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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal June 2016

Last Post 608 days ago

On the horns of a dilemma

25 June 2016 23:42:54

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What part of my busy day do I want to make into a journal? Should it be the vegetables? or maybe the Alstroemeria that is coming into its own just now ... or that strange Campanula ....

Well, here goes!

It was so great to get outside after the past few days of pretty incessant rain. This veg-growing business is a bit addictive - I couldn't pass by some lovely healthy cabbage plants the other day so they had to be planted. Not much of them to be seen as they are under a cloche to prevent the Cabbage Butterfly causing havoc among them I planted out about 10 of them - they are a winter/early spring type and I reckon 10 heads is about right for my personal use of cabbage so lets see how they get on!

So with the veggies done I then cleared the bamboos that had invaded the boardwalk and its nice to be able to progress along the boarwalk now.

Strolling back up from the lower garden I spot one of my Alstroemeria just bursting into flower - Alstroemeria   'Oriane" (thank you Rachel) 

Any suggestions as to which Campanula is in the third photo? I can't really make out the label but it is well over 4 feet high!


Wrap it Pink

24 June 2016 15:29:07

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I spotted these colourful bales in the field next my house and am delighted to know that they are "Wrapping it Pink" in aid of The Irish Cancer Society.

Click here for more information 

Wrap it Pink

They certainly cheered up a rainy day for me!

Restoration work

23 June 2016 17:21:30

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I've recently added an outside WC to the garden at the side of the house and the constuction of same left a bit of a nightmare behine - not to mention a rather unsightly pipe to camoflage!

I had to move my Montana Reubens during the construction and I'm happy to report it has a couple of new shoots breaking trhough. It will evenutally cover the offending pipe but what to do in the meantime?

So first I had to try and return the bed to something plantable - there was an incredible amount of stones where the pipe excavation took place and Even when we removed the bulk of the large stones what was left was hardly ideal! In the end I just leveled it out as best I could and then addec three barrows of compost! 

Planting it up was a delight. There was already a Knophofia and some Snow-in-summer there but I've returned the Michaelmas Daisies and the Alchemilla Mossil that I removed back to the bed. When I was leveliing it i came across evidence of something I hadn't lifted but had no idea what it was - that was until I found the label! Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty'. I just hope it recovers!

Finally I found a use for all those stones! They made a great mulch for the new bed!



Imagine I nearly weeded this out!

23 June 2016 00:42:32

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Jacinta put up a journal about the lovely Campanula she had got from SallySarah a while back and I suddenly realised that this was the very plant that I had thought was a weed because it had self-seeded so vigorously! I had no recollection of planting it and as usual any labels had long disappeared!

This year I left it alone and am being rewarded with a lovely display - and they have even managed to locate themselves beside two nice contrasting plants - the red cordaline and a pretty Penstamon!

I reckon I am one of the lucky recipients of plants you distributed Jacinta! It can seed away from now on!

A different form of Mid-Summer Madness!

22 June 2016 00:47:13
Poor 'Leath Suil' sitting comfortably

Poor 'Leath Suil' sitting comfortably

Like Dick I've been listening to the various commentators trying to make up their minds whether the Summer Solstice should move be a day because of the Leap Year. Well I've put it to the test!

I spent the day in Dublin with Elizabeth and her son and grandson from Denmark and as you can imagine the chat was mighty. I tore myself away at tea-time and headed for home. Arriving home about 8.15 I was struck by how very bright it was - the sun was shining and it certainly didn't look like evening. So I decided to put this "Longest Day" to the test.

So I finally got around to planting my Purple Broccoli - hopefully it will bulk up better thatn the stuff I tried last year! Still slightly late planting them but only by a couple of weeks! I also planted some Spring Cabbage seeds that I got at Terrishoos Open Day from Seed Savers. Then, since I was in seed-sowing mode I planted some more lettuce. Can't believe I've actually managed to do the "sequence planting" that all the REAL veg growers talk about!

By now the sun was beginning to slip in a blaze of golden light behind the horizon. I considered briefly ging indoors but it was still totally bright so I set to and weeded the second half of the Rockery that I started yesterday. This included dead-heading some well-spread Saxifrage and I also decided to remove the flowers from all the Alchemilla Mollis in that area in a vain attempt to curtail their very enthusiastic self-seeding!

The final task was to cut back the overhanging branches of the Shelter Belt that have been casting too much shade on the raised beds.

I finally had to admit that it was actually getting dark so in I went. It was 10.50 pm!!!! Definitely the Longest Day for me LOL

P.S. No photos of all this activity as it was too dark for photos !!!!


21 June 2016 11:20:27


When the rain is pouring down and Cabin Fever takes hold, this is what cheers me up!

Visiting Margaret (Hosta)

21 June 2016 11:16:56

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It was wonderful to return to see Margaret and visit her lovely garden. Other journals have described the day very well so I'll just add my thoughts on this special place.

What caught my eye as I strolled through the garden was the way that Margaret manages to plant closely but still allows each plant space to dispay its particular charm. I love the way she plants pretty flowering plants at the base of trees which draw the eye to them.

