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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

Last Post 2 days 18 hours ago

Photo problem solved - what an idiot!

21 June 2017 04:14:07
Photo problem solved - what an idiot!

Photo problem solved - what an idiot!

Well, having seen that Gracedieu Lass was able to post an album the other day I just had to give it another go - and talk about kicking yourself - I had been going about it the wrong way!!!

When I created a new album I then clicked on Add Photos while what I should have clicked was the title of the new album!!!! What an idiiot I am to think that Add Photos meant Add Photos while what it ACTUALLY means is Add MORE Photos after you've added the first lot.

So I've finally got to share Terrishoos lovely garden on the site!


Really love the way the Alchemilla Mollis has colonised the new pond!

Happy accident

19 June 2017 02:35:41
Happy accident

Happy accident

I was thinking I should tidy up the raised beds at the Wind Plaza - that seating area in the Sedum Garden. It was on my list for the past few weeks but I didn't get around to it. Those beds are supposed to be dedicated to the sedums that are not part of the display on the ground but a few passengers have arrived over the past year or two .... 

Think I might leave it alone - what do you think?

Album problem

19 June 2017 01:44:41

Rockvale Rocks!!!

13 June 2017 20:41:27
Potting shed with proud owner

Potting shed with proud owner

Well last Sunday wasn't exactly the best of days - Four seasons in one day just about describes it. I had it in mind to go to Terri and Alan's Open Day and when I saw the weather I almost changed my mind - but then what better way to pass a wet Sunday than visiting friends?

And was I glad I did! 

This garden in the heart of the Burren is a minor miracle and is a real testament to the hard work and artistic flair of these two people. Having Burren limestone only a few feet below the soil  and sometimes even less has not deterred them in the least! Making a virtue of necessity they have incorporated a beautiful wildflower meadow where the native orchids are increasing every year.

Add to that borders crammed with colourful herbaceous plants interspersed with shrubs and the delights go on and on. There is a wonderful new border where the recent excavations have been restored which is aglow with poppies and has lots of delights still to come. The polytunnel and raised beds are very productive and behind them is Terri's new potting shed - see the photo! cleverly adapted by Alan to be a bright and useful addition to the garden.

The hospitality from the CF and Seedsavers who were the chosen charities was warm and welcoming with lots of tea and cakes to comfort when we had to escape indoors from the showers.

I'll put up a small album which I hope captures in a small way the dramatic maturing of this garden - and I want to say a big thank you to Alan and Terri for making me feel at home - and thanks for the plants too!

P.S, Having problems loading album - will try again later

Paths, paths and more paths!

04 June 2017 01:27:17
Paths, paths and more paths!

Paths, paths and more paths!

I have a lot of paths in my garden. I constantly create new paths. What I don't think about is how are the paths to be maintained!

I have my first group of visitors coming on Wednesday and I'm nowhere near ready for them! I've spent the past two days raking and clearing paths and I've only tackled the ones in the rear garden!

However, I'm so happy to have achieved that much and there are still a couple of days till the visitors arrive!

But I do like the look o a freshly weeded path!

Some progress

03 June 2017 23:41:59

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Went a bit mad at Bloom - I had a mission - get some more plants to fill out the Hot Border. When i removed all the blue plants that had sneaked into the Hot Border over time it left a considerable amount of space in the border. I raised  some of the non-hardy Rudbeckia and they have been scattered through the border. Since they are only about 4 inches tall at present we'll have a bit of a wait!

My haul from Bloom - a nice rich red rose 'Glad Tidings' , Diascia Juliet Red, Marguerite Argyranthemum 'Madiera CrestedSeries', and three Dahlias 'Dreamy Lips' all red!

I already put in a couple of low growing Sunflowers so when the perennial rudbeckia start strutting their stuff, and the Lychnis Chaldonica produces its 5 foot tall orange red flowers alongside the Trolius Chinensis Golden Queen things should heat up a bit!

I'm definitely not gifted with patience when it comes to waiting for a border to do its thing so I'm very impatient to see this border develop. The only really zinging item is the magnificent perennial Papaver Orientale. I checked my database and I have two varieties recirded but the actual plants are all the same - a pretty dramatic red!

However, on the bright side, the border where all the plants from the hot Border were evicted to, is now definitely a Blue Border and is looking really good!

Oh! And here's that Poppy!

Blooming bad luck!

02 June 2017 14:37:30
Blooming bad luck!

Blooming bad luck!

Well, Yesterday was dull and drizzly all day so my much anticipated visit to Bloom was a bit dampened.

