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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal July 2014

Last Post 1274 days ago

Pine Nuts

28 July 2014 16:26:53
Pinus Pinea - I think!

Pinus Pinea - I think!

Does anyone else share my love for pine nuts? They are so expensive that I tend to use them very sparingly.

Today I'm in Catalunya kept indoors by thunderstorms so I've been researching pine nuts and how to grow them. I've even sourced an Irish supplier.

I'm wondering if anyone has grown the Pinus Pinea that these delicious little nuts grow on? I'm wondering how long I will have to wait to collect a harvest - at €66 per kilo here I reckon I can clean up on them!

Apart from all that, I've been thinking I'd like a few more conifers in the garden - Jacinta and Clare have already donated some but one or two more would be nice.

I have to admit that I am being strongly influenced by two magnificent ones outside my window at the moment .....

So does anyone know how well they do in Ireland?


Sorry - not trying to brag about the swimming pool beyond the trees .... pity about the rain today but tomorrow will be back to 27 degrees !!!!!

Not lost - but distracted!

22 July 2014 20:02:08
Only photo this visit

Only photo this visit

Only getting online this evening to journal about my day at Terra Nova. Well, for once, thanks to Deborah's great directions I managed to get there without having to detour at all! That's a first for me because Although I have been there twice before, and also visited Kindred Spirit this year it has always been a bit of a "twilight zone" for me - I just seem to wander about and eventually land it the right place!

As usual Deborah and Martin made me feel very welcome to their magical place and the bonus of meeting up with .ier friends was a real treat! Joanne and Aitaileann( Nuala) Hosta (Margaret) and Ted, and Elizabeth and I had a wondrful stroll round the garden and as to the plants - well, suffice it to say that I was very glad that Deborah was on hand to advise on the locations of the treasures that I got - it took two trips to the car to stash them so I could go walkabout - and then I caught Elizabeth sneaking off to the Secret Fern Factory with Martin so of course I had to follow - so another trip to the car was needed! My fernery will definitely be richer for the treasures that Martin has lovingly grown from spores!

Then I almost made it to the gate when I spotted some heads bobbing about in the Plants area - and then I nearly came to blows with another lady over a Heacenly Bamboo - I'm so glad that I won!!!!!

So with all this distraction I only took one photo .... so of course that means I'll have to go back and take some more LOL

But Deborah - every time I see your garden I like it more - it gives me such inspiration! Each year it seems to get more luxuriant. The atmosphere in the fairy woodland is wonderful but the colours and scents of the rest of the garden are equally enchanting. And oh yes - I want a Thai Teahouse like your too !!!!!

Thank you both for a lovely day!

Fun in the garden

18 July 2014 00:24:54

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Did a bit of planting which was a bit of a achievement in itself as this glorious weather has turned my heavy clay soil to concrete!  So a lovely low-growing conifer that Jacinta donated has finally found a permanent home in the Oak Border area and it looks really happy in its new home! I also planted out three Laurel slips that i took last year and then the Clematis Luxurians I got from Oliver in Mount Venus! 

But the real fun today was making compost! I mentioned recently that my NBF is the concrete mixer that has been lurking behind the greenhouse!

I had a god selection of stuff for composting - some plant cuttings, some compost, some grass cuttings and some shredded paper. So Using Elixabeth's (Liztai) "recipe" I loaded the stff in the cement mixer, a small tub of each topped up with a sprinlke of compost accelerator ant then let it rip! In a few moments I had a great homogenous mix for eh Dalek composter. Repeated the process a few times an the result is very satisfying - a full Dalek and a nmber of empty containers :-)

Ive been wracking my brain trying to remember why we initially bought this cement mixer but certainly this is NOT one of the uses we had in mind! 

Sorry the middle photo is a bit blurred -should have taken Rachel's advice and done a little video LOL

Wildlife at Gortnalee

16 July 2014 23:40:39

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Well - you may well ask what are the photos all about. Jacinta scolded me for not taking photos when Herbert appeared in my pond so ....

Well I have developed the routine of clearing any debris from the pond and then hopefully sprinlking some food for Herbert.

