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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal May 2015

Last Post 907 days 9 hours ago

What a difference a month makes!

30 May 2015 22:25:55

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I was doing my usual pottering about, weeding, moving, reorganising things and doing a bit of willow weaving and I just took a wander with the camera as a bit of light relief. I happened to take a photo of one particular bed from the same viewpoint as I used at the beginning of May. Comparing these two photos gave me a real sense of how quickly the garden fills up at this time of year! What do you think?

Demented Robin

30 May 2015 12:14:04

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I can't believe what I'm seeing the past two days. In my journal "More productive day" I told the long saga about rescueing a baby Robin when my cat knocked down the pot containing the nest from my pot shelves. Well, I noticed a bit of activity around there two days ago - and yes, that daft Robin has decided to build ANOTHER nest in the same place!

I've put a concrete block on the shelf to try and keep the pile of pots rom being knocked so easily and also to make it harder for Puss to gain a foothold. But really! does Mrs. Robin think I am looking for a job as a baby-minder?

First day of Bloom

29 May 2015 02:12:35
Super Garden Winner

Super Garden Winner

I was at Bloom today with my sister-in-law Terry. We always go on the first day and its a real treat - since its a rare event for us to meet up we push the boat out and do lunch in the "posh" restaurant - although it is getting more expensive every year!

As none of our .ie friends managed to bump in to us we had to settle for a brief encounter with Uachtarain ns hEireann instead!

Like Fran, I don't want to ruin the surprise for others so I'll just talk about them instead - which is really annoying for you all with no pictures Hee Hee!

I really liked a garden called "Summer Days" or something like that - full of colour, lovely blending of plants and colours .... I also loved the Postcard Gardens this year ... and the Children's Hospital one was lovely too ....and the one with the seaside theme featuring ground cover sedums ... liked Jane McCorkells... Best in Show again I think? ....and .... and ... and ... but the one I CAN show a photo of is the Super Garden because its been on the telly already!!!! I got to talk to the designer and complimented him - it transferred very well to Bloom I have to say. I could just picture that little chap from the house having great fun with the wheelchair accessible water feature - is ther anything children like more than messing with running water! I thought it looke even better at Bloom than it had on the show.

One thing disappointed me this year. A lot of the gardens featured very drab colour pallettes - dark purples and blues in a lot of them with dark green foliage seemed to be a theme this year but some of the gardens with this overall pallette had brought the whole thing alive by introducing a touch of vivid colour. There was a beautiful garden very formal in structure planted in whites and a fairly pale yellow but again it needed a strong colour to give it a "zing" in my opinion.

Sometimes it takes a second attempt

27 May 2015 00:20:52

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When I embark on a new project I tend to be so impatient for the end result that bits in the middle get glossed over and then I end up disappointed in the overall effect of the project.

Such a project was the lovely path down between the Shrubbery and the new Tropical Garden. The boys did a great job finishing the path complete with steps, weedblock and gravel as you can see in the first photo and I was very happy with the path - but there was a bit of a niggle going on. The edges weren't quite right. This was because the edges were there before the path and the levels weren't quite right.

Ok - so what to do?

Well, today was another lovely day and as i emerged into the garden I looked about for the next most urgent task when my eye was caught by those less-than-ideal edges.

Moving the rocks to overlap the weedblock should make life easier in the future - and I really enjoyed re-building this very small wall!

so now I'm happy!

Reincarnation

26 May 2015 00:38:30
Reincarnation

Reincarnation

Having failed miserably to get the small greenhouse to stay (a) on the ground (b) intact and (c) full of plants it has now been reincarnated as a Display Stand for my Fuschias but they were getting battered by the wind so I added some windbreak fabric against the worse winds. So far so good - the plants definitely look happier!

And it is tied to the decking rail with strong wires!!!!

Trying a new skill

26 May 2015 00:34:52
Trying a new skill

Trying a new skill

In one of my breaks in the gravel-carrying I decided to trim the Box Ball in my Herbaceous border. It had got very big - i think maybe I didn't trim it last year - and was not very exciting. So being inspired by that Chelsea Gardener competition I decided to try my hand a a simple topiary!

