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Rachel's Journal

Rachel's Journal March 2012

Last Post 2059 days ago

Open Day

31 March 2012 23:42:34
Magnolia 'Star Wars

Magnolia 'Star Wars

I just thought that I would put up a reminder for my Open Day next Saturday, 7th April at 12 noon.

For anyone coming, I will send you directions by private message tomorrow or the next day. Lets hope for good weather.

Those coming so far are...

Fran
Ladygardener
Scrubber
JoanG
NoelleP
TheH(Hazel)
milliemouse1234
Violeta
Jemo
sumjak50

Yellow

30 March 2012 16:10:03
Forsythia & Bergenia

Forsythia & Bergenia

Wouldn't you be sick waiting for someone to post a journal about Blarney? Come on, guys, I'm going out this evening!

The colour yellow features strongly in the photos I've just uploaded.

It was another great day for gardening, if a bit windy. Two of my crown Fritellaria stems broke in the wind :(

So it goes.

 

Is This a Weed?

30 March 2012 15:43:37
Is This a Weed?

Is This a Weed?

 

This is a weed, right?

Another Iris

29 March 2012 19:15:32
Iris confusa 'Martyn Rix'

Iris confusa 'Martyn Rix'

 

This Iris opened today. 

It has an untidy habit and small flowers but aren't they lovely?

Gardener's Tan

29 March 2012 11:45:32
Cerinthe major var. purpurescens

Cerinthe major var. purpurescens

Okay, so who else has one?

You know, the tan you get from bending over in the garden?

It's a long, horizontal, traingular strip, from where the  top of the jeans and the bottom of the T-Shirt part.

They're Coming

28 March 2012 20:56:14
Tulipa 'Carlton'

Tulipa 'Carlton'

My tulips are definitely coming.

I gave the straggler, 'Prinses Irene', a watering today to hurry her along.

Other than that I fed my Lonicera hedge, my copper beech semi-circular hedge and the long privet hedge on top of the cliff.

Then I set to clearing. Nearly finished! Now what else was on my 'to do before Open Day' list?

 

Disporum

28 March 2012 20:48:59
Disporum cantoniense 'Green Giant'

Disporum cantoniense 'Green Giant'

 

Looking forward to seeing how this bad boy turns out!

Orchid Opens

28 March 2012 20:40:25
Laeliocattleya 'Coastal Sunrise'

Laeliocattleya 'Coastal Sunrise'

This orchid opened today. It is my favourite, not least because it flowers regularly every year.

It put up two flower spikes this year, one has three blooms and the second, despite being half devoured by a slug, will produce one bloom.

The plan is to gradually move towards Laeliocattleya as they are a genus I can manage and they have spectacular and big flowers. Now I must try to keep my eye on the ball with this plan and stop flitting after different genuses (geni)!

I have put five photos of different orchids in flower at the moment in my March album.

Viburnum

27 March 2012 18:21:58
Viburnum burkwoodii 'Anne Russell'

Viburnum burkwoodii 'Anne Russell'

This Viburnum is finally in flower.

It has a fabulous scent and I quite like it against the orange tulips.

The Day

27 March 2012 18:16:29
Omphalodes cappadocica 'Starry Eyes'

Omphalodes cappadocica 'Starry Eyes'

I don't know what the heck I was doing all day but I was absolutely exhausted at the end of it. I know that I didn't get what I intended done!

I started off potting on Ricinus, Mirabilis and Verbena so that took some time.

Each time I went indoors, the contrast in light was striking. It made me take pity on the poor plants I still had cooped up indoors. So I took a lot of them out. Then I took a lot of the plants that I already had in the greenhouse out. It all takes time.

I watered and mulched one bed and I removed the last of the winter protection. Then I dead-headed and fed the 'Giuseppe Verdi' tulips as they are gone over now.

Finally I started dealing with my box in pots. Hubby muscled them all onto the grass and I gave them a trim and a good watering. I will feed them and put them in their summer places tomorrow.

Scream

27 March 2012 18:01:26
Scream

Scream

 

Sometimes the garden just screams 'SPRING'

Some Trees

26 March 2012 23:31:24
Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic'

Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic'

It was another glorious day today and I'm sure we could all really get used to this!

Everything in the garden seemed to come alive and sing.

