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Gracedieu Lass's Journal

Gracedieu Lass's Journal January 2016

Last Post 662 days 22 hours ago

The Lane in Janurary.

31 January 2016 14:18:32

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St Bridget's Day tomorrow, the first day of Spring, well for me anyway. The Lane for the month of January has seen a lot of rain and wind resulting in some of the branches from the trees on the ditch to snap off. Paddy has collected two wheelbarrow loads of small branches and sticks in the last week. The Rhododendron 'Christmas Cheer' has finally finished flowering but has been replaced by Camellia 'Donation' which is covered with flowers, one benefit from a wet summer. The snowdrops that border both sides of the lane are now coming into flower and I think it will look good this year as we planted lots last spring. One sunny day last week I did notice a that they was a freshness coming back into the grass, a change from the mud.

Strelitzia reginae.

30 January 2016 16:38:33

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Just wondering if any member knows any thing about re-potting a Strelitzia. I went to re-pot it today and was amazed at how large the root had grown in the five years that I have it. Was there something on one of the FB pages of Exotic Gardening in the last few days about cutting some of the roots off?  I am not on FB anymore so if anyone has read anything, maybe you would let me know. The Strelitzia has never flowered for me, so I am not looking after it very well.  Thanks.

Lidl Hellebores.

28 January 2016 15:11:18

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I went into Lidl this morning to buy a few hellebores, but was a little disappointed as very few had open flowers and I do like to see what I am buying. However, I did pick up two plants, one which looked very nice, a double dark maroon, but labelled Hellebore 'Double Ellen Green'. The other one had a dark red bud and was labelled Hellebore 'Double Ellen Picotee', but 'Picotee', will have to wait and see. If I am around any of the Lidl stores over the next few days I will call in and see if anymore of them have flowered, as you could not argue with the price.

A nice article in the RHS magazine, The Garden, this month on hellebores and another  one on Iris. Peter's Iris 'George ' is mentioned as well as some other fantastic looking flowers with brilliant names like Iris' Sea Green, Iris 'Velvet Smile' and a beauty, Iris 'Starlight' which has a most delicate marking of sky blue.

Wild and windy here in Waterford this afternoon, so will spend the time reading and googling plants as I got Potterton's bulb and alpine catalogues in the post today.

Washington Post.

26 January 2016 11:49:11

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With the weather so miserable today I thought you might  like to have a look at this video of The Snowdrop Week in Altamont Gardens from a few years ago.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/letter-from-ireland/2013/02/19/dac385ca-722e-11e2-8b8d-e0b59a1b8e2a_story.html

 

Iris histrioides 'Lady Beatrix Stanley'

25 January 2016 13:52:03

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I bought two packets of this Iris last autumn just because of the picture on the packet. I am very pleased with the result and in the low light this morning the colour of the flowers was so intense. Hope they continue to increase over the years as some early flowering irises seem to dwindle away.

Beautiful sunny blue skies here in Waterford after a dull grey morning.

Snowdrops.

23 January 2016 16:40:06

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The snowdrop season is starting to warm up with the first of the big snowdrop sales starting today at Myddleton House, Enfield, near London, the former home of E. A. Bowles, a well know galanthophile from the middle half of the twentieth century. I have just been looking at some photos of the event with both a huge number of stall holders and purchasers there, it makes any plant sale here in Ireland seem very small indeed. Two weeks from now the Snowdrop Gala in Carlow is due to kick off. The speakers this year are Colin Crosbis, from the RHS gardens at Wisley and Jennifer Harmer, whose talk is entitled 'Meet the Galanthophiles', sounds interesting.There is also a guided tour of Altamon't  snowdrop collection and a number of snowdrop nurseries from the Uk are there selling snowdrops. There is a number of gardens open over the next few weeks in Dublin, Galway, Carlow and Tipperary. Full details of openings are on the back page of the current Irish Garden Magazine, so no excuses to get out visiting. 

White Hellebores.

21 January 2016 16:01:34

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Today is suppose to be the most depressing day of the year and looking out the window now one could not disagree. It is so dark and grey with little chance of the rain easing. Last week I took a few photos of some hellebores, so clean and white. I wonder what they will look like after the wet and windy weather of the last few days?

Spring Blooms.

20 January 2016 17:41:08

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Yesterday a friend of mine and her husband came for lunch, so out I went in the rain and picked a few flowers for the table. The combination of pink and yellow may not be everyone's choice but they did bring a lovely scent to the table. Manonia media ' Charity' is just starting to flower and the scent is just beautiful and it is not a fussy plant to grow. 

Snowdrops, cyclmens and hellebores are making an impression at present in the garden and will only  improve as we head into February. The weather here in Waterford has been rainy and miserable since last Sunday afternoon, a big change from the sunny, cold days of last week.

