Last Post 1387 days 6 hours ago
31 July 2009 20:41:19
Lilies in the wind
Eventually the lilies have flowered but the wind and rain today is giving everything a battering. There was a brief break in the rain this evening so I managed to get a couple of photos of it in case it doesn't survive - hopefully it will. Evening for sitting in and reading Gardeners World and planning for when the weather is better.
31 July 2009 14:46:35
New Line in Garden Wear at Lidl
Well obviously Chillipeppers sugestion that I should need to put one of the wet suits I intended to buy in Lidl for the boys to go clearing the pond has started a new fashion. Lidl in Armagh and Monaghan are totally cleared out of full piece wet suits and flippers. Perhaps the flippers are a solution to not growing web feet as in Ciggies journal the other day. Anyway not a day for the garden here as the rain is tumbling down thank goodness I have a roof over my head to teach riding in today.
The vision of the Garden club members in wet suits, flippers and even snorkels in some areas would certainly be worth seeing. Hope the rain stops soon - otherwise Lidl might really start marketing items displayed for gardening.
31 July 2009 00:52:57
Asiatic Lily Vesuvius
Managed to get about 45mins in the garden late this afternoon, my goodness sun was shining very hot 22 C . Watered pots at the back door and veg in patio bags - potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and salad. Planted out the 3 Asiatic Lily in the beds along the front of the house looks good with the robina as a backdrop. Also lifted saxifraga growing in the gravel and a few other escapees from the beds, planted into a seed tray until I have time to find them a permanent home. Hopefully bit more time to-morrow in the garden weather permitting but first off to see can I get some wet suits in Lidl Armagh so as the boys can clear the evasive oxygenator weed that a friend gave me when we made the pond wish I had never thrown it in. New album for Plants in Waiting.
30 July 2009 00:46:34
L D Braithwaite
Not much garden time the last few days but on the way back from the Pony Club championships stopped in Cavan at Woodies to get some crates to put the recently potted up lavender and lupins in. Job done once I returned home, quick tour of the beds around the house and a few weeds pulled and a few photos taken the red rose L D Braithwaite is looks just like velvet, I had planted what I thought was two the same but one is pink so I think it was wrongly labeled they are both David Austin roses. Will have to wait and see if what the others are what they are labeled. Peeked over the kitchen garden fene and everything seems to be flying along, hope weather at the weekend is good enough to get some more work carried out. Still have to find the time to wander round and make notes on what needs to change in the autumn.
27 July 2009 13:12:02
Strutting his stuff
Preparing lunch and just looked out the window and there strutting his stuff was Jeremy Herron he's named after someone we know. Normally on the other side of the pond or hard to get photos of as soon as you open the door he's up up and away. These shots taken through the patio doors- good this new camera.
Haven't done any gardening yet just housework but new potatoes on for lunch from the potato bags.
Photos of heron up on wildlife along with the waterhen also taken through the glass.
27 July 2009 07:32:55
Looking Through My Window Pane
Fire alarm at the indoor arena went off so had to go down to check it out- must have been set off by dust- no fire thank goodness. Then the lap top lured me over rather than going back to bed, had to have a look see at who was doing what. There certainly some night owls out there looking at the journal times.Ciggies journal had an option to emigrate but I'm not sure where you'd not have monsoons or drought- the saying far away fields look green isn't always true. My son James is on a working holiday in Vancouver he sent a message that they had spectacular thunder & lightening storms but the rain reminded him of Ireland so that was good. Keeping my fingers crossed the day will pick up although it's workable here at the moment.
26 July 2009 21:41:39
Aster Starlight Scarlet by the back door
Even though weather was changable I still managed to get about 8 hours tidying up, weeding, deadheading and planting out. The wind was very gusty this morning but conditions were good enough to work outdoors. First stop was the bed to the NW of the house, this bed actually faces south and was getting full blast of the wind. The remaining foxgloves were shortened down any noticable weeds removed and the standard rose deadheaded quite a job due to the hundreds of tiny buds ready to open as it moved fiercely in the wind. The lower section weeds removed geraniums deadheaded and then out hopped the frog- how I wished I had the camera with me. The Asters Starlight Scarlet found new homes 2 in the pots by the back door and one in a chimney pot by the patio door from the kitchen to the terrace, the pink really works well with the geraniums. After lunch it was time to tackle tying in the clematis and roses by the steps at the back door. Fine wire found and fixed around the beams and then plants tied in the clematis also got a bit of a trim and climbing roses out of reach unless on a step ladder were deadheaded, most of this time I was lucky that the rain was blowing away from were I worked under the porch. Rain abated next task was to prick out the lupins and lavender in the seed trays. It was a case of recycle and reuse as pots in the shed were washed and a large plastic dog bed no longer used became a very useful potting tray on a table by the wall. In the middle of this I dodged the showers and then the familar question from Conor "Mum are you busy? Can you run us and our gear to play at a birthday party?"Back to pricking out in the end I finished up with 38 lupins and 60 lavender - now it's wait and see if they all survive. Hopefully they will and the lavender will be planted as a hedge to edge the terrace bed. Time for a bit of cooking so it was again forage into the a potato bag to find some new potatoes. I really had forgotten just how tasty new potatoes freshly picked taste, cann't wait to have more veg coming straight from the kitchen garden.