I noticed a lot of trees beginning to break bud and snapped some photos of them.

I must say though, although I love birch, their tardiness to leaf up still irks me. But when their leaves eventualy come, they bring such gaiety that it's like party time in the garden!

A Great Year for Forsythia

26 March 2012 22:54:34
A Great Year for Forsythia

A Great Year for Forsythia

My Forsythia is looking fabulous this year.

In fact, I don't even remember it looking so good.

They seem to have an other worldly glow about them.

Of course sunshine always helps.

I've put some photos in my album from today and yesterday if you are brave enough to tackle the pop-up ads!

Cloud Pruning

26 March 2012 22:37:24
Cloud Pruning

Cloud Pruning

It may be a little early in the season for topiary but, when I was in the Long Border this morning, I couldn't help neatening up my cloud tree.

It is a Cyperus and I bought it pre-topiaried from Lidl in 2010.

I wired it for about six months to bend the branches down but removed the wire too soon, I think. Still it's not looking bad!

I adore cloud-pruned trees but could never afford one so I'm giving it a go myself.

Fabtabulubulous

25 March 2012 23:15:52
Veratrum nigrum

Veratrum nigrum

Wasn't today just fabtabulubulous?

The kids had friends around and they played outdoors for most of the day. This gave me a chance to tackle some gardening and hubby to start cleaning the front of the house. A north facing house means de-greening every spring!

I even took a mad fit, since hubby had the hose out, and washed down the white birch along my drive (13 of them). I used a soft cloth and copious water.

Much of the greenhouse's contents also got disgorged into the great outdoors, where they will now stay until planting.

If only every day were like today!

Sod's Law

25 March 2012 23:06:11
Prinses Irene & Carlton

Prinses Irene & Carlton

 

Of course the tulips that I am relying on - the main display - is dragging its feet.

Come on 'Prinses Irene'! You're letting the side down!

I mean, how can a tulip names 'Prinses Irene' be outstripped by one names 'Carlton'?

Tulips Gone Mad

25 March 2012 23:02:22
Tulips Gone Mad

Tulips Gone Mad

I stepped out into the garden today to find that the tulips had lost the plot completely.

The Darwin Hybrids and the Fosteriana were all in flower. They are supposed to flower in mid to late April!

I mean, what is the deal here???

11 Year Old Magnolia (2)

25 March 2012 12:29:45
11 Year Old Magnola (2)

11 Year Old Magnola (2)

 

Here is Joshua, 11 years later, with Magnola x soulangiana 'Superba'.

11 Year Old Magnolia

24 March 2012 23:51:46
11 Year Old Magnolia

11 Year Old Magnolia

I had a busy day today but it didn't involve gardening at all.

In the morning I watered my orchids before we set out for Dublin and we got home so late, with the greenhouse open all day, that I was glad the weather had stayed warm.

A few days ago I discovered this old photo. It was taken in May 2001, about a month after we moved into this house.

One thing I'd always wanted, if I ever got enough space, was a Magnolia tree. So I bought one, and a decent sized one too, judging by this photo (the tree is to hubby's right, planted in a black plastic pot and is in flower). Hubby, with Baby Joshua's help, planted it just beside the front ditch (the ditch is behind hubby and includes the gorse bush).

For many years the ditch almost came out to engulf the Magnolia but it grew well. A few years ago the Long Border was dug and the front ditch removed, leaving the Magnolia at the back of the Long Border.

I hope to take a photo of the same tree tomorrow with Joshua beside it to show how things have changed. WWO, WIO, WCO

A Final Word on Aeoniums

22 March 2012 20:23:39
A Final Word on Aeoniums

A Final Word on Aeoniums

Just a final word from me on aeoniums.

In my experience they do much better given good compost and watering. This is counter intuitive as they are succulent.

In Tenerife last month I was lucky enough to observe aeoniums growing wild. And while they grew in almost dust, on the side of rock faces and in cracks where you wouldn't imagine anything would grow, they looked like sh**

In fact, the aeoniums I saw in Tenerife looked so awful that you couldn't imagine anyone would want them as an ornamental. Yet they grow beautifully for us in this country and look super given good care.

The top photo shows one of my aeoniums and the bottom one shows one in the wild in Tenerife. Although they are different species, you get the message!