Today thigs took a different turn - the minute I put the net into the pond Herbert dashed for safety so I quickly withdrew the net and reached for the camera. Then - guess what? A second Herbert - or maybe a Henrietta for all I know - appeared and the two of them actually swam about for a bit taking the food!

I am totally thrilled!

And then, as if this wasn't enough excitement for one day I'm sitting by the pond enchanted by my two little fish when I hear the ummistakeable croak of a frog! Can you believe it? Didn't manage to locate the frogge but the sound was definitely a frog! i thought they stayed clear of the pond unless they were breeding? I'm so unbelievably ignorant of the habits and behaviour of these creatures that inhabit my garden!

Now comes the test - can anyone

(a) spot any sign of Herbert and Henrietta in the photos 


(b) can the photo geniuses tell me how to take a photo of a pond on a bright day that actually shows the pond rather than the reflected sky LOL

Different view

15 July 2014 01:03:44
Different view

Different view

When my new son-in-law was down the other week he managed to get this unusual aspect on my garden - I suspect he was on top of the sheds .....

.... ok - I don't actually own the bales of hay LOL

Some ideas are better than others

14 July 2014 23:43:27

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I have a very unsightly hedgerow running down one side of my garden and I have come up with a few different ways to deal with it. My farmer neighbour cuts it down about every second year. It is so deep that it can't be trimmed from my side.

In one section I reused some discarded trellis fencing to pretty up the lower section and then had a bright idea - why not plant up some real "thugs" that will cope with the hedgerow. So I had some plant divisions from Elizabeth and set about edging this section of the hedgerow with Leucanthemum and Kniphofia. Great idea! they flowering seasons overlap nicely! And there is a nice little path between them and the rest of the Rhus Walk.

But wait a minute - when do they flower? Oh yes, in their prime in early July. Now what else happens in early July? Oh yes, the hedgerow needs to be trimmed.

Photo One shows the result - Leucanthemum falling over, hedging on top of it - a total mess!

And since the White Daisies had already started to collapse the path was no longer visible - So I started trying to collect up the hedge cuttings but the task was impossible!

So now I need  to just admit that this wasn't such a great idea!

And then chop down the foliage of the daisies ets. 

And then remove all those plants!

And create a PROPER path so that the hedge can be trimmed without wrecking the whole border!

Enter Kevin ..... I am staying with his family for a few days next week so the offending plants will be transplanted to their garden where they will have room to do their own thing!


Lily and Daylily

12 July 2014 19:24:50

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The last photos I posted of my Day Lilies were taken at dusk so I thought I'd see how they came out in daytime!

And then I spotted this other Lily - flowering for the first time! I think it may be "Monte Negro" but isn't it exquisite!

So the Pink Daylily "Pink Damask" is really looking good in the accidental location beside the Geranium that Rachel spotted even in the night-time photo! 

And the Orange and Brown one still hasn't got a name but it is looking happy beside the Achillea!

I have to admit that when plants match up with each other like this I'm always delighted and a little surprised as they are nearly always happy accidents!

Seen in the garden today

12 July 2014 17:42:31

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I took a little stroll in the garden today with the camera and here are the results!

The first photo is my Hot Border being helped along by this wonderful Salvia.

Photo number two - the Heuchera border - I'm delighted with the hazy effects here - the Bonariensis is doing what I hoped - creating a blue cloud abouve the pink cloud of the Heuchera!

Photo three is one of those self-seeding mallow/sidalcea plants that seem to appear in the most unexpected places in my garden - but could you bear to pull up such a pretty invader?


Day of delight

08 July 2014 23:55:03

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I have a few clumps of Day Lilies Hemerocallis all gifts for people on this site. The first lot are kind of small - I had the clump of leaves for three years and was thinking of ditching them but today I was delighted to get my first flower! What makes it even more special is that it is a pinkish one while the others I have are more yellow and orange. 

They are a new plant for me so I delight in every flower that appears! I am also happy that they don't quite live up to the "day lily" tag - the flowers last a couple of days and the dead ones are easily removed.

Photo One is the one that opened for the first time today.

Photo Two I have since last year and it flowered well then and now. Not sure who the kind donor was?

Photo Three is the latest arrivals from Jacinta - divided the clump up and have buds on almost every one!

Any names would be lovely ......


