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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal August 2016

Last Post 448 days 14 hours ago

What possessed me!!!

31 August 2016 20:42:37

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I don't like PAINTED WALLS as a rule. I prefer 'au naturel'. And once you paint, it has to be repeated a couple of years later. Maybe that's the reason I don't like PAINTED WALLS. LOL I'm a Lazy Lucy! White would be my last choice in colour for a wall. But with the Ivy, and the half Bamboo fence now gone, the bare block wall is looking pretty grim. And a patio needs to look bright and crisp, in my humble opinion.

Today I took it upon myself to send for masonry paint and brighten it up, at least until the blue posts are affixed. And I suppose with the Marine theme in mind for the patio, a base of white on the wall will be nice and fresh looking behind the blue planks. And if the planks are delayed, at least I have a nice bright wall over the darker months. The new raised bed will be from the greenhouse to the first pier, about 6ft. So I might just about get two shrubs in, but it will be worth it when I regain my little bit of privacy.

I was late in starting the painting. Hope to give a final coat tomorrow. I think the painted wall really highlights the shrub in the second photo. If I hadn't already planned on having blue planks, I think I'd have painted a mural. But, c'est la vie!

I've had this Hibiscus about 5 yrs now, or possibly more. Last year it produced its very first flower. But it disappeared overnight before it had fully opened. Opening up very nicely now and I'm soooo delighted with its colour. Think it's H. 'L'oiseau Bleu'.

Making hay while the sun shines

30 August 2016 20:43:27

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Thinks have definitely been progressing positively in the last few weeks. Steve has been off work sick for quite a while now. So he's getting necessary jobs done before the winter sets in. Sorry, shouldn't be talking about winter when we're only a third of the way into Autumn. He returns to work this week so he's anxious to get a bit more done.

Himself and Derek have been tackling the Ivy. And the last bit (behind the greenhouse) was finally removed today. I can even fit in behind the greenhouse now, just about!!!!   LOL. Blank canvas now, and lots of plans for the patio. Hoping to get it re-paved, and take a small bit off the lawn. This will also give me drier access to the greenhouse during the wet weather.

Steve went in next door to chop the remaining Ivy from their side, and Derek hauled what he had cut through back over to our garden. Wouldn't leave our rubbish for the neighbours to dispose of. And even though they're not gardeners, they are very glad to see the back of it. I've decided on the shrubs that will be planted into the raised bed up at the greenhouse. Not planting climbers, but shrubs that have been in pots for a few years, and will grow to a decent height but can be kept neat and tidy with ease. I hope to have tropical plants dotted around the seating area for next year. So happy that we're both agreed with each others wishes for this area. Now, I'm NEVER talking about Ivy again. Happy days!

I watered everything in pots today and gave things a final tomato feed. Weeded pot surfaces, and dragged pots from the end of the garden up to the patio to get an idea of what it should look like when all the hard surfaces have been re-done.

Late Riser

30 August 2016 08:05:49

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I was so excited earlier in the year when I spotted my first fox here EVER. But dawn was just arriving and I could then only really make out his silhouette. But just now, much later than normal, he travelled all along the back walls and the sun was really enhancing his beautiful russet coat. He stopped on my neighbours shed roof just long enough for these photos.

Forest Lodge, Roscommon.

28 August 2016 20:16:46

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We had the pleasure of travelling down to Roscommon yesterday to visit Kate & Graham. Some of you may have visited Kate & Graham way back in 2011 when they had an Open Day. Steve and I were amongst those people, but I can honestly say that there were a lot of areas that I just didn't remember. It helped yesterday that we stayed overnight. I find that I notice much more when I'm on my own having a look around at my own pace. I took in more this morning at the crack of dawn (06.00) with a Cappucino when everyone else was still turning over, and wandered about wallowing in the natural world of surrounding trees blowing gently in the breeze, birds going about their business, and bees and butterflies.

Kate has planted over 100 Beech trees surrounding their property, and I'd say within another year or two they will have their much needed wind protection.

A good portion of Kate's garden plants have been grown from seeds sown or cuttings.

We had wall to wall sunshine for the visit. Had lunch outdoors yesterday in comfort, and dinner today with even higher temperatures.

Kate also is very successful with her indoor plants. They thrive, not just 'exist'. Her greenhouse houses some nice Cacti and Pelargoniums. Also Plumbago to die for. The grapes were big, fat and juicy. Picked a few this morning, but don't tell Kate. LOL.

Thanks to both of you for the lovely break from our humdrum routine.

 

Tablets

28 August 2016 08:11:14
Tablets

Tablets

No, I'm not talking about medication. Recently I bought myself a Tablet. I haven't had the chance to create a journal from it until now and I'm just curious to see if the vertical photos will be posted the right way round.

