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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal November 2017

Last Post 13 hours ago

Da Dah!

21 November 2017 18:15:10

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It's finished!

The new non-lawn was completed today between the showers - thanks to the help of my two current HelpX friends Laura and Loic from France!

It was quite a project and took some real hard work to complete but I'm utterly delighted with it!

I hope the photos are pretty self-explanatory but just in case you miss the point - its a ZEN GARDEN - for contemplation when I'm not gardening. Oh but when am I not gardening? Usually when its raining or I'm away from home!

I just might have to designate a special time for the contemplation bit - I can always pretend I'm gardening as I rake the gravel into whatever shapes takes my fancy .... I reckon the granddaughter will also enjoy making patterns - much mor fun than grass!!!!

Friendship plants

20 November 2017 21:29:30
Sidalcea - may be 'Party Girl'

Sidalcea - may be 'Party Girl'

The recent post from Glenellen had set me thinking about friendship plants in my garden. So many of my plants have been given to me by friends and family that the whole garden is a testament to Friendhips of all kinds. The original trees and shrubs were wedding presents to Brendan and me and are a constant reminder of that happy occasion.

 But perhaps the most precious ones are plants that have come through several gardens to arrive in mine! An example is a lovely Sidalcea that originated in the garden of Cousin Ede - a maiden lady who was very kind to me as a child. When she died many years ago I took a slip of the sidalcea (not even knowing its name) and planted it in my garden in memory of her.  That garden is long gone from my hands but the Sidalcea was shared with my sister Elizabeth and she had it for many years. When I began the garden at Gortnalee I was delighted to get a piece of it from her and it is thriving here! In her recent renovations she has lost her plant but I have a replacement ready and waiting for her whenever she wants it. 

There are other plants that Elizabeth gave me including slips of a pretty white Clematis Montana that originated in our mother's garden.

But I have also planted some things because I remember them from childhood gardens and they also celebrate freindship and love.

I really like Glenellens description of freindship:

That most valuable of emotions combining as it does, or ought to, affection, fondness, attachment and love around which our lives turn.

And just to illustrate what I mean here is that Sidalcea in all its glory!

At least its a start!

20 November 2017 00:05:35
At least its a start!

At least its a start!

I am so in awe of the beautiful Christmas Cactus Mary posted earlier. This pot of mine actually contains three plants but so far only one has any sign of flowers! The others are pink as far as I remember but I love the delicate colour of this one. 

Looking forward to seeing some buds appear  on the other plants too!

More time in the kitchen than the garden!

18 November 2017 23:16:47

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Well, not totally!

At our first meeting of the Borris-in-Ossory Garden Club for this year one of the members brought along some strange looking tubers which she assured us were truly delicious, easy to grow etc. She even promised spectacular flowers on tall stems!

So never one to pass up a challenge I accepted one of these tubers and duly planted it in the Small Pond border.  Probably not the best idea as they grew quickly very tall and the first decent wind they fell over!

So I watched them patiently all Summer long waiting for these "spectacular Flowers" to appear but alack and alas! No flowers!

So during the period of non-gardening recently every time I went past that border I muttered "must cut back those darned things" but like everything else in the garden this ended up on a rather long finger.

But yesterday was the day! Helianthus Tuberosus was coming out! 

Much to my surprise when I dug it up there was a virtual forest of tubers on the root! Maybe the name was a bit of a clue?

Anyway, remembering what my friend in the Garden Club had said I brought the whole caboodle indoors and went and asked Mr Google how to cook the darned things!

So this evening my HelpX and I were treated to the results - baked for about 45 minutes they still didn't look very appetizing to me! I tasted mine but really was a bit underwhelmed by them - but my HelpX helpers from France polished off the lot!

Now all the articles on them say that they will re-grow from the tiniest root left behind so this may well not be the end of the Saga!


Making a virtue of necessity!

16 November 2017 11:18:31
Making a virtue of necessity!

Making a virtue of necessity!

I have a few fruit trees in my garden and by and large they are not wonderful. My plum tree fruited wonderfully about three years ago and has done nothing much since then. I have a Bramley Seedling which does give me some nice apple tarts. Of course, to make it fruit I needed not 1 but 2 polinators and the recommended ones were  " Elstar" and   'Cox's Orange Pippin'. Now I have never been a big fan of eating apples grown here so I wasn't too disappointed when these two beauties didn't do very much.

So this year there was a fairly decent crop on all three trees. The cookers had a bit of bird damage and some scab marks but are perfectly useable. The eaters on the other hand were pretty awful - small, full of scab and generally not appetising. So when Mony said pick your apples before they fall to avoid bruising I did as I was told and brought them in. 

Unfortunately this was just before my trip away so they didn't get dealt with till now! The cookers are fine - not too many so they are in the fridge for immediate use. But what to do with the eaters? Well I used a recipe for crab apple jelly and this time I tried "sureset" sugar as I was worried it wouldn't set.

So here is the result! Definitely the best way to eat apples from my garden! Now I'm off to make some soda Bread to go with it!!!!

Something happening ...

16 November 2017 00:02:51

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People who have been to my garden may recall the challenge that my lovely Brendan set me when we decided to build our dream home on a site of 0.6 of an acre. He was very clear that he did not intend to begin mowing grass again even with a ride-on mower! So my challenge was to design a garden without lawns.

