Last Post 1363 days 14 hours ago
30 August 2009 21:47:36
Hydrangea that won't bloom.
Weather here was pretty miserable for most of the day, other than taking some photos during one of the respites there was nothing done except the odd weed removed and deadheading a couple of roses in the beds along the terrace.
Short time spent in the kitchen garden, pulled my first 2 leeks which are now in veg soup, also picked french beans and peas, peas went to the freezer and french beans for dinner. Great to have such fresh veg as it's needed. The other job I tackled was to thin out the carrots and Chillipepper had suggested planting the thinnings up so I'm giving it a try hope they will takemore to do tomorrow if weather is reasonable.
The wild weather has left a few blank areas in the beds and I'm now going to see what can be planted into the gaps need to go shopping for bulbs. I also want to find an evergreen shrub that can be planted on the gable of the house in place of one of the mallows , this corner gets full blast of the wind from the north, east and south so it needs to tolerate wind and if possible have flowers at some stage. Any suggestions would be welcome.
One disappointment is that the two pink hydrangeas planted in the pots have not produced even one flower yet, last year when I bought them they were a mass of pink blooms what have I done wrong. Any tips on growing hydrangeas and also if ther is anything I can do to get wisteria to flower next year would be much appreciated.
28 August 2009 21:55:51
I see the moon and the moon sees me.
Just taken this photo of the moonlight on the pond, not raining or blowing a gale at present. The day has been very rough with squally showers, torrential rain and earlier this evening it felt like winter. Between the showers this morning took more photos of the bed across the south side of the house, pleased with the way it's developed in such a short time although I will make some changes to plant locations. Picked more peas gone to the freezer and french beans hadn't realised that there were a number that would have been usable last week, they were hiding underneath the leaves, most went to the freezer after being blanched but some used for dinner this evening beats buying them in the supermarket- so so fresh. New potatoes from the kitchen garden are nearly finished but have some that I planted earlier in another bed, these didn't get blight so keeping my fingers crossed that they'll all be good. Will need to thin out carrots sown earlier and am sorry I hadn't sown more earlier as the early ones are coming to an end. Again they are so different just pulled before use really sweet.
Will not get time in the garden to morrow so hoping Sunday will be good and if things go to plan we will have hens to morrow but definitely before Tuesday.
28 August 2009 01:12:24
Moorhen ventures out.
Well another feature added to garden.ie but it took me a while to catch on that this is so as we can edit the comment we've posted. Nothing done in the garden today- mean yesterday just seen the time. Weather here not great very windy the two cherry tomato plants I had been given are have sort of suffered in the wind, not sure if they'll survive was hoping tomatoes would get some sun and ripen doesn't look like this will happen according to the weather forecast.
Lots more poppies out but wild weather will mean they're short lived, one of the problems here is definitely the wind coming whistling through the hills, a wind turbine would certainly be on the go here fulltime.
Took this photo of a moorhen through the sunroom window this evening while cooking dinner.
26 August 2009 18:08:21
Kitchen Garden Produce
Picked and shelled peas today and while some went to the dinner table the balance went into the freezer. The remainder of the potatoes were lifted and carrots, white turnips and spring onions were also included into the basket. I need to spend a bit of time picking beans to freeze as there are now quite a few ready for use. There are a lot more peas that should be ready over the next couple of weeks and hopefully they will also go to the freezer, soon it will just be the two of us during the week with James back to college, Conor at school and David only home at weekends from the army.
As I was making tomato soup today I thought of how satisfying it must be to be able to use your own tomatoes and red onions instead of those from Lidl, hopefully that will be the case next year. Chillipepper and Jacintha's journals have inspired me reading about their tomato products, Joybells red onion string also made me want to grow my own as I only planted white onions this summer. While reading Alan Titchmarshes Kitchen Garden book earlier I discovered there are some over wintering onions in red as well as white so I'm going to see if I can find some sets to sow. I also discovered that my red spring onions will grow into large onions so I think the remainder will be thinned out to see what happens, I have been using them in some of my cooking. It's all a learning curve this gardening experience so there's going to be the occasional problem. Hopefully next year as the raised beds are already there things will happen earlier than this year.
