Last Post 783 days 12 hours ago
30 March 2011 18:09:33
Tulips basking in the sun
Very little rain the ground is barely damp and once the sun came out mid morning the temperature rose rapidly although there is quite a breeze. You can nearly see plants rising out of the ground having put on a real surge of growth and lots of tulips etc on the verge of opening. Did very little gardening today opened the tunnel, added some growmore to one of the veg beds trod it down as it was quite loose and watered it as there has been so little rain removed any stray weeds at the same time will tread it over again as I want to plant the brocolli etc in it. This afternoon after teaching watered plants and seedlings in the tunnel, sowed some cauliflower seeds now in the propagator still plan to buy some plants to give me a head start.
30 March 2011 11:17:34
Sweet Sorbet Mix
Eventually the rain has reached here and is falling softly just misting the ground very overcast and stiff breeze coming from the SE so think it's not a gardening day unless it brightens up as forecast later might catch up on the house work. In the April addition of Gardens Illustrated there is a note on a new garden programme on Tuesday nights Monty Dons Italian Gardens - considers the history and worldwide influence of some of Italy's classic gardens. Four part series currently planned to start 5th April at 9pm on BBC2.
Think Caroline is catching the gardening bug she already has a few planters in her garden but keeps saying she doesn't know how to go about making a garden or caring for the plants. I have offered to help, given her plants for her planters offering her some of the flowers I've germinated from seed. Yesterday evening she said how she'd love this colourful planter in her garden so slowly but surely she's getting the urge to garden more. Alan her husband has told her if she wants a garden to go ahead so perhaps one of her strong young brothers or brother in laws can be conscripted into doing the ground work to get her going.
28 March 2011 18:07:24
Tulips basking in the sun
Not much done in the garden but did plant both Red Baron and Stutgart onions in the kitchen garden the beds are quite dry will sow carrots as I did last year beteen the rows of onions. Bought Gardens Illustrated and Irish Garden while in Monaghan this afternoon only realised there was a paket of Cosmos Candy Stripe attached to the cover of Garden Illustrated and these have been sowed and into the propagator. Going to have a quick browse through Garden Illustrated before going to teach feel I should be outside doing something in the garden but just don't have the energy.
28 March 2011 12:07:54
Forgotten I'd Planted These
Discovered Snakeshead Fritillery in front of a group of tulips that should open very soon I'd forgotten that these had been planted going to look really good together when they are fully open.
28 March 2011 12:03:35
Muscari and Butterfly
Checked seedlings in the tunnel all look okay there was a fair frost here this morning, moved some more plants outdoors then off around the garden to see what's new in the garden lots nearly there captured this shot in the terrace bed.
28 March 2011 11:59:49
Damage by dratted pups
Brady and Socks have decided that digging up the flower bed on the NW of the house is now the thing to do. Yesterday I filled in the hole they had dug behind a clump of daffodils must have been digging to get to Australia bit of damage done but nothing major. This morning horrified to see they'd been at it again and this time iris bulbs look worse for wear, other plants have been lifted out and they must have been trying to bury Johnny's short wellies. Am going to have to repair the damage again cann't understand either why they have to lie on the flowers in that bed as they have the dog house by the back door, need to put a stop to this now before it really becomes a major problem.
27 March 2011 21:25:44
Dainty Snakeshead Fritillery
On the way back from the kitchen garden went to see how the fritillery were coming on so many blooms they obviously like the damp conditions as it was quite waterlogged at times will possibly lift and split them.
27 March 2011 21:19:44
Rabbit Proofed Gate
The last job today was to rabbit proof the kitchen garden gate Johnny had promised to do it but it seemed to be on the long finger. While driving to Armagh for the greenhouses I remembered that in the basement there were some wire shevles off an extinct growhouse in the basement. Wired them to the inside of the gate leaving no gaps for the little blighters to get in. Tomorrow plan to plant the onions, sow some swedes and probably plant out the brussel sprouts and brocolli plants from Lidl.