Before & After

22 March 2012 19:55:21
Before & After

Before & After

The photo on top was taken on 1st March when I moved my Aonium collection out to the greenhouse.

Note the big Aeonium on the left. It is green on the left and blackish on the right. Obviously the right side had been facing the window when it was indoors.

The photo on bottom was taken this morning. The black aoniums are properly black once again. Although it's quite cold for them in the greenhouse now, the overriding consideration is sun.

Don't they look much happier?

Sun Tan

22 March 2012 19:38:42
Aeonium 'Zwartkop'

Aeonium 'Zwartkop'

 

My aeoniums have benefited greatly from a stint in the greenhouse. They crave the sun and always suffer in winter, loosing their black sheen.

I will put up a before and after photo.

Leaves

22 March 2012 14:40:18
Hieracium spilophaeum 'Leopard'

Hieracium spilophaeum 'Leopard'

I am growing this plant from seed. It is Hieracium spilophaeum (maculatum) 'Leopard' and the cousin of the more notorious hawkweed.

It is grown for its mottled leaves as the flowers are very dandelion-like so I will be cutting them off when they appear.

I am very pleased with it so far (despite what a certain someone may say).

Tulip Day

21 March 2012 19:16:58
Double Daffs

Double Daffs

So far there are 10 ie-ers coming to my tulip day on Saturday 7th April.

The good news is that all the tulips are deciding to open at once - Darwin Hybrids, Fosteriana, the lot. The garden has gone mad!

Let me know if you are thinking of coming.

For anyone who is, I have a Streptocarpus to give away. It is a species one with blue flowers. Let me know who wants it.

Fran
Hoeys
Jemo
JoanG
Ladygardener
milliemouse1234
NoelleP
Scrubber
TheH(Hazel)
Violeta

Yikes!

21 March 2012 19:03:27
Magnolia stellata

Magnolia stellata

I spent the day messing. I won't go into it but, suffice it to say that, nothing was easy and I didn't get what I originally intended done. For anyone interested, whose attention span is notably longer than mine, I wrote 480 words all about today's frustrations in the forthcoming May Irish Garden!

But when I came in from the garden, I got a big fright.

It's only 2 and a half weeks to my Open Day! And there was me, working away at my own pace, not a bother on me. Spending complete days 'messing'.

I did a quick calculation. I have 10 days' work to complete in the garden before Open Day. And I have a grand total of 9 days that I can dedicate to gardening between now and then! Yikes!

First Cherry Blossom

21 March 2012 16:41:38
Prunus serrulata 'Accolade'

Prunus serrulata 'Accolade'

 

This is the first cherry blossom to flower in my garden.

What the Heck!

20 March 2012 16:38:32
Darmera peltata

Darmera peltata

Do you ever have a 'what the heck' moment when walking around your garden?

You come across something emerging and you cannot for the life of you think what it could be?

I had just such a moment yesterday when wandering with Liga.

We came across these weird looking roots in one of my borders. They looked positively dangerous! At first I thought it might be a hardy ginger but then we found the roots of the hardy ginger, not far away, and it wasn't that.

Only now, checking my plant database, I know what it is. I'd leave you to guess but it's probably too easy for anyone who's ever grown this plant (except me, of course :P). It's Darmera peltata!

Hardy Osteospermum

20 March 2012 16:12:26
Pleione formosana (pink)

Pleione formosana (pink)

Today the focus was on digging up two large clumps of hardy Osteosperum and dividing them for replanting on the ditch.

The Osteospermum came from Donegal (courtesy of Periwinkle) in autumn 2009.

It somehow managed to survive winter 2009 in pots in the freezing greenhouse and 2010 in the equally freezing soil. In 2011 it took off and, until this morning, was fairly throttling neighbouring plants. I think the cocoa mulch was to blame but such behaviour is much appreciated in new borders.

Anyway, having learned that Osteospermum does well on banks, and having a long stretched of 'naked' bank myself, the solution was obvious. This morning the Osteospermum found its new home.

But I did replant a little back in the Long Border. It looked really pretty last year next to a purple iris there!

A Visit from Liga

19 March 2012 20:16:12
A Visit from Liga

A Visit from Liga

I was delighted to get a call from Liga today to say that she was hoping to drop in. And, good as her word, along she came.

