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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal May 2015

Last Post 905 days 12 hours ago

A bit of blue

31 May 2015 21:01:43

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First photo is one of my purchases from Bloom 'Anchusa azurea', which is good also for salads and ice cubes. Gets to about 1.5 m tall so should be easy enough to place.

Second photo a white 'Love-in-the-Mist'.

And the third is my Polemonium.

It's great to get out there and see different flowers peeping through every day.

Best Wishes

31 May 2015 20:48:25

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Year three in my garden is this lovely variegated rose with a great scent. 

So reliable

31 May 2015 05:19:06

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It's funny the way the weather affects the appearance, or sometimes NON appearance, of plants. This little Tradescantia comes up trumps at the same time (almost to the day) regardless of what the weather throws at it. And it's getting better and better every year. So many buds on it now.

Potentilla 'Miss Wilmott' is right on time too.

Iris

30 May 2015 20:14:03

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Another senior moment here today trying to think who gave me this gorgeous Iris. It's a beauty, isn't it?

Blooming Good Day!

29 May 2015 22:14:58

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Myself and Gretta picked a good day to go to Bloom. The weather was quite nice apart from a couple of heavy showers. But they didn't last long.

We got the Show Gardens out of the way first. Actually that sounds like we just looked at them for the sake of looking at them. Nothing impressed me there too much but I think I could safely say that I liked all of them.

Then back to collect our picnic and had a relaxing hour munching and recharging the batteries.

Bought only a couple of plants as we had forgotten to bring our wheelie trollies. We enjoyed the day immensely and had the good fortune to meet up with Mary and Paddy for a natter and a bit of a laugh. Also bumped into (not literally) Drumanagh and a few people I knew not from this site.

The main thing that I gleaned from Bloom this year was that our schools now seem to be doing their bit by actively encouraging children to grow their own. This was reflected in herb gardens, and sensory gardens. And the children actually looked like they WANTED to be there and learn as much as possible. Maybe there is hope for the next generation.

I also loved the living walls displayed in a couple of gardens, one of which was planted up with a variety of edible crops.

 

Chiastophyllum oppositifolium (Lamb's Tail)

27 May 2015 20:46:32

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Great long-lived alpine looking well now.

Life's a Peach

27 May 2015 19:31:57

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What an awful day today. But the rain finally stopped at about 5.00 and the sun shone at about 6.00. Too little too late. Who would believe it's nearly June!!!

Got out into the greenhouse for a bit of pottering today. I love the sound of the rain on the glass. But I don't like rain, if you get my drift.

I did a bit of thinning out of my peaches, and defoliated them to allow more light in for ripening. And they ARE beginning to ripen already.  Obviously they don't require too much sun!

Rhodohypoxis is beginning to make an appearance. And the Rhodochiton I've had since 2013 is opening up too.

For Hazel

27 May 2015 17:46:21

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I promised to post photos of the foliage of my Phlox subulata 'Nettleton Variation' for Hazel.

Forty shades of green

27 May 2015 05:41:45

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This year is the first time that I haven't relied on buying in annual bedding for that added 'oomph' to the early summer garden. It's a hard decision to accept when you're used to having pots of instant colour year after year. But I can now appreciate the garden for what it is, and really put value on all the different foliage, shades, and textures like Acers, Bamboos, Photinia, Lonicera, Rodgersia, variegated plants and my much-treasured Hostas etc. Very soon my Hot Border will erupt into an explosion of colour. And all the various shades of greenery will provide a rather tranquil backdrop. 

Iris

26 May 2015 22:09:55

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I have been watching this beautiful Iris with bated breath over the last few days. As it had started out such a dull and damp day, I didn't think it would appear for a few days. But the sun decided to shine from about 11.30 this morning, and the day just got better and better. And so did this Iris. No name as I can't get in to see the label. It may have come from Paddy and Mary, so I'm hoping either of them can help me out here.

First Rose of the Year

26 May 2015 21:48:12
R. 'Graham Thomas' this morning

R. 'Graham Thomas' this morning

I had a red one open at the weekend. But a much smaller flower than normal, and the ends of the petals were slightly blackened. And there was only the one flower. Were the petals blackened by strong winds maybe? However, not to worry.

Today, my lovely climbing rose in the front (R. 'Graham Thomas') opened. I'm hoping to train this to grow under my living room windowsill and across to the hall door (or thereabouts). 