27 March 2011 20:55:13
Today I sowed more of the seeds that Clara sent me, sowed Scabious tall Double Mix, Sunflower Sungold, Swan River Daisy Summer Skies, Marigold French Dwarf, Nicotinia Red Devil and Aster dwarf. Decided after lunch to nip to armagh to Pound Stretcher to see if they had any mini greenhouses bought two at £9.99 each and seed propagator 3 in 1 X 2 packs total £29.96. Once home assembled them and they're already occupied by newly sown seeds, peas,french beans, Royal Bride poppy seedlings all closed up for the night. Moved out trays and pots from the utility room as well so just the heated propagator still indoors. In the tunnel the Spicy salad leaves are up and the Little Gem cos lettuce germinated in a couple of days. Pricked on the Morning Glory seedlings 48 in total flying along never gown these before but looking forward to them climbing up obelisks in the flower beds as well as the sweetpea Fragrance mix.
27 March 2011 20:42:49
I'm looking for advice about lifting the seedlings around the anenomes in the NW bed. Can I lift them now or should I leave them till later? Plan to divide and move some of the anenomes after they've flowered they really are making a wonderful display since the ceoanthus was executed earlier this week everyday the patch gets bigger.
27 March 2011 20:36:47
This is the shavings fork we use in the stables but I've nicked this one to the kitchen garden doubles as a rake but strong enough to use to lift soil etc sifting out stones and weeds quite light as well. I find it a very useful tool can be bought in a tack shop.
26 March 2011 18:41:55
Sweet Sorbet Mix
Bought this collection of bulbs Sweet Sorbet Mix in the discounted section in B&Q planted in pot in tunnel now sitting outside the kitchen patio door to the terrace lots of tulips about to appear.
26 March 2011 18:37:58
Sir Winston Churchill nearly open
After reading the journals about Sir Winston Churchill narcissi not appearing this photo is of mine nearly ready to open lots of tulips now on the verge of opening and hyacinths are well on the way to opening have posted up some photos which is the only time I've had in the garden this last two days due to work. Hoping tomorrow the weather continues and with sunset at just before 8pm it'll be brilliant. Just watched most of Gardeners World missed the first part but will watched it on BBCiplayer it's on next Saturday at 5:50pm which is very early as it'll be garden time unless the weather's bad.
24 March 2011 15:08:40
Kitchen Garden Ready To Go.
Must have been a case of the early bird catches the worm today at Lidl and I was late. Wanted to get some vegetable plants to get a head start on having tasty veg straight from the garden arrived just after 10:00 and managed to only get a tray of calabrese and some strawberries so now I'll have to take a trip elsewhere. Picked the first of my rhubarb today yummy rhubarb crumble for lunch so off out now to plant up the strawberries in a pot before teaching again at 5pm.
23 March 2011 22:31:30
Planting in place
Finished off a fabulous day by planting in lupins, aconitum and sorbaria from the plants in waiting. This planting will provide good colour over the summer months and then I'll possibly change it in the autumn. Before I could plant the lupins I had to tease out any of the Lysmacihia that had worked it's way through the roots will have to keep a close eye on it incase I missed any as I definitely don't want any of it in this bed. Took some photos of the area and with the evening sun glowing on it I have to say I'm really pleased with it. There are photos of before and after posted in the March album.