The weather here has been reasonable today but the heavy rain last night has once again given some of the flowers a bit of a battering, hoping September provides us with an Indian Summer. Well time to head off to teach and earn some money to put the rest of the food on the table.
25 August 2009 22:39:22
Had this on my 1st attempt to post up journal but it was wiped out.
The changes to garden.ie are great so thanks to everyone who made the suggestions and the team that made them happen. This is another of the poppies making an appearance from my perrenial seeds sown earlier this year.
25 August 2009 22:20:02
Showy Peacock Butterfly
2nd time around as it vanished into cyber space on my 1st attempt of uploading.
Well today was just beautiful with sun coming out to play along with a multitude of Peacock butterflies. They were flitting from plant to plant and fluttering on the breeze accompanied by lots of bees. I managed to get a while to deadhead the roses and geraniums. The tubs and containers were watered, the geraniums have really suffered with the heavy rain over the weekend. Between lessons I weeded the bed along the terrace and removed a straggly plant cann't remember what it was called but it is no more. I managed to tease out some of the seedlings under the poppies and transplant them so hopefully they will enjoy having more space. The Love in a Mist is nearly about to flower and looks good with the roses, hopefully I'll manage to get some time to-morrow to tease out a few more and let them develop but I don't want to upset the poppies.
In the kitchen garden the swede seeds sown last week are shooting up under their mini tunnel and I need to spend a bit of time planting veg now that the potatoes are all nearly lifted.
22 August 2009 13:25:56
Bees and Butterflies busy, busy, busy
Well no time for gardening today busy teaching this morning and after lunch setting off to Naas Racecourse for a Riding club competition.
Drinking coffee outside in the sun I noticed that everywhere there were bees butterflies and I think hover flies busy busy busy hopping from one plant to the next. Out came the camera and up go some more photos in Aug 09 and wildlife. Hope the weathers like this tomorrow otherwise it will be a mud bath and pure miserable, keeping my fingers crossed that the weather stays dry at least.
21 August 2009 21:59:42
This evening saw some welcome sun and on a quick trip rpond the garden noticed that the anemones in the bed in front of the house. Earlier from the kitchen I noticed that more poppies had opened and one is the colour a flamingo dancers skirts would be, it was dancing in the breeze and I suppose sort of clashes with the liatris in the lower bed but it is so delicate yet saying look at me. The Love in a Mist is close to flowering and will really give the bed edging the terrace lots of colour once open. the David Austin roses Gertrude Jekell and Mary Rose have lots of buds opening although if the forecast rain materialises their glory will be short lived.
One step closer to gettting hens as a local farmer who yesterday had none for us called and asked how many we wanted, Johnny may get busy preparing an area for them between the kitchen garden and the apple trees.
Picked peas and oh how sweet they were in comparison to bought ones served with new potatoes and a chicken casserole with some of the red scallions instead of onion. Absolutely delicious David one of my sons commented on the potatoes. Perhaps I will convince the hubby that the way to go is to grow your own poultry will keep you posted. Few more photos up - digital camera saving a fortune if I had to have all these developed.
The changes to garden .ie are great the way friends is laid out, show me more on the visited sectioins, this will surely encourage more to visit members gardens and when you see the number of people Olga (Ternie) has met just through being a member from another country it is fantastic.
20 August 2009 23:04:35
Moorhen hiding from the rain
Just spent the last couple of hours browsing friends journals and have just now realised that it's not just 4 most recently updated but 12 of all the categories. Definitely going to take the place of bed time reading so writers of novels may watch out. Hope this rain stops soon otherwise it will soon be virtual gardening.
19 August 2009 19:18:58
Ducks dash for cover
Even the ducks and moorhens were a bit hesitant coming out today. Posted up a few more photos taken between the rain coming down in stair rods at lunchtime. Lilies definitely are becoming one of my favourite flowers especially the pink versions.
19 August 2009 10:18:22
Oh so delicate
At last the first of the poppies have opened sown in the perenial seed mix earlier this year. They are so delicate nearly see through so don't expect they will be about for too long in this blustery changeable weather. Only plus is there are still loads to open yet. New photos up in Aug album including one of the clematis Comtesse de Bouchard in all her glory.
