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Gracedieu Lass's Journal

Gracedieu Lass's Journal

Last Post 2 days 9 hours ago

So Lucky.

24 February 2017 10:01:00

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We were so lucky here on the south coast in relation to the rest of country with the passing of Storm Doris on Wednesday/Thursday.  The wind on Wednesday night was strong but no damage was done apart from a lot of flower buds blown off the Paulowinea and the old flower heads of Cardiocrinum snapping from the base of the plants. We were driving through Dublin on Wednesday evening and the conditions on the M50 in North Dublin was dreadful with rain and wind and it didn't improve on the N9 despite been further inland.

We were returning from Ulster after a funeral and while there we called to visit a few friends and of course could not pass one or two gardens. The weather on Monday was nice and we visited the gardens at Castlewellan Co. Down, where only last year, the Narcissus 'Lady Annesley' was found after many years. We also called into see the gardens at Mount Stewart and it was delightful to walk around the lake on an early spring day and watch the water foul busy making their nests. The formal gardens in Mount Stewart were not at their best with many of the plants still covered up. There was also a lot of reseeding of lawns, possible due to the amount of visitors it has during the year, which is great. Will put up albums of both gardens over the weekend.

Of course we could not pass Johnstown Garden Centre and purchased a few bit and bobs. 

Blue and Yellow.

17 February 2017 14:17:03
Blue and Yellow.

Blue and Yellow.

I do like the combination of blue and yellow. When I was young my 'Tramore' bucket and shovel was alway blue and yellow, so no surprise that blue and yellow are now a combination I like in flowers. The primula is Primula 'June Blake' a seedling that arose in the garden of June a few a years ago. This primula is very floriferous and the flowers are held on dark stems. Pulmonaria  'Blue Ensign' is very well know and it has to be one of the best with it's intense blue flowers and green leaves. It is always the first to flower here for me.

p.s. Seaside bucket and shovel in Waterford were always know as 'Tramore' bucket and shovel, even if you were buying them in London.

Hellebore Mix Up.

14 February 2017 23:09:33

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Yesterday, I uploaded a photo of a double yellow hellebore which I mixed up with a single one I have had for many many years. The double one I bought in Altamont in February 2014 and could be a Harvington Hellebore. I should take the photos myself so that I look at what photo  I am putting with the journals.  I find the site is very helpful for keeping a record of my plants as I am someone who is not very good at keeping records because I KNOW I will remember them, like hell I will.

Pressure.

12 February 2017 21:23:26

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We are under pressure to get work done in the garden for an upcoming garden visit next week by a gardening club. The weather has not been kind to us over the last few weeks, so with only a few days left Paddy was out cuttting the grass today in freezing cold weather. Since Thursday last the cold wind has been dreadful. Snowdrops, cyclamens and iris are getting whipped by the gusts. A little sun would be so welcome to help bring plants into flower. In Janurary plants were doing well, but now growth seems to have come to a stop. The hellebores are also feeling the cold which is disappointing as there are one plant I always look forward to flowering.

Iris unguicularis

07 February 2017 15:17:57

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Despite the frost, wind and torrential rain that we have experienced over the last week these little Iris have been flowering their socks off. They have been producing bunches of flowers every day for the last few weeks and started flowering last Oct/Nov. In October, only a few flowers, but by this time of the year they are in full production. It will lessen the number of flowers when we go into March, but for a small little plant it deserves it's place in our gardens. In the photo there are three different varieties, Iris 'Mary Barnard' blue, Iris ' Walter Butt', very pale blue and Iris 'Kilbroney Marble'  which is an Irish heritage plant.

A Nice Collection.

07 February 2017 15:02:20
A Nice Collection.

A Nice Collection.

We went for a visit to a local garden today and came back with a very nice collection of plants. We got three beautiful Leucojum vernum, also known as snowflakes. Two unusual shrubs in the collection were a Camellia transnokoensis and an Irish Oleria macrodonta 'Willie Brady' from Glenveagh. I also came home with a weeping fig and Sparrmannia africana, both tender. I know on the site we often hear about the kindness of gardeners and today I can lend my voice to those sentiments.

Looking forward to seeing them growing into large shrubs and lots of flowering bulbs over the coming years.

A Blast from the Past

03 February 2017 09:31:04
A Blast from the Past

A Blast from the Past

A photograph taken on 3rd February, 2012, at Altamont Gardens, Co. Carlow 

Altamont Gardens, 31st Janurary 2017.

