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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal November 2014

Last Post 1090 days 3 hours ago

Convolvulus

29 November 2014 20:28:04

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A small shrub that often gets overlooking, being out in the front garden. I just spotted it from the corner of my eye while on a coffee break in the living room earlier today.

No gardening for me the last week as I'm doing a bit of decorating indoors. Silly of me not to avail of the fine weather we have had recently, but c'est la vie.

Another confused plant

28 November 2014 19:26:10

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Couldn't believe today when I saw my Clematis 'Niobi', which I think flowers during June/July, producing another flower and lots more buds. Should do its stuff if the frosts keep away a little while longer.

Rosa 'Teasing Georgia' is set for a little encore too.

And the plant in the third photo is right on time - Erysimum (can't remember which one)

Winter is here

27 November 2014 20:19:59

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Very frosty morning here but it thawed out pretty quickly. I haven't lifted any of my dahlias this year, and only last week I was still dead-heading in the hope of a few more blooms. Hope last nights' frost doesn't end up blackening them just yet.

My Ricinus is still looking fine. But looked out the window today and saw a very heavy Pigeon balancing precariously on the fragile stems. It is still standing!!!  But for how long!

Blush!

26 November 2014 07:41:08

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I bought this Nandina domestica oh, last year, I think? I was immediately drawn to its lovely pink foliage. And the great thing about it is, that it keeps this smashing colour throughout the year. It's still in its pot, so I'll have to rectify that.

New Year's Resolution, get planting!!!

Cotoneaster

25 November 2014 19:47:06

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I try to avoid my local park for my morning walks as it has got to be the most boring walk ever. Today though, I wasn't in the mood to travel any further. Spotted this blaze of red from a good distance away, and it spurred me on to step up the pace.

Is it a deciduous Cotoneaster? Such a mass of berries. I wonder what their 'lasting power' is? They'd be lovely for a table decoration for YULETIDE!! See, I didn't use the word 'Christmas'.  LOL

This time next month we'll know who was on the 'Naughty or Nice' list. LOL

A cold one

24 November 2014 20:35:31

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I think today has possibly been the coldest one so far.

Didn't feel like doing a whole lot so I lifted my Chrysanthemum 'Alex Young'. A pity to disturb it while it's at its peak. It's in the greenhouse now. Have a few cuttings on the kitchen windowsill for next year.

Cutting down further on my Eupatorium (Joe Pyeweed) today and noticed the stems were very black. They were green during the summer. They almost look like black bamboo! 

I bought 5 different Hellebores last year in Lidl. Double Ellen 'Pink' is about to open (although it looks pretty white in reality).

Awesome colour

23 November 2014 20:15:41

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My Tetrapanax Rex was lifted this time last year and brought into the greenhouse as it was only a baby. This was its first year planted out. And I have been assured that it is now hardy enough to take what our winters have in store.

Just looking at it this evening, and thought it had the most beautiful colours. Never noticed this last year. 

Yes!!!

23 November 2014 19:01:29

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Had the greatest of pleasure working outside this afternoon for a couple of hours after lunch. It seems absolutely ages since I have had that pleasure with the rotten weather we have had. A cold but very pleasant day. Good job the Fashion Police didn't visit my garden. I bought a set of Ear Muffs in Aldi the other day. Don't think I'd ever wear them out in public. But they're just the job for the garden for the winter. I was nice and toasty!!!

I had already cut back lots of stuff earlier. But today I cut most of it down even further. When I'm cutting back, I usually only cut to the height of the neighbouring plants so that there are no jarring ups and downs in the border, just undulating heights.

Removed all the peach tree leaves in the greenhouse, and cleaned up the floor. Not a good idea leaving dying and dead stuff lying around. As it is, quite a lot of my geraniums have developed a grey mould on them. So they got cleaned up too while I was in there. Had the door open for the afternoon to inject a bit of vital ventilation. Most of them are still flowering.

 

Leucothoe

22 November 2014 20:49:29

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Love both of my Leucothoes here.

First one (L. 'Curly Red') is reddening up nicely now. And L. 'Whitewater' is as delectable as ever.

Plant ID please!

21 November 2014 20:42:05

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Got this tiny plant at last years Get-Together. The plant itself was in a very small container with a magnetic strip on the side of it for sticking it on the side of a fridge/whatever.

When the novelty wore off, the plant was close to death quite a number of times. However, the very occasional bit of hydration saw that it existed against all odds. The plant was so small that I'm really surprised it's still alive today. When I got fed up watering such a tiny container I decided to pot it on into a 9cm pot, which it has been in a couple of months now. Nearly time for potting on again.

But I'm trying to find out what plant it is. No label on it and one or two other ier's bought the same plant also. It looks like some kind of Ceropegia to me. But I'm just guessing! Any idea?

