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Gracedieu Lass's Journal

Gracedieu Lass's Journal

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Phymosia umbellata.

17 August 2017 23:09:13

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I was given this plant as a cutting this time last year and thought it was an Abutilon, however Mary O' Connell visited the garden last February and recogonised it as Phymosia umbellata which she had seen in Helen Dillion's garden. It survived the winter with me and in May I put it into a display of tender plants outside the back door. The weather this summer has suited it and it has grown into a beautiful shrub. It is a native of Mexico and relative of Hibiscus and known as the Bush Mallow. It has soft furry leaves and large cerise flowers. It can grow up to four meters in Mexico, but I don't think it will reach anythink like that in the sunny south east. 

Photos are courtesy of Paddy as my camera is not that good at taking close-ups of flowers.

New Gardening Programme.

16 August 2017 14:49:25
New Gardening Programme.

New Gardening Programme.

With the weather being so miserable today I am reduced to watching daytime television. However, while watching Channel 4, during the break in that wonderful programme 'Four in a Bed', there was a promo for a new gardening television programme. On Monday next 21st August at 9 o'clock Dee Hart Dyke, a keen gardener is visiting open gardens around Britain and tries to convert her daughter Miranda (well known comedian and actress) to the joys of horticulture. It looks like a very nice produced programme and I am a person who loves to peep over the gate into other people's creations, so this should suit me down to the ground. It will be broadcast over three episodes.

I am wondering if Mr. Middleton is printing any bulb catalogue this year as I found the on-line one to small to read and just generally awkward. It is a day for going through bulb catalogues.

Clematis purpurea plena Elegans.

14 August 2017 16:31:12

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This is my favourite clematis with it's beautiful double dusky pink flowers. It flowers from June until late September and it is covered in flowers from start to finish. I have it growing on an arch which is the enterance to The Lane and it is growing with Rosa Zepherin Drouhin, a thornless rose with a fantastic scent and beautiful pink flowers.

Lophosoria quadripinnata.

14 August 2017 15:45:10

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I am not keen on growing tender plants in the garden as my garden is not mild and the soil can be very wet during the winter months. However, this spring I was given a gift of Lophosoria quadripinnata, a type of Tree Fern. I am so glad I found somewhere that is sheltered to plant it as it just looks brilliant at present. Who knows if it will survive the winter, but I will try and protect it and hope it increases in size over the coming years. Since the two bad winters we had a few years ago, I am not so adventurous in trying border line plants, but maybe this will encourage me to grow plants that I use to grow before. 

Elizabeth's Cottage Garden.

25 July 2017 12:24:57

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On Saturday last Elizabeth's delightful garden was open in aid of the Marymount Hospice. We arrived at about three and the garden was full of supporters for this worthy cause. The garden looked amazing and it was a credit to Elizabeth for all the hard work she has done over the months. It had been Spring when I had last visited Elizabeth's garden a few years ago and at that time it was covered with primulas both cultivated and native. So, it was such a surprise to see the garden change from it's delicate spring colours to a fiery Summer palate.The collection of plants that Elizabeth grows is mind boggling and her hot borders for me stole the show. Red monarda, Berberis and crocosmia contrasted with yellow daylillies and rudbeckia and backed with foliage of a wonderful Senecio petasites and the stately seed head of her Ferula.

At the bottom of the garden is a cool woodland garden which is planted with a collection of trees. My favourite was Acer griseum, the Paper-bark maple with it's beautiful peeling bark. Under the trees were many beautiful hydranges and other woodland plants. A little stream also meanders through Elizabeth's garden which is planted with numerous ferns. A collection of succulents was displayed near a sitting out area and begonias were placed on a bench in a shadier part of the garden. 

At the end of our visit it was so nice to sit and chat with a cup of coffee and the delicious cakes that were provided by the many helpers on the day. Looking forward to the next Open Day.

The Irish Garden Magazine.

20 July 2017 23:14:36
The Irish Garden Magazine.

The Irish Garden Magazine.

I bought The Irish Garden magazine today and was delighted to see Mary O'Connell's garden featured. Shirley Lanagin's description of the garden and all the fantastic tender plants was so well written and conveyed Mary's enthusiasm for gardening. The photos were stunning and did justice to Mary's beautiful garden with is fantastic views over the river Lee.

Congratulations to Jackie on her win with a photo of a beautiful blue poppy.

Jacinta, did you see Shirley's column in the magazine, 'Flying High' wondering what was the box garden she sees when travelling from Dublin Airport? 

Tatton Park BBC Tonight.

20 July 2017 08:26:50
Creeping Thyme.

Creeping Thyme.

Just a reminder of tonights coverage of Tatton Park Flower Show 7.30 BBC 2.