Loaded up new photos while cooking dinner then back outside to tidy up the beds along the front of the house,rain stopped work but cann't believe I started this morning just after 10 and finally came in just before 9pm. There are a number of plants including veberna bonsaris and saxifraga growing in the gravel along the front and side of the house hopefully if weather is fine tomorrow I'm going to lift them and pot up. Spottted a geranium growing in the gravel below the NW bed it's also going to be potted up. Notebook will be out to morrow also to decide what is in need of moving to a new home. This garden is certainly time consuming but well worth it.
25 July 2009 23:00:44
Ducks on the move
This is 2nd time around in posting this up.
Well the weather up here has been fine today, finished teaching early so decided to take a trip to B&Q in Craigavon, as I drove up the road I was in and out of rain but nothing major. As I was driving I thought about how we're never happy with the weather- too wet,too cold, too hot,too dry lots of other's would appreciate our rainfall that keeps Ireland so green. In 1978 my late parents decided to move to the Isle of Wight for a better climate - beautiful island but burnt,dry and dusty. I always looked forward to returning home to soft green countryside a patchwork of green.
Anyway at B&Q not only did I get items on my shopping list the plant area lured me in and I rescued some plants marked down to half price,3 large pots of liatris,a penstenom and 3 chocolate cosmos all find new homes in the bed on the south of the house. The trolley also lured gentian saxosa and septemfida, verbena rigida also planted out along with anemones that I had planted into a seed tray earlier. Plants waiting to find new homes are Aster Starlight Scarlet and Asiatic Lillies Vesuvius.
To-morrow I was considering visiting gardens but now think weather permitting I'm going to finish the planting pot up the lupins and lavender I sowed earlier in seed trays have a general tidy up removing foxgloves etc. past their best. Any weeds will also meet their end to join the ones removed this evening.
Over 3 hours in the garden from 5:30 to 8:30 reminded me of a quote I had read in an article on Chivel Farm garden in the English Garden magazine by it's owner:-
"Gardening is more than creating something beautiful, when you garden you forget about everything else. You go back to things that are essential, such as planting seeds and watching the seasons change. In such a sophisticated world I think it's important to reconnect with nature"
One of the other things she recommended was to take a walk around the garden with a notebook and note what needs to be moved to another location.
23 July 2009 16:07:57
Busy Bee on Escallonia
Uploaded more photos from the garden and put in some of the busy bees in our garden. The weather has detoriated from the sun this morning but between the showers have weeded the bed along the terrace and deadheaded the roses while lunch was cooking. Decided this morning to see what the potatoes in the potato planters were like, bit disappointed with the quanity but they were delicious also disappointed with the carrots from the bags as well couldn't believe they were really so baby. Anyone any pointers on what to do to improve them.
The bed by the terrace the seeds I sowed are coming on well will be interested to see what actually appears as I sowed a packet of mixed perennials. Need to start thinking of planting to try a maximise garden impact for Caroline's wedding next June. On a count down it's less than 11months to go and It would be fantastic to have the garden looking more established for photos.
Digital camera is brilliant shouldn't have waited so long before buying one, am trying to decide if Sunday is a day spent at home in the garden or should I go visiting garden's as there is no competition this weekend. I am considering going to Mullingar to Belvedere as it looks interesting and I couldn't make last Saturday or possibly Tullynally.
21 July 2009 17:00:36
Vision of Blues
Well this is my 3rd time trying to upload this page. Tried out digital photos great no more waiting around and uploaded straight away- bit slow but that's mobile broadband no land broadband here yet. I'm going to have great fun with the camera both in the garden and for horsey or sporting shots.
