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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal August 2017

Last Post 138 days 6 hours ago

Catherine Deneuve guest appearance

31 August 2017 19:18:56

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I didn't get around to lifting any of my dahlias last year and so when there was no sign of "Catherine Deneuve"I was really disappointed but lo and behold - at the end of July she suddenly emerged and this week she has finally flowered. But the colour is not as orange as it was in previous years. Does anyone have an explanation for this I wonder?

Anyway she is still very pretty!

The other photo is Helianthus Decapetalus which was being totally overshadowed in the Main Herbaceous border but with the construction work going on some of the competition has been removed and there she is in all her glory! Dead-heading is the trick with this lovely daisy and I like it because it doesn't seem to need staking.

Patience rewarded

29 August 2017 23:08:46

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Well, it all started about 4 years ago when after a flurry of gardening visits and events I found among the treasures I had collected something with no label and no clue as to its identity. Just a few leaves on a stalk .... so i asked on the site and someone suggested it was probably a ginger and that not all gingers were hardy. 

So I cossetted it for a couple of years - into the greenhouse every autumn, out again every spring. It grew lots more stems and leaves - it divided itself into several plants but that was all it did.

Last year I gave it a good talking to. No more cossetting. Sink or swim you can stay outside in the Tropical Area. 

And guess what? It took me seriously! A couple of weeks ago I noticed one of the stems looked a bit different .... yes, definitely a bud. It seemed to take forever to develop but it finally opened today! And I am so thrilled because Elizabeth7 just put up a photo of the same ginger - so maybe I will get a name for it at last!

The really exciting bit is that four out of the six stems also have buds!

That's what I call a result!

Salvias - could become a an obsession

25 August 2017 22:28:33

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I have had mixed luck with Salvias in the past. My first purchase was Salvia nemerosa 'New dimension Blue' in 2012 (according to my database) which struggled for a couple of years and then gave up the ghost! That year when I had my first Open Day for Garden.ier's A member "Damo" brought me a completely different type of Salvia - the giant and very vigorous salvia forsskaolii which has made a bid for total domination of Gortnalee so has to be ruthlessly controlled!

The next one was from the Fota Plant Fair and I was told it had been raised in Fota so it has good associations - Salvia 'Red Ensign' has come through several winters out of doors and is now a sizeable shrub. I'm now sure when I should prune it - any advice would be welcome!

A couple of years ago  JoanG arranged a group visit to a number of her local gardens and I bought Salvia "Penny Lane" from the lovely garden of Shirley Beatty and it is also going from strength to strength.

When the Johnstown Plant Lists went up in January I couldn't resist asking for Salvias - Myrtle and Margot (Fleurette) both came up trumps. So I now have Salvia Amistad and Salvia Microphylla 'Heatwave Glimmer' as well as Salvia 'Purple Haze' and finally a little salvia with two-toned leaves that is hanging on by a thread!

Since this years Salvias all came with a warning that they aren't hardy I popped three of them into a single planter and was really happy with their great flowering but the other day I realised that they really were totally over-crowded so I liberated them into separate pots so I can now see their real beauty. 

Any hints on how best to take cuttings would be welcome - I'll bring them into the unheated greenhouse but should I let them dry out? Is this the right time to take cuttings?

Help please!



One thing leads to another

18 August 2017 19:20:57
One thing leads to another

One thing leads to another

So the project to replace the decking with a patio is under way. When the railings were taken away I suddenly had the opportunity to do a really good clean-up on the back of the main Herbaceous border.  As we all know, doing a good clean-up always results in a large volume of stuff for the compost heap.

Unfortunately the current compost heap is now about 8 feet high, and the two other bays are waiting for the reconstruction of the raised beds in the vegetable garden to be rebuilt .... so what to do with the mound of compost material?

Well, first of all I had to clear the way to the compost heaps. That area is behind a Living Willow fence which is in full summer glory - unfotrunately that means that I have to run the gauntlet of long branches to get past - so some time was spent cutting back the lower branches and tyingup the upper ones. Then I realised that the current heap is now so high I couldn't manage to get anything more onto it!

So back up to the mound of stuff. What next? Well I decided that if I shredded it and put it in bags it could be stored until the compost heap log-jam is sorted .... but that has to wait until the raised beds are re-made .....which has to wait until the decking project is finished as the raised beds will be made from re-cycled decking boards.

So now there are 4 bags of ready shredded stuff waiting ..... I hope not for too long!

Burren Homage

17 August 2017 00:33:00
Burren Homage

Burren Homage

My favourite part of this country is the Burren in County Clare so when i was designing my garden I included not only my Hazel Grove but also a Potentilla area where I gathered as many different Potentilla Shrubs as I could find. They are looking particularly good this year so I'm putting up an album ..... some of them have cross-bred and self-seeded - and all are welcome!

My next step will be to move all the Herbaceous Potentillas I have around the garden to join the collection!

Any ideas how to solve this please?

17 August 2017 00:20:23
Any ideas how to solve this please?

Any ideas how to solve this please?

I have a great big Gaura that i have had for a few years now. It flowers magnificently - but what a mess! It looks like a demented scarecrow and that's on a good day! I've tried various things to try and persuade it to show me its beautifu flowers but it just ignores me and stirs up all the long trailing strands into a veritable Mare's Nest!

