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Bernie B's Journal

Bernie B's Journal

Last Post 2589 days 12 hours ago

Meet Alfie

21 October 2010 21:03:03
Alfie

Alfie

It has been ages since I have posted on the site. Haven't been doing a lot in the garden except for the basic clearing and tiding up. On the 30th of August  my lovely cocker spaniel Fred who was with me for fourteen years passed away and would you believe only two weeks later my little gardening mate Harry (my 6 year old black cocker spaniel) got run over. I have been heart broken and I am just getting over it now. I miss them dreadfully. 

Two weeks ago I got my new puppy Alfie and he is such a cutie. He has helped to fill a huge space in my heart. Unfortunately he is a digger and just loves digging up my plants. Hopefully he will grow out of it. He loves being outdoors and like Harry follows me everywhere and loves to help out in the garden!!

 

Insect ID please

29 September 2010 13:00:56
Strange Insect

Strange Insect

Can anyone identify this strange insect that I spotted in my garden. He was quite large and has a long tapering "snout" which he was using to take the pollen from the flowers. I have never seen anything like it before. I have posted a clearer picture in my September 2010 album.

Astrantia "Hadspens Blood"

16 September 2010 00:10:26
Astrantia Hadspens Blood

Astrantia Hadspens Blood

I went to Kilmurray Nurseries today to buy Astrantia "Hadspens Blood" which has been on my wish list for ages. Even though its only down the road from me I had never been to Kilmurray before...O wow I felt like a child in Toysrus on Christmas eve. Of course I came home with a lot more than intended, I bought Aconitum Nepellus "Monks Hood", Filipendula "Ventusa", Sedum Purple Emperor, Astrantia Margery Fish, Geranium Mavis Simpson, Kniphopia Bees Lemon, Pennistum Rubrum Spring as well as my precious Astrantia Hadspens Blood. So easy to get carried away...

I got home about 2 and got stuck in to planting my loot as well as a loads of spring bulbs. Unfortunatly spent most of the afternoon running in and out dodging the showers. I will hopefully get the rest of the bulb planting done tomorrow.

On the move

08 September 2010 21:46:21
In full bloom

In full bloom

I cut down most of my spent gladoli today as they were well battered by the wind and heavy rain over the last few days. I want to dig them up and re plant them next year as I had planted them too close togeather but not sure when I should do this. Should I wait for the leaves to die down? If not how far down should I cut off the leaves and how do I stop them rotting.

End of my first gardening year

06 September 2010 16:54:42
Sedum Stewed Rhubarb Mountains

Sedum Stewed Rhubarb Mountains

Hi All. It's been a couple of months since I have posted a journal but have looked in most days to see how everyone is getting on. I have the day off today and because it is so wet outside I have been indoors catching up on the housework before I go back to work tomorrow. All the housework is done now so I have the feet up and I'm going to upload some photos of how my garden looked before the torrential rain. The garden is getting a right old soaking which was so needed and it will help to soften my clay soil so I can plant my spring bulbs.

The end of my first year of gardening is drawing to a close and I am delighted with how much I have achieved. I now have three very long herbaceous borders fully planted and plan to make another four over the next few months or so.  I have already started the seed planting in preparation. We have been eating the fruits of my labor over the last couple of months from our raised veg beds. I must admit I made quite a few mistakes, mostly planting everything too close together and unfortunately due to work commitments and not having the time to look after everything, a lot either went to seed or got eaten by pests. But I have learned so much and will try not to make the same mistakes next year.  I did have a bumper crop of tomatoes though and have made vast amounts of tomato chutney and tomato sauce. Thank you Krista for those "Charm" tomato seeds you sent me as most of the sauce was made from these wonderful big plum tomatoes.

Thanks to my wonderful partner Andrew I now have a brand new potting shed which he constructed over a few days at a fraction of the cost of a similar one which I had spotted in a popular Garden Centre. I will also upload a folder of other completed projects for this year. Our next project will be to plant a hedge around our greenhouse/veg area. We hope to have this done and ready for planting when bare root hedging comes into season. I cant make up my mind on what type of hedging to use so all ideas welcome. I would love box but am too impatient to wait for it to grow and also need something that grows quicker and higher (maybe 4 to 5 feet) because of our open windy site. Fran I love your grisilena hedge, don't be surprised if you wake up one morning and its disappeared :0)

Good soil after potatoes

15 July 2010 13:37:56
Good soil after potatoes

Good soil after potatoes

I remember as a child my father saying that growing potatoes in the soil is really good for it and once you have a potato harvest anything will grow in the soil afterwards.Can anyone tell me if this is an old wives tale or is there some truth in it?

Back after a long time

14 July 2010 00:30:23
My favourite Cornflowers

My favourite Cornflowers

It's been absolutely ages since I posted a journal but I have been in and out keeping up with whats been going on and can see how busy everyone has been in their gardens.You have all worked so hard this year but it surely paying off now as all your gardens look really beautiful....well done to everyone.

 I have been very busy at work for the last six weeks working up to sixty hours a week so I'm really tired now. But I still manage to find time to do some work on the garden. Not as much as I would like but cant do it all. My garden has really come to life this week and I am going to upload a June July Album. All my seed planting has paid off big time and I'm delighted with how it looks. But have a lot of weeding to do in the side bed. This I hope to get this done over the next couple of days.

