Last Post 1302 days 1 hour ago
29 October 2009 23:19:33
Delicate Clematis Freckles
Clematis Freckles has now been planted into the beds beside the wisteria, I was amazed to see one of them in flower hoping they will climb up the wisteria and provide some colour through the late winter and early spring. Planted the evergreen white flowering clematis as well one in to grow through the wisteria and the other on the trellis on the east basement wall in the south facing bed. Planted the winter jasmine on the trellis on the north west side of the basement. Pruned back the whippy wisteria shoots lower down will need a much bigger ladder to reach the higher shoots. The poppies are now sort of flattened by the winds and any that have stopped flowering have been removed and I imagine the others will be removed in the next couple of days along with the love in a mist. I will then be able to see what perennials are hiding underneath and possibly plant up the lavender hedge. Oh to have more hours in the day so much to do yet.
29 October 2009 22:59:18
NW corner reorganised
What a beautiful morning and then in the afternoon along came the showers. Had decided to rearrange the bed on the NW corner at the front of the house. This area doesn't get much sun and probaly sould be made into a shade area ideally. I decided to move the lilac and the camellia both just were a bit cramped and out came the lupins although they have now been replanted. I also dug up the gladioli that hadn't flowered they sort had become hidden, the ones flowering will be repositioned later. Also moved the lilies back in the bed along the front of the house these are now planted between the allium whose bubs have multiplied since being planted. Have a lot of other rearranging to do yet so hope the weather next week is reasonable as garden time will be limited over the next few days but looking at the weather forecast think it may be limited for all.
26 October 2009 18:23:32
Sept 24/09 Sedum before the chop
What a fantastic day no wind no rain and a bit of sun and very mild able to work all day without a jacket it was so warm. Tackled into the lower section of the NW bed planted in some Tete a Tete and Glory of the snow in an area that had no planting. Then weeded the area behind the Sedum and decided that it needed to be split as it was very congested and looking really untidy, Replanted 3 pieces and have potted up some other pieces, removed some hardy geranium and pieces of varigated vinca that is rapidly spreading through the bed. Planted in more Tete a Tete and mixed Iris. The gap behind the sedum now homes some of the verbena bonsaris that I had lifted as seedlings from the gravel, also finding a new home at the back of the planting was mixed Achilla that was hidden behind the budlelia and must have been used as a matress by something as it was flattened. Lots of trimming of leaves and then I remulched the area with wood chip, need to get another load as there are areas that need topped up. The mulch has certainly eased the weeding problem. Along the upper section looking south more Tete a Tete, iris and Glory of the snow. Planted out some of the lupins grown from seed and tidied up foxgloves that are self seeded throughout the bed planted the last of the Tete a Tete and a group of allium caeruleum. Along with that lots of new plants now in waiting as everything is potted up until it finds a new home. Last job was the removal of the mint that has also taken over a corner of the lower bed, might get James to dig out chunks or possibly it all and also a lot of the vinca need to be removed. Am pleased as the whole bed now looks tidy and looking forward to seeing all the bulbs emerge in the spring and how everything thats been moved or planted develops. Looking at the weather forecast it should be reasonable weather for most of the week so think I definitely make use of James to get a lot more done. Now need to get more bulbs to plant into the main bed to the south of the house hard to believe just how many bulbs it takes.
25 October 2009 20:13:20
Start on the NW bed
After planting up the tulips I spent the rest of the afternoon moving plants to new locations in the NW bed and planting in some things grown from seed along with bulbs. Planted Glory in the snow to the front of the bed near the boulders behind that some Tete a Tete narcissi and behind that some allium caeruieum also planted some aquilegia sown from seed and sweet william.
The sea holly was moved from the front of the bed to the centre so it should be in a better location next year. The aquilegia which had been in the centre of the bed was moved forward to spot that the Sea Holly had been in. To the back of the aquilegia some of the mixed Iris were planted and also in front some more narcissi. When I was lifting the Sea Holly there were some bits of root broken off so I have potted them up don't know if they'll grow but it's worth a shot. The bed will hopefully be better balanced next year but I still have a lot to do yet. Cann't decide whether to leave the heads on the artichokes or to remove them and possibly divide them. hopefully tomorrow will be another reasonable day to get a bit more done. Think I might invest in some metal oblesisks for the perennial sweetpea as the willow ones are sort of disintegrating it's either that or lift them but I like the idea of the structures giving height to the overall picture.