Phlox

26 May 2015 09:10:29
Phlox subulata (Nettleton variation)

Phlox subulata (Nettleton variation)

This little alpine Phlox has really taken a spurt this year. I hope to divide this later on to spread it around. I can fit this little beauty in just about anywhere.

Cooling down

25 May 2015 21:53:15

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There are no shelves in my Greenhouse Pond. But it doesn't seem to be deterring the pigeons from bathing (which is good). They just plonk themselves onto the soil of planters that are raised up on blocks. Very refreshing, and just the job on such a humid (if a bit cloudy) day like today.

Very Happy

25 May 2015 21:27:51

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Well, my tiny little misplaced Echium pininana seedling has finally flowered. It had self-seeded above the cave and I had been afraid that Steve would have to pull it up to proceed with work here. Luckily, the cave is getting nowhere fast. So my little baby has had the opportunity to grow, and finally flower before anything of any significance has happened here. It's not as tall as Jackie's. But as it is on the cave, which is about three feet above the garden level, it appears taller. That wall at the back is 6ft tall. So it looks about 12ft now. I like optical illusions like that.

I had an Echium many moons ago and it was an absolute magnet for bees. But it doesn't seem to be as attractive to them so far this year. I wonder is this one of the signs of the Bee decline!!

Limited time

25 May 2015 20:58:33

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I was busy for most of today. I got home at about 4.00 and cooking dinner didn't even cross my mind. Focussed on getting a few areas tidied up, and pots for planting all gathered together. It's amazing how quickly the garden can become scrappy looking with pots dotted all over the place. I usually walk around with my arms filled with pots, and when I think an area is suitable for a particular plant, I just place them and rarely actually get to plant them. The result is always very unsightly and untidy. 

However, I'm sitting here and looking out and I'm pretty pleased with my limited time outside. All my plants-in-waiting are now BACK in the plants-in-waiting spot. LOL Tomorrow's another day!

I've never noticed until now that Starlings eat the blue grape-like berries that are produced on Mahonias at this time of year. And such a din they make too. But it's good that the birds can feed on something from the garden so early in the year.

Tree Peony

25 May 2015 07:31:17

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Delighted with the improvement on my one and only Tree Peony this year. It looked fab in yesterday afternoons sunshine.

I haven't been doing a whole lot in the garden in the last week or so, and this week won't be much better. But I have Bloom to look forward to on Friday. So after that I intend to brush all other errands aside to give myelf a much-needed garden workout.

Peony

24 May 2015 22:12:05

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The first of my Peonies (no name) has opened. I'm thinking that P. 'Bowl of Beauty' will be running a close second if this lovely sunny weather keeps up a bit more.

And this little Arum has been moved from pillar to post, and never fails to perform.

Help in the garden

24 May 2015 20:49:20

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I had a great assistant for the front garden today, sweeping up long-forgotten about leaves and papers that collect behind my car in the driveway. 

David's eyes lit up when I came out with two secateurs and we both set about pruning my lovely Spirea 'Snowmound' at the hall door. It kind of gets in my way when I'm getting out of Steve's car and going into the house as he parks very close to the door. Had to keep a close eye on David's topiary. Short back and sides, how are ya! Afterwards I did have to neaten up all the lumps and chunks that he took out of it. LOL A barber he will NOT be! But God bless his enthusiasm.

Roscoea Rescue

24 May 2015 04:56:08
Roscoa 'Harvington Raw Silk'

Roscoa 'Harvington Raw Silk'

I bought this one at the Rare and Special Plant Fair last year. It said on the pot to plant as soon as purchased. And of course I couldn't find the right spot. So in Spring I was despairing. It is a plant that I have wanted for ages, and through neglect I had killed it. There just seemed to be a few little poppies coming up on the soil surface of the pot.

But I was rooting around the top of the pot yesterday and 'lo and behold, I spotted some new growth. Definitely NOT more poppies, so without hesitation I found a suitable spot for it and gave it a good watering in. Now, let's hope it's not a case of too little too late.

Miss Bateman

23 May 2015 19:20:49

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Originally planted at the back of the Upper Pond, Clematis 'Miss Bateman' did very well over the years. However, when Steve was weeding this section last year, he accidentally dug it up not realizing what he had done. I managed to rescue just one stem (with root obviously) and potted it up. It got planted into my North-Facing border during the spring, and it has now opened up. A great plant for brightening up a dull spot.

