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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal February 2012

Last Post 2189 days 13 hours ago

Welcome to Wind Plaza

27 February 2012 23:27:49
The Wind Plaza

The Wind Plaza

Woke up this morning feeling a real sense of anti-climax and adrenelin drain - you know the feeling, when you have been going on nervous energy for a while to complete a project, and then when it is complete you feel like a deflated baloon!

The last bits of the turbine were taken away yesterday afternoon and we were quite relieved to see the trailer disappear through the gates!

The misty rain this morning did nothing to lift the spirits so there was nothing for it but to don the weather-proof gardening gear and head out! First job was to rake over the (future) sedum bed. I was really impressed with how careful those guys were -there were footprints in between the brick-outlined beds, but the layout of the beds was totally undisturbed.

We got all the bolts sheared off yesterday, so once I had done this little tidy-up it was time to find something to temporarily decorate the turbine site. I planted up a few pots and moved them into place.

I can't go on calling this place the turbine site - that would be very bad for my head. This morning I thought "this can be a plaza". Then this evolved into "Wind Plaza" - I'm really happy about this name as it turns this place with such negative connotations into something positive!

I will eventually develop some sort of feature but for the present, the Wind Plaza will suffice! 

And there it is - GONE!!!!

25 February 2012 22:11:05
Look - no turbine!!!!

Look - no turbine!!!!

At 3 minutes past 8 this morning the guys arrived to take the Turbine. I was really worried that my garden was going to be wrecked yet again - looking back through photos taken at that time had me really stressed.

However, my fears were groundless - they were absolute gentlemen. One of them is also a keen gardener so he made sure that there was minimal damage - just a few stones out of place and the new Sedum bed needs a bit of raking. that is such a change from when the turbine was installed - they brought in a small crane and managed to churn up about a third of the garden!!!

And now they have taken away most of it, with a few bits and pieces to be collected tomorrow.

So now I can start to plan what will take its place - there is a pretty significant plinth ... and it has power ... Have to let the imagination loose!


Gardening is a work in progress ....

25 February 2012 00:35:30
Soon to become a distant memory

Soon to become a distant memory

Was struck while catching up on journals over the past few days - one of the big differences in the gardens on this site is that they cover such a range - some are mature and pristine, some are new and just showing their potential, some are being lovingly restored to their former glory, and some are the first tentative steps of new gardeners. What they all have in common is how they reflect the loving care bestowed on them by their gardeners - each plant that flowers a triumph, each seed that sprouts is celebrated and each new project is warmly encouraged.

I'm finding that life and stuff keep getting in the way of the garden at the moment but today I took the first step in getting on top of the veg garden (well, not literally "on top") I've become a great fan of the "donedeal" website site I found a purchaser for the turbine on this site. While checking the progress of that sale I started looking for other stuff - old scaffolding boards to be precise. The prices ranged from €7 each to €1.70 - so guess which one I followed up?  My plan is to create raised beds in the veg garden to reduce the hard labour in digging the area, and also to help with the heavy soil.

Great idea! So we headed off to collect them - let me tell my dear readers that a place "beyond Mallow" is quite a distance from Laois! I put "mallow" in to the AA Route Finder and it recommended going via the  M8. Bad mistake! We had a wonderful tour of that part of Cork - lovely winding roads (just the job with a trailer behind the car!) - the journey took a full two and a half hours rather than the one and a half mentioned on the AA site. Picked up the boards from a lovely guy there and decided to return via M7. What a difference! After a short spell on poor roads we travelled by far better roads via Limerick and got home in much better time. (of course it could be all down to the driver on the return journey - hee hee )

So its all systems go tomorrow - the guys are coming to start removing the turbine, and the trailer-load of boards need to be unloaded. Feeling really energised - but a bit wrecked after our day on the road! 

Moving on

22 February 2012 23:35:24
Tiny daff

Tiny daff

Today began with drizzle ... I had Kevin organised to get the turbine ready for export so to make it worth his while coming over I had my usual "task list" for him. It's a standing joke now -first thing he says when he arrives is "Where's the list?". Todays tasks included removing the green windbreak from the willow fence, trimming the hedgerow as far as possible, finishing the coppicing of the three willows in the front areas, removing another tree planted in the wrong place .... all before lunch! At times like this I really feel like a "poor feeble woman" watching him fly through the task list with such ease :-)

It rained on and off the whole day really, but having got into the gardening gear to help Kevin, when he had left I just kept going! About 3 o'clock Brendan came looking for me and when he found me in the greenhouse he was teasing me about it. When he first suggested a greenhouse I said "but what would I put in it?" - and here I am now with every available place filled with baby sedums and lots of other treasures, and I'm as happy as a pig in you-know-what pottering in the greenhouse and sheltering from the drizzle!

