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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal June 2012

Last Post 2028 days 11 hours ago

Strawberry virus - cleaning the soil

28 June 2012 13:56:22
Sick Strawberries

Sick Strawberries

My strawberries that were so admired on my Open Day have succumbed to a VIRUS. I knew they weren't as good as last year but only got around to checking up now what was wrong with them.

The news is not good - all the plants in the raised beds must be destroyed and I shouldn't plant strawberries there for at least 3 years. Grrr!

Does anyone know how I can sterilise the soil in these beds so other things planted in them will not become infected too?

I've read on the Internet that putting plastic over the beds for a season will help but there seems to be confusion as to whether clear or black plastic should be used.


And now to make matters worse, my tomatoes in the greenhouse are also showing signs of leaves curling up in a not-very healthy way ....HELP!!!! 


Website problem

26 June 2012 22:18:00

For Moya

26 June 2012 00:23:10
Hedgerow and Trellis

Hedgerow and Trellis

This is the hedgerow with the trellis in front of it. My plan is to keep the bit of hedging above the trellis trimmed as far as I can comfortably reach - the hedgerow is about 4 or 5 metres deep and the farmer only trims the top every few years! I reckon I'll probably have to resort to Roundup through the trellis at some point .....

Phew! I feel jet-lagged!

26 June 2012 00:13:51
The morning after ....

The morning after ....

What a beautiul day we had yesterday, and today was sunny again too so I took a walk around the garden remembering yesterday when my garden was full of lovely .ier friends wandering about, sitting in the sun, and chatting together AND ALL IN MY GARDEN!!!! 

And reading all those lovely journals my head is quite turned!

It was such a pleasure to have so many of you come to our Open Day. From the "early birds" Terrishoo and Alan to Myrtle and Millimouse who came later, everyone was so kind about the garden and seemed to enjoy themselves which is all anyone opening their garden can wish for. It was really interesting to see which bits of the garden appealed to people, the photos people have posted show aspects of the garden that I haven't paid much attention to before!

And then there is the wonderful gifts people brought - I'll be planting for weeks .... just when I thought I'd got on top o the "plants in waiting" (LOL) not to mention the damage the cakes and chocs will do to the waistlines .... thank you ... thank you ... thank you ..

However, I think the biggest benefit of having an Open Day is that is gives a real focus to the garden - mostly I take a fairly relaxed approach to gardening and tackle the various parts of the garden in some sort of rotation or weeding etc. which means that there are always quite a few areas waiting for their turn to be prettied up at any time. But then I decided to take the bull by the horns and go for an Open Day so that meant trying to get ALL the bits tidied at the same time!!!!!

Fortunately I had the help of lovely family - my sister, my grand-nephew and Brendan's grand-daughter, not to mention my best friend Joan. Even Brendan got involved helping to construct fruit cages for me in the veg area!

So now all the bits are tidied at the one time i can take the rest of the summer off


To anyone thinking of having an Open Day, I'd highly recommend it - it was the biggest buzz I've had in many a long day! 



22 June 2012 22:28:22

Gortnalee Open Day 24th June

21 June 2012 22:12:17


Thank you to all of you who have decided to visit our garden. We were thinking that 2pm to 6pm sounds good - but i this doesn't suit anyone we are here all day :-)

Here is a list of the people so far - hope I didn't leave anyone out ...

Hazel Lodge
Elizabeth7 Correction - this should read "Elizabeth (My sister)

Fran M



I know the weather forecast has been a bit doubtful but we do have a couple of large umbrellas that can be pressed into service and most of the paths are pretty weather-proof! Anyway I'm sure the chat and the cuppa will make it worth while :-)

Looking forward to seeing you all. 

A day of at least two halves

18 June 2012 23:25:35
My Lime-tolerant Rhodo

My Lime-tolerant Rhodo

This morning I woke to a bright day and thought to myself "Ha! the forcast was wrong!" so straight into the gardening gear and got stuck in to some much-needed tidying of paths - I trimmed the Willow Fence yesterday and the debris was not pretty! just as I was picking up the last few bits the rain came down ... so then it was the turn of the shredding. I have the shredder set up in the shed so I can shred regardless of the weather! Just as well, as there is a mountain of willow clippings to shred.

