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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal April 2015

Last Post 936 days 9 hours ago

Physocarpus 'Lady in Red'

29 April 2015 21:29:50

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Physocarpus is in full leaf now and looks great with Euonymus partially visible behind it.

Battling with the elements

29 April 2015 19:27:11

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Heating has been on an hour and my hands are still frozen. What a horrible day. Hot one minute, freezing the next. And the day was spent dodging hailstones and heavy showers. But I still managed to do a bit outside.

As my yellow tulips in the Acid Quadrant had been blown to bits, I figured there was no better time to move them to the North-facing border. It should make a nice display for this time next year when the tulips are blooming next to the silver-grey foliage of Cynara cardunculus. 

And hopefully the Liatris I planted earlier will take up centre stage. They'll also look good with the Cynara (Globe Artichoke). Today I sowed direct 5 different packets of Cornflower into the same area. I also took the propagator back in from the garage, and sowed two types of Cosmos for summer pots, sunflowers for David, and Nicandra 'Splash of Cream' that I got from Hosta, and Echinacea 'White Swan'.

I have never seen so many dandelions around. I don't think my garden had any last year, and now they are all over the place. Used a trowel to dig a lot of them up, wrist is killing me!!!  They weren't there two days ago. But my neighbours front garden is awash with them.

I finally planted that lovely Anemone that Hazel gave me last year, and a few other bits and pieces from my 'plants in waiting', plus my own French Marigolds and three little Euryops that I bought down in SuperValu this morning.

On the move

29 April 2015 18:04:52

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Corkscrew hazel planted in the front garden. And nobody really gets the benefit of this beautiful hazel as it is planted at the edge of the garden. As my neighbours shrubs are directly behind it, the beauty of its contorted branches is totally lost.

So.......if I can find a blank wall in the back, it will be moved, which is highly unlikely. Maybe a planter would be best so I can move it around. Would now be a good time?

Bluebells

29 April 2015 08:26:22
Bluebells

Bluebells

Earlier in the year I discovered pots of what looked like bulbs of some sort, resembling little fat sausages. No label AS USUAL, and I had absolutely no idea what they were. But Fleurette and Liztai suggested that they may be bluebells. I have had a few bluebells here over the years. Never bought them, but must have come in as stowaways on different plants.

However, when I gathered them all up together I ended up with a few potfuls. Very happy to see now that they are indeed bluebells. I have some planted into the area that has woodlandish plants, and dotted around the garden strategically. But are they the native ones, or the invasive Spanish ones?

New Growth on Brugmansia

29 April 2015 07:21:43

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I have two Brugmansias from last year which didn't actually get to flowering stage. But I plunged them into the soil of the greenhouse before winter set in. I have been watching them over the last few weeks with bated breath. And yesterday I was chuffed to see new growth on what pretty much looked like dead plants. So delighted now the 'watch and wait' period is over.

So, being new to Brugmansias, is it too soon to cut off the dead stalks? And would a small bit of feed do more harm than good?

Centaurea

28 April 2015 20:27:37
Centaurea montana 'Amethyst in Snow'

Centaurea montana 'Amethyst in Snow'

Another plant opened for me today. 

Early?

28 April 2015 18:39:33

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Is it not much too early for Geranium phaem 'Mourning Widow' to be flowering?

Lithodora diffusa 'Heavenly Blue'.

28 April 2015 07:50:12
Lithodora diffusa 'Heavenly Blue'.

Lithodora diffusa 'Heavenly Blue'.

I have this one planted in the gravel in the front garden. It's beginning to flower now, but not as many flowers as I had hoped for this year. But with the addition of another helping of ericaceous soil, and a light trim at the end of the summer, it should produce more plentiful flowers in future, and a healthier looking plant. It's definitely worth a little extra care with its electric blue flowers.

Forward planning

28 April 2015 07:22:18

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When I planted my tulips into the Acid Quadrant, the idea was to have something nice to look at while the blueberries were still rather bare. The tulips have flowered, and are still looking well, and the blueberries have put on their leaves directly behind them. Looking nice together now. But I don't want to lose these tulips as I dug them out of my Dad's garden last year and hope to have many years with them, just like he did.

But Mary (Gracedieu Lass) informas me that they won't survive in acid soil. Hmmmmm! Just when I thought I had the perfect place for them, I gotta shift them once they have performed. But do I have a free space for them anywhere?

I'm thinking the front garden here now. But I don't look at my front garden too often as I reverse into driveway so I actually miss a lot of what's planted out there unless I make a point of spending quality time weeding or tidying up litter. I suppose if they're out the front, it may make me take note more often.

But another little beauty planted in the Acid Quadrant is this lovely one that I bought 'T. Huis Ten Bosch' (see photo). They are looking particularly lovely right now with the blueberries behind them. Dilemmas, dilemmas!

Winter is here

27 April 2015 21:11:37
Winter is here

Winter is here

Not a great day here at all. Very showery and cold, but frequent brief sunny spells in between. As the forecast hadn't been great I decided to spend some time up in Dad's this morning. 

Got the whole area weeded with the hoe, not an instrument I use regularly. But when things are planted in rows it definitely makes sense, and makes short work of the weeds. Earthed up the spuds (middle row). They are looking good and healthy. Garlic and onions looking good too. Tied in the peas too so I don't need anything done here for at least a few days.

