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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal January 2016

Last Post 725 days 21 hours ago

Making St Brigids Crosses

29 January 2016 11:53:12

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My local Gardening Club have a meeting at the end of January every year just to make the St Brigid's Crosses for distribution at Mass. This is a lovely event where visitors are welcome. Most of us (me included) forget completely from year to year how to make these traditional crosses but with a bit of help we get going pretty fast!

The materials provided for this session are the traditional Rushes and the crosses are secured wtih elastic bands - Fergal who is our instructor in the craft, assures us that St Brigid invented elastic bands!

I was inspired to try and make the same cross from willow and i am really pleased with the results! The willow is a bit harder to handle so it's just as well I had a good bit of practice last night!

Jean-Baptiste came along too and proved to be a quick learner!


Finished at last!

29 January 2016 11:38:22

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I started weeding and clearing the main herbaceous border beside the deck at the beginning of the month and as I m under strict instructions to "take it easy" it has taken me the whole month to get it tidied but yesterday, the last day of my wonderful helper Jean-Baptiste, with much help from him a good layer of mulch was added.

This bed hasn't been mulched for a couple of years so I'm expecting great things from it this year. I've also removed a few overgrown bits and lots of Japanese Anemones (your name is on them Jacinta!) so I can now fill the gaps with some of the Johnstown Swaps that were requested for just this!

Our timing was perfect - just as the last barrow full was coming up from the compost area the rain started! It was so awful the rest of the day that it wasn't possible to get any photos but this morning we really have the "calm after the storm" here with even a bit of wintry sunshine!

January Sunshine

26 January 2016 22:09:30

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Perhaps because the sunny days have been few and far between I've been aware that the special light quality of January sunshine is very special. When the sun made a brief appearance yesterday I did my best to capture that light. Please check out if I am right in the January 2016 Helebores album!

Jean-Baptiste has been working away at the willows for me and has trimmed the willows in the whole garden and shredded the proceeds as well! We got very brave yesterday and pollarded two of the Salix Alba Chermesina (with the pretty red stems). I'm hoping they will grow a nice mannerly head on them this year!

Rachel's Influence

24 January 2016 23:20:27

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I have been in awe of Rachels's magnificent Greenhouse since I first visited her garden and i have been paying really close attention to all her advice on her great videos so when I finally got myslef into my very small and unimpressive greenhouse I was totally inspired! Now I may not have the range of wonderful exotics but I'm pleased with my attempt at a bit of "staging" of the Auriculas - and the Ginger plants are doing well too - still no idea if they are hardy or not - and this lovely Kalanchoe 'Tessa' that I got from Liga is coming into flower too! 

I have to confess that this is the TIDY side of the greenhouse - the rest is not for public viewing LOL

Just a light dusting ...

15 January 2016 20:00:35

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... of snow here in Laois this morning. I hope the rest of you aren't snowed in!

My garden is gradually getting the Autumn tidy-up progressed thanks to the help of Jean-Baptiste who some of you met in Johnstown.

He has the Sedum Garden completely tidied and weeded - shouldn't need anythng for the rest of the year. The Tropical Garden is not looking very tropical at the moment but it is also definitely ready for the new season! 

We are going to tackle another Willow project over the next few days so step one was to harvest some willow. The Willow Arbour is looking its winter best at the moment!

And as for me? I'm ploughing through the Main Herbaceous border an hour at a time - but the ground being like concrete is letting me off the hook at the moment so I'll enjoy teaching Jean-Baptiste to make willow structures instead!

Entertainment at Johnstown

10 January 2016 16:33:14

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People are very kind in attributing the success of our annual gathering at Johnstown to yours truly - and while I admit to a bit of organising, the real heroes of the event are the volunteers who do all the work on the day!

This year we were honoured to have a renowned poet in our midst - tipped by those in the know for the position of Poet Laureate any day soon....