Closing one door, and opening another

26 August 2016 17:34:29

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Ok, that's the end of my dreaded Ivy. Today, as Steve was hacking away at the last of it, I begged him to try and save my Arbour. But realistically, it was rotten most of the way through. So it's now firewood.

But as Derek and himself were clearing up, I was indoors formulating new ideas as a division between us and the neighbours. I hadn't realised how ugly their extension is as I've lived so long with the Ivy. Putting up a few photos of how work progressed.

These two photos are what I envision for the garden just in time for next summer, or before!!!!  I think a solid fence may have the neighbours feeling totally cut off, and that we don't ever want to clap eyes on them ever again. So I've designed a division with posts of different heights (to be painted Marine Blue to match up with Steve's Boiler House door that he made a couple of years ago), and spaced apart so privacy will be more discreet.

At the near end where the greenhouse is, I've decided to have another raised bed made. Originally with planks, but now thinking of blockwork for longevity. I have other ericaceous loving shrubs in planters around the garden, and more in the Acid Quadrant that can be planted here, and obliterate the ugly extension, and the back of houses in a cul-de-sac around the corner from us. Shrubs won't be as bothersome as more climbers. And will require less maintenance.

I feel like I've opened up a can of worms. But the results, if carried out, should be a vast improvement.

Only permitted by the site to post two photos on this journal so I'll create an album.

Under control

24 August 2016 21:36:24

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I'm finally getting to grips with the garden slowly but surely. The Ivy is still encroaching the dividing wall at the patio on account of the recent wet weather. It's been stop and start all week. Today I got the ladder out and started to hack back some of the top growth over the Arbour. A couple of lats from the roof of the Arbour are a bit rotten. But I'm hoping Steve can replace them with new ones. But now, as we are in full view of our neighbours, I'm thinking of highering the wall, or erecting some trellises with more moderately-growing and more attractive climbers. Or......I have a few shrubs in big pots that can get planted into the ground between the greenhouse and the Arbour.

Or, very soon when my contorted Hazel in the front becomes dormant, I can take it from the front, and bring it into the back garden where it will be appreciated much more. Still deciding.

Got lots of dead-heading and tidying up done today. Mainly in the greenhouse border, where the Knautia macedonica is doing its bit well and truly for the bee population.

What a great day today was!

Id please

23 August 2016 08:00:58

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While clearing out the pond yesterday, I came across this strange looking insect. I've never seen one of these before. Can anyone id it for me please?

It's important when cleaning out a pond that you leave the debris to the side so that any beneficial water insects can make their way back in.

Pride comes before a fall!

22 August 2016 17:33:34

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Well, I had THE most productive day in long time today. I donned the waders and scooted slowly into the Greenhouse Pond to cut back stuff that was in dire need of it. Pulled out so much Briza maxima hanging over into the pond. I've been nervous about getting in before today. But once I was in, it was a doddle. The only thing was that I found it difficult to walk around the pond as there are the obstacles of planting baskets dotted around. However, I did great work, and I got a nice cup of well-earned coffee while dangling my wadered feet into the clear water. Removed lots of rotten waterlily flowers and stems, and some oxygenating plants. Frogs and Dragonflies all over the place and really big. Proud of the work I got done.

It was easy getting in to the pond but........ how do I get out?  Got myself out onto the grass and Derek hauled me to my feet. Only, he wasn't holding on to me strongly enough and I fell backwards and flattened all my Alchemilla mollis in the process. But it certainly tested my new implant. Not a sign of pain, but the fright I got made the fall happen in slow motion. Lying on my back, Derek was seriously concerned about me. I couldn't stop laughing at his serious face. The third photo was my view lying on my back and laughing so much, with relief more than anything. I might have a bruise or two on my thigh tomorrow but it's good to know there is no pain in my knee.

I must be mad!!!

19 August 2016 21:11:05

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Today, I had the notion of getting the lads to try and remove the ivy growing on the right hand side of my patio. The Ivy is growing all the way down the garden, and in behind the greenhouse. Steve and I used to be able to fit in behind it and cut a lot of it away each year to keep it in check. I planted it at least 30 yrs ago. But this year has been an eye-opener for the two of us.

The Ivy is also growing over, and way taller than, the Arbour. But it does provide us with a bit of privacy from the neighbours. However, it's high maintenance. I'm sure I will be planting something more attractive in its place if we can ever get the roots out, as big as a mans thigh. Still a lot more to be done as they worked in fits and starts today with all the showers. Wee Davey will be joining them tomorrow so no doubt he'll get the job finished. LOL

But........it's ever so scary now being able to see into the neighbours garden without stepping up on a ladder. Not sure I've done the right thing. But as Autumn approaches, and the weather no doubt will deteriorate, there won't be much activity on their side. It also gives me plenty of time to ponder on what will be chosen as a substitute.

