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Jacinta D's Journal

Jacinta D's Journal March 2017

Last Post 232 days 16 hours ago

Persicaria

31 March 2017 07:19:15

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Three nice little Persicarias sneaking out from the undergrowth at the moment. Who needs flowers when you have such great foliage.

Tulips

30 March 2017 19:35:45

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It's time for the Tulips to take centre stage now that the Daffs are coming to an end. Don't have names for these ones. But they came from Dad's garden. And when they flowered for him all those years they were always yellow. But some of them are coming up with the odd streak of orange throughout them. I wonder is this as a result of an annual top-up of ericaceous soil into what I originally called the Acid Triangle. 

A number of the same Tulips are planted in the North-facing Border and have always come up yellow so far.

Facing North

30 March 2017 09:02:26

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About three years ago I gave my North-facing Border a complete make-over, relocating unsuitable plants and adding more appropriate ones. I have a yellow/lilac theme going on. After years of trying out Liatris unsuccessfully, two years ago I tried it one more time. But it didn't re-appear last year, so I'm done trying that. The thinking cap is back on now. It's only at this time of year when the sun is getting higher that this border will get a limited amount of sun. So I'm wondering what to plant instead of the Liatris (it's got to be lilac/purple), which will go beautifully with some lovely yellow tulips that I dug up from Dad's garden a couple of years ago.

One particular section of this border is quite a delight at the moment, with ferns, emerging hostas, primulas, and even moss which has taken nicely to the edging brickwork around the Lower Pond.

Spot the phone!

29 March 2017 20:11:51
Spot the phone!

Spot the phone!

Drizzly morning here but it cleared up by lunchtime, and I had all my errands done at that stage. Weeded around the cave pond, and while I was there I cleaned out some  of the algae. Luckily I just spotted my phone in this photo of Senecio petasites as I was downloading it a few minutes ago. It must have slipped out of my pocket earlier. Good job, as there's more rain forecast for tonight.

Another bit done

29 March 2017 06:58:01

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More tidying up done yesterday before the rain came down. The last few sunny days had us spoilt. I was just on the verge of getting out the shorts. But.....gotta wait a bit longer for that.

I concentrated on the greenhouse afterwards. Cut back last years debris from my vine and it's looking nice and healthy. I also gave my Dahlias that were overwintered in the greenhouse a good watering and their first well-diluted feed for the year. I'm expecting great things from them now in late summer. I did the same with my pelargoniums. Things are being hardened off now so hopefully any further cold won't set them back.

I've had Eccremocarpus flowering all winter long and some of it has even self-seeded in random pots beside the main plant. Great to see the garden taking off again.

Laptop on the blink and I'm finding it rather difficult doing journals on a tablet as it's so small and hard to see. But I'll persist until I can replace the laptop.

Nice and bright

27 March 2017 20:13:23

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I wouldn't normally 'clean' my windows of the greenhouse, just usually blast the glass with the hose. But today I did a proper job. Took most of the tender potted plants outside for a breath of fresh air, and gave the glass a thorough clean. Gosh, the difference is amazing. That'll let a lot more light in. And the tenders are now snuggled back in for the night.

Had my tomato seedlings and sunflowers out today to start off the hardening process. But as tomorrows temps will be down on todays, and it won't be as sunny, I'm hoping it'll still be warm enough to continue the process.

Photo no. 2 is of Caltha palustris in the Lower Pond. As you can see it's a double. The other Caltha (photo no. 3) is in the Greenhouse Pond and looks more like a buttercup. Can anyone id it properly for me please?

F.A.O. Jacky

27 March 2017 18:06:11

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Euphorbia myrsinites is a really pretty evergreen plant. I have this planted in very little, and poor quality soil around the Upper Pond.

Dare I hope?

26 March 2017 11:18:12
Dare I hope?

Dare I hope?

About two weeks ago I cut back my Dogwood and used what I cut off as cuttings. There was the tiniest bit of spring growth as I was doing this. In the greenhouse yesterday and saw new growth on the cuttings. Should I assume that the cuttings have already taken, or was the sap starting to rise already at the time I took them?

