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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal August 2013

Last Post 1611 days 12 hours ago

End of Summer Blues

26 August 2013 22:52:37

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What am I like? We have had the best summer in years, my garden is maturing (of course, still planning lots of changes!) and I had the absolute joy of having my very own granddaughter running about in the sunshine in the garden that was designed for her before she even existed!

So why am I feeling blue? Well, I always get a bit blue when it comes time to slash down the giant daisies - its the real "end of summer" bit for me  While it is really therapeutic to do the big clear-up that this entails, and really, it gives anything left in the borders a chance to breath, it also means another marathon with the shredder!

However, I found a great way to cheer myself up! I went around and observed and photographed angles of the garden I hadn't done before - you know, when you walk past a border and a pretty combination catches your eye - and so many things are still in full flower that my mood definitely lifted. Isn't gardening wonderful!

Pros and Cons

26 August 2013 01:06:53

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I spent most of the afternoon dead-heading and tidying and most of the work was on this border.

As the hedgerow alongside it is not pretty I planted some very large daisies and some Kniphofia against the hedge and then proceeded to create the border. It is in its second year and I am really happy with how it is filling up. The daisies had gone over so they were cut back ready for shredding and the kniphofia have more room to expand.

Part of the planting this year was to put my dahlias scattered through the border but I'm in two minds as to whether this was a good decision.

The Pros are easy - Dahlias earn their keep by extending the colour in the garden well into the autumn and they are doing quite well in their new home 


They are not flowering as well as they did when they were all in one bed with no competition


the effect of their colour is more spread out, so not so spectacualr as last year.

So do I settle for a less spectacular but longer lasting effect in this border or move the dahlias again next year to their own exclusive domain?

Little treasure

26 August 2013 00:44:00
Little treasure

Little treasure

Got this litttle treasure from Dealz last week.

Geraniums going berserk

21 August 2013 10:09:29

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There is something about my woodland areas that seems to make Geraniums go a bit berserk!

Last year I had the native one that is always a bit untidy climbing up into the  Viburnum so I had to pull out a load of it over the winter and it behaved a bit better this year.

On the other side of the woodland I planted a very pretty Geranium (Geranium Praetense I think) with lovely mauve flowers which was about 40cm high last year and made a lovely rounded clump.

This year it had caught the Berserk bug and has headed up the nearest tree!

However, this one has self-seeded very well, so more berserk Geraniums will be in evidence in the woodland from now on LOL

Solanum companions

19 August 2013 01:19:33

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Fran's journal about Solanum Laciniatum encouraged me to take a fresh look at my specimens of this unusual plant. In the redesign of my front woodlands this year I created a lot of beds so of course had to come up with something to fill them up! I wanted to live with the new layout for a season while I decided what planting to do so annuals were the answer for this year.

The Solanum Laciniatum had been in the greenhouse all winter and had produced those shiny fruits that Fran mentioned.

In the spring i took one of those seedpods which were now a lovely shade of orange, and opened it up and spread the seeds on a bit of kitchen roll and dried them on the windowsill. First time to do anything like this so I wasn't too optimistic about the results but to my surprise I got a great load of seedlings. Even managed to bring them on to the planting out stage!

So the planting for that bed for summer colour has been Solanum Laciniatum, Cosmos "Purity", Asian poppies and some Nicotiana.  The poppies have finished but the Nicotiana fill the evening with their perfume. I did a proper dead-heading of the Cosmos so now that bed is looking really good! Those Solanum are strong plants and help to hole up the other plants in the bed.

Top photo includes Persicaria Campanulanata. Second one contrasts them with the Corylus avellana Maxima Purpurea (Purple Hazel)

Bottom photo is the Cerinthe self-seeders. Will lift some of these to overwinter in the greenhouse but will leave some in the ground to see how they will do. They make a lovely contrast with the Ajuga (thanks Liga!)

Bit of a Curate's Egg day

17 August 2013 21:55:59

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You know - the Curate's Egg - Bad in Spots!

Managed to get out to the garden about 11.30 when the first spell of rain cleared and got a lot of the dead-heading cleared - Dahlias, Cosmos and Roses were top of the list but a sudden downpour caused me to seek refuge in the greenhouse where some pots got rearranged. When the rain finally stopped and I could escape i took a break from the garden getting back to it at about 4 pm when the sun was out and it was really warm and lovely!

Finished the dead-heading of the various Buddliea - some grown to an amazing 8 feet since the spring having been cut back to about 18 inches in the spring!

Also pruned the Wisteria - not sure what I was doing with it but all the Gurus say to do it now :-)

Since the weather was still holding up I tackled the shredding mountain and got about 4 fills of the shredder done before the heavens opened again!

At this stage I reckoned the  Universe was trying to tell me something so I stowed the tools and shredders and came indoors!


Ps - having problems uploading journal so will add photos one by one

Stream - rebuilt yet again!

16 August 2013 23:07:07

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Today the weather favoured me so I wasted no time but was out straight after breakfast working on the stream.