Has anyone found a satisfactory way of managing this plant please?


Hope I did the right thing ...

17 August 2017 00:13:19
Hope I did the right thing ...

Hope I did the right thing ...

A few years ago I purchased a really pretty Prunus Triloba which was a real delight in the Spring. It flowered well the first couple of years but the past two years it was very disappointing. It was also getting too big for its location. so yesterday I set to with the loppers to put some "manners" on it. As I tidied away I noticed that there seemed to be two distinctly different leaves on the tree - and yes, you've guessed - it is a standard grafted onto a different Prunus and the root stock had sprouted from the graft! 

I know its probably the wrong time of year to be doing all this, but I was so upset to see what had happened while I wasn't looking that I set too and removed all the "suckers". Of course this left the tree looking awful - all lobsided and full of gaps - so that meant a serious pruning of the "good" branches.

The photo shows the results.

I just hope that (a) I haven't killed it and (b) that I may see at least SOME flowers next year :-)

getting hotter

13 August 2017 01:29:45

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I posted earlier in the year the way my original Hot Border had got infiltrated by lots of blue plants. I did a lot of work removing and relocating these plants which created a new Blue Border - not exactly what I wanted but that left huge gaps in the Hot Border.

I went to Bloom with the mission of getting some nice zingy plants but I wasn't happy with the results - then picked up a few more bits and relocated some more and now i can see that the Hot Border is definitely a few degrees hotter than it was!

Through the summer I've been noting some plants in the garden that definitely belong here and the plan is to move them in the Autumn!


Something blue or mauve going on ....

11 August 2017 22:49:44

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I read Jackie's journal about the transition to the hotter colours in the garden so I took a wander to see if my garden was doing the same - but there is one place where the blue and mauve are still going strong.

The first photo is a lovely Liatris that has sprung up in the Pergola border. I think I may have got it from a .ier at Johnstown but wherever it came from its very pretty!

Taking that photo I spotted the Autumn Crocus beside it - this appeared in the past two days!

And last but not least - my Wisteria has thrown out a few flowers too! Not ready to giv up on the pastel shades just yet .....

Little Cliona's place

11 August 2017 20:25:49

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My delightful granddaughter has just returned to Barcelona with her parents after a lovely holiday here with me, and during the holiday she found her very own Fairy Village in my garden!

Once she had decided where the fairies might like to live, she was delighted when the fairies seemed to really like the idea.

When she came back from Castlecomer with some Fairy Dust she was totally amazed to see a Fairy Door appear!

However the fairies didn't prevent her from helping Grandma plant up a nice little "mini-garden".

It is such a joy for me to see her enjoying my garden just Like I enjoyed my godmother's garden when I was a child!

I just hope those fairies decide to stay ......

Back to Dublin - briefly!

04 August 2017 00:58:06

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i was in Dublin this week and found myself just down the road from Jackie so I took the opportunity to  have a look at how her garden has matured since I was there a couple of years ago. When we emerged from the house all I could say was WOW!

Jackie has worked a veritable miracle in that garden and the removal of the big tree outside the garden ahs brought great light into a previously shaded corner.

But it is Jackies enthusiastic planting that I liked best - each border is a kaliedascope of cololur and texture and she has really mastered the art of constant colour1 We wandered through the winding grass pathways with each turn giving  new vistas of colour!

Unfortunately I had only a very short time to stay as I was meeting the family at the airport but Jackie managed to send me away with such a lovely selection of plants which had to be accommodated in the boot along with all the suitcases for the journey home! Thankfully they seem to have survived and are now getting a well-deserved bit of TLC!

Thank you Jackie for a lovely visit and for all the plants too!

That's better!

01 August 2017 01:02:16

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Having cleared the border where the Japanese Anemones had taken over, I  got round to the exciting part - planting it up again! This border was always known as "Behind the Greenhouse" but I have been trying to find a better name for it. As the planting progressed it came to me! But first I'll describe the planting. As is usually the way when you plant up a new border it takes a while for the plants to grow into their own space so it will be a while before I see the benefits.

First to be planted was the lovely Exchorda Macarantha "The Bride" which has been in a pot but not looking happy! It will be a centre-piece for the border with its lovely fountain shape. To one side I planted the little Lantana shrub that Elizabeth grew from cuttings, Most of the Lantana we see in this country are bedding plants but this Lantana shrub is flourishing in the car-park of my local Supervalu! Next to go in was Persecaria Amplexicaulis followed by the lovely Persicaria Purple Fantasy (Thank you Jackie!). After that I transplanted a third Dicentra to join the two already in the border. I had lifted an Astrantia from a border I was tidying the other day so it also got a new home. I got this from one of one of my .ie friends but sadly don't have the name! Then just to fill up some space I put in a Helebore Niger and a few Campanula Poscharskyana at the edge I did the inevitable shifting of pots before the final planting and as i was doing this I realised that every season was represented in this border - so that's itc new name "The Four Seasons Border" and I'm really happy with the border and its new additions.

Right through the year there should always be something to see it this old negrlected border come back to life!


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