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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal October 2017

Last Post 122 days 19 hours ago

...not always about digging weeds!

25 October 2017 23:59:16

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So the shredding was completed today and I now have a great supply of stuff to mulch with - if I get round to clearing some borders LOL

Then the leaves were removed to make some more delicious leafmould!

I'm so happy seeing that area so much tidier now - next step requires a chainsaw and that isn't one of my skills! We'll have a big "carve up" over the next few weeks and I'll have timber for about a year!

But before that final solution I may find a use for some of that timber! Much of the decking wasn't rotten so can easily be reused ....I'm day-dreaming again!

I was so happy coming to the end of the shredding that I celebrated by taking a stroll round the garden concentrating on the things looking good rather than the things battered by the storms!

Cornus Kousa 'Winter Dream' is starting to sing its Autumn song.

Mahonia 'Charity' is bursting into flower!

So things are slowly getting back to normal ..... 

Gardening is ...

25 October 2017 00:44:44
Gardening is ...

Gardening is ...

...something I really enjoy - well, most of the time! I don't mind the weather, I just dress appropriately and carry on. But sometimes there are jobs that need to be done, and no matter how many distractions and diversions I dream up, the job is still waiting for me!

I have beed trying to get the tidy-up after the building project done over the past couple of days but there was that JOB waiting .... the poplar trees that were taken down needed to be trimmed ready for cutting into firewood. They were stacked at the front of the house so every time I went in or out they were there, silently rebuking me!

So  when I finally gave in and set to work I managed to introduce a nice bit of distraction - I would be shredding the smallest branches so this bark would make a great mulch for my new "four seasons" border behind the greenhouse but of course it needed to be weeded before the bark went down - so a happy morning was spent removing many bitter cress as well as the bits of Japanese Anemone that had re-sprouted. This border also had the lovely Robinia that perished in Storm Brian so a tidy-up was definitely needed!

So from then on it has been pretty non-stop shredding, lopping and sorting branches and the task is not quite completed yet!

I have a "Before" photo but the job isn;t finished yet so no "After" photo as yet! 

Am I ready for Brian???

20 October 2017 21:12:24

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I'm still trying to clear up after Ophelia and even with the help of Elizabeth we only got the arches dismantled ... then we had a monsoon day yesterday ....Then they started putting out more storm warnings and I was on my own today so I desperately wrapped the greenhouse in baling plastic and reused some of the stuff from the arches to try and hold the plastic in place - so all fingers crossed - I really would like to have enough of the greenhouse left to repair when I can get some help!

I also have some very tasty cut-and-come-again lettuce that I'm trying to protect ....

Oh and I took a photo of the Tetrapanax that is my "makes me smile" plant - and today it did make me smile - well, until the monsoon returned! Just as well its dark now and i can't see if the greenhouse is surviving !!!!!

Best Plant(s) in my garden

18 October 2017 10:59:53

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Margie really set me thinking so I had a scroll through my photos for this year and there was no way I could find one that met all the criteria - also I've noticed that I seldom take photos of the plants that fit the first two criteria!

1. Best worker

2. Least minding

3. Lifts your spirits when you see it

4. Makes you smile when you pass by

So I'm combining 1 and 2 in my first photo - this is one of the Potentillas that I have in my little mini-Burren area. They are so trouble-free - just give them a good trim in the early spring and they flower for months right through the Summer into Autumn. They are so forgiving that even if you forget to cut them back for a few years they don't mind at all!

My second photo is the "Lifts your spirits" one - and it is one of my Rhus Typhinas - Rhus 'Tiger Eyes'. I have a couple of these and their wonderful Autumn colour really does lift my spriits particularly as I really dread the shorter days of winter which are just around the corner.

And the third one - the "Makes you smile" one is definitely my Tetrapanax Rex - this photo was taken in April after a late frost had killed off the first spurt of growth - but I have no recent photos of it in its prime! It is such a giant and it is the plant that most visitors gasp when they see it, and for this it definitely makes me smile when I pass it!

Ophelia - you hussy!