 

Have a lovely Mother's Day, all you Mammies out there.

Cutting back.

25 March 2017 19:06:04

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Another cracker of a day in Dublin, and I'm sure almost nationwide.

At the moment I'm trying to tackle the major clutter under my pergola. Can't move around for all the abandoned pots, and planters that were stored there over the winter.

To the left of the pergola I have an Escallonia hedge that hasn't seen a secateurs in over ten years apart from cutting back the odd wayward branch or two. So, whether or not it's the right time of year, it got a major short back and sides, and Honeysuckle and Climbing Roses over the pergola. My hands and arms are in bits from thorns.

A bit unstable being up on a ladder but the job got done. The Escallonia hedge had been taking up quite a large part of a short border that I was going to change around this year. Early days yet, and lots of other stuff to organize, so we'll see.

Trillium

24 March 2017 21:23:05

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Trillium albidum has finally opened in the shady part of the garden.

Patience is my middle name!!!!!

24 March 2017 20:30:33

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Can't remember how long ago it was that ClaireE gave me some cuttings of Jasminum nudiflorum, possibly 5 yrs ago or more. I bunged them into the ground and NOTHING HAPPENED!! However, I didn't dispose of them. I've been watching them for the merest sign of growth over the years, and nothing.........that is, until now.

My next door neighbour who grows the dreaded wild garlic also has a stunning winter/spring display of delightful yellow flowers on some of the same Jasmine all along his front wall that makes me quite envious.

Ok, it's too late for me to get flowers this year. I'm only hoping that I won't have to wait too much longer though. The stems are still quite small, only about 8 inches or so. But they're very much alive as you can see.

Thanks again, ClaireE.

I hope you all had as super a day as we did in Dublin.

My favourite

23 March 2017 20:30:45

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It's not my first Camellia to flower this year - but it's my favourite. Camellia 'Wisley White' came earlier than todays one, C. 'Margaret Davis'. It's gorgeous. Smaller flowers again this year after its severe haircut two years ago, but lots more blooms about to open.

Common as muck

23 March 2017 18:31:20

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I used to think that Hippeastrums were so exotic. Still do, but since their introduction to Lidl and Aldi they have almost become as common as muck. These were purchased for a ridiculously low price in Homebase a few weeks ago (€1.80 each) and I will probably NEVER be able to resist them. Sometimes common is so beautiful!!!! And having both of them flowering simultaneously is a double whammy!

Front Weeding

22 March 2017 19:51:30

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Shocking weather here all day. So glad I spent time out in the front garden yesterday while the sun shone. Attacked all the weeds, and wild garlic in the gravel. Some wild garlic had also rooted into the cracks of the pavement outside the garden. I'll really have to let my neighbour know that it is a weed.We don't have wall dividing our gardens, so it's spreading more rampantly every year.

The small shoots are easy enough to pull out, they come out bulb and all. So I pulled what my back would allow, and then sprayed the rest with RoundUp. Thankfully it stayed dry afterwards to allow soakage. I picked the right day too as it has been raining constantly here since dawn today.

Good combo

21 March 2017 19:37:39
Good combo

Good combo

I have this Cynara carduncula (Globe Artichoke) a good few years now. But towards the end of the summer it becomes quite ungainly, with stems flopping over into the lawn. And it's very spiky so I was scratching myself as I was passing by. Didn't want little (not so little any more) David to get hurt so I got Steve to dig it up two years ago. Obviously there was some still left in the ground and it came back again last year.

It's still here this year, and looking healthier than ever. David has a bit more sense in the garden now and knows to steer clear of it. And I'm loving the combination of Erysimum 'Orange Sunset' just behind it. I reckon it's here to stay. Some yellow tulips that I took from Dad's garden two years ago will be in bloom shortly and will look good with this combination too.

