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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal June 2015

Last Post 930 days 13 hours ago

Help is always welcome!

30 June 2015 23:57:12

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As I'm getting closer to my Open Day I' truly grateful for any help I can get in the garden. The past couple of days it has been Brendan's granddaughter Maebh who has been doing trojan work with me. We have been working on the Willow Fence and Maebh has proved to have a really gifted worker - managing to trim the arches to perfection !

I've also found the perfect spot for my Terracotta Lady ( Thank you Deborah a& Martin)

Relly need to go to bed now as Cinderella is calling LOL

Tale of a sad plant with no name!

29 June 2015 00:31:09

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About 3 years ago I was visiting a home where the gardening bug had not yet struck. As I was leaving my hostess begged me to take two plants in pots that were in mortal danger of decline. "you might be able to resurrect these - if they stay here they will surely die!" she said.

All she remembered was that she got both plants from Lidl and that they were climbers but there was no clue to their names.

I did manage to bring them back from the dead and eventually they ended up at the Pergola. I found that one of them is a type of Lonicera with the tiniest flowers I've ever seen, but the other little fellow is a complete mystery.

Have any of you come across this climber in your travels? It is a light shade of green with pointy leaves, very soft foliage but the stems are strong and wiry. The delicate pink flowers have been on the plant since May. Its growth habit is to send out kind of horizontal tendrils that are flexible enough to train upwards as I have done.

Any clues please?


29 June 2015 00:20:37


I think Jackie asked me to put up a photo of my other tyoe of Thalictrum when the flowers opened so here it is .... Hard to get a clear shot of such delicate flowers. It is already over 4 feet tall and still growing!

Before and After in the Hazel Grove

24 June 2015 20:44:19

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This year I didn't get to the Hazel Grove for a Spring tidy-up so it had all gone a bit wild. I've heard before that the Celandine that covers this area in the springtime would be all gone by June but I never really believed it and used to spend ages pulling them out!

So its now the end of June - and guess what? No Celandine! Mind you, there is herb willow, scutch grass, nettles, docks, thistles, dandelions and giant clover!

It took two days of serious weeding to get it back in shape but I'm delighted with the results! the Persicaria (thank you Rachel) is spreading nicely, that pale mauve geranium that is self-seeding beautifully throughout the Oak woodland is also doing well! There is a Leucanthemum that appeared there - the very tall one - so it got one of my willow "cages" to try and keep it off the path! The gorse bush has well gone over so it got a severe haircut. I think this guy will have to go - using Jacinta's policy of a plant needed to earn its keep the gorse just doesn't. It has a few short weeks of fabulous flowers but the rest of the year it is very non-descript - and cutting it back is a dangerous exercise!

The helebores are doing really well - my own seedlings, and the cowslips (thank you Dick) are spreading very well! All in all, I'm a happy camper this evening!

Plant ID please?

24 June 2015 00:51:18
Beautiful Campanula

Beautiful Campanula

I was totally amazed when this pretty plant flowered  -  I know there was alabel beside it at some point but it has now disappeared :-(

The photo is not quite accurate - the flowers are really a definite  Navy blue. They have the format of  Campanula takesimana 'Elizabeth'. I know the plant came to me from a .ier so I would really appreciate a name for the plant and also a clue as to who gave it to me :-)

Not proper gardening

22 June 2015 19:09:21
Returning wanderer

Returning wanderer

The compost heaps had really got out of hand recently. I had one bay with beautifully shredded material that had turned into great compost over the winter so that was spreaded as a mulch around the garden where the blackbirds have had great fun scattering it about.

Bays two and three were a different story. I just threw everything into them and hoped for the best. When Bay Two was over the height of the sides I covered it to let it "cook". So Bay three has been at the receiving end of everything since about March I think - and it had become a towering mess of all sorts.

So I began yesterday and turned Bay two into Bay one. It looked pretty good on the top - just in need of a bit more time. As I got down the heap I found a dense layer of what must have been shredded willow - only rough shredded as the second shredder was out of action at that time. It was completely dry and hadn't any signs of starting to break down. So I mixed it through as I continued on. Only now I was watering the new heap copiously. There is a big lesson for me to learn there!

As I was going along I was adding some of the "greens" from the top of Bay Three! It was great to get to the bottom of Bay Two

Today it was the turn of Bay Three. Turning it into Bay Two I broke up the chunkier bits - mostly stems of herbaceous stuff I think - but there was quite a lot of partly done stuff so I was trying to layer the greens and the half-done stuff. This time the hose was in play the whole time as a lot of the stuff was quite dry. 

