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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal February 2015

Last Post 995 days 5 hours ago

Sausages

28 February 2015 20:57:34
Sausages

Sausages

While working outdoors today I came across a pot of these strange bulbs/sausages!!!!  I must have removed them from a planter last year and forgot to replant them. But I can't, for the life of me, think what they might be. Any takers? 

However, they're potted up now so I'm in a for a little surprise when/if they grow.

Daffs

28 February 2015 19:39:19

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Got a few bits in Aldi today while getting groceries. I bought some Liatris spicata. And I swear this is the last time I'll be buying them. Over the years I've bought so many and they never did anything here. So this is a last ditch with them. Potted them up when I got home.

Got some more of those lovely gladioli 'Prince Claus' in Homebase, and they're potted up too, together with a windowbox of 'Red Baron' onions. Not many in the window box, but at least they'll be to hand when they're big enough for harvesting. I have sooooo many to plant in the plot in Dad's garden, but still have to dig over his soil properly. I'll be able to sell them I have so many this year, having found another set in the garage that I had previously bought in Dealz.

Bought some more of the common garish primroses in Supervalu, so they have been added to Primrose 5 Steps. Great value at 6 for e4.99. They really cheer the place up and I can just about see them from the patio doors.

The first of my taller daffs are now beginning to open. Yay!!!!  Love their rich colour.

My Hellebores so far

28 February 2015 18:58:27
My Hellebores so far

My Hellebores so far

I was just about to post an album of the Hellebores I have here this year. But I see Hazel has beaten me to it. Lovely collection, Hazel.

I'll still post the album. But I won't name them as most of them were bought in Lidl and can't be relied upon for the correct names. But I love them all.

Here comes Margaret

28 February 2015 17:52:06

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My favourite Camellia is starting to flower finally. I did get just one flower on my 'Double Red' a few weeks ago but it didn't manage to open fully on account of the really cold weather. But now that the weather is warming up a bit, there are lots more about to please me. :)

This one (C. 'Margaret Davis') was the one that Liga and myself dug up from Mairin's garden a few years ago. I always feared that it would perish after being planted into a big half barrel when it had had the freedom of Mairin's garden. But happy to report that is my best Camellia here - so far.

Goin' abeggin'.

27 February 2015 20:47:30

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I finally got round to digging up my Sorbus sorbifolia 'Sem' today, and was gobsmacked at the amount of roots travelling forever in that area. I managed to get just two suckers potted up. But no doubt the roots that are left in the ground will also start sprouting. That could prove to be very awkward as there is also a Nandina, Photinia, Rowan and two Clematis in this small area.

I'd have to dig up all those to get all the roots of the Sorbus out so I guess I'll just have to keep on hacking away as soon as they come up through the soil.

Does anyone want this little baby?

Spring

27 February 2015 05:07:15

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My little Spring Border is looking nice at the moment, with cyclamen, miniature daffs and tulips, crocus, pulmonaria, and my Leucojum under the Yew just waiting for the weather to warm up a bit more. Still lots of colour to come, but still enjoying it in its early stage.

Two blues

26 February 2015 18:58:08

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Here come two of my favourite early blue flowers. I love the way the flowers of Scilla siberica emerge even before the foliage.

Georgia

25 February 2015 18:22:10
Georgia

Georgia

This climbing rose 'Teasing Georgia' has been throwing out random blooms over the winter. But all of them were affected by the cold and frost and promptly fell off. I was thinking of giving this one its final cut-back tomorrow. But when I got back from my few days away today, I nipped out before it got dark. Another flower on its way, but it seems to have something inside the bloom (see the shadow?).

I'll investigate further tomorrow, as I'll be cutting it back anyway. It's too early in the year for a flower on this rose to reveal its exquisite double bloom.

Soft as a baby's ......

25 February 2015 07:42:13
Viburnum 'Dawn' and soft hands

Viburnum 'Dawn' and soft hands

I've been in Co. Meath for the last three days, and it's lovely to see so many things waking up in Gretta's garden. One thing I am impressed with is her Anemones, and Viburnum 'Dawn' which is in full flower right now. I believe the evening scent from it is just divine. However, I'll have a long wait for mine to produce. I love the way it flowers on bare wood. The leaves are just beginning to bud now.