Marsh Marigold

20 March 2017 19:02:01

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Did another bit of clearing of the Lower Pond today. It was a biting cold day but it needed doing badly. Delighted to see that Caltha palustris (Marsh Marigold) is beginning to open. This is in full shade all winter. And it's only today that it got about 30 minutes of sunshine. So it'll be better as the season moves on. I have another one in the Greenhouse Pond that gets full sun all year and it's still way behind.

First time

19 March 2017 18:22:43

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This is my first year with Fritillaria lutea. They only began to peep up out of the soil on 2nd March, and already they're about to flower. All they need is a couple of days of sunshine to do their thing.

I obviously didn't research them properly. I thought they'd be flowering mid-summer. But c'est la vie. They're still gorgeous, and I have no regrets.

Thriving on neglect

19 March 2017 03:06:41

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I had bought a lovely little Pieris 'Katsura' a few years ago while I was still working. But last year I neglected it badly and, slowly but surely, it wilted and died in front of my very eyes. However, as I wasn't able to do much last summer, the only consistent job I did manage was watering. This pretty Pieris had only one or two healthy looking branches left on it. And I was very reluctant to give up on it. It's now back to full health, and even flowering a small bit. The garden is getting back to looking ok this year bit by bit. And this little Pieris will have a more prominent location so I won't lose sight of it for long, and it will possibly be treated to some fresh new compost. So delighted with that.

The other day I cut back my Dogwood, and used what I cut off to root some cuttings. Just hoping it's not too late as it's just about starting to grow back now.

I took some Buxus cuttings late last year, and after ignoring them all winter, they're coming on a treat now. Thriving on neglect. I've been talking about doing a living sculpture for a few years now. I attempted to grow a Heron with some of Hazel's Hazel cuttings (or was it Willow?), which failed miserably as they were planted in too dry an area. But these little Buxus will be nursed and watched carefully until I see an obvious shape, then I'll go from there. Fingers crossed.

 

Indoors for outdoors

17 March 2017 18:40:28

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What a horrible day outside today. Typical for St. Patrick's Day. But usually the bad weather only lasts for the duration of the parades.

However, Steve and I went over to Homebase. Stocked up on some things and bought my favourite annuals - Violas and pretty red Primulas. Just happened to 'find' some flower pouches in the garage that I had bought years ago when I worked in Homebase. It's amazing what I still find out there. I had plenty to plant up two of these pouches, and some left over for a planter. Gave them a good watering, and a diluted tomato feed. Will lie them flat in the greenhouse over the next week or so, so that the roots can spread out and grip firmly into the compost. Flower pouches are good as they don't tend to swing about in gales as would a hanging basket. So they're less likely to dry out.

Also bought some tomato plants. Wish I had some of Dick's healthy ones. But c'est la vie. Will pot those on tomorrow and begin to harden them off.

 

Greetings

17 March 2017 10:39:35
Greetings

Greetings

I want to wish everyone a very Happy St. Patrick's Day. Hopefully the weather will improve as the day goes on.

Hippeastrum

16 March 2017 19:10:24

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We were so spoilt here in Dublin with the weather yesterday, and I knew it wasn't to last too long. But every cloud has a silver lining. My back and legs are sore from yesterday so today is a rest period. So I concentrated on housework instead. Boring!!!  Give me aching muscles any day. LOL.

When I drew the curtains back this morning I spotted that my cheapie (end of season) bargain of a Hippeastrum 'Minerva' had opened. Not bad for €1.80.

 

Plant id please

16 March 2017 08:20:26

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Yesterday while weeding the surfaces of pots I found this. Can anyone tell me what it is please?

Hard at it!

15 March 2017 19:59:48

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Wasn't that just a magical day?

Usually at the beginning of the growing season I concentrate on the end of the garden and work my way up. I did it the other way round today. I started off on the Hosta Bed. A lot of moss had gathered in the whole area, something which I hadn't noticed before. But maybe our winter was a bit wetter than usual. However, I dug gently around the emerging Hostas, and used the hoe to lift any moss. Weeding had to be done too. Not quite finished as after a while I needed to straighten up, and use a few other muscles.