It's blowing a gale out there now. Hope this wintry spell doesn't last too long.

Osmunda regalis

27 April 2015 07:58:43

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When I bought this Osmunda regalis I was told it would grow huge. However, that wasn't the case for mine as I planted it into a big planter with some tulips and phormium. It's also in full sun so I'm thinking of moving it after the summer. 

However,  I think the unfurling fronds on this one has got to be my favourite of all ferns. It's just magical looking at this early stage.

It doesn't hurt to try

27 April 2015 07:32:42
Annual Osteospermum

Annual Osteospermum

Must admit I was surprised last year when Jackie told me she had her Gazanias for more than one summer. I usually lift my summer bedding afterwards, and chuck it all on the compost heap. But last year I decided to keep them in situ, and after a bit of tidying up in the last few weeks, my Gazanias are looking like freshly-bought plants.

ANother one that I left in situ was an annual Osteospermum. And 'lo and behold they're about to flower. Let's hope the frost of the last two nights won't damage the flower buds.

Polygonatum

26 April 2015 20:55:28

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Love this plant. In dappled shade down at the end of the garden, together with the oldest of my Hellebores, and various shrubs. Originally this plant came from Paddy and Mary (Gracedieu Lass). Doing well, and looking lovely.

Coloured Corner

26 April 2015 20:25:50

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After living here for so long my back wall should at this stage have complete cover. But as I tend to buy things, and plant them in the wrong spot, a lot of them have to be taken out at some point or another. So still plenty of gaps.

Looking out from the upstairs bedroom today I was liking the colour that the left hand corner is giving right now with a big bamboo in a pot (not sure which one and it's looking a bit yellow - must feed), Acer palmatum 'Garnet', Norway Spruce behind, with Viburnum tinus, and a small specimen of Mahonia 'Winter Sun'. Just to the right of it, I have a flagpole cherry which I got from Ratoath a few years ago for just a fiver. It was tiny to begin with, but now it stands over 6ft. If only ALL shrubs could grow in a 'flagpole' manner........Think of how many more I could fit in to fill the entire wall up in just a couple of years.

Dicentra

26 April 2015 04:14:41

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I posted a short journal about this a couple of weeks ago. But just need to re-post as it's doing so well. For once it appears that I have planted it in the perfect area. And it has really spread about nicely. I only hope it won't take over. It's in dappled shade with lots of Primroses, Brunnera, Muscari, etc and yesterday it was looking gorgeous after the rain had stopped. Photos from the previous day.

Rotten day - lovely evening

25 April 2015 21:11:28

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Up at the usual 4.30 this morning and it was raining. It lasted until close on 5.00pm. No gardening done, and a lively 5yr old to keep entertained.

But once the rain stopped, the sun came out and we even had a lovely bit of heat. But it was too little too late at that stage. And David had gone home by then. Just took a few photos.

Delighted to say that the cutting of a Honeysuckle from Gretta's garden last year is looking well. Not sure which one this is, but I don't have an orange-flowered one so I'm really hoping for one or two flowers this year, or next year.

My little variegated Honeysuckle that I got from Fran was planted into a break in this little statue and kept in the greenhouse over winter. Looking good, and I'm hoping to plant it out permanently in the next few days.

Lots of lovely little peaches being produced on the three trees in the greenhouse. Nearly time for thinning out.

Primrose

25 April 2015 06:19:17

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Yesterday was the first time I've seen this double primrose here in my garden. According to Google it appears to be one of a Barnhaven Double Mix. No idea where I got it. Maybe it was a stowaway. The important thing here though is to move it to a more desirable location after flowering before it gets lost, and label it. I'd hate to lose it.

Chocolate

24 April 2015 21:18:01

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This tiny little Aquilegia opened today, just before the rain. It's a dainty but fairly tough little Aquilegia.  It never fails to come up year after year. So tiny though, it could easily be missed.

Change of plan

24 April 2015 20:27:47

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Steve is away on a job this weekend, so I was looking forward to a bit of 'me' time when plans to have Wee Davey for a sleepover tomorrow were changed at the last minute. Was feeling a bit resentful as I've been busy in the house and garden all week to prepare for a visit by a very good friend whom I haven't seen in quite a while, and her mother (a good friend of MY dearly departed Mam).

But when Zoe came in with my two lovely grandsons after my visitors left, the first thing David did was head outside where he was gobsmacked with the colour in the garden. So that alone was worth the change of plan. And, like Jackie with her Grandchildren, the tulips stole the show for David. He went around and cupped each one in his hand, and smelt them all individually. But a funny thing happened when he took in the gentle scent of Exochorda and accidentally sniffed up a bug. I hope that doesn't put him off being in the garden.

Another tulip

24 April 2015 05:36:45

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Only a couple more tulips to open in my garden. I like this one but its colour wouldn't be number one on my list of favourites.

Paris

23 April 2015 21:11:32

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Spent the day with Gretta today and we went for a leisurely stroll through Santry Park. Breakfast out, and countless cups of tea/coffee and cake here in the garden before evening dinner.

But after a quick walkabout, I spotted my Paris quadrifolia in full flower. I'm delighted with how much this little plant has bulked up in just two or three years.