18 August 2009 22:40:43
Managed to get a short time in the kitchen garden, went to dig some potatoes and then decided to cut back all the stems as they were still being affected by blight, Potatoes dug, red scallions and a few small white turnips, prepared the veg for dinner tonight. The early afternoon was spent weeding planting some carrots and also sowed up some swedes, lifted the onions and set them under cover from the sporadic rain. Used a mini tunnel (bought in Lidl last year impulse buy gathering dust) over the swedes seeds sown, hubby not very keen on the white turnips although he did eat them tonight when served carmelised in butter, black pepper and sugar with a few scallions added to the pan, served with duck fillets marinaded with maple and pepper. I had been given a hamper of Silverhill duck products by children I had helped in the Pony Club and they had gone to the freezer but tonights dinner was delicious. New potatoes from the garden also were included in the menu.Thinned out the carrots so baby carrots are on the menu to-morrow Any suggestions what I can plant in the raised bed 1.2mX5m that I have lifted all the potatoes from, my kids or hubby aren't real veg eaters but I do.
Am still trying to get a bed made for the raspberries and gooseberries and some other fruits along with if I can swing it a small tunnel, also trying to get a lean to glasshouse into the plan so as I can have tomatoes and salads close to the house. Also trying to convince Johnny chickens are a must have to keep feeding the ideas to him.
16 August 2009 11:31:02
Honeysuckle by the back door
It just struck me this morning how having to read Garden.ie journals has become the equivilant to sitting down to read the daily papers - something I never had the real urge to do except occasionally or getting a good book out to read before heading off to bed. The latter rarely happens now because by the time I've checked up on who's done what it's long past bedtime. Is there a cure for this addiction?
Margaret one of my riders yesterday who's keen on gardening veg, said gardening is me time. It's certainly less depressing than reading or watching the news and we all need something to be take us away from reality now and again.
Well back to reality I hear the washing machine bleeping so it's out to the line hope the rain stays away and then I'd better do some house work much as I'd prefer to be outside but from all rooms I have views over the garden.
15 August 2009 19:53:32
One for the girls
Knowing how much you both like lillies this beauty has just opened not quite in a good place in my flower bed but beautiful stll. More photos in Aug 09
13 August 2009 00:47:03
View from the SE across the pond.
Busy, busy teaching kids on a riding course for 3days essential to fund this garden addiction. This evening when out teachig a lesson cross country it was so rewarding to get very positive comments on the garden- planting in the bed to the south of the house it really is starting to look well. In someways teaching is like gardening because if conditions are right you sow the idea and watch it grow to hopefully the rght result. Envy all those who have garden time this week it'll probably rain at the weekend when I have free time
09 August 2009 21:06:31
View to the south over the NW Bed.
Peace and quiet everyone's gone to the Meath v Mayo match except for Conor who along with his band members shatter the calm for a short time while they practice some new songs, then quiet regins as practice finished. Afternoon spent deadheading,weeding and tidying up the bed on the NW side of the house. The bed actually is North to south in it's aspects, the standard rose needed some attention as it and the artichokes had taken a real hammering in the recent storms. I made a note of what I want to move and what I will put in to fill the gaps. The buddleia bushes got a bit of a tidy over as there are many secondary flowers coming out. The rose bush has hundreds of buds ready to open so in the autumn or spring I will reduce the number of stems and shorten them back to see does it strenghten up the branches and hopefully it will withstand the wind better. Then on to the north side of the house and the 2 long beds that sit either side of the porch, notes made on what needs moved around and there hiding under the robina bush was a ruby red flower cann't remember what it is, pruned back the bush to show off this gem. Watered up pots and planters at the front and back doors all are putting up a good display. All afternoon accompanied by Connie my garden friend and occasionally Grouse would appear to see what we were at.
Now need to draw up a planting plan for bulbs and springtime flowers, somewhere there is a diagram of what was planted last year just need to find it.
09 August 2009 15:38:32
What's my name?
Any idea what this plant is called I was given it 2 years ago and have no idea what it is. It's about 1.8m high with yellow spires of daisy like flowers.
09 August 2009 13:40:01
Swallow swooping over the pond
Sitting outside drinking coffee and reading all of a sudden I was at an air display- swallows going every direction. I had tried to take photos before but they were just a blur - camera out and into sports mode and yes the photos came out this time.
