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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal February 2016

Last Post 633 days 8 hours ago

Ranunculus

29 February 2016 21:14:54
Ranunculus 'Rhubarb & Custard'

Ranunculus 'Rhubarb & Custard'

Picked up a pack of Ranunculus 'Rhubarb & Custard' in Dealz at the weekend. I was surprised to see it for sale as I was always under the impression that it was only an annual. But on googling it, it seems that it will survive if lifted and kept in the greenhouse over winter. They're potted up now, and as I now know it could last for a few years, I may go over and buy some more. We live and learn.

A very Happy Camper

28 February 2016 19:58:00

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What a cracker of a day today. As soon as lunch was over, we both got stuck in to the garden - just in case!!! We finally have the jungly grass strimmed and mowed. Very patchy looking but that's what I love about grass. It always bounces back no matter how bad the winter has been.

I tidied up pots of stuff in the greenhouse, and had the door open all afternoon. It was a relief to finally get the patio weeded. It's the power-washer now to remove all the algae and green. Probably tomorrow. I weeded the surface of all potted plants and planters. Then top-dressed the lot.

Raked my Hosta bed of all cat poop and any left over stems from last year. Hmmm, I suppose now that there is bare soil once again, Holly will re-do her poo! But tomorrow I hope to have the chicken wire sorted out and cover the whole lot to protect it.

My tomatoes have now been sown - 'Minibell', cherry tomatoes, and 'Moneymaker'. Also Thai Chilli and Chilli 'Hungarian Wax'. There's no going back now. Gardening is in full swing.

The First!

28 February 2016 12:08:42

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Just out surveying all the work ahead of me in the garden and spotted the first wasp of the year. 

Smashing day out there so I'll put the brushes on hold until I make a proper mark on the garden.

A Lovely Walk

24 February 2016 19:57:19
A Lovely Walk

A Lovely Walk

As I had personal business to attend to in the Howth Road area, I decided to pop in to St. Anne's Park, Raheny, as it's been a while since being there. Very cold morning, but wrapped up well it was a gorgeous bright day. Came home totally invigorated. And after the last two days in the garden, I didn't feel the need to get out and do anything. Tomorrow, though. Just posted an album for those of you who are interested.

A question for Gracedieu Lass

24 February 2016 19:39:48

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Well, I have the propagator out now. Just need to give it a bit of a wash. Can't believe that I don't actually have any tomato seeds. I'll have to rectify that tomorrow.

Mary, you gave myself and Gretta some seeds from your garden last year. They're in an unmarked bag, but I think they may be lily seeds? Do you remember which ones, please?

Another great day

23 February 2016 19:08:29
Another great day

Another great day

We've been blessed with the recent good weather. And I was delighted to have today outside again. First time in a long time that I got two consecutive days work done. More cutting back, and it's finally beginning to look a bit loved. Arms, back, legs, neck all screaming at me right now. But I feel like I have accomplished something noticeable at last. Steve even noticed the difference when he came in from work. I feel an early night coming on. I need to get fit again. Roll on tomorrow.

Aeonium tabuliforme

23 February 2016 08:05:49

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Bought this Aeonium at one of the fairs two years ago. I managed to stop it flowering last year. But having brought it indoors from the greenhouse over this winter it has begun to flower.

It WAS such an attractive plant. That is, until I noticed a flower spike developing on it. The trick is with this plant NOT to let it flower as it's monocarpic. However, I couldn't stop nature taking its course. It's about to flower now. And instead of it looking like a dinnerplate, it's beginning to look more like an upturned soup bowl.  Very unattractive. Disappointed. But will try and get another one. 

Flowers are almost there. So I hope to save plenty of seed and try propagating that way.

Greenhouse and primroses.

22 February 2016 21:23:50

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It was great giving the greenhouse a good airing today. Although I held back on watering as temperatures are to dip below zero tonight. My Rhodochiton, this being its third year and in the greenhouse for the winter, is still flowering.

Last year when I replanted my Primrose 5-steps area to make way for the last pond, I decided to let what was left here to chance. About 5 different ones flowering now, and a few Kennedy ones on their way. But my favourite, and one I didn't want to lose, is P. 'Dawn Ansell'. At least, I THINK it's 'Dawn Ansell'.

Where needs must

22 February 2016 18:53:37

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Ok, I'm seriously fed up looking out at my jungle. The grass hasn't been cut since early October so you can imagine. It's so long that the brickwork around the Alpine Circle has even been obliterated. Steve bought a big strimmer in Aldi last year. I can't use it even though it comes with a harness. I can just about lift it off the ground. So that's a job now that is only for Steve. Not my fault!  :)

However, today, yes, I got out there with the kitchen scissors and trimmed all around the Alpine Circle. The grass may still be unsightly. But seeing the brickwork makes the garden look a bit more tamed. 

