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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal April 2015

Last Post 999 days 17 hours ago

Shaking off the raindrops

26 April 2015 00:11:37
Shaking off the raindrops

Shaking off the raindrops

the weather cleared up well this afternoon and I was just doing a quick 'dead-head' on the few remaining daffs when I spotted this beauty - just emerging after the rain!

Clematis 'cartmanii Joe'

24 April 2015 21:46:54
Clematis 'cartmanii Joe'

Clematis 'cartmanii Joe'

At last! I've been watching these little buds for weeks and they didn't decide to open until today - so it was a case of put on the raincoat and dash out with the camera!

For Jacinta

24 April 2015 21:37:01
For Jacinta

For Jacinta

That lovely red tulip you asked about is Tulip 'Van tubergen's Variety'

better late than never!

22 April 2015 21:32:19

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I can't believe I am only getting around to cutting back the Buddliea and it is well into April! I usually cut them back hard in February or early March so I had to make a decision about them this year as I was so late doing them. In the end I opted for a pretty hard cutting back - and I'm prepared to accept that they may not flower as well for me as they usually do!

Some of the buddliea I cut back were at least 12 feet high so they needed to have manners put on them! Of course now the shredding area is full again ....

But there is always a benefit when I venture into the Woodland and today was no exception - when I went to take a photo of the decimated Buddliea I was struck by the way this area is getting more and more 'woodland-y'


gardens are for sitting in too!

22 April 2015 10:48:24

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I was in Dunnes yesterday and I spotted some really comfy garden chairs - I had seen similar ones at nearly twice the price in B & Q the day before, so I just couldn't resist them. 

I already have a few seats dotted around the garden but there are never enough places to park the body and take a little break. Sometimes I become so obsessed with the perpetual dandelion hunt that I forget WHY the garden exists - its a place where I try to persuade little plants to grow so that I can enjoy them!

So one of the chairs is destined for the Rose Garden (no photo as it is still a work in progress) and the other one is just perfect beside the lower pond. So having positioned the seat I even sat on it for a while and relaxed listening to the pleasant sound of the little stream .... in the sunshine ... Yes! That's what gardens are for!

Fota was only the half of it ....

20 April 2015 21:54:31

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Elizabeth (Liztai) stayed overnight on Saturday so we could be on the road bright and early for Fota. It takes about 2 hours from Laois so we were very happy to arrive at 11.10 - the carpark was filling up fast already so we were lucky to get a spot convenient to the entrance. Five minutes later we met Elizabeth7 and she kindly invited us to call to her for a cuppa when we were finished at the Plant Fair. The promise of tea and brack proved irrisistable and kept us going while we worked out way through the many stalls! Deborah and Martin had a wonderful selection of fairy folk and other interesting bits and pieces as well as some lovely plants. There were lots of interesting stalls but there were wide variations in the prices of similarly sized plants so care had to be taken in getting the best value!

When we got to The Treasure Trug I was delighted to collect the plants I had pre-orderd from Rachel - and a pretty little plant from Liga also :-) They seemed to be very busy and they were a model of professionalism on their first outing - particularly liked the aprons, girls!

The haul of plants for the two of us was quite impressive - and our arms were several inches longer by the time we got to the car :-)

We had covered the whole place by 2 pm but were badly in need of that promised brack and tea so off we went to Elizabeth7 where she and Meg the dog made us very welcome although Maisie took a while to come round! The tea and brack were just what the doctor ordered and the Chocolate Cake was a great surprise! Thank you Elizabeth! Of course we had a great tour of her lovely garden which gets more beautiful every time I visit it! Then Joann and her friend arrived so of course that meant more tea and brack and cake! Finally got on the road home about 6 pm I think ....

And here is the list of treasures:

Campanula Lactiflora 'Prichards Variety' 

Alstromeria 'Oriana' (which I have coveted for ages having seen it in Rachel's garden)

Kalanchoe 'Tessa'

Ivy-leaf Geranium

Geranium Wlassouianium 'Lakwjyk Star'

Anemone Nemorosa 'Alenii'

Trillium Sessell

And as if that wasn't enough ... From Elizabeth7

A tray of Helebore Seedlings

A very healthy looking Lupin

And another seedling which I don't have a name for :-)

Perfect end to a perfect day!

