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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal November 2016

Last Post 415 days 5 hours ago

Annual Get-Together January 2017

30 November 2016 17:57:07

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It always feels a bit strange starting the journals for our annual get-together when Christmas hasn't even happened!

For the benefit of new members - there is an annual event when the virtual members from this site meet face to face. The original idea was to lift our spirits when winter weather prevented us from getting our regular garden "fix" and that is why it happens in January.

All are welcome! 

It is a gathering of like-minded people ( gardening enthusiasts of all sorts) for a chat and lunch and we include a Kris Kringle with a top limit of €10 on the gifts. If you haven't met Kris Kringle before it is a kind of "secret Santa" - each person brings a wrapped gift and the gifts are distributed more or les randomly - although we do have a system to try and avoid anyone taking home their own gift!Participation in the Kris Kringle is of course optional!

So here are the details for January 2017

Venue: Johnstown Garden Centre Junction 8 on the N7

Date: Saturday 7th January to coincide with Johnstown's Annual Sale

Time:approx. 12 noon to late afternoon.

I am assuming that people want it to be run on the same lines as previous years but any comments or tweeks to the plan can be accommodated!


12 noon to 1 pm - Plant Swap in the car park - more of that later!

1 pm - bring your Kris Kringle gift to the Kris Kringle Elves in the Cafe area

1.30 pm  lunch in the Garden Cafe. They provide table service for us on the day and reserve an area of the Cafe for our use. Once you have handed in yoru Kris Kringle you can take a seat and order your lunch.

2.30 pm Kris Kringle gift distribution.

3.30 pm Wrap-up of the event - leaving time for the weak-willed to indulge themselves in plants at the Sale price!

I will be putting up a journal nearer the time for people to let me know if they are coming as I will need to let the Johnstown people know approximate numbers a week before the event.

I'll also put up a journal later looking for "on the day" volunteers.

I hope you like the photo - I decided this year instead of Christmas graphics I'd go for wacky garden ideas!





Steady progress

28 November 2016 19:11:44
Mahonia 'Charity'

Mahonia 'Charity'

This time of year with the shorter days it seems to take forever to get anything significant done in the garden. I have a HelpXer Sam here for a couple of weeks and we are getting some of the tidy-up done. Sam spent the first couple of days tackling the leaves in the front woodland area but I had other commitments so only got down to clearing the Buddha area that week. 

He was begging for a different task at that point so I introduced him to the shredder! While he shredded away I cleared the Anemone border behind the greenhouse which of course generated lots more shredding!

The first of the Willow Arches has also been given its Christmas haircut, and while Sam was aloft the ladder i wrapped my Clematis Armandii in fleece. Everyone keeps telling me how invasive this is and how it will take over my garden but to date it has only managed to get almost to the top of the arch - and gets so badly hit by the frost that i haven't seen a flower on it yet! Hopefully this will be the year!

Today was all about trimming and training. The wisteria needed tying up, the beech hedge behind it needed topping - and thankfully Sam has a good few inches on me and is also much more nimble on the stepladder! We visited Birr Castle at the weekend and the Hornbeam avenues in the formal garden inspired me to try and put manners on my hornbeams at the end of the garden. This is a bit of a challenge because the garden slopes quite steeply here so getting anything approaching a level was very difficult - mostly we were tying in branches on the horizontal to fill out the hedge in the future.

Looking back over this journal I am happy to see that we are actually achieving quite a bit after all!

The photo is my Mahonia "Charity" - still a baby compared to Jacintas one but doing well none the less!

My best photos for 2016

27 November 2016 10:27:41

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Such a dificult task! But such a pleasure to revisit the photos for the past year! The shortlist wasn't very short so then there was a short list of the shortlist - and finally the three winners!

Thank you Peter for inspiring me to take a stroll through my garden over the seasons!

Photo One is my prettiest Helebore - taken 0n 17 February - looking forward to its reappearance this spring.

Photo Two was taken on 23 June - this border gets better every year!

Photo Three is my favourite "accidental" - the Stream Pond in August.

Ah! There it is!

21 November 2016 16:29:18

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I've been a bit stressed lately and the other day when I got back from Dublin I was delighted to find the new Irish Garden in my mailbox at the gate. Struggling into to house with a load of shopping I forgot all about it!

It crossed my mind this morning but for the life of me I couldn't remember where I had put it! After a frantic search it turned up tucked into one of the shopping bags I had carefully "tidied" away!

So I'm really looking forward to a good read and a nice cup of coffee - and maybe even a biscuit!

Happy days!

The other photos are of the Christmas Cactus doing much better for me since I followed Rachel's excellent guide on how to ge the best from these lovely plants!

A little gem

18 November 2016 22:45:31
A little gem

A little gem

Sometimes the camera manages to capture something special! This little Campanula is a much deeper blue than others I have - and it decided to flower quite late for a campanula and I have a few of them dotted around in unexpected corners but this one nestling among the autumn leaves is really cute!

Would you believe it?

18 November 2016 22:37:32

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When I returned from my annual trip to Barcelona I took a trip around the garden - as you do! The most surprising thing I saw was this Sweet Pea still flowering away!

It started flowering at the end of May and has kept going since then! Not bad for seeds that came free with a magazine!

I could almost convince myself that it was still summer but alas I was brought back to reality with the state of the rest of the garden! As soon as it stops threatening to snow I'll get out and start clearing the leaves away!

 And I'm a bit behind with alums this year but October and November are going up tonight!

Gourmet Restaurant

18 November 2016 01:16:08

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My garden is being regarded as a Gourmet Restaurant by the local feathered residents. They are living in luxury in the 5-star Hotel otherwise known as the Hedgerow. Room service is still keeping them happy with blackberries and the fruits of Ivy - and if they venture as far as the feeders there is the Pheasant Berry (Leycesteria)in this area is proving to be even more popular than the peanuts and seeds!

The Cotoneaster and Pyracantha are providing excellent food options and there is plenty for all for the moment. This time of year many of the birds seem to forage at ground level among the fallen leaves - I suspect they are blackbirds - and they startle me as I walk down the paths. 

There are also still plenty of berries on the Guelder Roses but I didn't get round to a photo of them!

Annual Get-together DISCUSSION

16 November 2016 22:28:20

Been away - but back in action!

16 November 2016 01:51:44
Been away - but back in action!

Been away - but back in action!

Went for my usual trip to Barcelona for the little princess's birthday and came back with Bronchitis but thankfully back in action again!

Its amazing what happens while you are away ... the first thing to do was to walk around the garden with the camera, and the second was to harvest the Chillies.



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