Another Rhododendron

23 April 2015 20:47:17

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This is another dwarf rhododendron in my garden. Lovely rich purple, but I especially love the speckled leaves. A mature specimen of this could grow to 12 inches.

Sambucus

23 April 2015 08:48:58

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This is a shrub that I chose to add a 'sunny' feel to the front garden during its makeover a few years ago. Definitely ticks all my boxes and lifts my spirits whenever I clap eyes on it.

I just love......

23 April 2015 07:19:37

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......when the evening sun catches two of my four acers in the retaining bed behind the Upper Pond. They're leafing up nicely now, and improving each day. The best has yet to come. But I'll enjoy the transition immensely.

Phlox

22 April 2015 20:38:00

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Lovely little Phlox, this. Growing in my Alpine Circle, and never fails to please. Apart from its delicate pink flowers, the variegated foliage is a sight to behold.

Contrasting

22 April 2015 06:16:23

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I like the contrasting colours of Caryopteris and Sambucus. Only baby shrubs at the moment, but show lots of promise. Caryopteris will produce nice baby blue flowers soon.

Rhodo for small garden

21 April 2015 20:42:00
Rhododendron 'Ginny Gee'

Rhododendron 'Ginny Gee'

This is a very miniature Rhododendron, only about 12 inches at the moment, and not likely to get much taller. Great for a small garden with very limited space, like mine. Planted this wee one out about two years ago and the flower power has at least doubled.

Nautical

21 April 2015 20:29:16

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Another nautical item to be added to the garden. Watch this space.

For SallySarah

21 April 2015 08:15:07

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Here is a close-up of the leaf of Clematis 'Pixie'.  As far as I can make out, yours is the same.

Clematis

21 April 2015 03:59:11

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I love the yellow/lime green flowers of this miniature Clematis 'Pixie'. It's coming out to play now. I have thought about planting it out on a few occasions. But it's so small that I think it may become lost up against a wall. When it's in a pot, it can be positioned close at hand so it's not overshadowed by anything else. It's also evergreen.

Actinidia

20 April 2015 21:54:14

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Love the furry texture and colour on the new foliage of Kiwi.

Oh, boy!

20 April 2015 21:10:08

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Busy day today. Loads of essential shopping in Homebase - Citronella Oil, topsoil, compost, growbags, herbs, violas and tomato feed. Emptied the car. But decided to start the power-washing first. Started up at the patio which is in full sun from about 10.30am. Then tackled the yard. But this end doesn't get the sun until about 1.00 and the place was getting pretty soggy. So I went to visit Dad while it drained away a bit, and while there I watered my cabbages, onions, garlic, peas and potatoes. Spuds are up already. Had to tie up the peas and sweetpea. Everything in order there so I joined Dad for a quick coffee. 

Back home and I got the yard finished. It needed to be dried well before Steve got home from work or there would have been mud all over the place. And guess who would be left to clean it up. Gotta say, it's so much better.

Planted up a nice little planter with herbs for Steve, and have them at the patio doors where we will be able to get a pleasant whiff every day. He is delighted with this. Added a nice collection of blue and yellow violas to various containers to give it all a bit of oomph. That was me finished. So had a coffee on the patio. Greta phoned and while we chatted I managed to water all my potted plants. We ALWAYS have pretty lengthy phonecalls. LOL

Rooted out my wire stakes for my growbags and cleared out the left side of the greenhouse where I grow my tomatoes. The right side is for my peach trees, vine and cacti. Positioned the growbags and bamboo canes. All ready to complete the task first thing in the morning. 

But the topsoil was bought for potting up my yellow flag iris for one of the ponds. I couldn't sit easy until the job was done. I was able to divide it into three healthy bits. Delighted that these are finally planted. 

Totally wrecked now.

Getting organized

20 April 2015 10:10:08
Getting organized

Getting organized

Today I have decided to power wash. Only it takes so much effort pulling huge planters off the yard and patio, and then deciding which pots will go back. I find it very difficult to get my head around actually doing this job. But it will look good when it's done. Come on! Push me!

Another shuffle

20 April 2015 07:04:29

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This time I'm re-thinking my plant choices for my 'hot' border (the one closest to the patio). Lots of things coming up that I can't decipher just yet, and lots of pots of stuff just plonked into any free spaces until I know for sure what's there. I have yellows, oranges, and reds in this border. But I want to make room for Ricinus in this border as I wasn't keen on where I had it last year. It was too close to Davey's reach for my liking.

I made a brave decision yesterday to remove my Melianthus major and plant Ricinus in its place. I'm sure absolutely EVERYONE has Melianthus at this stage, but here's another one going a'begging now. It needs to be gone pretty pronto! Otherwise, it's 'over the wall'.

Atmospheric garden

19 April 2015 21:34:58

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I love the garden at this time of year, especially at around dusk. My Citronella lanterns get lit, warding off the midge. They give a lovely romantic glow and do a job at the same time.

The middle photo is an ornament I bought after my trip late last summer with Hazel, Elizabeth and Joan. It looks lovely. But its true beauty was really captured when I went in to the kitchen at sunset.

The third photo is an object that Steve came home with way back in January. I wasn't sure what it was, and indeed Hazel suggested it may be an incense burner. However, I just place three little tea lights inside and 'hey presto'. Lovely effect.