Johnstown Recitation 1

Johnstown Recitation 2

Last Reminders for Johnstown Get-together 2016

07 January 2016 23:36:57
All ready to go!

All ready to go!

Reminder 1

This event takes place next Saturday - check my previous journals for details. It is a friendly gathering open to all members of the garden.ie club and their guests. 

Reminder 2

If you haven't let us know you are coming please do so now as the Restaurant would like an approximate number for reserving of seats

Reminder 3


Reminder 4

Label plants for swaps - and have two lists - one for the plants you've requested and one for the plants you've promised!

Reminder 5

Bring your swaps - AND your Kris Kindle!

Reminder 6

Bring yourself and have fun!

Small Plant list for Johnstown

05 January 2016 00:12:19

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Not a lot of plants this year for swaps but here goes:

4  x "Sedum spurium coccinea " - Jackie, Doreen, Terri

2 x small helebore seedlings

3  x Lamium galeobdolon 'Variegatum'

4 x Persicaria Campanulata  - Jackie, Fleurette

1 x Leycesteria (Pheasent Berry) - Ait Aileann (Nuala)

1 x Buddliea

Hope I'm not too late with the list! Can't believe it's all happening next Saturday!


Volunteers for Saturday

04 January 2016 23:30:11


To help us all enjoy Saturday can I please have some volunteers for the day:

For the Raffle - Two people - Myrtle & Joan N - Raffle sorted!

This involves handing out raffle tickets to everyone and then drawing the tickets!

For the Kris Kindle - Two or three people - JoanG, Moya (for the first part), Doreen - Kris Kindle sorted!

This one is a little more complicated - we have a tried and trusted method of avoiding giving people back their own gift!

Can I encourage people who haven't volunteered before to have a go this year!

Badges - If you have a badge from previous years please re-use - but it would be good to have badges for newbies! One volunteer for this please!

List of people planning to be at Johnstown

04 January 2016 23:15:58


The list of people attending that I have so far:

Please let me know if you are bringing partners, guests etc so we can give an approximate number to the restaurant:

LindaB ?
Hazel 1
Terrishoos 2
Gracedieu 2
jackie 2
Joan n 1
Moya 2
Fleurette (Margot) 1
Jemo ?
Dorothy 1
Myrtle 2
Ait Aileann (Nuala) 1
Eilish ?
Dick ?
Rachel 1
Deborah 1
Kristina 1
Bruno 1
Joan G 1
Liga 3
scrubber 1
Liztai 1
Maria7 1
Fran 1
Biddy 2
Milliemouse 1234 1
Doreen 1
Fleurette (Margot) 1
Yellow Rose 1


Johnstown 9 January 2016

04 January 2016 22:53:18


I was too late to get the special notice on the website so in case you missed my last post about it, here are the details:

Venue: Johnstown Garden Centre

Date: 9 January 2016

11 a.m. to 12.30  – Plant Swap in the Left-hand Car Park

  • Suggestions:
  • A list of the plants you have promised with the names of the people who requested them
  • A list of the plants you requested and who you requested them from
  • Labels on plants where possible!
  • Any extra plants can be donated to Bruno or Maureen directly

12.30  to 1p.m  Hand in gifts for Kris Kindle

  • Maximum value for gifts is €10
  • Gifts should be wrapped
  • Participation is voluntary but really adds to the day!

1pm to 2 pm – Lunch

  • Please take your seats promptly and order your food to assist the staff of the restaurant

2pm to 2.15 – Raffle

  • This year just a few prizes
  • A year’s subscription to Irish Garden
  • Some gift vouchers from Johnstown

2.15 to 3 pm  - Kris Kindle

3 pm – Wrap up

To those who haven't attended this event before - Plant Swap is our way of passing on plants we no longer need - you don't have to have an actual "Swap" to take part - what goes around comes around so feel free to put you name on offered plants!

I'll put up a list of the people I have as confirmed so far but I would appreciate if you could let me know how many people you plan to bring so I can give Johnstown an approximate number for the reserved seating area!




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