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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal July 2013

Last Post 1573 days 1 hour ago

Open day at Gortnalee - An Invitation

31 July 2013 00:30:39
Clematis 'Niobe'

Clematis 'Niobe'

I've just re-read my journal " Garden Visit or Garden ordeal" and I'm hoping that people who were so nice about that journal will be equally kind if they come to visit my garden this year!

Some of you may have seen that I had put in either Saturday 10th or Sunday 11th August and now that we are coming closer to that time I'm settling on Sunday 11th August. We should be ready to greet you from about 2 pm - with the kettle on and the bickkies all ready!

As some of you may know Brendan hasn't been well lately and has recently gone to a Convalescent Home for some TLC. so I'll be relying on my long-suffereing family to assist on the day!

With all that has been going on I probably haven't had as much time this year to get fussy with the garden, but there have been some changes since last year, particularly after the infamous Cattle Invasion!!!!

So please come meet with your .ier friends in a definitely relaxed garden which will be reasonably tidy and mostly weeded :-)

contact me by PM if you need directions! We are near the junction of the M7 and M8 motorways so very easy to find.

Oh Dear! look what you started, Jackie .....

28 July 2013 23:49:46
Now all I've got to do is decide where they go ...

Now all I've got to do is decide where they go ...

It was all going so well - I was resisting ALL temptations to buy for the garden this month as I am trying to get things ship-shape for the visit of my precious Princess Cliona at the end of the month. Then Jackie mentions the magic word BARGAINS and guess what there is a Heatons in Portloaise that I pass on the way to visit Brendan - so i just HAD to have a look ....

Ids Please!

17 July 2013 14:49:57

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These are a few of the lovely plants given to me last year by kind .iers - some had labels but the writing washed off! 

I'd love to know the names and if possible the kind donors!

Success at last!

17 July 2013 14:35:38
Jasminum Officinale

Jasminum Officinale

I fell for this Jasmine about two years ago - bought it at the end of the summer and kept it carefully in the greenhouse over the winter. Planted it out in the spring and it sulked for the whole year! 

So being a bit fed up with it I decided to leave it in situ and let it sink or swim. I was pleased when it survived the winter .... and yesterday look what I found!!!!!

All work and no play ....

14 July 2013 23:56:08

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... makes Jack a dull boy - or Hazel an even duller girl! Took time out from the shredding to take a few photos ... 

First photo is Musk Mallow - "malva moschata" that came to my garden as an imposter - it was supposed to be white! The original plant isnot looking great but this self-seeder is really looking great!

Next photo is some sort of lily, I think! A gift from a .ier i believe! 

Final photo is a lovely yellow climber I've planted this year but alas! no label!!!

Today was so hot that I  couldn't bring myself to go out at all!!!!

Tomorrow is another day!

Perfect Day - Perfect Visit!

12 July 2013 02:21:11

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I could get used to this great weather! Elizabeth and I finally got to visit Fran's oasis of tranquility today and it really wowed us both! I've seen his journals so often and tried to imagine how the various parts would look together in reality and it far exceeded my imaginings!

The front garden was a delightful introduction to what lay behind the doors of his lovely home. Out onto the deck with its totally unique waving edge and that lovely Japanese Area that looked so well in his journals, but it is now covered in a beautiful Clematis that was just one of the really healthy examples throughout the garden.

I can't make up my mind which aspect of this lovely garden I liked best - I'm torn between the exotic and exhuberant planting, the carefully situated seats capturing the sunshine all through the day, the truly imaginative sculptural creations from Fran's magic workshop, the lovely arches and winding steps with little treasures popping up in the most unexpected places .... and finally the beautiful specimens flowering their socks off!

Putting the icing on the cake, Fran was a perfect host, plying us with coffee (and water for Elizabeth) lovely grub and the inevitable great chat!

The only disappointment was that Maria wasn't there due to a prior arrangement.

Thank you Fran for making us so welcome to your beautiful home and garden!

Aren't sisters the best ever?

11 July 2013 01:36:13

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Elizabeth has been down for a few days to cheer me up with Brendan still in hospital so inevitably we ended up in the garden! It is that time of year again when the living willow fence needs a haircut - it really should have happened a few weeks ago but better late than never!

Elizabeth's daughter Mary lend a hand too so between secateurs, loppers and electric hedge trimmer we managed to produce the most amazing stack of willow cuttings.

