Last Post 572 days 17 hours ago
26 October 2011 21:06:59
three little rocks
Its funny how I can convince mysel that rocks are really only overgrown stones, especially when I take the notion to move them ... Peter will understand!
These three rocks are really beautiful but their beauty is hidden for much of the year by the rather exuberant Rosa Rugosa so I reckon they need to stop hidiing their lights under a bush(el) ... sorry, really bad pun!
The work at the site of the now deceased (or diseased) willow has allowed me to see how these lovely stones have been neglected ... if the weather continues fair tomorrow their time will have come - and even though I don't have Peter's crowbar, my trusty Wrecking Bar should make some impression on them :-)
26 October 2011 00:13:47
Cherry in its new home at last!
Remember when we used to have nice warm weather and visit nice gardens way way back in Summer .... well, as I was leaving Jacinta's great garden she persuaded me to give a home to a cherry tree in a pot. Steve duly loaded it into the car, and when I got home Brendan had to help me unload it. We put it at the side of the house "overnight" - as you do.
I identified the perfect place for this little tree, and that was as far as I got. I did remember to give the poor thing the odd drop of water, and every time I went in and out of the house it rebuked me.
I don't know how it survived the storm of the past few days, but today, when the sun came out, I decided if I did nothing else today i would plant that poor long-suffering tree!
So here it is - and a big thank you to Jacinta. It is in the corner where the willow had to be taken out earlier this year. I look forward to its pretty flowers in the spring - and if it produces cherries that will be even better!
If you look closely you can just see the stump of the willow in the bottom right corner - waiting for Kevin with his trusty chainsaw to remove it!
25 October 2011 23:35:35
I promised an update on the Bubblewrap insulation for the greenhouse - Woodies had it at €32 for 30m x 0.75m and B & Q had the same size roll for €22 euro. Guess which I bought?
Of course while I was in Woodies checking out the bubblewrap I couldn;t leave without a purchase - I don't have Peter's strength of resolve, I'm afraid!!!
The Gerbera is really pretty, and the bulbs were 2 packs for a fiver, so not too much damage to the pocket this time!
Some of the bulbs are already planted in a pot that needed reorganising (great way to pass a really wet day - in the greenhouse repotting)
21 October 2011 23:54:37
Still on the bush
I have already talked about the great crop of Hazelnuts I got this year. I heard that Hazel will not root from slips, so I would like to experiment with some of the nuts and see can I get them to germinate - so that is where my question is - do I remove the shell? Do I need to put them in the fridge? Do I soak them? Any suggestions welcome!
21 October 2011 22:20:48
Little Pond bed
The past couple of days have been great for gardening - well, admittedly I had to put on the ski-pants and the anorak and the wooly hat - but at least there was very little rain! I've been trying to get things tidied up and weeded, hopefully for the last time this year! At least the ground is softer so pulling up weeds is a lot easier. I did a bit of moving around of plants, Echinacea moved to a better location and I'm trying Fran's idea of grouping some grasses together so the whole small pond area is now looking quite refreshed! Putting the Chrysanthemums in this bed is keeping the colour going for a bit longer, and the new Cotinus seems to like it new home - all in all, very happy with the result.
Also started getting ready for winter - put the cold-frames back in action and moved some of the baby sedums in out of the cold weather. I removed the tomato plants from the greenhouse and dismantled their grow-bag. I use the spent growbag compost to mix with my homemade compost so for the moment its stored in large containers in the greenhouse. i still have some peppers in another growbag with some fruits on them. I may have to re-pot them to make some room for the other things that need to be moved in for the winter.
I took Jacinta's advice and moved the Jasmine in yesterday. It is supposed to be hardy but I think I'd prefer to pamper it this year at least! I haven't done much of this protection business before, so it will be a learning curve!
Today I did a bit of long-overdue plant-pot washing so now I'm ready for anything! I have some slips of Weigela and Hebe that have rooted well over the summer. I potted them on a few weeks ago but they are coming through the end of the pots again. If I repot them now I suppose they should go in the greenhouse for a bit. It's going to get kind of crowded in there!
