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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal January 2016

Last Post 664 days 19 hours ago

Butterfly

29 January 2016 17:54:31
Swallowtail Butterfly

Swallowtail Butterfly

This is not a gardening journal. But I just wanted to share with you what I have been getting up to in the winter months to prevent me from going mad waiting for the weather to improve. This is a Swallowtail Butterfly. Not one we would normally see in our gardens but oh so pretty.

A small start

28 January 2016 21:01:00

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Up and out early this morning and headed off to Dad's garden. Or more correctly, the small plot he gave me for veggies last year. My time was mainly taken up with lifting all the bamboo canes that the sweet pea and peas were growing up. Old plants still in situ. 

I had two troughs planted up with garlic during the summer. But they were placed beside the hedge reducing the light significantly. They didn't do anything. So as Dad doesn't really care about his garden any more I left them where they were. But today I was delighted that I hadn't discarded them earlier as they are now happily growing away. The extra growing time seems to have paid off. So they're now in my garden where I can keep an eye on them.

Found some onions that I had missed from the other window boxes. I was able to empty the compost into the plot as Dad is getting a company in tomorrow to cut back hedges, power wash tarmac, and a general tidy-up. I needed to make sure the window boxes and canes weren't thrown in a skip. It's the first bit of REAL gardening I have done in a long time and it felt great.

My first daff has opened. It made me laugh as they are just bare bulbs that I dug up last year to make way for the final pond. I just plonked them into the nearest empty pot. Either 'Tete-a-tete' or 'Jetfire'. 'Jetfire' is usually my first to open.

Great idea

28 January 2016 18:18:09
Great idea

Great idea

I was watching tv this afternoon as the weather had turned pretty nasty - what's new! This tiered waterbutt was brought to our attention. The water from each section can be used independently. But each has a small window box together with capillary matting that make the whole butt quite attractive. I don't mind looking at compost bins, or water butts. Obviously it's more expensive than the regular water butt you'll find in a D.I.Y. Store. But it's still a nice idea.

Fifth Season

28 January 2016 15:46:58

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Yea, I think I'm conjuring up a fifth season, which will be known as SUMTER, a season that combines summer-flowering flowers like my famous Nicotiana which is out the front, and my first winter Crocus which opened today. So strange to see the two flowering on the same day. So many plants are confused. 

Any day now.

27 January 2016 04:03:43

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The weather might not be very pleasant at the moment, but it's very obvious that Spring is in the air. What with all the bulbs popping up all over the place. Getting itchy feet to get out and do a bit at this stage. Lovely to see this wallflower starting to flower I think it's E. 'Golden Sunset' or something like that. Must look for the label later today. And it has such 'oomph' with its sunny colour. Another one that brought a smile to my face yesterday was my Alstroemeria 'Indian Summer' (in the greenhouse) which has been flowering for months on end. And of course, you just can't beat the Hellebores and Galanthus right now.

Rhododendron

26 January 2016 19:58:16

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This weather would wear anyone down. One good day, and a week of bad. Had a quick ramble about the garden. Nothing different, except the gorgeous blooms of Rhododendron 'Christmas Cheer' greeted me at last. Love that shade of pink.

First of the year

24 January 2016 05:40:44
First of the year

First of the year

Busy weekend here with family so no hope of getting out to do a bit. But yesterday I had a brief ramble around the garden assessing the situation. Hmmm, so much to do. But the sight of my first dwarf Iris has spurred me on a bit.

Grass still hasn't been cut and Steve's back is bad so I'll just have to put up with that for now. But maybe it's a blessing in disguise as I feel when the grass is cut, the garden looks so well. And that would make me happy enough to sit back (idle) for the next while. So this is probably a good time to try and make a difference without Steve's contribution to the gardens overall look.

Then and now

22 January 2016 07:50:03

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On the 10th January I posted a journal about my Aeonium tabuliforme with a little bulge in the centre. Have been reliably informed that this was the beginning of a flower. 

This is how it looks today. Just wondering will it remember to stop growing before it eventually flowers. LOL

Pretty!

22 January 2016 06:22:47

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Aren't the seed pods of Nicandra just so pretty!

No chance of me gardening this weekend as I'll have the pleasure of my sister coming up from the country. 

It's lashing here at the moment. But no doubt the sun is shining in Blanchardstown. LOL.

Armchair Gardener

20 January 2016 21:32:14

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The garden is looking so neglected of late. My own fault really as I have become a bit lazy over the last two or three months. So I spend a bit of time not in the ARMCHAIR, but the dining chair just being entertained by the antics of small garden birds. Wrens are so quick that it's quite difficult to get a photo of them. But I got some today.

Every cloud......

20 January 2016 18:42:10

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Such a cold morning after a heavy frost last night. I had to walk to the nearest shopping centre as I'm having car trouble. Spotted this lovely colour Chrysanthemum in full flower outside a garden that leads on to a main road, which is very exposed. Thought it was a Dahlia until I went up closer. But I wouldn't have seen it, or believed it, if I had been driving. Lovely bright day, but I chose to sit and vegetate once I got home. I just didn't have the energy left.