The Three Degrees

21 November 2014 07:40:57

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This fairly dwarf Hypericum is still producing its yellow star-like flowers. On this one plant it's showing new flowers, black berries, AND red berries, the three degrees of its flower formation. It must surely be a female with its ability to multi-task!!!

Yay!!!

20 November 2014 21:04:53

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Haven't been getting much done outside in recent times with the bad weather. Out on an errand this morning, but when I got back I lost no time in inspecting everything outside. We have so much to be thankful for this year.

Had a quick glance over the greenhouse. I sank my two Brugmansias that I got from an ier. last January into the greenhouse border on 4th October. Wahoo!!!  The smaller of the two has produced two flower buds. I am SOOOOOOOOO excited!!!!   No idea what colour. So a nice surprise in store.

Low visibility

20 November 2014 17:39:17
Low visibility

Low visibility

Dense overnight fog didn't lift at all today, and it turned out to be a cold day. It's getting denser even now. I noticed lots of spiderwebs everywhere today. The lingering fog ensured they stayed visible for longer.

Looking forward

19 November 2014 07:25:24

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I have a few nice colours down at the back wall now. It'll be nice when they're all grown up and the concrete blocks are finally hidden - Purple Beech, Flagpole Cherry (which is barely hanging on to its last leaves), and this lovely Cotinus coggygria which was only planted out in Spring. 

Winter colour

18 November 2014 21:13:26

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Despite Santry Park being so close to me, I had never witnessed it during the Autumn/Winter months. So glad I picked today for a brisk walk on such a beautiful bright day. The colours of the turning Beech trees were just spectacular. 

Caught a tiny glimpse of this one just barely peeping through in the first photo, and I thought it looked like licks of flame.

Ribesfolium

18 November 2014 07:45:42

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I have a nice few acers here, both planted out and some in ornamental pots. 

This is one that was treated to the open ground just last year and I can't get over how much it is grown since then. Love it. Possibly one of my favourite acers here. I planted it beside the greenhouse pond in the hope that it will give a bit of height to this area and in years to come create a visual barrier half way down the garden. At the moment, nearly all the garden is visible from the house.

Ricinus

14 November 2014 20:51:45

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Who'd have thought that my two Ricinus would still be looking so well on 14th November.

Getting the thinking caps on

13 November 2014 20:26:12

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The only time I went out to the garden today was to observe the pond levels. In particular the final one where the cave is. 

Problem!

The garden was totally flooded as a result of our two water butts overflowing and travelling down the garden to flow into the cave pond. The level of water here was over the ground level. I know that this is freaky weather. But as we are getting more and more freaky weather in recent years, it's got to be addressed before things get totally out of hand.

Step one will be to get a third, and maybe a fourth water butt.

After that I don't know. All the excess moisture is running off the borders beside the pond and into it, as well as from the water butts. I just hope we get it right before it's finished - if it EVER gets finished. 

Or do we seriously need to think about filling it in and forgetting about the whole project!!! If we do, it's four years down the drain. Actually, talking about drains, where IS the plug hole when you need one!

Sambucus

11 November 2014 22:40:30

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I only bought this Sambucus about three or four years ago. It is finally putting on a decent bit of growth after an unfortunate start early on. It's in the front garden and when I first bought it, young lads from the neighbourhood took to running through our garden, jumping over everything in sight. Only one day, a boy landed ON TOP of my precious Sambucus 'sutherland gold' knocking the top half clean off.

But only today have I noticed any berries on it. Hmm, it would be good if they lasted a while. They look good with the pale foliage of this sambucus.

Ignorance is bliss

11 November 2014 20:28:43

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My neighbour is not a gardener. But he does have a lovely conifer, growing down at the division to our garden, that is growing away goodoh! Unfortunately, he has now 'let' his house so doesn't really see how much this conifer has grown since he planted it about 6-8 yrs ago. It is encroaching on our garden now and my poor little Taxus baccata is being smothered. Of course, it doesn't really help that I have way too many shrubs/trees in the front as it is, and they are in a pretty tight space already.

Anyway, today I decided to cut away at his conifer with the secateurs. No sign of him, so I took the liberty. In that short space of time it made a big difference. Not much taken off. But the aroma as I was cutting away at it made me realise where I will be getting my Christmas foliage for a centrepiece. And when I got out from under the conifer I then found out that it had been lashing rain for at least 15 minutes. I was so engrossed in what I was doing. LOL  And it has been lashing ever since. Water butts are overflowing.

Tomorrow I'm getting out there with a ladder and saw! Might as well do a proper job of it. It might even make him realise that this conifer is totally in the wrong place, as eventually it will hide both of our hall doors from the road, which could be a security risk! It needs to be gone. But the decision will have to be his. 