01 February 2017 15:14:56

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Paddy and myself headed off to Altamont Gardens near Ballon in Co Carlow yesterday. The weather was nice and bright and not too cold. The annual Snowdrop Gala is being held there next Saturday and followed by the Snowdrop Week. The gardeners were hard at work getting the gardens looking great for the event. Robert is heading off to England to collect more snowdrops and plants to add to the great stock already available in the nursery. Needless to say we arrived home with two new snowdrops Galanthus ' Reverand Hailstone and Galanthus 'Jessica'.

Spring.

01 February 2017 14:34:08

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Well for me anyway, today, St Bridget's Day, 1st February, always marks the start of spring. Looking out the window this afternoon does not confirm that with the rain and the wind, but I did notice this morning that the pond has frog spawn in it, so we cannot fight it anymore. Spring has sprung.

Rainy Days and Mondays.

30 January 2017 11:06:57
Galanthus 'Honeysuckle Cottage'.

Galanthus 'Honeysuckle Cottage'.

I hope no one is too down today and being positive here is Galanthus 'Honeysuckle Cottage', a snowdrop I bought three years ago looking good in the rain yesterday. It has increased well to about nine flowering bulbs and seems to stand up well to the weather. It is a lovely photo of one of MY snowdrops, as I choose by size and most importantly sentimental names. I always buy snowdrops when in flower as I can see what they look like and I always buy three bulbs, which means that I never can afford expensive ones. I like clean white snowdrops that are tall and elegant and hold themselves well. Not keen on snowdrops with green marks on the outer segments, however Galanthus 'Jessica' is an exception. I do love the yellow marked snowdrops and one of the first ones I ever grew was Galanthus 'Wendy's Gold', a gift and which remains my favourite. On my wish list is Galanthus  woronowii ' Cider with Rosie' love the name, like the glossy green leaves, not that keen on the flower, and most importantly, can't afford it.

Lots of snowdrop events this February all over the country, so no excuse not to get out there.

Bulbs, Corms and Hellebores.

29 January 2017 09:37:30

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It maybe raining this morning, but the sun yesterday had many of the Spring flowering plants taking full advantage of the heat. It has been a very mild winter and not too wet, so the early flowering plants are well ahead of normal and growing at a very fast pace. It is only a few weeks since the leaves of the hellebores were removed and now the flowers are in full flower or at least nice healthy buds about to burst into flower.

The cyclamen coum are such a wonderful little plant in leaf since Autumn. The leaves vary from green to grey with various markings and so lovely to see them during the darkes day of November and December. I love their dainty little pink flowers which contrast with the silver markings on the leaves.

The snowdrops are now being joined by the iris and the daffodils adding to the colour in the garden.

Iris unguicularis.

28 January 2017 10:40:20
Iris unguicularis.

Iris unguicularis.

Depsipe the grey dull weather during the week my Iris unguicularis have been flowering their  socks off. There are two cultivars in the photo, Iris unguicularis 'Mary Bernard' and Iris unguicularis 'Kilbroney Marble' an Irish cultivar which was introduced by the Slieve Donard Nursery in Co Down who are no longer in business. These Iris have a beautiful scent and if you ever come across them at a plant sale they are well worth the place in the garden.

The daffodil is Narcissus 'Jenny' which is in flower since Christmas. 

It is a beautiful sunny day here in Waterford, but a little chilly.

Double Ellen Hellebores.

26 January 2017 23:35:29

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I bought these two hellebores last year in Lidl for €3.99. They have grown into two beautiful plants with amazing flowers and no sign of any disease. Despite the strong winds today they held their flowers upright. The one on the right has a green in the flower which makes it very unusual. They associate well with ferns and snowdrops which are just about to flower among them. Paddy was good enough to give me two close-up photos of both flowers.

Winter Flowering Shrubs.

26 January 2017 23:14:58

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Rhododendron 'Christmas Cheer' is a fantastic winter shrub, flowering from October through to March. The flowers are a pale pink and contrast beautifully with the darker pink buds. It is a nice compact shrub and suitable for a small garden.

Another winter flowering shrub worth growing is Ribes laurifolium 'Amy Doncaster'. It is an evergreen currant with laurel like leaves and delicate pale cream flowers. It is a small shrub about two feet in height and a spread of three. 

These two small shrubs added a little colour to the garden today on what was a cold grey windy day.

Hellebores 'Anna's Red'

23 January 2017 19:56:17
Hellebores 'Anna's Red'

Hellebores 'Anna's Red'

Linda B was wondering what a our Helleborus 'Anna's Red' is looking like at present. 

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