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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal October 2012

Last Post 1913 days 15 hours ago

Think I'm finally a REAL gardener!

28 October 2012 20:00:39

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Today I braved the cold and wet to follow to the letter Monty Don's instructions regarding my Dahlias. I'm quite proud of the dahlias because all but one of them came from a packet of seeds last year and I managed to lift them and get them through the winter (Ok - so it was a very mild winter but it was a first for me!!) and they made a great display this year in the new beds down near the stream. I even managed to sit for a while on the little white seat down there to enjoy them!

Apart from the plants from seed I also have a lovely tall red Dahlia given to me by Nuala I think - please correct me if I'm wrong- and the carefully placed label has totally disappeared :-( I'd love to know what the name of that lovely dahlias is!)

Anyway, I digress. the instructions from Monty were very clear - get those Dahlias out of the ground once the first frost has arrived! And make sure you label them!

Well I'm feeling so virtuous - I lifted the plants, shook off as much soil as I could, brought them up to the shed (It had started to rain again by this time) Taking one plant at a time I carefully trimmed off the foliage leaving a decent stump (as seen on TV) on each and then labelled. the labelling was interesting - will I remember next year what I meant by "Yellow", "Tall Yellow", "Crimson", "Lemon" etc.? What I want is to be able to mix the colours better than this year as this year it was totally pot-luck (except for the named one) and I ended up with all yellows in one bed and a couple of reds not being properly visible so hopefully next year will be more balanced.

I was also encouraged by Dick's post about lifting the dahlias and replacing them with Wallflowers ... I may well follow his example if my wallflower seedlings bulk up a bit more.

Finished off the job by shredding the foliage from the dahlias and adding it to this year's compost heap.

And why am I a REAL gardener? Well photo No. 1 is the answer - dahlias actually lifted in time and properly labelled!!!! Can't wait for next weeks Gardeners World to see what I do next! LOL


Busy day planting

27 October 2012 20:53:57

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I'm sure I should have been getting ready for our trip to Barcelona but when I woke up and saw the lovely sunshine I just had to get out into the garden! The frost had hit some things but I was inspired to get planting in the new front areas.

There were lots of plants in the Nursery Beds just waiting to be planted and since I'll be away for a week it seems like a good idea to plant as many of them as possible since I won't be here to mind them for the next week!

The new beds in the front areas are pretty much a blank canvas although they do have the structure of the trees already planted there.

I decided to keep the formality of the Thujas on each side of the driveway so I planted a load of Ajuga from the original plant I got from Liga - this will in time spread into a ground cover around the Thujas with the added bonus of the pretty blue flowers in summer. I've also put some daffodils here so that takes care of Spring! Elizabeth potted up about 40 of these the last time she was down so I had enough to edge both sides of the drive.

From the Nursery Beds I took Astilbes, Phormiums, Hydrangeas, Foxglove seedlings, Leucanthemums,  Violets,  - Oh! I've lost count to how many different things I planted today! But at the end of the day I am really satisfied with the result!

Now all I have to do is figure out how to keep the greenhouse plants from perishing while I'm away - if the sun shines then the plants will all dry up! Think I'll try buckets of water with cloth "wicks" to each plant. Any other suggestions?

Photo Labels

26 October 2012 10:48:43

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Just noticed something when I was putting titles on the photos in my October album - if you put quotations marks in the title it seems to leave that bit of the title out - for example I put the label Fuchsia "Flashlight" on the first photo and only the word Fuchsia appeared but when I removed the quotation marks the whole thing is there!

And then I noticed that the sun was shining on the Pampas so I just had to run out an take a few more pics of it ....

Happy Camper!

25 October 2012 19:56:52

What's in a name?

24 October 2012 21:37:36

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I've been trying to identify the pretty Fuchsias I have in my garden (or now in the greenhouse :-)) and I am totally confused!

I have found photos that seem to match my plants and think to myself "Oh Goodie! another one named".  Then, just to double-check, I put the new-found name into Google and they come up with a completely different set of pictures!