Looking at the photo makes me think how molly-coddled I have been over the winter months. My hands are as soft as a baby's bum They need a good soil work-out.

Miserable wet morning here. Let's hope Dublin is a bit better.

Evergreen

24 February 2015 07:31:11

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Santolina chamaecyparissus sounds like a mouthful, and it's new here since late last year. I chose this one for its silver evergreen foliage. And hopefully in the summer it will reward me with little yellow button-like flowers. I might try some cuttings after flowering. 

Wet, wet, wet

22 February 2015 19:29:18

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A truly miserable day here all day. Didn't even go out to the back garden to take photos. But the kayak in the front always brings a bit of cheer to my heart, regardless of the weather. Tete-a-tetes and crocuses coming out now.

Downsizing

22 February 2015 07:15:56

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On finding lots of suckers of this Sorbus yesterday, I now think it's time to downsize and put it into a nice pot. I was warned it would sucker and thought I'd get at least a few years out of it in the ground, which I did. But the time has come. Let's hope now it will adapt to its new quarters without any hassle. Such a pretty little shrub.

Saturday

21 February 2015 21:27:13

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Not too bad weatherwise for the garden today. My primroses are only just about making colour. So I decided to get some in flower over in Woodies to cheer up my Primrose 5-Steps until they flower properly. I find it hard to resist buying primroses. I dug over the whole area and incorporated some fresh compost to give it all a bit of a boost.

I have no idea where I planted my P. 'Blue Zebra' last year, but I saw it in Woodies today and couldn't resist buying it again. If the other one comes up, all the better. Lots of nibbles taken out of most primrose petals in my garden, and I'm wondering about vine weevil adults? 

I think I persuaded Dad to grow tomatoes again this year, he asked me to get him six growbags while I was over there. If he does, that will be brilliant as I had thought he had completely given up on his garden.

I planted up a few hellebore seedlings, and also started off my trailing begonias in pots and gladioli. I also bought some garlic, and onion set. When I got home I found onions that I had bought in Dealz earlier this year. So I guess I'll have some here in pots, AND planted in my plot in Dads. Happy Days.

 

Another galanthus

20 February 2015 15:32:17
Galanthus nivalis 'Magnet'

Galanthus nivalis 'Magnet'

Another of the ones I bought from Tipperary last year has opened for the first time today. Funny, but they say that snowdrops grow better when planted 'in the green', and indeed I have lost so many bulbs bought in packets. But not the case with these ones I got from Guy De Schrijver.

Looking back

20 February 2015 10:56:18
Looking back

Looking back

I've just spent the last hour or so going down Memory Lane with my journals. But when I try to enlarge the photos it comes up 'Request content cannot be loaded. Please try again later'. Not sure how long it has been like that, I'd like to think that this little hiccup is only temporary.

The Irish Garden has just arrived in the post. Yay!!!

Rhododendron

20 February 2015 06:05:17

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It's been a long wait for this lovely Rhododendron to finally open. I always forget how deep a colour it is.

Gobsmacked

19 February 2015 20:12:51

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Wee Davey visited today and couldn't believe how big his dwarf beans had grown in just over a week. He doesn't believe me that they are DWARF beans. LOL

All you've ever needed for the garden

19 February 2015 18:28:24

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Aldi's growing season is getting into full swing next week. So much on offer, 3and 4 tier greenhouses, and covers for same, compost bins, greenhouse staging (which will interest me as my own has rotted), windowsill propagators, potting benches, sieves, gloves, fur-lined wellies, seed trays, seed and cutting compost, bell cloches, push mowers. This is all happening next Thursday 26th February.

Another Hellebore

19 February 2015 16:28:37
Another Hellebore

Another Hellebore

H. Double Ellen 'Red' is looking gorgeous in all its splendour today.

Rome wasn't built in a day!

18 February 2015 20:37:42

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This morning I made a start on prepping the area for my new veggie patch in Dad's garden. Progress was steady, but by the time I had dug over 3/4 of the area, I had had enough.

The area by the back wall was home to a home-made greenhouse that Dad constructed years ago with old window panes. I'll need a pick to get through it as it seems to be cement in places. So many teasels coming up already. Let's hope I got all the roots as well.