The kids seemed to get on like a house on fire and we all had a lovely afternoon. Of course there was a walk around the garden and Liga was so helpful and encouraging as always.

When I pointed out the broken leader on Magnolia 'Star Wars', Liga noted that the tree was spreading out better because of the break and that I would have a better shaped tree in the end for it.

When I lamented the fact that my Sanguinaria had not appeared, Liga poo poo-ed the notion. "It grew for me", she says. "Why wouldn't it grow for you". And she dug down, with her fingers, and found the emerging buds - on all three plants.

And Liga even discovered that my Pieris was in flower, round the back, where I hadn't spotted it. As if all that wasn't enough, she even brought me orchids because, well, obviously I don't have enough of them :)

I feel ten foot taller this evening and very much happier.

Sunshine & Happiness

18 March 2012 18:43:56
Decaisnea fargesii

Decaisnea fargesii

We had bucketfuls of sunshine and happiness here today for Mothers' Day.

Gardening was restricted to watering the greenhouse and searching out some plant bits and pieces for another mother (whose children needed a little assistance).

It did look gloriously sunny out for most of the day.

A Few More Aroids

18 March 2012 00:40:15
Dracunculus vulgaris

Dracunculus vulgaris

These plants have proved hardy for me and I've had them for many years.

Wait til you see their flower a little later on, if you don't know them already.

One of the treats of spring!

Rain

17 March 2012 23:26:26
Geranium renardii

Geranium renardii

It lashed rain here most of the day.

Visitors came and remarked that it was sunny every where else in the country but there seemed to be a rain cloud just over our house :P

The rain will do the garden good.

Mouse Plant

17 March 2012 23:24:52
Arisarum proboscideum

Arisarum proboscideum

I think someone already put up a journal about their mouse plant.

Mine is in flower today so I thought I would follow suit.

It seems quite a spreader. Is that anyone else's experience?

Such a little cutie. Thanks, Jacinta.

Growing Soft

16 March 2012 20:20:14
Growing Soft

Growing Soft

Some of my cannas and bananas have grown really tall over the winter but they are in desperate need of more light.

Today a lot of them got man-handled out to the greenhouse to harden up.

The problem with growing things indoors is that they grow too soft. One 6ft Canna (I kid you not) keeled over when it was moved. It is now staked up but I may have to cut that spike back.

Hopefully they will all harden up nicely now in preparation for planting out in June.

Garden Visit

16 March 2012 20:05:57
Garden Visit

Garden Visit

I had a lovely day today visiting Jurgita's garden near Avoca (profile : Hoeys).

The amount of work that has been done since my last visit in 2010 is enormous. In fact, I came away exhausted just thinking about it all. 

I love the way Jurgita has incorporated the stream into her garden and the new raised Primula beds are just beautiful. There was lots of rustic seating ad features too.

We were mostly lucky with the weather and, although we had no sunshine, it is a testament to Jurga's garden how well it looked even without sun. I put a few photos in an album.

Of course we had a great old chat and loads of tasty things to eat. To tell the truth, I had been feeling a bit down the last while but Jurga's cheery character and enthusiasm really buoyed me up. I can't wait to see how the new projects pan out!

Hardy Orchids

15 March 2012 19:30:47
Hardy Orchids

Hardy Orchids

 

Some of the hardy orchids are coming along nicely in the greenhouse.

Mothering Sunday

14 March 2012 21:09:41
New Huntingbrook Administrator

New Huntingbrook Administrator

In case anyone is due a treat this Mothering Sunday, you might consider that Huntingbrook and June Blake's are both open Saturday and Sunday.

Jimi is giving a free class at 2pm both days on growing hellebores and the best early spring flowers.

I'm not sure how Sunday is going to pan out but maybe I'll see some of you there.

Oh, by the way, there's a new administrator at Huntingbrook!

Brugmansia

14 March 2012 14:26:05
Brugmansia

Brugmansia

 

I just noticed that this is flowering again.

It was tucked away behind some other pots so I nearly missed it!

Tumbling into Spring

13 March 2012 18:26:45
daffs & hyacinths

daffs & hyacinths

The garden really feels like its tumbling into spring now.

My early border really seems to have filled out in the last few days with Corydalis, Arabis and Chinodoxa and lots of  other things are waking up too.

