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Gracedieu Lass's Journal

Gracedieu Lass's Journal April 2016

Last Post 575 days ago

Is it me.

26 April 2016 22:20:38

Orchid ID.

25 April 2016 18:12:26

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Rachel kindly gave me this orchid last June when I visited her. She gave me the name of it which I was sure I would remember when I got home, but of course I didn't. It is starting to come to flower now and would love to know what it is called.

Auriculas and Two Nice Flowers.

25 April 2016 18:06:43

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Flowering today in the bright sunshine are two very nice flowering bulbs. The first is Narcissus triandrus 'Lemon drops, a very dainty daffodil which likes good drainage and will thrive in a raised bed or trough. The tulip is Tulipa 'Peppermint Stick' a beautifully marked tulip. This species is also known by it's common name The Lady Tulip and it comes back each year and also increases in numbers.

I have over the last year or so started to collect  auriculas and Paddy has made me a very crude Auricula Theatre from orange boxes, however running out of space already. I think I will have to have a look in some second hand shops to see if I can get the top half of an old dresser to display them. Possibly by the time I track down the dresser, I will have got fed up of the auriculas.

Myrtle's Garden.

24 April 2016 10:24:50

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We were at the Alpine Garden Society's Spring Show in Cabinteely yesterday and we met Myrtle who invited us over to see her garden. Her garden is set in a very lovely location having the perimeter of Cabinteely Park facing her garden and so benefiting from the mature trees. The front is a sight to behold and her talent for colour combinations is evident. She has divided one area, on the right hand side of the front garden with a path and has planted pink flowering plants and bulbs underplanted with purple foliage. She continues the purple foliage to the other side, but changes the flowers to orange. This effect makes a small area seem so much bigger. 

On the left hand side of the garden the land rises and a huge Agapanthus is growing here which anchors the planting in the rest of this border. There is a beautiful standard variegated Myrtle underplanted with a Epimedium 'Lilafee'.  Also here is a lovely specimen of an Acer palmatum. On an arch a blue clematis invites you to explore more. Towards the back of the front garden a formal sitting out area with another very mature Acer palmatum and her Schefflera set the scene. This area, according to Mytrle is being replanted at present. However, I don't think much will have to be done. There are pots of plants around the house placed in ideal positions. 

The back garden, which is the children's playing area, has a nice lawn for them to run and play. Along the back wall large shrubs are planted, one being a large Crinodendron. In a black ceramic pot a most beautiful fern is happily growing. 

Thanks Myrtle and Ron for a most enjoyable afternoon and the delicious tea and scones.

Three Trees.

22 April 2016 15:51:31

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These three trees are looking good in the garden at present. They have all been planted nearly thirty years ago and have grown into good specimens.

It has been another cloudy, grey day here in Waterford. Did a little gardening and pottering about.

Tulips in the Borders.

21 April 2016 10:14:10

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The tulips that are grown in the borders at The Bay Garden are chosen to compliment the emerging foliage. In the first photo the Tulipa 'Mount Orange' stands out so well against the bark of the Acer griseum and the emerging Milium effusive ' Aureum'. The second photo is of Tulipa 'Angelique Double' and Tulipa 'Burgundy Lace' growing through, what I think is Catananche. In the third photo red tulips are planted through the dark foliage of herbaceous plants. Often by the time tulips are ready to flower their foliage can look a bit tatty and this can be hidden by the emerging herbaceous plants. I think this is an idea that we could all try in our gardens, small or large.

Pots at The Bay.

20 April 2016 19:51:35

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A few photos of tulips growing in pots at The Bay Garden today.

Tulips at The Bay Garden.

20 April 2016 18:56:54

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We took a trip to County Wexford to view the tulips at The Bay Garden this morning .It was open for a monthly guided tour of the garden. The garden look splendid with a huge planting of tulips in the vegetable beds and tulips spread throughout the rest of the garden in contrasting colours. The day was glorious and the tulips were wide open with the sun. Well worth a visit especially on a sunny day.

Paeonia ' Claire de Lune'

19 April 2016 18:03:37

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She could not resist the sun today and she has finally opened. I am delighted and excited. I am easily satisfied. 

April Album 2016.

19 April 2016 17:54:30

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I spent the whole day in the garden today and it was the first day this year that really felt warm. I did a lot of work in the back garden yesterday and today and have it reasonably under control now for the planting of a few new plants. 

