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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal October 2015

Last Post 849 days 11 hours ago

Better late than never!

29 October 2015 02:33:22

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With all the mixed weather over the past few days when the sun came out for a bit today I rushed out to capture anything still flowering after the storm the other night.

Imagine my delight when I found that the three Fuchsias I left out last winter that I thought I'd lost have suddenly burst into flower!

So take a bow - Voodoo, Royal Mosaic and Seventh Heaven ....

Rain can's stop play!

27 October 2015 19:57:21

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Its coming close to Halloween when I concentrate on my little granddaughter's birthday so today's rain gave me the opportunity to get the ironing out of the way. I tend to be a bit distracted as I prepare for this event - gathering up bits and pieces for her and trying to organise myself for the upcoming party!

So the garden only gets minimal attention. I had tidied the Hazel Grove the other day and in the process got a load of Persicaria to pot up so that it can extend to other parts of the garden but the rain came down before I finished dealing with them. They ended up in a bucket awaiting potting and every time I looked out in the rain they were there, rebuking me!

The rain eventually stopped, the ironing was done, but unfortunately it was almost dark!

So I ended up taking a lamp out to the greenhouse so I could see what I was doing :-)

Just as well I did! I found a pack of Echinacea I had bought and forgotten also waitng patiently to be potted up or planted.

What was surprising was that it was really mild outside so I was happy to potter away in the greenhouse - and then when I was finished I spotted these two little Auricula just starting to flower!


Getting on with stuff

24 October 2015 23:52:34

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Like Dick in nearby Carlow, the Laois weather today was much better than forecast and I was a happy a a pig in you-know-what out working on the Hazel Grove. It really needed a good tidy-up so I got stuck in. Started off at the border - probably a good place to start! So the Geranium Wargrave Pink was really past its sell-by so it was getting a good haircut when Puss came along and incredibly settle down for a wash and a snooze about a foot from where I was trying to hack the geraniums back!

I'm always a bit undecided as to whether to remove the leaves in this area - on the one hand the leaves would provide an excellant mulch for the Hazel trees but unfortunately they also make it very difficult to harvest the fallen hazelnuts! So this year I did a kind of compromise - I kind of swept back the leaves and retrieved as many of the hazelnuts as I could, but I haven't removed the leaves completely.

The harvest from the hazelnuts this year has been very disappointing - perhaps due to how the trees were pruned last year.

Anyway - that's that area done for this year! 

Squeeze the last bit

23 October 2015 16:52:50
Squeeze the last bit

Squeeze the last bit

These lovely geraniums Geranium X Oxonianum "Thurstonianum" have been flowering since about May. The flowers first appear on the top of the plants for a few weeks, then usually if there is a windy night they kind of flop to one side as they are now. This had happened before the end of July but the little flowers just keep coming so I haven't had the heart to "tidy" them up.

I really feel I squeeze the very last bit of colour out of these generous plants!


Planting bulbs.

19 October 2015 21:06:03

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Spent yesterday planting bulbs under the Cornus Controversa as Mary recommended! 

Anemone,  Scilla, Muscari,  Allium,  Tulip and Narcissi planted. 

Planting bulbs is not my favourite task - my tolerance is about a hundred!

Also, photos of planted bulbs are not very exciting so I've put up photos of this lovely pink Aster that I divided it last year and now have it in a few locations !

Misty morning

14 October 2015 11:03:13

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There was nothing visible beyond the end of the garden this morning but the mist is melting away and it is shaping up to be another bright day here. I'm off to clean the greenhouse and put up the bubble wrap to protect those plants I rescued last night!

Giving in to PANIC

14 October 2015 10:50:59

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I was away from home all day yesterday arriving home after 6 pm. As I came in from the car I was aware of a distinct drop in temperature and the forecast was for frost!


With great haste I picked up the fork and headed for the Tropical Garden. First rescue was the Miribilis Jalapa - it was definitely looking unhappy. As I dug it up I was delighted to see the single tuber-type root had multiplied into three!

Next was that unnamed Hedychium. Wow! When I lifted it the whole thing was huge!

By now it was 7 pm and the light was beginning to fade so I rushed back to the greenhouse to get these plants potted up. Since I didn't have a pot large enough for the giant Hedychium so it had to be divided too. All of this took time, of course. 

The compost had to be sieved, the plants divided, appropriate pots located and the plants safely planted and by now it was almost dark! So I had to give in! Plugged in a lamp so I could continue to work in the dark!

And I am now sure that plant is a Hedychium - the smell of ginger was so pronounced when I divided it!

Does anyone know if the roots of this plant can be dried and used in cooking?


Plant ID please?

12 October 2015 23:58:15
Plant ID please?

Plant ID please?

