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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal May 2014

Last Post 1366 days 8 hours ago

What a day!

31 May 2014 00:59:00
Shubunkin from the Internet

Shubunkin from the Internet

Was feeling a bit lethatgic this morning so I had a bit of a lie-in but then couldn't resist the sun so had to get up.

Before breakfast I shecked my email - and yet again my modem had disconnected. So I contacted Eircom - I was left with NO connection. Grr! And it needs to be "escalated" to a technician who might fix it before next weekend. Grr again!

Finally figured out how to use the mobile phone as a modem but I have no idea how much it will cost as I don't have a big data allowance but at least I'm back online! Not going to bu uploading any albums till I see how it goes but it is a much faster connection .....

So anyway, after all that excitement it was time to venture outside. You know when you have a really messy day and can't settle to any task .... well, got out the little kiddies fishing net I got a while ago and decided to clean out the Stream Pond as it was full of Algae and Jacinta has given me some new oxygenator for it. The little net works a treat and I had pulled out loads of y uk when I got a big shock - something in the net was moving .... flapping about ..... a FISH!!!!! I got such a fright that I just tipped the little blighter back into the pond where he obviously went down as deep as he could! Now how did that happen? I never put fish in my pond ..... did he fly in? Did some friendly Heron give me a present?

So this little fish I glimpsed so briefly was about 2 or maybe 3 inches long, had a kind of fat body and shone pure silver when the light caught him. Did I take his picture? Never thought of the camera sitting in my pocket! Anyway I was much too scared! I'm not cut out for all these wild animals ....

Looking on the internet he might be a Shubunkin .... maybe ..... or a KILLER SHARK

Oh Dear!

A day of two halves

30 May 2014 01:16:15

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This morning it was Bloom time and the rain was pretty miserable so along with half the population of the country we headed for the main pavilion where all the tempting plants are on sale. We did get a chance to look quickly at the Postage Stamp Gardens on the way in - they are a nice addition to Bloom. Met Deborah here and had a little chat!

We were blown away by the displays in this area but it was sometimes disappointing that growers often display plants that they don't have for sale! My companion, Terry is interested in flower arrangings so she watched the flower arranging while I went to try and locate the Bistro where we had a reservation. This seemed to be a simple task but proved very frustrating. There wasn't any sinage that I could see that helped me in my search, and there were so many marquees! The map wasn't unduly helpful either. I caught sight of Krista in the distance but when I tried to find her I drew a blank!

It took me well over half an hour to locate the restaurant - just so I could check whether we were the early or the late sitting! By the time I found my way back to the pavilion where I had left Terry -  she had decided I had probably met up with .ier friends so she had wandered off to do some retail therapy. By the time we found each other the reain had eased so we decided to go look at the show gardens.  I wonder am I getting a bit jaded - last year there were a large number of gardens planted in a similar "loose" style which to me just looked messy! This year I started down the first row of gardens and thought I was in for another disappointing day as the first few gardens were sadly lacking in colour for my taste so I hurried down to the Super Garden winning garden. I was sorry that it wasn't  Peter's garden, but I was really impressed with the pretty planting on this garden - and at last there was colour! From there on I was happy! Lots of colour, lots of variety. The Woodies gardens were delightful, but i think my favourite was the Tayto garden - it was clever, interesting and VERY colourful!

After our lunch we did a bit more retail therapy and crawled back to the car about 5.15! Talk about a long day! 

Not putting up an album at this time as I think people should get a surprise when they visit Bloom for themselves! I'll probably put up an album on Monday evening.

Rhodo in Lime

26 May 2014 00:23:38
Rhododendren Kokardia Inkarho

Rhododendren Kokardia Inkarho

For those of us condemned to garden in limey soil, who's hearts long for beautiful  Azaleas and Rhododendrons .....

Here she is .....

Rhododendren Kokardia Inkarho


Zingy or what?

25 May 2014 23:23:20

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Just got home before the rain - but I couldn't resist taking a stroll in the garden and these poppies were just begging to be snapped!

These have all come from a little plant that Hosta sent me by post when I decided to have a "Hot Border" a few years ago. I think they are 'Beauty of Livermere' - anyway, whatever the name I love them!

Thank you Hosta!

Full house

24 May 2014 00:53:24
full house

full house

Having managed to do a good bit of weeding, today by the time I got out to the garden it was clouding over and as i got my bits together in the greenhouse I heard the patter of raindrops .....

So it was time for a bit of potting on - solanums pricked out - about 20 plantlets - then moved on a load of stuff to larger pots. Some geraniums were quite pot-bound and the compost was pretty dry even though I was watering them regularly.Left them soaking overnight to see if that improves the matter.

Then there are all those Escalonias ..... I had the idea last year that I'd like to have a hedge of Escalonia along that path where the new Clematis Walk will be. There are about 40 of these little plants and they ALL needed moving on to larger pots! I'm toying with various ideas for my Escalonia Hedge. I'm going to try placing the plants in various places to see how they'll work but at least they can continue to grow now they are repotted!

My Fuchsias from last year that I didn't lift are really struggling so they are now in the greenhouse for a bit of TLC. 

All in all, considering the weather it was quite a productive day!

I'll have to ease up on the potting on until I make more space in the greenhouse :-)

Garden Odessey comes to an end .....

20 May 2014 22:57:28

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After a lovely weekend of gardens - first Elizabeth's (Liztai) garden in Dublin and then MaryJoe's in Cork,  and yesterday it was The Bay Garden in Wexford followed by Linda's lovely garden. 