Job done!

Done!

26 May 2015 00:30:37

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So fair and easy goes far in a day .... or even a few days .... but the end result is well worth the effort!

Just one small problem .... what do I do with the rest of the stuff?

More productive day today

25 May 2015 01:27:08
Cerastium and Jacobs Ladder

Cerastium and Jacobs Ladder

Well the birds decided to stay in their own domains today - except for Mr and Mrs Roin who obviously decided I was the cause of their son and heir having to relcate in a hurry - they set up a terrible racket every time I went within 10 feet of the new nest location!

But I digress ... The area I call the Rose Garden and the Compost area beside it have had bark chippings on the paths for the past couple of years but it hasn't really been successful so I decided on a different approach. The bark was on weedblock fabric so it was a simple enough task to lift the bark - it has been down a couple of years so is quite composted so it has just been dumped straight onto the roses as a mulch. 

The replacement is going to be the same crushed stone I've used on other paths in the garden and the plan was going well - Kevin was doing some other stuf for me the other day and he had agreed to get a trailer-load of the stuff from a local quarry but when we looked at the area to be covered it was clear that one trailer load would not be sufficient so then it transpired that it was cheaper in the long run to get a big load delivered - which we did! It's really surprising what a VERY big pile 10 tons makes! 

So when not providing first aid to baby robins I've been resurfacing the area! Fair an easy goes far in a day, as my mother used to say! So I put 10 shovels of gravel in the wheelbarrow each trip so the barrow isn't too heavy and doesn't pull my arms out o their sockets - so with probably twice or three-times as many trips as one of you he-man types I am progressing well! The other part of the strategy is to do about 6 runs and then change to something more interesting like weeding or repotting!

And the photo was prompted by Jackies journal on Snow-in-Summer. I have let this clump of Cerastium grow unlimited for about 5 years now and apart from trimming where it encroaches on the paths and letting Puss make her bed in the middle of it, it rewards me with this display every year for weeks on end.

Wildlife adventures

24 May 2015 01:43:26
Colour clashes?

Colour clashes?

Today was a gret day for gardening and I was doing my best o take advantage of it but my feathered and feline friends were determined to keep me busy instead!

I remembered to fill the bird-feeders this morning and was enjoying the many birdsongs in the garden as I worked away up to Lunch time. I came in for lunch and it was so hot i left the door open. Within minutes a swallow had decided to check out my living room for a potential Des.Res. and remembering how last year's starling kept banging into the windows in an attemt to escape, I ran around closing all the curtains and just leaving the doors open. There are 4 pairs of curtains and my efforts just panicked my visitor who was flying round in circles over my head! Eventually he settled on top of the curtain rail at the door and looked ready to take up residence - but I tried clapping loudly and he got the message and went house-hunting elsewhere. 

Not surprisingly I made sure the doors were closed when I went back outside! So all went well until I heard a crash behind the greenhouse. There was a Robin's nest in one of my flowerpots on the shelf there and Puss had found it and managed to pull it down. I was distraught! The lovely nest had fallen out of the pot and Puss was investigating it by the time I got there. I chased her away and started investigating - I put the nest back in the pot and was despaiting when I noticed that Puss had been paying lots of attention to one of those pot-stand thingys with wheels so I gently lifted it up and there was the little chick - still half-covered in down, a roundy ball of fluff! I gently picked him up and popped him back in his nest but the ungrateful young rip just fluttered out onto the gorund again! Picked him up agian and this time keeping my hand over the top of the pot I looked around for somewhere safer to place the nest. found a sturdy fork in one of the trees and wedged is securely there. Delighted with my success i stepped back - and yes. Junior jumped out again! I put him back once more and this time he seemed content to stay.

Will my attempt at life-saving be successful? I hope so. i did see the parent hopping about with a juicy morsel for the baby so I'm hopeful!

After that I had to spend time explaining to Puss that I understood it was his nature to catch birds, but that I didn't want him to do that.

Thug or not?

21 May 2015 22:08:15
Thug or not?

Thug or not?