Lots of people that I met at the Pony Club competition this morning complimented me on our garden, I'm lucky that my husband does stick in and do the hard landscaping and the whole area is so beautiful.
New photos up in Digital Album July 09. Anyway have to go and teach now so hopes this works it's been written different each time.
21 July 2009 02:28:14
Lillies in east bed
Oh to have broadband. I don't know what gremlind were causing problems but to up load photos became a major task. Scaning took a short while but then every time I uploaded photos the whole thing closed down and I lost what I had done. This really is becoming an addiction and I daren't look to see who's doing what.
New photos in album View from top of farm also in Garden July o9 plus what was put up on Monday evening. Off to a Pony club competition so no gardening likely to- morrow.
Next photos hopefully will be with new camera.
20 July 2009 23:36:31
Flying the Elephant Trap Cloncaw House as a back drop
Well we've survived the 2nd weekend of hosting eventing competitions. The weather both Sundays was unbelievable. On Tuesday and Thursday last it looked as though the event on the 20th wouldn't take place due to the amount of water lying on the fields and events around the country were being cancelled or postponed due to ground conditions. It was decided to keep working as though the event would run and the weather picked up. To wake up on Sunday to sunshine was a plus and bar a skiff of rain around 1pm the day was ideal for horse trials sun and a breeze. A number of parents commented on the garden as some of the dressage was held in the paddock in front of the house and the cross country is run around the farm with spectacular views from the top of the drumlin hills and then down to cross in front of the house, photos posted up in the Cloncaw House Competition Album. There are new photos in the Wildlife Album as well. Hope to scan in more photos from the garden hope that from now on will be able to upload photos easier as I went shopping for a digital camera today just have to read up how to use it.
18 July 2009 09:58:37
The garden and pond April 08
Discovered 4 photos taken April 2008 which are posted in The Beginnings.
18 July 2009 08:24:10
A Lucky Escape is what the garden had, somehow the horses got out of their field and luckily didn't go on the rampage eating trees and pulling out plants. David our 2nd son was coming home from a party and had forgotten his key, if he'd had it with him he would never have heard the horses rattling around at the stables.Luckily the ground is reasonably dry and although there's hoofprints on the lawns no real damage done. I did think I heard horses last night but thought I was dreaming and I didn't get up to look. Priority will be to get gates up on the entrance from the stables carpark and off the lane as I'd be devestated if I wook up to find the garden destroyed. Possible temporary measure is an electrified spring.
Well off to work now, have to finish organising event tomorrow, weather overcast but dry.
17 July 2009 22:26:29
Finished up work earlier this evening and spent the time in the Kitchen Garden weeding and thinning out the turnips and swedes. Ridged up the potatoes and directed the peas on up the supports. Planted some more carrots. While I was there the swallows were swooping down across the bed across the back of the house, don't know if the photos will come out. I also disturbed a frog and hope that this photo also is good enough to use he's sitting on the path. Connie came and mooched around a bit but then went back to the house returned before I finished think she knows I was cross yesterday when she went after the ducks.
One job that needs done this autumn is to make another bed in the Kitchen Garden for the fruit bushes, these were planted before the house was built in a raised bed by the hedge but really the raspberries and the gooseberry bushes need to move. I just have to get Johnny convinced that this needs to be done.Where this bed is now should be a good place to site a glass house or possibly a polytunnel for salads and also raising new plants. Have to keep sowing the idea and hopefully it will happen. Well a couple of hours in the garden today is good going for me at the moment. The raspberries I picked were certainly much better than shop bought ones although the heavy rain the last few days didn't help them. In the hedge near the fruit bed is a magnificent display of wild blackberries so hopefully some of them will end up in jam and apple and blackberry pie- cann't wait.
Definitely have to get a digital camera to be able to load photos up quicker.
17 July 2009 10:00:13
View from top of the farm to the NW
I'm sitting at the table in the kitchen looking out across the garden and the pond towards the south east, so quiet and peaceful except for the rustle of leaves and birds chirping. This is drumlin country and the views from the hill tops are spectacular. The mother duck and her babes were out on the pond this morning so Connie didn't find the babes when swimming around the pond yesterday, moorhens also out this morning. For the last 2 years the swallows nested up in the eves of the house but not this year they are in the sheds at the farmyard but this morning a number of them were swooping down across the back of the house and terrace have to try to get some photos of them. Johnny commented on how much wildlife is coming into the garden will add photos as I get them to Wildlife at Cloncaw. Anyway time to get going to organise for the event on Sunday hope I'll have some time to spare later and that sun will still be shining.
