost bins but feel that that's just something I have to get over. But Elizabeth has the perfect solution.

Not only are her compost bins aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but the composting process is done in small amounts ie. in big planters, where she has slightly smaller planters placed on top to hide the decomposing process.

A very novel approach and a much better idea for the smaller garden, or garden that has just run out of space. So really there is no excuse for NOT having one.

Individuality

09 April 2014 22:04:45
Elizabeth out front

Elizabeth out front

On our way to Kilquade we dropped in to collect Liztai and found her busy out on her front grass verge. Well, everyone else there has a grass verge. But not Elizabeth. Lots of violets, daffs and God knows what else will sprout before long. Her enthusiasm is amazing. Elizabeth's agility and nimbleness left me astounded as I'm probably a good twenty years her junior.

Her back garden is not large, but is full of quirkiness and oozes personality. I'll put up a small album of the few photos I took. 

A lovely day out

09 April 2014 20:46:39

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Had a good explore around the gardens in Kilquade this afternoon with Hazel and her lovely sister, Elizabeth (Liztai). I have visited this place on a number of occasions and I can't understand why I never had a nosey around the gardens before. The weather today was perfect - not too hot, not too cold, dry, and calm. 

Had scrumptious chocolate pudding dessert in the Beech Tree Cafe like I have never tasted before. 

Thank you, ladies, for a lovely day out.

Pieris

08 April 2014 22:20:24

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Pieris 'Katsura' has beautiful vibrant foliage right now. It's time I weeded the surface of the pot and gave it a healthy top-dressing of more ericaceous compost.

Paeony

08 April 2014 19:55:21

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This paeony only started to burst forth from the soil early last week. Now it already has flower buds.

I was told  that paeonies don't like disturbance. A friend gave me this beautiful un-named paeony which opens to deep pink. It lived here for its first year in a black bag after it was given to me. I needed to be sure that it would be planted in the right place. It WAS the right place then. But not any longer. It's in danger of being trampled on, as it's down beside the 'cave'. But no work will be carried out in this area until there is a significant rise in temperature. So, it looks like it will do its thing before that happens. Only then will I re-locate it.

Viola

08 April 2014 07:17:44

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I bought this little alpine Viola last year. It has the blackest flowers that I have ever seen on something that's advertised as black. It's planted in the Alpine Circle and I thought that the gravel would deter slugs and snails. It hasn't though. As soon as the flowers are about to open ........... munch! Although it's been such a wet winter I'm not really surprised there are so many around. But as there are frogs here I have been very reluctant to use slug pellets. But where needs must! 

Now, lets hope that the frogs stay away from this area.

Geraniums

07 April 2014 20:38:05

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This lovely dark-leaved geranium is a fairly new purchase that has now been planted into the North-facing border. It will have nice pale blue flowers on it hopefully.

And my window boxes of last years geraniums have lots more flower buds than the ones you can see. It's great to have had a mild winter. They were never taken in and still look fairly presentable.

Just in case

07 April 2014 19:44:32
Just in case

Just in case

Our double garage doesn't even have room for ONE car as Steve and I are both hopeless hoarders, our favourite saying being 'just in case'. 

When I saw Holly (our cat) sitting on my lovely garlic yesterday I remembered I had held onto the perfect stored item - the rusty old grill from my very first tiny barbecue. Sorted!

Leaving things be

07 April 2014 07:43:38

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Until Steve is ready to resume work on the cave, I am more-or-less willing to let some smaller weeds colonize on the mound of soil.

But yesterday I was getting rid of the bigger ones and nearly pulled up this little beauty that I DIDN'T plant. It looks like the same one I have on the walk up to the back wall, Dicentra 'Adrian Bloom'.  I never realized that Dicentra would self seed. Happy days. I'll move it when it's finished flowering, before it gets trodden on.

Apologies for bad quality photos but it was very windy here yesterday.

Paris

06 April 2014 21:21:31

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Paris quadrifolia is starting to emerge. Funny, but today I noticed the opening of their first leaves, and in three different stages. Lovely to see the most immature leaves emerging as whorls. But the beauty is that it is spreading nicely, something which I hadn't expected so soon. The first leaf is situated about 2ft away from the third. 

Tulips

06 April 2014 20:43:39

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I have two terracotta containers filled with Tulipa 'tarda' and topped with blue crushed glass as an effective mulch. They opened today in the glorious afternoon sunshine.