Once upon a time ...

18 April 2015 10:40:53

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...there was a gardener called Hazel. She took on the challenge of half and acre of a turnip field and was in SUCH a hurry to turn it into her vision of a Garden Paradise.

There were fences to be covered, and ordinary hedges seemed to be so boring .... until she came upon Rosa Rugosa! Here was the perfect answer! And it had the added bonus that the resident rabbits didn't seem to fancy it one bit!

Now Hazel has a big sister who is MUCH wiser than Hazel. She gently suggested that maybe this might be a rather vigorous hedging but as usual, Hazel went her own way.

So the Rosa Rugosa flourished. After a couple of years, when it had indeed got very vigorous a drastic pruning was done in the autumn and the trimmings were shredded with much heartache as the beautiful rose-hips were NOT good for the shredder!

Daunted by the difficulty in shredding them, the Rosa Rugosa were left untouched for three full years .... that is until this Spring!

And sometimes we find a solution by accident .... Hazel was really late cutting them back - only got to them this week - and the MOUNTAIN of shredding stuff in the photo was only the second half of it!

But a small miracle occurred in the Shredding Department - they simply flew through the shredder this time - no hips to clog the machine - and the whole lot were shredded in about an hour and a half! Way to go!


17 April 2015 22:32:11

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Those poor Auricula! They started life in the tender care of Liga and then they moved to Laois. From then on it was downhill all the way!

The Laois gardener knew NOTHING about Auricula so they were planted in a totally unsuitable area in the garden where they hid themselves under other plants for the next couple of years quietly multiplying but hiding their light so successfully under the nearest Bushel while I rarely gave them more that a passing glance.

So this season I lifted the poor little things and potted them up and decided to mind them in the greenhouse.

Then in a moment of enthusiasm I moved them into the little plastic greenhouse weighted down with concrete blocks - but  from my previous journals you may be aware that this was NOT a good idea and resulted in the poor Auriculas being scraped up off the yard!

After all that, some of these long-suffering plants are actually flowering!

So since the greenhouse has been reaching 40 degees over the past couple of days I've been moving all the greenhouse outside for the day!

So of course the Auriculas don't like direct sun, so they got moved out to the outside of the new gate/fence at the side of the house.

So far, so good!

But when I'm taking the plants in for the night I completely forget the poor Auriculas! 

I was out at the Borris-in-Ossory Gareden Club and when I got home to my horror the headlights of the car revealed the poor Auriculas shivering with the cold!

Since I'm now completely wrecked they just got dragged in as far as the hall!

Couldn't resist putting this up!

17 April 2015 22:13:39
Before and after

Before and after

I was finally giving the Rose Garden its first clean-up of the year. I had a couple of visitors during the week and was mortified at the state of that area!

So as I sttod up to empty the bucket of weeds I was amused at how that bed looked - like one of those unreal "before and after" shots ... what do you think?

New Clematis

15 April 2015 15:25:13

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I failed to resist a really healthy-looking Clematis a couple of weeks ago in Lidl and I just couldn't decide where to plant it. The Clematis Walk has a total of 18 of them - most of them still in their infancy so I thought I'd better wait and see how they came on before I overcrowd them!

So now that I've checked and all the clematis apart from Armandii (Grr!) are sprouting well so I had to do a bit of a rethink! I also have some clematis on the Pergola so I thought it would look good there. So now it's planted - Clematis 'Hagley Hybrid' - photo from the internet - and is looking very happy!

The first clematis to flower this year is also on the Pergola -Clematis Macropetala 'Blue Bird' - which is actually a lovely rich wine colour LOL


10 April 2015 22:35:46


Today I was in that place when a project is finished and you are looking around trying to decide what to tackle next. I fiddled around with the new area adding a couple of plants etc but the POND was calling. 