In the area that I got completed, I took out lots of big stones and slate tiles. But the soil that is workable is so lovely and crumbly. So whatever I decide to grow should turn out pretty well. But I'll need to go down at least 12 inches to get any decent planting depth. Finished off for the day by using my Cultivator that I got in Woodies two years ago (end of range stock) for €5, just to break up the clods further. That was my lot for the day.

Narcissus

18 February 2015 14:10:40

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You just can't beat the first daffs of the year - in this case N. 'Jetfire'. Still another week or so before their taller cousins open up. But these'll do nicely for now.

Primrose

18 February 2015 07:32:33
Myrtle's primrose

Myrtle's primrose

I always love seeing this gorgeous little priimrose that Myrtle kindly gave me a few years ago. Smaller flowers than most primroses and no name, but oh so pretty. 

Pottering

18 February 2015 06:39:10
A lot of digging over to be done

A lot of digging over to be done

I had a relaxing time outside yesterday. Didn't go out there with any specific jobs in mind so just tipped about and observed. Tidied up my 'plants in waiting' and inspected the lot for new growth. The weather is beginning to warm up at last, and I'll be raring to go.

Had an all-too-brief visit from Hazel in the afternoon. I was giving out about the state of my expensive hellebore of two journals ago. She advised me to move it from where it was, as it was in competition with a couple of shrubs and therefore suffering possibly from lack of moisture. So as soon as she headed home, the hellebore was dug up. I had mentioned that this was an expensive one costing €12. But according to the label, I spent a whopping €20 on it!!!!!   Well, it deserves to be given a better home, so it's now in a pot until I can find a suitable spot for it. 

I'm seeing some new growth on my peach trees in the greenhouse. That always excites me, and of course the blossoms are just soooooo pretty. My greenhouse won't be so cramped this year thanks to Dad letting me take over his. Yay!!!    

Not sure of my plans today outside, so thinking maybe of digging over my little plot in Dads. Let's hope the neighbours don't see me traipsing in and out in my gardening rags. Don't want them saying to themselves, and each other (LOL), 'that Jacinta Doyle one has really let herself go over the last few years'.  :)

Not Felco

17 February 2015 19:07:48
My trusty Wilkinson Sword

My trusty Wilkinson Sword

My secateurs is in need of a good clean, and a sharpening. I am guilty of abusing it constantly. Today the spring broke off. But luckily I was able to re-attach it. For how long, I'm not sure. It may not be a Felco, but it suits me just fine. 

Just wondering what would happen if people were to send their Felco's off for repair that had sentimental value attached to them? 

Crack Pot!

17 February 2015 06:23:40
Crack Pot!

Crack Pot!

It hasn't been a particularly cold winter, but it has been a long one. The other day while out in the garden I discovered that one of my favourite pots had cracked from the frost. If the crack was only on one side, I'd attempt to repair it. But as you can see, the damage is also on the other side.

If I remember correctly, there was a lovely dahlia in that last year, which I didn't lift. So today I'll be emptying the pot to see if there's any sign of life. Not very hopeful but we'll see. So far this has been the only pot I've lost this winer so that's not too bad.

And another!

16 February 2015 21:14:25
And another!

And another!

Are we all sick of Hellebores yet? Not me. Here's another one open today that I got a couple of years ago.

Yellow Drop

16 February 2015 07:31:45

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My yellow snowdrop has finally opened. I have it in the retaining bed behind the Upper Pond, so It won't get dug up, or planted over with something else. It was an expensive drop, so not prepared to take any chances. One bulb bought two years ago has now bulked up to THREE!!!!    I'll be on a Zimmer frame before it makes a proper-sized clump!!!!

Obviously not what I thought!

15 February 2015 20:44:35

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I bought Galtonia candicans a good few years ago and it flowered really well the first year. But as it was planted in the Shady Border, that was the only time. Every year now I see the foliage coming up and think it's going to finally do its thing. But it doesn't.

Spotted this same foliage coming up today - still in the Shady Border, and thought to myself, "Nah, too early for any growth on Galtonia'. So what in tarnation is it then?

