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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal July 2016

Last Post 477 days 17 hours ago

Tough as old boots

30 July 2016 10:22:11

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The garden is so overgrown this year that I thought I had seen the last of my Cautleya spicata. So I was delighted yesterday when I spotted it, and flowering, in the jungle of weeds at the back of the garden. It's such an exotic looking plant.

A Learning Curve

29 July 2016 21:39:04

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Normally after the initial appearance of tiny fruits on my peach trees in the greenhouse, I allow them gain a bit of growth. Then I thin them out so the remaining peaches will be encouraged to grow bigger.

Then midway through the summer, I remove a lot of the foliage. And any that is left behind is sprayed to deter Peach Leaf Curl.

I only have three peach trees, and admittedly I don't get a lot of fruit (maybe 7-10 in total). And the ones that I get are relatively small compared to a shop-bought peach, but just as delicious.

But this year has been a case of NEW KNEE - NEW ME!  Laziness personified. LOL. I didn't thin out the fruit. And it was only today when I thought I had left it long enough, that I removed a lot of the foliage. Wow! Was I in for a fantastic surprise. I was out there so long I had to take the fold-up chair with me.

I now see the mistake I have been making for the last few years. It seems like I was thinning out the fruit needlessly, and removing the foliage, or even spraying the remainder, has been totally unnecessary too. If the immature fruit is exposed to the sun at a very early stage, it stands to reason that they won't be as big when they ripen. The foliage that had been left in place until today has given them that extra bit of time to grow fully. And now they are going to ripen at a more natural pace. I only wish I could have produced a photograph showing the entire crop.

I counted nearly 70 peaches on just three trees. I think I owe my gratitude to my Orthopaedic Surgeon. LOL 

Fox

28 July 2016 06:36:04

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Spotted a fox walking around the garden this morning at about 05.30. I've seen him a few times now over the last couple of months. But this is the first time I managed to stop my hands shaking with excitement and get a half decent photo.

Obliterating incomplete jobs

27 July 2016 22:13:10

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Eupatorium (Joe Pyeweed) was planted directly in front of the latest pond two years ago. It was put there temporarily to hide the last pond until it had been completed. Thought we had the job finished last year but to our dismay discovered a leak fairly high up on the liner. Neither of us have had great health this year, and Steve is only now seeing a bit of improvement with his back. The pond hasn't been tackled at all this year but 'Joe' is doing his bit well and truly, until we're both back on track. Shouldn't be too long now.

So if I don't want to be depressed waiting for the pond to be finished, I don't dwell too much on what lies on the far side of the Eupatorium, simple!!! Although this area does get a daily check to see if there's anything new opening.

Gotcha!

24 July 2016 20:47:43

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I prefer to be behind my camera, rather than having my photograph taken. But he was quick off the mark today and captured me without my knowledge. But at least it proves that I'm not just good at giving orders. I have been doing a bit of work in the garden myself. And taking a chair around with me is a great help. It's beginning to look a bit more tamed.

Lazy Daze

23 July 2016 18:54:56

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Well, I got the best of help in the garden today. It has been Steve's first day in a long time that he has been anyway ok for a bit of garden maintenance. Maybe David's visit had something to do with that. He has Steve nearly wrapped around his little finger and long may it last.

David got the most important job of all, cutting back the Lupins by the Lower Pond right down to the ground. He was as proud of punch with his efforts. Then he weeded in between the paving slabs on the patio. The difference is amazing. Steve managed to scoot down to ground level and dangle his feet into the pond and whip out all unwanted growth. Now the fish can breathe a bit easier as the overgrowth takes a lot of oxygen out of the water.

Zoe cut back the seedheads of Carex pendula so now my Lythrum is completely unhindered, and looks ready for action. All garden rubbish was bagged and everywhere tidied up afterwards. It has been THE most productive day in the garden for over 7 weeks and it's looking great, and all I did was issue a few orders. LOL I could get used to this.

Day by day

22 July 2016 20:11:40

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I find these days that I am now deciding which plant is the favourite of the day. Well, they say 'A change is as good as a rest'. So as I'm not doing much these days, I'm focusing on what delights are around each corner. Todays' favourite has got to be Thalictrum delavayi 'Hewitt's Double'. I think you may see why. I wonder what favourite tomorrow will bring.

Everything had to be hosed in the garden today after the recent really hot spell, accompanied by very strong winds. Most of the leaves on my Actinidia 'Jenny' have shrivelled and fallen off. Sad to see, but I won't cut it back as they will supposedly give fruit if left alone.

Contrasting colours

22 July 2016 06:07:43

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It was a last-minute decision to plant Fran's Solidago beside my tall Knautia macedonica. I think the two look great together. Solidago is something I wouldn't be without in the garden as it's such a rich yellow. I like yellow. I like the sun. Let's hope the overnight rain was enough to avert a drought for our plants.

In the pink

21 July 2016 20:12:42

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Two good pinks that are doing nicely in the garden at the moment are Monarda (also featured in this months' Irish Garden), and Lythrum which I have growing in the Lower Pond.

Dahlia

21 July 2016 18:19:42

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Love seeing this little seed grown Dahlia coming up each year for the last few years. I leave these in the ground and so far, so good. I do tend to prefer the single ones.

Tetrapanax

20 July 2016 09:07:32
Tetrapanax

Tetrapanax

It's nigh on impossible for me to find a more attractive garden plant than Tetrapanax. The evening sun was bringing out its best features yesterday.

Calla

18 July 2016 22:14:25

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Little did I know when I bought these Calla Lilies about 5yrs ago that they would still be going strong. Mind you, they are in a planter and brought into the greenhouse every winter. Bought some nice black ones this year and hoping to do the same with these.