What a gorgeous day it was today. Got my bits and pieces done this morning, and the rest. Then straight out to 'make hay while the sun shines'. And it sure did shine. Had a great time weeding, tidying, and cutting back a few more brownies. 

Spring Border

19 February 2016 04:06:39

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As many of you know, I've been spending most of this winter in the Art Room. It has been a great way to keep me occupied when the knee was bad, and the weather miserable. But I find I'm spendng a little bit more time out in the garden each day now, and less with the brushes. Such a delight to witness new growth once again. Tree peony is budding, which I think is one of my favourite things at this time of year. Also the new growth on Sedums. 

The Spring Border is coming into its own now with Crocuses, Muscari, Sedums, N. Tete-a-tetes, and N. 'Jetfire' lighting everywhere up. Last years Osteospermum is still flowering and Kaffir lilies are throwing out a few more flowers.

Steve (and Wee Davey) have yet to build my raised bed for the Blueberries, but I think time is getting on and I may leave transplanting them until after fruiting now as I don't want to knock back any flowers that may be on their way. But if there's anyone out there who thinks it's ok to transplant now, please say so. Otherwise I'll have to put plans on hold for my Acid Quadrant for another year. 

Great brightness yesterday. Wasn't properly dark until after 6 o'clock. Ah, that's a definite incentive to spend more time outside. And maybe Steve can join me at the weekend with the lawnmower. 'Tis like a jungle out there. Have a nice weekend, everyone.

Something different

17 February 2016 19:39:09

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I loved Johnstown's selection of air plants back in January. But I decided to buy all the ingredients separately as the arrangements were very expensive. There are many plants that can be used as airplants, Tillandsia being one which I think this is. Bought the plant, adhesive and reindeer moss. Gretta kindly gave me the shell for the base. The shell in the arrangement isn't glued down, nor is the moss. So they can easily be changed around.

Put them all together today, just for something different.

Time Management

15 February 2016 18:33:19

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I surprised myself today with my efficiency. Did morning errands, visited Dad, cursory phone calls, etc the list goes on. It was such a lovely bright day that I was torn between doing a bit of painting upstairs or out to the garden. So I decided to divide my time wisely. Got about 2 hrs outside, cutting back and tidying up. Still had the Christmas tree down at the back wall. So I had to chop it up so it could get chucked 'over the wall'.

Did a rake of weeding down in what used to be the Wilderness. Funny how that area always looks bad. Must do something about that permanently this year. The greenhouse was open all day and things got a bit of water inside. My tree peony is looking gorgeous with buds breaking all over. Took off any dead material from this. My Helleborus orientalis produced lots of seedlings over the last couple of years and today the seedlings are flowering. The original plant is really clumping up well. Such a delight to see at this time of year.

Three of the ponds were frozen, never thawed out all day. But I think there's a mild spell on the cards overnight and a bit of rain tomorrow. I was as warm as toast with the stuff I was doing outside and little Robin kept me company for the whole time.

When my knees and back started to complain I decided that I had had enough. 

Went upstairs then to rest up, and paint for the rest of the time. I managed my time very well today, which was very unusual. But as the work I did today was down at the end of the garden, I couldn't see the fruits of my labour from the dining room. C'est la vie. I am totally invigorated after that short spell outside.

Snowdrops

12 February 2016 05:31:30

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I transplanted a couple of clumps of snowdrops into my lawn last year. They are positioned right beside the receptacle for my rotary line. They're not looking the best just now as the grass is so long. Hasn't been cut since way back in October, the weather has been that wet.

But now I'm thinking........if I put ALL my other snowdrops into the grass, that'll free up that border for other plants. Just sayin'.......

Although, my Galanthus 'Spindlestone Surprise' will stay where it is, in the retaining bed at the Upper Pond so I can keep an eye on it. One bulb increased to three last year. Now it has multiplied by 5. It's a slow process but yay!

Opportunist

11 February 2016 19:49:37

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Crocuses tend to behave weirdly in my garden. A few years ago I made a series of semi-arcs and planted lots of crocuses around my Lower Pond, up close to the house so I could get to see them without actually going out the door. I must have planted about 100 and not one ever came up. 

Can't get much done in the garden these days. If it's not too wet, it's too frosty. But I went down to my Spring Border today when the garden thawed out. Laughed to myself to see this little opportunistic crocus coming up in the centre of my Leptinella. Mother Nature knows best, I guess.

Kayak in the front garden is coming into its own now, with the miniature daffs and crocuses starting to bloom.

