Last Post 842 days ago
31 January 2011 14:49:53
This up close photo shows the colouring of my amaryillis as in yesterdays journal it looked white 2nd bud well on way to opening. Spent a couple of hours in the garden this morning really sharp wind good drying day for washing. Started a bit of tidy up in the NW bed then got side tracked however now all the bulbs not sure what all is in the mix but think Tom Thumb tulips and muscari from the in the broken terracotta pots at the end of the tunnel are safely in the ground. Should give nice spring colour planted in front of Feverfew's ornamental horseradish, planted in are the sweet william plants that came from Perwinkle in September also planted in four little pots of Ruby crocus. The broken pots will be used for crocks as I plan to buy a few more plain ones as they seem to be able to withstand the weather some of the one's I have are over 15 years old. I like the way Carol Klein has rows of them which she keeps changing as plants come into bloom but my idea would be to plant bulbs etc into big plastic pots that'll fit inside them so cutting down on the number I'd need. Well fed and watered now have to go to Monaghan and then if it's still not raining I'll try to do a bit more tidying up thank goodness for ski trousers as they stop the wind cutting through to the bone.
31 January 2011 09:44:14
One Moment In Time
Hard to believe we've reached the last day of January and that tomorrow St Brigid heralds in the first day of spring although I alway think of spring as March, April, May. This morning this was the sky with the sunrise just after 8:00 which has made me think how we have to seize the moment as time doesn't stand still. The sky is an ever changing picture just like life when the moment is gone all we are left with is memories in a lot of ways this site helps us to capture moments in time in our gardening year. The day looks as though there will be a change quite windy but milder 4c at 8:30 but outside I can here birds singing so I should log off and seize the moment to get some more work in a gardening year done.
30 January 2011 19:28:15
End to a Near Perfect Day
Today was a near perfect day although the temperature was only 2c this morning but in the sun it felt warm. Didn't get to the garden until this afternoon and work continued in the south bed tidying up where the shrubs were removed yesterday evening, lots of leaves, membrane and now Feverfew's ornamental horseradish has been planted eventually. I'm hoping it will give great architectural foilage also planted in the verbascum that Keego gave me at the garden get together here in September, lifted up the Nerine bulbs they are now in the tunnel in a box of compost think they're going into pots so they can be be placed in the provide colour in the autumn there are lots of bulb offsets. Finished off in the tunnel at 5:40 pm after tidying up some of the terracotta pots also potted up Gentian saxosa that I had lifted this afternoon this little plant didn't seem to be doing that well and when I lifted them the roots seemed to be twined around each other in a ball when teased out there were three plants in each plant lifted so now there are three in each pot will wait and see will they bulk up given time.
30 January 2011 18:57:14
Finally it's White and Pink
This morning the amaryillis had opened and the colour is white tinged with pink this was the first to open last year and then it went bump in the night. The photo doesn't really show it's true colour and beauty will be magnificent when the other bloom opens glad I didn't throw it on the compost after last year.
29 January 2011 23:50:16
South Bed and Terrace Bed Ready.
Spent about 5 hours in the garden on Friday got most of the tidying done including the terrace bed. This afternoon spent the from 3:30 to 5:30 and finished off the beds so now they're ready for more planting in the gaps. The last job done this evening was to remove some evergreen shrubs as when they were planted they were grouped in three's now I've decide that one of each is enough so tomorrow they will need to find a new home or be potted up at the moment the rootballs are inside bin bags might find a spot in the shady corner I'm planning. Tomorrow I plan to lift some more plants from the east bed and plant them into the south bed rather than potting them up, when I redo the east bed it's going to be with hot colours at least that's the plan at the moment. Getting into the garden causes lots of aches and pains but seeing the end result makes it all worth while now I just want to see it change as in Carol Klein's using camera technology, love her garden but the amount of work involved it looks fulltime.
29 January 2011 23:34:06
Noticed this little flower yesterday but it was just about visible quite a few others appearing as well looking forward to them adding a bit of colour to the garden.
29 January 2011 23:30:48
Yesterday spent most of the day working on the tidying of the south bed I had thought that it was very wet in places and then when removing Shasta daisy seedlings from the terrace bed I discovered the soil was very wet beside the tap and on more exploration that around the tap was very wet. The problem has been solved now and even today the soil has dried out a bit am hoping this leak repair will reduce the amount of water we've been using fingers crossed we've sorted out all leaks now.