Should look good

06 April 2014 19:59:03

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Sambucus 'Black Lace' and Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Worcester Gold' fairly small plants still. They were planted only last year, but already I can see that they are going to be looking good together with their contrasting colours. And, of course, the Caryopteris will have lovely blue flowers. What more could a girl ask for!

Thanks, Sally

06 April 2014 19:44:06

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Sallysarah gave me a little Campanula 'Lilac' either last year or the year Steve and I visited hers and Peters beautiful garden a few years ago. It has bulked up really well. So much so that today I got to pot up lots of seedlings to give away. Thank you, Sally. It looks great after having spread around my Spring Border.

Drop-dead gorgeous

06 April 2014 05:34:47
Drop-dead gorgeous

Drop-dead gorgeous

I didn't always like Euphorbias. But that has all changed and I have a few here now this year - my favourite at the moment being 'Ascot Rainbow'. Aptly named too.

Oil tank uncovered

05 April 2014 21:14:41

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Steve doesn't often object to my decisions and choices in the garden. But last year he remarked that he didn't like all the growth of Honeysuckle and Jasmine over the Logia just outside the patio doors. I did. I thought it created a lovely tranquil green haven in the evenings. Today I agreed that he could cut away all the growth. And boy, did he really get down to the roots. I can live with his wish. After all, it's all about compromise whether or not the person is a gardener.

It rained consistently until 4.30 here today. While Steve was busy pulling and digging up roots underneath the oil tank, I busied myself in the greenhouse potting up my tomatoes, potting on black-eyed peas, and others. When Steve was finished cutting down, I applied bark chip to this area as it's where all my hostas are coming up. Tomorrow I will be spreading copper strands all over to deter slugs and snails.

Made up a mix of multipurpose compost and horticultural grit to pot up a Grevillea I bought a few weeks ago while out with Greta. And watered everything in the greenhouse. Potted on some Coleus grown from seed, and sowed more Cosmos, Basil and Melons. And this time I used proper compost. The remaining very poor quality Dealz compost got chucked over the beds. Never again. In this instance, you get what you pay for.

Leucothoe

05 April 2014 20:07:42

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Leucothoe 'Whitewater' looking good today! I do love variegated shrubs.

Plant ID please!

05 April 2014 19:46:49

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I planted out a lovely U4BA a few weeks ago into the North-facing border. But today I noticed something growing at the base of it. I'm sure it's a weed. But before I go pulling it up, can someone verify please?

Dicentra

05 April 2014 18:49:01

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Dicentra alba decided to open today amidst all that rain. I must admit I do prefer the white to the pink. Now, why doesn't someone breed a 'blue'!!!

Colour under glass

05 April 2014 07:27:37

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Eccremocarpus has been flowering all winter long in the greenhouse. Some of the panes of glass on the roof have slipped a bit, and this is now pushing its way up to the stars. Will tidy the plant up today and give it a weak tomato feed. Should look even better in a few weeks.

Unfurling

05 April 2014 07:04:38

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One of my favourite ferns here is Osmunda regalis. It's just beginning to unfurl. Dontcha jus' luv' it!

Sun, sun, sun

04 April 2014 22:17:12

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Lovely sunny day today in the Capital. I was even in t-shirt sleeves for a while. My sunny-all-year-round  front garden looked great in todays sun too. Saxifraga is just coming into flower too.

Windowsill container

04 April 2014 21:14:41
Windowsill container

Windowsill container

Can't remember where I picked this little herb container up, it may have been Aldi. But the reason I bought it was really because it matches a lot of my kitchen accessories. Now, how sad is that. 

But the good thing about it is that is self-watering, with its own capillary matting below. I've never tried one of these before, so we'll see how the radishes grow and hopefully produce.

Acting on impulse

04 April 2014 20:31:11

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Normally I have all my hanging baskets planted up and hardening off in the greenhouse/outdoors bit by bit. But I'm very late this year.

Had a really bad day yesterday with doctors and legs and was feeling very low. So this morning after my umpteenth cuppa I decided to head over to Homebase, my favourite haunt these days as its now the closest since my own job closed down. 

Instead of buying bedding, which I'm not actually pushed about for this year, I picked a nice lot of edibles. Great selection in Homebase, and quality is second to none. I think I got them straight off the delivery truck they are that good.

I bought Butternut Squash, mini Cucumber 'Hana', Radishes 'Cherry Belle', and tomatoes 'Ailsa Craig' and 'Gardener's Delight', and Carrots 'Atlas'. 