25 October 2009 19:53:30
Tulips into pots
Well the weather was changeable but the afternoon brightened out to be reasonable, windy and the odd skiff of showers. Decided to plant the tulips up in pots that can be placed into the beds at a later stage as I want to move some things around. Mixed up compost, soil and a bit of sharp sand and set to work. The bulbs are either planted in 4's or 5's depending on what was in the packs. They are 4 shades of pink except for Queen of the Night being deep red - plum and Purissima which is white. At least they are now on their way and I have time to decide where I want to put them.
22 October 2009 23:16:13
Peeping through the poppies
This morning weather was pretty bad so decided to go shopping for supplies but also ended up with garden items too- they just seemed to jump into my trolley well I did plan to get some hyacinths and Amarilis from Lidl but I ended up with some hedging roses and some field maple. After lunch the rain eased off and the sun appeared so off to the kitchen garden picked the few remaining french beans and removed the stems, this plant had someway found it's way into where I had planted my first carrots so as I pulled up the roots out popped carrots as well so decided to lift all the remaining ones they'll be used tomorrow with the beans. Will lift a leek in the morning for chicken ham and leek pie, getting hungary just thinking about it. Planted up my overwinter onion sets and garlic and removed any weeds from the swede plants. The raised beds in the kitchen garden mean that although we've had a lot of rain the soil isn't waterlogged.
Having a cup of coffee before teaching and Rosemary rang me to say she would teach the afternoon lesson so took advantage of the dry spell and finished deadheading the geraniums and roses. Removed a few weeds here and there and cut back the battered lupins and poppies. Need to organise some winter plants to replace the geraniums. Hoping for a good spell Sunday and Monday as there are all the bulbs and other plants in waiting to find new homes and off course the impulse buy of the hedging. The hyacinths and Amaralis are already sorted so now it's a case of waiting for them to flower.
22 October 2009 11:01:57
Standard rose bubs
Just happened to look out through the window and noticed little red dots on the standard rose, I thought it was finished producing blooms this year as it had taken quite a battering in the winds early September. On closer inspection lots of rose buds ready to open. Hope the weather settles down so as the buds will open and not just turn to mush. Lots of the flowers have taken quite a battering in the rain and strong winds but have posted up a few more photos taken while it's not raining presently including one of Campanula Elizabeth which looks as though it's going to flower as well. This was planted in the bed along the east gable of the house beside the Viburnum burkwoodii. Well it's back to the rain again so still no gardening looking possible.
21 October 2009 17:50:58
Heron stalking by the pond
Not a day for gardening plants and bulbs all still in waiting think a lot of the bulbs will go into pots and then be sunk into the ground at a later stage. Took this photo of the heron on the other side of the pond through the sun room window. If I try to do it from outside it would be up and away before I'd have the door open let alone the camera clicked. I know that other gardeners don't really like to see them but our pond has no ornamental fish or fish of any kind unless they came here on their own we really have it as a wildlife area.
20 October 2009 23:13:48
Looked out the sunroom window on Sunday and there balancing on the reeds in our pond was this moor or waterhen. We have quite a few in residence on the pond unfortunately the ducks seem to have moved on although they appear now and again. The pond really does attract a lot of wildlife and it's amusing watching all types of birds bathing around the edges.
20 October 2009 23:08:36
Gladioli just in bloom
In the bed on the north west corner of the house I planted gladioli back in summer 2007 and really they need moved to a better location. Can I just lift them once they have finished flowering or do they need to die back before lifting. Should they then be replanted now or stored till the spring.
20 October 2009 23:03:56
View to NE along new drive
This is the view to NE between the trees planted 5 years ago with the plan always to landscape either side of the drive. The 400 Daffs will hopefully mainly be planted in drifts along the length of the driveway. Am going to find out more about using clover instead of grass, rather like the idea as it would also give clour through out the summer.
20 October 2009 12:23:00
Sky turning black
Took this photo yesterday about 5:30pm there were thousands of them landing on the fields all around the house and then swarming in the sky created a lot of racket. They used to gather on the trees at Castle leslie every evening and it's not that there are not lots of trees around but it was just unbelievable the ground was black with them, I do hope it's not a bad omen.