This plant came to me as a gift over 2 years ago. It spent last summer under the Cornus Contraversa still in its pot. I found it in the autumn and thought it looked tender - so I took it into the greenhouse. When I was planting up the tropical Garden I thought it might fit in - i suspect it is some sort of ginger but there are no flowers so I'm wondering

(a) what is its name?

(b) does anyone remember giving it to me?

(c) is it time to lift it yet?

Any help greatly appreciated

Jacinta - look what I found!

12 October 2015 23:49:30
Jacinta - look what I found!

Jacinta - look what I found!

I finally got round to weeding this large planter and look what I uncovered! Jacinta's cute little Persicaria! Is it Persicaria captitata?


Tip for uploading albums

11 October 2015 14:38:46
Tip for uploading albums

Tip for uploading albums

I thought I'd share how I uploaded my latest album. I made a copy in a new folder of all the photos I wanted to include in the album. Then I reduced the size of these selected photos using Microsoft Picture Manager to a size for "documents". They then uploaded in a few minutes although my broadband is far from fast.

I'd appreciate comments on how others are seeing this album - on my computer the pictures are pretty clear.

Once I've uploaded the "small" versions of the photos I delete them to avaid confusing myself with multiple versions of the same photo LOL

The attached photo is the larger file.

Random comments

11 October 2015 14:20:51

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I was away till tea-time yesterday and when I got back decided I needed the "cure" of a stroll round the garden to heal my soul from the ravages of a city visit!

I concentrated mainly on the various Michaelmas Daisies around the garden but some other things caught my attention too.

In one border there is a lovley Hydrangea which Terri & Alan broght me on their first visit. It sulked for a few years but this year rewarded me with these pretty flowers. Well worth the wait - thank you!

You may notice in the corner of that photo the next wonderful plant - Fran gave me this lovely persicaria with a sever health warning - I'm glad i ignored the warning! Thanks Fran!

On Gardeners World Monty was yanking out his Cerinthes - my third photo is a Cerinthe that won't be going anywhere for a while!

And just for good measure I'm putting up an album :-)


Daisy crazy

11 October 2015 13:42:45

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I've spent hours on Google Images trying to sort out my Michaelmas Daisies and I'm now officially throwing in the towel!

I have five names in the database but matching them to the plants is the problem!

The only one I'm sure of is Aster "Little Carlow"  - I remember planting it and it looks like it should!

Then there are the three I got from Mount Venus a couple of years ago - I have all the names but ....

Aster Cordifolius "Blue Wood" 

Bog Aster - Aster Nemoralis 

Aster Pyrenaeus "Lutetia" 

I do remember planting these and I entered them in the database at the time but may have mixed up the labels - so eeny meeny minee mo!

And then there is Aster Amelliius Mira - dark flowers, but should be about 40cm while mine is more like 120 cm!

Aster Novi-Belgii "Alert" - this should be my pink one,but again the height is way off.

And in addition to that I have a really good clump-forming one that doesn't match any of the descriptions!

Oh Dear! Guess I'll just have to enjoy them without knowing their true names!

On its way ...

09 October 2015 22:45:09


... but not quite there yet!

Down at the stream pond I removed an overvigorous clump of Lysimachia Punctata last autumn because I wanted to create a different pondside planting althgether. I had seen Parthenocissus Quinquefolia used as a delicate ground cover near the large pond in Delta Gardens in Carlow and I really wanted to get this delicate effect. 

The Parthenocissus is bulking up quite well, but it still has a way to go. I've had to be very vigilant all summer removing bits of Lysimachia that insist on trying to reappear but I think I'm winning on that score.

Maybe by next year it will be nearer my dream - ut for now it is colouring up nicely and is giving an added bit of late interest to this part of the garden.

That's why it's called Pheasant Berry

09 October 2015 16:12:52

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Leycesteria Formosa is a shrub that fills lots of odd places in my garden. Some of them are self-seeded but some were actually planted! Its amazing how often they apear in a spot where they really enhance a border! 

Just now they are in full flower and the typical berries are appearing inside the drooping flowers.

They are classified as a shrub but they have kind of hollow stems and I have cut some of them down severely in spring and they haven't minded at all!

They are a useful food for birds but you do need to be on the watch for seedlings!

I haven't ever seen a pheasant eating the berries but all the other birds in my garden seem to enjoy them :-)

And my little Tinker Bell has a new lamp to sit under!

Odd Dahlia

09 October 2015 00:45:09

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This Dahlia is one of the ones I bought last year as a bedding plant to fill a gap. It was left in over the winter and came back stronger and bigger than ever!

But the other day I noticed something odd. The flowers on this plant are kind of peach but for some reason one pink flower has appeared!

Tale of a Phormium

08 October 2015 00:09:43

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In 2009 I was struggling with the difficult clay soil and the challenge of transforming a turnip field into something that would become a garden when I read somewhere that I should look around at what was thriving locally for ideas on what might succeed in MY garden.