29 January 2011 23:23:29
Yesterday the ducks sudden took off and launched themselves from the flower bed to the pond caught there reflections in the pond.
29 January 2011 23:20:42
Yesterday morning the ducks decided to be bold and clambered up through the flower bed looking for food. Over the winter they've been fed as the weather was so severe they couldn't source anything from the pond or ground they're all looking in really good shape and waddle around the place taking off if the dogs approach. They did the same this morning coming up to the bird feeder so this afternoon I repositioned it as waddling feet would damage the emerging bulbs in the terrace bed there is one photo taken this morning of one of the ducks looking at a sparrow perched on a stone it's like - Whose been eating my breakfast ?
26 January 2011 17:53:07
East Bed 26/01 work in progress
Had in my head to finish off the south bed but plans changed as I started into the east bed. This bed was over run with Lysmachia last year which James spent hours digging out and then we replaced the soil and replanted but as the summer progressed so the Lysmachia reappeared so I think that I'm going to lift out most of the herbaceous plants and possibly even the smaller shrubs and then spray it kill it off. It's a bit of a pain to have to do this but while I like a bit of Lysmachia I don't want to constantly be trying to remove it. If anyone has any different suggestions on it's removal please let me know. I lifted out delphinium that needed to be repositioned and also Nigra Hollyhocks now potted up in the tunnel also lifted the various dahlia that had performed so well last year think they may need to be replaced won't make that mistake again they'll be lifted in the autumn before the frost. So the plan will be to continue to lift out plants and pot them up until the bed is ready for replanting.
26 January 2011 10:21:00
Sunrise Over the Village 8:40am
What a fabulous day so I'm off out to the garden to get a much needed lift to the spirits, days like today are good to be alive days and we could all do with these at the moment.
25 January 2011 18:09:04
Libertia Goldfinger from Fran.
The package contained a piece of Libertia Goldfinger which I have now potted up and it's safely settled in the tunnel. Fran once again your generosity is very much appreciated as I cann't make the get together on March 5th. I'm looking forward to this providing colour and with luck flowers in the summer.
25 January 2011 18:02:00
Surprise from Fran
This morning the postman rang the doorbell but before I had opened the door he had disappeared round the side of the house and left the post there. I found a package along with the letters- oh anticipation who had sent a package addressed to me perhaps Martin had finally sent a prize for the right answer to his journal at the end of the summer. The answer was no but it was from another Garden.ie friend Fran thank you for your generosity once again.
25 January 2011 17:47:32
Still waiting for my Amaryillis to open this is one of the ones from last year the other is lagging well behind and the red one I was given at Christmas is slowly producing leaves. The paperwhite Narcissi are now beginning to go over I didn't find the scent a problem but can these be planted outdoors for next year?
25 January 2011 17:41:57
Spent most of Monday in the garden clearing away debris and mushy leaves so as I won't damage all the bulbs that are peeping up. Still quite a bit to be finished all the debris has to be picked up as the it's been dropped down onto the path it's on the Johnny's list to come with the tractor and skip to remove it hope tomorrow is good as forecast predicted so as I can get it finished. Only out door job was to plant out 4 little pots of giant snowflakes Leucojum Graveye Giant by the steps looking forward to these in spring. Once I have the beds tidied over there are going to be a few evergreen shrubs removed and replaced by ones that will provide winter flowers possibly witch hazels after seeing the fantastic colours in the photos and journals.
22 January 2011 17:44:48
Have done no gardening the last couple of days due to work and the severe frost, ground frozen solid, pond a skating rink again with the ducks having to make do with any little patch that defrosted in the sun. Freezing fog has been lingering until lunchtime although today was bright and sunny. Went out as the sun was setting to take some photos I love the ever changing picture have put up a series of photos in January Sunrises Sunsets, the reflection of the sun on the icy pond are my favourites. Although there are bulbs peeping up there is very little in the way of colour and having seen all the photos especially of Mary and Paddy's garden I am going to have to seriously rethink my planting to have some winter colour. It's going to be another cold night here fog dropping cann't see much happen in the line of gardening tomorrow other than a bit of removing dead growth.
20 January 2011 11:20:16
One Man and His Dog Reunited.