By the time I got to the end of that heap i was totally amazed to find that the bottom part was totally compost! I took a full barrow of this lovely new compost up to the potting area where it probably won't last too long :-)

And almost the last shovel full i hit something hard - and out came my shears that I've been looking for all year! 

A fitting reward for my two days of totally non-gardening slog! Looking forward to a bit of REAL gardening tomorrow LOL

Royal Gold

21 June 2015 18:27:12

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Well I really should have more patience!

First of all I managed to find the name of that lovely climbing rose that produced a not-very-yellow first flower this year. it is called "Royal Gold".

It was looking a bit sick so I cut it back a bit, got rid of the blackspot bits, sprayed, mulched with good old horse manure and I've got my reward!!!

Withdrawal symptoms!

20 June 2015 00:16:29
Withdrawal symptoms!

Withdrawal symptoms!

I'm now only a month from my Open Day so yesterday as i had some delightful guests (Elizabeth and her friend Carmel as well as my daughter ciara) I took advantage and had a complete relax day, full of garden chats and little strolls around whcich really recharged the batteries! Ciara stayed down and we tackled the freshening up of the paintwork on some bits and pieces in the garden.

After two whole days and not a single weed pulled I was definitely having withdrawal sysmptoms - so in the brief time while Ciara was getting ready to travel home before I gave her a lift to the bus, i found myself down on my knees as usual with a trowel in my hand attacking some of the pots on the deck that hadn't had their spring planting tidied up. 

Can't wail to get back to the REAL gardeining tomorrow LOL

I did take time to water my Ipomoea in the greenhouse - first time I've had any success with these - the photo doesn't do them justice - the one on the left is reappy pale blue with the dark stripe, and the one on the right is deep blue with a strong magenta stripe!

Queen Elizabeth - Thank you Dorothy!

18 June 2015 01:14:46
Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

About three years ago Brendan and I made the trip to Donegal for Dorothy's annual Open Day. What a treat it was! A truly beautiful garden and a warm and friendly welcome! As we wandered round the garden I spotted a Queen Elizabeth rose - it seems to have fallen out of favour recently but it is a rose I have loved since my first gardening attempts in London in 1969. I inherited a very overgrown one there and didn't have a clue what to do with it! I got my gardening advice in letters from my dear mother at that time (pre-internet !!!) so when I described this rose - it was about 7 feet tall and was completely blocking the light in our sitting room - and the blooms were all at the top where they couldn't be seen properly - she replied by return of post!

The advice was terrifying - Cut it back hard! Gulp!

But I trusted my mother's gardening knowledge so I did as I was told and down it came to about 2 feet and I spent weeks and weeks waiting anxiously to see if I'd killed it, but instead it rewarded me with a magnificent display - and continued to do so as long as i lived in that house!

So I had been looking for Queen Elizabeth to grace my Rose Garden without success!

So move forward to Dorothy's garden - I told her the story and she suggested I take a few cuttings - now I had no really confidence that they would strike but with Dorothy's encouragement I gave it a go!

Took a while, but here she is! 

Thank you so much Dorothy, not just for the cuttings, but more importantly for the encouragement to try them! 

Day Lilies

17 June 2015 11:38:17

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There seem to be different flowering times for Hemerocallis. I love these flamboyant flowers and have no problem with the great amount of leaves they produce as I find that they are wonderful weed suppressants!

I bought a couple of bulbs of Hemerocallis Stella de Oro  about three years ago and for the first two years they only produced a few miserable leaves. Last year, when Jacinta offered clumps of Hemerocallis I jumped at the offer and used them to fill out a new border.

I also acquired another one from an .ier friend but didn't note the name!

Last year Stella de Oro finally decided to flower. 

The ones from Jacinta (one of them may be Kwanzo) flowered well - the other one has a beautiful dark centre - flowered right through the summer into Autumn.

The one from an unknown donor is a delicious pink - (may be Pink Damask) also flowered last year and is beginning to bulk up.

But this year ..... this photo was taken on 30 May! Stella de Oro coming into its own!


15 June 2015 23:42:42


I was doing the Roses stuff today as light relief rom making compost and feeling quite good about them. One or two are actually trying to flower!

I had planted a climbing rose along the trellis but it hadn't been doing well so I tackled the bed along by the trellis yesterday dragging out the aubretia that had gone a bit wild and was providing cover for a bad infestation of scutch grass. To cut a long story short I filled 4 buckets with scutch roots before the bed was cleared.

Today I put the last of my horse-manure on the newly cleared bed and topped the whole bed with compost. With all the rubish out of the way it was very clear that the rose was in poor shape so out came the secateurs and it got some remedial pruning, then a good spray for blackspot and greenfly. Hopefully it will come back stronger than ever.

Funny thing is that I thought that rose was yellow - but this is the bud I cut off today ....

