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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

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One thing leads to another

18 August 2017 19:20:57
One thing leads to another

One thing leads to another

So the project to replace the decking with a patio is under way. When the railings were taken away I suddenly had the opportunity to do a really good clean-up on the back of the main Herbaceous border.  As we all know, doing a good clean-up always results in a large volume of stuff for the compost heap.

Unfortunately the current compost heap is now about 8 feet high, and the two other bays are waiting for the reconstruction of the raised beds in the vegetable garden to be rebuilt .... so what to do with the mound of compost material?

Well, first of all I had to clear the way to the compost heaps. That area is behind a Living Willow fence which is in full summer glory - unfotrunately that means that I have to run the gauntlet of long branches to get past - so some time was spent cutting back the lower branches and tyingup the upper ones. Then I realised that the current heap is now so high I couldn't manage to get anything more onto it!

So back up to the mound of stuff. What next? Well I decided that if I shredded it and put it in bags it could be stored until the compost heap log-jam is sorted .... but that has to wait until the raised beds are re-made .....which has to wait until the decking project is finished as the raised beds will be made from re-cycled decking boards.

So now there are 4 bags of ready shredded stuff waiting ..... I hope not for too long!

Burren Homage

17 August 2017 00:33:00
Burren Homage

Burren Homage

My favourite part of this country is the Burren in County Clare so when i was designing my garden I included not only my Hazel Grove but also a Potentilla area where I gathered as many different Potentilla Shrubs as I could find. They are looking particularly good this year so I'm putting up an album ..... some of them have cross-bred and self-seeded - and all are welcome!

My next step will be to move all the Herbaceous Potentillas I have around the garden to join the collection!

Any ideas how to solve this please?

17 August 2017 00:20:23
Any ideas how to solve this please?

Any ideas how to solve this please?

I have a great big Gaura that i have had for a few years now. It flowers magnificently - but what a mess! It looks like a demented scarecrow and that's on a good day! I've tried various things to try and persuade it to show me its beautifu flowers but it just ignores me and stirs up all the long trailing strands into a veritable Mare's Nest!

Has anyone found a satisfactory way of managing this plant please?


Hope I did the right thing ...

17 August 2017 00:13:19
Hope I did the right thing ...

Hope I did the right thing ...

A few years ago I purchased a really pretty Prunus Triloba which was a real delight in the Spring. It flowered well the first couple of years but the past two years it was very disappointing. It was also getting too big for its location. so yesterday I set to with the loppers to put some "manners" on it. As I tidied away I noticed that there seemed to be two distinctly different leaves on the tree - and yes, you've guessed - it is a standard grafted onto a different Prunus and the root stock had sprouted from the graft! 

I know its probably the wrong time of year to be doing all this, but I was so upset to see what had happened while I wasn't looking that I set too and removed all the "suckers". Of course this left the tree looking awful - all lobsided and full of gaps - so that meant a serious pruning of the "good" branches.

The photo shows the results.

I just hope that (a) I haven't killed it and (b) that I may see at least SOME flowers next year :-)

getting hotter

13 August 2017 01:29:45

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I posted earlier in the year the way my original Hot Border had got infiltrated by lots of blue plants. I did a lot of work removing and relocating these plants which created a new Blue Border - not exactly what I wanted but that left huge gaps in the Hot Border.

I went to Bloom with the mission of getting some nice zingy plants but I wasn't happy with the results - then picked up a few more bits and relocated some more and now i can see that the Hot Border is definitely a few degrees hotter than it was!

Through the summer I've been noting some plants in the garden that definitely belong here and the plan is to move them in the Autumn!


Something blue or mauve going on ....

11 August 2017 22:49:44

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I read Jackie's journal about the transition to the hotter colours in the garden so I took a wander to see if my garden was doing the same - but there is one place where the blue and mauve are still going strong.

The first photo is a lovely Liatris that has sprung up in the Pergola border. I think I may have got it from a .ier at Johnstown but wherever it came from its very pretty!

Taking that photo I spotted the Autumn Crocus beside it - this appeared in the past two days!

And last but not least - my Wisteria has thrown out a few flowers too! Not ready to giv up on the pastel shades just yet .....

Little Cliona's place

11 August 2017 20:25:49

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My delightful granddaughter has just returned to Barcelona with her parents after a lovely holiday here with me, and during the holiday she found her very own Fairy Village in my garden!

Once she had decided where the fairies might like to live, she was delighted when the fairies seemed to really like the idea.

When she came back from Castlecomer with some Fairy Dust she was totally amazed to see a Fairy Door appear!