The rain cleared after a while so I cut back the buddliea and took some cuttings from the trimmings - no idea if they'll take or not. I remember being terrified when I cut them back last year but they were magnificent afterwards, so this year I've repeated the process. there's another one in the shrubbery - its next for the chop!

And the last job was to weed along the West Woodland path where i planted some sedums last year. The two woodland areas have been seriously invaded by Celandine and I am so tempted to leave them there as ground cover - only problem is that I think they die away completely during the summer. 

Then, when I was tidying up the debris, I spotted this absolutely tiny daffodil! As you can see it is dwarfed by the Anemone beside it! 

Giving up

20 February 2012 23:20:02
Fallen Hero (not literally!)

Fallen Hero (not literally!)

....on the Wind Turbine. It has been troublesome for a while and since the supplier has gone bust, and so has the manufacturer, we were left trying to resolve issues unaided. The only solution on offer was to spend another shed-load of cash to replace the parts not covered by warranty and this was not going to happen.

Result - an ad on DoneDeal , at a knock-down price and a flurry of interest ... and today a deposit ... so its farewell to the turbine next week.

Part of me is really gutted - my dream of self-sufficiency in the running of the house has evaporated  - but the other part of me is looking forward to the day when I won't be looking at the disappointment every time I go into the garden, drive in my gate or look out my window.

Sometimes we just have to move on - and this is one of those times. When it has gone I may be able to look at the space it used to occupy and plan a fitting memorial  .... at least it will have an electric connection available ....

But before that happens I'll have to get over having yet another digger or tractor rolling over my garden to remove it. This will be the third time to reinstate this part of the garden, but I have resigned myself to this and have already lined up my trusty helper to help with the making-good.  

Who would believe that the same section of garden would be churned up, dug up, rolled over, basically wrecked, in the space of 3 years !!!! Hopefully this is the final chapter beginning for this much destroyed spot. 

Cunning plan -Foiled

18 February 2012 16:51:32
Foiled by the weather

Foiled by the weather

My friend Joan is visiting this weekend, and as usual she brought the sunshine with her. It was so nice this morning that Brendan decided to service the lawnmower for me and has it all ready to go - 

But -

Just as I was about to entice Joan out to help me - look what happened!!! Hailstones and even a flurry of snow!!!

 I guess she had a narrow escape LOL 

Flying slugs?

18 February 2012 16:46:52
Flying slugs???

Flying slugs???

I have been carefully minding two lovely Tetrapanax plants in the greenhouse over the winter and they were doing fine until some slugs decided to have a bit of a feast - took off all the affected leaves and put some slug pellets  around the pots.

Today I see little trails on the leaves again and some tell-tale holes. As you can see, there is plenty of slug bait to keep them happy - and the pots are topped with gravel to deter the little monsters - do I have some rare breed of flying slugs that can land on the leaves without coming in contact with the deterrents? 

I wonder would the Tetrapanax like some coffee grains?  

Or maybe it is something else entirely? 

No hungry birds in my garden!

17 February 2012 00:45:41
No hungry birds in my garden!

No hungry birds in my garden!

Went to Aldi today to get an Olive Tree - got a really healthy specimen. they had a range of Mediterranean plants including lemon trees complete with full-sized lemons!

This was my first visit there and I was impressed that the plants looked really strong and healthy.

Of course, then I had to go round the rest of the shop and found this real bargain - a large bag of bird-seed (12KG) for €12.99 - in the photo is also the normal tub that I buy - 5 KG for €11.99 - i reckon that is a real bargain!

Any better way to celebrate Valentine's day ....

15 February 2012 00:13:45
Retail therapy

Retail therapy

My lovely Brendan took me to Arburetum for lunch .... and I certainly agree that the new restaurant layout is a great improvement and we had a truly delicious lunch .... and of course, some retail therapy had to come in as well!

Surely the most meaningful Valentine gift is for someone to know what your heart desires before you do! 