This morning Elizabeth and I began the mammoth shredding task. It was so hot in the lower garden that we had to rig up the sun umbrella to create a bit of shade! As you can see she is all set for a big session!

Elizabeth suggested that we retain the thicker branches for kindling next winter so she has already filled a large crate for me with foot- long twigs! Have to let them dry out before they are used  but they shoud be very useful.

Still have a very significant mound of stuff to shred, but with the new shredding arrangement the whole process is much easier!

I'm trying an experiment this year. I'm letting the upright willows from the top of the fence as I want to extend the fence next Spring. Of course if I get ed up it can be pruned at any time.

Nopalxochia (Disocactus)

08 July 2013 00:29:27

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What a mouthful! This cactus was given to me by my sister Elizabeth with the warning that it is beloved of slugs - I carefully protected it in the greenhouse but it did develop some of the ugly slug nibbles this spring - and it has now produced a bud, and the bud has opened ...

So I'm now on the horns of a dilemma - this is undoubtedly the ugliest plant I have ever seen with the most divine flower....

So would you give it House-room? Or even Greenhouse-room?

Over the Wall - or what?

07 July 2013 02:02:57
White Rose

White Rose

Jacinta has immortalised the concept of "over the wall" as an environmentally friendly way of dealing with all the stuff that is hard or even impossible to compost. In my recent forays out tot he garden I have generated a considerable amount of debris - much of which is full of totally lethal thorns so not suitable for composting.

What to do? Take the advice of wiser .iers than me - Scrubber posted a journal at some point extolling the virtues of tarpaulins as a means for colletctin cuttings and studd together - Top marks, Peter - works a treat with Blackthorn hedging! Now all I had to do was designate somewhere as the Gortnalee solution to "over the wall". What to do? 

Wandering round with my tarp full of lethat weapons (thorny debris) I came upon the compost bins - and guess what> There is a space between the bins and the hedging just MADE for an "over the wall" solution!

Since photos of compost/ dumps are far from interesting, feast your eyes on this lovely rose - no idea what it is called, but it is a climber.

Night Owl

07 July 2013 01:44:15

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The fabulous weather has me really enjoying the garden. Have you noticed how there is always  a part of the grden you never seem to get to ... I've been very methodical (mostly) this year in the garden, working steadily from area to area until i make a complete circuit but somehow I never seem to get to the Bamboo Garden. There are two possible reasons - Firstly, since this is the camouflage for the Septic Tank I'm not encouraged to spend too much time there - although I can;t complain as our ST seems to work well!!! and Secondly, it is kind of cut off rom the rest of the garden so easy to miss!!!

So this morning I ventured down to that area and got it sorted! I had planted lots of seedlings of Stipa tenuissima 'Pony Tails' around the offending tank - but the scutch grass had staged a takeover - so serious weeding was called for! As I removed the Scutch (very tricky some times since it was mingling too well with the Stipa ) and as I removed it and the other general weeds I noticed that there are lots of Nasturtium seedlings emerging - I'll just leave them there for this year and try to keep the Stipa  flourishing! 

After visiting Brendan this afternoon I just headed straight back out to the garden - this time it was the Rhus Bed - or  rather the hedge behind that bed - what to do first - tie up the Daisies or trim the hedge - decided to do the tying up first so I could see where I was going - also needed to weed the access path along this border as the weedkiller had limited effect this year!

All in all, a great day's work - the place is looking better for these long days spent doing regular maintenance.

This was a record even for me - it was 10.45 pm before i finally came indoors :-)

Strange Ladybird

06 July 2013 01:13:47
Weird Ladybird

Weird Ladybird

While getting up close and personal with the weeds in the lower garden when I spotted this strange little guy - bright yellow and not a spot in sight! In the top left you can see a more "normal! ladybird. Any idea if this is a "good" ladybird?

Weed or flower?

04 July 2013 00:56:00

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This plant has appeared in one of my beds - I like the leaves - bu is it some dreadful weed?

Foxgloves Names?

04 July 2013 00:50:29

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Over last year I was lucky enough to get gifts of foxgloves from my .ier friends, They are now starting to flower and I reckon they are just as brilliant as the ones illustrated or the article in this year's.

I've identified 'Pam's Choice" - they are in the woodlands and the bees are really enjoying their snacks!

But what about that gorgeous pink one? No name not even sure who gave it to me.

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