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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

Last Post 1 hour ago

Am I ready for Brian???

20 October 2017 21:12:24

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I'm still trying to clear up after Ophelia and even with the help of Elizabeth we only got the arches dismantled ... then we had a monsoon day yesterday ....Then they started putting out more storm warnings and I was on my own today so I desperately wrapped the greenhouse in baling plastic and reused some of the stuff from the arches to try and hold the plastic in place - so all fingers crossed - I really would like to have enough of the greenhouse left to repair when I can get some help!

I also have some very tasty cut-and-come-again lettuce that I'm trying to protect ....

Oh and I took a photo of the Tetrapanax that is my "makes me smile" plant - and today it did make me smile - well, until the monsoon returned! Just as well its dark now and i can't see if the greenhouse is surviving !!!!!

Best Plant(s) in my garden

18 October 2017 10:59:53

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Margie really set me thinking so I had a scroll through my photos for this year and there was no way I could find one that met all the criteria - also I've noticed that I seldom take photos of the plants that fit the first two criteria!

1. Best worker

2. Least minding

3. Lifts your spirits when you see it

4. Makes you smile when you pass by

So I'm combining 1 and 2 in my first photo - this is one of the Potentillas that I have in my little mini-Burren area. They are so trouble-free - just give them a good trim in the early spring and they flower for months right through the Summer into Autumn. They are so forgiving that even if you forget to cut them back for a few years they don't mind at all!

My second photo is the "Lifts your spirits" one - and it is one of my Rhus Typhinas - Rhus 'Tiger Eyes'. I have a couple of these and their wonderful Autumn colour really does lift my spriits particularly as I really dread the shorter days of winter which are just around the corner.

And the third one - the "Makes you smile" one is definitely my Tetrapanax Rex - this photo was taken in April after a late frost had killed off the first spurt of growth - but I have no recent photos of it in its prime! It is such a giant and it is the plant that most visitors gasp when they see it, and for this it definitely makes me smile when I pass it!

Ophelia - you hussy!

16 October 2017 17:20:16

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Look what you did to my garden, Ophelia - and I thought you were a lady!

I wonder could the wrecked arches become some sort of Art Project? 

And this time two of the missing panels of the greenhouse have vanished without trace!!!!

Think its time for a re-think!

But the main thing is that I am OK, the house is OK and Puss came home LOL


Puss turned up!

16 October 2017 17:07:23

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The storm must be just about over in Laois because Puss came out of hiding and was looking for grub!

I gave him a treat and he seemed to appreciate it!

Getting prepared

15 October 2017 21:38:59
Getting prepared

Getting prepared

Just spent some time putting the garden furnitute out of the way of Ophelia .....

My single dahlia

15 October 2017 14:04:12

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Jacinta posted a lovely single dahlia recently that reminds me very much of this one in my garden. It was an impulse buy a few years ago - a tiny bedding plant - but I loved the colour! It got planted almost at rendom where there was a space but it seems to like its location! I never take it in, I only remember to dead-head it occasionally but it is such a generous plant and its light and airy appearance lifts my spirits every time I pass it by. It is also very visible from the house since the new patio went in, so is really cheering me up on a rather dismal and rainy Sunday! - O course, there's a bit of a cheat as I took the photos yesterday when the sun was shining LOL


14 October 2017 00:29:08


the Poplars I planted at the front boundary 8 years ago really shot up the last year or so and they were starting to interfere with the telephone lines. The original idea of them was to provide some shelter from the north winds while the rest of the woodland developed. Silly me!The prevailing wind is South-westerly so they were no help at all in protecting the garden! Next time I'll check the prevailing wind before I plant!

So while I had help here doing the patio construction the Builder from next door kindly helped us with the aid of his cherry-picker to take them down.

So between the timber from the decking and the demolished trees I'll have fuel for at least next year!

Now all I have to do is get it to a state where it can be stacked to dry out!!!!

And I'll have kindling for years too!!!!

Project completed

11 October 2017 22:57:45

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Its been a long nine weeks. My decking had become so dangerous that I needed to bite the bullet and replace it with something safer so ater a lot of research and planning the project to replace the rather large deck with a patio got under way.

Week one and most of week two was dismantling the deck. Although there were quite a few rotton boards and timbers there were also lots of sound ones so the timber had to be sorted as it was dismantled and indeed there is still an awful lot of it still to be dealt with.

So I won't bore you with a blow-by-blow account of the project, but for anyone interested might like to browse the album!

The patio project was also an opportunity to add a sheltered pergola outside my back door which I have wanted for ages - and today was the day when the covering on the pergola was finally put in place!

Now all I have to do is clear up the building site that used to be my garden ..... and maybe get a bit of REAL gardening done!!!


P.S. - album to follow tomorrow I hope!

My best buy this year

03 October 2017 01:13:14

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What with the building project taking up the last six weeks - and now nearing completion thanl goodness - I was taken by surprise by the arrival of October - Well I was until I stepped outside this morning into a bitter wind! The wooly hat has replaced the summer kerchief, the warmer gardening jacket has come out of retirement and I even got a little bit of restitution commenced on the borders affected by the building.

So I thought I'd start a new theme - what was your best buy this year for the garden?

Mine has definitely proved to be this rose "Just Joey" picked up in a very bedraggled state for the princely sum of €2.99. It was covered with mildew but it had a few buds when I bought it. It is an old favourite of mine but when the first buds opened I was very disappointed as they were very misshapen and not at all pretty.