Sempervivum

19 April 2015 07:28:15

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Loving the look of this little Sempervivum at the moment. Yesterday I remarked to Steve how it reminded me of Sputnik (Earth's first artificial satellite).

Just now I googled its name (Sempervivum 'Kramer's Spinrad'). In 2014 Obama Administration named Dr. Richard W. Spinrad as Chief Scientist.

I hope NOT!!!

19 April 2015 04:26:12

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Was doing a bit of pottering around yesterday and wondering to myself when I'd possibly be able to RE-PLANT the plants Steve asked me to move last year to facilitate work on the Cave. Picked up this lovely Saxifraga and all the foliage came away in my hand. Didn't get the opportunity to investigate further, what with one thing or another. Let's hope it's not the dreaded VW. Maybe there will be a banquet for the birds today!!!!

Loropetalum

18 April 2015 09:08:48

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Have this small shrub in a planter. It's looking really nice at the moment, and I love the way the sun behind it brings out it's rich ruby red. It is also beginning to flower now, little spidery pink flowers. It very much reminds me of Cotinus coggygria 'Grace' (much smaller leaf though) which I have also, but is not doing too well. Wrong situation, so I must rectify that today.

Beautiful!

18 April 2015 03:53:13

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When I got back after doing Dad's tomatoes yesterday, there was a strange looking pigeon sitting on the Loggia. He stayed with me for the rest of the afternoon, just basking in the sun.

I started to water the whole garden and the hose sprung leaks in 5 different places so it took forever. But maybe he was a Carrier Pigeon telling me to calm down. I did. He was so beautiful. As soon as he heard Steve's key in the Hall Door he took off.

The finished look!

17 April 2015 19:25:43

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Steve redeemed himself today by dropping home briefly during his working day. He had loads of rocks, after my decision to use some as an edging for Hosta Hill. Edging it with rocks will reduce the need to neaten edges, and therefore avoid cutting into more lawn each year. He went back to work and I sorted the rocks. He came home and started tweaking to his own liking. But I've just done it again, let's hope he leaves it alone now. Thanks, Steve. :)

Tied up in knots

17 April 2015 18:38:19

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Oh, what a morning I've had. Dad gets his tomato plants every year from a grower in Skerries. So he got them yesterday and asked me to plant them for him today. He insists on using the same nylon string year after year. This same string has been on the go for at least 16 or more years. He loops three loops under each growbag, and ties another length up to the bar above that runs the length of the greenhouse, and at a height of about 6ft. He didn't bother untangling them last year after the last of his toms had been harvested. He ate his lunch at a very leisurely pace today while I struggled to get them sorted. Grrrrrr!  I hate knots, and untangling birds nests!  Bleep! Bleep! Bleep!!!  

He looked on as I got more and more annoyed. I gave up in the end and brought 5 growbags into the greenhouse for him. He threw in the last one and burst it in the process. So I turned it upside down as the hole was the other end. But Dad wanted them all facing the same way. To keep the peace I did as I was asked but I was fit to kill. I had struggled to get down to the ground, and planted all 18 for him while he attached the string to the upper bars. Then I struggled to get up again, and was in a lather of sweat as he wouldn't let me open the glasshouse window. Rant nearly over!

After spraying the weeds (dandelions and teasels) in Dad's yesterday I was dying to see how the weedkiller that Steve got me had worked. Well, I'll let the photo speak for itself. I think he gave me tomato feed instead of weedkiller.

That's it!!!!!

Getting the skates on!

17 April 2015 03:57:36

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There's nothing like the threat of a visit from a very good friend next week to get me working like a Trojan in the garden. Spent ages yesterday removing all the annoying little weeds that gather over the winter in the cracks of the paving slabs. I'm thinking now that I really should brush builders sand in between to help keep the weeds down.

It's amazing how complacent we become with spilt compost and general 'dirt' over the winter months. So a long time was spent getting this area spruced up. I had many, many plants in waiting (all kept at the doorway of the greenhouse). It was really bugging me. So in my attempt yesterday to tidy, I went around the garden with pots in hand and just placed them where I deemed them to be most suitable. Hopefully today I will actually plant them. But now that the greenhouse doorway has been cleared, it's a weight off my shoulders. Talking about shoulders, my shoulder blades are not used to it. So I reckon it's my first gymn session of the season. I need to get fit again. 

All my pelargoniums are now outside. Window boxes from last year got a tidy down, a good watering and a weak feed. All in situ now. Just one hanging basket made up. Cannas outside now too. Tomatoes are now in the greenhouse permanently. Very small still. And getting late. Wondering will I end up buying some decent-sized ones, as I usually do when I get impatient for growth on my own.

Removed a lot of slimy algae from both the Greenhouse Pond and Lower Pond. Actually it was just an excuse to sit down and rest. But they're looking a lot better. But I need to actually do a proper job and get in. But I'm having problems getting out, maybe I should wait until the weekend so Steve can help me out. LOL 

Won't be having Davey stay over this weekend, so it might be an ideal opportunity to power-wash the patio. Oooh, I could imagine the fun he could have if he was let loose with the power washer. LOL

Back for a coffee

16 April 2015 09:22:51

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The bloody wild cats (which my Dad insists on feeding) are uprooting all my onions in the window boxes. So I'm just back from having laid netting all over the window boxes.

