Last Post 1175 days 19 hours ago
28 February 2010 18:50:03
When I joined this site last year, my side and front corner area were a disaster, as some of the albums will show. Some of my recent endeavors in getting the garden back into the shape, that one would like, is down to the interest and encouragement from all of you here on the site. Thank you all.
Up early again this morning, laid the last of the slabs, the slowest part of the last two days work was the cutting and fitting of the last few slabs. Moved the pots and compost in the new area, along with bags of leaf mould gathered last year, this is only for the short term, as once I get some wood pallets I will make proper compost area.
I then spread the last of the pebble in the side area. and a good clean and sweep, finished off two great days work. I am now really seeing the wood for the trees, and while a lot of work still to be done, the end of this serious hard slogging is now in sight. I have added some more photos to the, Work Area Nearly Finished Album, including a panoramic view of the side gravel area. Now where is that corkscrew...............
28 February 2010 07:43:13
In the photo, I have a little more fencing to put in around the tree. I am not into roses at all, but would like to change a little.
I came up with the idea of a climbing / rambling rose planted where the fence is still to be fitted. Not sure about the condition of the soil at the base of the tree, so am thinking of planting in a large pot.
Will these types of roses do ok in a large pot. I will need to fix wires to the tree of support. Can any one recommend a good type of rose that does not need to much attention. Thinking white or red could be good.
27 February 2010 22:40:42
Thoughts for the day
All garden is landscape-painting.
Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.
I am fonder of my garden for the trouble it gives me.
The best fertilizer for a piece of land is the footprints of its owner.
27 February 2010 20:50:43
Can anyone help with either of the following, please
Has anyone else lost Crocuses, this winter? I always had loads of them, have been looking and looking, have spotted two today. Normally they would be well ahead of the daffs. Or are they just very late.
I have a Virginia Creeper which was in a pot over the winter, never got it planted. When could I expect to see buds breaking. The buds that are there, don't look to good, me thinks.
27 February 2010 18:14:44
Up and at it early this morning, it was cold early, but turned into a lovely spring day. First was the wooden fence to close off the area around the ash tree, I had the frame in since last week, so this did not take long.
Leveled up the area with sand and gravel mix. Colin was surprised that both the ton of grave and pebble was been moved today, not impressed, but fair dues, he did stick at it.
The pebble area was easiest to finish, I had planned to have a step up to the work area behind the shed, had a frame made of the slabs to sit on, placed the slabs in place and it just looked all wrong, so out it came again. The effect of the pebble running all the way into the fence just make the whole area so much bigger.
Use a weed barrier under the slabs. Have 3/4 of the slabs laid, it is not 100% percent perfect, but as a work area for potting and storing pots and planters etc. it will be fine. If the bones allow, it should be finished tomorrow. Came straight in to watch the ruby, went to stand up just now, boy, am I feeling it.
This area gets fairly good sun, so am planning to use it for bringing on pots and planters till the are ready to put on show. Planning to have a small work bench for planting and potting on. If at all possible I love to be outside as much as possible.
27 February 2010 07:22:33
Don't know about you, but I am seriously starting to think about Global Warming. And I ask myself what global warming?
Then last night on the weather forecast, we were told. the coldest winter since 1963, eh.... yeah, think we noticed that, some parts of the country have had the sunniest winter on record, not in this area. Other areas have recorded 30% drop in rainfall this year, also, I think the majority of people would dispute that one. I am one of the strange folk, who like the cold. For me to complain about it, it has to be bad. Give us a break, please, Spring and a little rise in tempeture is all we need to really get things going.
Am I living in the same country, or the same planet, global warming my a----
Now that's off my chest, off to get lots done, have a good day, enjoy.
PS 1.30 pm Someone must have read my journal, it is a great day out there, lovely and mild, sun, light wind. Maybe, just maybe..................
24 February 2010 22:27:06
Got home from work this evening, and in the driveway was a ton bag of sand and gravel mix, which will be used to level the work area at the back of the shed, before the slabs are laid. Also there was a ton bag of pebble, to finish off the side gravel area. It will be great to have these two areas off the list.