After lunch I went back to the shredding - not the most exciting task, but one that needs doing. Brendan took pity on me and did a load for me! It was pretty much chucking it down for quite a while, and then a minor miracle - the rain stopped and the sun even came out! This opportunity was too good to miss so I tackled the hedges that badly needed tidying. Got about half of it done when I felt a few drops of rain ... I'm not much given to praying, but I had a word with the Man Above and convinced him he should hold the rain until I finished the hedge ... and believe it or not, the rain stayed off till the last few feet were being trimmed.

By now Brendan was coming in search of me wondering if food might be on the cards any time soon .... so I went indoors thinking I might go back to the shredding after dinner. However, Him Above decided to  chuck it down again ... and my back was definitely saying enough is enough so I'm now tucked up in my cosy chair enjoying a glass of wine ....

Not a bad days work with the weather ...... 

Northern adventure

18 June 2012 01:38:47


Headed off early on Saturday to make the long promised visit to Periwinkle's garden. It was quite a journey because there was a "Magical Mystery Tour" in Roscommon - otherwise known as a Guess-the next-turn- Diversion that took us through all the lesser-used roads in Roscommon, not too bad on the way up but the return journey was a nightmare! However, I digress ....

We arrived at "Sea View" and were met by Ron who was performing Car Parking duties,  with great skill and Myrtle who was in charge of the Plant List while Dorothy was giving the benefit of her garden expertise to some visitors. I couldn't wait to get into the garden - and I was not disappointed! Quite apart from the stunning location, I was completely blown away by the lovely displays on all sides - so much in flower despite the awful weather we've been having. Periwinkle obviously has mastered the art of protecting her plants from the exposed winds and everything was thriving under her expert care. I don't know which part I liked best - I've put up some photos to give an idea of the scope of this garden right on the Donegal coast. There were mixed borders, with winding paths surfaced with lovely rounded pebbles bordered with Bergenias the healthiest I've ever seen! I also loved the kind of rockery bed but most of all I loved the way she has persuaded little plants to nestle in nooks and crannies and between rocks - the whole effect of the garden was as if it has always been there, part of the landscape of this beautiful part of the country.

The weather behaved reasonably - no rain but unfortunately an Artic wind, so after a good mosey round the garden a hot cup of tea and convivial conversation was very welcome! And I think I have finally figured out how to tell which is which of the charming twins! 

It was great to take a break from my own garden to visit one of such splendour and I came away inspired! 

Open Day on 24th June

15 June 2012 23:24:16
Aquilegia from Liga

Aquilegia from Liga

I would like to invite members of the Garden.ie Garden Club to visit my garden in Co. Laois on Sunday 24th June. Our house is on a half-acre site in the corner of a much larger field and when we bought the site the farmer had a crop of turnips growing on it!

The very first bit of planting in this garden was done on the May bank-holiday weekend 2008 so this is still a very young garden. I hope there is something to interest visitors in the various projects I have undertaken. I also hope that those of you with more mature gardens can give me the benefit of your experience in developing the garden over future seasons.

Anyone wishing to visit please send me a PM so I can give you directions - and it would be nice to know approximately how many people will be coming (in case I need to borrow a few cups from the neighbours LOL) 

Better get the shears out before next weekend!

15 June 2012 23:05:00
Willow Fence in full growth

Willow Fence in full growth

The Willow Fence is really loving this wet weather and it is getting difficult to go through the arches! I really need to trim them but the thought of trying to shred wet trimmings is not encouraging! However, I would like any visitors I might have next week to be able to tour the garden without a machete! 

Today I ventured out in full rain-gear and was surprised how much I got done. The rain cleared off in the later part of the afternoon so I got a good section of the woodland area weeded, and even got some Helebore seedlings planted!

Only one more area to weed and then its down to trimming hedges and grass to have the garden ready for the open day. Phew!