Photos up in wildlife
09 August 2009 13:33:10
Lanterns and Pots at night
I decided to take advantage of the summer weather and have a family gathering, dinner on the terrace. My eldest son was working so he was the only one missing of our 6 children. My youngest Conor wanted to know what was the occasion but it was really just to spend time sitting down eating good food in wonderful surroundings with family and Alan - husband to be and Paula - Conor's girl making us a total of 9.
It was an ever changing picture with ducks, moorhens and birds all making appearances and the scents from the flowers drifting in the summer breeze.It was well on into the summer night when we finished up. It's something we need to do more often take time out in our busy lives, with kids going their own way now that they're all adults except for Conor but that times approaching fast.
Just like gardening it's great to see them grow and develop everyone different.
07 August 2009 22:24:26
View from the SE across the pond.
Busy day teaching and gardening what a cracker of a day weatherwise. Woken up last night by the ducks quacking on the pond must have been having a party. Finished the planting in the bed on the south side of the house before lunch - that is until it's time to plant bulbs that will be the next shopping spree for the garden.
Some of the many jobs that had been put on the long finger have been tackled by Allie over the last couple of days, yesterday he started to edge the lawn across the front of the house a major job that hadn't been tackled since the lawn was put down 2 years ago. There had also been a request for water infrastructure to be put in place instead of pipes running above the ground with connections off here and there and it's now on it's way to completion along the edge of the lawn before the gravel surface is laid. Perhaps I will get my cold frame as Johnny said how it would be well sited along the wall dividing the front garden from the side of the house. Need to keep the pressure on while the going is good.
P.S. made apple crumble with the cookers I picked yesterday, so light and fluffy delicious pity there weren't more
07 August 2009 00:31:59
Hard at work serious daughter
Another real summers day, sun more sun and a sprinkling of rain. Caroline cut all the lawns which is quite an area and Allie continued with the hand weeding the end of the kitchen garden which is not yet finished as there was quite a breeze with the sun so impossible to do any spraying. Picked the apples and am now going to see whether I can poach and preserve them, only a few cookers which will turn into crumble. Nearly finished the planting only the echinacea and the potentilla to be planted yet - I plan to repot the peony until I find a final spot for it. While planting up mother duck was having a good old wash in the pond but no photos today of her. Photos of the butterflies and bees in wildlife album- so many bees unbelievable just hopping from one flower to the next.
This evening looking across the pond to the garden and house the picture is really coming together, there was a spectacular sunset behind the hill but no camera as I was out with riders cross country. Good finish to another summer day.
Think my beautiful 2nd daughter caught sight of me with the camera hence the look.
05 August 2009 23:02:10
Moor hen in the reeds
It's not often we're chasing water but at Cloncaw we had developed very boggy areas in the field that the house is sited in. Yesterday and today was spent draining it and a while ago Johnny had relocated one of the many springs on the farm to see if we could divert it to the pond, a 2nd flow of water had also been discovered but where was it coming from. There were old crockery drains all over the place in very odd places. The hymac tried to follow the drain and it turned towards the pond, I had wondered if there was any possibility this 2nd run was seeping from the pond and yes it was. While digging to locate the pipes there in the massive hole was a brilliant green frog trying to clamber up the sheer bank- wish I'd had my camera, hymac to the rescue and the frog was lifted out in the bucket and deposited on the ground, hope he escaped before the hole was filled in to stop the water leaking from the pond. Now it's a case of rising the spring and diverting it into a pipe that drains water from the field.
Potatoes don't appear to have detoriated further keeping my fingers crossed that blight is under control. Picked one of the apples in the orchard to try quite sharp in taste but need to think about picking them before the birds do. Only a small number of cookers though.
Today Allie who occasionally does odd days working on the cross country course removed all the weeds that were on the verge of spreading seeds along the path below the south bed, it's been too windy to spray them and I certainly didn't want any drift onto the flower beds. Then this evening I planted up more of the plants added to my collection on Monday- hope to get some photos up to morrow as it was too dark by the time I finished. Before the planting session I sat outside having my tea listening to the birds chattering, watching swallows swooping over the pond, the family of ducks and a moorhen swim in and out of the reeds. This was all possible as my eldest daughter offered to teach for me what a joy.