Time to put the bubble-wrap around the greenhouse! I did a ring-around today for the bubble wrap and there appears to be quite a discrepancy in the prices between different stores - I'm heading to Dublin tomorrow and will be making a purchase on the way - will report the results later.
21 October 2011 21:49:33
Ain't I Pretty!
....so what's all this about Christmas? I thought all that stuff was behind me and I could start to flower again .... and I AM very pretty, amn't I?
16 October 2011 21:41:10
Pampas at its best!
What a beautiful day today! I find it easier to work at this time of year if the weather is kind as it is a bit cooler when hard slog is required! I started off by going around taking photos ove everything in flower today - 16th October - to compare with last October's photos!
Today I got stuck in to the Herbaceous border below the deck. This is a big bed that was the first area to be planted when I started this garden so it was in need of a good tidy-up.
Between cutting back the herbaceous plants that had gone over, weeding and removing seedlings in the wrong place, I gave the bed a good forking over - only half a fork deep to try to avoid spearing the bulbs that give this bed its early impact!
When I got plants from my sister Elizabeth to help fill this bed one fo the pots had a passenger - a violet! Now Elizabeth loves this little plant and lets it self-seed everywhere, in between paving, under shrubs etc. however, I'm not quite so keen on it. Of course it escaped from the pot it came in and is trying to colonise that entire bed, as well as jumping the path to the pond bed! One plant has positioned itself on the edge of the pond and that one looks quite pretty, so it will be left, but the rest have to go!
While removing the violets I also took out some pink Geraniums, some campanula, some double japanese anemones and a couple of Euphorbia seedlings. One of the campanula clumps was invaded by the violets so there was no easy way out - it got dug up and savaged in an attempt to separate the two plants! However, the plus side was a total of 18 lovely healthy little plants from one clump!
The problem with getting stuck in like this is that when I got to the end of the border I had a barrow-load of stuff to be planted and i was really feeling like calling it a day. However, after a little break (and a drink and a piece of currant cake) I headed to the front garden with my barrow load of goodies. If you are not being too fussy its amazing how quickly you can plant stuff - in the East Woodland and the Hazel Grove there is bark everywhere so it is only a matter of scraping back some bark and diving in with the trowel - the ground was easy to dig after the recent rain so all the planting was completed in a little over half an hour!
First off, the anemones were planted in a wavey line among the crocosmia from Elizabeth that I planted the other day - both are late flowering and the orange of the crocosmia should show up well with the pale mauve of the Anemone - doesn't sound great, but I've done it elsewhere and it really works!
Then it was the edge of the path - planting here should help to keep the bark off the paths so the 18 Campanula were planted as close as possible to the path edge and then about 12 pink geraniums followed suite. These will all spill over the edge of the path in time and should look very attractive. After that i just stuck the Euphorbia seedlings into a pot and crawled inside - pretty bunched!
14 October 2011 19:55:58
Brave little Nerine ....
Today was rather overcast compared to yesterday, but the rain stayed off most of the day so a bit of tidying up was on the agenda. I started cutting back the Echinacea and the double anemones that seem to finish sooner than the single ones. Of course once the secateurs was in my hand there was no stopping me!
Since all these stems are pretty stiff I chanced putting them through the shredder with no ill effects. When I was clearing the Echinacea I spotted this bud - I actually seem to have one surviving Nerine! Wont I be really happy if it opens successfully!
Apart from that, dg up the main plant of the Sedum Acer that I've been taking seedlings from. I was amazed at the size of the roots! Got the pruning saw at it and made a total of 24 plants from it! I've no idea if I left enough root with each, only time will tell!
The sedum bed project is well under way now, with the roundup doing its stuff on the lawn in that area. I was sure it wouldn't work because it rained so soon after it was sprayed, so yesterday I mixed up another lot and sprayed it again! Just as well I did because looking at the bits dying off so far I appear to have missed a big square completely!
13 October 2011 21:16:29
Last but not least
I grew some Cosmos from seed this year and planted them in my Gardinier and in the small herbaceous border near the deck. Having filled these areas i had a few plants left over so I wandered around looking for a home for these last few plants - the runts of the batch.