May I introduce Euphorbia Sequieriana Niciciana. Thank you Bruno - although I have to admit that you were very accurate in describing this pretty plant as a thug! 

But i have settled on letting it 'do its thing' in the Oak Border where it has been giving the pretty Persicaria I got from Fran a serious run for their money!

So it has now spread itself in a neat collar around the Corylus avellana 'Contorta - Red Majestic' where I really like the contrast between the dark foliage of this shrub and the vivid flowers of the U4BA. 

Multi-story

21 May 2015 21:59:22
Multi-story

Multi-story

I'm so happy that the primula

I planted in the Ash Woodland have turned out to be Multi-story! I love the way these Candleabra Primula just keep growing extra "storeys" as they open :-)

In and out like a fiddler's elbow!

19 May 2015 14:25:27

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I know the forecast wasn't the best, but I had a few things to finish today because there is a full day planned for tomorrow so I wrapped up warm and waterproof and got stuck in. After 15 minutes it started to rain so I legged it to the greenhouse where I started potting on a few plants. Got one potted when the sun came out.

So down to the end of the garden and another bit of clearing done - maybe 20 minutes this time!

Back to the greenhouse and a few more plants potted - sun out - out again.

Repeated this five times in all but the last bit was the best (or worst) - I had a bit of shredding to do and had to put myself and the shredder under a tarpaulin to finish it - but of course the shreddings had to be distributed - and it was now chucking it down but I was fed up with the running in and out and anyway that was the last task so I just kept going - you can only get so wet, after all!

So I disposed of the shreddings and collected up all the tools - isn't it amazing how many tools seem to make their own way down the garden when you are working? 

A full wheelbarrow of tools were brought back up the the sheds. Of course the tools then had to be put away - between the sheds and the greenhouse - and the final straw - HAILSTONES!!!!!!

p.s. The second photo is a better view of the seedling I got from Elizabeth7. My recollection is that she was generously giving lots of Helebore seedlings to Elizabeth and me and she spotted another tray of seedlings so she just grabbed one up and said "this is one of those ..... you know ...." but I don't! It will be exciting to see what it turns out to be LOL

Two ladies

18 May 2015 23:54:56
Two ladies

Two ladies

These two plants remind me of two ladies leaning over to have a chat! Loving them completely! The Solomons Seal has really started to thrive and is now towering over the Dicentra while in previous years they were only the same height! 

Either way, a combination that works for me!

Question for Elizabeth7

18 May 2015 23:52:05
Question for Elizabeth7

Question for Elizabeth7

Dear Elizabeth - you were so kind as to give me this little plant in a pot when we visited you the day of the Fota Plant Fair and with all the chatting we did i never got the name of it!

It is really starting to grow now but I have no idea where it might like to live ...

So please help!

Pretty one

18 May 2015 17:12:18

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I got this pretty clematis at Bloom  last year from Oliver in Mount Venus. Apparently it hasn't been widely distributed so I feel a bit special having it in my garden! He said he knows it as "Mary Toomey".

It is quite a tiny flower - about the size of Alpina - but it is the dark outside and pale inside that captured my attention. It seems to be getting going nicely this year. I didn't expect it to flower so early!

Hello Miss Bateman

17 May 2015 23:44:42
Hello Miss Bateman

Hello Miss Bateman

I'm so impatient to see my clematis all romping away and covering the arches on the clematis walk. I feel like a child waiting for  Christmas! 

Yesterday I had the delightful experience of showing a friend around my garden for the first time. This is always a special experience and it is wonderful how each visitor will get excited about a feature of the garden that I hadn't particularly noticed in the past. This visitor was most excited by the tactile nature of many of the plants but really had a "Wow" moment when we came to the Pergola and he saw my Wisteria covered with  flower buds and just beginning to open (photos when they are actually open) but while he was exclaiming over the Wisteria I spotted Miss Bateman, fully open! I have to confess that I was just as excited as my visitor! I have two of these great Clematis both on the Pergola rather than the Clematis Walk - both thriving - but I may yet decide to move one of them - if only to give a headstart to the Clematis walk!

Anyway - here she is in all her glory!

Miss Bateman

Little dote!