All going well the following weekend I hope to get the first raised bed sorted out. After that, I am planning to just bring the Front Corner area forward as needed, a shrub and mixed bed along the length of the fence, a new section of path has been requested also, so her who must be ..... and all that. No just joking, this path has been talked about for a long time.
Colin was given an advance of money Christmas, so it is pay back time. " Not to early on Saturday morning " I was told. HeHe :-))
24 February 2010 20:22:42
I picked up one of the coldframes in Aldi last week. It is quite good for the money. If anyone got one I would recommend a coat of Teak Oil, or something like it, before you put it together and another when it is assembled. Will not take long, but time really well spent, in the long run.
23 February 2010 20:13:27
Had an unexpected day at home today, Maria and Aoife very sick with stomach bug all night. Took today as a Holiday, once they were asleep again, I went into the shed and started some seed sowing, did not sow to much, but boy did I enjoy myself. It was the most relaxing thing I have done in along time. It was also a perfect chance to hi-jack some window cill space.
I sowed, Mangetout, Lambs Lattuce, Tomato ‘Garden Pearl' and ‘ Tumbling Tom Red', Chilli Pepper and some Parsley.
On the flower front, Squirrel Grass, Poppy ‘Cherry Glow', Sunflower ‘Evening Sun', Echinacea, and a mystery seed, won in one of Deborah's quizzes.
The other salad I planted outdoors in a planter, has finally sprouted, despite the weather conditions, which was great to see.
The patients slept most of the day, which will do them great.
23 February 2010 18:51:58
Snowdrops gone walkabout
One bulb I dont have a lot of is snowdrops, but was really looking foreward to seeing then. Sadly there is only a fraction of them popping up. Don't know where they are but with the weather the way it is, who could blame them for going walkabout.......
23 February 2010 16:31:53
Some time back, an entry was made on the use of toilet roll holders as pots for sowing peas, due to them liking to have a long root prior to planting out. Someone else commented that they disintegrated from the watering.
Today I sowed a few mangetout, using toilet rolls and rolls from kitchen roll. I wartered them after sowing, and just out in the shed a little while ago. The toilet rolls are soaked all the way trough, whereas the kitchen rolls are showing only the smallest wet areas. Maybe it is a stronger cardboard, that will last longer till planting out.
Hope this is of some use.
21 February 2010 20:08:23
Thoughts for the day
Some more words of wisdom from my book,
Good pruning is invisible. It looks as if everything grew to the right size and stopped.
Throw all preconceived notions out of the window, plant widly, laugh at failures, and smugly savour the successes.
A good gardener alwaysplants three seeds, one for the grubs, one for the weather, and one for himself.
Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination.
20 February 2010 21:00:31
The new camera I got has a setting that allows you take a panoramc shot of an area. I just posted a photo of the Front Corner area taken from where the work area at the shed will be, it gives an idea of the shape of this area. There is a small area to the right of the photo missing.
20 February 2010 20:26:31
Ever since Chillipepper (Dave) put me wise to the €2 shop I have been keeping an eye on them. Today I picked up 5 planters for my salad collection, a pack of peat pots for some onion sets, two woven wicker hanging baskets, two lots of summer bulbs and a Hollyhock 'chocolate' and some mixed lupins. All for the sum of €20. The planters are ideal size for window cills, ehh will have to work on the window cill end of things. Great deal.
19 February 2010 15:53:18
Trooping the colour
It amazes me how quickly the spring bulbs appear. These were just above the ground on Wednesday morning. They were in full colour in the sun this morning.
19 February 2010 15:29:25
Under control at last
As of today, I can't call this are the wilderness any more, as the picture shows, the area is well cleared now. It is the Front Corner. While there is still a lot to do, it is now at the stage that I can keep it well under control.
It was really cold when I started this morning, but once well wrapped up, it was fine. Cleared the last of all the raked grass and crap. It needs to be done again, but the ground was just frozen solid.
Went on to cut the Leylandi hedge, and tidied up. at the back of the shed where work area is going, I got the frame in for a short section of fence that is going to close off an area around the Ash tree.
Hope to get the fence in next weekend as I am on for 7 days now. The area will be leveled and the slabs laid. It will be great to have an area for storing pots, compost etc. Hope to get some pallets to build a bench for planting pots etc.