FWO, FIO, FCO

3 Rounds of the Hallelujah Chorus!

13 March 2012 16:57:03
Symplocarpus foetidus

Symplocarpus foetidus

I had given up. I thought I had killed Symplocarpus.

The only plant that actually produces heat, which it uses with its beak to cut through ice.

The plant that roots so deeply it can never be dug up.

The plant that took 10 years to flower from seed.

And I'd killed it!!!

Except I didn't. Hurray!

 

 

Get Together/Tulip Party

12 March 2012 20:01:47
Trillium cuneatum (my garden)

Trillium cuneatum (my garden)

My tulips are zooming up so, on that basis and the feedback from my last journal, I am going to hold my Tulip Party on April 7th (the day before Easter Sunday).

So far Fran, Ladygardener, Scrubber, JoanG, NoelleP and TheH(Hazel) are confirmed to attend.

I imagine the attendance will be much lower than at my last Open Day in the summer but, actually, that's good because I will get a chance to chat to people properly and it should be less frantic.

By the way, if a number of kids are likely to come, I will buy some small chocolate eggs and hide them in  the garden to give the kids a bit of fun while we adults look around! 

Let me know if you would like to come.

Gallivanting & Celandine

11 March 2012 23:51:55
As-yet-to-be-named Celandine (Bellefield)

As-yet-to-be-named Celandine (Bellefield)

Wow, what an exhausting day!

In the moring I was in Angela Jupe's County Offaly garden, Bellefield, and in the afternoon it was Burtown, ear Athy, Co Kildare.

Besides the obvious highlights of seeing Ali (Drumanagh) and Jimi Blake again, I adored the fabulous double hellebores at Bellefield.

I was also captivated by this cute little as-yet-to-be named Celandine hybrid. Now there's a Celandine I could get on board with!

In Burtown it was time for serious Trillium envy!

I am putting up a small album from Bellefield and Burtown will follow.

Not for Serious Rhodophiles!

10 March 2012 18:37:41
Hydrangea quercifolia 'Burgundy'

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Burgundy'

At fear of alienating the serious rhodophiles on this site, I bought a variegated Rhododendron today, a variegated ponticum!

Now before anyone takes out a fatwa on me, I would just like to say that it is for a specific corner and I had been looking for one. Actually, does that make it worse that I was actually looking for a variegated rhodo?

I have several dwarf rhodos planted on a bank behind my new hardy orchid bed. Rhodos, with their shallow roots, are supposedly good with orchids. And although I put some variegated fatsias in there to lighten the colour and contrast the leaf, there was the danger that the whole thing was going to look too 'heavy' and 'sombre', in the way only the worst sort of old-fashioned rhodo plantings can look. So now I have a variegated rhodo to lighten it up.

Anyway, DON'T tell Accsean, whatever you do!

Here's a picture of an oak-leaved Hydrangea to distract you.

E is for Erythronium

10 March 2012 12:24:46
Erythronium dens-canis 'White Splendour'

Erythronium dens-canis 'White Splendour'

My early Erythronium are now in full flower.

The little 'tête-à-tête' daffodils beside them were a pressie from Jacinta a while back.

They make good companions. 

By the way, for information on our April get-together, see a few journals below.

Johnstown

09 March 2012 19:21:22
Primula 'Pink Ice'

Primula 'Pink Ice'

Yesterday I was in Dublin and imagine my delight, when plotting the route on Google, to find that it was sending me right passed Johnstown Garden Centre.

Of course a little 'sos beag' was called for after such a long journey so in I went to Johnstown.

I was delighted to see roots for sale in packets as this is the cheapest way to buy plants. The first three plants, on the list below, were bought like this. Here were my purchases...

Lilium nepalense  
Hosta
'Frances Williams'
Hemerocallis
'Bette Davis Eyes'
Hosta
'Sum and Substance'
Helleborus hybrida (Hillier Double Mix)
Cornus canadensis  
Geranium
'Rozanne'
Primula
'Pink Ice'

I must be getting old - look at the Primula I went and bought! I bought a big one too so that it will divide easily into three pieces after flowering.

Something New

09 March 2012 19:13:26
Mathiasella bupleuroides 'Green Dream'

Mathiasella bupleuroides 'Green Dream'

My policy, whenever confronted by a Terra Nova plant that I've never heard of?

