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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

Last Post 1 day ago

Anyone going to Fota?

23 April 2017 00:01:34

Fingers crossed - some seedlings!

22 April 2017 09:24:29

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Those who know me will be aware that my attempts at growing things from seeds are never very successful. But not being inclined to admit defeat I am trying again this year!

Two packets of seed arrived on one of my magazines - Rudbekia and Cornflower - and then some Sweetpea on another magazine - I know - I shouldn't be getting so many magazines!

Anyway I took the bull by the horns and in they went! and to my utter surprise all three lots germinated well, and two out of three have got to "second leaf" stage - and number three is also looking hopeful!

So now all I need is the time to do the "pricking out" - at least the Sweetpea are in modules so no need to panic yet ....

I'm really chuffed to get them this far but I'm not counting any chickens yet LOL

Gonna take the easy way with some lovely pink poppy seeds and just broadcast them!

And Photo 3 is just for colour! Weeded that edge of the Clematis Walk and i think it is looking good!

My little Maple

21 April 2017 00:47:59
Acer Palmatum

Acer Palmatum

I've been watching enviously as other members posted journals showing their various impressive pictures of their Japanese Maples and I finally got a good photo of my little baby! Each year I watch with bated breath waiting for it  to come back to life!

But at last  I am rewarded! It appears that the hedges are providing the necessary shelter for it!


An Appeal for out Native Bluebells

16 April 2017 10:36:29

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I am very lucky that there are native Bluebells in my hedgerow and they are migrating into the garden at a good rate. 

Many people are not aware of the threat to these beautiful plants from the more spectacular Spanish bluebells which are commonly sold here.

Hyacinthoides non-scripta is our native one and it is a deeper shade of blue - almost purple - than the Hyacinthoides hispanica or Spanich Bluebell.

Our native bluebell also has a perfume which the Spanish one does not. Gardeners World this week had a very good explanation of the diference - Hyacinthoides non-scripta is also native to The U.K.

The problem is the hybridisation between them. 

For the past year I have been systematically digging out anything that looks non-native. Its a pain, but I reckin it is worht the effort.

Yesterday we visited Heywood Gardens and I was blown away with the native bluebells in the woodland and they are not yet fully in bloom but the gentle perfume wafted out to us as we strolled by.

My appeal to you is that if you are buying bluebells please make sure you only buy Hyacinthoides non-scripta and try to preserve this lovely plant.

Just in time for Easter

14 April 2017 22:34:56

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I have mentioned before that I am not the worlds best at House Plants. Most of them survive until the flowers they came with fade. some of them don't even last that long.

There is one exception that I have kept alive for a couple of years - Ok - so it't only a Christmas Cactus that can be successfully grown by your average 4-year-old - but hey - its a success for me!

Rachel posted a great video last year onhow to get this lovely plant to flower at Christmas and I followed her instructions to the letter and was delighted to have flowers right through the Christmas season.

However, something strange has happened - my "Christmas Cactus" has decided it will be an "Easter Cactus" and has burst into flower again!!!!

I'm just hoping that this isn't some sort of Swan Song and that its going to turn up its heels and die on me now!

Celandine for Jacinta

13 April 2017 23:02:05

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I dug up a few of my very plentiful Celandine to give Jacinta  an idea of the variety of leaves it can have.

Good day in the garden

13 April 2017 00:47:13

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I really feel I'm getting back to myself at last - was out in the garden till 7.30 this evening!!! My HelpX couple are great - Dominik is working his way through all the DIY jobs that have built up over the past few years and Daniela is working her way steadily through all the borders down near the stream! I spent my morning tending to my two sick Thujas and also the Cornus contraversa 'variegata' in the front garden that also has serious dieback. I tried a few things in the autumn but without success so I was advised that it might be a fungus in the soil so I treated them with Bordeaux Mixture and top-dressed with compost. After that I worked with  Daniela moving various plants about in an effort to restore the "heat" in my "hot border" which has been infiltrated by too many blue flowers!

Time will tell if i have succeeded!

But looking good today is this cute little Iris - its only about 10 inches tall and is finally starting to bulk up with about 6 or 7 flowers this year!

And for Dick this is how my Kerria that he gave me has developed! definitely a good year for this plant!

And Tetrapanax Rex is coming along nicely .....

Pathetic Fatsia & friend (id please!)

10 April 2017 21:07:16

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Having arrived home safely after my Dublin trip I did the thing I like best to do - I fill my lungs with good Laois air while I stroll around the garden! 

Having seen that magnificent Fatsia that Jackie (?) posted I went to check on mine and Photo 1 is the result. Definitely NOT a winner!