07 July 2014 00:05:42
The Lutyens Garden at Heywood

The Lutyens Garden at Heywood

On the way home from Rachels this afternoon I diverted to that lovely Lutyens Garden at Heywood. 

This is very close to where I live and I love visiting it. This was where I first spotted the little Clematis Luxurians romping away through the herbaceous planting and this started me on a wuest to acquire this dainty plant with its unusual flowers white tinged with green. I spotted the same little Clematis doing well planted near the sales area in Mount Venus and persuaded them to propagate one for me (and one for my sister Elixabeth) which we hope to acquire next week.

I mentioned this garden to someone recently and they commented that it was a shame to see how it was gone to wrack and ruin in the care of the OPW. I've put up an album that may dispel this myth. The gardens are lovingly maintained and the planting seems to be to the original plan - and what's more there is no admission charge for this treasure!

Garden visiting

06 July 2014 18:49:45

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This year I am determined to get to visit as many gardens as possible and to date i have made a good start! When I visit gardens i always come away with inspiration and today was no exception. I visited Rachel's garden for her first Open Day. I'm not going to ruin the surprise of the Sari Saga for those of you visiting next week - I'll just say that it brought a smile to my face! (I won't post an album until after next Sunday!)

I've been visiting Rachel's garden over the past few years so I can really see this garden "growing up" in more ways than one! Last night in preparation for my visit I checked out the location on Google Maps - of course the images they have were taken a while ago so I was able to see how the garden looked before I ever saw it. Comparing it to the present lush and colourful garden it is easy to see the amount of hard work that Rachel has put in - assisted by Norman of course!

When I first visited I had very little knowledge of the many unusual plants in the garden so although I really enjoyed it, my plant education needed a lot of development! Nowadays I at least can recognise some of thes plants although often the name escapes me. 

What has really evolved over recent years is the sense of "garden rooms" well sheltered by attractive boundaries each with its own character and point of interest. Wandering around with my camera my eye was caught by many lovely flowers, and the scent of different plants drew me from one part of the garden to another.

Rachel has planted up "Brendan's Corner" with very attractive pots and that will of course always be a special spot in her garden for me - but I think this year I most enjoyed the lovely West Garden with its many scents of roses, lilies and philadelphus vieing for attention!

This garden has the benefit of a wonderful scenic backdrop but in the past this had the drawback of an exposed site but thanks to the clever planting and development of the boundaries the view is still as stunning as ever, but the wind is tempered! Clever girl, Rachel! As I said, your garden now looks as if it was ALWAYS there instead of a short nine years!


03 July 2014 21:06:45

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After three days of hard slog I'm a happy camper! All the willow trimmings are shredded along with quite a pile of other stuff that was waiting for shredding before the latest onslaught on the garden!

The first lot of shredding included the "green" stuff - Cerinthes in particular - which were a very necessary part of the compost heap being built. I used a variation on Elizabeth's "fast compost" recipe - a layer of green stuff, a sprinkling of shredded paper, a layer of "browns" and some compost accelerator. I filled an entire bay with this mixture and already it is heating up!

Having filled that bay I was down to almost purely willow so I took a different approach - the shreddings were used to refresh the paths in the Rose Garden. I'm delighted with the result.

Now if only this area could be this tidy all the time :-)

Hey Ho Hey Ho a Shredding we will go!

02 July 2014 11:01:53

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The side effect of all the lovely clearance in the garden over the past couple of days is that there is now a mountain of shredding to be tackled! I spent most of yesterday shredding - I again have the two shredders working so was able to shred up fine enough to make good compost. 

I did a bit of trimming back of the boundary hedge in the Rose Garden while I was down in that area. The hedging is mainly Hornbeam that is coming on nicely. I want a hedge about 5ft high to shelter the rosebeds from the prevailing wind. One of the features of that hedge is this lovely climbing rose. It grew from a discarded trimming from my New Dawn! Not many roses actually self-propagate like this :-) I just wind it through the hedge and it adds an extra dimension to the Rose Garden although it is a nightmare for thorns!

Taking a break from the shredding I spotted this lovely mauve rose - can't remember the name - I wasn't mad about it when it appeared last year but this year it is earning its keep!


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