What was really noticeable today, was the height the Sun got to, it was reaching areas of the garden where it has not been shinning for some time.
PS I added two photos of the are in Before / After album
19 February 2010 07:41:14
By God it is cold out there, the place is white out there. Am working for the next seven days, so really want to get finished on the wilderness, will see what weather has to say about my plans. My new camera arrived last evening, its amazing what a polite by stern phone call can do. They dealt with the wrong person thinking I would wait 6 weeks to see if the lost package showed up, while they had my money. It will take getting used to, nearly talks to you. So hopefully some better photos on the way.
Now where's my hat, are mad or what, there are three comatose bodies upstairs........ ah well, onwards and upwards.
18 February 2010 20:17:52
Today was spent in the wilderness, I am going to call this area something else soon, because with a few hours tomorrow, all the really heavy clearing will be finished.
The amount of grass that is coming up as I rake is unreal, think this down to the length it was as it died down. Though work but worth the effort, if only the weeds came up as easy. Will have to reseed the grass in time. A war is about to brake out against the brambles, they are everywhere, but at least they can be seen and dealt with as the show themselves.
I also found a Weigela that has gotten so big the branches were in contact with the ground. They have self rooted and beginning to sprout along the lengths. So if anyone wants a Weigela (think it's pink), let me know.
Took some time out for Aldi, picked up a cold frame, seed propagators, and a small Tamarisk for €1.29, happy with that.
Also spent some time in front garden planting things I had split and plants that were passed on from friends here. As I was planting them, I was thinking how great this method of passing plants on really is. Planted up some pots at the front door to finish off the day.
18 February 2010 19:47:03
I was really worried about my Fuchsias, after the cold weather, not looking at healthty. But I spotted something today that gives me some hope. Last Summer I picked up a tiny litttle Fuchsia, grows max of 8'' a real beauty. It was in a small planter, all winter. Today I spotted it covered in tiny buds, if this little one pulled through, then hope springs eternal......
18 February 2010 08:00:41
Snow Night Photos and Cyclamen
I know it's late, but I never posted these photos, and thought there were interesting. On an other point, I have Cyclamen in pots and beds, they suffered badly with the snow and ice, not looking the best. Is there a chance they might flower again or are the done flowering?
17 February 2010 16:42:17
Wilderness, getting smaller, slowly !!!!
Only had a few hours in the garden today. Was very pleased with my new pot find, it took longer to clean the pot than it did to plant it up. My Photinia ‘red robin' was covered in brown spots on the leaves, so a really hard prune was given, this will also bring on plenty of new red growth. I love the new growth always looks fab with the sun shining on it.
A few hours were then spent in the ‘wilderness', may have to change the name soon as the clearing is nearly finished. At the far corner is a 12 x 12 mound of earth from when we did the extension. I cut back brambles and some shrubs that had grown wild.
Once I get this area cleared, I am going to cover it with black plastic to kill everything off. How long will the plastic need to stay in place? I you have used this method I would love to hear from you on it.
I don't know what has happened my crocuses, only one or two up, hardly the cold, mystery to me. Then lost about half an hour watching the birds, they really are a distraction, but great fun.
The new Grizelinea hedging at the side gravel area is show new buds. It was a cold but great day to be in the garden, difference between the sunny and shaded areas was vast. Off out for a meal tonight, 25 years of married something or other..... Aoife gave us a present of a token for our local Chinese, of course the kids are coming as well. Maybe a method to her thinking there J Will get some more done tomorrow.
17 February 2010 15:33:33
Looks the part
I was out and about this morning a few things to be done. Passed a skip on the road, sitting on top was the pot in the photo, strange, but when I got home it was in the boot of the car. The man filling the skip said there were 5/6 at the bottom of the rubbish, they stayed there. A little time cleaning, and it looks grand.
Planted it with Crocasmia Lucifer (Myrtle) 4 corms only, as a back drop. A bargin €5 Acer (Jacinta), Polemonium (Jacobs Ladder), and some Campanula. Some summer bedding in time and it should look great.