04 August 2009 23:54:46
An afternoon spent gardening sun shining oh to be alive. Weeding in such beautiful surroundings just takes one to a different place even with such a mundane task. There is something about working with the earth and yes the sun does help.Before plants in waiting moved to new homes in the bed to the south of the house it was a case of removing weeds and looking to see were plants would fit in. Only the Lidl sedums found new locations along with some saxifraga moschata Dubarry that had been potted up after being found in the gravel below the NW bed. Some self seeded violas were transplanted to better locations and a few of the perrenial plants in the terrace bed were spaced out slightly, it's a bit of a mixture not exactly sure what all is going to eventually appear but there are definitely foxgloves and poppies I think. Some new photos up of sedums in Aug 2009. I relocated some Bergenia that had been hiding under the mallow on the southern end of the bed along the east of the house. The mallow had taken quite a battering in the recent storms and a number of branches had broken and died - I feel it's nearly reached the end of it's life will have a reprieve until later but it's going to be replaced by what I'm not sure. Between lessons enough time to tidy up of the mallow, this meant I could actually get to deadhead the back of the rose bush the scent was just intoxicating. Well hopefully I'll find some more time to plant up a few more of the plants in waiting.
Another joy is the return of the text box to it's original size- makes life much easier.
03 August 2009 20:48:16
Waiting to be planted
Todays first priority was to find a treatment for the potato blight. Travelled to Craigavon first to Homebase but nothing available however the plant section drew me outside. I left with 3 phlox - Velvet Flame, 1 sage for my herb planter,3 Salvia Hot Lips and from the reduced plant stand 2 Verbascum Jackie in Pink and 2 Enchinaea. Then to B&Q no product available for potato blight so on to Mahon Garden Centre outside Portadown. Yipee Dilthane in stock but once again I was drawn into the plant section. Eventually after a stroll around collected a truck and left with 3 potentilla Ron McBeath,3 Gaura Rosyjane, 3 Lythrum and a red peony.These plants along with the 5 sedums from Lidl filled the back of the car. One purchase made in B&Q was 5 collaspable baskets costing less than £10 for all the plants now potted up. On returning home it was off to the kitchen garden after giving the new plants a long drink. Job done infected leaves removed potatoes sprayed and then along came the rain so I suspect that the spray has been washed off. Rain still falling so plants waiting patiently to move to their new homes. Also waiting are 3 miscanthus zebra, hope tomorrow weather improves.
02 August 2009 20:19:26
Red Admiral on lavender
Agree the text box size is a real pain will probably lead to even more mistakes in journals- hope they change it back.
02 August 2009 20:11:57
Lupins- raspberry red
To get 2 Sundays in a row in the garden is unusual for me, no competitions at home and decided not to travel to Longford to the riding club horse trials. With sun shining I deadheaded roses got the dog sonic scarer working- I have a problem with the dogs making a little nest at the back of the flower bed on the corner of the house. Hopefully it will prevent them lying in it. It was then onto removing weeds from the gravel on the terrace, it really does need a spray job done on it but it's been so windy. Then it was a photo shot that interrrupted finishing hoeing the gravel. Red Admiral butterflies on the white budleia but by the time I got the camera out they'd moved on photo of a bee on Choc cosmos and butterfly on lavender. Connie in the meantime went swimming in the pond ducks in danger so I walked round through the wild area, few photos of natural wild flowers and also the apple trees in the orchard. Back past the kitchen garden and in to remove any weeds and see how everything doing. Pulled up some turnips for lunch and then noticed the potatoes were looking a bit sad, think they have developed the dreaded blight. Removed badly affected plants will have to find a way of disposing of them. Dug up some lots of small potatoes, will have to see what I can do to save rest otherwise I'll have to dig them up I fear. Anyone any advice. Some found their way to the pot for lunch, rest dug into the veg fridge.Afternoon spent removing self seeded plants from gravel,all planted up in trays and pots,foxgloves,nepeta,verbena bonsaris,stachys, geraniums and achillea. If they all root well I will be able to bulk up planting along the south facing bed and have lots to swop or give away. Finished up pricking out Sweet William tedious job. Hope tomorrow is another garden day to finish weeding and hopefully I'll have researched enough to deal with the potato problem.Off to search information on potato blight not much in Alan Titchmarshes Kitchen Garden book.