16 October 2017 17:20:16

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Look what you did to my garden, Ophelia - and I thought you were a lady!

I wonder could the wrecked arches become some sort of Art Project? 

And this time two of the missing panels of the greenhouse have vanished without trace!!!!

Think its time for a re-think!

But the main thing is that I am OK, the house is OK and Puss came home LOL


Puss turned up!

16 October 2017 17:07:23

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The storm must be just about over in Laois because Puss came out of hiding and was looking for grub!

I gave him a treat and he seemed to appreciate it!

Getting prepared

15 October 2017 21:38:59
Getting prepared

Getting prepared

Just spent some time putting the garden furnitute out of the way of Ophelia .....

My single dahlia

15 October 2017 14:04:12

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Jacinta posted a lovely single dahlia recently that reminds me very much of this one in my garden. It was an impulse buy a few years ago - a tiny bedding plant - but I loved the colour! It got planted almost at rendom where there was a space but it seems to like its location! I never take it in, I only remember to dead-head it occasionally but it is such a generous plant and its light and airy appearance lifts my spirits every time I pass it by. It is also very visible from the house since the new patio went in, so is really cheering me up on a rather dismal and rainy Sunday! - O course, there's a bit of a cheat as I took the photos yesterday when the sun was shining LOL


14 October 2017 00:29:08


the Poplars I planted at the front boundary 8 years ago really shot up the last year or so and they were starting to interfere with the telephone lines. The original idea of them was to provide some shelter from the north winds while the rest of the woodland developed. Silly me!The prevailing wind is South-westerly so they were no help at all in protecting the garden! Next time I'll check the prevailing wind before I plant!

So while I had help here doing the patio construction the Builder from next door kindly helped us with the aid of his cherry-picker to take them down.

So between the timber from the decking and the demolished trees I'll have fuel for at least next year!

Now all I have to do is get it to a state where it can be stacked to dry out!!!!

And I'll have kindling for years too!!!!

Project completed

11 October 2017 22:57:45

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Its been a long nine weeks. My decking had become so dangerous that I needed to bite the bullet and replace it with something safer so ater a lot of research and planning the project to replace the rather large deck with a patio got under way.

Week one and most of week two was dismantling the deck. Although there were quite a few rotton boards and timbers there were also lots of sound ones so the timber had to be sorted as it was dismantled and indeed there is still an awful lot of it still to be dealt with.

So I won't bore you with a blow-by-blow account of the project, but for anyone interested might like to browse the album!

The patio project was also an opportunity to add a sheltered pergola outside my back door which I have wanted for ages - and today was the day when the covering on the pergola was finally put in place!

Now all I have to do is clear up the building site that used to be my garden ..... and maybe get a bit of REAL gardening done!!!


P.S. - album to follow tomorrow I hope!

My best buy this year

03 October 2017 01:13:14

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What with the building project taking up the last six weeks - and now nearing completion thanl goodness - I was taken by surprise by the arrival of October - Well I was until I stepped outside this morning into a bitter wind! The wooly hat has replaced the summer kerchief, the warmer gardening jacket has come out of retirement and I even got a little bit of restitution commenced on the borders affected by the building.

So I thought I'd start a new theme - what was your best buy this year for the garden?

Mine has definitely proved to be this rose "Just Joey" picked up in a very bedraggled state for the princely sum of €2.99. It was covered with mildew but it had a few buds when I bought it. It is an old favourite of mine but when the first buds opened I was very disappointed as they were very misshapen and not at all pretty.

However I decided to see how it would react to a dose of my new Worm Fertilizer. (The wormery is still limping along - not doing much in the upper stories but producing a good bit of liquid fertilizer. I dilute it 1 to 4 ) I have been pleasantly surprised with the results of this fertilizer on other plants and so I gave Joey a good watering with it. That stuff is magical! The mildew disappeared, the misshapen leaves seemed to straighten out and best of all these lovely blooms reminded me why "Just Joey" was on my wish list!

For €2.99!!!! Definitely my best buy this year!

So what was your best buy?


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