I have eaten my Home Guard new potatoes, spring onions, some carrots, purple sprouting broccoli, loads of different lettuces, beetroot and radishes so far and am really looking forward to my tomatoes.  I have only had about ten ripen and these were tiny cherry tomatoes.

 

Aquilegia

31 May 2010 20:56:46
Aquilegia

Aquilegia

Spent the weekend in Limerick and on the drive home I was enthralled by the lush growth everywhere. Don't think I have ever seen the countryside looking so well. I wonder did the harsh winter spurt everything into super growth. We sure live in a beautiful country.

I have just finished watching the last few episodes of the Chelsea show which I had recorded. I'm sure Jacinta, Fran and all of you that visited must have had a ball, looks like heaven on earth. The stars of the show for me were the Aquilegias, so simple but so pretty with so many varieties and colours. Definitely going to try and grow some from seed for next year. Has anyone done this and can you give me some tips and advise.  The easies to germinate, when is the best time to sow etc.

Looking forward to Bloom and I hope to go either Thursday or Friday.

Double bonus

26 May 2010 19:02:01
Mushrooms popping through the compost

Mushrooms popping through the compost

I got some waste mushroom compost from the local mushroom farm about six weeks ago which I used as a mulch for my flower beds. Low and behold I have a crop of lovely mushrooms just after popping up. We had them on the barbeque this evening and they were delicious. It must have been the hot weather that brought them up. The compost has also done wonders for my heavy clay soil too. Double bonus!!

Today was really lovely in the garden, not too hot so I got loads done. Today was mostly spent working on my vegetable beds. I hoed between the onions, earthed up the potatoes for the second time, planted out tundra cabbage, broccoli and the last of my brussell sprouts, planted out leeks, tied up my broad beans which have come on really well.  Tidied up the greenhouse and put more plants out into the cold frame to harden off as I am running out of room now that the tomatoes are growing strong.

Now it's time to sit back with a glass of wine in hand to watch the Chelsea flower show which I have been recording for the last few days. Well deserved I think!!

Busy busy

21 May 2010 22:18:26
Beds coming to life

Beds coming to life

I haven't posted in awhile but have been logging in to read all the journals. I have been very busy in the garden keeping on top of things all this week. Today was such a lovely day even if I did get sunburned. I was out from early morning planting out bedding and perennials that I'd grown from seed. Still have a lot more to put in but it will have to wait  until next week as we are off to Galway tomorrow for a couple of days. All the vegetables are coming on really well. I have four types of tomato plants Gardeners Delight, Harlequin, Sungold and Charm (the latter are from the seeds that Krista sent me, thanks Krista ) twenty plants in all.  All my onions have put on massive growth in the last few days as are the potatoes. Unfortunately my purple climbing beans are a bit worse for wear; I think I planted them out too early but have sown another batch. Delighted the way things are coming along in general as I am totally new to gardening.

I'm going to put up a few photos soon.

Back to the garden

09 May 2010 21:36:30
Back to the garden

Back to the garden

Back from the hols mid week and I cant believe the amount of growth there has been while I was away. When I walked into the greenhouse it was like  walking into a tropical rainforest.....such a change from when I left.

I have spent the last few days catching up on all the work. Got the grass cut and loads of weeding done. Planted up window boxes, earthed up potatoes, hardened off loads of the annual seedlings, potted up lots of seedlings, planted more veg and flower seeds, planted out peas, climbing beans, mangetout, potted up peppers and chilliies and five  different types of tomato and put up netting on raised beds to protect the brassica from caterpillars.

My daughter did me proud looking after the greenhouse. She came in every day to water and ventilate and has been around every day since to check on her babies just to make sure I'm looking after them!! (I think she's hooked).

Unfortunately slugs have got into the greenhouse and have had a feast on some of my beans and sunflowers and a few herbs. I cant find them but notice a slimy track up the glass in the mornings. I have put down some slug pellets so hopefully that will do the trick.

Delighted how things are progressing with the veg and have had a few lovely salads of rocket, baby leaf lettuce, radishes  and spicy oriental leaves since I've come home.

I have been catching up on all your journals and looks like all of you have been really busy. Lots of spring plants growing and I am learning a lot. Planning all my spring bedding for next year. 

Hanging baskets

24 April 2010 22:17:27
Hanging baskets

Hanging baskets

Planted up hanging baskets with Petunia and Lobillia. Will leave them in the greenhouse until I return from my holidays and then wil harden them of before putting them outside.

All packed and ready to go

24 April 2010 21:29:29
All packed and ready to go

All packed and ready to go

Off to Germany tomorrow. Will be away for about ten days. Going via France & Belgium and will be camping out so hopefully weather will be fine. My daughter is moving in to look after  the greenhouse, veggie beds and of course the dogs. So hopefully all will be well when I get back.  

Dublin Airport About an Hour Ago

22 April 2010 21:09:23
Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport

Thought you guys might get a giggle out of this photo I received on an email.

Spuds looking good

21 April 2010 20:57:26
Spuds looking good

Spuds looking good

When I planted out my new potatoes I put about four tubers in a compost bag in the greenhouse. They are doing really well. I have earthed them up four times so far. The ones in the raised beds have barely peeped above the soil

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