I dug up the bulbs and potted them up so they don't escape my full attention this year.

Happy Day!

15 February 2015 18:07:57

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I was singing in the shower this morning. And I actually had the bathroom window open during my shower, as opposed to opening it afterwards. Summer must be coming, and my dark winter mood is slowly but surely lifting.

It was a lovely bright morning, despite the reddish sky earlier. Went to lunch earlier than normal, and as a result I got back earlier. Lost no time in getting out as rain had been forecast. I'd work until I could do no more. More cutting back and tidying up. Also got the Lidl hellebores planted at last. Shady border looking a lot better this year. And it's great to have most of the winter/spring flowers all in one area more or less.

Tried to identify some of my galanthus. The ones that are planted singly have NO labels, even though I'm sure I labelled everything. Strange that! Cleaning up after Holly is becoming a bit of a nightmare. But as growth is now starting in earnest, she'll find less bare soil to do her business. So I reckon she'll go somewhere else as the seasons progress.

Just another day maybe till Narcissus 'Jetfire' open. Ooooh, so close!!! Collected a full black bag of rubbish. I also had to cut back my Cerinthe. They had been totally blackened by the recent frosts. Just hoping I didn't do them any damage. I love their gorgeous blue flowers.

Everything in the greenhouse got a good watering and the door was left open all afternoon. When I finished outside, I came in for a well-earned cuppa......and the Heavens opened. Just in time to water in my new Hellebores.

Did a bit of judicial pruning on my Photinia, and it was great to see new growth on my Miscanthus over the cave. All in all, I'm a happy camper this evening.

 

White

14 February 2015 20:54:35

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A quick walk about the garden today revealed one of my last years Lidl Hellebores open. This is Helleborus Double Ellen 'White'.

Discovered another one planted in the midst of my Snow in Summer. Don't remember planting this one, and it looks like slugs or snails have been munching on it. 

On a go-slow!

14 February 2015 08:04:30

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Had very little time to devote to my garden this week, but spent a few days down with Gretta as she is nursing her new hip. She is looking great, and looking forward to the new gardening season. I had a nosey around her garden a few times while I was there, and I love all her hellebores and spring bulbs blooming and emerging.

Gretta tells me that her garden seems to be effected by the cold weather much more so than her previous Dublin garden. But yet her Helleborus argutifolius is looking super. Well ahead of mine. Her Chaenomeles is awash with colour. Another few sunny days and it'll be a sight to behold.

Not planning on doing much myself this weekend. A bout of Bronchitis and headcold has put paid to that. But all the time I am planning and plotting. Talking about plotting, I think it's nearly time to dig up the little plot that Dad is lending me in his garden. Might enlist the help of Steve to dig it over, but that won't be done for at least a couple of weeks. In the meantime I'm having fun deciding what to plant that will be able to survive every SECOND days care. Dad will love to see that his little patch is still producing after his years of tending. He can't do it himself anymore, but will possibly bring back some good memories of when he was able-bodied and eager.

Happy St. Valentine's Day to you all!

Did you know.....

13 February 2015 12:49:55
Did you know.....

Did you know.....

you can boost your compost by pouring a bottle of flat cola onto the heap? It not only jumpstarts the microorganisms, it also increases the acidity and the sugar feeds the mircoorganisms, increasing the organic matter in the compost.

Doing well

11 February 2015 06:06:38

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These old flippers were planted up last year with Sempervivums/Echeverias (always get the two mixed up). But they have been looking fairly ok throughout the winter, giving a little bit of interest to the garden. Starting to put on fresh growth now, so when the weather warms up reliably, I'll be taking offshoots to spread around.

It's an insect

10 February 2015 21:17:32

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Last night I posted a journal wondering why my Iris leaves were scrunched up. Over on Facebook, members suggested that it was either due to high humidity and strong winds, or an insect overwintering in it.

I looked closer today at the under side of the leaf in question. And indeed, it is an insect. You can see the web. So much in the garden goes unnoticed by the human eye. It makes it all the more interesting.

Happy Christmas

10 February 2015 04:29:30
Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas

I haven't quite lost the plot yet. But my Rhododendron 'Christmas Cheer' is just about to flower. It's my best Rhodo here. I'm not a Barbie girl, but I do love its vivid shade of pink.

