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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal February 2016

Last Post 725 days 21 hours ago

The big tidy-up nearly finished

25 February 2016 01:01:29

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These past few days of wonderful weather have allowed me with the help of my French "woofers" to get most of the back garden into order. Sometimes looking at the result of a hard days weeding the spectacle of the newly cleared border or bed may be less than inspiring - but for me it gives me a real feeling of satisfaction. These cleared beds will very soon be filled as the perennials wake up to the sunshine and the whole Spring and Summer seasons kick into gear.

Alas the second Woofer leaves on Friday so it will be just me for the next while however having so much of the clearing tidying, shredding and mulching done means that I can get on with things at my own pace. The wheelbarrow is still out of bounds so that puts a definite limit to my antics!

And tomorrow is set to be fine again! Three days in a row! i could get used to this!

City tulips for Myrtle

25 February 2016 00:40:02
City tulips for Myrtle

City tulips for Myrtle

My daughter Ciara lives in the centre of dublin and has the smallest yard you can imagine - only about 8 feet by 6 feet - and over the past year or so she has become really expert at getting the most out of this small space. Because of the buildings all around it the sunlight is limited but by clever use of shelves, and moving stuff to take advantage of the light when they need it she gets really good results.

The other day she sent me a photo of her tulips looking really pretty and when i commented she said "Oh they've been flowering for over a week now and I've already dead-headed them!" - so that was me put in my box!


Sweet Pea Experiment

18 February 2016 00:40:45

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As I'm a bit addicted to gardening magazines I ended up with not one but two packetd of Sweet Peas seeds so I decided to try an experiment. I put one lot of seeds into an unheated propagator at a south-facing window and the other lot on a west-facing window with the base of the Lidl heated propagator under them.

I was really excited when the heated lot appeared on February 16th - a definite winner ....... but by that evening the other lot were up too!

So now I'm kept busy turning them around to try and keep them upright!  

So can I ask for some advice please?

How soon do I need to nip out the tops? The leaves are only beginning to form. And how soon can I shit them out to the Greenhouse? The greenhouse has a frost heater so the minimum temperature is 5 degrees!

Two for the price of one!

18 February 2016 00:24:21

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I featured this unusual Helebore a couple of years ago and had lots of heloful suggestions explaining how the one plant insists on producing completely different flowers - well this year they are back again better than ever so I'v etried to capture them with the camera - whatever the cause I really love them!

Ain't they pretty?

Spring is definitely sprung ....

12 February 2016 01:14:17

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.... even if it is a chilly one!

Funny thing is that I have no recollection of every buying white crocus but there they are as large as life!

The last two days have seen a great improvement of the borders at the end of the garden with barrow loads of leaves being removed and perennials cut back and shredded. Mind you, the "nitty-gritty" weeding still hasn't happened but it may well be that the mulching will be done ayway. It would be great to have that whole area sorted. Once the clear-up is done it sort of minds itslef well into the summer with occasional dead-heading being the main task.

The front gardens are definitley the star areas in Spring and they are working up to the crescendo when the daffs appear in force with a very respectable display of Helebores for the past two months and now the crocus are strutting their stuff with some enthusiasm. The anthemis (winter aconite) took a while to get established but are now living up to their promise and spreading nicely. The snowdrops too are starting to bulk up and i may even be able to divide some clumps this year. I'm always delighted when the miniature daffodils appear - they are such perfect little flowers!

Most of all, two days of gardening weather have definitely got me back into proper gardening form - but before people start scolding I am still taking it slowly and am relying on my kind Helper to do the heavy stuff!!!



Where did that week go?

07 February 2016 14:01:50

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I was shocked to realise I hadn't been here for a whole week! I've been doing other stuff this week but did manage to get outside in very short bursts. The small pond area has been tidied and there are plans for a bit of reorganising when my next garden helper arrives.

I decided to change focus down to the end of the garden on Wednesday and was disheartened by the scale of the tidying up required so I decided to focus on a small border along the edge of the Rose Garden fence. This border has a lovely yellow climbing Rose that gets a bit over-run by the Hymilayan Blackberry on the other side of the fence but this year the Blackberry has been properly pruned and tied in so the Rose may have a better chance this year.

Last year I removed aubretia that was the main plant in that border completely because it was getting too leggy and had become over-run with scutch grass. Instead I planted a couple of Monarda which at leaset survived, a Sage that is only half-hardy and a few other bits and pieces. I did a really thorough job on this small area and finished it off with a generous mulch of my own compost.

Then this morning I took a stroll around the fromt gardens - really my Spring garden - and was delighted with the variety of flowers already giving colour to the garden!


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