Wren

23 May 2015 08:47:50

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This poor little fella accidentally flew into the greenhouse yesterday and just couldn't seem to find the open doorway. He flitted about amongst my peach trees and Eccremocarpus for about three hours before he decided to fly off. So glad he didn't actually fly into the glass.

Veggies

23 May 2015 06:09:02

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Spent a while up in Dad's yesterday weeding lots of teasels from around the cabbages, and tying in peas and Sweet Pea. Earthed up the spuds too. Can't believe the rate of growth on the weeds all around this small patch.

Dad is loving looking out his kitchen window this year after that ground lying fallow for so long. It may not be the best little plot, but it's going to be a mighty productive one this year. And nothing will go to waste as I haven't overplanted. Well, except maybe for the peas! But then, a lot of the time I grow peas, they rarely make it as far as the kitchen as I usually eat them straight from the pods. But the front of the pea wigwams has loads of Sweet Pea planted. So Dad will be getting a feast for the eyes when they start flowering.

Oxalis

22 May 2015 21:12:58

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This little plant was uprooted last year and potted up. Still coming up trumps after spending the last year confined. I love the unopened flower buds and the way they create a swirl.

Summer?

22 May 2015 20:58:04

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Dare I think that this may be the real beginning of Summer for us! Good day today. And I now finally have all my Pelargoniums, Ricinus, Marigolds, Sunflowers, and a few other things planted out permanently.

My tomatoes in the greenhouse have been very slow to take off, but I'm beginning to see a small bit of growth only in the last week. 

After almost giving up on my trailing Begonias, they have at long last decided to show themselves above soil. Now to find somewhere suitable to plant them as I only have one hanging basket this year. They'll be lovely trailing over the edge of a planter though. So glad I didn't give up on them and chuck them on the compost heap a few weeks ago.

Got my climbing roses tied in, and Clematis(s) too. And in fact, while I was up the ladder tying in Rosa 'Paul's Scarlet', I spotted my C. 'President' just about to open. So many more flower buds on it this year than ever before.

My Laburnum is also starting to open. So summer? Well, just bring it on!

Filling out

21 May 2015 05:51:07

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Hosta Hill is looking better and better each day now. Can't wait until it all fills out with its various  shades of green, and leaf markings.

Rodgersia

20 May 2015 21:51:13
Rodgersia

Rodgersia

I planted this right beside my Sambucus 'Black Lace' last year as there was nowhere else to place it. 

They work well together, in my opinion.

Acer

20 May 2015 19:34:15

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Another of my Acers in my garden. In a container since I bought it about 7yrs ago. But desperately searching for a planting out space.

I see they have Acers in Aldi next week priced at €14.99. And this one, 'Trompenburg' is amongst them. Well worth a look.

Nearly there

19 May 2015 05:56:09

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Really hoping for the weather to take a turn for the better as I can't wait to see my Echium pinana attracting a swarm of honey bees to the garden. Spotted a few seedlings at the base of the plant. But after learning from  experience, they don't transplant well. But maybe some more will self-seed in a place that is not likely to be disturbed, so they can grow on.

Double Auricula

18 May 2015 21:02:26

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Took a photo of my double Auricula today. It was difficult as it was so windy. But got there through sheer persistence. As you can see, there are three flowers on the one stem, one of them being the double I posted yesterday. 

Blessed!

18 May 2015 19:09:29
Last years pelargoniums TODAY!

Last years pelargoniums TODAY!

It always amazes me how the weather differs greatly in a country as small as ours. Just remembering a comment by Margot on someone's journal saying that she hasn't put out any of her pelargoniums yet as it has been so cold and windy up in Donegal, and Moya with her late-planted tomatoes.

I guess we're blessed further south and probably don't really appreciate it enough. This photo is of last years pelargoniums that were never actually taken in from last year and flowering nicely already now, and that's without having even fed them yet.

I think today has been the worst day in a long while, squally showers, very blustery and lots of hailstones that seemed like they were falling HORIZONTALLY!!!

Podophyllum

18 May 2015 04:42:10

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Thought this leaf was my treasured Podophyllum when it first started to emerge. Then a few weeks later, I spotted the darker, spotty leaf coming up in a different area (Podophyllum delavayi). Don't remember ever having bought a second type. But after a bit of Googling the green-leafed plant does look a bit like Podophyllum peltata. 

But if anyone has any other suggestions, please feel free to comment.

