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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal August 2015

Last Post 811 days 8 hours ago

Fuchsia Paradise

31 August 2015 22:35:30
Fuchsia Paradise

Fuchsia Paradise

I spent a lovely day with Elizabeth on Sunday. We were constructing some willow supports for her rambling roses but I did have time to go round and be introduced to each of her many fuchsias! She has an amazing selection and has the names of all of them on the tipp of her tongue! For me the names are not the big thing - its the perfection of each and every flower!

I've put up a few photos that I hope will capture the beauty of theses flowers.

Willow time!

28 August 2015 21:33:03

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Well, as those of you who have been to my garden you may get the impression that I'm a bit obsessive when it comes to my Living Willow stuff .... but even I have to agree that sometimes I have to clear the passages  in the willow fences so that I can get around the garden without being hit in the face with wet willow branches!

So the lovely fence that does a great job in camouflaging the compost areas had grown so wide that access to the compost bins was a bit of an obstacle course, and trying to walk around the garden through the Willow Arches was not pleasant with a distinct possiility of being swiped by the willows - not pleasant when you think of the amount of rain we have had recently!

So of course sorting out these little problems generated a considerable amount of willow .... so what to do with it? Well, Elizabeth (Liztai) wants to make some willow supports for her rambling roses .... but that will only take care of some of it .... and anyway I needed to practice the techniques before I head to Dublin ... and then there are those roses that are getting away on me ...

So  here we are ... One experimental Obelisk and one set of plant supports for my roses!

Has anyone noticed how so many modern roses can't make up their minds whether they are a sort of shrub or an ambitious climber?

Question for Liga

27 August 2015 22:34:19
Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe

This Kalanchoe that I got from Liga at Fota has really taken off and has got really big now - probably in need of repotting! 

But today I noticed these little pink threads appearing on some of the leaves. I'm wondering what they are?

Also, does this baby need to come into the house over the winter or will the greenhouse be ok for it?

Help please Liga!

More pleasant view!

26 August 2015 23:21:32

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Had to calm myslef down after those horrid creatures appeared so I went walkabout and found these Rudbeckia that i grew from seed this year. I've been told that the ones from seed aren't usually hardy. Has anyone else tried them? Theya re such a lovely colour that i would love to be able tp bring them through the winter!

 

And this Fuchsia "Seventh Heaven" has finally flowered too!

Yuk!

26 August 2015 23:08:05
Yuk!

Yuk!

Was finishing off the edge of the hedgerow when these horrible creatures appeared ........

Crowbar - the essential garden tool

25 August 2015 22:35:07
Crowbar in use!

Crowbar in use!

I gardened for many years before I came to Gortnalee but it wasn't until I started this garden that I discovered the humble Crowbar as a garden tool. This was probably because there were lots of very large stones in the garden that weren't always in the ideal place and once I learned to manage this tool all but the largest were moveable for me!

Today was a case in point. I'm trying to extend the Laurel hedge which is doing a great job keeping the hedgerow back along the passage way at the side of the house. I have 7 rooted cuttings to plant so once the sun came out I ventured out to plant them. Unfortunately when the house was being built there was a big trench along this hedgerow to take the electricity supply and the telaphone line into the house and the backfill consisted mainly of stones so planting my new hedge presented quite a challenge - as you can see from the photo there were lots of stones to be moved but my trusty crowbar made short work of the task - at least until the rain came back!

I just excavated the stones and filled the hole with lots of nice compost and then used some of the stones as a mulch - particularly necessary as the local blackbirds like to dig up anything I plant!

So I reckon that every Garden Tool shop should feature this useful tool as a must-have item!!!!

Bit of an unsettled day

24 August 2015 23:54:57

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You know one of those days when you can't seem to settle to any particular task .... 

Well - today was one of those days. I started out with the intention of planting some late lettuce seeds and sorting the tiny veg garden - but on the way I stopped to dead-head some Alchemilla that was looking very sad. 