I have had long discussios with my sister Elizabeth who has recently decided to collect Fuchsias but we still have issues.

So what to do? Well, my decision is to label my plants with the best match I can find and if anyone gets bits from me they are welcome to try and update the names :-D

There appear to be thousands of named Fuchsias so it is really a bit of a needle-in-a-haystack job! So many Fuchsias seem to be sold with no indications of their names which makes it very difficult to identify them later.

I have some hardy ones that are well documented - Fuschia 'Ricartonii' and Fuschia 'Flashlight' both of which came from a garden centre with their labels intact.

Elizabeth gave me some of her well-established Fuchsia "Display" but after that I'm guessing!

Confused Iris

24 October 2012 20:39:44
Confused Iris

Confused Iris

Look what I found - this little Iris producing flowers way out of season!

Time to update the database!

23 October 2012 01:04:19

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Got down to a job I've been putting off for ages - recording all the recent purchases and presents from kind members for the past few months. This led to a complete check-over for the entire database. In doing this I found that there are still quite a few little orphans with no names, not to mention a few flowerbeds with lots of unrecorded plants! Looks like I'll be busy for the whole winter figuring out just exactly what is in my garden :-D

However, even this exciting task couldn't keep me out of the garden completely so today I gave the grass its last cut - so nice that there is so much less of it now!  Yesterday I planted some new strawberry plants in the vegetable area, well away from the area where the virus struck this year.  My thornless blackberry has produced quite a bit of fruit, and when I was harvesting them I spotted some wild ones on the hedgerow so I picked them too! I was really disappointed to find that the cultivated ones were quite bitter while the wild ones were like honey :-(

Got the more tender of the fuschias into the greenhouse. I've also taken in the Melianthus Major and will keep it in the greenhouse over the winter. I have a question about two other plants that Bill brought me to my open day.

The first one is Ricinus Zanzibarensis - if I keep it in the greenhouse its first winter will it survive outside in future?

The second one is Solanum Laciniatum - is it annual or perennial?


Oh! And I planted a total of 350 bulbs in the remodeled front lawns!!!!!


Autumn tasks

16 October 2012 23:17:59

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For the past few weeks I've been totally focussed on the restoration of the front gardens so the usual Autumn tasks have been a bit neglected. The last two days were so fabulous that I was able to do a fair bit of catching up.

Some of you may remember the journal I posted about 

Compost .... from the video"

a u-tube video showing how to make useable compost in 4 weeks - well, i followed the instructions  exactly, but after 4 weeks it definitely needed longer to "cook". Only got back to it today and it certainly has produced lovely compost. This has been spread on the new beds I made earlier in the summer alongside the stream. I suppose i was a bit ambitious with these beds - the soil os so dreadful that even grass wouldn't grow on it! I did spread a mulch of shreddings on it about 6 weeks ago but there was no improvement. Yesterday and today I dug over these beds - Ugh! that horrid subsoil is there too and the area is too big to dig it all out. I'm just going to have to dig it over regularly and add as much compost as I can to it - hopefully it will eventually start to resemble soil.

Also tidied up the Nursery Bed and decided to plant some things in the bed properly so that it will be nice to look at even when I've found a home for all the "plants in waiting" - yes, I know, there NEVER comes a time when there are no plants in waiting!

Feeling happier now to be back to "real gardening" again.

I've included a photo of my Pampas grass - described on the label as the "small" one! Cortaderia selloana 'pumila' is about 8 feet tall I reckon! I'd hate to see how big the "large" ones might be :-D


Get together Sunday 13th Jan

11 October 2012 16:46:03
For your calendar

For your calendar


Hi Everyone

I've counted up the preferences expressed and it appears that Sunday 13th is the date that suits most people.

I hope that people who preferred other days will also try to make it on that day.

Closer to the time I'll be looking for numbers for Johnstown as they have kindly offered to set up a special area to accommodate us as they did last year.

Just to explain for people who haven't been there before, Johnstown Garden Centre have a restaurant that provides light lunch for customers which we can purchase if required. In addition, we have our Kris Kindle as well as a free raffle for all who attend.