Double

17 May 2015 20:36:54

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My first Auricula to flower must have been later than anyone else's. Love the flower. And today I noticed that the first flower to open is in fact a 'double'. Haven't seen this before with Auriculas.

Spotted my first pond lily starting to show its colour, normally they don't open for me until at least July. So maybe the bad weather is good for SOME plants!!!

Visitor

17 May 2015 05:04:37

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This fancy pigeon is becoming a regular visitor to our garden. He stayed with us for most of the day yesterday again.

Possession

16 May 2015 21:42:17

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The last few days haven't been good for me. But today, at least Steve managed to do a bit more. He was happy enough with what he got done. I wish I could be more enthusiastic about his slow progress.

I was delighted to see my last years annual Osteospermums beginning to flower today. Loads more buds to open still.

And I finally gained possession of the gorgeous Voodoo Lilies that MohoberDec had offered me back in March. Thanks to Declan, and his wife who met up with me this morning to hand them over. Lovely heatlhy plants, which included two Paulownias (something that I've wanted for ages), and a peony seedling too.

Have Passport - Will Travel

16 May 2015 06:28:21

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The original plant of this pretty little Phlox was in the Alpine Circle. It's looking great at the moment. But I am very surprised that it has now decided to travel (about 15 ft away) across the water and self-seed on the Mini Island in the Greenhouse Pond. 

Hoping for great work from Steve today, so let's hope the weather stays kind.

Have a lovely weekend.

New purchases and Dodecatheon

14 May 2015 21:42:22

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Managed to pick up a nice Cirsium atropurpurea in Homebase today, something that I have been meaning to get for a long time now. That had been one of my plants on my list for Bloom so that's one less to worry about carrying. :)

Also picked up these cute Beach Hut solar lights to add to the nautical theme of the garden. 10% reduction on all solar lights there at the moment.

And when I got home, I was rewarded by my Dodecatheon flowering for the first time since buying it at the Alpine Show last year.

 

Tree Peony

14 May 2015 19:57:36
Tree Peony

Tree Peony

I only have one in the garden. And normally my herbaceous Peony opens first. But not this year. Love its rich colour.

Miss Bateman

14 May 2015 05:23:54

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After a few precarious moves around the garden with Clematis 'Miss Bateman', I'm happy to see a few flower buds on it already. 

Well-behaved thug

13 May 2015 22:00:53

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I've had Carex pendula planted in my Lower Pond ever since the pond was built. Lots of people find this a bit of a thug in the garden. Early in the season the foliage resembles that of Hemerocallis (Daylily), but very quickly the blades of grass become slightly withered so it's pretty easy to identify. Just whip it out from wherever it's not wanted.

Orange Hawkweed

13 May 2015 21:34:44
Hieracium aurantiacum (Orange Hawkweed)

Hieracium aurantiacum (Orange Hawkweed)

A recent purchase from Dealz, and potted up. It will remain in a pot as it is on the Alert List for Environmental Weeds. But I reckon that only applies to Australia/New Zealand. Grows to roughly 60cms and should be a nice addition to my 'Hot' Border. Looking forward to its strong colour, starting off purple and changing to orange by the time the flowers open.

Joe

13 May 2015 08:12:21

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SOMETIMES I am delighted about my 'senior' moments.

I saw nice growth in the Acid Quadrant two weeks ago and thought to myself "Hmmm, didn't know I had planted a Peony in there". But with the growth it has put on over the last week I now realise that I have Eupatorium 'Joe Pyeweed' to look forward to. It should grow to about 6ft or more, and block out the unsightly corner at the end of my garden if no more work gets carried out on it!

White Bluebells?

12 May 2015 19:32:23

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You all know about my love/hate relationship I have with wild garlic all over my front garden thanks to my non-gardening neighbour.

Spent the afternoon with Gretta, and when I was seeing her out just now I was thinking of getting out the RoundUp to spray the dastardly pest for once and for all. It's even growing through all my gravel. However, on closer inspection I spotted this little clump of WHITE bluebells! Now I did have my glasses on, and I did compare the two. Should I dig them up afterwards and keep an eye on them in the back for next year, or will they revert to blue? They are so pretty I'd like to be able to spread them around.

Dryopteris

12 May 2015 05:22:31

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This little fern is loving my garden. I have it in the North-facing Border, right next to the Lower Pond where it only gets sun for a short time during the warmer months.  Was in there weeding yesterday and noticed how beautiful it was looking, with what looks like scrunched up pipe cleaners peeping out now. I never noticed this growth before, but maybe it has taken a couple of years to 'settle in'?