23 March 2011 16:39:37
Final Execution Has Taken Place
What a day more like summer than spring so warm out there from mid morning. Gerry Keego's husband delivered the plants from Johnstown get together thanks to Rachel, Linda B, Una for the plants and I'm assuming the other thanks is to Keego. It was great to get plants with labels who from and what I am on them, have potted on Una's primula but a question Una do they have a name? This morning it was decided that the final execution would take place as Johnny was enlisted with the aid of his bobcat to remove the very sad ceoanthus from the NW bed toyed last year with carrying this out but it was given a reprieve and by the autumn produced a few flowers. The winter really took it's toll on plants and while others will bounce back this poor shrub had come to the end of the road. Machine power is very useful as there were lovely anenomes and daffodils around it and my biggest fear was they would be well and truly damaged but the bobcat levered it up out of the ground with a bit of help from me and the garden fork loosening the soil. Once half loosen Johnny repositioned the bobcat reattaching the ropes and it was up, up and away no damage done to flowers in the process. I had planted in mint in the corner of this bed and it had been running riot this last while earlier in the year I had removed a lot of it and today even more was pulled out also lifted looks of the variegated periwinkle have potted it up until I find a place for it also three little geranium plants now safely in the tunnel. It's amazing the difference that it's made to the appearance of the NW bed in the removal of this shrub not sure what I'm going to plant in but possibly the lupins from the east bed will join the ones already there and the aconitum also from the same area due to the plans to eradicate the lysmachia. Plan to lift the daffodils etc after they're finished to remove any other runners of the mint definitely won't plant that again either as it's too invasive. Will have to think long and hard about what shrubs to plant but at the moment finances won't stretch to purchasing new shrubs. Off out to do a bit more before teaching and to relieve the stress of working out how to send web texts free from my lap top to clients about what's on ended up being a bit of a rigmarole.
22 March 2011 23:20:44
It's nearly two years since Margaret passed away and this coming weekend it's a year since the riding club planted Betula Tristis in memory of a wonderful member and friend every day she is in my thoughts. Under Margaret's tree we planted lavender, dianthus and Snakeshead Fritillery these are now opening wasn't sure if they'd survive the winter but think they've actually multiplied.
22 March 2011 23:12:17
From the Kitchen Garden
What a day very warm and even clammy in the afternoon decided it was time the potatoes went to their bed already have Pentland Javelin in bags in the tunnel see the first shots peeping out of the compost once they're up a bit I'll add some more compost and top soil mix. Before I got going I had to strip off the jacket which was quickly followed by sweater then off with another layer as my temperature rose. All the beds gone over again removing any weeds that had been missed when I weeded a few weeks back very useful tool is a shavings fork as it's like a leaf rake but much sturdier in that it can be used to sift out stones and even larger weeds. One job that has to be done is to rabbit proof the gate there was quite a tunnel in the bed beside the rhubarb, very tempted to pull some but decided to wait until I have time to use it straight away. Two beds of potatoes in the main crop is King Edwards and 2nd earlies Maris Piper, next job is the onions once the garden is rabbit proof hopefully tomorrow also have asked for posts to be driven in to provide better support for the raspberries. Plan to sow some swedes direct in one of the beds and others such as cauliflower etc.into pots in the tunnel. Has anyone any comments on Lidl vegetables or strawberries as I'm thinking they might be good to get a bit of a head start they're on sale on Thursday. Lifted some of my leeks to use in vegetable soup even though it's not really soup weather, was really pleased when David son number two commented on how good the beds looked but he declined offering a helping hand.
21 March 2011 18:30:59
Execution Carried Out
For the last lot of weeks I've been wondering whether it was time to have an execution day for the Ceoanthus and Cistis as they were looking fairly dead. Yesterday I considered this again as the brown was really depressing and after posting up a journal where the concenus was they'd reached the end of the stay on their execution. This afternoon they final met their sentence with six shrubs being removed so now it decision time as what to plant. There is now one other Ceoanthus in the NW bed that needs removed but due to it's size it'll take a bit of manpower and I'm nervous about damaging the other plants in the bed but it has to be done.
20 March 2011 23:59:16
To Go or Stay
Am trying to decide do I execute the ceoanthus and the cistis or do I leave it was sad looking last year but this year it's looking very dead. Tomorrow might be Dead Man Walking Day for them anyone any advice that might get them a reprieve?