Shrub

09 February 2015 21:52:43
Loropetalum

Loropetalum

A shrub that's looking really well here at the moment is Loropetalum chinensis. Really filling out its pot, and a great colour.

Got a small bit done

09 February 2015 21:16:54

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I was determined to get something done outside today. And the rain never looked far away.

I started off by transplanting my seedlings from my multiplanter, and top-dressing the existing tulips in the pot. Then I cut back my Cornus, and dug up and divided two of my Heucheras.

Tidied the surface of most pots, paying particular attention to any cuttings I had taken. Wee Davey took some Dianthus cuttings with me late last year and they are doing fine so far. Cleaned down between the patio slabs with a hoe and swept it all up afterwards. Everything is rosey in the greenhouse, nothing major needed doing. But it got a good bit of ventilation today. But the thing I was happiest about most was chopping up the Christmas tree and lobbing it 'over'. It was really annoying me just sprawled on the patio since January 1st. Not long was spent outdoors but it was a welcome change from doing virtually NOTHING all last week. Hopefully I'll get some more done tomorrow.

Just curious

09 February 2015 20:07:34
Just curious

Just curious

I've noticed this before with certain plants that their leaves are scrunched up like a concertina. It doesn't take away from the flower power but I'm just wondering can anyone explain how or why this happens - Iris in this case.

Multiplanter

09 February 2015 06:27:35

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Initially there were just tulips planted in this pot. I think they may be orange, to contrast nicely with the blue pot.

But over time, spores of a fern have found their way in to the same pot, and lots of Hellebore seedlings. As I'm going to have to remove the top inch of soil to get at the encroaching weeds, I may as well take out the fern and hellebores and re-locate to better situations. Nice surprise though finding these seedlings in it just before Christmas. 

Hail, rain or snow, that'll be one of my jobs for today.

Aggie

08 February 2015 18:38:29
Aggie

Aggie

Forgot to take in my little white Agapanthus at the beginning of the winter. But luckily it's not suffering any ill effects.

Boy, am I getting tired waiting for the weather to improve drastically!!! I need to be out there in a t-shirt, and paddling my feet in the Greenhouse pond.

Lamium

08 February 2015 07:48:33

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Don't know this ones full title, but it's the one with the deep pink flowers. I had potted up loads before I realised I couldn't make it to Johnstown. So they're all just sitting on the potting bench outside.

I really don't have the space for these, so if anyone wants some you would be more than welcome. I have 4 2litre pots to give away so if you're interested, just say the word. I like the deep pink colour that it's turning.

Frosty day out there, and lunch with Dad means I won't get much done again.

Love is in the air

06 February 2015 21:28:10
Love is in the air

Love is in the air

This is the first time I have ever seen a pair of robins in my garden. I'm guessing most birds are beginning to pair off in readiness for the mating season. So now I reckon they are checking out their housing arrangements. Today I filled my little terracotta container with fleece to provide them with nice warm nesting materials. You can also put out the hair from yours or your dogs brush. Every little helps.

Heuchera

06 February 2015 20:02:59
Heuchera 'Rave On'

Heuchera 'Rave On'

This is one of my favourite Heucheras in the garden. I love its veined leaves, and it has wonderful sprays of deep pink flowers in late Spring. I'm thinkng of possibly splitting it up this year to spread it around.

Good colour

06 February 2015 07:04:35
Good colour

Good colour

A couple of red Cornus here, and I have another one to add as soon as I get some planting space beside these two. They'll look all the better having three together at least until they become more mature. Then I may split them up and spread around.

It's the new growth that shows the flush of colour in winter, so to encourage fresh growth, they should get a hard annual prune this month. The stems should be cut right down to about 5cms off the ground, then each spring. A bit scary to be so drastic, but that's what I'll be doing today.

Tulip query

05 February 2015 20:17:06

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Late last year I dug up as many tulips as possible from Dad's garden and transferred them to here. As he is no longer able to maintain his garden, I thought they'd be better off in my garden.

Most of them got planted into the ground. But a few that I have in planters are producing foliage with bands of pale green/white. It's not tulip virus, but wondering what the Dickens it could be? Just hoping it won't affect their flower power, and/or be transmitted to the others.