17 May 2015 22:21:50

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I spotted this tiny  Aquilegia in the Pergola border this morning. I'm pretty sure its an Aquilegia - but it doesn't resemble any I have already. 

I was wondeing did anyone give me a seedling?

Wherever it came from it is such a dote of a flower - really tiny and a stunning shade of blue! It's only about 6 inches tall.

And at the other extreme, my clematis Montan Rubens has done what she is so expert at - climbed over the fence and giving the best display to the neighbours - Ha! I fooled it! I've got the perfect view of it from my lounge window!

 

First to the top!

15 May 2015 20:37:53
First to the top!

First to the top!

My Clematis Walk is gradually waking up - and Clematis Montana Rubens  'Tetrarose' is the first clematis to make it to the top of an arch! I hope it will be the first of many :-)

I love .....

15 May 2015 00:39:10
I love .....

I love .....

saxifrage even though it is a pretty temperamental lady in my garden! What's not to love? Its foliage is like a velvet cushion just waiting to be stroked and the flowers which last for ages seem to hover in a pink cloud above the plants.

Try to move it and it sulks for ages turning a nasty brown in patches. Try to weed out grasses or weeds from the dense cushion and you cause almost mortal wounds to that perfect surface. Try to divide it and transplant it and it is totally hit-and miss whether you will succeed or not.

But when it decides it likes your garden the result is well worth all the set-backs!

So here she is "Saxifraga 'Winston S. Cahurchill'

When to mulch ....

15 May 2015 00:21:12

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I am an avid reader of gardening magazines, watcher of gardening programmes and follower of gardeners websites (well, one website anyway!) and there appear to be as many opinions on when to mulch as there are gardeners! 

So when do you mulch? I would love to say I mulch according to the experts but I have to confess that this is not the case! When I'm down on my knees harvesting vast amounts of bittercress and celandines I think it would be a great idea to put a thick mulch on the area I've just cleared to deter the little monsters from reappearing but I seem to have a terrible reluctance to actually USE all that compost I've made with hours of shredding and lots of patience waiting for it to be "ready".

And then of course, I start thinking "This isnt't the worst soil in the garden. I should save the compost for that area". I recently ventured to uncover my 2-year old leaf-mould and was actually going to USE it when Elizabeth said it was a shame to use such "good stuff" as a mulch and it should be saved for potting! 

So the result of all this messing about is that I now have 

(1) a bay full of really good compost from last years well-shredded stuff

(2) several bins full of beautiful 2-year old leaf mould

(3) a Dalek full of well-mixed compost-in-progress

(4) two bays full of the general weeds, cuttings etc unshredded accumulated since the autumn (lazy gardeners compost)

(5) a chicken-wire enclosure of last year's leaves that keeps drying out on me.

And a pile of stuff to be shredded but nowhere to put the shreddings!

I think I have a terrible reluctance to actually USE any of this stuff! Does anyone else get like this? Its a bit like my reluctance to plant my "plants in waiting"!

Well today I took a big step! Elizabeth had come down to help me with the weeding on Wednesday and we had cleared the Rhus Walk border between the two of us. And her parting words as she boarded the train home mentioned things like "not enough plants" and "needs a good mulch" so being a good girl and doing as I'm told, today I took a number of the "plants in waiting" and used them to fill gaps in that border and then took the really big step of uncovering last years compost and barrowing compost like it was going out of fashion! So part of the Shrubbery where the soil is atrocious got a nice covering, and the Rhus Border also got the treatment! I shall watch with interest to see if this actually slows the reappearance of the bittercress! 

But even after all that the compost bay is still half full .... and the shredding is starting to mount up again .....

Cerinthes make a comeback

12 May 2015 23:46:01

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After the mad self-seeding of the Cerinthes in my garden last year most of them bit the dust over the winter but a few did survive and because they are few and far between it is possible to see the beauty of these plants in much more detail.

The intensity of the deep blue is not really captured by the camera but it stopped me in my track this evening as I was passing a bed I had weeded yesterday. Maybe taking away all the weeds has allowed them to perk up!

Anyway, I'll be saving a few seeds this year "just in case"!