On the 8th January Snoopy Johnny's brothers dog ran away he was here while Dick was in hospital and was very unsettled the fear was he would try to find his way home to Ardee. There have been adverts on the radio, in the paper, contacting the pounds and a posters put into shops all to no avail. Dick came out of hospital last week and the search continued to no avail we really had given up hope of finding him on Monday he returned to hospital getting out yesterday again. Riders coming here had been alerted of the escapee as it was One Man and His Dog Snoopy being Dick's faithful companion he was devastated at his disappearance. On Monday night a sighting on the day he escaped was reported but this dog was heading northwards so Tuesday we set off armed with posters and making enquiries to no avail north of the border. Returning home there was a text from a client who had just seen a collie dog near the border and so off we set again but no dog, however enquires at a farm beside the sighting gave us hope it might be him. No telephone call yesterday until 6pm when the farmer rang to say he had the dog impounded and so after 12 days Snoopy and Dick were reunited last night. The one problem we had was that there was no photo of Snoopy so this morning he had his mug shots taken and from this one you can see how happy One Man and His Dog are reunited it's bound to aid Dick's recovery. Very cold and foggy here today not looking hopeful for any work in the garden.
19 January 2011 17:15:36
Connie my gardening companion
Beautiful but chilly day although had to remove my jacket and hat as it was quite warm in the corner of the terrace, the frost didn't clear in the shade and the pond is covered in ice beautiful sunset this evening again. First job this afternoon was to fill up the bird feeders as once again the birds have been busy on the feeders. Spent a short time in the tunnel sowed my sweetpea Fragrance Mix have decided just to sow one type this year last year I sowed six different types. Plants that I potted up on Monday look as though they have perked up I was wondering how they'd cope with the cold some of the narcissi planted a couple of weeks ago in pots are starting to peek up in the tunnel. Decided to start into pruning the whippy growth off the wisteria but need a long ladder and I think a assistant to do the upper part. The last job was to try and sort out the pink jasmine - Jasminum beesianum by the patio door as it was just a mess, untied it and laid it out on the ground teased out the tangled stems and pruned out a few older stems I will buy some trellis tomorrow and then tie the stems back into place which should show the plant off when it flowers later in the year. Connie sat basking in the afternoon sunshine keeping me company as I worked.
19 January 2011 10:42:27
Hot On Cold
This is the scene here at 9:20 this morning sun rising but oh so cold again trees are white pond frozen beautiful to look at but bad for the mind in some ways as the prospect of more Artic weather.
19 January 2011 10:35:31
Ice Skating Again
Poor ducks are without their pond again it was showing -5 on the car earlier, yesterday there was ice just around the edges although it stayed all day pretty cool here. Hope we're not in for another artic spell sun is shining but fog is now coming down.
17 January 2011 18:22:15
End to a Fabulous Day
Such a fabulous day sun although a bit on the cool side early on managed to get most of the plans completed potted up hollyhock nigra and bunnytail grass seedlings. The bargain bulbs are planted as are the Echinacea Magnus roots and Phlox David's Lavender safe in the tunnel along with pots of oriental lillies, Narcissi Minnow found a home in the bed on the NW of the house. Relanted the cotoneaster that the dogs had rooted out have now put the sonic dog repeller into the bed but don't know that it's that successful in keeping the dogs out. All in all a good days work and good for the mind. Hope this weather continues so as more jobs can be ticked off the list.
17 January 2011 18:04:56
After the Chop
Always bit nervous as to how little or much to prune off, Johnny seems to think that it shouldn't be touched so while he was away I set in, possibly could have done a bit more but you cann't stick it back on. Looks much neater now.
17 January 2011 17:59:21
First job was to prune back the untidy growth on the clematis Montana and prune the roses so tested out my new Felco secateurs have to say it was a joy as they are so easy to use and so sharp.
17 January 2011 17:56:07
Start of a Good Day
Have had no garden time for the last while so had lots of plans of jobs to do and needed a day to clear my head. On the list was to prune the climbing roses and Clematis Montana at the back door, replant the Cotoneaster that the dogs dug out in the NW corner bed. Another job was to plants some of the bulbs bought last week they were bargain ones while in the tunnel seedlings needed potted up. Before I started had a quick wander round the garden lots of bulbs and plants emerging need to finish the tidy up to the terrace bed now so as not damage them.