I did go out to the back garden to have my daily wander though. Lovely to see the clumps of Galanthus coming up now, and the clumps are spreading nicely. My Spring Border is suddenly coming to life with all the Tete-a-tetes coming up, and Cyclamen spreading well too.

I think the weather is to become milder for the weekend. Maybe I'll manage to get something done outside.

 

Peanut butter

14 January 2016 20:07:05

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Got this new feeder in Johnstown yesterday following a post on FaceBook by AitAlainn (Nuala). An ingenious idea. 

Jar of Peanut Butter - containing NO SALT. It just screws into the receptacle and Bob's your uncle. It's just a matter of time now for the birds to discover it.

I spent about an hour outside today just doing a bit of tidying up, and filling up feeders. Got so cold that it was hard to get the heat back into me all day. But I've made a small start. Hopefully the same again tomorrow.

Intoxicating

14 January 2016 07:38:43
Pelargoniums still flowering away yesterday

Pelargoniums still flowering away yesterday

I was out in the front yesterday having a look round to see what needs doing. Good Lord, the weeds are unbelievable. Haven't done anything in either the front OR the back in at least two months. A lot of work to be done to tidy up the front. Don't like having a messy front garden as people might think I'm actually untidy INSIDE the house, which I probably am. LOL. But don't tell anyone.

Anyway, I was dead-heading my window box and delighted that it's still in bloom (so is the one in the back). But I just adore the scent of pelargonium foliage. It took me right back to warm sultry evenings - a long way off just yet. But a girl can dream, can't she?

Getting our 'fix'.

13 January 2016 19:55:22
Gretta and Vanda

Gretta and Vanda

As Gretta and myself missed out on the annual event at Johnstown on Saturday, we decided at the last minute to head down there this morning. Gretta has been finding it most difficult to source Vanda Orchids. Yesterday I noticed they had a fair few in stock still. And....as Gretta is a self-confessed Orchid addict, she just couldn't help herself. :)

It was a cold day, but I had the foresight to wrap up well before heading off. It was great to get the place almost to ourselves. We were the only two outside. Lunch definitely wasn't up to their usual standard but we were very happy with our purchases. Heading towards the checkouts and a big area of the indoor section was cordoned off with boxes and boxes of perennials and bulbs. The staff didn't even know what was in them until they had opened them.  I did offer to help them put them out!  LOL

Good day all round and happy to get out. Hopefully my painting will begin to take a back seat now, and I'll be encouraged to spend even an hour outside each day, just cutting back in readiness for the growing season. It's great to get the few minutes extra daylight each day.

Aeonium

10 January 2016 21:23:40

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I bought this Aeonium two years ago for its very unusual growth habit. But of course, it's monocarpic, so will die once it flowers. The trick is to avoid it flowering altogether by avoiding very bright sunshine.

But as I'm very new to this type of Aeonium, I'm wondering is this protrusion in the centre actually the beginning of a flower, or just another rosette.  

Wakey! Wakey!

09 January 2016 04:49:44
Wakey! Wakey!

Wakey! Wakey!

Grab your breakfast, and don't forget the shopping bags and little square of plastic. Won't be in Johnstown myself but I hope you all have a terrific day. The whole month of January 2017 has been marked as 'busy' in my calendar so I don't miss next years' gathering.

Drive safely, laugh deeply, swap and buy well. But most of all, have a blast. Looking forward to hearing all the goss very soon. :)

Blueberries

07 January 2016 21:35:32

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Well, we finally got the boards to construct our new Blueberry Bed. It'll go the full width of the greenhouse and free up the bed they're in. I am planning on shifting most of the plants in what used to be my Acid Quadrant. And it'll be great to give the seven blueberries a home of their own.

Hopefully they boards will be treated at the weekend, and then we're ready to go.

Very messy garden. So much to be done.

Nicotiana

05 January 2016 20:22:47
Today

Today

I posted a journal on Nov 30th about this particular Nicotiana. It self-sowed out in the front. I haven't had Nicotiana here in a few years so obviously came from some neighbours garden.

Topsy turvy, or what. 5th January and still flowering.

Really wet day here. Hasn't stopped raining since 04.00am and the greenhouse pond is almost up over the edge and into the grass. Good job there are no fish in this one.

Still Standing

03 January 2016 21:37:46

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What a pet day it was today. But the grass is so long and wet that it wasn't feasible for working outside. Plus I had to be out in the airport.

But isn't it great how well this Cortaderia is looking despite the recent horrific weather. Just a great garden plant.

Ricinus isn't looking too bad for January either.

Fingers crossed

02 January 2016 04:29:01

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Following on from yesterdays journal about my Lithops, the central part of the rotten plant seems to have survived so I'm chancing my arm and we'll see if it takes root. But maybe I should let the surviving bit callous over before planting, what do you think?

Lithops

01 January 2016 09:11:30

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This morning I discovered one clump of my much-loved Lithops (Living Stones) has gone to a messy mush in its pot. Not sure what went wrong. Maybe nothing as I've been treating it the same way since buying it a few years ago. Maybe they're just a short-lived plant. A bit disappointed with this first casualty of the New Year. But luckily there is another good healthy clump beside it. But they're definitely a plant worth having. They make a good talking point too.

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