16 February 2010 22:00:42
I have three small wall mounted terracotta planters. I want to plant something in them, but I need some ideas of a plant that will do well in a south facing planter, that will dry out from time to time. Any suggestions...........
16 February 2010 21:42:13
This sounds as if I know what I am talking about, but what the heck......
I have been reading the book I got a Christmas on veg growing, really interesting. I am really having to say stop, wait, a little at a time Fran, a few things I thought you might be interested in are,
Sweet potatoes aren't actually potatoes at all. They are in fact related to Bindweed, the mortal enemy of every gardener.
If you are interested in growing onions, and are short of space, sets can be planted and grown in groups of four.
There is a type of onion called Welsh Onion. They grow 18 inches tall and grow in clumps like spring onoins. They don't form bulbs at the base, they are grown for the green stems. Sow seeds in spring, for autumn use, it surives the winter and continues cropping for at least 2/3 years.
Opinions welcome from the real experts.
15 February 2010 21:34:38
Perennials are the ones that grow like weeds, biannuals are the ones that die this year instead of next and hardy annuals are the ones that never come up at all.
The best time to take cuttings is when no one is looking.
A man should never plant a garden larger than his partner can take care of.
14 February 2010 20:04:45
After all the watching, wondering, are they ok, will I keep them or let them go? It all worked out perfect, look at what showed itself on just the right day. The boy earned brownie points today :-)
13 February 2010 22:11:39
This is my favourite spot in my garden. The back garden is a triangular shape. This corner was a little awkward to do any thing with, due to a mass of large roots from the Silver Birch. So I came up with the small deck area, I raised the level of the deck to have steps up to the deck, just to be different. This area gets the very first of the Sun on a Summers morning. It is a great area to have an early cup of tea and clear the mind of everything, plan my day, or just read a paper or book. It is my area. What is your favourite area in you garden?
13 February 2010 20:46:00
A lot of us have had frost damage to our terracotta pots this Winter. I was thinking about this recently, and I am going to try something with some new pots I have. In another life I was involved in the decorating trade for years.
There is a product we used for sealing porous surfaces, it is a water based clear plastic coating. Terracotta is porous, so if I can seal the inside of the pots this will help with the problem of these pots drying out in the Summer to quickly, it may also help with moisture getting into the Terracotta, and then freezing and expending causing some of the damage.
I also think some of this damage was caused the extreme low temperatures freezing and expanding the soil, hence splitting the pot completely. Not a lot can be done about that. The other thing I need to check is, if this coating will harm the plants, this is down to a test on a few pots. Worth a try I think, will keep you posted.
13 February 2010 19:57:46
I was working today, and passed a book shop in town that was closing down, not much discount on gardening books. I did buy one book. ' A Collection of Gardening Wisdom' it is full of quotes and words of wisdom taken from everything from the Bible to comments made my Alan Tichmarsh, most of the names I have never heard of but it will put a little colour and class into my journals. These are the first one that caught my eye.
'There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of any winter. One is the January thaw, The other is the seed catalogues' Hal Borland
'Designing a garden is the beginning of a series of mistakes' Mirabel Osler
Get used to these popping up from now on, hope they give thought and a laugh along the way.
12 February 2010 22:51:00
My favorite annual is the great Lobelia, it just provides colour all Summer long, and needs little care, this is the best photo I have.
12 February 2010 21:18:04
I know some of you bought these berries last year. Like myself, there was some concern about them during the cold spell. Today I checked mine, it is covered with fresh green buds just breaking out, hope yours are ok, also. Mine is in the shed over the winter, not sure if I would leave it out all winter.
12 February 2010 20:03:01
Never got to Johnstown today. We were expecting a delivery by DHL, package arrived, not for me, was due to go to UCD, my delivery is lost, no body knows where it is really p.... off. The attitude of some people is unreal.
Anyway, my back was at me a little this morning, decided not to do any of the work area. Cut the rest of the hedge, cleared all cuttings etc. Another couple of days and area will be cut and cleared back. Great to get it that far, will be easy to keep from now on, can sort out the rest in time. Hope to level the work area next week when off again.
Then when on to a small bed beside the Decking, split a few plants moved a few around, looking good.
