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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal March 2014

Last Post 1337 days 12 hours ago

More photos

28 March 2014 00:50:48

Happy Camper

27 March 2014 23:20:11

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I'm such a happy camper today - my little camera has decided to give me a second chance and is working again! From now on no more stuffing it in my pocket!!!!!

I'm not sure where all the rain others mentioned went but most of it missed Laois so I managed to have a long satisfying day in the garden! When I started the weeding and clearing up of the small pond garden yesterday I realised that the lovely white grass I got from Fran would have to go! I know he warned me that it was a spreader - next time I'll listen :-)

It was doing its best to take over and was managing to make serious inroads on my Rodgersia and was also hiding many of the plants in that bed!

What a job! The removed plants completely filled the wheelbarrow! What surprised me was that when I managed to get the plant up the soil beneath it had completely changed and now resembles "real" soil rather than the heavy muck I usually work with in that bed!

Having managed to remove the grass I completed the tidy-up of that bed and I'm really feeling that I'm back doing "proper" gardening again at last!

 

What's not to love?

26 March 2014 23:49:30
Hazel Grove

Hazel Grove

My ongoing love-hate relationship with the dreaded Lesser Celandine reached a sort of crisis today.

I've endeavoured to restrain them in the Hazel Grove and as you can see the anemones, Muscaris and violets are giving them a run for their money!

Arches

26 March 2014 23:44:07

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I have posted several journals about the evolution of my arches. Starting off with two very cheap arches from Lidl - they survived for nearly two years but the rust was really taking its toll this year so  I decided to repair them using plumbers piping and cable ties and some of those green metal-type posts from Woodies.

This was very successful so encouraged by this I set about making an arch from scratch. The prototype had some issues - pipe wants to curve so I ended up with a kind of crooked circular arch. But at least it was strong and withstood the recent storms well!

My dream is to have a series of arches all covered in wonderful Clematis flowering for the entire summer ..... well, its good to have a dream :-)

Step one was to reposition the existing arches. I had help at the weekend so we very gingerly moved the arches and to my amazement they survived! Their new position happens to coincide with a strong post!!!! 

Step two was to construct another arch this time trying to emulate the curve and shape of the Lidl arches. This was achieved with the plumbing pipe, the green support posts and lots of cable ties! This worked well.

Step three was to remodel the prototype to the more successful version.

Step 4 was to cover the new arches with that green plant support mesh giving the whole structure more stability.

Now Step one was completed very quickly in between showers on Sunday morning.

Steps two to four were carried out in a gale! At least the arches stability was getting lots of testing!

And so far the Clematis planted are:

Clematis montant 'Tetrarose'

Clematis 'Niobe'

Clematis Piilu

Clematis Alpina (tiny slip from Elizabeth)

Clematis Viticella Alba luxurians

Clematis Armandii

Probably have room for a few more ..... I hope!

Spring surprises

18 March 2014 21:33:27

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For some people the pretty little Iris 'Katherine Hodgkin' is the harbinger of Spring - appearing in February. Welcome to Gortnalee, Co Laois where they appeared this morning much to my surprise! ( look closely and you will see some celandine seedlings emerging too!)

I tried these last year but they didn't appear at all so this year I took no chances planting them in pots and the results are definitely far better!

The other photo is a little Spring Mixture - some chionadoxa that are spreading very well, combined with some Scilla Siberica.  These little bulbs are real survivors. They were first planted in the main front area where there was bark spread while I decided what I would do with it. They were much too delicate to show up against the bark and later that year I removed the bark and planted the clover lawn completely forgetting the little bulbs. Between the two harsh winters and the mowing of the clover lawn I did manage to spot a few of them and lifted them to safety. 

I'm surprised at the Scilla because I remembered it being more blue but this one is a delicate lilac - very pretty!

Today was a lovely day for the garden so I tackled a bit of the cutthing back of last years foliage on the herbaceous plants and trimming some shrubs. Have decided I don't like this system of leaving the stuff till Spring to cut back - this year I'm going to do the tidying in Autumn. Got around to moving a lovely Michaelmas Daisy that was in a really bad position and gave it a happier home!

Sorted out the Strawberries too - and of course have ended up with about 20 new plants surplus to requirements! Might try keeping some of them for replacements. In that bed i also found a little rose bush - one of the slips I planted there - another surprise as I had thought that none of them had survived! Just have to wait till it flowers to see which one it is!

 

Before and After

17 March 2014 22:03:50

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Well, since I'm not really into Parades I spent the afternoon in the garden. Definitely on the mend now and getting my energy back again thank goodness. 

I had tackled the raised beds in the Rose Garden yesterday but the light faded before I could get to the final raised bed where I had my fuschias last year.