Johnstown's sale should still be on so bargains may be found there! 

And then there is the plant swop .... an opportunity to bring all those bits you promised to other members along .... and even bits you haven't promised that might be looking for a good home :-))

Here's hoping that we will have an even bigger turnout than last year!

Looking forward to seeing you all, old friends and new!

Progress today

10 October 2012 22:09:32
At the bog

At the bog

Today was a nice fine day apart from a little bit of drizzle now and again -unfortunately very cloudy, so our new solar panels are not having to work very hard :-(

I had some help spreading the remaining ton of topsoil in the front gardens but unfortunately it left a good bit of the area uncovered.  This resulted in a new experience for this Dub - a trip to the bog! I had already been given a trailer-load of what is called "bog mould" here - which is the powdered peat that is a result of harvesting turf - in an unrestricted bog, of course! 

So off we went to the bog to get some more! Unfortunately there has been a lot of rain since the first lot was got, so today was a bit of an adventure! This was my first time to visit a bog and I was struck by the silence and the sense of endless extent of the bog. I can full understand now why people here never go to the bog alone - those who do end up terribly depressed.

Anyway, we persevered and managed to load half a trailer load of this great stuff which has now been spread over the remaining new beds in the re-designed East and West lawns! 

Now comes the good part - I even managed to do some planting - the goodies from Mount Venus and from Bay Garden have almost all been planted and some other "plants in waiting" have also found good homes!

Next job will be to distribute all the spring bulbs I lifted to give us a nice display in the spring!

Update on get-together

10 October 2012 21:32:09
Replies Please!!!!

Replies Please!!!!


Johnstown Garden Centre are again hosting our annual Get-together and have again promised vouchers for our raffle. For new members or people who haven't been to a get-together before, Johnstown Garden Centre is at Exit 8 on the N7 just before Naas coming from Dublin. 


The response so far has indicated that Saturday 12 is out because people are attending a course on that day. 

Several people have expressed a preference for Sunday due to work commitments  on Satrudays.

Ii have one definite vote for Saturday 5th and one definite vote for Sunday 13th.

HELP!!!!!  Any more votes????

Kris Kindle:

We will have our usual Kris Kindle  this year. This involves everyone who wants to participate should bring along one small wrapped gift value a max of €10. In the past this has been very well managed by Myrtle and Periwinkle, but they are taking a break this year and Bruno has stepped in to the breach - probably with Fran assisting :-)

 This is the last call for votes on the date! Rachel needs to know by tomorrow for the Calendar :0

Get Together at Johnstown January 2013

09 October 2012 11:47:36

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    Annual Get-together     

Hi Everyone

Rachel has asked me to arrange the Christmas/New Year get-together this year so I've been talking to Johnstown and the suggested dates are:

·          Saturday 5 January

·          Sunday 6 january

·          Saturday 12 January

·          Sunday 13 January

The recommendation from Johnstown is for the earlier dates as the January Sale will be in full swing and they will have the new Spring stuff in too. However, as usual, the members decide. Please reply to this journal with your preference if you plan to attend ASAP as Rachel would like to put the date in the Calendar and her print deadline is Thursday !!!!!

nothing like a bargain to tempt me

09 October 2012 01:04:02

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Today was very busy doing mostly not garden-related running about but I did find myself near enough to Dublin so took the opportunity of visiting my sister Elizabeth. Having admired all the work she has been doing in her garden we headed off to Mount Venus on the off-chance that the sale might apply during the week as well!

I don't know the name of the guy who runs it, but he is most helpful and obliging. I had to confess that the lovely Cornus I got from him last year was trodden on by a rather large black and white cow a few weeks ago! Last year I met up with other .iers there and got distracted from the main business of the plants, but this year we had no such distraction so careful examination of almost every single plant in the place was undertaken. I had a small budget this time as the makeover of the front garden has made a bit of a dent in the finances even after the farmer's contribution is taken in to account :-(

First plant to be taken was Helenium 'Baudirektor Linne' this lovely flower was a favourite of my mother - she always called it the "upside down daisy". I like it so much that I took 2 - and i think I have just the spot for them!