15 January 2011 18:29:52
Bulbs for planting
Friday morning had to go as far as Craigavon shopping centre so decided to call into B&Q to see if they had any bargain bulbs left, bought a packet of 10 Purissima tulips, 15 miniature Minnow narcissi and two boxes of 30 mixed bulbs one called Berries and Cream and the other Sweet Sorbet mix the cost 50p a packet, had also decided to buy some Felco secateurs with money I was given at Christmas. I need to replace the ones I have as there have been such good reviews of them so hopefully pruning the wisteria will be an easier job some roses and clematis to be pruned as well the secateurs cost £45 so I will have to really look after them. It's nearly impossible to leave without having a look around the plants outdoors, only plant that tempted me was a very tall bamboo for under £20 there were a lot of smaller bamboo plants as well, just cann't make up my mind however I might go back yet as I think bamboo would look good in a planting by the pond. After reading all the journals about seed sowing decided to have a quick look at the seeds added a packet of True Fragrance mix then had to have a look at the spring bulbs again impossible to leave without some being added to the trolley. Bought Ebony and Ivory Gladioli, Mixed Dutch Iris, Oriental mixed lily, Echinacea Magnus, phlox David's Lavender and Brodiaea or Californian Bluebell total spent on bulbs £21.40 as a lot of their packets are 2 for £5. It has been a very wet and wild day here today and tomorrow is the final of our show jumping that should have finished early December so roll on Monday when it'll be into the tunnel to plant up the bulbs in pots that way they can get placed into the beds once the weather improves. Managed to watch Carol Klein last night it's fascinating how the garden changes so quickly pity it's not longer than 30 mins. Need to sort out all the packets of seed and saved seed and decide what other one's I want to sow everyone else seems to have made these decisions. The other job that really needs done is a clear up of the kitchen garden it's a mess after the weather the only vegetable left is leeks. Noticed the Rhubarb starting to peep up today when digging up some leeks for soup there's lots of weeding to be done in preparation for spring arriving.
13 January 2011 10:40:57
Yipee! We Can Swim Again
Today is the first day since about the 23rd November that the ducks have been able to swim in the pond, it's hard to believe the ice lasted for 7 weeks. There were small areas not frozen early on but since beginning of December it was solid looking like it was going to thaw and then freezing again. Over the last few weeks the ducks have been making use of the flood water ponds on the fields or flying off to bigger lakes in the area. Even today there must be ice beneath the water as they swim a bit and then seem to climb up walk on ice and then swim again. Wonder will the swans return they came back to the flood water until the dogs chased them would love to have a resident pair will just have to keep wishing and hope it comes true.
12 January 2011 15:20:49
Kalanchoe from Clara
Clara sent me a tiny Kalanchoe plant back in November along with a selection of seeds. This little plant is now doing well becoming sturdier everyday so thanks Clare for this little plant with luck it'll continue to do well.
12 January 2011 15:15:49
This is one of the two Amaryillis I grew last year, the other one is not doing as well and the one I was given this Christmas will be a while before it is anywhere near flowering.
12 January 2011 15:09:49
Paper White Narcissi 12/01
At Christmas I was given Paper White narcissi and after reading the comments on them was apprehensive about having them in the house. They came up very quickly and started to open on the 10th so far I do not find them an obnoxious smell but in the event that they are they will be moved out.
09 January 2011 19:38:17
Rainbow Coloured Sky
Busy all day working but what a start to the day, into the kitchen at 8:15 to bake brown bread scones to go with homemade vegetable soup for competitors at the show jumping competition we were running. The sun was just starting to tinge the sky pink and over the next hour the sun rose higher in the sky which was capture in more photos what a vision to set me up for the day. The rain last night had frozen and everywhere was treacherous underfoot and on the roads but a few competitors braved the conditions to compete so from 10:30 until 4:00 pm was tied up with the jumping and then followed a riding club meeting so it was dark by the time finished.
08 January 2011 15:01:42
Sunrise 8th Jan
This morning at 8:30 the sky started to change colour as the sun began to rise beyond Castle Leslie Estate was fascinating watching the ever changing clouds from the first pink clouds to the sky on fire just before 9:00. Have put up an album with photos taken over 30minutes before I started teaching at 9:00am has been a very changeable and sharp day here temperature 0c at lunch time sun out now with lots of dark clouds drifting northwards with luck there will be another fabulous sunset this evening which seems to be one of the pluses of this weather.