20 March 2011 23:55:07
What a fabulous day the heat in the tunnel sortly after 11:30 saw me remove jacket and fleece. Opened the window and door wide open started to reorganise plants out went the pelagoniums decided they were deceased, planted up lilies etc in pots and then tackled sowing some salad leaves, Little Gem lettuce, Klevedon Wonder peas, Blue Lake french beans, Nantes carrots. Sowed into pots some more rudbeckia Cherry Brandy, Cleomes, Clare's own clematis, Squirrel grass, Marigold Crackerjack now in the propagator. Moved out sunflowers and 1 squirrel grass seedling to the tunnel and if this weather keeps up a few more seedlings will move out from the utility room. Tidied up the area outside the tunnel and a number of plants including the Ebony and Ivory Gladioli are now outdoors in the waiting area. Frans Libertia and a Pieris Forest Flame are now in pots on the steps at the back of the house, campanula planted into gap in the NW bed, little sedum into corner of the E bed, scabious Butterfly Blue into the bed at the front of the house and transplanted poppy seedlings into the corner of the E bed as well. Took a wander round with the camera couldn't believe that the Purissima tulips were starting to open. Also a pot of mixed bulbs are also well advanced tulips nearly ready to open.
20 March 2011 23:35:55
Honey's Golden Glory aka Toffee
As the weather has been good our horses and ponies have been turned out although they are all rugged up as it's cold enough at night. Our two old ponies are in the paddock in front of the house which has electrified fencing and a spring gate that is also electrified at least it would be if the fencing was switched on. Today Toffee decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the fence and he calmly came out under the wire gate. Put back in and five minutes latter he was out again and he rambled round the garden for the day and late afternoon he was joined by Chancer who decided to escape as well. Toffee is 31 years old and Chancer 26years and are like members of the family we've had them so long.
15 March 2011 18:00:20
Snowdrops and Tulips
It has been another fabulous day although I did nothing in the garden other than take some photos. The Morning Glory that I sowed yesterday is now out of the propagator as most of it has germinated in 24 hours there is also some of the cosmos and China asters peeping through the compost. Seedlings in the tunnel that I moved on are all looking very perky along with the 3 marigold crackerjack that I moved from the utility don't know why more didn't survive but I will some more. Hope the weather has turned the corner again although there is still snow on the bed on the north of the house which is unbelievable. The minature tulips are open in the sun and look very cheery especially like them with the snowdrops and the moss covered piece of log.
15 March 2011 17:52:16
Fabulous sunset 14th March
Was a great day yesterday spent some time sowing seeds and planting some of the Lidl bulbs bought on Sunday. At 6pm I had to collect Conor from Scotstown and I was kicking myself that I had no camera as the setting sun behind the Monaghan hills was fantastic. Arrived back to find it was still setting and the sky was on fire out came the camera to capture it.
13 March 2011 22:37:15
Landing Gear Down
While out taking a few photos went to close the tunnel window and heard beating wings of swans overhead went out to see them flying towards Glaslough then they about turned back towards the pond and down they came wonder how long they'll stay. Had to run into Lidl and ended up adding some bulbs to the few groceries I needed as they still had a few boxes on display now have Aquilegia Alpina, mixed Ixia, lily Elodie, yellow lily, iris Blue Magic, Gladiolus Passos and unusual flower Ornithogalum most will get potted up tomorrow but will plant the gladiolus, iris and Ixia into the flower beds providing the weather improves.
13 March 2011 22:27:22
Blanket of Snow
This morning still snow lying on the fields although it quickly disappeared turning into a reasonable day although rain at times. Spent the morning in the tunnel repotting some of the residents and sowing seeds. Now in the heated propagator are China Asters, geranium Capri hybrid mix, Rudbeckia Rustic dwarf, Morning Glory Choice Mix, Cosmos and Royal Bride. Then this afternoon decided to be lazy and watch the rugby still not able to get rid of what has now turned into a head cold. Took this photo this afternoon of the snow still lying on the north side of the house where it must have drifted as it's about 15cm deep at the hydrangea.
13 March 2011 22:16:06
My red amaryillis now has all three flowers open certainly was a lovely christmas gift.
12 March 2011 08:25:41
Well the weather predictions of snow were right as this morning it's a bit of a reality check with feilds white and daffodils peeping from under a white blanket. Brings us back to earth just to make sure we know spring hasn't arrived yet.