Finally planted them against the Pergola back-to-back with the sweetpea. Over the summer the sweetpea thrived and covered most of that trellis with a spectaular show and of course lovely scent.
On Monday I finally pulled up the sweetpea and this was the result! Those Cosmos seem to have been waiting to do their stuff until they had less competition!
Definitely a successful planting afterthought!
12 October 2011 00:33:30
Great clear up
Today it was my turn to visit my sister Elizabeth and work on her garden. It is very different to mine, a small suburban garden over 30 years old. It had a major make-over about 10 years ago involving creation of a large decking area, raised beds and paving with the intention of making it "low maintenance". Unfortunately Elizabeth got involved in other projects, and so the carefully planned and planted garden gradually disappeared in the undergrowth - obviously "low maintenance" was not actually "no maintenance" :-) We have been working at restoring the garden over the summer, she doing most of the work and me going up for occasional days to lend a hand.
When I arrived today her long-suffering husband (aged 76) was busy putting up supporting wires across the back wall. With the help (or hindrance) of two females, he completed the project in fine style.
I should explain that this was the first bed we tackled back in July. It was a total jungle, with smaller plants struggling and larger plants just gone wild. At that stage we pruned back a huge amount making a stack of stuff for shredding about 4 feet high! In the meantime a lovely little rose bush "Super Star" has reappeared and is looking really healthy, and we found a great cotoneaster spreading gracefully across the wall and some of the Bergenia visible at the bottom of the photo has found its way down to my woodland area.
Beside the bed was a very tall forsythia growing in a plastic bag (it had burst out of its pot some years earlier!) We found a nice square pot for it, and gave it a good root pruning before we repotted it using the fabulous compost and leafmould that had been "improving" over a couple of years - one of the definite benefits of ignoring your garden for long periods!
Now with the new wires in place we were able to secure the Leycesteria on one side and the Forsythia on the other. Elizabeth is training both of these as trees in order to make space for smaller plants in this bed. The original garden design has several beds each with a definite colour scheme and the bed we were working on is her "hot bed" with reds and pinks. Unfortunately many of the smaller "red" plants succumbed to the jungle so there is scope for reintroducing some of her favourites like Heuchera "Palace Purple" which I will happily give her. It is nice to be able to repay her for the very many plants she has carefully propagated for me over the past few years!
I must have showed my surprise when Elizabeth said this was the "Red and Pink" bed and I had just spent half an hour repotting a definitely yellow forsythia (on the right of the picture) but never at a loss for an explanation she said "Its in a pot so it doesn't count as part of the bed". I give up!
09 October 2011 19:17:51
What better way to spend a wet Sunday afternoon than catching up on all the journals and photos I've missed over the past couple of days.
The next stage of the Sedum Project is under way. The paving slabs for around the turbine have arrived and waiting to be laid. The new notebook was brought into paly this afternoon, with a more detailed plan for this area making use of the squares to calculate how many plants I'll need! I need to do more propagating!
Hopefully the slabs will be laid over the next week and I may even get another go with the roundup ....
Meantime, I've been planting up some Winter containers for the front of the house ...... Do you like the raindrops on the camera lens?
08 October 2011 01:06:38
Got a good bit of tidying up done today - started cutting down the herbaceous plants that had gone over. Also potted the new Jasmine into a large pot - although the label said "hardy" I think I might pop it in the greenhouse when the weather gets colder - just in case! I'm taking precautions with anything that I suspect may suffer for this year, particularly new plants!
Had a great time with the secateurs, even managed to resist getting the loppers out! The garden is quietly moving into the next season although there is still quite a bit of colour about.
Today I saw the first flower on the Viburnum caricephalum that I moved to the car park area - no sign of the lovely perfume yet, but I seem to remember that last year the flowers took months to open and the perfume didn't get strong until they were fully opened. However, from memory I think it was a bit later beginning to show flower buds ....
The shelter belt is starting to colour up with autumn colours now and should be really pretty in a few weeks! I love the berries on this Spindle Tree - Euonymus Europaeus - the native Spindle. They are the first to put on their autumn clothes in the shelter belt.
