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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal April 2016

Last Post 644 days 2 hours ago

Bad Dream ....

18 April 2016 23:21:39
Euphorbia-free Zone

Euphorbia-free Zone

After reading Cara's horrific story about getting a serious eye injury from her Euphorbia I went to bed and spent the night tossing and turning and having terrible dreams of my beautiful little granddaughter running to pick the pretty flowers off my Euphorbia and me not being able to get to her before it was too late ..... 

When morning came I just couldn't wait to get out and start digging .... so at the end of the day my garden is a Euphorbia-free Zone!  That may sound a bit drastic but one o the comments to that journal was that there are plenty of plants we can have in our garden that don't burn us!

I have always been vigilant and removed the dreaded Giant Hogweed every time it tried to invade my garden but it is less damaging than the juice of the Euphorbia because it only becomes dangerous when it is in flower while the Euphorbia's "milk" can cause damage at any time.

The main area with euphorbia was one that I had used Euphorbia Sequieriana Niciciana as an edging plant (silly me! Should have done my reserach!) and I have enough "plants in waiting" to make a better edging. 

Apart from that there were maybe 5 or 6 plants scattered throughout the garden. All are now in the bin! And guess what? Its hard to see where they were!

Looking forward  to a good night's sleep tonight!

And then back to work!

17 April 2016 02:14:05

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Having taken my little break I tackled the tidy-up on the Oak woodland area. This area gets easier each year as it is colonised by various plants that I am happy to have in my garden and the main maintenance it needs is a good tidy-up in the Spring. This year I'm a little later than usual doing this task but this has some advantages!

The stems and dead foliage is much easier to remove now as it has mostly dried out and snaps off.

The leaves that were left after the winer now rake up very easily.

But what I wasn't expecting was to grab a bundle of dead leaves and fine Mr. Hedgehog having a nap underneath! I am so thrilled to be honoured with the presence of such a distinguished gentleman as I haven't seen any of his clan since I moved here! I got quite a start - but quickly replaced his cosy eiderdown and left him to it! Any idea when he is likely to wake up and devour all the snails in my garden?

Anyway, I actually remembered to do a "before" and "after" of that border as well as a picture of Mr Hedgehogs eiderdown!


A walk in the Garden

17 April 2016 01:55:51

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I took a break from weeding etc today just to stroll around the garden and found a couple of nice surprises. First off was the Erythronium Pagoda that I planted last year in the Fernery. I have envied the various people who posted pictures of these fairy-like plants so I'm totally overjoyed to have one in my garden! Hopefully might have one or two more flowers! Happy days!

Round the other side of the Fernery is another plant I acquired last year Trillium Sessell - also still alove and showing a potential flower too!

Going quickly past all the areas crying out for attention I came on another happy sight - Last year I took a chance and moved a lovely Berberis Iologensis "Apricot Queen" that Elizabeth bought me back in 2009 - of course it was the wrong time to move it but it was too close to the path and I feared for my little granddaughter when she came to visit - so it had to move in away from the path. I really thought I'd killed it - but no - it survived - and today it has its frist flower in its new home!

It is such a pleasure to take a stroll like that - and I don't do it half often enough!


What's all this about?

13 April 2016 00:10:19

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What's going on? I keep losing my journas???? 

Woke up to beautififul Blue Skies and that yellow orb we've all been missing is back where it belongs!




10 April 2016 23:05:16

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Ok - so I'm not really a dedicated vegetable grower but my recent exploits of reinstating the vegetable garden had spurred me on to greater effort.

I may have mentioned last year that having watched Monty transplaning some purple-flowered broccoli I took the notion to plant some. They were only about 3 months late being started but they germinated pretty well so I hardened them off and left them in pots over the winter - just to see what would happen!

And guess what? they started to produce flowerets about 2 weeks ago. 

And since i had the beds ready in the Veg garden i transplanted them and couldn't resist harvesting the biggest floret and it was delicious!

So today i had a 50% increase in the harvest .....

Note to self: plant the seeds in May this time!!!!

Ah well, the Lord loves a tryier.


Sometimes overlooked

10 April 2016 21:41:25

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I find that since I've bcome a bit obsessed with my garden it is very easy to get so fascinated with unusual plants that I come upon that I can completely ovelook some of the common-or-garden plants in my garden. Today i was struck by this young Forsythia which seems to have self-seeded from a more mature plant in the same border. Its flowers are magical and have such a clear yellow that I just had to take a photo! Apologies for the misty photo - at least the rain had stopped before I took it :-)



10 April 2016 21:32:06


This is why I rarely grow house-plants. In a moment of enthusiasm before Christmas i bought three pretty Christmas Cactus and taking Rachel's advice I put them in a nice bright window and avoided killing them with over-watering (my usual mistake). They were very disappointing. They produced one or two flowers each and then the buds fell off! I mustn't have followed the advice properly!

So since then I've been giving them the odd drop of water and scolding them for their poor performance and to my amazement one of them seems to have been listening!

So Happy Christmas from Gortnalee!!!!


Full circle

01 April 2016 11:53:50

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There is a certain sense of dejavu about the lower area of my garden. It has always been a difficult area to sort out as the soil is heavy and the subsoil is pretty close to the surface. Initially I grew potatoes there and they grew well one year but then failed. Next idea was to put in raised beds to solve that problem but I didn't have enough good soil to fill them so all the compost heaps had to be contributed to make up for this.

But the vegetables were still not great and all that compost meant that there was a lot of weeding involved!

This area is sheltered - well, compared to the rest of the garden - and gets lots of sun so I thought it would be a perfect place for a Rose Garden so all the roses scattered around the garden were relocated to the raised beds .... with compost and horse manure being liberally added.

The roses did well but the visual effect wasn't what I had imagined. I looked back at photos taken when I had an Open Day in the summer when the roses were at their best and there were hardly any photos of that area which tells me that my lovely roses were getting ignored!

Then at my local Gardening Club I was given a few nicely sprouted seed potatoes ....

So can you see where this is going? I reckon the roses need to be on wheels they move so often, and the seed potatoes have inspired me to try veggies again!

So Elizabeth gave me trojan assistance in getting the beds ready .... some onion sets are planted, as are the spuds .... so as I said - Full Circle


Was this only yesterday?

01 April 2016 10:27:12

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Looking out at the rain pelting down, and my arches swinging in the wind and trying to work up the courage to go out and do the shopping it is so easy to forget how lovely the past few days have been. Apart from the occasional hail shower it has been really wonderful gardening weather and I was able to take advantage of it for quite a few hours. 

My favourite tulips are these little Kaufmanniana Tulips that my daughter Ciara brought back from Amsterdam in 2009 - Tulips from Amsterdam! What's not to like? They are bulking up and get zero attention so every Spring they delight me and then disappear for the rest of the year!

Their flowers have a lovely graceful shape when closed, but when the sun shines they are so flamboyant the way they spread themselves and sunbathe!

Why God made Daffodils

01 April 2016 09:49:06
Why God made Daffodils

Why God made Daffodils

Just to cheer up a dismal day!


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