Buy it!

I've never been disappointed.

Look at this hardy, Mexican umbellifer. It was apparently only 'discovered' in the 1950's.

love it already.

 

Tulip Party

09 March 2012 10:48:00
Tulip Party

Tulip Party

I've been out measuring my tulips to decide on a date for the Open Day.

There are a lot of factors to take into consideration and, at the end of the day, I am not sure when the tulips will be at their best (or even open) yet a date needs to be set.

So I would like to propose one of the following dates for my Open Day and will take a vote on it. Please only reply if you are likely to come on the day you vote for.

1) Saturday 7th April (the day before Easter) or

2) Saturday 14th April or

3) Sunday 15th April

My Open Day is for all active members of garden.ie or genuine gardeners. You will need to contact me by private message to get my address and I reserve the right to refuse admission to anyone (sorry to have to say that).

As the Open Day it will be in April, and the weather cannot be guaranteed, we are most likely to spend a large proportion of the time indoors. I will try to have enough chairs but cannot guarantee it. Please also note that my garden is not at its peak in April so the emphasis will really be on meeting friends and chatting, rather than standing in the rain looking at sharply-edged, dormant borders :D

I'm going to try to weave in a Turkish theme (as best I can) as the first tulip parties originated in Turkey and the sultans knew a thing or two about celebrating.

So, can you come? And, if so, on what date?

Chased Indoors

07 March 2012 13:32:38
Pleione formosana

Pleione formosana

I've just been chased indoors by rain.

Aren't the pleiones wonderful? I have three pots of formosana because I planned badly and used the big bowl for irises. Next year I'll put them all in the one enormous bowl and they will be a real treat!

Trying to convince my daughter to belly dance for my Open Day in April. It's going to be a Turkish style 'Tulip Viewing', don't you know! None of these new-fangled Dutch events for me! Hmmm, she seems very unconvinced.

Camellia Hedge

07 March 2012 10:21:22
Camellia hedge, very front of garden

Camellia hedge, very front of garden

My first ever gardening book was 'On Garden Design' by Roy Strong. I suppose that was around the 1998 mark, when I first became interested in gardening.

Whether that book was particularly good or whether my mind was just suitably blank, it ended up that I copied at least three major ideas from that book. And I didn't copy them in the garden I had at that time (which was tiny and little could be done with) but in this garden now.

One idea from that book was a Camellia hedge.

Well, I was completely and utterly captivated by this idea - a neat evergreen hedge with a surfeit of bobbing pink rose-like flowers! I mean, why didn't everyone have one?

But as I was then the owner of an acre of grass, with little else, and Camellias are expensive, I had to compromise.  Lidl was my salvation. One week they had a special of tiny unnamed pink camellias at a really good price. I snapped up a load of them and my Camellia hedge came into existence.

Well, I can tell you, camellias really are slow to grow, especially when you plant them in an exposed spot in bad soil. But now, they are just coming around to the point where they look respectable. I think I will have flowers on half my hedge this year too - joy!

And, as a little footnote, the only time I ever actually saw a Camellia hedge in operation was at Mt. Congreve last spring when Mary ushered me into an enclosed area with a magnificent hedge on three sides. One day...

Bargain

07 March 2012 09:54:16
hellebores

hellebores

In Tesco's last night, my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw this bargain.

There hellebores had been selling at €4 each and, because someone hadn't bothered to water them, they were reduced to 40c each. I bought six on the spot.

Happy Camper!

 

Every Cloud...

06 March 2012 13:32:08
Abutilon vitifolium

Abutilon vitifolium

Yesterday I put up a journal about how my Abutilon had died.

Today I potted up some of its many babies.

I feel an Abutilon hedge coming on...

Garden Websites

05 March 2012 19:54:38
Garden Websites

Garden Websites

I was just looking at the Kew Gardens' website and was delighted at the layout.

Not only does it tell you what is of spring interest and where it is in the gardens, it also tells you when each type of flower is due to bloom and is updated in real time to tell you what is actually in flower now.

Would that all big gardens did this!

For example I have been at a loss sometimes to visit a certain garden, known for rhodos, when they are at their best but if you phone up they never want to put you off coming now.