Also, as Steve won't get a chance to dig up the remaining bit of the little plot, I've had to resort to spraying with a good strong weed killer. Not sure which one it is as we 'acquired' it. Let's hope Steve made it up strong enough to kill off these horrible teasels and dandelions. It'll be interesting to see how long it takes to work, or if it even works at all.

I've had to put wire racking that I used in my own garden over my two window boxes of garlic, now up in Dads. So my garden is gaining more space.

Kettle's on! Have a good day!

??????

16 April 2015 07:03:51
??????

??????

Not sure what this is? Could it be a Hazel? Hope someone can help!

Hosta Hill

16 April 2015 06:00:34

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Took off the netting over Hosta Hill yesterday. I originally put the netting there to stop Holly soiling around my emerging Hostas. But the netting didn't really stop her. She just did her business on top of the netting. Hmmph!!! I weeded around that area yesterday.

And it's funny but it's only when I was down that close did I realise that there are way more hostas coming up than I thought. So to avoid any damage, I did my usual trick. Unused baskets are a great way for protecting growing plants until they become strong enough to fight their own battles. It does look a bit weird, but the baskets do the trick. Good job this bed is up close to the house. If the neighbours saw all these mounds of baskets they'd surely lock me up. It looks more like a Moonscape at the moment!  Oooh, can't wait for all of them to appear!

I surrounded the whole bed with copper, and also scattered the blue pellets. Let's hope the froggies choose to dine elsewhere.

Adding plants

15 April 2015 20:22:42

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Today I did more weeding in and around my North-facing border (the bits I didn't get round to yesterday).

While going through my plants in waiting at the greenhouse, I happened to 'find' a lovely little Ceanothus (and starting to flower too). So I decided this would get put into the border to go with my lilacs, blues and yellows. 

And then I also discovered Clematis 'Miss Bateman' which I rescued last year from the back of the Upper Pond. After I let Steve loose weeding in at the back of the pond, it had been reduced to a single stem as he didn't realise what it was at the time. I potted up the remaining stem last year and it has put on great growth already. It even has a couple of flowers almost open. So after shifting around a few clumps of Galanthus today, and ferns, I made space for this to be planted at the wall. My neighbour has a huge Passiflora caerulea which trails over our wall. So when it mingles with Miss Bateman, it should look lovely. But I have to hold myself back on planting anything else or I'll be back to square one. Last year, the whole lot had to have a makeover because of my addiction to cramming in as much as possible. 

So I stepped back and observed. Job definitely finished now. All I need to do is wait, and hopefully admire it during the summer.

Calceolaria

15 April 2015 19:47:07

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Like Mohober Declan, I was tempted by this little beauty. I bought mine in Supervalu last week. It's more of a greenhouse plant, but it's still sitting indoors at the moment. Maybe if there's a reliable rise in temperature, I may be tempted to put it outside. It's labelled as an Alpine.

Ballerina

15 April 2015 05:16:41

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My Spring Border is starting to wind down after all the 'Tete-a-tetes'. Although my Kerria japonica is looking glorious this year. I bought it a couple of years ago as just a little bitty plant and has really come on a treat. My Veronica 'Georgia Blue' has really been the plant of the month for me, giving endless colour since the second week in March. Such a worthy plant to have.

But now that my Tulip 'Ballerina' are beginning to open, they are injecting a lovely bit of strong colour into an area that is starting to look a bit boring after the show the 'tete-a-tetes' gave earlier.

Focussed

14 April 2015 20:57:56

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I went outside today with just one job in mind. That was to sort out the North-facing border. Weeded in at the back, and in the process I discovered a long-forgotten Libertia and a geranium. Moved them to a brighter area. Got a couple of roots from the geranium so they were potted up. No idea which one it is, so I'll be trying to id it later on.

Happy enough with my choice of plants for this area. Lonicera in at the back, a yellow and a cream Phygelius in front of that, and today I finally planted out my three good clumps of Liatris spicata. Also in this area is Sulphur clover with its cream-coloured flowers, that mad yellow Lysimachia that a lot of people hate, Cerinthe, Pulmonaria 'Blue Ensign', Perovskia, and Globe Artichoke, and sowed some corms of Winter Aconites to complete the selection. Most of the blues and lilacs are summer-flowering, but with the late colour from Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' and evergreen yellow colour from Carex Oshimensis things should balance out nicely. My yellow tulips that I have in the Acid Quadrant will also be planted in here once they have died down.

All I need now is to dig up that standard Cotoneaster. I think it's back to a planter for that as it looks totally out of place. 

Oh, and I also got my Skimmia 'Fragrant Cloud' planted into a nice plain pot. 

Like

14 April 2015 03:26:58
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I like this small section of the garden.

Doing the Shuffle

14 April 2015 02:36:45

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One of these days I'll actually be happy about where I position things in my garden. Last year the North-facing Border got a major re-shuffle, or was it the year before!!!! However, I haven't been happy with a certain section of this border. And I think I made a big mistake in cutting back my Salvia 'Hotlips' in February (I think). It hasn't come on at all since then so it was obviously way too cold for the short back and sides. Yesterday I decided, as there is so much in that border, I'd locate the rootball by just cutting and cutting. Not very much growth at all still, so snap decision. It's gotta go.