Ipomea

10 November 2014 18:47:23
Ipomea

Ipomea

Was out potting up some Foxgloves today for an acquaintance and spotted this little Ipomea that has self-seeded into a pot. Well, I never!!!

I might pot it up tomorrow and bring it indoors to see how long it lasts.

Evergreens

10 November 2014 08:57:05

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It's nice to have a couple of good low-growing evergreens in the garden. And this U4BA is living up to its reputation greatly. It's planted at the edge of the Upper Pond and doing a good job of hiding the horrid blue liner. I'm thankful that I don't have to look at it in winter, during a time that most of the other pond plants have died back. It's a great plant for just sticking broken pieces into the ground and letting them 'take off' all on their own.

Next year, we hope to replenish our fish stock, and put permanent guards around this pond. :(

Winter foliage

09 November 2014 20:06:25

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I have this pretty Sedum growing over the raised bed at the back wall. I was out there only briefly today and thought to myself "What a pretty colour for this time of year". I hadn't bothered removing the spent flowers. But I do think that they actually add to the overall look of the plant itself. Don't know what this Sedum is called. So if anyone can enlighten me, please feel free to do so. :)

Treat 'em mean

09 November 2014 08:15:20

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This has been one of my better shrub choices for the garden in recent years. It puts up with such abuse and keeps on smiling at me. In very early Spring this year, I kinda got a bit fed up with it and cut it back severely just to neaten it up. Apart from that, I do nothing with it.

It flowered well on and off during the summer. And now there is another full flush of flowers ready to spring forth. But most of all, I love its evergreen foliage. I know I have spoken about this shrub quite a bit. But it might be a good choice for someone else's garden too, if I keep on highlighting its attributes.

Hellebore

07 November 2014 18:19:12

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My first Helleborus of the season has opened.

Second and third photo is of my Loropetalum, which gives great all-year round purple foliage. It's now producing its spidery deep pink flowers.

Morning sky

07 November 2014 08:41:24

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The moon looked huge this morning. Anyone see it?

Hello there!

06 November 2014 15:01:53

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Not the usual kind  of garden visitor here. Spotted this little Grey Wagtail wading in the Lower Pond today looking for insects. It was the yellow that caught my eye so I had to do a bit of Googling. They do visit gardens quite a bit, but it's the first time I've seen one here. Sorry about the quality of the photo. It's hard to focus when he's wagging his tail constantly.

I've now dusted off and watered all of my houseplants and I'm bored. Not in the mood for housework today so might look to the bookshelf for a bit of inspiration.

Fern

06 November 2014 06:28:16

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I like the way Osmunda regalis is looking right now. Love its leaf shape in particular. This is one that will get planted out for next year. Have one in the greenhouse border already and it's looking much more robust than this one.

All suggestions welcome

05 November 2014 19:39:20

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After doing my errands this morning, I knew I wanted to be in the garden. Wow, that was a beautiful day. I didn't really know what I wanted to focus on today. So, I recalled some ier's journals from yesterday and today.

No. 1 on my list was to get my vine cut back. (Thanks, Dick)

No. 2 was to collect seeds from Rhodochiton, (Thanks, Jackie) tidy up the whole plant, and haul it into the greenhouse. Steve is off work with a bad back again so I was hoping he wasn't looking out at me struggling with the big pot. Job done though. Twinge will hopefully be cured with a good nights sleep. 

And No. 3 was to finally find a space for my Callicarpa (Thanks Gracedieu lass). That should be really nice when it gets big enough to stand at the same level as my Rose 'Tequila Sunrise' which is just behind it. Imagine the orange/yellows behind the purple berries. Scrumptious! It's a repeat flowerer so the timing is right for the second flush of flowers.

After that anything else was a bonus. So I got the ladder out and cut back all the twiggy bits from Honeysuckle so my lovely red rose will be more visible from the house. It looks a treat now. And while the secateurs was out, I trimmed back Escallonia, and Viburnum tinus.

I took a few cuttings of C. 'Alex Young'. And as PCON mentioned, it's probably the wrong time of year to take cuttings. But let's hope for the best. I've given them some bottom heat to egg them on.

Always learning

05 November 2014 12:49:19

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Well, I was gob-smacked this morning when my daughter, Zoe, pointed out that the seed-pods of Antirrhinums resembled little skulls. So just now I've been out there, checking up to see if the Facebook photo she posted was photo-shopped. Well, 'lo and behold, she was right. I always let Antirrhinums seed about without help so I probably would NEVER have noticed that. Isn't it great when non-gardeners can also point things out to us that we would otherwise have ignored.