I've been watching and waiting for my Hibiscus to open. But the best I could manage is the one I painted today during the showers.

 

Sanguisorba

19 August 2016 11:48:16

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I love this late-flowering Sanguisorba 'Pink Brushes' which I originally got from Elizabeth.

Let's hope that heavy, non-stop rain eases up a bit so I can get a small bit done.

Being watched..........from outside.

18 August 2016 01:37:27

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Steve spotted a movement at Holly's dish outside the patio doors last night as he drew the curtains. He thought it was a mouse until he had a closer look.  LOL -  it was just one of our numerous froggies wishing us 'Good evening'. It's unusual to see them hopping around the hard surfaces of the garden.

A change of scenery

17 August 2016 07:42:10

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Yesterday was my first real outing since the op. Gretta and myself chose to visit Ratoath Garden Centre. The place was a riot of colour, and the show gardens were looking a treat. I was gob-smacked by the displays their Hydrangeas were giving, and their Prairie Borders were in top condition. Had a great day and so glad I went, as I think we're forecast some very heavy rain in the next few days.

Front Maintenance

15 August 2016 21:29:06

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The shrubs in my front garden have really gotten out of hand this year. Normally I trim back my Sambucus midway through summer, which I did a couple of weeks ago. Today I attacked two different types of Euonymus and Physocarpus 'Lady in Red'. They look well together. And now I can see from my Living Room window who is pulling up outside for a visit.

Found a heap of self-seeded Hypericums all along the border between me and my neighbour. Horrible little nuisance and not easy to pull up. I've noticed lots of it growing in planters out the back too for some reason. They seem to be everywhere this year, not just in MY garden.

Being out in the front today also reminded me that my Corylus avellana needs to be moved to the back garden once it becomes dormant. I think it's wasted out in the front where nobody appreciates its twisted stems. And it's usually when it's in full growth that I remember it's in the wrong place. So a productive day in actions AND plans for next year.

A born survivor

15 August 2016 07:10:28

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A few of you will remember my Fremontodendron that I had planted beside the greenhouse. Lovely evergreen shrub, with an interestingly-shaped leaf, and lovely yellow/orange flowers in the growing season. However, it was beginning to get a bit woody and I decided to chop it back. The following year, fewer flowers and I still wanted to be rid of it and cut it back even further. So this year, I cut it back really hard (to about 2.5 ft off the ground) so it would eventually die off.

I laughed to myself yesterday when I was watering my dry borders and saw through the foliage of Tetrapanax that it has had the audacity to be flowering again.

I reckon it deserves another chance at survival. Although it needs NO help from me! Well done, Fremonto!!!!

So worth it!

14 August 2016 18:45:48

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I only went out today to pull up one or two weeds that I could see clearly from the dining room. I ended up outside for over three hours weeding, cutting back, watering, and tidying. And of course my trusty fold-up chair accompanied me. Things are drying out rapidly. Most of the leaves have fallen off my Actinidia.

My Hostas have largely looked after themselves this summer and the slugs and snails have been feasting to their hearts content. Today I cut off most of the flowers that I could reach, and removed some of the eaten leaves. But it's not looking too bad considering they weren't maintained. Found a couple of peaches on the ground of the greenhouse this morning so I picked a few. Just had one now and it was sooooo juicy. Let's hope I can find some willing takers for any surplus.

Aches and pains in my aches and pains now, but it did my heart good - and the look of the garden.

The Boss is on a mission

14 August 2016 10:32:49

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It's a quiet time in my garden at the moment, although not when David is around. Himself, Steve, and Derek got together yesterday. And on David's insistence, they finished the Blueberry bed.

They filled one third with broken concrete and some polystyrene that was lying around, sheets of cardboard from the garage, and lots of greenery which I had cut back recently. Ok, it hasn't rotted down yet but it won't take long. In my ignorance, I thought that maybe 6 bags or ericaceous compost would be enough. But I'll have to buy maybe another three. But that'll be bought when I'm actually ready to transplant the blueberries. I'm looking forward to a good harvest, and the beautiful show of scarlet leaves before the bushes become dormant. Then, it'll be all systems go for next year, and they will be allowed to settle in to their new home over the winter. Delighted this job has been completed. And thanks, David, for getting 'the oul' fellas' motivated yesterday. LOL

A very timely job

09 August 2016 21:29:11

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Well, once again, Steve's brother has come up trumps. After helping Steve with other stuff inside the house, they both measured up the boards for the raised Blueberry Bed and by tomorrow it will be finished. Then it's over to Woodies for ericaceous compost and just wait for the blueberries to ripen and be picked. So the Blueberry Bed is 6ft long and three boards deep, giving plenty of room for the 7 blueberry bushes to be transplanted once they're harvested. The boards have already had a couple of coats of Creocote, and the whole bed will be lined with black heavy-duty plastic before filling.