Anyway, I'm trying to develop a yellow/blue/lilac theme for this section of the border. In at the wall I have a lovely Lonicera 'Bank of Gold' which I want to keep. I love this shrub. And it seems to be making a natural arch shape. Hmmm, that could be a good place to plant something that might need a bit of winter protection.  Next to the Lonicera, I have a yellow Phygelius, and in front of that again is a yellow rose 'Rose Carpet' which seems to be getting quite tall. 

I eventually located the rootball of the Salvia, I was very surprised how small it was. Anyway, it's now in a pot with only a couple of leaves. If it survives, it'll be relocated elsewhere. I pulled up the Rose Carpet and potted that too. By even taking out these two shrubs, it has opened up that whole area. Lots of weeding to be done today, if my knees can take the strain. But much improved after giving them a good rest over the last few days.

A few weeks ago I decided to move one of my Euphorbias by just a few feet. And confession time: I didn't water it in to its new spot so it wasn't looking good. When I took out the rose, I noticed most of the foliage of the Euphorbia had fallen off, except for the tips. But after investigating further, there is lots of new growth down below. I snipped off the longer branches and made cuttings out of them for somewhere else. Now I'll have plenty of room to plant out my Liatris spicata. Ok, I'm waffling now. I'll continue the shuffle today.

Skimmia for AccSean

13 April 2015 20:25:21

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Here is my new Skimmia. I promise to plant it out tomorrow - hail, rain, or snow.

Acer

13 April 2015 18:43:27

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This poor little craythur was subjected to a pot for the whole of its infancy. It's only been in the ground two years. And that has made such a difference. It's probably one of my favourite acers with its red stems.

Wisley White

13 April 2015 05:49:11

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Another Camellia is starting to open now. Another favourite of mine with its pristine white blooms.

For those of you who have limey soil in your garden, would it not be worth planting one in ericaceous soil in a planter? They may not grow as big as in the garden, but you can always find a spot for a container. And if necessary, they can be relocated without disturbance. Some people take a chance and plant them in the garden and get away with. But being quite expensive shrubs, I'd rather not take that gamble.

Peony Baby

12 April 2015 20:32:46

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This is a seedling of the peony I spoke about in a journal yesterday. Had a proper look at it today. 'lo and behold, there is a tiny flower bud appearing about the size of my little fingernail . How cute is that!

Rain stops play!

12 April 2015 19:37:06

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What a hideous day with rain and gales. It was cold too. But the good weather is set to return for the following week. Had plans to go somewhere this afternoon but visitors descended on me at the last minute.

The rain eased off while they were here. When they left, I decided to spend the rest of my time potting on my tomatoes. Way too many for me and Steve, and it's such a dilemma having so many seedlings doing well. We only really need about 4/5 tomato plants. So I picked out the best and potted them on. The others were destined for the compost bin. Only......I couldn't bear to part with them just yet. So they are still sitting on the windowsill for now. Potted on my Ricinus too as the roots were coming out of the pot.

Sowed a few seeds too: Cosmos, Corncockle, Cucamelon, and Courgette. Just noticed that all of those begin with 'c'. Weird!!!

Dug up Peter's Eryngium, so it'll be ready for the first post in the morning.

Normally when fish are newly-introduced to a pond, they disappear for a week or two. But the 'biggie' (about 18inches long and roughly 3lbs in weight) was feeding away on the surface. He's absolutely massive. Still hoping that the pH of my pond is similar to the one they were all taken from.

Half price daffs

12 April 2015 18:57:14

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I bought these half price at the end of the season last year. They have finally opened. Although I think Peters in Cork have opened long ago. They're very rich looking.

Help please!

12 April 2015 08:07:12
Help please!

Help please!

I have this lovely plant starting to flower in the Alpine Circle. But I can't remember what it's called. It has the palest of blue flowers, white in certain light. 

Relief!

12 April 2015 07:16:48

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I bought a Podophyllum last year and planted it down the end of the garden where it gets partial shade. I bought it for its unusual foliage, and its very different look compared to most of my other plants. Greta had been telling me that hers was up about 6 inches last week and not a trace of mine. But where I had it planted gets a lot of foot traffic and I sadly thought I had trampled it to death. 

Yesterday I spotted its first bit of growth and I was ecstatic to say the least. Now I have bits of concrete and stones all around it. I'll be stepping on the concrete bits, as I make my way around. The flower is nothing to write home about, a dusky pink. I am so relieved that it has come through for me. When it's gone over I think I'll have to mark out some kind of makeshift pathway through this area. I wonder did that snail in the background munch on it. However, I've scattered the little blue granules around it untl it gets going.

Peony

11 April 2015 21:40:18
No name Peony

No name Peony

This peony was given to me years ago. And it lived in a black plastic bag for two years before I planted it out. I had heard that Peonies don't move well, but this one even flowered while still in the bag. Now in my garden, it looks like it's going to be the first one to flower this year.

My new babies

11 April 2015 19:25:14

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Today was the day we decided to collect the fish from Linda's mam just a short drive away from us. Wee Davey had Steve up at the crack of dawn, something I have found it difficult to do with Steve on a Saturday morning. LOL So armed with our fishing net, lots of enthusiasm, and five tubs from birdseed and fatballs, off we went.