As you can see from the "before" photo it was completely covered with celandine. I have discovered that Bittersweet doesn't thrive if celandine is taking hold - now all I have to do is to figure what will do the same with the celandine!

It wasn't a difficult task - the soil in the raised beds has lots of compost added so the weeds pull out quite easily. Even so, I filled 6 of the buckets in the photo with celandine before I was done.

The fuschias in this bed were supposed to be hardy - so far two of them are showing signs of life so with a little patience I hope to see more of them  emerge.

I wasn't happy with them in this location so I need to make a new plan.

Talking of plans - during a brief spell of sunshine this morning I took a stroll around the whole garden armed with my trusty notebook - I am very fond of notebooks that are small enough to fit easily in the handbag - or even the pocket - and today I diiscovered anpther advantage! As I made my way round the garden I noted the tasks needed for each area - it stretched to 4 pages of the little notebook, but because of the small pages each lot of task is much less daunting.

I know - I'm only fooling myself - but it makes the whole thing more manageable for my peculiar mind!

Hope you all had a wonderful St Patrick's Day!

Anticipation

17 March 2014 21:36:41
Anticipation

Anticipation

This group of daffs are always a little late opening but they will be well worth the wait ....

The Spring I spent in Cambodia a few years ago I got my family to send me photos of Daffodils to help with the homesickness - and they definitely did the trick! Since then the appearance of daffodils always makes me appreciate our changing seasons.

Definite sign of boredom

17 March 2014 00:56:26
Definite sign of boredom

Definite sign of boredom

I've had a touch of bronchitis since I came home from my small break so I've had to take it easy - it has been so frustrating looking out at the great weather and not being able to go out and get stuff done!

I even ended up watching SPORT!!!!

Those who know me will be aware that I am totally uninterested in sports in general but I have to admit that having turned on the TV I was glued to the match - and of course was totally delighted with the result. It was particularly good to see Brian O'Driscoll go out on such a high!

Anyway - back to gardening matters - today I was feeling a lot better so I togged out in full ski-gear and woolly hat and did a satisactory bit of weeding and mulching of the rose garden. All the rode-beds are now free of celandine (well, give it a week!) and the roses have had a nice mulching of well-rotted horse manure. Another task done!

Photo has nothing to do with today - just think it's pretty!

Well I'm Back!

12 March 2014 00:02:58

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... after just over a week in Barcelona with the amazing granddaughter! It was lovely to come home to such a beautiful day! Arrived home at 3 pm - had a quick cup of coffee with my kind neighbour who was feeding Puss for me, put on the first wash and then couldn't contain myself any longer - yes, you've guessed! Out to the garden! I'll put up an album of all the flowers that emerged over that week :-)

And I even did a bit of work too - finally pruned the unfortunate roses and started weeding them too but the light gave out. Have you ever tried weeding in twilight? I'll check in the morning how successful I've been.

 

You can never have enough arches

03 March 2014 22:31:56
You can never have enough arches

You can never have enough arches

I may have mentioned it before, but I LOVE arches! This is a trait I inherited from my maternal Grandmother who legend tells us made many attempts to construct arches in her garden were very temporary - usually constructed by herself using whatever was available.

I mentioned in a previous journal that I constructed a new arch along the path where the rather battered arches from a couple of years ago. My plan is to have a series of arches along this path - I have visions of these arches covered with frothy displays of Clematis clothing these arches.

The pipes I used to reinforce the old arches gave me the idea of constructing the new arch from the same materials. The construction is more or less completed now. The two arches are continuous pipes but they are secured to good strong posts - already in place to hold up the netting fence along the path. They were still inclined to curve too soon so I added some tall bamboos lashed to the pipes to where I wanted the curves to begin.

I was surprised at how stable they were once I put the little bamboo struts crosswise to hloe them the same distance apart.

The final touch was to cut several lengths as crosspieces.

Now you may wonder how this edifice is held together - well yes, it is my old friends the Cable Ties but when I was getting a fresh supply the guy in the hardware store also sold me some extra long extra strong ones I think used by the local farmers! They are so strong that I'm convinced my arch will last. So the finishing touch will be to continue the netting across the arch. I planted two Clematis at the foot of the new arch - so I reckon I have a couple of weeks to get that done before the new Clematis reach the arch :-)

 

Spring arrives in Laois ....

03 March 2014 00:34:24
Spring arrives in Laois ....

Spring arrives in Laois ....

I was very disappointed when I moved to Laois to realise that most plants come into flower about 3 weeks later than my previous gardens in Dublin. I get really frustrated when everyone else is putting up their lovely photos of those real harbingers of Spring - the lovely Daffodils.

Yesterday I was in Dublin for the day, and it was apparently pretty sunny down here because this morning I was delighted to see the very first of mine has opened!

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