Thank you Liga

12 May 2015 01:05:50

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The first garden.ier I visited in their own garden was Liga - seems like a long time ago! I came away with lots of goodies and among them was a little Ajuga Reptans 'Bronze Beauty'! That was 2011 according to my database (ok- I'm bragging!) and from that one little plant just look at them now!

Survivors

12 May 2015 00:56:58

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My journals over the past few months have made occasional reference to my Auriculas - mostly with photos of them upended amid the wreckage of greenhouses etc. So its time to show how well they recovered!

Musings on a Wet Afternoon

10 May 2015 22:01:34

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Well, it was pretty much non-stop rain today and even though I got togged out in the waterproof gear it only took abouit 15 minutes to convince me that indoors was a much better option - even if it did mean tackling the past fortnights ironing!

So since I'm suffering from total cabin fever I thought I'd look at some photos I took over the past week. I had managed to tackle a number of smaller tasks and completed them so all in all it was a successful week but as you know, sometimes it is hard to see the wood for the trees.

With Elizabeth as a great encouragement there are now only a few areas that haven't been tidied this year. I would like to have an Open Day this year but I'm not sure the garden is in the kind of shape I'd like. There are some changes in the Rose Garden that need finishing and of course those other areas that have suffered neglect all year need at least a bit of TLC.

So if it hadn't rained today what would I have done? Well, I would have been moving bark off the paths in the Rose Garden in preparation for replacing it with gravel -  Or maybe I would have weeded the second half of the Shrubbery - Or maybe I would have done something about the half-barrel that used to be home for the Tetrapanax that now lives in the new Tropical Garden .... or maybe I would have sat down and enjoyed the results of al the work we DID do!!!!

Wildlife

10 May 2015 00:40:42

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Today was a day for really enjoying the creatures that have come to stay in my garden. Thanks to having the phone in my pocket I was able to try and capture them - but as anyone who has tried to photograph wildlife its not always possible to get them to smile for the camera!

I was doing a Dandelion Patrol round the front garden when the little bird came down beside me. I had seen him the previous couple of days and am still unsure as to what he actually is but he posed nicely on the branch while got the phone out and here's the result. fran suggested he migh be a Twite but the twite is very rare and only found round the northern coasts - he might be a Meadow Pipit or a willow warbler maybe?

Well, having left the bird identification to one side I continued with the Dandelion Patrol and when I was clearing them from the area I was startled by a tiny frog - although I'm sure he was even more startled! I'm so delighted! A baby frog is not likely to be an only child so I have at last got a resident family!  Up to this I've only seen an occasional adult! This little fellow was so scared that he took a running jump into the pond. If you look closely you can spot him! Can't wait for him to be big enough to eat lots of slugs!

Tallaght SOS

08 May 2015 22:25:51

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I had a call from Elizabeth yesterday and she was bemoaning the fact that she needed to treat her whole garden for the dreaded Vine Weevils. Of course she does collect Fuchsias and Primula, the favourite food of these monsters! She had been in to Mr Middleton the previous day to get the nemetodes to deal with them and she was under pressure to get them into the ground while they were fresh. So I decided to surprise her and go up today so we could do this job together.

There were a few drops of rain falling in Laois but by the time I got to Dublin it was definitely raining - but Elizabeth was delighted to see me and we decided to go ahead with the task in hand! Unfortunately I had forgotten my waterproof trousers so she lent me a very fetching set of overalls! I then got an education in the process of dosing for Vine Weevils. There was a lot of slopping about with buckets and watering cans, some scrupulous measuring for individual pots, and all the time the rain was chucking it down! Once the individual pots had had their measured dosage I'm afraid I got a bit slap-happy and happily sloshed the stuff on all the beds! Elizabeth I have to say was much more careful. I think the photos tell the story better than I can! Aren't Elizabeth's gloves very dramatic!

And the thrid photo gives a flavour of how magnificent her garden is looking just at the moment!

Some simple jobs can get complicated

08 May 2015 09:35:45
Finally done moving!

Finally done moving!