However, I did get to take a few photos and here is my tuppence-worth on Bloom 2017.

The Small Gardens were amazing! They showed real inventiveness in making the maximum use of the small space they were allocated- only 2 metres by 3 metres - what a challenge! There were lots of ideas there to take home.

The Sculpture Garden was interesting - although I thought that some of the planting hid too much of the sculptures

Was it my imagination or were there less of the Show Gardens this year?  Overall I liked them more than last year - there was less emphasis on hard landscaping and much more planting - with most gardens not being afraid to use lovely colourful displays!

There was a marvellous Kaleidascope in one of the gardens - we were actually able to go inside this garden to use the giant Kaliedascope and it was really stunning - it was just rotated slowly round the colourfully planted garden and the images were amazing!

I also loved the winner of the Super Garden. This gardener really let his imagination loose to great effect in the Bloom version - even more interesting than the competition one! I hope we will see more of his gardens in future!

The other thing I noticed was that the non-garden-related stands are increasing every year - its getting more and more like the Ploughing - and the prices were high. It really has become a very expensive day out which I think is a terrible pity.

Cotoneaster - for SallySarah

31 May 2017 01:10:47

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When I visited your lovely garden in Westport a few years ago you gave me a slip of your cotoneaster that originated I think in your mother's garden in England because I was complaining that the one I had was refusing to grow!

Well, I put both of them in my Jardiniere hoping they would help to cover the side of my shed.

Well, the result is plain to see - my original one is only about  a foot high  but Sally's one is twice that height!

Thank you Sally! I'll take some slips of the "tall" variety and see if I can get the side of the shed covered!


More planning needed!

29 May 2017 22:35:06

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I've been trying to revitalise my Hot Border at the end of my garden where the little stream is and it is beginning to hot up a little - but today when I was working in the front garden I was struck by this border - maybe the Hot Border needs to move ? Those poppies are the strongest imaginable red and I do have some in the Hot Border but I'm struggling to find other later really red flowers. I'm on the lookout for the Bishop of Llandaff ..... I have one but it's pretty pathetic and didn't flower at all last year!

The third photo is the birds nest I mentioned - but alas I think all the disturbance has caused the little mother to desert her eggs. Haven't seen her on the nest for three days now.

Different kind of surprise

27 May 2017 14:27:31
Evicted plants

Evicted plants

I mentioned that I watered the garden yesterday. I have an area behind the greenhouse where I keep plants-in-waiting and spare plants potted up for Open Days. It consists of the shelving from a plastic greenhouse covered with shading to keep the sun from destroying the plants.

It ihas been filling up nicely since Spring but I wasn't paying a lot of attention to it over the hot weather so when I noticed that a lot of the plants were seriously dehydrated I decided to give them a good soak.

Imagine my surprise when a little bird flew out!

On investigation I saw there was a nest in one of the pots on top of the plant! The pot was on the middle shelf at the back so well camouflaged. Seeing there were eggs in the nest I decided I needed to move as much as possible out of the area and leave Mum to mind her eggs.

I took a bit of time getting shelves free etc so by the time I got back to move the plants Mum was back - and was upset when I started moving the plants and flew off again. since the coast was now clear I quickly moved as many as I could without leaving the nest exposed. I can actually see the nest from inside the greenhouse and I watched all that evening but no sign of Mum.

This morning I took another peep - and she was back!!!! I dashed in to get the camera but when I moved a plant to get a better view she wasn't happy - so no photo of my mystery bird!

I did get a good look yesterday and she has a bright yellow beak and a distinctly speckled breast but that was all I could make out. My google searches have convinced me that she is a Starling. What is it with Starlings? Last year I had one determined to get down my chimney! I'm just hoping that they don't have this compulsion to keep coming back to the same nesting site! They have plenty of trees and shrubs to choose from after all!




My most surprising plant

27 May 2017 13:03:44

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I have often mentioned that the soil in my garden is heavy clay and totally alkaline. In a local garden centre I saw a Rhododendron which they claimed would be happy in this alien environment. I just had to give it a go!

It is Rhododendren Kokardia Inkarho and it has been bringing me great delight for a few years now. Although they did say it would be happy with my limey soil I did give it a bit of extra TLC - I planted it with a fair bit of Ericaceous compost and I do feed it with Rhododendron Feed but this is a small price to pay for such a lovely plant!