PlandaĆ­ Oidhreachta

17 January 2016 09:21:12

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Two articles on a project between the Irish Garden Plant Society and the Irish Society of Botanical Artists: 

 

http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/homes-and-property/gardens/masters-of-the-floral-art-1.2495554

 

https://igpsblogs.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/irish-heritage-plants-plandai-oidhreachta/

Heavenly Hellebores.

16 January 2016 21:23:45

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Despite the cold weather this week the hellebores are starting to look good in the garden. Over the years I have found that they seed freely around the garden, seeding themselves into areas where they look beautiful. In July 2014 I bought some hellebore seeds from Ashwood Nursery in England, who are renowned for their different strains. They were very expensive seeds with only five or six seeds per packet, so yesterday I was thrilled to see that two of the packets had germinated Hellebore 'Claret' and Hellebore 'Pale Pink'.

A Few Wintery Photos.

11 January 2016 13:53:49

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Just a few Wintery photos of the garden because it could be gone tomorrow.

Hello Jack Frost.

11 January 2016 13:24:57

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The cold frosty weather has arrived at last. The fog has just lifted, but it is still very cold with a watery sun. Any snowdrops and daffodils that have been flowering for the last few weeks are lying flat on the ground.  Struggled to open the doors of the glasshouses this morning, as they were frozen solid. I still think I prefer the cold weather to all that rain. 

Johnstown on Saturday was just brilliant, meeting up with so many members, new and old. Hazel and her helpers made sure everything went without a hitch. Peter was as entertaining as ever. It was very nice to have Alan and Michelle from Clare and Willie from Meath as lunch companions. I would like to thank Rachel for signing her book for me, a very enjoyable read recalling her mishaps and successes.

I was hoping to get out into the garden to plant the Mahonia ' Soft Caress', which I bought on Saturday, but I don't think that will happen today. Jackie, thank you so much for your kind gift of the salvia and sedum. Have just the place for the sedum and the salvia will add summer colour to my front garden.

Looking forward to Johnstown 2017

Plants for Johnstown

07 January 2016 16:27:19
Plants for Johnstown

Plants for Johnstown

I am so ashamed that all I have for Johnstown is three plants. 

Rosmarinus ' Jessop's Upright' x2 

Pseudopanax  ferox x1

If anyone wants them they are very welcome. The Rosemary plants makes an excellent hedge.

Looking forward to meeting everyone on Saturday.

Daphne bholua 'Peter Smithers'

06 January 2016 23:33:35

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I mentioned Daphne bholua 'Peter Smithers' in a journal earlier today and thought you might like to see photographs of it. There were taken in Mount Congreve Gardens recently. 

The reverse of the petals are darker than those of 'Jacqueline Postill'. 

The Glasshouse.

06 January 2016 17:00:43

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With the change in the weather this afternoon I decided to give the glasshouse a tidy-up  and see if by picking the leaves from the pelargoniums it would reduce the botrytis. The mild damp weather over the last few months has just destroyed them. I live near the river and the air is always damp and opening the doors and the vents in the glasshouse makes little difference. I think a fan to circulate the air would be the only solution. Other plants in the glasshouse are coping a lot better and some are thriving in the warmer conditions. I have not lit the heater so far this winter.

Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill

06 January 2016 16:45:18

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I was out working in the garden this morning as it was nice and dry and we even had a little sun. Gardens at this time of year can be very miserable and wet and it is very difficult to get yourself enthused to do very much. The snowdrops are well up and a lot of them are flowering and they will soon be joined by crocus and winter aconite which have just started to push out their flowers. Yellow crocus are the first to bloom here, a cultivar whose name has been long lost. The hellebores from Lidl, that we bought last year, are looking great, well worth the money. Hellebore 'Anna's Red' has been flowering for the last few weeks and will last longer than any of the others. 

I just noticed a couple of camellias in the lane have a sprinkle of flowers and a white one that I won in a raffle last summer in Mount Congreve is well on its way with plenty of beautiful fat buds. I am hoping that it is one called Camellia ' Buttermint', missing label when I got it. The witch hazel is just gorgeous at present at the top of the drive, in a place that you see it every time you arrive home. 

The shrub that attracts you with it scent at this time of years has to be the one and only Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill'. I don't know if it was the weather this morning but the scent was just wonderful. The Irish Garden magazine has a nice feature on it this month by Helen Dillion. They are an expensive plant to buy and are prone to dying but all I have growing are from suckers. I had one that lived for over twenty years and had reached a great size and was heartbroken when it died, but a friend kindly gave me three suckers and two have grown to be nice shrubs.

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