Glasshouse open all day. I attempted to cut back my vine but the heat in there was just so unbearable after a few minutes. So that can wait until the rain is here tomorrow.

Weeded the surface compost of most of my planters, and did a small bit of judicial pruning on C. 'The President'. Also dead-headed most of my 'tete-a-tetes'.

Cleared out unwanted growth from the Lower Pond. Attempted to do the Greenhouse Pond too, but it was very limited as it's full of frogspawn. The old stems of the bulrushes that are protruding above the water line are beginning to annoy me. But I would need someone else in the garden while doing this as I don't want a repeat of what happened last year. Neatened up some of my border edges, with a scissors!!!!   I'll get Steve to do it properly at the weekend if the weather allows.

I spent the whole day out there, only coming in for a spot of lunch and the odd cup of coffee. I was in my element. It was great to get such a long time at it. Pass the painkillers and ice packs!

Sat back this evening just wondering did my work make a visible difference. IT SURE DID!!!

 

A new lease of life

15 March 2017 18:06:33

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Decided very early this morning that I wasn't going to let anything or anyone get in the way of my garden plans for the day.

First off was out to the garage to look for some RoundUp to spray the wild garlic in the front. One of my empty bird feeders fell off the bench and on top of a beautiful Cheese Dish (with dome) that used to be my Mam's. Unfortunately it cracked. It upset me a great deal as I've always loved it. But I didn't want to throw it out. It shouldn't have been out in the garage in the first place, but c'est la vie.

I had some primroses dotted around the garden still in their pots that I didn't get to plant. So I decided to use the dome as a planter. I think it looks good, And the air holes in the top are now good drainage holes underneath. Had to place it in a low dish to secure it, as the handle was preventing it from sitting flat on the table.

 

Time is ticking on

14 March 2017 20:41:31

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Not getting enough time in the garden these days. Got rid of my car last year when I had the knee done. With all the errands I need to do most days, an awful lot of time is taken up by walking everywhere. Still limping, and I can't walk very fast. But it's got to be done. And to be fair, the excercise is doing it the power of good. But getting something decent done in the garden would be most beneficial too. Not having a car is quite a good way to get to know your neighbours better, but some of them just don't know when to stop yapping.  LOL I mean, can they not see I've enough to be doing. Shouldn't give out really, as in the last few months I have managed to rekindle old friendships which is quite fun. I'll just have to master the art of time management.

Seeds have germinated in the grow rack, they'll be potted on in the next day or two.

Had the greenhouse door open all day and gave everything a good soak. I'm leaving the vent in the roof open permanently now that the weather has reliably warmed up. A small bit of tidying up and weeding got done today too. But that's about it.

Will set to cutting back my vine in the greenhouse tomorrow, following Monty's tip from Friday night. Most of my tender plants are coming out into the open too, weather permitting. In another week or so I should have all the older foliage and debris cleared away and hopefully I'll be in top form for the garden this year.

Is it not too soon for Fritillaria lutea flower buds?

Love this little Ribes which I hope to eventually plant out this year.

What ails the leaves of my Trillium?

 

Lovely Day

13 March 2017 21:48:13

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What a beautiful day today! Sunshine all the way up until about 4 o'clock. Just a few photos of a section of my Spring Border.

Can't resist

12 March 2017 19:36:37

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I got no time out in the garden today except to take a few photos. Rhododendron 'Christmas Cheer' is looking good still.

There was a lovely sunset. And the robin agreed.

Did a bit!

07 March 2017 18:35:22

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The forecast wasn't great for today. But as I sat looking out the window this morning waiting for the rain I persuaded myself to get out there before it actually came. Spent almost two hours tidying up. Got two of the ponds half-cleared out. Got to be careful with the Greenhouse Pond as that's where all the frogspawn is.

Found loads of stray plants of Carex pendula scattered around the Lower Pond. So they got taken up and are here for the taking. I'm sure I will find a few more each time I'm working at that area.