We went to Enniscorthy last Friday evening to hear Bleddwy and Sue Wynn Jones of Crug Farm and it was so enjoyable hearing of their plant hunting trips to North Vietnam.

On Sunday we headed down to Fota House in Cork for the Fota Plant Fair, which is always a great day out. Needless to say I bought a few bits and pieces, however, was not as organised as Elizabeth to place my orders before hand, which is such a good idea. I bought Iris ensata 'Laughing Lion, Iris ensata 'Gracieuse', Athyrium nip. 'Burgundy Lace, Chrysosplenium davidianum. Asarum magnificum, Aricula 'Mersey Tiger and Aricula 'Glenelg'. On Friday evening I bought Diphylleia grayi. I really enjoyed my gardening weekend and I hope it is the first of a many over the summer.

I took a few photos of the garden today in the beautiful sunshine.

It's back

18 April 2016 13:31:08
It's back

It's back

SUPERGARDEN Tuesday 26th April. 

Magnolia Season.

15 April 2016 23:46:39

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It is the time of the year when the magnolias are at their best. Magnolia ' Leonard Messel' is the first to flower each year and I love the soft pink colour of its flowers. Next to flower is Magnolia stellata, of which I have three growing in the garden, Magnolia stellata ' Centennial' which I planted six years ago when my son David was married, Magnolia ' Rosea King' about ten years old and I also have a Magnolia stellata which must be about fifteen years old. 

I have a Magnolia soulangeana which I brought with me to this garden when I moved here thirty years ago. It is growing in The Lane and now reaches over the path. I put in two large Magnolias about twenty years ago, Magnolia ' Raspberry Ice' and Magnolia ' Heaven Scent' which I bought in Bodnant Garden after seeing them growing in the woodland garden. 

Over the years I have continued to add more of them to the garden, Magnolia 'Susan' and two yellow ones which I am very fond of, Magnolia 'Yellow Lantren' and Magnolia ' Yellow River'.  The yellow flowered magnolias flower a little later here. Everyone should plant a magnolia in their garden because in the spring you have beautiful exotic flowers to enjoy, in summer large green leaves which turn golden in autumn and furry buds all through winter.

Succulents

13 April 2016 09:39:32

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I have this plant for over twenty years and it was given to me by a friend. She did not know what it was other than a succulent. She later decided that it might be a Crassula, but over the years I would have thought it was a Kalanchoe. About a year ago I did see a plant very like it on a FB group page, but of course failed to take the name. During the second bad winter, a few years ago, the original plant was badly hit by the cold weather, I keep it in the glasshouse, and I took cuttings of it, so now have a number of plants. The red around the rim of the grey leaf is a beautiful contrast and now some of the plants are about to flower, which is orange/red in colour.

Paeonias from Holland.

13 April 2016 09:24:19

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The paeonias that  I bought last year from Holland are just romping away. Paeonia ' Claire de Lune' is producing lots of lovely flower buds and I was wondering if I will remove some as to increase the size of the blooms. Last year when I was visiting Mount Congreve one of the gardeners was busy removing flower bud from the paeonias in the paeonia border and I decided to do the same and the results were very good. Paeonia itoh ' Kopper Kettle' doesn't seem to have any flower buds but the foliage is very delicate, a beautiful bronze colour, which should look great with the copper coloured flowers. I have had them in the glasshouse since I got them last October, but have had them outside over the last two weeks to harden them off before I plants them into their final position.

Thanks again Liga for arranging the order and delivery of them.

Aeonium.

12 April 2016 18:35:19

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I received Cotswold Garden Flowers catalogue for 2016 in the post today and while reading through it at lunchtime I came across this.

Anne Pearson "I am off to castrate my Aeoniums'.

(Taking out the eye with the point of a knife causes them to branch and you won't even notice the damage.)

I thought this might be of interest. I have tall leggy plants and I am sure I am not alone.

Rainy Friday.

08 April 2016 11:30:48

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I went out to take a photo of The Lane a little earlire this morning as rain was forecast and of course just as soon as I stepped out the back door those little raindrops started to come down. The garden is most definitely starting to green up and the early spring flowering bulbs and shrubs are well and truly over. It feels like we should be getting a little bit of dry warm weather, but that does not seem to be on the cards for the coming week with temperatures dropping very low on Saturday night. It makes me felel sad to see beautiful plants coming into flower and not to be outside enjoying them and feeling that the year is moving on and still no good weather. 