Poor little fishies

11 February 2016 17:36:58

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You have to feel for the fish in weather like this. I hope they're well under the ice. The worst thing you can do is to break the ice. It transmits shockwaves throughout the water and jolts the fish, possibly killing them. I've tried putting a ball into the water but that didn't do anything. Luke warm water poured in does help. But the fish are hardy enough to withstand these frozen conditions. So leave well enough alone.

Not usually the first

09 February 2016 18:34:55

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I was out on errands this morning and I took a wander out in the garden before my jacket came off. Gosh, it was bitterly cold today. Normally my Camellia 'Debbie' is the first to bloom. But I was surprised to see that C. 'Berenice Perfection' is first off the blocks this year. And it's my smallest Camellia.

Tete-a-tetes are looking good at the moment. Will post a photo when they're all open. Pulmonaria 'Blue Ensign' is opening now too. Love this one.

Tina and Julie

06 February 2016 19:45:47
Tina and Julie

Tina and Julie

This is a ready spiced malt vinegar - perfect for pickling. Aldi product - bought too much two years ago but will still be used.

Tidy

05 February 2016 19:27:37

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Spent a short time this morning scooping up lots of leaves from the front garden. As I only have deciduous shrubs in my front nowadays, all of these leaves have come in from the roadside trees and neighbours. But I don't tend to tidy them up until this time of year. It was a revelation to discover lots more Daffs than I had remembered were there. A lot of them are a bit yellow in the stems, probably from the moisture the leaves were holding onto, and partially from lack of light. But it shouldn't take too long to green up.

First full-sized Daff open now. Can't remember which one it is. And my orange Hamamelis. Shortly after that, there was a steady fall of drizzly rain which lasted all day.

As the second photo shows, my annual spread of Wild Garlic, thank you Mr. Neighbour, has spread and spread. Fed up spraying RoundUp on this every year. Does anyone know how to eradicate it FOREVER???????

Must have a quiet word in Mr. Neighbours' ear to let him know it's NOT a flower, and to control it better. It would make sense to build a wall between us, but at the moment I have more important things to spend my money on.

Bargains

04 February 2016 21:08:03
Garrya eliptica 'James Roof'

Garrya eliptica 'James Roof'

After the heads up from Kate, myself and Greta took a trip to Plantagen in Clonee yesterday to see if they had anything left. It really made me sad to see the almost empty shelves. It brought me back over two years ago when, during my sick time, I visited my own store after having heard we were closing down. So sad seeing staff from other branches depleting all our stock and transferring them to other stores. It brought a tear to my eye as I always loved going to work, regardless of the workload.

Great value to be had on big glass vases, which I got. And yay, I finally got a Garrya eliptica 'James Roof' which I have been on the lookout for a few years now. And it only cost me €7.50. Also bought Strobilanthes anisop. 'Brunetthy'. Haven't grown this before so I hope I can give it the right conditions.

Seed sowing

03 February 2016 10:00:18
Seed sowing

Seed sowing

Not going to start just yet. But collected these seeds of Kaffir Lily yesterday while cutting back. Has anyone ever grown these from seed? And how long can I expect for them to produce any flowers? T.I.A.

Yay! I got my hands dirty!

02 February 2016 19:28:46

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I was like a woman possessed this morning. Got all the housework done, shopping, phonecalls out of the way, visited Dad, and then out to the garden. It was a cold but lovely bright day. I was well-wrapped up and ended up too warm. Got nearly three refuse sacks of BROWNIES that I was too lazy to do in the Autumn. Seeing new shoots on Clematis now. Pulmonaria, Foxgloves, and so much more all coming into leaf.

I did a bit of weeding on the Spring Border but really didn't need too much. It's proving to be quite a maintenance-free zone, thankfully. It's going to be a riot of Spring colour very soon. All the miniature daffs are almost there, and Muscari, Crocuses are out in full force. Sedums are looking so delicious with their new growth.

Over the cave, where I can't climb up on at this stage, is relatively free of weeds. Shouldn't take too much work when the time is right. Came in exhilerated after a couple of hours in the fresh air. 

Did a bit of weeding in the North-facing border and 'lo and behold, I discovered growth on the little Aconite corms that Kitty sent me last year. Not in flower yet but looking very healthy. Nearly stood on a few. I do really love the smell of soil.

Then spent the afternoon painting. I was so busy today that I forgot to eat until just an hour ago. Boing! Boing! Boing! Spring is definitely here, and I'm lovin' it!

Hellebore

01 February 2016 19:27:49
Hellebore

Hellebore

Nothing done outside today - what's new! If there were any spider webs in the garden today, they're no doubt all gone now with those very strong gusts. Just had a little wander around before the rain came. And delighted to see my favourite, and most expensive, Hellebore has opened fully now. Just labelled 'Double Red'.

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