Tomorrow I have a day off as I'm visiting Periwinkles garden for her Open Day. I had though to go today but decided to defer to tomorrow as the weather forecast is better :-)

Will post a separate journal about the Open Day. 

Dahlia bed ready at last

12 June 2012 19:54:20
Dahlia bed ready for action

Dahlia bed ready for action

I was delighted to find that some dahlias from seed last year had come through the winter. They are potted up and looking very happy but I wanted to make a new Dahlia bed. Picked the "perfect" spot and set about digging it over. That's were it all went pear-shaped. I hadn't realised that the spoil from the Turbine foundation had been buried here - that wouldn't have been a problem if it had been buried properly, but unfortunately it was only a couple of inches below the surface! Three barrow-loads of subsoil and shale dumped, several days digging between showers, and a full compost bin of compost added and it is finally done! Now if only the rain stays off enough tomorrow for the planting tomorrow!

It all began with ....

08 June 2012 00:16:00
Slug Clear

Slug Clear

It all began with “Slug Clear Liquid”. I was coming to the end of the bottle of this marvellous stuff and started to panic  so I tried all our local garden outlets without success.

I was offered three varieties of pellets and a bottle of gel but no “Slug Clear Liquid. In desperation I decided I’d give Elizabeth a lift home  to Tallaght that evening  after all her hard work, which of course meant passing Johnstown where I made a successful purchase of two bottles (just to be sure J) .

Since I was in Dublin I decided to meet my daughter for a bite. She lives in the city centre so the plan was for me to park in Jervis …. Drove up the ramp but when I got to the entry barrier I realised they were closing at 7.30 and it was already almost 6.30 so I decided to leave immediately. How can that be a problem? Well, I was a bit stressed by now, what with the whole slug saga and stuff, so when I went to validate the ticket I mistook the ATM  for the ticket machine. Ok, I know, the ATM DID say “Bank of Ireland” – but I was in a hurry – had ticket in hand and there was this little slot with a flashing light saying “Insert Card” – so I did.  

ATMs do not like parking tickets. They cannot read them. They do not understand them. And they CANNOT RETURN them.  And then they just go “out of order”. Beside this unfriendly ATM was a very helpful Ticket Machine with a handy little “help” button. Have you ever noticed how totally stupid it feels to be speaking to a Ticket Machine? I told my sorry tale, how I had done something really stupid with my ticket and what could I do now? “What time did you come in?” he asked. “Five minutes ago. I Didn’t realise that you closed at 7.30 so I was just going to leave again.”

I could almost hear him thinking “we’ve got a proper one here” but he replied very politely that I should just proceed to the exit and he would sort me out. I definitely detected a bit of a grin as he handed me a new ticket to leave J  The rest of the evening was delightful and my daughter laughed till she cried when I told her the saga! And all to get rid of some slugs!!!!

crazy Geranium

07 June 2012 00:37:03
crazy Garanium

crazy Garanium

Just put up an album with the crazy Geranium. I'll have seedlings for anyone interested at the Open Day on 24th June


Climbing Geranium????

05 June 2012 21:41:09
Climbing Geranium ?

Climbing Geranium ?

I have a particularly vigorous hardy Geranium in my woodland area. This plant is a bit of a thug, self-seeding prolifically. It is also almost evergreen (depending on the severity of the winter) but this year it has decided to reach for the sky!!! The one in the photo ( not very clear, I'm afraid) has a height of over 3 feet (over a metre to those who prefer metric) and it is seriously impeding the Buckthorn and Viburnum in that bed! Not to mention that somewhere in the midst of this lot there are a couple of Japanese Anenome !

This is not the only example - there is one that is almost three feet high in another bed!

Now that I have recorded it I plan to prune it back to a more normal size! 