I figured out the other day where the leaks were, and as I worked on it I began to see why it had sprung a leak. The problem was that the little path beside the stream was too close which meant that as people wandered by the stream they were inadvertantly flattening the bank of the stream.

Solution was to move the path over a bit, build up the bank and to avaoid a repeat, plant up the new bank! I find that people are much less likely to tread on plants than on paths!!!!

By lunch time it was ready to test so I turned on the pump and to my delight it seems to be fixed! I had to go out for a while in the afternoon so I left the pump running for a couple of hours and as far as I can judge the stream is now ok! I know it will lose a bit from evaporation but that doesn't worry me as I have a hose nearby and usually top up the pond at the bottom when visitors are expected :-)

Spent the rest of the day weeding the beds that border the stream. Really satisfied with my day's work.  My first "proper" day of gardening in a while!

Another Rainbow ....

15 August 2013 21:19:26

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... this one was when my darling granddaughter was home!

What to do on a day like today

15 August 2013 19:42:46
No let up!

No let up!

The good summer we've been enjoying has left me totally unprepared for days like today with the Rain God chucking his all at my garden!

So how was your day, then?

Mine began with a trip to Lidl - but no plants tempted me - and I got soaked just running from the car to the door of the shop. Good start!

Then it was back home and from sheer boredom did some housework. It was raining so heavy I didn't even venture across the yard to the greenhouse!

After lunch the rain eased from downpour to steady drizzle so dashed across to the greenhouse and managed to do a little bit of potting up of some Saxifrage that didn't like our recent hot weather too much!

The rain even stopped for an hour or so - but unortunately I was headed to visit Brendan by then and yes, you've guessed it! By the time I got home it was chucking it down again!

Maybe tomorrow will be Stream Fixing weather!!!!

Here we go again - leaky stream!

15 August 2013 00:20:44
Steam reconstruction under way

Steam reconstruction under way

I haven't had occasion to mention my little stream recently as I thought it was more or less finished ....

Unfortunately, having the stream pump on a lot more when my visitors were here it became clear that the stream is managing to lose a significant amount of water when the pump is on.

This stream has been redesigned and allegedly sorted out several times over the past few years and the banks are beginning to look a lot more "natural" so i wasn't too happy at having to try and find the leak. 

So Joan helped me start the dismantling of the stream bed yesterday until the rain drove us in. Today, Joan had gone home so I tackled a bit of it in the afternoon but again "rain stopped play" - at least I think I've found the problem - all I need now is a few hours without rain ..... some chance!

Oh well, at least when it is finished the solution may prove to be more long-lasting! 

Different kind of Open Day

13 August 2013 00:21:13

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With all that has been happening over the past couple of months I really was in two minds as to whether to go ahead with my Open Day but decided in the end that it would give me something to look forward to so with the decision made I set about getting ready for it. Elizabeth came down on Friday and we did the fastest tidy-up a garden ever had! Lots of weeding and dead-heading got the place to a reasonable state of readiness.

I was disappointed that so many of my good friends on the site weren't able to make it this time, so I took the opportunity to invite my friends and neighbours to visit and share the Open Day.

Some of them are really interested in gardening, some came just to be neighbourly, but all in all it was a really pleasant day for me! My friend Joan came down on Sunday morning and spent the whole day ensuring that there was a constant supply of tea and buns for all! 

Unusually for an Open Day there were some little folk there enjoying my many little paths and playing the perennial favourite of Hide and Seek! This is was my dream when I started to plant this garden - a place for friends to enjoy and relax, for kiddies to explore!

Best comment of the day? One of the visitors as they passed down by the Willow Fence exclaimed "Oh! there's more!!!" For me that was success! I have managed to create that surprise area at last :-)

I really appreciate the kind comments of Terri and Alan - they did a great job of carrying the flag for .iers!

So thank you to all the people who came and made my Open Day a really lovely occasion!

Open Day - countdown starts tomorrow night!

07 August 2013 00:31:59
Little flower

Little flower

Thought you might like to see the reason why I haven't been posting much lately .... this little flower took up all my time since she arrived last week!

I have started early with her as I won't have much opportunity to nurture the gardening bug in her as she lives in Barcelona! However she managed to help Grandma dead-head the sweetpeas and was a complete expert at the "cut and come again " lettuce!

Today I stole hal an hour to do some more deadheading as things have been a bit neglected that past week or so, however, once they depart tomorrow it will be full steam ahead to tidy up the garden in anticipation of some of you taking the time to visit for my Open Day on Sunday next!

Yes, I know its a bit crazy having the Open Day so soon after my visitors depart, but I reckon the garden will be more or less ready for visitors as it was tidied to some extent in anticipation of the family visits :-) so it should (in theory) only take a few days to sort it out!

I do hope that I will have the great pleasure of welcoming garden.ie friends again this year! Garden is open from about 2 pm and the kettle will be on!

If you need directions please send me a P.M. - I am located just below the intersection between the M7 and M8 so easily accesible from the motorways! I am also happy to collect people from train (Bally brophy) or bus (Borris-in-Ossory) on the day!



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