16 July 2009 23:50:57
View towards Glaslough from the garden
Eventually the rain stopped and it was a beautiful summer evening but I was indoors teaching, by the time I finished it was too late to spend any more time in the garden. Standing in the centre of the indoor arena I have a wonderful view out over the fields and garden to the village beyond. Sometimes just being able to take in this view helps keep me calm when things are going a bit pear shaped with horse and rider. Makes me appreciate how lucky I am to live in this hidden corner of Ireland.
The photo is the view to the village from the garden but it's pretty much the same from the indoor arena across the east bed
16 July 2009 18:33:53
Did manage to get a few minutes in the kitchen garden after lunch, promising day sun shining things looked positive then about 4pm started the rain which eventually became torrential has eased off a bit now. Caroline mowed the front lawn this morning for me and has just phoned looking for the mower to be taken to her house in Monaghan apparently no rain at all 6 miles away. Anyway no chane of doing anything more in the kitchen garden this evening, must try and find out what has burrowed into the side of the potato ridge too much of a hole for a rabbit I think. While I was weeding Connie one of my springers decided to go mooching round the pond as normal she went in swimming trying to find the moorhens, I'm assuming the duck is nesting in the reeds on the east side of the pond because mother duck sort of flapped off drawing Connie away. Hope Connie doesn't manage to find the ducklings have to try and discourage her from swimming.
15 July 2009 23:30:23
Mallow in full bloom before the storm
The amount of rain that fell yesterday afternoon has left the competition this Sunday in jeopardy, and meant that garden time yesterday was nil.
One of the ducks was having a good old splash at the edge of the pond but by the time I got the camera out the duck was gone into the reeds. While waiting to see if it appeared back I managed to get about 10 minutes weeding done before there was the familar request what time are you teaching and will you leave me to Scotstown.
While away delivering Conor the rain started again so no further weeding done before teaching. But it was a beautiful evening sun again so after finishing work time to make a tour into the garden deadhead the roses who have suffered along with the mallow that has sort of drooped towards the ground hope it picks up again if the weather improves. The rain has caused the standard rose to bend due to the weight of the flowers so a few minutes spent removing flowers past their best. The Chocolate Comos eventually found a new home in the bed edging the terrace, then on to deadhead the climbing rose on the arch and as I moved on to the roses on the east side of the house the ducks landed but as I moved on along the gravel they took off, must get some food to try and encourage them to stay.
Tomorrow busy day teaching but hope to get some time in the kitchen garden, keeping my fingers crossed that the rain stays away.
13 July 2009 18:49:01
My youngest music mad son has just returned from Oxygen, and that's what some of his clothes look as though they could do with the amount of mud on them. Oh to be that age again, anyway the washing machines on and it's steadily raining so between everything I've had to do today there's no gardening today. Took more photos last night and today of the garden and the wildlife should be up later
12 July 2009 23:24:03
Heron stalking by the pond
Well not quite but nearly. With a major competition to run it was an early start as the rain on Saturday evening meant there was still things to be finished for the start of competition at 10am. The weather was mizzly and although we had heavy rain on Saturday evening the ground for the competition was in good shape. As I drove round collecting score sheets it gave me opportunties to view the garden from outside in, the weather was fantastic sun and more sun and from what I could gather we were very lucky, Competition finished up and then as the evening was fine time to garden. Watering pots and containers started the wind down to a stressful day. Then I decided to weed out the bed on the SE side the main part took little work but those pesky rabbits are going to have to be dealt. Then time to tackle the bed edging the terrace that I had sowed with Love in a Mist and mixed perennials. The recent rain had certainly caused the weeds to overpower the seedlings, bit of guessing as to what to leave bit more to finish tomorrow. Then at about 10:30 in landed the ducks they stayed for a few minutes then when I moved on along the bed off they flew at least 9, finally left the garden at 10:45 and now what am I at. But at least the stress of the competition is a thing of the past.
11 July 2009 22:29:55
This morming started fine and out by the pond stalked a herron, it's difficult to get photos of the herrons as they take flight at the slightest noise so impossible to open the door. Camera out and hope the photos taken through the window will be clear enough. Teaching and getting ready for riding club competition took up the rest of the day, still working at 7:30pm been raining since 5:30pm. By the time I got into the house it was quite dull. Looking out the sunroom window we discovered 7 ducks on the pond, then noticed a mother and her ducklings near the island, hope that photos will come out, doubtful as it was so overcast. Has anyone any suggestions how to get them to stay. Hope the rain passes over and cann't wait till Monday to get some time in the garden again.