20 October 2009 01:23:36
More plants into waiting
Went off to try and get another garden fix, originally the idea was to go to Mahon garden centre near Portadown to see if they had got in overwinter onion sets and Daffodils to plant among the trees either side of the new driveway. On the way I detoured to B&Q at Craigavon and ended up with quite a selection there was a 15% discount on anything in store today. I found Clematis Freckles at 2 for £10stg and also one each of winter Jasmine and Pyracantha Orange Glow at the same price. They also had Evergreen Clemais Armandi at £8.98 each so into the troley went 2 of them. To this selection was added bulbs as follows 80 Tete a Tete daffs, mix of tulips 6 packs, 60 Mixed Iris, 40 Glory of the Snow and 40 Allium Caeruleum, potting compost think I will try cuttings of geraniums, fleece and a large bag of bird seed and a couple of other miscellaneous items the discount meant the whole lot was £86:00 stg. On the way home I then went to Mahon Garden centre and added to the shopping with the onion sets, 2 garlic cloves, bag 400 daffodils and a bag of horticultural grit total cost £37.50 Stg. Hoping the weather holds up although it's definitely getting wintery with leaves falling rapidly and it's a bit wild and wet.
Should be long gone to bed but have not long returned from leaving son number 2 up to Dublin as he's off on overseas duty to Kosovo tomorrow - this time last year he was a new recruit in the Army and now he's off to experience life overseas. I still feel that in many ways gardening and rearing children are similar in many ways as both need lots of care to achieve good results. So many journal enties since I looked yesterday but they'll have to wait to be caught up on.
17 October 2009 22:51:46
Johnny at work
Well the drive way has been dug out and gravel from the farm has been dug and laid to form the hardcore base. The rough scutch grass was removed by the hymac between the trees and the area was levelled and raked, Johnny and Ali sowed grass seed. Hopefully it will take if I can I will plant some daffodils in clumps just to have some spring colour. There is still a bit to be done with soil to be levelled and graded down to the paddock in front of the house on the NW side of the entrance - the field was quite a bit lower than the road so we had to raise the ground quite a bit. We already have a lot of trees planted but now need to source some more and also some hedging and shrubs to plant at the entrance, has anyone any recommendations on a nursery that has good value in trees? I have seen a place advertised in the Farmers Journal near Portarlington I think but not sure if it's worth the journey.Our plan is to lift some old granite gate posts from a gate into the field and use these to hang some simple gates as we want them to be in keeping with the feel of the house. Posted up some photos of the project.
17 October 2009 22:30:07
Managed to plant the redcurrants and gooseberries from Lidl on Thursday but my garden time was limited. In the afternoon the hymac arrived to start digging out the main driveway to the house. Up to now we have used the entrance off the lane to the stables and farm but really wanted to open the drive up and try to plant more trees along it over the winter. When we originally did the lanscape plan for the indoor arena we planted trees with a path in between and this wa always planned to be the drive way to our house when built.
Dug up leeks to make leek and potato soup so tasty using such fresh leeks and onions from the garden, the green parts are now in a pot of vegetable soup. We provide soup etc when we run jumping competitions which is what I will be at tomorrow.
Am very envious on reading all the journals as there is so much going on but anyway at this moment I'm not in a good shape to garden as I have somehow pulled or caught somethng in my back although it's improved this evening so hopefully by Monday I'll be fighting fit again and the weather won't have turned.
14 October 2009 23:10:50
Purple Sprouting Brocolli
Did some more tidy up in the kitchen garden and finally planted the rhubarb Timperly Early and put the red cuurants and gooseberries in to soak overnight as instructed on the packet. Removed all the old canes from the raspberries and pruned back the goosberry bushes that were planted near the house over 2 years ago, plan is to lift them and replant into one of the raised beds, hopefully that will be tomorrows work but must be careful not to break another spade.
Leeks, swedes, carrots and purple sprouting brocolli all flying along and there is one wigwam of french beans still on the go as well as red spring onions that are now well on their way to being onions.
14 October 2009 22:38:33
MGRB- MAGICK GUVNORS RADIO BOTTLE
Back last autumn young people from all over Ireland became involved in the irish Youth Music Awards a nationwide competition run in conjunction with Youth Work Ireland, Garageland and a number of other Youth bodies. After the regional qualifying rounds the competition final was at the Village in Dublin and bands from north, south, east and west took part in a very informative day that culminated in the bands playing off and being adjudicated by music industry mentors, the music was not just the only thing judged as each team had to manage the performing act and create myspace pages which were also judged. At the end of the performances the top three bands were Izzy from Kerry, the Last Draws from Newry and MGRB from Monaghan. After a few nerve wracking moments MGRB became the overall winners of the prestigious IYMAS 2009. Conor my youngest is the lead singer and plays rhythm guitar in MGRB so the buzz was fantastic. The standard was very high and the competition involved youth from all backgrounds such a brillant inititive. Recording a CD was one of the rewards for the Monaghan bands Fixed Penalty and Laura Ward and the boys and the others recorded eight original songs early in the summer. It was then decided by the organisers to record a number of the other bands and make it a double CD so now not only Monaghan but bands all over the country are LIVING THE DREAM this Saturday when at 2pm around the country at various record shops the cd PESKY KIDS is launched, it can also be bought online through HMV from Friday. MGRB also had an interview for Hotpress magazine and will be at RTE on Friday for interviews for THE DEN at 4pm approx. Who knows were it will lead but sch a wonderful opportunity for all concerned. So if you know anyone interested in music watch out for the IYMAS 2010 which was launched at the music show in the RDS on the 3rd October.