I was disappointed with Gardener's World visit to Jimi Blake's garden on last night's programme. I could have done without Jimi jumping on the trampoline, nothing to do with gardening. Very little reference to any of the many plants growing in the garden and only the garden around the house was shown. 

We are off to Carlow tomorrow night to hear Monty Don speak, which is part of the Carlow Garden Festival and the festival will be running for the next ten days or so. There seems to be lots of good speaker this year, so worth taking a trip to Carlow for some of the events. I am also hoping to get to Hardymount Gardens to hear John Anderson speak. Many, many years ago, John was head gardener in Mount Usher Gardens and has since leaving Mount Usher worked in gardens in the UK.

Old and New.

17 July 2017 14:20:04
Old and New.

Old and New.

I have just purchased Shirley Lanigan's new book 'The Open Gardens of Ireland'. I started to read it but was drawn to the book she wrote in 2001 'Guide to Irish Gardens' published by O'Brien Press. Both books have the same format, but as I was reading her new book it brought back memories of other gardens no longer surviving and gardeners no longer with us, that I started to read her old book. It was sad remembering the many lovely and generous people that I have met through gardening over the years, but also the great times we would have shared in their gardens. 

The number of gardens open to the public have increased since the 2001 book which is great to see. Also lovely to see members of Garden .ie from most counties included in the new book. However, looking back at the Waterford listing only one of the private gardens listed in 2001 is included in 2015 edition, so well done to Margaret of Abbey Road Gardens,  who in 2001 drove myself and George Kavanage to the launch of Shirley's  book in Dublin. Lismore Castle and Mount Congreve, as well as Tramore House, now The Lafcadio Hearne Japanese Garden are still included A little snipped from Shirley's account of our garden in 2001 'The stone wall holding up the beds is eye-catching and well built' and still standing today. Well done Paddy.

This book is a must have for anyone who loves visiting gardens, so buy it and put it in the car, because you never know when you will need it. My old edition is a little brown now from the many years travelling the roads of Ireland.

Colclough Walled Garden.

07 July 2017 14:08:22

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On Tuesday last Paddy and myself visited The Colclough Walled Garden near Saltmills, Co. Wexford. This garden has been restored in the last few years by volunteers, organised by Hook Tourism. The original layout of this Georgian Walled Garden has been reinstated as it was in the 1830's. The walled garden is divided into two sections, the ornamental and the kitchen garden. The area in which the garden is suitated is surrounded by beautiful woodland of beech and Spanish chestnut, which gives a wonderful backdrop to the garden. 

During the restoration, the workers came across the foundations of an old glasshouse which has now been reconstructed with sponsorship from many locals. The various varieties of apple trees growing in the garden are also sponsored by locals and clubs in the area. This garden seems to have been a great community project. 

The garden is well worth a visit and deserves to be supported.

Hydrangea.

07 July 2017 00:38:36

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Early July and hydranges are at their best. It has been such an early season that I wonder what will be flowering in August and September.  I noticed Agapanthus are starting into flower and believe it or not the first Anemone japonica 'Honorine Jobert' has one wide open white flower, a plant that should be flowering in late August. 

Programme Reminder.

05 July 2017 18:58:23
Programme Reminder.

Programme Reminder.

The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is on BB2 at 9.30 this evening with Joe Swift and Monty Don.

A Beautiful Morning.

05 July 2017 09:20:13

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It is a beautiful July morning here in the sunny south east. The light was fantastic to take photos, so I ventured out before breakfast. I think it maybe too hot for gardening during the day, so maybe get a little fix this evening. Enjoy the day what ever you are up to.

Allington Grange, Wiltshire, England.

03 July 2017 22:27:29
Allington Grange, Wiltshire, England.

Allington Grange, Wiltshire, England.

We visited this garden when on holidays at the end of May. It was open under the National Garden Scheme, which raises money for a number of charities like McMillian Nurses. I had checked out their site before we left on holidays and was really surprised by the number of garden that were open. The garden was the chocolate box cottage with a beautiful cottage garden. 

Clematis Season.

03 July 2017 10:25:48

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July is the month that Clematis  are at their best and who in this world cannot love a clematis. 

Fern ID.

03 July 2017 10:13:53
Fern ID.

Fern ID.

I know very little about ferns and was wondering if anyone could identify this one for me. I do love to see ferns growing in a garden as I think they add an exotic and lush look to the planting. When buying ferns my choice is based on if the name starts with the letters 'Dry' it is okay as it will grow in dry shade. I do have a few others which were bought because I liked them and most have survived with various degrees of success. I saw this one in The Bay Garden yesterday and loved the way it was lit by the light in the woodland garden.

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