The area at the end of the garden, a perfect woodland setting is even better than I remembered it. Even a tree stump provides the opportunity to highlight a pretty plant! Of course we all know how expert Margaret is at identifying plants and visiting her garden it was a joy to see this plant knowledge put into practice so well.

There were wonderful new areas planted up since my last visit a few years ago and this is so cleverly done that they (and the extension to the house) look as if they have always been there! clever girl, Margaret! And thank you for a lovely day. so sorry I had to rush off early!

Unexpected consequences

16 June 2016 22:15:47
Unexpected consequences

Unexpected consequences

Last year I grew some plants that I thought were Bachelors Buttons but they grew a bit taller than I anticipated. Thinking they would be cute little border edging I put them along the Rose Trellis Walk. As you can see from the photo it didn't quite work out the way I anticipated! I would really like to be able to WALK down the Rose Trellis Walk! LOL

Frightened myself properly this week

16 June 2016 22:05:19


First off I have to confess I'm a Wasp-a-Phobic or whatever you call someone totally terrified of wasps .... every year I end up spending a fortune getting rid of wasps nests that appear in various points around the eaves of my house - usually located over a doorway! This year there were three nests - one over the back door, one inside the greenhouse and one down at the Septic Tank but my friendly exterminator got rid of them all two weeks ago.

So this week because of the unusual sequence of hot weather and lots of rain, the Willow Fence needed to be cut back a bit earlier than usual. I clipped away happily for an hour or so ... until I heard that dreaded buzz .... one wasp, two, three ..... up to 9 .... all buzzing into the willow fence! I was traumatized! Another nest!!!! And that fence had to be cut as the path was impassable by this time .... Would this be a recored year when I had to get the Exterminator twice in the one season???

I mentioned it to a neighbour who gave me the number of a local Bee-keeper working ont he basis that he would at least have protective clothing to check things out ....I hardly slept that night and next morning Dan arrived .... BUT - no sign of the wasps!!! He had a good root around but couldn't find anything!  I felt a proper idiot! 

He recommended that I put out some old-fashioned wasp traps baited with jam - preferably strawberry - around the area and see if I could persuade them to move away from the willow!

Well, today I got brave enough to continue cutting back the willow and in doing so I figured out an explanation! The wasps were gorging on the sweet sap ooozing out of the willow in one particular place! Its really strange - once I had an explanation for the wasps I was quite able to tolerate sharing my space with them!

In the meantime, the traps have so far haven't caught anything!


Lovely visit to Rockvale Garden Studio

13 June 2016 21:21:49

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Terri and Alan had an Open Day on Sunday so I headed over to see their lovely garden - and also to catch up with two lovely people! It is almost two years since I last visited them and so I was looking forward to seeing how their garden had come on in that time.

Well, I wasn't disappointed! My first impression was of a lovely blue haze over the garden - this was the Nepeta Six Hills Giant which does so well in their garden.  The whole place has matured and filled out and it was great to see how their various projects have worked out so well! The new pond in the front is a great feature and the circular theme is echoed around the beds in this area. I particularly liked the way each circle has its own individual planting style and the circles give the opportunity to examine each area from every angle.

Tearing myself away from the Nepeta I ventured down the mown paths in the Wildflower Meadow - I loved the notice that reminded us that we might have Orchids under our feet - and there were pleny of them to be seen among the wildflowers!

That brought me nicely to the second pond area. I remember when that was under construction and various journals describing the creation og the Rill to feed it .... but the real delight was to see little froggies popping in and out of the water! I love the planting round this pond. It looks as if it was there forever!

A feature that was new to me is the pretty fernery made with wonderful tree-trunk cut-offs - everywhere you look in this garden the Artists eye is always present!

There was a welcome cuppa and lots of tasty treats served in the Studio surrounded by Alan's lovely work. 

But I can't end without talking about the veggies! The polytunnel is an impressive food-store full to capacity, and ouutside are some very sensible tall raised beds - I had a discussion with another visitor and we agreed that they are the perfect height for non-stress veg-growing!

All in all, a wonderful visit! Thank you Terri and Alan for a lovely day! And a particular thank you for the Nepeta Six Hills Giant that found its way into my boot!

Advice please!

12 June 2016 01:06:16

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The greenhouse is holding some tomatoes and chilli peppers at the moment and i have two questions:

Chilli  Peppers are beginning to have flower buds on them. Do I pinch them out like tomatoes or leave them alone?

Tomatoes - just repotted them and one of them has developed some wilted leaves - should I remove the leaves or is it some dread disease that I need to destroy the whole plant?



Best year yet

07 June 2016 13:44:49
Best year yet

Best year yet

Since childhood I have loved Wisteria. The magnificent specimen at the Botanic Gardens is probablly responsible!

When I designed the garden the Pergola was the first thing to go in - just to hold the Wisteria! I have waited  patiently for it to come into its own since then and each year it has been a little better. I try to follow the very precise pruning instructions - more or less, anyway - and this year I have my reward!

In all my dreaming about this lovely plant I had overlooked its magnificent scent and the other morning I was strolling down thrhough the Pergola when I was stopped dead in my tracks with this perfume - so out came the camera to capture the cause of the perfume - pity photos can't include smell - or sound! On that same morning the birdsong was positively deafening!


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