Some neighbours, our first friends in the neighbourhood, offered me some of the magnificent Phormium gracing their garden! It was a special one Phormium cookianum 'Tricolor' and they had got it from a friend some years before.

It took us a few hours to hack off a piece and I tended it carefully and it survived! You may remember that the winter of 2009 - 2010 was very severe. The phormiums in both places survived - I wrapped my little baby in fleece but my friends left theirs alone. It was a very large plant so they reckoned it would survive and that year they were right.

The following winter again saw temperatures of -17 in Laois and sadly their beautiful plant succumbed to the extreme frost.

Last year I divided my plant in two. Ond of them was planted in the very spot where I now want to plant my Acer. So step one was to lift the Phormium. Step two to pot it up and step three to remove the Acer from its pot and plant it in the space.

Tomorrow I'll head over to my friends with their replacement plant! I hope they will be pleased!

Undeterred garden visitors

07 October 2015 01:13:21

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Despite the rather damp day our outing to Wicklow was very enjoyable - Mount Usher was looking splendid with Autumn creeping in and producing the wonderful display that helps to console us for Summer's departure!

Mary, Paddy, Noel, Myrtle and I set off having heard that Gretta and Jacinta were taking the scenic route and would join us later. We hadn't seen a quarter of it when the girls caught up with us - and we continued round the gardens. We arrived back at the Cafe in a very timely manner - just when we were in need of sustenance! So after a leisurely lunch Noel and Myrtle left us and the rest of us headed to Kilmacurra. I had never been there so I was delighted to see this garden which i have often heard mentioned here. It was amazing how different the growth was in two gardens so close to each other - I'm glad I saw Mount Usher first as I thought the plants there were lovely, because when I was similar plants in Kilmacurra they were so much more luxuriant!

Both gardens were well worth the visits - and the rain - but the best part was the chat and the banter!

So thanks for the plants girls - and thanks Mary for organising the trip!

Job done!

05 October 2015 00:34:09
Job done!

Job done!

A few weeks ago I got the idea to make a gate to block off the entrance to the Bamboo Garden (otherwise known as the septic Tank area) using some of my willow. The idea is to make a Wattle gate. So I used some hazel rods as the uprights and got weaving with the willow - some of it was partly dried but a lot of it is green.

Events prevented me from completing it the first day - and I only got bacl to it today. In the end it only took another hour to complete it so I was kicking myself that I hadn't finished it weeks ago!

I'm happy with the result!

Sisters are the best!

05 October 2015 00:19:28
Sisters are the best!

Sisters are the best!

After a really hectic day in Dublin on Saturday I ended up paying a flying visit to Elizabeth. It was already dusk when I arrived but we did have time to have a quick tour of her garden and I had the chance to admire her wonderful display of Fuchsias still flowering their socks off! She is always coming up with new ways to display her beloved plants!

When we went indoors Elizabeth had a surprise for me - as well as tending her more-than-70 Fuchsias and keeping them in tip-top condition she managed to find time to do some slips for her little sister!

So I took home some Schizostylis Alba otherwise known as White Kafir Lily, a healthy little Lantana and another well-rooted slip of Parthenocissus Henryana. 

So thank you sister dear for the lovely healthy plants and next time I'm in dublin I promise I'll at least take my coat off LOL

Loppers Mania

01 October 2015 23:31:20

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As you might have noticed my friend Joan is visiting at the moment and I managed to drag her away from sunbathing to help me trim some of the Willow Hedge. I like to have someone close by when I get up the top of the stepladder to trim the Willow Arch and Joan was happy to be on standby for me!

So armed with secateurs we gave the Willow hedge beside the Potentillas a good haircut and when that bit was done it was time to get the loppers out to tidy up some of the stumps on the willow.

Now I don't know if anyone else gets carried away when they take up a loppers - but I have to confess that I do!

There was a large rambling rose which tumbles over that hedge and it was really getting a bit out of hand so I began by lopping the bits that were in the way as we trimmed the hedge but you know how it is - once you lop off one bit it looks lobsided so you have to lop the other side .... and then the whole thing looks awful .... so eventually the whole rose bush is lying on the ground waiting for disposal!

Joan was kept busy carting the trimmings to their final destinations and she has the scratches and scrapes to show or it!

And it's to be fine tomorrow .... and she doesn't go home till Saturday .... she has gone to bed exhausted so should be up bright eyed and bushy tailed tomorrow ..... now what can we tackle next?

Ricinus gone crazy

01 October 2015 21:20:39

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Every morning I go and check for any ripe raspberries and on the way back to the house I pass the Tropical Garden. The Ricinus that I thought would never get going this year seems to be growing about a foot a day at the moment! 

These photos give an idea of where it is going! And it has flowers so there will be seeds for next year too!

The Ricinus is one of the stars of  my new Tropical Garden and its strong stems are providing much-needed support for the Persicaria Campanulata as well as allowing the Nasturtiums to climb too!


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