This job was on the 'to do' list from last year. But now it's almost done, and perfectly timed. It'll be a relief for them not to have to share a bed with a lot of other acid-loving plants in the Acid Quadrant. That particular bed will be history by this time next year as I'm shifting things around over the Autumn, God willing.

Ticking over

08 August 2016 05:19:17

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Now that the seasons are progressing, I don't feel the same pressure that I did 9 weeks ago to maintain the garden. But I'll be busy over the next few months getting things in ship shape in my own time. I've a lot catching up to do. It's been a real eye-opener this summer, it's only now that I realise how much goes into keeping even a SMALL garden ticking over.

Not a nice day here yesterday, I was happy enough just to take a few photos. Love this combination of Echinops with a backdrop of Arundo donax.

Slugs being very choosy

05 August 2016 14:29:12

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Two types of Ligularia planted down in the Mini Jurassic Border and the leaves have been chewed to bits. So much so that all leaves have now been cut off. Flowers are still coming and they look great in a mainly foliage border. And right beside it is Senecio petasites which has been mostly left alone this year for some reason. Isn't Senecio such a tactile plant!  It's crying out to be stroked.

Escallonia 'Little Elle'

05 August 2016 05:13:08

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I do love variegated plants and shrubs. It means that you're not waiting continuously for a flower to open before it grabs your attention. This Escallonia is dual-purposing at the moment and beginning to flower now. It's been in a planter since the year I bought it. Still looking for its forever home. But hopefully throughout Autumn and Winter, I'll be fit enough to start moving things around again.

My raised Blueberry Bed planned for last year never came to fruition. But with the help of Steve's brother again, this will hopefully be done within the next week. That's top priority in the garden at the moment.

North-facing Cheerfulness

04 August 2016 06:55:06

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There are certain sections in my garden that, despite the neglect this year, I am perfectly happy with. The one in question is my North-facing border. Ok, there are SOME unkempt areas in this border but this section has filled me with cheer for a good while now and still has a long way to go before it's looking positively Autumnal. Aconitum is flowering now and looks well with Lysimachia punctata.

One job for today is cutting back Cynara Cardunculus (Globe Artichoke) as it catches me on the shoulder every time I pass it by. It wouldn't be good if David gets cut by it. He's due to visit this weekend so it has to be done today.

Verbascum

03 August 2016 21:08:39

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I originally got this Verbascum from a member here on the site years ago, Chilipepper. It performs reliably year after year. I thought I had seen the last of it a while ago. But today I was more observant than I have been in a while. Couldn't believe what I saw. The original plant flowers only up to a height of about 3 ft. As you can see from the photos, new flower spikes have appeared and are way taller than me. That hedge of Escallonia and Lonicera is over 8ft tall.  Who'd have thought it would get to such great heights.

For Mary

03 August 2016 07:48:36
For Mary

For Mary

I posted about this Nicotiana on November 30th. Possibly another journal about it before that. Anyway, it's one I spotted (self-sown) growing in a crack in the pavement in the front garden last year. It has flowered right throughout the winter and non-stop to date.

Here's a photo from yesterday.

Haircut

03 August 2016 07:39:22

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Did a small bit of weeding in the front garden yesterday. It's like a jungle out there. But my main priority was to give the Sambucus sutherlandii a bit of a haircut. It's gotten so big that our property is a bit hidden. I like to have open spaces in the front. Actually, I like open spaces - full stop!!!

But while cutting back the Sambucus I noticed how lovely the bark was, something I hadn't noticed before. I didn't take off too much as I love its lime green leaves on the newer growth. I should have planted this one in the back instead.

Plant id please

01 August 2016 19:44:59
Plant id please

Plant id please

Bought this plant (Asclepias curassavica) in Fota last year and have been waiting all summer long for it to appear in its pot. But what I'm looking at in the same pot is definitely NOT Asclepias (according to Google Search). I have no idea what it is, but its leaves are somewhat like a Verbascum. It's very pretty. Any takers, please?

Teensy Weensy

01 August 2016 04:33:02

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Bought this as a tiny plant last year. I think it's Veronicastrum? I do hope it bulks up quickly or I'm likely to pull it up thinking it might be a weed. All I seem to be doing these days is pulling up weeds!!!!!

I'm also including a photo of Feverfew and Globe Artichoke which I think is quite nice.

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