Had a really good look at all my Fuchsias, I don't think there is much life there, time will tell. One great surprise was that one of my Cuphea is showing buds. This one of my favourite plants, thanks to Headgardener, I now know it is a tender plant from Mexico, I have it for years, but this is the worst winter it ever had to get through, and it has not let me down, really trilled on that one.
Jacinta was here on Sunday, and most generously of her, she gave me some seed potatoes. They are in the utility room chitting for a while. Maria hardly past a comment on them, this lady just might be for turning, little by little just might do it. I was even told today that the Amaryllis was going to look good. Hope springs......
12 February 2010 08:27:27
And the winner is.......
One Amaryllis, is about to flower, three blooms and maybe a fourth one there as well. The one on the left is the one I had given up on, it has now passed out the one on the right, which has stopped growing for the last week or so. Amaryllis the flower sent to test us poor gardeners, Can't wait for the bloom to open, think it's pink, once no girlie smell moody teenager will be happy.
11 February 2010 19:50:17
These are large buckets that Maria brought home from her work place. There was some building work done and these were left behind, I plan to take the handles, and stickers off, a good wash and clean, holes drilled for drainage and three matching planters for free.
With trailing plants coming over the edges, who will know the difference. Happy with these, watch this space to see how they finish up.
11 February 2010 19:38:38
First area cleared, veg here we come.
Had got myself into full work mode for today. The first task was shift all rubbish from the shed revamp, a friend allowed me use the skip he has for a building job, great to get rid of it so easy.
Then on levelling leveling the work area behind the shed. Have it about half done. Then totally cleared and raked the first section of the wilderness. I hope to get a rotavator in next week to get the first Veg bed ready.
After that, spent some time cutting back the section of hedge that was not completed last year. This had to be done using a loppers, as the hedge trimmer would not deal with some of branches. Really pleased with what has done today. Hope to finish levelling the work area tomorrow, all going well.
11 February 2010 16:06:05
It was one great Spring day to be in the garden, cold early on, but as the sun rose so did the heat, good lot done, will post full journal later. While having a coffee, I took some photos, this one I took by lying on the decking, the poor girl next door is still wondering about the guy she lives beside. hehe.
10 February 2010 21:21:52
Thursday project, all going well
I go to work on the Dart each day. The mornings have been showing a slight improvement in brightening up, lately. But what a difference to day, big improvement in brightness level, and fist signs of a red sky coloured by the rising Sun, that is a first since last year, great to see it.
It was a cold but truly beautiful day. I am working the weekend, so am off till then. Plans are set to get stuck into the wilderness tomorrow. I plan to cut and clear as much as possible. Then hope to get a rotavator in next week to create a veg area sorted, This bed will be about 30' x 4'
Then at the end of the year will turn it into a raised bed. Don't have the time now, as main tasks in sight are to get this area sorted and the work area behind the shed finished, along with keeping all else looking good.
Then Friday, a little me time, in Johnstown garden centre is on the cards.
09 February 2010 21:14:24
Thank you to everyone who has sent me seeds. In an effort to get organised and to learn as I go, last night I opened an Excel Spread Sheet. I am going to list the seeds I have, who I got them from, when I sowed them, and so on.
This in turn will help me keep a record as I go along, teach me about germinating times etc. And finally improve my basic computer skills. That's not bad all that learning, enjoyment and fun all rolled into one.
Also starting to keep a written garden diary, maybe I'm ready to be planted in the ground as well. As Colin said when asking me what I was writing in the diary last night, " sad or what" ?
09 February 2010 20:53:29
I got carried away a few weeks ago with all the talk of sowing seeds etc. i sowed a few sweet pea, a few cherry toms, these were for inside growing to have toms as early as possible and a few chillies. One sweet pea and one tom have germinated, the reason possibly is I used compost that was in a bag in the garden, for some time. Maybe it was not the freshest if you know what I mean.
So be carefull to use fresh compost, good luck.
08 February 2010 22:23:06
Jacinta and Steve came over yesterday, and as you will have read in Granny's' Journal a great day was had by all. But boy do I have a lot to learn. As we walked around the garden, Jacinta asked about this plant and that plant, oh your ------- looks great, is that a ------.