The level of the pond in Linda's Mams garden was high enough so we started off by scooping out water with the empty tubs. But we were getting nowhere fast enough. So we cut through the butyl liner in different places and on went the big pump, and it pumped pondwater all over Mrs. B's lovely garden. Let's hope we don't get a deluge from up above tonight now, as her garden has probably had enough water to last a month.

Before we started I queried the very fine filament stretching across the pond, only to be told that this was a successful heron deterrent (fine fishing line). It was only when the level of water was very low that we started to catch any of the 9 fish that we were being gifted with. And I'll be honest, I was mighty glad that Steve was with me as he caught all 9 himself. One of the Koi was so big that he didn't fit into the tubs, so in to a heavy duty black refuse sack he went. Captured them all, brought them home and the biggest was the first one to be introduced to his new home.

Water from our pond was introduced to each of the tubs for about 30 minutes. Then the tubs were lowered into the pond, allowing the fish to acclimatise to the temperature of our pond. Eventually they were released, and we spent the rest of the day watching them taking note of their new surroundings. Next, I rigged up bamboo canes around the pond and intertwined fishing line from cane to cane. Will this be successful, and avoid the need for the dreaded netting all around the pond? I certainly hope so. Sometimes it's the simplest ideas that are the best.

Being in Mrs. B's garden it was easy to figure out where Linda gets her love of gardening. And lots of quirky unusual handmade mosaic tiles and stuff made by the (late Mr) and Mrs. B. Let's hope the fish enjoy being with us. Thank you very much for the fish, Mrs. B. They will have every opportunity available to lead longer lives. I asked for permission to post up a few photos of her garden. I want to share the mosaics with you. 

Birds' Eye View

11 April 2015 07:34:35

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Just posting a couple of aerial photos early in the season so I can compare with later in the year.

Garden thug

10 April 2015 19:22:41

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Spent a good while this morning planting out a few plants-in-waiting. It's good to actually be able to get into the greenhouse now without tripping over plants outside it. Dumped quite a few bits of cuttings that hadn't taken, and other stuff that didn't make it over the winter months.

Has anyone ever had a problem with Eryngium planum? I loved this plant a few years ago and planted two fine specimens over the cave. Last year I thought emerging seedlings were Bergenia. But as they grew further I realised that they were Eryngium. Good Lord, they ended up just about everywhere. I never want to see it in my garden again. I dug up and potted as many as I could. Last time Hazel was here I offloaded some onto her. I hope she doesn't have the same problems as I have had. I realise that I really don't have a lot of interesting stuff to offer people here. So having dumped the lot, I decided that I won't be doing divisions, or seedlings. Such a waste of precious space.

But, a lovely plant that I wouldn't mind sharing is a lovely Campanula with a lilac flower that originally came from SallySarah. It spreads nicely, without taking over. And to save on wasting compost, I have a single pot with nine seedlings in it. I can take more if need be!!!

On the right track

10 April 2015 02:47:08

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Got lots of 'itty bitty' jobs done yesterday that I'm very happy with. The last of the onions (Stuttgarter and Red Baron) sown into window boxes. Late sowing these onion sets so some of them had gone a bit squishy. And as they give you such a large amount in each set I could afford to be selective with the ones I was sowing. I also planted some Sweetcorn seedlings ('Earlibird') that I bought in Homebase earlier on in the week.

Brought all my edibles down to under the Pergola as already space is under threat.  Part of the veggie patch in Dad's won't get dug this year so will lie fallow. My bad knee has been giving a bit of bother all week and now I'm unable to drive. So as soon as I'm mobile again, all those window boxes and containers will be transferred to the little veggie plot. And I can once again reclaim my pergola.

Delighted with what I got done in the greenhouse. Most of my pelargoniums are now outdoors. Window boxes that were filled with pelargoniums from last year just got a general tidy up. One or two pelargoniums didn't make it through the winter but I'm happy to say I won't have to replace any for this year. A few had become quite leggy but after a bit of faffing about, all looking ready to go. And the best part now is that I can finally walk down the middle of the greenhouse once again.

 

Filling gaps

09 April 2015 05:45:58

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My Acid Quadrant is home to my 7 Blueberry bushes which are only budding up at the moment. So they're looking rather twiggy. But last year, I dug up loads of tulips from Dad's garden when we got a skip for him, and planted them in this area to hide the twigginess until the blueberries have put on a decent bit of growth. They're doing the desired job nicely. But most of the tulips seem to be yellow, which is weird seems that they were randomly dug up from Dads. And he had red as well. Can't find any labels in the ground to suggest that all the yellow ones were bought ones. However, they're only starting to open so it will be interesting to see what colour they turn out to be.

The violet-coloured ones are from Aldi.

And then when the blueberries are in full flow, yesterday I planted some nice purple irises (Iris hollandica 'Blue Magic') in and around them for added interest. That little border sure is filling up!

Orange again!

07 April 2015 20:31:59

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It was great to see the fish in the pond basking in the sun today.

And to round off this short journal, I finally vacated a couple of suitable containers to plant out my carrots. They are tall enough to deter the carrot root fly. Now let's hope I haven't squashed them in to too tight a space.

Id please

07 April 2015 06:16:03
Id please

Id please

Bought this plant last year and I was warned that it would be invasive. As usual the label has gone AWOL. Can anyone help identify it please?