08 March 2011 21:39:20
Lady in Red
Since Sunday morning I've been feeling under the weather with flu, I think that probably is the result of setting into the kitchen garden on Saturday afternoon there was a pretty sharp wind blowing late afternoon. The weather has now turned much cooler with a skiff of rain this evening so all in all the work has ground to a halt at the moment. Depending on how I feel tomorrow may sow some more seeds but first need to sort out what's already germinated but need to bring a bit of shelving in from the tunnel and set it up in the kitchen. In the garden some of the crocus are now going over but other lots of tulips nearly open they need the sun though. My red amaryillis is opening slowly looks like velvet will be fabulous when it opens fully.
06 March 2011 11:40:21
Recieved this package from Clara on Friday will be able to open a garden centre if I sow all of them. Thank you once again Clare for your generosity now I have to get into sowing mode.
06 March 2011 11:36:59
Lady in Red
This is a Christmas present from one of the children you rides here is going to be going to be fabulous when it opens.
05 March 2011 23:03:03
Kitchen Garden March 5th
Was thinking of you all this afternoon as I managed to get a few hours in the kitchen garden weeding beds have one more to finish and then a general tidy up. It was a cooler day but just to be out listening to the birds, ducks and children outside playing in the village with just the dogs for company. Once all the beds are weeded I plan to get Johnny to bring some of the very well rotted manure like black soil to add to most of the beds then I'll start to plan what is being planted this year.
03 March 2011 23:58:58
This morning was cold and foggy here so decided to catch up with housework and some cooking. By lunchtime the sun had appeared and it turned into a lovely afternoon so made a start on the kitchen garden there are six raised beds and all of them badly need weeded, that is one of the downsides of having a wild area around the pond as the seeds from the wild flowers flourish in the beds. Only had a couple of hours before teaching but now have one bed weeded think garden time will be limited tomorrow but hopefully Saturday afternoon I'll tackle another with more being tackled on Sunday pity I couldn't find a fit young man to do this job for me.
02 March 2011 17:47:35
Tete a Tete
Another cracking day although bit cooler than the last two days as there was a breeze. All the plants have been removed from the east border into pots compost sacks and aubretia and other edging plants now planted in between the boulders supporting the south bed hopefully they will like there new home. More tulip buds appearing think they are the mied miniture ones. Finished up this afternoon planting the early potatoes Pentland Javelin into potato sacks now lined up in the tunnel. Tomorrow weather permitting I'll make a start on the Kitchen garden getting raised beds weeded and ready for vegetables also must see if I can find the terracotta chimney liner and a piece of slate to force one of the clumps of rhubarb.
02 March 2011 11:15:03
Basking in the March Sun
What fabulous weather it's been flowers opening to bask in the spring sunshine and even better this weather to continue very frosty at night but the days are a real bonus. Planted out the gladioli Mon Amour and Nori into the NW bed among the perennials that have now replaced the artichokes. Removed some more plants from the east border some have been replanted elsewhere others are gone to waiting into pots or compost bags heading out to do some more lifting and then hopefully the bed can be sprayed as I think it'll need done quite a few times if I stand any chance to eradicate the lysmachia and these dry calm days are ideal. Lots of poppy seedlings etc which I'm going to lift them and transplant or pot up until I decide where they will go.
One other job yesterday was the sorting of plants to move to newhomes these will travel to the get together with Keego and are now on the first part of their journey hope they all do okay for you following list of what's for who.
Rachel, Jacinta, Clara - Campanula Elizabeth, Krista - Jasnimium Beesium, Perwinkle - Campanula Elizabeth, Jasninium Beesium, Una - Scabious Butterfly Blue. Fran I know you only asked for Sorbaria but have put in some Campanula Elizabeth and Jasminium Beesium as well.
Off out to the garden now as sun is up so with luck it'll warm up similar to the last few days as it's great to be able to work without so many layers of clothes.