I suppose the real challenge has been to fill such an area with planting without breaking the bank. We were fortunate to have received many trees and shrubs as wedding presents which provided the framework of the garden, but the spaces between took a bit longer. Some temporary patches of grass were used (NOTE: Patches of grass, in no way attempting to be LAWNS!) but they have been gradually removed as the plants increased and multiplied - with many gifts and swaps from people on this site, I must add!

But one small patch was retained at the request of my son who had visions of his daughter rolling one the grass when she came to visit. Unfortunately she did not show any inclination to do so - she is much more interested in Fairy Gardens!

So today the removal of the last patch of grass has begun!

I can almost hear Brendan saying "At last!" - yes, the very last bit of grass is about to be banished from Gortnalee!

What will replace it?

Well, of course there is a plan!

It will be unveiled in due course!

Sharing Photos through the site

14 November 2017 17:43:51

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I'll try and keep this as short and simple as possible - please feel free to ask questions if I've missed anything.

1. You need to have your photos saved in "the cloud" - that means using something like Google Drive, One Drive, iCloud or Dropbox but there are many others also. These are places you can back up your photos so you can access them from a phone or someone else's computer. 

2. Arrange the photos in folders - each folder will be an "album" once you share it. Don't make one folder inside another because that will make it harder for people to  view the photos.

3. This instruction is for Google Drive but there will be something similar on the others - Right-Click on the folder name you want to share and choose "Share". A new window will open up looking something like Picture 1. 

4. Click "Copy Link". If you don't have that option then select the link and copy it (CTRL C does it)

5. If you don't have "Word" or "Open Office" on your computer you can just paste (CTRL V)  that link into a journal but it may not be "clickable" and people may have to copy the link to their browser to see the album.

6. Open Word (or Open Office Word) and choose "Hyperlink" from the "INSERT" Menu  and paste the link in the "Address" box  (or "Target" box)  You should see a box like Picture 2. 

7. Where it says "Text to Display" (or "text") type in the title you want for your Album and then Click "OK" (or APPLY).

8. Your link should now look like the name of the album you typed. You can copy this entire link into a journal and it should be a "clickable" link.

Click the pictures to see more clearly what is going on. Give it a go and let me know how you get on!



Can someone please check this out?

13 November 2017 15:36:31

Wow! New planting space!

12 November 2017 23:10:33

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I have finally finished taking out all the tall plants out of the herbaceous border so I can take advantage of the view from the new patio! It was a much bigger job than I thought - but then, isn't that often the case with our gardening tasks? 

Of course the new home for the tall plants isn't ready yet, so they are just "heeled in" in the new raised beds! At the moment my gardening seems to be all about doing one bit but can't finish because something else is waiting to be done.

So today I was determined that at least ONE task would be completed. I have been working on this border on and off since the work commenced on the patio because I had to remove some plants to allow for the construction process so it really has felt like a terribly long job.

The bright sunshine was encouraging although it was really cold and there was a really sharp wind - but wrapped up warm I was able to get on with it all!

So now its done!

And I have a HUGE bit of space for planting!!!!!

I already have a load of low-growing plants waiting to go in, and those poor bulbs I unearthed in the process of sorting the border will be able to be replanted! 

Only one more task to do - I have a clump of Acidenthera that I planted in one of those bulb-planter things but they didn't flower so I'll just lift them and see if they do better next year!


Winter colour too!

12 November 2017 01:04:00

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When I walked in the garden yesterday as well as the nice bits of late colour I also spotted some of my winter colour coming into view.

Of all the winter plants in my garden I love Helebores best. Mine are now starting to mature nicely and provide interest for much of the year. Some of them are starting to flower already - not really surprising because after all, November is the first month of Winter in the Irish calendar!

I togged out in the rain-gear today and went out for a very short time just making a start on the Winter Tidy-up. I tackled the Pergola area which includes the plants I lifted from the Main Herbaceous border during the recent work on the Patio. My heart lifted when I saw some growth on the two Clematis I lifted as well as the old-fashioned Paeony Rose I got from an old garden and the pretty Sidalcea Little Princess that I hope will benefit from being removed from the competition of the Anemones and other tall plants that are no more! - No photos of these as it was far too wet to chance taking out the camera!

My Holly bushes are finally starting to mature and I was delighted to see some berries on this one!

Still a few flowers

11 November 2017 01:53:03

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Arrived back late last night so it was this morning before I made a trip round the garden - and I caught the nice sunshine that was around for a few hours this morning. My walk was a mixture of delight and despair - delight because there were still some last flowers and some winter flowers starting to appear - despair at all the cutting back and cleaning up that needs to be done!

Since I tend to be a "glass half full" person I'm concentrating on the delights!

This Salvia ( I think) that I got from Fleurette (I think) and it is still fully in flower and has been in flower since late Spring!

The last of the Sedums has deepened to a beautiful shade of wine

And a final bloom on "Compassion" - the Last Rose of Summer?

trying not to panic

05 November 2017 11:44:38

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I'm reading all the journals of Autumn preparations - clearing leaves, planting bulbs, cutting back the borders but I'm too far away to do any of it! Of course I am having a wonderful time with my granddaughter  - 6 years old already! 

Barcelona is also enjoying some unseasonal weather - much dryer and warmer than usual for this time of year!  

We have been checking the flowers that we planted last year and there are two healthy Anemones doing well. 

These Oxalis which prefer shaded woodland are doing well on the third floor balcony! 
I wish I could bottle this sunshine and bring it home!



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