Veggies and others

06 April 2015 19:30:59

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As planned, I went to the veggie patch in Dad's this morning and got the netting in place and planted all the peas out. Plus I sowed another full row of peas straight into the ground. So let's hope those bamboo wigwams will stand up to a heavy crop.

One thing that will have to get sorted asap is the division between Dad's garden and his new next-door-neighbour. I was constantly being visited by two KerryBlues coming through the hedge and they are also leaving their mark on the surrounding soil. So far I have peas, sweet pea, potatoes and cabbages in Dads. Marigolds for companion planting are almost ready for planting out. That should do for a while. Maybe carrots and onions tomorrow.

Came home here and started planting out some plants-in-waiting and weeding different areas. But bones were beginning to ache so work was very limited afterwards. Steve managed to get the grass strimmed and cut, and the place looks so neat now. 

Delighted to see the arrival of one of my favourite primroses, either 'Quakers' Bonnet' or Marie Crousse'. Always find it difficult to tell the two apart. And I have had both at one stage. So I'll let the experts tell me which one this is?

Id please

06 April 2015 04:44:54

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Just wondering what these narcissus-looking plants are? I did think Allium Moly, but they flower during the summer so I'm a bit stymied. As usual, the writing on the label has worn off.

Moving on!

06 April 2015 03:30:21
Moving on!

Moving on!

Well, having spent practically all weekend so far helping Steve re-do the Living Room, I'm finally free to get out in to the garden. Yesterday, in between being a 'gopher' for Steve, I took out a lot of plants that had been potted up weeks ago. I have been hardening them off for the last few days.

The peas are finally ready to be planted out. So they'll get done up in Dad's today sometime. I had been hoping that Steve could dig over the patch in Dad's garden so I could plant my carrots out. I'll need a pick to get through the concrete. But Steve won't be free, and time is moving on. Still have loads of onions to plant too, but it looks like they (and the carrots) will have to be planted into containers or they'll go to waste.

As I'm planting the peas, I'll also sow directly into the ground so that'll give a bumper crop. Can't beat the taste of fresh garden peas. I was up there on Saturday briefly and my cabbages are coming on nicely. 

I started off some Begonia corms in pots weeks and weeks ago and popped them onto the Living Room windowsill. Nothing at all seems to be happening with them. So they are now in the heated propagator to see if they can be kickstarted into growth, although I'm not hopeful. If I don't see any sign of life after maybe a week, they'll be put onto the compost heap. So fingers crossed as it will have been my first time growing Begonias from corms.

Davey's dwarf beans are coming on a treat so they'll be planted into their final position today, in my own garden, so David can keep a close eye on them. These will be his first 'real' plants that he has looked after so far, so I'd like to have them produce well to maintain Davids' enthusiasm for future years.

Dicentra

05 April 2015 06:06:50

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I do love strong colours in the garden. But there will always be a place for muted subtle colours too. And one such plant that is giving this effect at the moment is Dicentra formosana. It's planted on the other side of 'Primrose 5 Steps' where it seems to be taking on a fairly woodland effect. It has done a great job of spreading about. Definitely a plant I wouldn't be without.

Orange

04 April 2015 20:24:43

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Orange is beginning to light my candle in the garden these days. A nice deep primula 'Eliator', Erysimum 'Sunset Orange', and this evening a gorgeous orange real sunset. What a smashing day. Sadly I was stuck indoors.

Tulip

04 April 2015 09:39:28

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Spotted my first planned tulip opening yesterday. I had forgotten I had planted these ones. They are low to the ground and the yellow colour is now following on from the 'tete-a-tetes'.

I have two identical terracotta bowls topped with blue crushed glass with T. Tarda in them and they aren't even nearly ready to open. So these will do nicely until then.

Narcissus

04 April 2015 08:52:47

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Having a bit of work done indoors so yesterday I didn't get to do much outside. But I did notice a couple more Narcissus opening up. The first one looks like the one I e-mailed Gerry about last year (in my windowbox). He suggested that it was a Jonquil hybrid. So I wonder how this very one ended up in the border as I really don't remember planting it out. However, I do love it.

The other one N. Actea (or Pheasant's Eye) is quite pretty too.

Caltha palustris

01 April 2015 21:00:57

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Caltha palustris flora pleno (Marsh Marigold) has started to open up in the Lower Pond now, which is in mainly shade at this time of year. 

Also have it in the Greenhouse Pond, which is in full sun. And it's at least two weeks away from flowering. It's a great pond plant, or just used as a marginal in soggy soil.

A walk in the park

01 April 2015 19:51:44

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As Wee Davey stayed over last night we decided to go for a walk over to Santry Park this morning (before it started to rain). He was enthralled with all the daffs in the grass. He had never seen them planted  'en masse' before. I had a job convincing him that they were NOT for picking and taking home.

This afternoon I had a quick wander around the garden as it was raining lightly by then. Someone had told me last year that Campanula 'Elizabeth' was a real spreader. Today I realised what Paddy (the other half of Gracedieu Lass) was talking about. On close inspection I spotted lots and lots of the foliage coming through the grass around the border where it is planted. I think I will need to be vigilant with this little beauty, and just keep it in the borders.

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