Kew Gardens, Spring Bulbs & Blossoms 

Swan's Song

05 March 2012 16:01:45
Swan's Song

Swan's Song

It was only today that I pronounce the 'dead' verdict on my Abutilon vitifolium.

It's had a good innings.

I was delighted when it survived winters 2009 and 2010 but the profuse flowering in 2011 was quickly followed by a lot of noticeably dead branches. I think the flowering was its Swan Song.

But, not to worry, because with 2011's profuse flowering came lots of seed and seedlings. I moved a strong seedling to the Long Border last year and now it's almost as big as the dead parent.

And, look in my photo, see several strong, large seedlings to the right of the dead Abutilon skeleton!  I'll have a gap for this year but I reckon it will be gone by next year.

Now to get the dead tree out :P

Botanic Gardens

05 March 2012 11:40:16
Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens

Check out the talks and events scheduled at the Botanic Gardens this year.

If you live close - lucky you, as many good talks take place mid week at 3pm.

If you can make it, there are some great events coming up including a talk on Carnivorous Plants (14th March), a talk on the amazing planting at Dublin Zoo (22nd March) and the annual Orchid Fair on 21/22 April.

In May there are several repeat walks, highlighting 'Blossoms from China' and I hope to make one of these.

But these are only the events that took my fancy. Check out the website...

Bots Events 2012 

Sky

04 March 2012 18:54:16
Sky

Sky

 

It was bitterly cold but the sky was amazingly blue today.

I brought the aeonium indoors last night and tonight too. It was 0 in the greenhouse last night.

There are a few new photos in the album.

FWO, FIO, FCO

Shit Happens

03 March 2012 13:17:50
Kalmia latifolia 'Bullseye'

Kalmia latifolia 'Bullseye'

I guess with plants there are always disasters and inexplicable losses.

A very wise piece of advice I heard once was that you need to realise 'sometimes plants just die'.

I think this is important to remember.

My mishaps of this winter are twofold. I discovered yesterday when weeding that Magnolia 'Star Wars' had its leader broken.  This was an expensive tree. The leader wasn't even sticking out that the lawnmower might be to blame so I've no idea on this one!

And then there's the Kalmia that I bought at Bloom last year. It is pictured. Kalmia are evergreen. I haven't a clue what happened to it!

Orchid

03 March 2012 10:37:25
Miltoniopis

Miltoniopis

 

This Pansy Orchid opened this morning to cheer me up for not being able to go to The Plant Fair.

My gr gr gr Grandfather's Yoke

02 March 2012 20:14:58
My gr gr gr Grandfather's Yoke

My gr gr gr Grandfather's Yoke

There is a colder nip in the air but that didn't stop me getting out to the garden.

I got a fair bit of weeding done at the 'unglamorous end' of the garden - under the fruit trees, the side of the mini-ditch recently planted with geraniums and along the base of the very long privet hedge. Not that there's a glamorous end to the garden in spring but, well, you know what I mean!

Crazily my left knee is swollen up and stiff although I have no memory of hurting it so, between that and a kids' birthday party, I am very sorry to say I won't be making it to The Plant Fair tomorrow :(

Check out the yoke in the photo. I 'liberated' it from the ruins of my gr gr gr grandfather's house in Donegal a few years back. It was on what was left of the wall. I wonder what it is?

The Colour Blue

02 March 2012 18:33:28
The Colour Blue

The Colour Blue

It seems that spring not only does yellow and white, but it also does blue!

The photo shows Chinodoxa luciliae and Omphalodes cappadocica 'Starry Eyes'.

I nearly missed the Omphalodes flowers as I should have cut back the old foliage to reveal them. But, better late than never!

Pleione

02 March 2012 18:13:42
Pleione formosana

Pleione formosana

 

The first Pleione!

Anaemic Aeoniums

01 March 2012 16:23:09
Anaemic Aeoniums

Anaemic Aeoniums

I was itching to get out to the garden today but, alas, other priorities took the front seat.

I did manage a bit of 're-arranging' first though.

The giant Agave had been looking like he could really do with some more light so hubby carried him out to the greenhouse yesterday.

I was reluctant to move the aeoniums out, as they're that bit more tender, but needs must! The poor things look positively anaemic!

Now, watch them go black again over the next few weeks!

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