I went out to the garden after lunch yesterday with one task in mind. There was a clump of Rudbeckia Goldstrum and a clump of Verbena both planted too close to the path by the stream. They were planted when I made the "hot border" and the path wasn't there! No problem - that border, now much enlarged and not exclusively "hot" had plenty of space in the middle. So I dug up the Rudbeckia first. Then I realised the perfect spot for it was occupied by my pretty little Euonymus Fortunei "Emerald Gaiety" which is in the middle of the border (of course, that was originally the EDGE of the border but things had changed!) so I dug that up too. Just dumped it at the edge out of the way and planted the Rudbeckia.

 At this stage I realised that the Leycesteria  Pheasant Berry that had done such a good job in sheltering the Apple tree when it was first planted is now causing it to grow crooked so I chop it down to about a foot and a half- I know it will grow again but once it was cut I realised that it had been dominating that whole border and none of the other plants were standing out!

Then it was the turn of the Verbena. i don't know which one this is but i think Hosta sent it to me when I was starting the Hot border. Its a pretty one but a bit of a spreader. Anyway, I dug it up and was about to plant it when I realised the chosen spot had loads of Eupatorium 'Joe Pyeweed' just peeping up in the very spot! So two step to the left and a suitable hole was dug and the Verbena planted. Thats great. Now I can widen that path a little as it is really too narrow.

So I move the edging stones in a bit and stand back to admire my work - then I realise the Berberis Iologensis "Apricot Queen" is now at the very edge of the border and I'm thinking of my little granddaughter being savaged by it as she runs past! Oh dear! Its got to move! Dug it up and looked around for a suitable spot well in from the edge but with space for it to expand as it will eventually be quite a large shrub - and yes, there's the place - but the Verbena has just been planted there! Up with the Verbena and the Berberis has a new home. At this stage I'm getting a bit tired so its really a case of where can I stick this darned plant (ok - no rude suggestions!) and at last I find a spot. So the Leycesteria will have some competition for this summer anyway! All set to pack up - putting the tools in the wheelbarrow - and I noticed that the poor little Euonymus is still sitting folornly waiting for a new home! Ok - take the spade off the wheelbarrow and start digging - mind that Joe Pyeweed - and don't disturb the new path edging .....

Weather forecast got it wrong for Laois

06 May 2015 16:51:53

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The local forecast for yesterday for Laois was pretty awful - from 100% rainfall to a mere 85% but the reality was totally different. It was quite sunny for most of the day and although we had spells of strong wind apart from a few moments of rain in the wind it was a great day for gardening!

Elizabeth was down and we had planned a full day in the garden so I wouldn't even tell her what the forecast was!

We got an amazing amount done - it is so encouraging when you have a fellow-gardener giving a hand!

We planned a mainly "planting day" as the plants-in-waiting as usual had got ahead of me. I seem to have a strange reluctance to actually put my little babies into the soil for some reason! The photo is actually the second lot of plants we distributed. This is the new system - bring the plants around the garden in the wheelbarrow bus and when they get to their stop they just hop off and wait patiently for their new home. It is a really lovely task going around and dropping off plants or picking them up and trying them somewhere else - giving a great excuse to take a slow tour of the garden!

When the "bus" had dropped off all its "passengers" the terminus was in the front garden so I started planting there - and by some totally inexplicable reason the "bus" acquired 4 new passengers!

In the meantime Elizabeth was doing a combined plant 'n' weed in the shrubbery and the Rhus bed. She planted about a dozen cornflowers, an Alsrtomeria, a Campanula and sundry others and removed 750 bittercress, 29 dandelions, 32 Leucanthemum seedlings and several un-named weeds!

I added a few more plants to the Tropical Garden - including moving some Eryngiums which may not survive - i should have stuck to seedlings - the more mature plants have huge taproots and I probably didn't get the whole thing. I'm hardening off the Ricinus and hopefully should be able to plant them out soon.

All in all, it's no wonder I wrote that daft journal last night! Hope I gave people a laugh anyway!

Could this be Angelica (second attempt)

06 May 2015 16:30:34
Could this be Angelica (second attempt)

Could this be Angelica (second attempt)

I found this plant in the Fernery and have been watching it for a few weeks to see if I could recognise it - I remember planting an Angelica there last year but I thought it had died. Can this be a resurrection?