I finally got my hands on a pair of waders from Lidl and over the Easter weekend I gave them a trial run - my very cruel daughter videod the event and sent it to my granddaughter!

Grandma using waders

I had already lowered the level of the pond so since the sun was shining and it was fairly warm today was the day!

So I donned the waders, timidly lowered myself into the pond and began the cleaning process. Bare hands were the only way to go, so first I removed as many of the rocks that had slipped into the pond, and raised the pump which was remarkably ok!

Then I took out a bucket full of pondweed and dumped it on the side of the pond and was working my way round the pond I removed lots of the little stones that my various little visitors threw into the pond ...

And then it happened! As I removed some gunge from the bottom of the pond SOMETHING SLITHERED OUT OF MY GRASP!!!! I nearly jumped out of the pond with the fright - 

Yes! There is still a fish in my pond!

Now, Jacinta, don't go telling me to feed him etc. As far as I am concerned, since he came uninvited into my pond, he is obviously managing very well without me doing anything - so let nature take its course.

Oh - and I won't be putting my hands down into the pond again any time soon!



The Tropical Garden - Hurry up plants!!!!

10 April 2015 20:00:54

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I'm delighted with the Tropical Garden but I'm impatient to see the plants getting going. 

I started a few Ricinus but they are very slow to get going and I only got three plants. Is it too late to start some more?

I might sow some of the Solanum Laciniatum too - I want to create a "Jungle" feel but I want to put in lots of ground-cover stuff that will keep the interest going through the year.

The photos were taken yesterday and today I added a few more plants - and I have more to do! I'm wondering if I could chance moving one of the Heleborus Argifolium that I have in the front?

Another project done!

10 April 2015 10:17:31

White Daffodils

08 April 2015 15:34:42

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I envy Peter having the names of all his lovely "special" daffodils. I was deadheading mine this morning but I have to confess that most of them came from one of those giant sacks that appear in the shops in early September so are pretty ordinary but still pretty!

However I have a few "specials". One lot I actually bought a few years back but have absolutely no idea what they are called - they have a look of an Erythronium about them - no real sign of a trumpet - although they actually have two sets of petals spread out.

The other two  came as "passengers" on shrubs from Elizabeth (Liztai) when she potted up lots of stuff for me in the original planting of the garden.

One is a lovely white daffodil-shaped one and the other is two-toned but very different.

I'm making a not to myself to lift these beauties and  keep them in pots with GOOD LABELS so that i can place them more effectively than where they are at present. for some reason they seem to have preferred the deepest part of the woodland :-)


PS. Just googled and I think the unlabelled one may be "Butterfly Narcissus 'Cassata' " - the name rings a bell somewhere in the back of my head :-)

Fernery going from strength to strength

07 April 2015 14:14:19

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I can't resist puttingup yet another photo of my "Fernery" - at the moment the ferns are only getting going but the Daffodils, Anemone Blanda, Muscari, Helebore seedlings with Helleborus Argutifolius Corsicus and Pachyphragma Macrophylla in the background are all making a great show.

The way the Daffodils have bulked up in two seasons is amazing, the Muscari planted themselves, the Anemone Blanda are also spreading wonderfully with lots of seedlings appearing this year. Its a real case of filling borders with self-seeders at minimum cost to the gardener.

It took me a while to be able to recognise the seedlings of some of my plants but I now weed very carefully and am rewarded with this kind of display!

Looking forward to the return of the Ferns! After all, it is supposed to be a Fernery LOL

Fran - you inspired me!

07 April 2015 00:30:54

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From my first visits to this site I have been constantly surprised and amazed at the way that Fran manages to combine his pots.

So much so that i decided to follow his example!

Year One - a few miserable specimens but nothing to write home about

Year Two - a bit better - I discovered Bulbs in Pots

Finally I am happy with the display - probably more by chance than good management but certainly brightening my day as I step outside my kitchen!

So Thank you Fran for being my inspiration!


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