Taking the debris down to the compost heap I spotted some mint that had planted itself in the raised bed with the blackberries - that'll only take a minute  .... but the whole bed needed weeding - and the Thornless Blackberry needed tying up .... so back up to the shed for the twine. Tied up the blackberry which exposed the strawberries that needed tidying too - and there were some Alchemilla that needed moving .... so back up to the shed for the fork ... on the way I nearly fell over a pot with some Laurel slips I took last year that were needing to be potted on!

Finally got to the veggie beds.

Unfortunately Puss had got there before me - nice soft soil, perfect toilet! So having cleared away the mess and all the veg nearby I topped up the bed with fresh compost and finally planted my seeds. 

Well, Puss will find it difficult to get at them this time! A cage has been built using various bits of stuff that was lying about - and at last it was time to go in!

He IS real after all !!!

22 August 2015 23:57:03
He IS real after all !!!

He IS real after all !!!

Just went to have a look at the pond to see if it needed topping up and there he was - as bold as brass - just gently swimming across the pond! 

He is about 4 and a half inches long now. Not very exciting is he?

Cruel

22 August 2015 00:44:33

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Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. My shrubbery includes this lovely Cornus Controversa which has really taken off this year. It is a very special tree in my garden because Brendan bought it for me as an Anniversary present.

However, I really didn't realise just how much space this lovely tree needed so I planted in the Shrubbery where it was being seriously crowded out by a large variegated Weigela on one side and a very disappointing Lilac on the other. 

The decision was taken today. Both shrubs bave been cut to the ground! I know they will probably come back again next year, but since both of them flower early I can live with the compromise of the Cornus being a bit overcrowded until their flowering time has passed - then out with the loppers and lo and behold Cornus takes a bow!

 

Still looking good!

20 August 2015 22:40:13

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For the past while there has been at least some sunshine each day - or at least some part of the day without rain - so I've been enjoying myself doing the "nice" part of gardening - cutting back and tidying, dead-heading and making plans for next season!

Today I took advantage of a spell of sunshine to take a few photos of things still looking good!

The Mallow has really bulked up well this year, the Leycesteria is well in flower and this Geranium Geranium X Oxonianum "Thurstonianum" has been flowering since June and are still looking good!

Living Stone

20 August 2015 11:29:38
Lithops

Lithops

Jacinta gave me this curious little plant a few years ago and it has sat in my greenhouse doing what its name suggests - being a Licing Stone! I noticed this year it seemed to put on a spurt and produced a couple more "stones" but I certainly didn't expect these pretty flowers to appear!

Thank you Jacinta!

Lush foliage

19 August 2015 10:53:23

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I am really happy with the new Tropical Garden. One of the plants I included was Persicaria Campanulata - a bit of a difficult plant. It has great tall flowering shoots over a mat of foliage but it flops dreadfully as it goes over.

The Tropical garden has proved to be the answer! Supported by the taller plants around it like the Ricinus and Solanum Laciniatum but I was taken by the way the flowers seem to be deliberately using the gaps in the Tetrapanax Rex as the pserect support!

The second photo is the Melianthus Major i thought I had lost when it was hit by late frost this year.

I think I'm going to have to put in a little path so I can have a real "jungle" experience in this new garden!

Look what I found!

19 August 2015 00:15:52
Look what I found!

Look what I found!

The Tropical Garden has really taken off for me particularly the way the Nasturtiums inserted themselves here and there! Today I noticed something with a different colour peeping through the nasturtiums!

Oh my! It was the Rehmannia Elata that I got at Johnstown this year .... was it from Pcon? It was very tiny and I minded it carefully in the greenhouse and then, transplanted it to the new Tropical Garden. It seemed to settle in well but didn't show much growth so as the rest of the Tropical Garden was going pretty berserk I kind of forgot about it ... so I'm doubly delighted to see it in flower now!

P.S. Fran hs a better memory than me! Thanks to TedK for this lovley plant!

Happy accidents

16 August 2015 23:34:07

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I noticed some happy accidents in the planting in some of my borders and beds today.

I got the lavenders as a free gift and just stuck them into the first available spot - and lo and behold they make a beautiful contrast with the Robinia pseudoacacia 'Frisia'!

The Helenium in the second photo was deliberate but the Anemone beside it planted itself in the perfect spot!