However the fairies didn't prevent her from helping Grandma plant up a nice little "mini-garden".

It is such a joy for me to see her enjoying my garden just Like I enjoyed my godmother's garden when I was a child!

I just hope those fairies decide to stay ......

Back to Dublin - briefly!

04 August 2017 00:58:06

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i was in Dublin this week and found myself just down the road from Jackie so I took the opportunity to  have a look at how her garden has matured since I was there a couple of years ago. When we emerged from the house all I could say was WOW!

Jackie has worked a veritable miracle in that garden and the removal of the big tree outside the garden ahs brought great light into a previously shaded corner.

But it is Jackies enthusiastic planting that I liked best - each border is a kaliedascope of cololur and texture and she has really mastered the art of constant colour1 We wandered through the winding grass pathways with each turn giving  new vistas of colour!

Unfortunately I had only a very short time to stay as I was meeting the family at the airport but Jackie managed to send me away with such a lovely selection of plants which had to be accommodated in the boot along with all the suitcases for the journey home! Thankfully they seem to have survived and are now getting a well-deserved bit of TLC!

Thank you Jackie for a lovely visit and for all the plants too!

That's better!

01 August 2017 01:02:16

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Having cleared the border where the Japanese Anemones had taken over, I  got round to the exciting part - planting it up again! This border was always known as "Behind the Greenhouse" but I have been trying to find a better name for it. As the planting progressed it came to me! But first I'll describe the planting. As is usually the way when you plant up a new border it takes a while for the plants to grow into their own space so it will be a while before I see the benefits.

First to be planted was the lovely Exchorda Macarantha "The Bride" which has been in a pot but not looking happy! It will be a centre-piece for the border with its lovely fountain shape. To one side I planted the little Lantana shrub that Elizabeth grew from cuttings, Most of the Lantana we see in this country are bedding plants but this Lantana shrub is flourishing in the car-park of my local Supervalu! Next to go in was Persecaria Amplexicaulis followed by the lovely Persicaria Purple Fantasy (Thank you Jackie!). After that I transplanted a third Dicentra to join the two already in the border. I had lifted an Astrantia from a border I was tidying the other day so it also got a new home. I got this from one of one of my .ie friends but sadly don't have the name! Then just to fill up some space I put in a Helebore Niger and a few Campanula Poscharskyana at the edge I did the inevitable shifting of pots before the final planting and as i was doing this I realised that every season was represented in this border - so that's itc new name "The Four Seasons Border" and I'm really happy with the border and its new additions.

Right through the year there should always be something to see it this old negrlected border come back to life!

What to do on a showery day

31 July 2017 13:35:46

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Yesterday was a lovely day - except for the occasional downpours so I continued on the deadheading of the front garden. It was a bit optimistic of me to say I was almost finished!!! You know how it is when you get the secateurs in your hand .... the mound of stuff awaiting shredding is testament to my enthusiasm for severe haircuts! 

So what to do during the downpours? I made good use of the time by plaiting my onions and they are now waiting to be hung up/1

The other photo is of a really pretty Francoa Pink Giant whose name I had completely forgotten - but Gerry Daly's lovely item on late colour in the borders jogged my memory - and there it was, in the database, and even its correct location identified! Thank you Tina for this lovely plant which seems very happy here!

Deadheading etc.

29 July 2017 23:54:12

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I started out today determined to do the dead-heading that I've been promising myself to do ages!

Well you know how it is - every time you pass by the dahlias with the "pointy" buds that need to come off, or you trip over the geraniums spilling out over the path you say "must do the dead-heading".

Well today was the day! And did I enjoy it! I decided to concentrate on the front areas because the Buddlias were top of the list! I tidied the Buddha garden - took out the foxgloves that were gone over and did a judicious trim of some of the geraniums. I realised that this border has a pastel thing going on - the Thalictrums are mauve and white and the various geraniums are in blues and pinks. There are two Buddlias here - a white one and a stunning "pink" one - well its actually a kind of cerise but really beautiful. In tidying the geraniums I realised there was a need for something to carry on the show for the late summer. I had the perfect plant among the "plants in waiting" - It is a Sidalcea that I thought I'd lost that I potted up in the Spring. It is one that came from an old garden which went via my Dubliln garden to Elizabeth and then to me! It looks very like "Party Girl" and is a lovely deep shade that fits in well with the other plants in the border.

So what was I doing? Oh yes, Dead-heading wasn't I? Well I did get back to it after that distraction and spend a happy few hours chopping and tidying - so almost all front areas are done and looking much better! 

plant id please?

