28 January 2010 13:05:37
snowdrops & crocus
Went walk-about in the garden this morning - trying to get close enough to the bird-feeder to take a few pics but the birds were too timid this morning. how is it that they let me get within about 10 feet when I haven't got the camera with me but fly away at 20 feet when I have?
However my walk had other treasures - some brave little snowdrops in the clover lawn and even some crocus have started to show colour - still no sign of most of the bulbs I planted this autumn, or the other bulbs I planted in the garden last year - I guess the soil conditions were too much for them! However, I'll keep hoping that theymay appear after all. What I do have is a proliferation of wild Celandine among the clover. Last year there were lots of plantlets but very few flowers. I wonder will they flower a bit better this year? I have decided to leave them be - although they may prove too strong competition for the clover - only time will tell!
27 January 2010 23:20:32
I was browsing Mairin's journal where she talked about her lovely Magnolia growing happily in Co Dublin! I lived in Dublin all my life and always admired the beautiful Magnolia trees in neighbouring gardens but never had one myself. When we set up home in Laois we got presents of many lovely plants for our new garden including a beautiful Magnolia.
I planted it right outside the window so I could admire it all day but I hadn't read up on the conditions my lovely Magnolia wanted - I watched it bud up beautifully - anxiously examining every bud for fear they might be leaves rather than flowers - but eventually my patience was rewarded and the little tree was covered with delicate flowers and I was overjoyed. The flowers had a pretty short season since the site is very windy, but I accepted that.
Then disaster struck - as the leaves came out instead of lovely green and healthy they were sadly yellow and sickly. the whole tree looked like it would surely die.
In desparation I looked up the gardening books to see what could be wrong with my beloved tree. I then discovered Magnolia HATES lime in the soil and high winds. Oh dear! Could I have got it more wrong?
Emergency action was called for - a half-barrel planter was pressed into service, several bags of ericaceous compost made a new home for the tree - Then we lifted the tree from its unhappy home and washed all the lime-laden soil off the roots and carefully replanted it in its new location close the the fence that provides the only bit of shelter in the whole garden. This was last May and within days the leaves had turned a beautiful green and grew to a full and healthy size so I'm really looking forward to its beautiful blossoms this spring. I'm trying not to think of what our minus 12 temperatures might have done to it.
I have no pictures of this pretty tree, but if it survives and flowers for me again this spring it will have pride of place on this site!
21 January 2010 18:48:33
Witchhazel - with rabbit fence!
Today I took a walk around the garden and am not too depressed so far - I found out that Euphorbia which I planted for the first time last year not only survived our -12 temperature but is also an evergreen! What a nice surprise! There are probably quite a few casualties but I'm determined not to concentrate too much on them. I planted nearly a thousand assorted bulbs for last spring, and had a moderate display - I think some of the ground was too waterlogged and compacted for them to do really well. I left them all in situ hoping that they would increase and multiply (You have to give it to me, I'm an optimist) so I'm watching with bated breath for this spring - so far there are a healthy sprinkling of leaves poking through - unfortunatley I can't remember exactly what was planted where so it will be exciting waiting to see what appears! So far there are two tiny and rather frightened snowdrops in the woodland area so I look forward to further developments!
On my tour I was greatly heartened by my Hamammellis Mollis in the picture - isn't it enough to raise the spirits! It only went in in the early summer so I'm delighted with how well it has done.
Isn't it hard to get motivated to go out when the weather is so harsh - although I find that when I'm wrapped up warmly and get myself out the door, I always enjoy the fresh air!
I have found at least one major casualty - a large lemon tree that was very unhappy indoors last winter was exiled to the greenhouse this year and despite a cloak of fleece it just couldn't survive the severe temperatures. Oh well, I'll just have to invest in heating for the greenhouse next year if I'm to get the full benefit of it.
13 January 2010 23:24:53
I've finally plucked up courage to see what -12 has done to the garden today. At least the snow has gone. I can now see where the garden is still a bit waterlogged, although nowhere near as bad as last year. One area near my little pond will allow me to grow marginal plants, and the other areas were where some shrubs were struggleing but Ialready moved them so its only the clover lawn that is likely to suffer.
Some of the bulbs are braving the weather and peeping through, but all the ones in front bed near the house have not appeared yet. This is beside the little Japanese Lantern in the photo. I have been trying to develop a small Japanese garden partly to disguise our well connection but also to make a focal point in the front garden but so far it consists of the lantern, some gravel of different types and some stepping stones. There are two flowering cherries overhanging the area (or they will overhang it when they get a bit bigger!) and I need advice as to what other planting I can include that will not be devastated by the resident bunnies!
I'm disappointed that the Christmas Roses haven't flowered this year - there was one little flower but it wasn't up to much - also the rabbits got one of the Hypericum I planted there although the larger one appears to be thriving.
This harsh weather has been frustrating with the new issue of Irish Garden getting me all worked up with ideas for the new season. However, the spectacular Winter Wonderland that is my garden has made it almost worthwhile!.