If your out and about on Saturday 2pm the launch gigs are:-
Monaghan , Sound Quality - MGRB, Fixed Penalty, Laura & Seb
Carlow, Roxy Music - Killed in Action
Wexford, BPM Records- Seven Fables
Mallow, BPM Records- Karma
Dublin HMV , Henry Street -The Dub Allstars
Dublin Tower Records, Wicklow Street- Ten Days Vain
Navan, EZ Records - Blindsite
Tralee, Roxy Music - Izzy
Letterkenny, Universal records- Bitter Red
Kilkenny, Heartbeat Records, Road Trouble
Limerick, HMV - Animal Beats
13 October 2009 18:21:47
Looking to Kitchen Garden
What fantastic weather,slightly frosty mornings which has left a mist over the fields here but Monday wow what a day. Unfortunately little time in the garden managed to get an hour or so Saturday and the same Sunday in the kitchen garden. Picked the rest of the french beans removed the stalks of beans and peas now have beds ready to plant up rhubarb and soft fruits from Lidl hope to get round to it tomorrow morning. Appears a lot of work has been going on round the country judging by the amount of journal entries it will take hours to read through them all and photos of everyone's projects.
07 October 2009 16:56:49
New Perennials popping up
After a chilly start to the day it warmed up in the autumn sun, although every now and then it went into hiding, started to spit rain si I called it quits after a reasonable day in the garden off to teach shortly.
The day started with a bang as the handle of another spade cracked off as I started to try and loosen around the lupin in the terrace bed, once that happened I decided it was going to stay rather than move it to a new home. Lupins and aquilegia found new homes in the terrace bed along with various other seedlings of Saxifraga and sedums inbetween the boulders. Moved a few of the plants from under the poppies to new locations and between the lupins and aquilegia planted Allium Sensation and Allium Drumstick beside LD Braithwaite rose so hoping it will give a good display next year. Planted more Allium Sensation along at the 2nd LD Braithwaite rose once the poppies and love in a mist are removed I might plant out the lavenders to form the hedge and then reorganise other perennials that are coming on. In some of the gaps in the bed below the terrace I planted out seedlings of Verbena Bonsaris and also foxgloves to try and have the planting more established looking for Caroline's wedding next June. I can alway remove things later as the bed develops. The crocus have all been planted in little clusters by the arch and in the front of the south bed. Started planting Campanula Elizabeth and then the rain started although it was short lived hopefully will get the last of the plants that I bought into the ground tomorrow. Soil is bone dry in the terrace bed but the south bed is quite damp as it's a black soil on this bed. Sent off for David Austin rose book which is free hoping it will be helpful in producing really fabulous roses.
05 October 2009 22:09:59
What am I peeping from under poppies?
Another beautiful day although it did become a bit overcast mid afternoon. Planted the Narcissi Sir Winston Churchill and muscari around the viburmun that replaced the mallow so hopefully good display next spring there are Sweet William, Aqualeigia, white and blue anemones,crocus and Campanula Elizabeth which looks as if it is going to produce some flowers shortly. Spent the rest of the time before lunch weeding the terrace bed and cutting back the lupin think it might move to another location and be replaced with some that I have sown from seed. At least then they'll all be a similar size next year, I plan to plant a lavender hedge along the terrace side. Took some photos of plants peeping up through poppies, a pink achellia is one not sure what the others are posted up photos. This afternoon tackled planting 5kg of daffodils in the grass on the right of the entrance from the lane, what a job, first removed a broom that had expired mind you no wonder when I discovered how dry the soil was. After the broom was gone tried to lift sods as I wanted to plant in clumps, hope these ones won't find the ground too dry as there are lots of trees and shrubs in this area. Dug another area soil much damper, then decided to try using the bulb planter nearly more difficult so gave up on that and went back to digging and removing the sods planting the bulbs and replacing sods on top- wish I'd had a strong man young or old to do that planting for me , oh my knees and back. Then it was time to think about preparing dinner and while that was on the go it was deadheading roses and lupins, watering planters by the front and back door and the long trough on the wall along tje path to the back door, all the plants in waiting also needed watering. Hope this week stays fine as so much more to do.