Working through the to-do list

05 June 2012 00:57:59
Glorious Poppies

Glorious Poppies

I'm now in serious count-down to the Open Day so since Elizabeth is down for a few days we took the opportunity of making a To-Do List of things I would like to sort out before then. I'm not being over-fussy, but if i was expecting house guests I would at least take out the vacuum cleaner and put fresh linen on the beds :-)

Saturday was a lovely day so we got a fair bit of planting done, and I sorted out that new path in my last journal. Part of that task is preparing a bed for the Dahlias that have been waiting patiently to be planted out. I got the first bit of the bed dug on Saturday and got a bit more done today because the ground was nice and easy after yesterday's rain! The forecast for tomorrow isn't good but I'm hopeful that I might get the rest of the bed dug before the heavens open tomorrow!

I was surprised when I did the list as there wasn't as much to be done as I feared - the hardest bit is keeping up with the regular jobs like mowing the grass!

Thanks to all the help Elizabeth has been giving me I'm even getting time to enjoy the garden - these poppies are so much better in their second year !!!! 

Bloom Gallery

03 June 2012 22:23:53
Latest path ....

Latest path ....

I just loaded my first album since the new version of the upload process - some of my lovely colleagues have been expressing some confusion about it .... I reckon it would have helped if they had added some basic explanations of the process! For those of you still confused, it seems to me that it is expecting you to add all your photos for an album at the same time, so the best thing to do is select all the photos you want to put in your album and then click "upload". It then loads each photo on the list one at a time. This can take awhile depending on your connection. As each photo is uploaded it disappears off your list ( I think this is the bit that scares people!) until all the photos have been uploaded. You then have to click the "save gallery" button. After that you can add titles to the photos and select a cover photo if you wish. Hope this helps any of you still feelign confused!!!

Ok - enough techie stuff!!!!

So what was my haul from Bloom? Well I'm a very very happy bunny! On the way to Dublin I got two oxygenerators for the new pond in Johnstown, then collect Terry and off we went! Just arrived and since it was inclined to rain we went straight into the pavilion and bumped in to Fran and Mary& Paddy so that was a good start. As the rain seemed to be holding off, we made a quick dash out to see the show gardens. Was it just me or was there a certain lack of WOW in the gardens? The one that impressed me most was the one designed by a 19-year old who had a garden that was a riot of colour and exhuberant planting! Too many of the others were concentrating on the "wilderness" style for my liking - or maybe I'm just getting grumpy - although I did love Jane McCorkell's garden and I thought her compost bins were very elegant and the potting area was very practical.

Anyway, by the time we finished the show gardens the rain was fairly chucking it down so fortunately we had timed it right for our lunch reservation :-) Yumme lunc, nice cglass of wine, and then it was time for the serious part of the day - the shopping! We bumped in to Rachel and Alison in the pavilion, and I have to confess we needed to make more than one trip to the Plant Creche!

Terry got two Calla Lillies, a yellow Geum and a Dicentra. Not bad for someone who says her garden is finished!!!!

I also got a Calla Lily for the new pond, a lovley dwarf Alstomeria that should suit my windy site well, that lovely cheery yellow Geum, a Eupatorium to replace the one that failed from last year, three pretty drumstick primula, a Dierama and a really dark Aquilegia - so you see, I was VERY restrained!

On the way home i collected Elizabeth along with a lovely Fuschia and a few other bits ... not only does she work her fingers to the bone in my garden, but she always comes bearing gifts too!!!

Rachel remarked that i seem to do an awful lot of planting ... to which I replied that I have so many disasters that I'm constantly planting replacements :-) Elizabeth & I have been busy planting since then - except for today when it was chucking it down most of the day! 


Yawn, yawn ....

01 June 2012 00:08:09
...not ALL mine!!!

...not ALL mine!!!

Tired little girl after a long day - too tired to go into detail but had a wonderful day at Bloom with my sister-in-law Terry. We met lots of .ier friends, got to see the gardens in between shower, had a fabulous lunch in the Bistro ..... er ... we might have made a few purchases too .... just keeping in out of the rain!

Then on the way home collected Elizabeth who has kindly volunteered to give up the long weekend to finally knocking my planting on the head .... mind you when she sees the haul from Bloom she may well change her mind :-( 


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