07 October 2011 21:44:42
06 October 2011 21:52:07
Went in to Lidl today to get myself some of the notebooks that I knew were available today - I spoke about them as being great for drawing plans and I also use the small ones as notebooks for a sort of sporadic diary of what i plant and wnere.
Of course I also spotted a lovely healthy JJasminum Officinale (no variety) and I struggled really hard with temptation, I failed completely!
06 October 2011 21:41:56
I already have several Hazels in my East Woodland area and they are producind a nice crop of nuts this year - I don't eat them myself, as that would feel like a sort of cannibalism - but I'm told they are very tasty!
To develop the woodland feel of that area i decided that the hazels that were planted in the shelter belt and are getting overcrowded deserved a better life so I ventured into the jungle to extact them and replanted them in the Hazel Grove. I hope they survive! Since the West Woodland is more establlished i can concentrate on the East Woodland for the next while. This year I will have to prune the older hazels and also the hollies in that area that are getting a bit leggy as I reckon they will all benefit from it.
03 October 2011 23:33:58
Sedums in waiting
Today started off nice and dry, with little wind, so the remains of the spraying was done. I'm not sure if yesterday's spraying will have worked as there was a good bit of rain last night. Time will tell!
It felt great to be outside again today, however I decided to leave the grass-cutting to tomorrow which is also forcast to be fine. The wind freshened in the afternoon so the grass will have had a chance to dry out by tomorrow.
I had checked some slips I had in pots since about July and one of the pots had definite roots coming out the bottom so I repotted the slips into individual pots - 6 variegated Weigela and 4 Hebe - I think they are Hebe Veronica. Really delighted with this success. The other pot has Field Maple in it but no sign of protruding roots, although one of the slips has some tiny new leaves so i decided to leave well enough alone!
Flushed with success, I embarked on a major sedum propagation. Between seedlings and rooted pieces from my original plant (planted in 2008) I got 67 plants!!! Add to them the 30 or so I already rooted and I'm well on the way to populating the proposed sedum bed. This sedum, the yellow one, Sedum Acre will form the background of the design with other ones being used in the detail.
How long does it take for Roundup to kill off at this time of year? I'm itching to get rotavating so the design can be laid out. I'll never learn patience :-(
02 October 2011 22:35:27
The Sedum Project
I couldn't believe it! At about 12.35 today it actually stopped raining! Took a walk around the garden just to celebrate - and was pleasantly surprised how many flowers were still there. Even the sweetpea survived -a bit the worse for wear but still giving a cheery display. The rain had brought up lots of little weeds in the "plants in waiting" so I spent a happy couple of hours weeding and mulching away. They all look much better for the bit of attention.
I'm going to try over-wintering some of the not-so-hardy plants in the greenhouse this year. I have ordered some bubble wrap insulation for the greenhouse so that should help ...
The sun actually struggled out for a little while, and since the wind has finally dropped I started the much-delayed spraying. Got the paths in the front done and three-quarters of the "Sedum Project" before it got dark - so it really feels like the Sedum Project is really under way at last! Mind you, when I look at the poor little sedum plantlets I realise that there is still a lot more propagating to do!
Hope the wind isn't too bad tomorrow as I'd really like to get the rest of the spraying done. The forecast for tomorrow is not too bad so I might even get the grass cut .... Oh it feels so good to have had even a couple of hours outside today!
01 October 2011 21:09:03
Puss at home ....
Shoosh - you need to show Scrubber this picture so that he can build you a nice kennel like the one that Puss and Ginger have in Gortnalee!
You need to tell him that it was made from an upside-down transparent plastic crate purchased for a very reasonable sum, and all it needed was to have a doorway cut in one side and a nice cosy layer of polystyrene for them to sleep on.
As you can see there is even room for their food bowl so that the food stays nice and dry!
Puss and Ginger say they really love their very trendy kennels, on sunny days they can sun-bathe in the kennels, and on rainy days they can snuggle up warm and dry!
Because the kennels are a bit light they have a weight sitting on top.