However I decided to see how it would react to a dose of my new Worm Fertilizer. (The wormery is still limping along - not doing much in the upper stories but producing a good bit of liquid fertilizer. I dilute it 1 to 4 ) I have been pleasantly surprised with the results of this fertilizer on other plants and so I gave Joey a good watering with it. That stuff is magical! The mildew disappeared, the misshapen leaves seemed to straighten out and best of all these lovely blooms reminded me why "Just Joey" was on my wish list!

For €2.99!!!! Definitely my best buy this year!

So what was your best buy?

3 favourites - at least for now!

29 September 2017 00:29:22

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Its so hard to pick three favourite plants or flowers. I love all my plants and each is a favourite for a different reason - so after much soul-searching I've come up with three that are a mainstay in my garden this year.....

The first one is the Native Bluebell. I am still removing any of the Spanish invaders I find and this year there were much fewer - but the native ones decided to march out o the hedgerow into my woodland area making me feel that I must be doing something right there! Once you have seen the native one beside the Spanish one it is easy to tell them apart! That's not to say that the Spanish ones aren't very pretty - but I am lucky enough to have some real native woodland near me and so I treasure these little plants - self-seeding is welcome for them!

The second one is the Montana clematis - there are three different ones in this picture and they are included because they started to make my Clematis Walk live up to its name! 

The third has to be Saxifrage Arendsii - don't know the variety of this one - it is a great pink colour fading to almost white. It loves my garden and has spread itself about in quite a promiscuous way but it is so beautiful in Spring and early summer when in flower and then the lovely moss for the rest of the year! What's not to like?

Boston Ivy for Jacinta

26 September 2017 23:58:45
Boston Ivy for Jacinta

Boston Ivy for Jacinta

This is the Boston Ivy I planted as ground cover a couple of years ago - looking good but you do need to keep an eye on it!

Hope this works!

26 September 2017 23:45:53

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Today I decided to tackle the ailing part of my Willow Hedge. First off I had to remove the dead bits - and there were quite a few of these! Since the rest of the hedge is growing at a phenomenal rate it was no problem to find suitable branches to re-make that part of the hedge. As I stripped out the dead bits I became aware that the extreme weight of the new growth this year on the top of the hedge was causing the whole hedge to sway in the strong breese of the day.

I had to decide what was best for the whole hedge so a combination of  using some of these new growths to strengthen the top of the hedge and cutting back the rest of the hedge. So I now have a veritable mountain of trimmings to shred or cut up for kindling!

But the hedge looks much better but I will have to make sure to water the new bits every day. This is not the usual time of year for planting this kiind of willow hedge but it is generally a good time for taking cuttings so on balance i felt it was better to take the chance of doing it at this time of year so I could strengthen the whole thing against our usual winter gales!

I may have to adopt a new strategy where this older hedge is concerned. The top growth is way beyond what the lower structure can support - some of the branches have put on over 3 metres in the single year and since many of the branches are also very thick and strong!

Only Time will tell if I have been over-optimistic! 

Two days sunshine

26 September 2017 00:28:57

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I know Ireland is renowned for its changeable weather and we seem to suffer  from some sort of collective amnesia when it comes to the weather. Two days of sunchine and we have compeletely forgotten that any other kind of weather exists!

And we are encouraged in this total "living in the moment" by the beauriful butterflies that swarm in our gardens as soon as the sun shines!

So here's to celebrating the sunshine however brief its visit to our county!

I think this is becoming a "Yellow Border"

24 September 2017 22:59:47

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I don't intentionally create borders with a colour theme - well, except for the Hot Border but this border in the front garden is definitely begging to be called the Yellow Border. At this time of year the Robinia pseudoacacia 'Frisia' is looking its best and the Rudbekia are complementing it well. Earlier in the year the Kerria lights up the whole area and the Leucanthemum are a vivd white with a strong yellow centre.  As we go towards Autumn the leaves on the Hazel beside it will take on a lovely buttery yellow colour.

All in all, a Yellow Border whether I intended it or not! 

Of course there are a few bits that don't really go with the Yellow theme .... there's a few lavenders at the edge of the border ..... and a really pretty pink Salvia "Penny Lane" that I got on a visit to Shirley Beatty's garden in 2015 .... and a pink Corydalis that surprises me every year in the Spring-time...

But in September it is definitely Yellow!!!! 

Raspberry conundrum

22 September 2017 22:55:03

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I have a patch of raspberries that fruit wonderfully at this time of year. So fas as I can remember I only planted one raspberry cane and since it came without a label i had to wait till it fruited to see if it was a Summer fruitiing or an Autumn fruiting and since it fruited in August and September and even into October I have treated them as Autumn-fruiting so I cut them to the ground in early Spring. They have increased at a great rate and need to be kept under control or they would take over the world!

So what's the conundrum? Well, this clumb is now about 2 metres by a metre in area but if I was to draw a line through the middle I would have one half covered in fruits, but the other half extremely healthy but not a fruit in sight!

Now I have no recollection of getting a second plant but I am beginning to think that the non-fruiting section must actually be summer fruiting. This could explain the lack of fruit - the summer ones fruit on last year's growth!

Only one answer - I'll have to leave the non-fruiters alone this Spring and see if they fruit!

But in the meantime I'm revelling in the delicious raspberries until the frost finishes them off!


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