As I strolled around I spotted this unlikely plant in the Maple border in the front of the house. This is a plant from a generous .ier but I have no idea what it is or what to expect from it. The leaves mostly fell off but it has been back in growth for a good few weeks now and I'd love to know what it is!


Weather Watch for the Summer

10 April 2017 20:51:54

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If the Ash before the Oak

Then you surely get a Soak

But if the Oak before the Ash

Then you only get a Splash

So now it begins - the anxious watching of the Oak and the Ash to see which will break into leaf first!

Well this evening I took a photo of both and neither is showing any signs of opening yet! 


Got the hump

10 April 2017 10:07:44
Got the hump

Got the hump

I'm in Dublin today.  My journey to Dublin took nearly 3 hours because of a crash on the M7. The sun is blazing in the window at me. And I'm WORKING!!!!!


Photo is to remind me how great Tetrapanax looks in Summer and cheer me up. Not working!

Speedy Iris!

09 April 2017 20:23:20
Speedy Iris

Speedy Iris

I walked past this Iris yesterday morning and the bud was tight closed. Came up for lunch as this was how it looked! 


08 April 2017 00:38:05

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My current HelpX Helpers suggested I shoudl compost my kitchen vegetable waste as well as the garden stuff but I'm reluctant to do this because I find that the veg bits result in ppotatoes and carrots appearing the most unsuitable places. 

But I do agree that I hate throwing my kitchen wast in the bin. So I'm going to make a Wormery! The worms are ordered by mail-order and today we spent the day going round all the hardware shops between Rathdowney and Roscrea before we finally got the required plastic crates to construct the wormery. There are many videos on this on YouTube so I'm going to give it a go anyway.

Because the day was over by the time we got back there was no gardening done today but here are a few of the later-flowering bulbs in my garden.

New kids on the Block

07 April 2017 01:27:45

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I've added a couple of plants from my "wish list" this year and they are starting to earn their keep -

Number One is an Amelanchier - haven't the full name in the database yet - It is planted behind the greenhouse and joy of joys I can see the flowers from the house! I'm looking forward to seeing this one's autumn colour also!

Number Two is Exchordia - again no label to hand! This one is also producing more flowers than I expected for its first season.

Finally Number Three is a Laburnum tree. Not flowers out yet as its a bit early but there are definitely buds visible! 

Now I need to record them properly in the database before the labels get lost!


Getting my hands properly dirty

05 April 2017 00:34:17

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I had the plan to finish trimming the willows today - I know, they should have been done two months ago - but I was beguiled into "just tiding up" the Rock Garden. Of course this ended up as a major weeding session which took up all the available gardening time for today - and i didn't even get a photo taken! I did take time to check the roots of a couple of my tardy cabbage and broccoli plants and I am happy to report that Clup Root has been eliminated! I think I have a soil-testing kit that I might use tomorrow and then feed to make up any deficiencies. 

But what I really wanted to do was to put up a photo of my latest Tulip and Daffodil assortment now properly open!

And then there's my little Clematis Alpina which is flowering its socks off! It has started to ramble and has made an appearance at the next arch along the clematis Walk. I really need to prune this plant properly this year as the tangled old growth is not enhancing the fresh new blooms.

And then there is the Ligularia Dentata - Actually managed to snap this before the slugs got 'em!

All in all, a good day's work - and there's always tomorrow for the willow :-)

Strutting their stuff

02 April 2017 23:07:52

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Having slaved all afternoon in the vag garden it was a delight to stroll by the shrubbery and capture these ladies in their finery definitely strutting their stuff!

Spiraea 'Arguta' seems to have recovered from the indignity inflicted on her a couple of years ago - a bad infestation of Vetch meant that she had to be dug up and the roots combed out till all the Vetch was gone - and apart from an occasional little bit sneaking in from the surrounding beds it seems to have been a success! And she is repaying me with her best display ever!

Cornus contraversa 'variegata' - which my lovely Brendan bought me to celebrate our first wedding anniversary - really loves where it is in the shrubbery. I took heed of a suggestion from Mary (Gracedieu Lass) that I clear underneath this pretty tree and just plant a few bulbs - and this is the result!

Photo Three is Colin's Tree - Betula utilis jacquemontii - which used to have a complete carpet of Saxifrage around its base. The saxifrage got completely infested with a nasty spiney grass that couldn't be removed without wrecking the saxifrage so I bit the bullet last autumn and removed most of the saxifrage and planted a random collection of bulbs in its place. I'm happy with the result!


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