Took all the geraniums out of the greenhouse to make room for the veggies that will need hardening off, although some will obviously stay in the greenhouse.

Planted all of what I bought into boughts, except for the tomatoes which will be done tomorrow. I also have Radishes 'Daikon' grown from seed, and Courgettes which I planted up too. Iceberg still waiting to grow a bit bigger before planting out.

Last daff

04 April 2014 18:08:08

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This lovely narcissus is my last one to open. I like its purity and simplicity!

Faffing about!

04 April 2014 11:18:32

Prunus

04 April 2014 07:47:56

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I eventually got to investigate my little Prunus 'Kojo No Mai' properly yesterday. I did the scratch test and there is absolutely NO evidence of life in the trunk. So sad about that. I won't lift it just yet, as maybe something small will happen if I'm patient. I will definitely replace it though as it is such a little beauty.

Acer

03 April 2014 04:37:45

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After having this lovely acer in a pot for a few years, last year I decided to plant it out when someone told me that acers don't actually require ericaceous compost. It was fairly late in the summer when I planted it out, but already I can see that I definitely made the right decision.

It's looking really well with its citrus green leaves. And later on in the season the branches will turn a lovely deep red.

Undesirable tenants

02 April 2014 20:15:41

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I bought this little house a couple of years ago to give beneficial garden insects like ladybirds and lacewings a good home. But.......it looks like the wrong kind of tenants turned up for the viewing.

About bloody time!

02 April 2014 19:20:43

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I bought this hippeastrum in Aldi the second week in December. I have NEVER had one in my possession for so long before it decided to open. Phew! At long last. It is a beauty, though.

My ray of sunshine

02 April 2014 16:05:04

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What a dreary, wet day today is. But spotted my last narcissus to open, and probably my favourite daff - 'Tahiti'. It put a big grin on my face. Taking photos out the front is one thing, but actually smiling at my plants is definitely enough for the neighbours to call in the men in the white coats. And yes, the neighbours DO think I'm nuts!!! But do I care!!!!!!!

Mouse Plant

02 April 2014 08:53:13

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Have been going through my old photos looking to see when Arisarum proboscideum (Mouse plant) flowered. Can't find one though, I must have deleted it!!! Grrr!!

So, just for Jackie's daughter, I'm posting this photo I took yesterday. Can't believe it's doing the business so early in the year.

Keego, I promised you a bit. So it's potted up for you.

Forget-me-nots

02 April 2014 07:38:57

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I remember last year when we got a big delivery in I spotted just ONE carton of white forget-me-nots, and nabbed them before anyone else had the chance. Planted them and thought I'd never see them again.

They opened yesterday though. So lovely to have the white for a change. I look forward to them spreading themselves about. The foliage on the blue ones tend to go brown very quickly, even before flowering in fact. But not the case with the white.

Mother Nature

01 April 2014 21:56:29
Mother Nature

Mother Nature

The recent good weather has made a big difference in the greenhouse pond, which is primarily a wild life pond. The frogspawn  has now developed into hundreds of teeny tiny tadpoles. Yay!!!

Hemerocallis

01 April 2014 21:17:49

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I walk past the greenhouse every day and am accustomed to glancing sideways at the growth on my hemerocallis (daylilies) in this border. But looking closer at it today I noticed the other hemerocallis foliage was slightly different so I had to delve deeper. It's NOT hemerocallis! It's Carex pendula, which I love for its nodding seed heads.

However, I bought another couple of really lovely hemerocallis last year and don't want anything else in this area to out-shine. This big clump promptly got dug up and binned. It had travelled right across the garden without me even noticing. Now the dayliles have room to breathe.

It just gets better and better

01 April 2014 20:46:09

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I'm not really a fan of pale and insipid looking colours in the garden, or anywhere else. On 10th March I bought this lovely double primrose 'Suze' in Homebase. I loved it when I bought it. But today I noticed that the colour is getting deeper and deeper. Lovin' it even more now!

Orchids

01 April 2014 20:04:49

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These floral arrangements were gracing the tables of the Upper Lobby in the hotel yesterday. I did actually see a few ariel roots on some of them. So today I googled orchids growing in water. But it's only successful where the water is changed frequently, and injects more oxygen into the orchids. So as there wasn't great humidity in this area, I have come to the conclusion that they were AS THEY APPEAR - just table decorations. It made a lovely change from the usual, though. But a terrible waste of orchid flowers.

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