Or maybe I should pop in to Specsavers!!!

Prioritising

11 May 2015 21:21:15

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As I haven't been plant shopping in a while, I decided to head over to Dealz first thing this morning. Picked up a few things there. New Lidl Store opened fairly recently just beside it so I had to pop in there just to have a look. I had a lovely Lantana in my arms when most of the leaves fell to the floor. Hadn't even looked at the price, I was buying it anyway until that happened. No decent specimens there at all. However, I did pick up a Lobelia Cardinalis 'Queen Victoria' for either €2.99 or €3.99. Good value either way.

Extremely windy morning, and there was rain forecast.

The grocery shopping got left on the worktop, and I proceeded to do my planting while it was still dry. You see, I DO have my priorities right. LOL

It was quite sunny here despite the strong winds. But the rain never materialised until just a while ago.

This little Iris opened today. It requires some winter protection, but in fairness I forgot all about it and it was left to its own devices. Such a pretty little flower.

Heuchera

10 May 2015 20:40:37

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Was pottering around down at my former wilderness, that is basically a wilderness again. And I was admiring this lovely Heuchera 'September Morn'. If it can look this good in May, how great will it look in September!

Another one open

10 May 2015 20:16:49

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No gardening done here today on account of family commitments. I could have done a bit, but having cement all over the place while David and Steve put on another layer to the fake rocks just put me off for today.

However, I managed to climb up onto the cave as I had spotted my first Aquilegia open. And while I was up there, I noticed another one. Love the blue. But the pink one is rather insipid. Lots of other ones about to open around the garden. Very windy all day so excuse the blurred photos.

Paddy last!

10 May 2015 19:17:26

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It seems like I'm the very last on this site for an Auricula to open. Got a few at the Alpine Show last year but ended up with four of them in the compost. I've kept them outdoors all winter, but they were never water-logged, which they despise.

The other ones weren't looking the May west a few weeks ago, but with careful watering and a dose of tomato feed, the rest are all doing fine, if a bit late. Fower buds on a couple more. But this is my first one to open. No label on this one, although I labelled every one of them. I'm blaming Holly!!!   LOL

Ducks and Frogs

10 May 2015 08:07:41

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Laughed to myself yesterday thinking that the new growth on my Crassula looked like a ducks beak.

And then there are frogs!  

Interesting

10 May 2015 03:51:15

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Spotted a couple of seed heads on my one and only Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla) yesterday. I aim to grow more of these for next year. Is the seed head ready to be removed? Any tips please?

So pretty

09 May 2015 20:51:41

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My Easter Cactus (Rhipsalodopsis) has just opened. Such a feminine flower.

A family Affair

09 May 2015 20:19:18

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David and Steve went through the process of pumping rainwater from the pond yet again. We also managed another vital step in the construction end of the 'cave'.

Last year I had attempted to make a few fake rocks, to stop the soil from falling into the pond. However, with a layer or two of fibreglass, I just lost interest. Too messy, my gloved hands were sticking to the fibreglass. It was taking forever and I was becoming very frustrated.

So today Zoe, David and myself covered the unfinished wire moulds from last year with heavy-duty masking tape, and Steve and David painted on a thick layer of cement. They need to be fairly strong, but also lightweight to avoid the cave collapsing. They're drying in the greenhouse overnight now. Two more coats of it tomorrow hopefully.  

Sempervivum

09 May 2015 08:52:55

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This is one of my favourite Sempervivums with its lovely rich colour. It's almost ready for a bigger pot - or at least some offsets to be homed to make more space in the planter.

Yes!!!

09 May 2015 06:36:17
Podophyllum delavayii

Podophyllum delavayii

I thought I had lost this Podophyllum over the winter. I was ecstatic to see it pushing up the other day, so it's now protected with bits of stone and slate until it becomes more noticeable.

Weather a lot better today. Enjoy your gardens.

A pot of gold!

08 May 2015 20:14:43

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This Elaeagnus is newish to me and it's been in a nice black planter since buying it. This is a photo from yesterday. I had to do a double-take and thought it looked like the stem tips had been dipped in a pot of gold paint. I don't remember noticing this last year. I love it.

Irresistible

08 May 2015 07:20:42

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I can never resist stroking the foliage of Astilbe as I am passing them by. So tactile!