Are you free on July 19th?

15 June 2015 01:08:45
Evening Sun at Gortnalee

Evening Sun at Gortnalee

I've finally got all the details worked out and will be opening my garden at Gortnalee House on 19th July from 2 pm to 5 pm. This is different to my previous Open Days  which were really just a great excuse to talk gardens with friends!

Laois does not have a Hospice but cancer sufferers are taken care of by The Laois Hospice and I saw or myself recently just how good a service they provide when a neighbour availed of their help and he was enabled to spend his last weeks among family thanks to the support they provided.

Laois Hospice Website

I hope that as many of you as possible will come to support this very good cause.

With the help of the Hospice people we have agreed that €5 is a reasonable admission. There will be tea and homemade goodies available - and for this we will have a Donation box.

I'm hoping to have a small Plants Sale too!

Gortanlee House is in Donaghmore, Co. Laois - close to the Donaghmore Workhouse Museum and is accessible from both the M7 and the M8 - or by train to Ballybrophy!


Another summer day?

13 June 2015 23:09:30

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My goodness! If these summer days keep happening we'll get used to them!

Its been wonderful getting out every day and enjoying the garden - even getting a little bit sunburned! 

Every day seems to bring a new treasure in the garden - a flower I've forgotten, a bed viewed from a different angle - all adding up to a very happy time in the garden!

Today saw a problem area sorted, a bed weeded and mulched, and best of all, the end of last year's compost!

In between I managed to plant up the new Japanese Acer - I've carted it round the garden at least twice before deciding that this location may give it the shelter from the prevailing wind that it deserves. It if proves to be happy in this spot it will go into the ground next year! I hope this will add to the "Oriental! feel in my Buddha Garden!

Now all I have to do is turn the huge pile of THIS year's compost now that I have an empty bay to put it in LOL

Busy little Mammy

13 June 2015 22:46:13
Busy little Mammy

Busy little Mammy

I was getting very worried about my little Robin who is detemined to raise her family in the precarious shelves behind the greenhouse. I hadn't noticed any activity over the past week and i had come to the conclusion that she had abandoned the nest.

Today I ventured round and since there was no sign of movement I chanced a photo and at first glance it looked like my worst fears were realised.

Imagine my delight when I loaded the photos onto the computer and had a proper look!

Mammy is very busy keeping her little cluthc of eggs warm!

Could this be a new Geranium?

12 June 2015 22:35:41

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I was weeding today when I noticed this little treasure. I remember that a seedling developed in this bed and I remember deciding to leave it where it was - in line with my general attitude of leaving self-seeders where they fall until they need moving.

When it flowered today i was completely taken by surprise as I had assumed that it was a seedling of my "Wargrave Pink" that is well represented in the next border because the leaves were so similar. But look at those flowers! Ane right beside  it is another Garanium with very similar shaped flowers but a completely different colour. That particular geranium is one I got from an .ier (I thought it was Rachel but apparently not!) 

So what's happening here? Do I have a new geranium? Or what?

When change of location works

12 June 2015 22:22:44

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I bought this Iris as a "marginal" plant when I first made ponds in my garden. It sat in the small pond producing a couple of leaves each year but nothing else. So last year I got fed up with it and removed it from the pond and just stuck it into the Small Pond Bed. Imagine my delight when it decided to flower this year! Totally unexpected but such a delicat beauty!

Spot the difference

11 June 2015 00:14:41

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My Clematis Walk is slowly coming on with a good few flowers at the moment. I did a double-take this morning when I was checking for new flowers.

Photo 1 is Clematis Piilu

Photo 2 is Clematis Nelly Moser


Can  you spot the difference?

Long days and sun - what more could we want?

10 June 2015 00:42:53

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This time of year with the days still lengthening I find it very difficult to come in from the garden. Puss usually comes by at about 6 pm to let me know it is feeding time! So yesterday and today I took pity on Puss and came in to feed her and also had my dinner while I was at it - but the sun was still shining so out I went again!

I'm hoping to finalise the arrangements for an Open Day for charity this week - so the proposed date is Sunday 19th July. 

So of course, once the idea of an Open Day enters the head panic tends to set in! So yesterday's main task was to weed and tidy the Sedums in the Wind Plaza Garden. Because these totally undemanding plants are great spreaders this work involved creation of many little plants.

Today's task was a lot more dificult. The hawthorn hedge in the front garden forms the boundary with my neighbour's field. Every time he makes silage I get a wonderful crop of grass along that hedge. Last year I didn't keep it clear so this year it is a major task. I didn't get to the end of it, but I did get to shred the proceeds and I am very happy to have the "Dalek" full to the brim with good quality potential compost.