Spring fever

12 February 2012 20:44:45
Woodland spring corner

Woodland spring corner

Been a bit busy lately - but in between domestic stuff and delightful visitors (who actually escaped without having to earn their keep) I managed to steal a little time for gardening. During the horrible rain I amused myself preparing the bag full of toilet roll centres for planting up with sweetpea but I still hav no room in the greenhouse to plant them up yet!

I've started planting up some of the sedum bed with sedums that were outside over the winter (Thank you Myrtle) and I've started hardening off some of the greenhouse ones in the coldframe. I know there is still a danger of rost, but I reckon if I harden them off they can be planted out before too much longer.  That will give me some space for the sweetpea.

There are also some potatoes in need of chitting - I have containers to put them in - you know the ones that you get when you buy a tray of primula or suchlike - so I need to clear the shelf in the shed for them.

Had a look at the veg garden but it is still very wet - I really need raised beds for this area to reduce the hard graft. i waht to try a few different things this year - not just potatoes - so I need to get cracking on that! Anyone know where I could get my hands on about 20 used scaffolding planks?

Took a walk around the garden taking photos of anything in flower at the moment - I'm really pleased with this corner of the woodland where the daffs are really early. In the background are my pachysandra which are not really doing very much. I just have to temember "the first year they sleep, the second the creep and the third they gallop" - this is year two so fingers crossed! 

Between the showers today

06 February 2012 00:11:30
Helebore bed

Helebore bed

This rain is really frustrating me - it feels like a lifetime since I've been able to work in the garden. There are several bargain packets of bulbs still in waiting, and there are acres of Celandine to remove ....

It stopped raining for a short while today so I took the opportunity to go out and stroll around the garden enjoying the beginnings of growth of the new season.

I was accompanied on my walk by Ginger, the only remaining pussy cat. Since his brother Puss decided to move out a few weeks ago he has been getting more and more confident. On my walk aroung the garden he was under my feet every step of the way, and he really didn't like me using the camera - trying to grab it from my hand!

However, despite this uninvited attention I enjoyed renewing aquaintance with the garden. The best part at the moment is the bed beside the drive - the helebores are outdoing themselves and there are lots of bulbs popping up. A few brave crocus are flowering in that bed and I am impressed to see my Fuschia 'Ricartonii' has lots of buds right up the branches - every other year it was killed off down to the base! The other fuschia "Flashlight" is sprouting too!

Reading Gardeners World they are talking about starting the Dahlias - I think i'll wait a few more weeks with mine.

The closest I got to gardening today was to sort out the toilet roll centres for the sweetpea - although I might have a problem finding room for them in the greenhouse before the sedums move out - I think I'll start them indoors and see how it goes ... 

Off to Carlow to Delta tomorrow to pick up my water feature stone from the guy who does their stonework. 

That will be it for the rest of the week because of other stuff .... so perhaps the forecast isn't great :-D


how do I manage it?

04 February 2012 18:59:16
Sad Maidenhair

Sad Maidenhair

I have tried over the years to have that lovely hose plant "Maidenhair Fern" in my various homes but have never succeeded with it. In the past I thought it was because I usually bought very small specimens .... but this Christmas I got a present of a beautiful big one and the kind gift-giver said they just kept theirs in the bathroom and didn't give it any attention. The plant was duly installed in my bathroom and I even remembered to water it occasionally but look at it now!

I've trimmed off most of the dead or dying fronds and this is what is left. It was three times that size when it arrived and as you can see even the remaining fronds are not doing so well!

Any suggestions? I really need to get it to do something before I have a visit from the gift-giver :-) 

Bit of a shock to the system ....

04 February 2012 00:34:47
Cliona - 3 months now!

Cliona - 3 months now!

... getting back from Barcelona to -5 last night! My son was complaining about the cold weather there - it was about 5 degrees some of the time but when the sun came out the sky was that wonderful turquoise colour that seems to be a Mediterranean speciality.

Ventured into the greenhouse yesterday and had to do a hasty watering as the little sedums and their friends had been sadly neglected for about 10 days. I can't wait for the weather to warm up a little so I can start hardening off the sedums for planting in the new bed. They are all showing little buds of new growth so I just have to have patience and let them get a bit bigger ....

I've been busy with other stuff since I got back on Tuesday night so I haven't had a chance to do any garden stuff but it looks like tomorrow might have abit more time ...

In the meantime I can't resist showing off little Cliona again - all of 3 months now and as cute as a button! 

Sorry I had to miss Altamont - sounds like it was a great outing! 


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