Cuttings

04 November 2014 06:40:04

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Today I hope to take cuttings of Chrysanthemum 'Alex Young' so I can have some ready for the annual Get-Together in January. You'd normally select non-flowering shoots. But there are NONE!!  I would never have thought this little plant would pack such a punch. So delighted with it. I'll do my best with the cuttings. Rachel had said that it wouldn't survive outside. But it's a profusion of flowers at the moment and I don't want to disturb it just yet.

Also including a photo of the still-opening flowers on Coleus canina. They are taking forever to open but are so unusual in their unopened stage.

Greenhouse tidy-up

03 November 2014 18:10:24
The last of the tomatoes

The last of the tomatoes

Finally picked the last of the tomatoes today. Very happy with the crop I had, with just four plants being plenty for Steve and myself. I did think at one stage that I would end up with lots of green ones for chutney. But I persisted, and left them in situ to avail of all that lovely late sunshine. 

Believe it or not, but those little ones are 'Gardener's Delight'. I've never seen them produce such small tomatoes. But the other ones are 'Ailsa Craig' and 'Shirley' which produced good-sized tomatoes.

I have now removed all tomato plants, which were all in pots so it was handy enough. And now I can push my geraniums in further to make more room. Mind you, I think I have just about everything in there at this stage that will need protection. Courgette, cucumber and gourd plants taken away also. Must remember to start off the gourds earlier next year.

Tomorrow I'll cut back the vine which is in at the very back. Pity I didn't read Dick's journal before I went out there today.

Bracteantha

03 November 2014 06:46:58

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Got this little one in Dealz during the summer. I bought it mainly out of curiosty as I had never grown it before. And I must say I was delighted with all the flowers it produced on just one original stem. Still going strong and more flowers on the way. And all for the princely sum of €1.49!!! Let's hope I can spot some viable seeds now.

Verbascum

02 November 2014 19:00:33
Verbascum chiaxii again

Verbascum chiaxii again

Yesterday I caught a glimmer of colour behind some of my Escallonia. Couldn't believe it when I spotted Verbascum chiaxii in flower again, despite me having moved it earlier this year just before it flowered the first time. Needless to say, I then got out the secateurs and did a bit of judicious pruning.

Bedding Cyclamen

02 November 2014 08:21:36

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Three or four years ago I decided to plant my bedding Cyclamen out into the ground to see how they would fare. I was delighted with the results as they stayed flowering for ages and came back for the three years. Usually I would have dumped them on the compost after their flowering season and bought more the following year. They never came up last year. So I bought more a couple of weeks ago. I was more surprised than disappointed that they hadn't come up, but c'est la vie.

So while out yesterday doing a bit I discovered new leaves. And a few leaves sprouting from a corm that was raised out of the ground. Now I don't know whether the original corm just out grew its space in the ground, or the soil over it shifted in the rain. But it's looking mighty healthy. I'll be watching this with great interest.

 

Grub's up!

01 November 2014 18:51:10

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Yesterday I put up all my bird feeders around the garden.  I deliberately DON'T have them around during the summer months as the seed that gets dropped usually ends up taking root where it's not wanted. 

It took the birds a full day to realise that there was a banquet laid on for them. Sparrows out in full force today, a robin, and bluetit. But the Niger seed should draw in the Goldfinches, one of my favourite garden birds. The Niger seed needs a special feeder that has really small ports to stop the seed falling out, as it is tiny. It almost resembles mouse droppings. 

All bulbs done

01 November 2014 18:00:25

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Was delighted to finally get all my tulips down today. I have all of them, plus a previous lot planted down in the Acid Bed. A lot of these are ones that I dug up from Dad's garden in August. Don't know what type they are, but they never failed to come up every year for Dad. Fingers crossed now. The ones I planted today are 'Violet', 'Huis ten Bosch' and 'Ballade', all shades of purple and pink so should look good with these bedding Cyclamen and Dianthus 'Pink Kisses', that I planted here a couple of weeks ago.

This is my last attempt at planting crocus bulbs. A few years ago I planted so many in staggered arcs around the Lower Pond and was so looking forward to a smashing display. However, not one came up. And I suspect it was blackbirds that rooted them up. The only crocuses that I have in my garden now are very sparse. So today I decided to plant nice white ones even closer to the house. Now that most of the hostas have died back, at least there will be something to look forward to in this area come Spring.

Planted a few Iris danfordiae beside the Greenhouse pond, and finally Tulip 'tarda' into a nice pot.

Acorns

01 November 2014 04:47:46
Acorns

Acorns

During my walk yesterday I spotted this oak tree with lots of unripened acorns - something I haven't seen up close and personal before.

I knew they were edible, but didn't realise that they contain a lot of tannin acid which is not very palatable. And the amounts of tannin they contain depend on the type of oak that they come from. They take a bit of time and preparation before they are suitable for eating. I reckon I might leave them for the squirrels and rats, who normally gather them from the ground. Very interesting looking nut though!

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