Photo three is almost like a rainbow - Orange, pink, Mauve and blue - sounds awul but looks great (in my eyes anyway!)

I'm really enjoying the gardening at the moment - lots of dead-heading and cutting back revealing hidden treasures in the borders even if I did have to spend a day composting (not my favourite task) to make room for all the fresh cut material!

Better late than never - June Album

16 August 2015 00:08:01
Better late than never - June Album

Better late than never - June Album

Just realised I hadn't put up any albums since May so here goes for June! I'll to July tomorrow ......

Does anyone know ....

15 August 2015 23:22:04
Thalictrum with some Sidalcea

Thalictrum with some Sidalcea

.... does thalictrum delavayi self-seed?

Monty Don was waxing lyrical about these pretty plants and mine are doing very well this year!

i would dearly love to get some seedlings from my plants! 

The Lord loves a Trier

15 August 2015 23:06:24

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Well, the saga of the small greenhouse continues.....

You may remember that Elizabeth donated her plastic greenhouse to me way back in about March I think. I filled it with some Auriculas I had rescued from a bed where they weren't happy. They weren't too happy in their new home either as the first decent  storm scattered them to the four winds and flittered the covering on the greenhouse.

Not being a one to waste anything I htethered the frame (minus its cover) to the decking rail and using it as a "display" area for my Fuchsias. Even with windbreak fabric taking the worst of the wind the Fuchsias spent most of their time being toppled over so that eventually I put "guy ropes" trying to hold them onto the shelves.

Last week I came to the end of my tether with this carry-on so I donated the Fuchsias to Elizabeth and her daughter when they were visiting! 

But now the empty Display shelves were even more annoying with nothing on them.

So now they are on their very very last chance - relocated yet again, this time behind the greenhouse where the nearby fence gives some protection  - and the Auriculas are back in residence.

I'm just waiting for the next decent storm .....

Basking

13 August 2015 22:18:43
Basking

Basking

Yesterday my little friend Froggie was basking at the pond - but I was busy clearing the pondweed at the time and ony just spotted him before he dived into the pond and disappeared!

So I have a question - if Froggie is happy to swim in the pond does that mean that the previous occupant, Freddie Fish, has left?

Meteors

13 August 2015 00:38:06

Tropical or what?

10 August 2015 23:37:29

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So here's my final journal for tonight :-) 

My Tropical Border has exceeded all my expectations - I was a bit behind in planting up some of the seeds - the Solanum Laciniatum was definitely a bit late - and the Ricinus took their time too! Since I am not blessed with patience, this was very trying for me! 

But the transplanted Tetrapanex Rex took to its new home very well, and the whole area has come into its own over the past couple of weeks!

 I'm really happy with the overall "jungle" atmosphere of this area, contributed to in no small measure by the Nasturtiums that appeared in the PERECT place and the other bits and pieces that contribute to the effect!

Having a bit of a rant

10 August 2015 23:20:31

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I've been having a bit of a relax after the busy few weeks and catching up on the gardening magazines. Why do they all keep banging on about how its all over now barr the shouting?

Its as if once August appears on the calendar the garden transforms into some sort of a non-event. Now I know there are regional differences but really - its a bit much!!!

And what about the ROSES???? They only get into their stride as Summer progresses...

Here are some photos I took today just to make the point!

 

Plant ID please?

10 August 2015 23:06:49
Plant ID please?

Plant ID please?

I ended up purchasing one of the many plants donated for the Open Day but I'm at a loss as to what it is. Can anyone identify it for me please?

 

Laois Hospice Association says Thank You

10 August 2015 23:02:55

Peace has descended on Gortnalee

08 August 2015 21:01:12

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But I'm afraid I'd prefer the chaos of the past week and a bit! My family gathered here and despite the changeable weather little Cliona had a ball playing hide-and-seek in the garden with her auntie, uncle and parents. She is at a great age for this - three and a half! The other favourite game was hop-scotch but the rain kept washing away the "beds"!

She even found time to help Grandma with the gardening!

Now that they have all departed I wandered in the garden picturing them having such a good time there. 

 

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