I was left saying, eh.... what, eh..... don't know, eh...... Jacinta I haven't a clue. The way the Latin names roll off this Lady's' tongue is unreal. An expert and true plant lover if ever. Great day.
Says a lot for us gardeners, only meet someone a couple of times, and feeling so relaxed and as if you have known them for years. As I said to Steve said at one point, Chelsea will never be the same again, when this expert gets in those gates.
08 February 2010 22:07:32
Cloncaw, I picked up a book some time ago on planters and containers. I saw this one and thought of you and the wedding coming up.
The planter contains Fushsia 'Happy Wedding Day', Busy Lizzies 'Impatiens' and 'White Lace - Cap Hydrangeas'
It looks great, just simple green and white, hope picture shows it ok.
07 February 2010 08:01:18
Better than it was, believe me......
Due to a family get together, only had the morning in the garden. Decided to work on the wilderness area. My plans for working in this area are way behind due to the frost and snow.
First checked the onion sets Jacinta gave me, just first signs of growth, made my day to see it. Some of the sets had pushed themselves up, tested to see if rooting and yes they are, so back down they went. (Thanks for that tip John) Even spotted one that some MUGGINS had planted upside down, so it got the full 360.
Then uncovered the granite I have promised Clara, it was cover with grass and weeds, did not take as long as expected. I had three robins for company here, they won't need to eat for days after yesterday's feast.
Then moved on to the area along the boundary close to what will be my work area behind the shed. Badly effected by brambles and weeds. Cleared a good bit of it, tidied up a few shrubs in the area. I now have a clear area to work on as this area needs the level of the soil increased. Also took out old fence posts and wires from the old railway line, still one left, that will have to be cut out, the concrete base can stay!! Discovered several Kniphofia (red hot poker) plants, which was a great find. The photo may not look it, but a lot of work was done in the time I had.
06 February 2010 14:20:59
Not looking to bad
This is my Rhodochiton, that I think I can say has survived the winter. There are signs of new growth, which I'm really pleased about, there is no way that it would have survived if I had left it out, fleece would not have saved it.
Another couple of weeks and I plan to give it a light feed. Don't Know why, but only got a small amount of seed pods a few weeks ago. They are drying at the moment, so if anyone wants any give me a shout.
06 February 2010 14:09:57
Clara, better late than never. I finally got around to uncovering the granite for you today. There is appox 50\60 pieces, all different sizes. talk soon about getting it to you.
06 February 2010 14:04:33
As usual, within minutes of starting work in the garden this morning the robin was down to take part in the feast of bugs etc that I was disturbing. After twenty minutes, I had three of them all around me. Really does you good to see them so close and been so cheeky. This is the best shot I could take, was trying to take one of them all, to no advail.
06 February 2010 07:36:44
Late starter, 'Who me, never'
As you may know I have been watching my 3 Amarylis for weeks now. One brother about to bloom, one brother sHowing green tips for two weeks now, but nothing else. Then the third one I had given up on, looked at it yesterday morning, nothing. The outside of the bulb was getting browner while the others have a bit of colour in them, it was going out today, I decided. Then this is what greeted me this morning, nearly an inch of flower bud and leaf. Does nature enjoy, messing with us to show us how little we know.
04 February 2010 20:24:05
New one on me,
Got in from work an hour ago, shock horror!!!!!!!!! The Hyacinths that Rachel gave me, of which, one had just come into full bloom yesterday, was missing, then I saw it sitting in a small vase. When Maria came home, it was leaning fully over nearly touching the table. Maria cut it, when i looked closer there is a second bloom coming up along side the stem that Maria had cut. I never saw this before, have seen new blooms coming along side the main flower which was from a new bulb, but never from the same bulb.
03 February 2010 22:17:09
Spider offer me some tomato seeds that he was not using, they arrived in the post yesterday. Thanks Sean. Sean tried the postal system that An Post are using just for garden.ie members. Sadly it seems there are a few blips along the way. My seeds arrived some 14/15 days after been posted.
An Post say they don't know what happened. Their new postal service for seeds for garden.ie members guarantees that all seeds that are posted, will be full plants when they arrive, and as the weather improves some may even be bearing fruit. Now is that a service or what......