What a 'melter' of a day.

Airy Fairy

16 July 2016 20:44:47

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I remember picking this plant up so many times a few years ago, trying to decide whether or not to buy it. I took it in the end. Wasn't even impressed with it in its first year here, but since then it has taken on a life of its own with its delicate, but reliable, 'airy fairy' flowers. Delighted with it now. I can't say whether or not it has a scent as I can't make my way in there. Maybe someone can tell me?

Greenhouse Pond

14 July 2016 18:11:39
Greenhouse Pond

Greenhouse Pond

It's called that as it's just beside the Greenhouse - somewhere out of your line of vision over on the left. As you can see, it has been allowed to do what it does best without any interference from me. I love it like this, though. So maybe next year I won't be so particular in cutting back untidy bits throughout the summer months.

A bit of a lift

14 July 2016 05:29:09

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Gosh, it's been a very frustrating 6 weeks since surgery. The most I seem to be doing is a small bit of weeding, a lot of observing, and even more frustration. But I have to go with the flow for now.

Up at the Clinic yesterday to have an infection treated and thought that the planting around the building was just what I needed to lift my spirits. Lavender planted 'en masse' and looking divine. Also a great stretch of Salvia to die for. So this morning I'm going to force a spring in my step and try and be a bit more physical outside. Cloudy morning again, but every cloud........ 

HAVE A NICE DAY!!!

Russian Sage

11 July 2016 09:39:29

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Perovskia (Russian Sage) is doing its best, together with Lysimachia punctata, to brighten up my North-facing, and very untidy border.

Not a day for gardening here.

Best Wishes

10 July 2016 20:46:46
R. 'Best Wishes'

R. 'Best Wishes'

This is the only variegated rose that I have ever seen for sale. However, ALL of my roses this year have an awful dose of blackspot. The leaves on this one are being continuously removed and binned so you'll just have to believe me. Beautiful flower though.

Hippeastrum

07 July 2016 19:50:14

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Well, here she is in all her glory. Poor neglected divil thrown out to the garage once she had done her thing and totally forgotten about - until about two weeks ago when I discovered green shoots as soon as I opened the garage door to put a wash on.

I thought there were only two flowers coming on three stems. But no, all three stems are now in bud. This is the first one to open. Haaaaaa!  Gorgeous!

Bulrush

06 July 2016 21:35:03

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I love seeing this plant in the greenhouse pond just reaching for the stars at this time of year. Very architectural and doesn't take over.

Santolina

06 July 2016 09:22:39

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This is a great plant for lifting a planting scheme in a North-facing Border that gets partial sun. Lovely glaucous foliage too with a great fragrance.

Almost sorted!

05 July 2016 20:27:36

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Did a bit more weeding today. And with very little persuasion, Steve's brother came over and hacked away at the grass with the industrial strimmer, followed by the first mowing. Still looking a bit raw, but hopefully will get an even mow tomorrow, weather permitting. I felt like a bit of a cad with the two of us looking out at Derek working hard, while we sat at the dining table. Very obliging fellow, and I'm very fond of him. I refuse to put up a 'before' photo as I'd be mortified. But this is how it looks for now. More tomorrow.

Delighted to see my first tomato almost ready for my plate. Peaches are ripening nicely too, but are much smaller than most years as I didn't get to thin them out.

Can't believe I didn't remove the clothes line before the photo, and one of the black bags. But, c'est la vie! Life is good again!

Something has to be done!

05 July 2016 02:52:11

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Yes, the grass (it's no longer a lawn) is growing like wildfire. Steve still hasn't got his back sorted out. I can see the cogs going around in his brain every day when he's looking out the window. At this stage it's getting a bit dangerous with me even walking around the garden on the crutches. Constant trip hazard, and as all I'm doing is a small bit of weeding and cutting back, I'm just throwing the rubbish down onto the grass as it's not feasible to be lugging a big black around with me. So the piles are building up.

But it looks like we're now going to have to pay someone to cut the grass. Can't wait for miracles to happen. At least then I'll have something back that resembles a garden - until it grows back!!!!   So frustrating for both of us.

Today I cut back loads of stems from the vine in the greenhouse that were beginning to take over, and gave my fennel at the greenhouse door a severe chop back. Some really ridiculously heavy showers today, the worst one being when I had to hobble down to the local shop. We really do take our cars for granted. Had to strip every item of clothing off me as soon as I got home.

Lesson for the week: 'Be incapacitated only when there is an able-bodied person around who can take over.'  LOL

No accident

04 July 2016 08:31:08

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For once this planting combination was done deliberately. I think they look well together - Sanguisorba 'Rock 'n Roll', and Knautia macedonica is on its way to join it.

Penstemon

02 July 2016 21:52:28

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Penstemons seem to be doing exceptionally well this year - namely P. 'Garnet'.

Lysimachia

02 July 2016 09:58:43

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Lysimachia punctata is very late blooming this year. But it's on its way now. It's a plant that I have been warned about as regards its spreadability. But I find it very well-behaved here. Maybe as it's in a North-facing border? But it does a great job of colouring up a dull area. And its variegated cousin is nestled right in beside. This one flowers even later. So there's a nice continuity between the two.

Ticks all the boxes

01 July 2016 05:07:44

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This is one of the plants I bought at Fota last summer. I've been watching and waiting for signs of growth for months now and was almost ready to put the contents of a couple of pots onto the compost. But as I haven't really had the opportunity to get a proper look at what's in the greenhouse in the last month I was delira and excira yesterday to see that this hardy Begonia is finally showing some signs of life.

The upper side of the leaf is lovely. The underneath is even nicer, and the red markings on the stems are just as nice. Haven't seen this one in flower yet (white), so watching this one with great interest.

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