P.S. Apologies for the junk journal before this :-)

Could this be Angelica ?

06 May 2015 00:22:31

Insomniac!

04 May 2015 12:21:58

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Stayed up late last night so I had the opportunity to see the beautiful full moon. Took some photos with the phone and some with the camera.

Making use of a seat

04 May 2015 00:56:48

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I have a lovely little bench in the Willow Arbour in the front garden and today I sat on that bench for a little break from pruning the last willow. I was completely captivated with the views from this little bench!

I couldn't decide which I liked best so I'm putting the three views  up :-)

Apart from that I now have a fine crop of willows to make supports for anything that wants supporting! I'm told I can use the willow "in the green" - otherwise it needs to be dried for a year and then soaked for 24 hours to make them pliable again. Now all I need is a 6 ft long bath to soak them in :-)

I'm hoping to make a number of things out of willow - haven't tried the sculptures yet but never say never!

 

Day to look back ...

02 May 2015 15:06:24

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It is fairly chucking it down here in Laois today. I had already committed to go to the dump today so it was a case of into the wet-gear and just go for it! I'm delighted as I have almost finished clearing the "junk-yard" behind my shed. 

But being confined indoors I am cheering myself up by thinking how much I achieved yesterday in a relatively short spell! Do other people do that too?

Well, Elizabeth and I did an experiment making a plant support out of hazels and willows. We were fairly happy with the prototype but alas it was a bit small for the clumps of giant daisies it was intended for! (There is a small album showing the steps).

However after Elizabeth had left I tried a new method doing them "in situ" with bamboo canes instead of hazels and it was much easier!

The idea is that the supports in themselves will be pretty enough that I won't mind having them there when the flowers have gone over.

The prototype found a home at the Stream Bed - that clump was way too big for where it was, so I just split it and left a piece that actually fits the suport behind! Talk about putting the cart before the horse!

Other than that, I was about to dig up my Clematis Armandii which was shoing absolutely no signs of life and as i was pulling the earth away I found a really healthy looking shoot coming out from the base! I'm thrilled! Carefull replaced the soil, and some more mulch and gave it a good drink! I also planted another clematis - a slip from Elizabeth of a lovely C. Romantika - she is quite an expert on the clematis cuttings!

And the photo is of my Solomons Seal and (Dicentra) Bleeding Hearts - ( Otherwise known as Polygonatum and Lamprocapnos Spectabilis) - I love this combination!

Guess where i was today?

01 May 2015 00:28:45

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Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Well, it was Elizabeth’s birthday last week and unfortunately her husband was poorly and couldn’t take her on the promised outing to Belfast to see the Titanic Exhibition so I had to dream up an alternative – “what is your idea of a perect garden visit?” – “Well, I prefer a quiet visit where you have time to talk to the gardener and they have time to show you their favourite treasures”

So I had a quiet word with Rachel and she kindly agreed that I could bring Elizabeth to see her garden – a garden I knew she was keen to see!

So today was the big day and we had such a wonderful time. Rachel is a great hostess and guide to her lovely garden so we strolled around stopping from time to time at various treasures – some of them are Stars of Video and some that were just plain gorgeous!

And as we went around Rachel, trowel or fork in hand – was uprooting bits of the plants we admired and popping them into pots for us – she is so generous! And we got a great tip – when you attack a plant and remove a bit from it, just gently water the disturbed area – this was a new one for me!

Well, Elizabeth (Liztai) has sneaked off to bed and says she hasn’t time to put up a journal as she is off to Castletown to the Half-door Club 22nd International Music and Set Dancing Festival tomorrow (well, that’s her story anyway!)

So I’m just putting up a few shots from our visit and I’ll be finding a new home for each of the treasures we came away with today!

Of course, the absolute tin hat of the day was the tasty lunch rustled up for us by Norman – thank you so much!

A huge thank you from both of us with lots of hugs. We had a wonderful time in your garden and we got the opportunity to meet the “super-stars” from the video too! Forgot to get autographs from the Celebs from the main videos when they got home from school!

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