It was lovely to make my second visit to The Bay Garden in the company of .iers who know that garden well. We Ooh'd and Aaah'd at the lovely Rhododendrons, snapped the marvellous vistas that are such a great part of that garden. I had lovely chats with each of my three companions - Rachel, Linda and Tina as we roamed from one area to another. One word of warning - visiting this garden waterproof footwear is a good idea - it was only as the damp from the lush grass seeped into my socks that I remembered this feature of that garden!

With our heads full of Bay Garden we headed in convoy to Linda's house where the promised lunch was lovely - she was very strict and wouldn't let us wander the garden until we had eaten LOL

This was a very different experience - a young garden with dramatic borders full of colour and variety making full use of the landscapes that surround it. Linda's borders look as if they have been there for a generation whille the garden is only 6 or 7 years old. I liked the way she has merged the borders into the boundary hedgerows and her choice of plants is very much to my taste.

I was impressed at the well-manicured appearance of the garden despite it being shared by three young people still at the ball-kicking stage, several hens and a large dog!

Thank you Linda for organising this little outing, the lovely lunch and of course your great generousity in all the plant goodies that found their way into the boot of my car! 

MaryJoe has a lovely Garden!

18 May 2014 22:23:50

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Finally made it to Cork to see Mary (MaryJoe)'s beautiful garden. She had her Open Day today in aid of Marymount Hospice, a very worthy cause. I have heard Elizabeth7 rave about Mary's garden and really wanted to see it for myself. Elizabeth (liztai) and I set off today for Mary's Open Day. In Laois it was only chucking it down so we packed the umbrellas as well as the lunch and set off. 

Finding it was easy - Mary gave me great directions - and we arrived just in time to catch up with Elizabeth7 - Maith and cailin thu, Eilis! - we had a few words (and some of them were Irish) at the gate as Elizabeth was just leaving when we arrived! Mary wasn't joking when she mentioned her steep drive - in fact a large part of this magnificent garden is on quite a steep slope.

Describing the garden is difficult - I just loved it all! It is a tasteful blend of mature trees and shrubs - Mary tells me her uncle planted some of them - and an exciting mixture of rare and not so rare plantings. If ever there was proof of the evolutionary nature of gardening it was there - Mary had created several new areas in the garden and their very newness emphasised the maturity of other areas. The hard landscaping is at a minimum, but the winding paths are a delight, opening up new views at every turn. I loved how she has raised the canopy of some very mature conifers to create a new area for ferns or other shade-loving plants.

Climbing up the many levels and terraces to the summit the reward was a remarkable view across an estuary that just provided the finishing touch! Here we found a pool full of very large fish - not being a fish expert I have no idea what kind they were - but they looked very happy and well-fed - and the water in the pond was crystal clear!

I took about three tuns around the garden, each time discovering new treasures. I love how Mary incorporates her much-loved exotic and unusual plants into the very fabric of the garden adding a richness that is rare to meet in a garden.

I was very happy to see her efforts were being rewarded with a good response of visitors to the garden and the weather behaved well till the end of our visit! Mary's garden was so well worth a visit that the journey was well worth while.

Way ahead of you, Kindredspirit :-)

15 May 2014 01:31:27
Paint job

Paint job

Thanks for the suggestion for my Pergola additions, Kevin! As you can see, I'm way ahead of you! Nothing pale about this blue LOL

Design or Re-Design?

05 May 2014 23:55:37

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When I first designed my Pergola Brendan translated it into a proper "engineered" drawing from which it was constructed and during the construction the trusty Kevin was quite amazed at how it came together from Brendan's drawings to the millimetre!

I was working at that time and so only got to see the progress when I would get home in the evenings and the boys were delighted with themselves. I just never had the heart to tell them that they hadn't actually finished it!

Over the past few days, in between the showers, I have finally completed the construction. Just have to wait for some dry weather so I can paint it!!!!


Return to Gash

04 May 2014 17:27:52
Return to Gash

Return to Gash

I visited Gash Gardens in Laois a couple of times when we first moved to this area and really enjoyed it. This garden was established by the father of the current owner about 25 or 30 years ago and it is quite large – I believe about 4 acres. It has a wonderful mixture of mature trees in well-cared-for lawns, borders and beds filled with a great combination of everyday plants and exotics, a large landscaped rock and gravel area and a magical woodland pathway leading right down to the river Nore.

 Returning to the gardens today after about five years it was wonderful to see how much care and attention has been lavished on these gardens particularly near the house making them an even more attractive place to visit. Elizabeth was with me on my first visit and again today so we had a lovely time remembering how it was last time we were there and spotting changes. They seem to have got off quite lightly in terms of tree damage last winter– we only spotted two casualties – and as usual I came away with my head buzzing with new ideas!


It is not a very well-known garden but is well worth a visit – easily accessed from the Limerick Road just below Mountrath. I would highly recommend it. 

I've put up a small album to let you get a flavour.


01 May 2014 00:28:48
Dicentra specabilis Alba

Dicentra specabilis Alba

In my innocence I thought there was only one Dicentra - the pretty pink one that was posted earlier by Jackie.

Last year I fell for this white one, Dicentra specabilis Alba,  but I agree with Elizabeth that it would benefit by being contrasted with the pink one!

Now all I have to do is remember where I got this pretty plant!


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