Primula

07 May 2015 20:52:19
Primula Obconica in flower again

Primula Obconica in flower again

Bought this in full flower in Tesco in January just to tide me over the bleaker months. With dead-heading and feeding it has now come back into flower. Happy Days. I'm just wondering the life-span of this plant?

Plant ID please!

07 May 2015 19:08:38

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Discovered this little seedling when I was doing a spot of weeding today. I don't have anything here that looks like this. But maybe it's got different growth in its infancy. It's about 6 inches tall, and the stem doesn't arise directly from the soil. As you can see, it kind of flops over and is attached to what looks like a misshapen caterpillar. Can anyone tell me what it is please?

Spreading about

07 May 2015 06:02:56

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I love the late colour that Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' provides us with. But just the other day while doing a bit of clearing, I noticed that this has now started to root into an old chunk of wood in the North-facing border.

There's a first time for everything

06 May 2015 21:29:36

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I have this Mahonia 'Winter Sun' for over ten years. And today was the first time I've seen new growth on it like this. 

Rowan

06 May 2015 21:00:33

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My Rowan is still quite small at this stage, about 7ft. And the wind was shaking the guts out of it today. But its flowers are opening now and they are so scrummy looking. I suppose I should make the most of its small height as I won't be able to see them as well when it gets to its full size.

The excitement begins

06 May 2015 20:08:53

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When I see all that is flowering at the moment in the garden, I do wonder what kept our interest over the winter when there was very little flowering, let alone above ground.

The showers were just awful today, It rained at least every five minutes, sometimes with the sun blazing down on the garden. And as a result I have done nearly 6 months housework in one day. LOL Enough now though.

My Weigela is beginning to open, as is Darmera peltata. I have Darmera in two different spots. One in the Retaining Bed behind the Upper Pond, in partial sun. The other one is in quite a dry spot in the Greenhouse Border underneath my Yucca, which is in full sun, and IT is open more. Hmmm, maybe I should put the two in this border?

Every day now something else is delighting our poor plant-starved brains, and it is such a joy.

Eremurus

06 May 2015 06:57:26
Last year

Last year

I love Foxtail Lilies (Eremurus). A few years ago I bought some roots from Heritage Bulbs and thought they were most unusual and interesting looking, resembling little octopuses. But nothing ever came of them. Last year I splashed out and actually bought a healthy growing plant, put it into the perfect spot and enjoyed its gorgeous spikes of flowers (white). I paid a whopping €12.99 for it, but I'm a bit disgusted that there is absolutely NO sign of any growth so far this year.

I marked the area clearly, and as I know they hate disturbance, it was never going to be moved (unusual in my garden, yea!). But just googling it now I have been informed that they are loved by slugs and snails, and need a bit of protection from frost (upturned pot with straw). Otherwise they are very hardy and reliable. Hmmm! 

How are anyone else's doing at this time of year?

Centaurea

05 May 2015 20:31:56

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Three different Centaures open here at the moment. It's such a pity that they are not more prolific flowerers. Still so pretty though.

The first one means the most to me as it originally came from Shelser, a past member from this site whom I never had the privilege to meet, before she sadly died.

Veronica

05 May 2015 06:50:46

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This little plant is growing in the Alpine Circle. It's a low, spreading plant and produces a lovely gentle shade of blue upright flowers. A very low-maintenance plant and just coming into flower now.

Odd one out

04 May 2015 21:30:50

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I have a nice little group of T. Huis Ten Bosch' in the Acid Quadrant. But a smaller white one appeared in the middle of them today. Still quite pretty.

Mission Accomplished

04 May 2015 20:06:15

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Not a whole lot could be done in the garden today, especially down at the you know what. Steve pumped out all the rainwater. And it had filled up again overnight with more rain, and water run-off from the surrounding soil.

So......I decided that today was the day that we put all that trawler net to use that we got a few weeks ago.

Last year we were stuck with a lot more excess soil from the pond as Steve had dug even deeper. What to do with all of it? Plonked it onto all my hostas up at the yard. But I made it into a hill. Hence the name 'Hosta Hill'.

But the oil tank was still sticking out like a sore thumb. We had tried covering it with climbers, but the cutting back every year turned out to be more trouble than it was worth. Then Steve made a trellis. That only gave the climbers somewhere to grip onto. 