07 January 2011 21:00:29
The King and Queen
Spent the morning washing the floors and trying to get everything back ship shape. After lunch James asked me did I see the swans on the pond and there slip sliding about were a magnificent pair of swans, the pond is frozen solid again and they were sort of sliding and waddling across it managed to get some photos before the Three Musketers in the form of Connie, Brady and Socks decided that these big white birds were intruders. They set off across the grass barking and next thing they were up and away. It's been over a year since we had any swans here as they left before the freeze last January wonder will any arrive back if it ever stops freezing. Temperature here after lunch 1c around 5:30 it was 5c and it started to snow has been sleet and snow falling not much but temperature dropping again 4c when I came in at 8pm.
07 January 2011 11:21:09
Sun on Ice
Weather here has been very cold with ice on any lying water roads quite treacherous again. Spent the 6th taking down the Christmas decorations all back up in the attic it was not a day for working outdoors as ground frozen even though the sun was shining. This morning woke up to a white scence once more due to freezing fog again the garden took on a Christmas card look but then around 9:30 the sun broke through and the fog has cleared looking out now at blue skies but very cold so no gardening today again more housework and then teaching this afternoon. Put up some photos in New year beginning .
03 January 2011 20:38:27
Sky on Fire
The frost has returned with the pond being frozen over from yesterday and with the frost last night there was ice on any water on the fields as well. An inspection of the Last Supper in the tunnel found the table bare so it was replenished again. Spent the morning along the terrace tidied up the pots of roses started on the terrace bed still more to be done but it's easier working from the bed beneath , ground quite hard in places even though the sun was out had to remove my jacket but not the hat or ski trousers needed gloves as well. This afternoon cut back some plants in the east bed by the steps but as the afternoon progressed the temperature started to drop so decided to call it a day. This evening there was the first sunset of 2011 along with the sky full of tinged pink clouds. Forecast doesn't look that great for the northern part of the country over the next few days with the threat of sleet snow and frost I hoping that it'll not materialise, weather permitting there's a lot more that needs cleared to alllow bulbs emerge without further disturbance there are a few plants that need moved and split but they'll have to wait until spring arrives. Have posted up a few sunset photos.
01 January 2011 20:29:30
Ready For The Off
Yesterday bought a new wheelbarrow for the garden in anticipation of a good day weatherwise. Fairly mild so ideal for a day to continue the tidy up, I had started in November but the snow and frost put an end to that. First job was to fill up the feeders and then off to the poly tunnel to collect the garden tools was shocked to see the state of the place as there was compost scattered all over the shelving and bulbs unearthed. The shock turned to dismay as I started to tidy up, the Quail narcissi and Iris all seemed to be in the pots although they had been disturbed, but the 80 crocus had obviously become a New Years Eve dinner for some rodent not one bulb left, hollyhocks seedlings bit tattered looking and compost lying on top of other seedlings. Other plants that had been set on were Fran's Carex and sedum cuttings although there was no damage to the plants, luckily all the Glory of the Snow was on the table used as a work station so they've been left there. On examination a hole was found so tonight if they come back hopefully they'll enjoy there last supper. It was a delayed start to the clear up and I'm now wishing I'd planted the bulbs in the flower beds. Lots of dead mush cleared and a few weeds removed from the NW bed notice spring bulbs peeping up with lots of green shoots appearing on the perennial sweet pea both in the ground and pots. Have potted up some hardy geranium roots that became dislodged while cutting back some of the soggy foliage so quite a few plants in waiting in the tunnel and for get together swops. After lunch the beds along the front had the same treatment with the roses being pruned back as they were very blackened if they don't pick up they be for removal later in the spring work continued on round to the east gable bed some crocus and other spring flowers emerging but the bed looks so bare will have to make a plan to improve the planting in these beds for winter and early spring. Rose bushes here also got a severe pruning so they possibly are waiting on death row as well these roses were planted in 2007 and cost £10 for 4 so I won't be too upset if they go although one of them Covent Garden has the most fabulous red blooms. Won't get time in the garden till Monday, that's if weather permits with the focus on the bed along the terrace, temperature dropped here this evening just hope that it's only temporary.