And just to cheer me up, the lovely Pelargonium has just opened - thank you Liga!


Returning a favour

08 June 2015 01:17:15
That's more like it

That's more like it

As I have often posted in journals my sister Elizabeth (Liztai) often comes down to visit me and help with the garden. She is a trojan weeder and dead-header in my garden but most of all she encourages me just by being such a great support to me.

Well, although she is shy about posting journals about her own garden which is a delightful courtyard garden in Tallaght, today is a day worth talking about.

When we were travelling back from Terra Nova she spoke of the major task she has at present watering and feeding the plants in her garden so I was more than willing to help her with the task today.

Sounds like a doddle, doesn't it? Small courtyard garden in the rear, small garden in the front. Not so!

First task was to water both gardens which are full of raised beds and a multitude of pots. Each plant needed a good soak, particularly the many fuchsias, roses, clematis and assorted shrubs etc. When I say it took 45 minutes just to do the front you begin to get the picture! So while I was playing fireman with the hose Elizabeth was mixing a total of 4 watering-cans with very special Fuchsia Food. She then followed my footsteps feeding each precious fuchsia with a good dose of food. We lost count of them once we passed 100 you can begin to see the picture! All 4 watering cans were used up in jig time so a second batch was prepared.

But we has slightly over-estimated so there was enough let over to feed up the roses and other plants needing feeding.

When that was finished we did a little bit of weeding and repostitioning of pots and we stood back to admire our handiwork!

A great day's work all round.

In the excitement I forgot to take a photo of the before-and-after, so I've posted one of my hardy Osteospermum instead! It decided to do its thing while I was away so it was delightful to come back to this display!

Terra Nova Get-together - my take!

08 June 2015 00:45:22

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Well the Terra Nova Get-together was a great success in every way, as has been described in some lovely journals and beautiful photos but I would like to share what I got from the day too.

It was my third visit to Terra Nova so I had a good idea what to expect in this wonderful garden and I was not disappointed. My previous visits had been later in the year so it had quite a different atmosphere this time.  

But for me the best part of the whole day was Deborah's talk on the development of the garden. As someone who also started out with a blank canvas but being only a few years into the process I was fascinated with the evolution of this garden which really has such excellent design and structure as well as the magical planting.

But what I really want to say is a big "thank you" to Deborah - to hear how many times you just took the bull by the horns and redesigned bits you didn't like any more, or bits you felt didn't work as you had expected, was a great lesson for me. I have felt that once things were "done" in the garden that was that, but now, thanks to your inspiration, there will be no stopping me!

There was so much to learn from your garden Deborah that i for one am forever in your debt for you sharing your wonderful garden with us!

P.S. - What is the name of that lovely tree in the first photo? I forgot to ask! I think it was in the fairy Woodland if I'm not mistaken?


I know I shouldn't have ....

02 June 2015 23:40:13

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You wouldn't think that having a car serviced would leave a poor little gardener into temptation but ....

It only takes about an hour to service the car so what was I to do but go shopping - and what was the nearest shop? Aldi. And what did they have in abundance? Japanese Acers.

And what do Japanese Acers need? Protection from wind, protection from sun.

And what best describes my garden? Windy, exposed, south-facing.

What kind of an idiot am I? (No response needed!)

So it is hiding behind a fence in the most sheltered spot in the garden

And then there were three - or is it four?

02 June 2015 22:52:43
And then there were three - or is it four?

And then there were three - or is it four?

Because of the disaster of the previous nest, Mrs. Robin is determined to do better this time .....

Plants for Get-together

01 June 2015 16:47:58

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Hi everyone

I've compiled a list of the bits I have for people going to Terra Nova next weekend. Please let me know if you want any of them.

Campanula Poscharskyana x 2 - very vigorous! - Joann

Leycesteria seedlings x 2

Leycesteria (about 40cm tall)

Sedum Green Mantle x 3 - Elizabeth7, Fran

Anemone Japonica  deep pink x2  Kathrin

Anemone x h. Monterosa (Mauve double) (deep pink) x 2 - LindaB

Heleborus Orientalis (should flower next year) x 2

Helleborus Argutifolius seedlings x 5 - MaryB

Ricinus seedling - for Hosta


Looking forward to seeing you all!

P.S. Photos are some gardens I liked at Bloom :-)

Can this be June?

01 June 2015 16:28:09

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I am so glad that I decided not to make a second trip to Bloom today! It's back to March weather here - so its a case of one step forward and two steps back. The fuchsias have beat a hasty retreat back to the greenhouse and on the way they picked up the pretty Verbascum that came home with me from Bloom on thursday.

The stove is lit and I'm doing the ironing! Ugh!

Think I'll try and compile a list of swaps for the Get-together!


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