I was checking out the weather for Fota on the 17th (Sunday week) and it doesn't seem to good, maybe we will go to the Alpine Show in Dublin the following week. That show is indoors, so not weather dependant, huge advantage.

I took these few photos of the garden as the rain started to come for another Friday.

Pretty Spring Flowers.

08 April 2016 11:10:04

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Three spring flowers that are flowering in the garden this morning and not only do they look pretty, but are great to stand up to the rain and hail that we have had to endure over the last few weeks.

The Two Blue Pots.

05 April 2016 18:11:40

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My two blue pots that I planted up in October are now full of Narcissus 'Lemon Sailboat', which is a very pretty daffodil. The flowers remind me of 'windmills' that as children we would have played with at the seaside. These pots were in flower with crocus in February and now the daffodils are taking over and the tulips are yet to come, so a great display over a few months with little effort or cost. The only disappointment was that I was a little mean with the number of crocus bulbs.

Camellia 'Buttermint'

05 April 2016 17:56:12

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I was so lucky today to be given this lovely camellia. Camellia 'Bittermint' is an early flowering white camellia and  I have seen it flower as early as Christmastime. It is only a very small plant at present, but has a very good root system and with any luck should turn into a beautiful plant.

Lost but now found!

04 April 2016 10:42:32
Lost but now found!

Lost but now found!

This is an e-mail which Paddy received this morning from Seamus O'Brien of the National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh, regarding an old Irish daffodil which was presumed to be lost but has been identified again in some old Irish gardens. We were in Kilmacurragh in early March and Seamus was telling us that he was searching for this daffodil so it is great news that he has found it and we will be able to see in in Kilmacurragh in coming years. 

 

Narcissus 'Countess of Annesley'

 

An Irish cultivar presumed extinct – alive and well

 

Narcissus 'Countess of Annesley', a late nineteenth century, large early-flowered daffodil that originated at Castlewellan in Co. Down, Northern Ireland, and long presumed extinct, has recently been found alive and well in a number of Irish gardens. The discovery was made by Alwyn Sinnamon, Foreman Gardener at Castlewellan Arboretum and Annesley Garden, at Castlewellan, and it was possible to trace its identity using original descriptions and drawings of the cultivar.

Narcissus 'Countess of Annesley' is an extremely vigorous and distinctive daffodil with a bright sulphur-yellow, twisted perianth segments and a rich full-yellow trumpet that's reflexed at its apex. 

The cultivar was first found by Thomas Ryan, Head Gardener to Hugh Annesley (1831-1908), the fifth Earl Annesley, and was named by William Frederick Burbidge, the former Veitchian plant hunter and Curator of the Trinity College Botanic Gardens in Dublin.

During the 1890s Narcissus 'Countess of Annesley' was grown as a cut flower in Ireland and the Isles of Scilly, and several tonnes of blooms were annually sold to the English and Scottish markets. It was planted en masse in front of Kew's Great Palm House in the late 1890s, and it also became extremely popular in New Zealand.

During the twentieth century it was superseded by modern cultivars and was presumed extinct until plants were positively identified from stock at Castlewellan and nearby, at Rowallane Gardens. Further investigations have found a third population is thriving at Annesgrove House and Gardens in Co. Cork.

 

Seamus O'Brien, National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh, Co. Wicklow.

RHS Woody Plant Committee (corresponding member). 

Tulips at The Bay Garden, Co Wexford.

03 April 2016 09:47:04
Tulips at The Bay Garden, Co Wexford.

Tulips at The Bay Garden, Co Wexford.

I have just read about a tulip extravaganza at the Bay Gardens, Camolin, Co, Wexford. This is the garden of Iain and Frances Mc Donald and they are open every weekend between Saturday 16th of April and May 15th, with a short talk each day at 3 o'clock on the planting of tulips.

It sounds like a lovely afternoon out especially if the sun was shining, our own little Kukenhoff.

What a Difference a Day Makes.

01 April 2016 14:26:17

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I photograph my Lane every Friday between twelve and one o'clock in the afternoon and most Friday's the weather is horrible, either raining, just about to rain or having just rained. However, yesterday when the sun was out and the sky was blue I took a photo of The Lane in it's spring glory. So, here are two photos with sun and without, because with the sun it is really a lovely spot in the garden and not always a soaking mess.

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