Transferred my Skunk Cabbage from the Cave Pond to the Upper Pond as the water level in the Cave Pond is dropping further. Mary (or Paddy) was saying that they're supposed to flower before the foliage appears. Mine has a bit of foliage. But not a sign of a flower yet. But at least it's still alive. It's now on a shelf at the edge where it can be observed more closely.

Trying to expose the brickwork of the Alpine Circle is proving to be more difficult than I had first thought. Lots of funny looking grass flowing over the edges, very fine and tough leaves that just can't be hand-pulled. So I'll have to wait for the soil to dry out in order for me to tackle the job on my backside. Or maybe the industrial strimmer.

Came in for a coffee, and the rain came. That was my stint outdoors for the day. Very dull and dreary day. But at least I made an attempt, and I feel much better for it.

Lovely to see the first lot of foliage from my Lupins already.

 

Hyacinths

07 March 2017 17:15:17

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I always plant out my prepared Hyacinths after flowering. I have them planted just at the hall door so visitors can take advantage of the intoxicating fragrance. And their numbers are growing nicely over the years.

Got the ones in the second photo for next to nothing, late in the season. They're opening up now on the kitchen windowsill. Ahhhhhh!  Just gorgeous!!!

Bursting forth!

02 March 2017 21:07:43

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I get so excited seeing bulbs pushing up through the soil at this time of year. In this case, it's Fritillaria lutea. Got them from Heritage Bulbs in autumn. So looking forward to these exotic blooms bursting into colour on the patio in summer.

Let them grow well!

02 March 2017 18:44:01

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Today I headed over to Homebase for some tomato seedlings. They usually have them for sale as early as March 1st. But no such luck. First delivery has been and gone. But I'm itching to get going now. I think it's the longest I have waited before sowing seeds of any description. Only two varieties available in seeds, so I got both - T.' Tumbling Tom Red' and 'Chipano F1'. Haven't tried 'Chipano' before, and haven't ever heard of them either.

Got the grow rack assembled once again, and spent a happy while sowing seeds in the kitchen. Not using the heated propagator yet, just the grow rack. Did no seeds last year because of the year that was in it.

As well as the tomatoes, I've sown Cucamelons, Chilipeppers 'Hungarian Hot Wax', Birdhouse Gourds, Peas ('Onward' main crop), Ipomea 'Heavenly Blue', Corncockle, Ricinus, and Sweet William 'Royal Wedding'. It was only after I had sown the peas that I had remembered they germinate well outdoors if I were to wait. But if they die off, I still have lots more for direct sowing.

I've also stocked up on compost and tomato feed.

Sweet pea 'Cupani' (grandiflora) are now soaking overnight for tomorrows sowing. It's reputedly the oldest recorded Sweet Pea (1699).

Good day, Bad evening

01 March 2017 19:50:31

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I made a decent attempt at more weeding today, mainly concentrating on the mini Jurassic Border beside the Cave Pond. It's in its 6th year now and the pond is still not finished. Steve had terrible back trouble last year, and he'll be working away from home now until Autumn, so I'll have to live with it as it is for a while longer. The leak is a bit more now than last year, but even though the water level has dropped dramatically, I found it difficult to get a foothold around the sides. The back is sore now as I was turning at an awkward angle. Nothing that a good nights' sleep won't cure.

Camera nearly ended up in the drink, then my phone and secateurs nearly fell in. I need a jacket with zip-up pockets. Or........I have a bumbag that I use on holidays. So I think I'll be using it as a hold-all in the garden from now on.

I had no intention of doing as much as I did. But I was in my own little world and was completely oblivious to the passage of time. It was only going to be a couple of minutes, but when my backside became rather cold, I headed in for the padded kneeler. Two and a half hours later, the damaged foliage of Hellebores had been cut back. Also a few grasses that have been lovely over the winter months got a hair cut too. Lovely seeing all the new growth underneath what was cut back. Irises are going to be a real treat this year.

Heavy rain now since about 5.00. But I had already packed up at that point.

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