11 July 2009 00:48:54
Dripping with roses
I managed to find ten minutes to spend in the garden after a busy week and the weekend won't be any less busy with teaching and a competition to run. The time was spent deadheading roses,lupins and geraniums. There is so much to be done, this morning I spent a few minutes taking weeds out of the seedlings in the bed edging the terrace there is a lot more to do but it'll have to wait until Monday.
More and more plants are bursting into flower daily and there are so many buds on the roses bushes, I hope that I'll get more photos up next week , the roses and clematis are now flowering at the arch. This morning there were seven ducks on our pond but before I could take a photo of them they took off, hope they will return again and hopefully I'll be better prepared.
Last night I peeked in over the fence of the kitchen garden as I finished work and it also needs a bit of time to keep everything in shape.
It's funny but I'm now even thinking of what I do in gardening terms, working with young people it's like sowing seeds sometimes the reward is fantastic, other times it takes a lot of hard work and care to get the desired result and other times it just seems that whatever we do doesn't work.
I daren't go to see who's updated their page as it won't end up being ten minutes.
08 July 2009 17:35:04
This has been a tough week with teaching teenagers at Pony Club camp and then the weather- rain and more rain. Today the weather has been reasonably dry here but I've been busy all day teaching and am now in the office supposably organising a Riding Club horse trials for Sunday. Anytime I've been free it's been raining and I feel quite jealous of anyone who has had the time or the weather to be out in the garden working. The one thing I will say is that everything is shooting up including the weeds and I'm looking forward to next week not being as hectic so as I can spend a little time each day outside not just seeing the garden early in the morning. I am also turning into one of these gardeners who is becoming addicted and needs a fix by logging in to see who's doing what - my husband might be right we would need to retire to keep everything in shape but that's just not possible yet. Roll on Monday.
05 July 2009 21:24:09
Pink standard rose
It's raining again, there has been torrential rain for the last 2 days and our pond has reached its max level so if the rain keeps up we'll have to ensure that the water can drain away and make it's way via the Mountain water towards Lough Neagh. The downpipes from the indoor arena roof are raising the water level daily now that the drain away has been closed. The kitchen garden appears to be establishing well there's no need to water and the constant rain is causing weeds to shoot up, I won't have time to do much weeding as I am teaching all week. The only advantage of teaching is that it allows me to do a bit more plant shopping which will help to fill in the gaps.
The pink standard rose appears to be dripping with buds and blooms as the stems bow under their weight and the path between it and the artichokes is almost impassable. It's still raining so no chance of getting in a few minutes weeding to night.
03 July 2009 23:28:49
Before The Petals Fall
Decided as the evening was fine I would take a quick trip round the beds by the house to see what damage had been done by the heavy rain over the last couple of days. The peony has finally lost it's flowers and the roses needed to be given a little TLC. Having read Alan Titchmarsh's article in Gardeners World I picked up the secateurs and started to remove the roses that had suffered trying to follow the guidelines given. The white roses in the bed on the N of the house probably need to be pruned back hard in the autumn to develop into a stronger bush. It had so many blooms that the stems had drooped especially as they were so saturated with water so some stems were shortened back. The lupins also needed attention and then it was on to the climbing roses by the back door they also got any flowers removed that had suffered and hopefully they will be replaced by the numerous buds. The rain and the deadheading left petals everywhere and I cleared up as many as possible as I really won't have much time to spend in the garden over the next week or so.
Posted up more photos.
03 July 2009 20:54:04
Looking Through My Window Pane
One of Conor's songs is "Beautiful Haze "which has a line - Looking through my window pane and when I took this photo from the house across the bed on the NW side, I thought of his song.
The weather has been very changeable with heavy downpours especially at night, everything appreciated the rain and looking down to the Kitchen Garden I can see that it really is taking off. The rain has also brought on the weeds and unfortunately the roses and peony have surffered so I will have to spend a bit of time tidying up - hope Sunday will be a good day as this will be the earliest I'll get time to spend in the garden. The heavy rain has risen the pond a few more inches now that the run off has been sealed off.
Hope that the weather improves as tomorrow we have about 150 people who are riders and friends for a BBQ and MGRB are going to play.Monday sees the start of Monaghan Pony Club camp which I teaching at and then the 12th we are running the first of horse trials so the garden is going to get little attention for the next week or so.