Today, Steve cut back the twiggy growth that is beginning to come back at this stage. It's hard to get to the roots as it was planted before the oil tank was put there twenty odd years ago. So he poured a strong weedkiller 'neat' down behind the tank today.

Then we spread all the net (roughly 10sq metres) out in the little bit of grass that we have left. Cut it in half. Draped one layer over the tank. But it didn't look right. It looked too one-dimensional. Second layer placed over it and excess to bring further down the garden, complete with drapes to accomodate some of our nautical treasures.

A bit of laughing, and final tweaking, we were happy with the result. All of this had to be done before the hostas grow to their full height. And with all the recent rain, they are jumping up out of the ground. I'll put up an album to explain the process in stages.

 

Choisya

03 May 2015 20:35:18

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I got this shrub for the front garden a couple of years ago for the makeover. Have to admit I never noticed the beautiful scent until today. Maybe it was after all that horrendous rain. It's a keeper, that's for sure.

Sambucus

03 May 2015 05:49:02

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Tina sent me a cutting of this lovely Sambucus 'Thundercloud' this time last year. Ashamed to say I still haven't found the right spot for it but I'm on the case. It's got a much broader leaf than S. Nigra. As soon as I lifted my Cotoneaster the other day, I thought yea, Sambucus. But I had to stop myself. Not falling into the trap of overplanting again. Well, we'll see. Photos taken on Friday. Thanks again, Tina.

Didn't even get out to the greenhouse yesterday, or take photos as I was laid low with a tummy bug. But all's well today. And it's still raining. :( I'm afraid to check the level of rainwater in the unfinished pond. I guess Steve is having a 'real' bank holiday weekend now. LOL

Plant ID please!

02 May 2015 10:06:57

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I have a pot of this with no name. It looks very similar to Lysimachia punctata, but the leaves are a bit softer. Can anyone enlighten me please?

Wrong place

02 May 2015 05:00:05

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Over the last few weeks I've been quite critical of my North-Facing border. Happy with most things for now. Last year, in my attempt to reduce the pots around the place, I planted out a standard Cotoneaster into this same border. It always looked out of place and it was only a matter of time before something had to be done. Glad it was sooner rather than later as the rootball when I dug it up was huge. It barely fit into the big planter I had allocated for it. It's the only one I have available. It won't last in this one for more than a year or two. But the border looks way better for now.

And now in its planter, it's partially blocking the oil tank from the house, which can only be a good thing. Need to get a half-barrel for this big Mama. I defnitely WON'T be planting it out again.

Over the moon

01 May 2015 20:23:27

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As Steve was off today I decided I'd be at his beck and call while resuming work on the cave. Didn't want to get into any major job as I'd expected to be called upon at short notice. So I got into the Greenhouse Pond and cleaned out a lot of sludge. It was really cold for this time of year. It was an impulsive decision to do this job so I didn't bother with the waders.

I found it difficult to get the heat back into my legs afterwards, and the day was cold enough with that biting wind. But progress has been made with the cave, albeit small progress. But every little helps. Heavy rain is forecast for overnight and tomorrow so I have a couple of indoor jobs for him to be getting on with. :)

I also decided to weed out the soil above the cave while we chatted, Steve from underneath. You'd want a good head for heights from up above.  The cave comes to just over Steve's head when he's standing in the bowl of the pond. I haven't been up there for a while as my bad leg had been a bit dodgy. But I took my time today, and also got closer to my little Echium pininana. And what did I spot??????????????   Wahoo, lots and lots of little flowers to come. Can't believe it. It's not as big as Jackies so I wasn't expecting any this year. And when the cave is complete, the Echium will be pulled up. But that area of the soil can wait until the very last thing, and there's still lots of other work to get done before that. Ecstatic, I am!

Last of the tulips

01 May 2015 09:09:00
T. 'Ballade'

T. 'Ballade'

This is the last of my tulips to open - T. 'Ballade'. Moved the rest of my yellow ones yesterday so really looking forward to seeing them in the best spot for next year.

Sambucus

01 May 2015 04:44:20

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The difference a week has made with this Sambucus out the front is amazing. Frothy flowers now appearing, which look so delicate. But I really bought this one for its amazing foliage colour, and dark luxuriant branches. Ticks all my boxes.

And then there's a nice combo of Phormium 'Yellow Dream' together with white Armeria.

 

 

HAPPY 1st DAY OF SUMMER, FOLKS!!!!!

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