Another plant I have that is not so happy with my soil is my Magnolia Soulangeana which took a while to settle in but which now produces a good few flowers but I noticed this year that the leaves were a sickly shade of yellow when it had finished flowering so I gave it a top-dressing of Ericaceous compost and a liberal feed of the same Rhododendron Feed and within a week I can see the green starting to return to the leaves.

And finally how the Cortaderia fulvida is recovering from her move!!!!

Job well done

26 May 2017 00:36:49

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I have a terrible habit of planting things in the wrong place. 

When we visited Ait Aoibhinn a couple of years ago Nuala gave me a piece of her very delicate Pampas Grass which I earmarked for the Tropical Garden. In coastal Clare it is a dainty and feathery plant. In heavy Laois soil it isnt quite so delicate! Of course I had planted it far too close to the path so when visitors were expected it had to get a haircut which I wasn't too happy about - but since it had developed into a truly sturdy specimen I wasn't keen to try to move it.

Enter one HelpX Helper.

Matheus from Brazil has been helping out with various tasks the past couple of weeks so I thought we could have a go at moving this giant.

Step one - wrap up the so-and-so so it doesn't take our eye out or rip us to shreds.

Step two - sounds really easy - go round it first with the fork and then with the spade until it keels over. This involved two hours of hard labour in the remarkable 23 degrees today!

Step three - new location is a big improvement - it now shows to much better advantage is clear of the paths - at least for now!!!

That is if it survives being moved in a heatwave!!!!!

White and Purple

19 May 2017 01:01:41

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Been very lucky with the weather the past couple of days. The forecast was dismal but I took a chance and ended up with long productive days weeding and tidying only having to dash indoors for the occasional shower!

Took a few photos of things that caught my eye and was surprised to find that I seem to be a bit obsessed with white flowers at the moment.

The Purple is my Cerinthes. This year the flowers seem to be an even deeper purple than I remember and I observed several different types of bees taking full advantage - they dived in, gorged themselves and were almost drunk as they headed for the next flower!

Cerastium tomentosum 'Silberteppich' is doing its annual treat for me. In a south-facing spot it nearly explodes with the flowers!

The Irises in the last photo are a real surprise. I planted some Irises along the south borders at random about 3 years ago and only some of them flowered and they were all the deep blue ones. I'm delighted to see that many of the "blind" ones have decided to flower this year - and they appear to be all WHITE!!!

Great to be getting stuck in to the garden again. I may be working myself to a standstill but the satisfaction I am getting when I stand back and view another border "sorted" is the best reward.

Maytime Clematis

15 May 2017 00:28:18

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I actually managed to kill off a Clematis Montana Rubens last year having to move it while some building was going on but I am very happy with how all the Montana children are coming along! They range in colour from deep pink to white - the only one that is a bit of a disappointment is Clematis Monatana Rubens 'Marjorie' which isn't the lovely deep peach colour of the one I saw at Maryjoe's open day a few years ago. It is pretty insipid and the flowers are much smaller. I'll be giving it some extra TLC in case it is an environmental issue.

In the meantime I'm more than happy with the Clematis Walk and I think the Laburnum is going to really enhance that area.

The other star performer at the moment is the Wisteria which is making good efforts to spread along the Pergola.


Veggie time

13 May 2017 23:56:44

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Time was a bit limited today but I was determined to get the veggie bits sorted. Last year the strawberries came to a sad end when a blackbird manage to get inside my caging while I was away for the day and gorged herself on strawberries for the day so she wouldn't fit out the hole she came in!

This year's cage is a new design - lets see if it works! The sides are rigid but the squares are a bit big so I'm afraid we might get another cami-kazi blackbird having a go - so the net is loosely over the top - should mean I can actually get at the plants to harvest them!

I can't secure the net too tightly as at the moment as I want the bees to be able to polinate them!

That was last weeks task - completed one evening in total darkness :-)

I had bought pots of Coriander and Basil in the supermarket so I took them out of the pots and divided up the totally overcrowded seedlings into rows in the raised bed.

Having gone to the trouble of preparing the bed it was time to get brave and plant some seeds - so two kinds of lettuce, some Mange Tout and some French Beans were all planted. Meanwhile Puss was watching me with great interest. He obviously thought I was preparing a Luxury Loo for him! so chicken-wire had to be added - and a little cloches to protect the herbs until they acclimatise.

The last planting was some ordinary peas down in the Vegetable Garden - but this only reminded me of all the work I need to do in that area ..... rasberries gone native ..... thistles invading all paths ..... Oh well, tomorrow is another day!

I've put in a photo of how the redesigned Rock Garden is looking after all the work on it last year - Then you Elizabeth for all your help!


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