New growth

05 February 2015 07:56:33

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Yay! Sowed some 'Moneymaker' tomatoes on 24th January. They have germinated. Wahoo!!!   Wee Davey will be here today and he'll be so thrilled to see that his dwarf beans are also up!!!

Moon

04 February 2015 07:44:07

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There is an amazing moon out there this morning.

No commitments for today so I'm thinking of browsing through my many garden books. Have a good day, everyone, and stay cosy. No heat in this house since last Thursday as we were waiting for a delivery of oil. But it finally arrived yesterday and it's on full now, and I'm not feeling inclined to spend too much time outdoors LOL. Hope I'm not becoming a tender perennial.

And talking about Aldi......

03 February 2015 20:40:42
And talking about Aldi......

And talking about Aldi......

Thursday week (Feb 12th) they have birdboxes for sale for €10.99. Seems a bit pricey for Aldi, but great styles on offer. They look a bit tacky, but for that price, the quality should be quite good. So they might actually be nice in reality. And I'll double up on the tubs of fat balls for €9.99.

Fresh Fruit Salad

03 February 2015 20:12:57

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I had run out of fat balls for the birds over the last couple of weeks and I absolutely refused to buy in bulk until Aldi or Lidl had the big tubs in again. So, as I occasionally get fed up eating lots of fruit, the last bit of it usually goes on the compost......today I decided to serve it up to the birds. Now, most of our songbirds migrate for the winter months so I was prepared to end up putting the whole lot on the compost in the end. It took a while, but afterwards the starlings decided to nibble at the grapes. These were just threaded on to the wire bracket that heavy duty garden wire comes on. Looks cool, and even better when the birds look like they are enjoying their new menu. Today I spotted the blackbirds having a go at kiwis and plums.

Very disappointed this year with the fact that I've had NO goldfinches here this year. Not even one. However, hopefully next year.

The sparrows were congregating around the Lower Pond today. If it was mid summer I'd say were having a dustbath. But Lordy, Lordy, the ground was like concrete today. So what in tarnation were they up to?

They were even walking on the ponds' ice. Brrr!!! The upturned basket is to stop Holly pooping on my crocuses.

Hanging in there!

03 February 2015 08:08:16

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I had been regretting not covering my Echium pininana with fleece from the onset of the really cold weather. But it has bounced back each time. Not as tall as Jackie's, but looking healthy nonetheless. Really heavy frost this morning and it's looking very sad. Hoping that this prolonged spell of cold won't be the cause of its demise. 

Cyclamen

02 February 2015 07:33:36

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Really happy with the way my Cyclamen coum is bulking up. Just three small pots bought about a year or more ago, and it's spreading nicely. Can't wait for all the little seedlings to be a mass of dainty flowers.

Beautiful day!

01 February 2015 20:28:25

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What a fabulous Spring day, albeit a cold one. After lunch I put on a few layers and out I went. Still doing a bit more cutting back. And after spending about an hour tidying things up, even Steve noticed the difference. That gave me a bit of a boost for sure.

All ponds have at least 2 or 3 inches of ice on them. And I could actually see the fish swimming just below the ice on the Lower Pond up near the house. Amazed with that as they should still be deep down under until at least md-March!

I've never had Rudbeckia 'goldsturm' retain its leaves throughout the winter, until now. And gobsmacked to see that Passiflora 'Constance Elliot' is still producing lots of new flowers. This just hasn't stopped flowering since the summer, and it is reputed to be not as hardy as Passiflora caerulea.

Had the greenhouse open for a while today and tidied down lots of the pelargoniums inside, and cleaned up the debris on the ground there too.

Great to see the clumps of snowdrops at different flowering stages, and dwarf irises and crocuses adding a welcome injection of Spring colour. I felt so energized after being out and active for about two hours, the longest I've spent in the garden in a good while. Cold feet drove me inside in the end. Good to be alive!!!

Another glitch

01 February 2015 08:54:59
Another glitch

Another glitch

Seems like the site is suffering another glitch, albeit a small one.

When you click on 'more' in the Recent Activity list, that's where you're prevented from seeing older journals. I'm sure it will be sorted soon.

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