28 July 2017 02:21:08

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I have this amazing plant in one of the borders. It is tall, elegant and last year flowered amazingly. It's not quite so vigorous this year but I thin it may not come into its own until next month. 

I suspect it may be Campanula Glomerata 'Superba' but the pink colour is putting me off a bit. The only tall pink campanula that Google is finding is a much paler pink than mine.

I have it beside Campanula Lactiflora 'Prichards Variety' which is pale bllue. The leaves of the pink plant are stiffer and a shiny green a bit darker than the blue one. In my database I have Rachel as the donor.

I;d really like to be able to identify this flower because it is such a striking one.


Sometimes Less is More

26 July 2017 00:04:54

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In previous journals I have featured the Japanese Anemones which have been allowed to run amok in the border behind my greenhouse but this year I noticed that the other plants in that border are really suffering from the exuberance of the Anemones.

I started just intending to weed the border - there were thistles and other undesireables shooting up over the Anemones - no mean feat as the Anemones are well over 5ft tall!!!

But you know how it is - once you start cutting back its very hard to stop .... so the plan evolved. Just retain ONE plant of the Anemones and remove all the others!

On what may have been the hottest day of the year so far I embarked on the task of removing dozens of Anemone roots :-) Lots of drinks of water were required but before dusk all were out!

So I'm left with a sack full of roots and a mountain of shredding to do!

But on the bright side this gives me a planting opportunity - there are a couple of shrubs really begging to be planted so that may be tomorrow's task.

Reply to DeclanFromTipp

24 July 2017 11:57:42
Reply to DeclanFromTipp

Reply to DeclanFromTipp

I was going to put this in a comment but it turned into more of a journal - so here it is:

Oh dear! Microsoft and Apple have never been good at talking to each other!!!! The Album problem has been solved for the Microsoft world it appears.

In defense of the IT team they are a small team trying to keep this website going while undertaking a major upgrade of the system.

I think we should remind ourselves that the Irish Garden people are providing us with a huge amount of safe storage for our archives of our gardens totally free of charge. I realise the current technical difficulties for people using iPhones and Tablets are very frustrating but the team are working to produce a new version of the website and this kind of development takes time especially when happening in tandem with maintaining the current system.

Declan - as the only gardening site and gardening magazine originating in Ireland The Irish Garden gives us advice and information relevant to Ireland rather than the very annoying English magazines and programs that will only suppy to "Mainland UK Only".  With the small population on this island it is inevitable that the resources available for the website are limited. It is indeed a smalll outfit but in my opinion it "Punches way above its weight" and we haven't had Brexit yet!!!!

Sorry for the rant - but I have found that the techies are quick to respond to most issues but this one is not a minor one - it is a hugely challenging problem for them which they are trying hard to resolve.


My Private Open Day

24 July 2017 01:18:49

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Would you believe it? I was looking forward to Elizabeth's Open Day since I visited her in May - I said I was going on Facebook - I said I was going on Garden.ie - and then after all that I managed to get the day wrong!!!!

So I travelled to Cobh today. I have now got Elizabeth in my Sat Nav (so no escape Elizabeth!) so I'm cruising along enjoying the sunshine but as i get closer I'm a little surprised that there are no "Open Garden This Way" signs ..... i get to Elizabeths - the gate is closed! I go onto Facebook on the phone and there as large as life are messages wishing Elizabeth Good Luck for her Open Day YESTERDAY!!!!! 

Oh Dear!  What to do? I try calling her but it goes to voicemail! I see her car is in the drive and I call her but no reply ... What to do now? I've brought her a little plant so I write a note on the only available paper - a tissue! - and decide to try the gate and leave the plant on the table outside the house - but as I tentatively go round the house I see the door is open! I call Elizabeth and her crazy dog Meg realises she is going to get the sack because she didn't cop the intruder!!!!

Poor Elizabeth! i'm sure the last thing she needed today was yet another garden visitor! But being the lady she is, she put the kettle on and plied me with goodies before giving me my very own personal tour of her garden! Having visited in May I was very aware of just how much work she had put in to making her garden "perfect" !!!! In May it was delightful but now in July it is singing!

Thank you so much Elizabeth for your great welcome to me - I know only too well just how wrecked you must have been after your very successful day yesterday! Your garden is a real treasure but best of all it was lovely to sit and talk "gardening" on a lovely sunny day in your garden! I'm sorry for worrying you by my non-appearance yesterday! I'll put up an album if the site is behaving tonight!


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