04 October 2009 22:50:43
L D Braithwaite Oct 09
Didn't think I'd get to the garden today but was finished earlier expected so made the most of what was a fantastic autumn day. Took a few more photos which are now up in October album. Then off to the kitchen garden to pick more french beans, a few peas and some purple brocolli. Most of beans now in the freezer but they are just so delicious that I keep snacking on them between blanching and freezing. It's great having all these home grown veg, the onions are really peppery in taste and so hard in comparison to shop bought, definitely going to grow more next year. Cleared away one row of the peas as they had stopped producing, probably will remove the other row tomorrow. Need to spend a bit of time weeding and have a general tidy up, want to prepare area for Rhubarb crowns that I bought in Lidl the other day and also plan to move my raspberries and gooseberries from their home for the last 2 years to the kitchen garden. Had to stop in the kitchen garden to take Conor to the bus and on returning set about preparing dinner and french beans for the freezer. While it was cooking went out and weeded and tidied up the bed to the south of the house below the terrace. On removing the spent lupins I discovered that they were badly infested by lupin greenfly so out came the bug spray, hope it does the job. Still a lot of colour in this bed, trimmed the lavender bushes by the steps, deadheaded the David Austin Roses, the one problem I have with them is mildew although they really have been spectacular such beautiful flowers. The poppies are beginning to die back and I will probably remove some of them and the Love in a Mist as there are lots of perrenials popping up underneath from my mixed perrenial seed sowing. Bulbs to find homes yet are Narcissus Sir Winston Churchill , mixed crocus,muscari, Allium Drumstick and Allium Sensation along with daffs, hope to morrow is as good weatherwise as today so as I can make some headway on the list of jobs to do.
03 October 2009 23:02:33
Red Rose and Virginia Creeper
Lots of colour still in the garden the roses just keep blooming time and time again have put up October album. The poppies are now a bit worse for wear with the real autumn weather wind and rain today, I'm surprised how well plants stand up to the strong winds we get here. One that has added colour now for months is the verbena bonsaris in the south bed, the whole bed has been a great attraction for bees butterflies and other insects, need to plant bulbs in this bed to have a splash of colour in the spring. I've unfortunately had no time for gardening this week and won't until Monday so hope the weather improves a bit between now and then.
02 October 2009 00:57:21
Will he become famous?
On a different note than gardening, my youngest son Conor and three of his friends formed a band MGRB bit more than 2 years ago, I always just thought he just played the guitar little did I realise till last August that he was the lead singer. They really worked hard at being tight in their music whenever they practiced in the basement of our house or playing small gigs locally. Last October I saw an article in the local paper about the Irish Youth Music Awards and encouraged them to take part for the experience regardless of whether they were selected or not to represent Monaghan they would have to be involved in all the promotion and management of the band picked. At the selection in January they hit it lucky to be selected by the other bands to represent Monaghan not only with one of their own original songs but also Laura's song If Only that Daniel one of Conor's band had written. The weeks leading up to the final in The Village Dublin were very busy as Monaghan had a very small team to cover 30 jobs needed for their myspace page which was also marked for the final overall title. MGRB performed to rock the whole of the Village on the 4th April and were called onto the stage in the top 3 bands and when the results of performance and myspace were totalled they collected the IYMA's 2009 award.
Since they have played numerous gigs and recorded 3 original songs as part of their award. They are playing at the Music Show at the RDS on Saturday 1pm at the launch of the 2010 IYMAS. The CD Pesky Kids will be launched on the 16th October and the aim is to make the Album Charts, it's such a great project for young people to be involved anyone with budding musicians should look up the details. I'd love to be there on Saturday not just for the boys but also because numerous other top bands are performing, it's not just gardening that has taken over my free time I've now turned into a bit of a rock chick well perhaps not bit old to be classed as a chick. More details of the IYMAS can be found on www.garageland.ie .
Details on MGRB can be found on www.myspace.com/iymamonaghan
What does MGRB stand for - Magick Guvnors Radio Bottle - U2 watch out