Next is a lovely white hardy Geranium Coombland White - I have geraniums in many colours but this White is a first for me.

There were lots of unusual Persicaria there and I finally settled on Persicaria Campanulata I think this might be the one in another Journal this evening....

And the final choice had to be a fern - so Cyrtomium fortunei (Japanese holly fern) which will be a great addition to the new Fernery

Of course by the time the 30% discount was tekn off this was a VERY good bargain lot! And then I had the three plants for the voucher from Irish Garden Membership,

Elizabeth had fallen for a lovely dark purple Fuschia called "blackie" and we were brought in to the greenhouse to see it in full flower. Of course we ended up chatting for a while, and Elizabeth came away with a gift of another beautiful Fuschia from the greenhouse! She is making a habit of this business - went to Helen Dillon and got a personally produced cutting, and now in Mount Venus she gets this lovely Fuschia !!!


Rewarding myself

07 October 2012 23:00:54

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Having spent Saturday shredding up an incredible amount of Rosa Rugosa I treated myself to a wander around with the camera .... and the colours of this Rhus just blew me away.

the other photos show the raised fence creating more shelter for the white seat, and the rest of that boundary with the unfortunate Hornbeams that have been smothered in roses all summer!

ID Please?

07 October 2012 22:53:56
Mystery self-seeder

Mystery self-seeder

Is this a seedling of Verbena Bonariensis please? Or is it a Buddliea?

Website problem?

07 October 2012 22:36:13


05 October 2012 22:35:36

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Had to psych myself up to go out to the garden this afternoon as it was definitely looking like it might rain! There was a pile of Rosa Rugosa cuttings down near the stream because I was having the fence raised a bit last week to increase the shelter in that corner of the garden and the roses would have discouraged anyone for undertaking that task!

I dragged the shredder down and got to work on them.  They are probably the easiest things to shred in the whole garden, except that the shredder didn't care much for the rose hips. Flew through this task and was then inspired to tackle the rest of that hedge! Had great notions of getting it all done and dusted by tea-time! 

I'm actually cutting them right down to the bottom as they have got well out of control this year (Ok, Rachel! I can hear the "I told you so" and I deserve it!) so removing them is going to let the Hornbeams we put in last winter to have a bit of space. I now have to figure out how much to trim off the hornbeam to encourage them to bush out a bit.

I'm also thinking that I might keep the whole thing trimmed as a hedge for a bit. No idea how the Rugosa will react! I'd be interested to hear if anyone has tried this before.

This hedge is about 50 metres long and I had only cut down about 3 metres for the fence work, so you can see why I was a bit over-ambitious planning to cut and shred 47 metres of a 2 metre high hedge in an afternoon!

Anyway, I was more than satisfied to get the whole thing cut down - now all I have to do is shred three enormous piles of prickly branches LOL Thank heavens for workmans gloves!

'fraid I've been a bit naughty ....

02 October 2012 01:06:33

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....over the past few days ... instead of continuing with the hard slog of the garden restoration, I played truant and went off visiting Bay Garden. That was bad enough, but then I just HAD to get something to remember the garden (and they did have a sale on!!!) so Sisifinchum 'E.K. Bell', Melianthus Major, Aster 'Little Carlow' and Helianthus Decapetalus all found their way into the boot of the car.  

On the way home I passed (or almost passed) Dunnes of Durrow when I remembered their sale was on too .... second naughy bit and Cotoneaster Frascati, Helleborus Foetidus (to replace one I killed off) Anemone Honorine Jobert and Gaura Lindhammer joind the others in the boot.

Today was a day when there was stuff going on in the house related to plumbing so I went off to do the shopping .... and yes, I DEFINITELY had to go to Lidl and i am so impressed with myself that I escaped with only two little packets of Crocus (for the new beds in the front, don't you know!)

This is ridiculous! I have all the stuff in the nursery Beds to plant out yet and there I go adding to the work again LOL


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