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Rachel's Journal

Rachel's Journal April 2013

Last Post 1761 days 22 hours ago


30 April 2013 22:55:03
Amelanchier canadensis

Amelanchier canadensis

Hurray! Hubby fixed the greenhouse step. The doors can now be opened without a firm pushing down on the step accompanied by a lifting up of the door, and all to the sound of a high-pitched grating noise!

I spent some time cutting Santolina hard back as I noticed it was sprouting from low down. But I have cuttings as back-up, just in case.

I did some more mulching.

I was delighted to see Meconopsis paniculata has germinated, Amelanchier canadensis in flower and Glaucidium palmatum is going to flower (I thought it had died).


30 April 2013 11:06:11


One of my two Echium pininana has become a casualty of the lawn mower.

Do you see the decapitated stem to the left of the photo, under the shade of the tree? :'(

It was taller than me but stuck out at an awkward angle.

It was never in an ideal spot but I didn't plant it, it just seeded there.

Fritellaria, Erythronium & Sanguinaria

29 April 2013 19:24:23
Fritellaria, Erythronium & Sanguinaria

Fritellaria, Erythronium & Sanguinaria

I got back to a spot of gardening today.

The garden really seems to be trying its best to grow at the minute.

I noticed Fritellaria, Erythronium and Sanguinaria looking really well right now.

The Amalanchier has also just come into flower, ahead of the Magnolia.

I think it's going to be that sort of year!


29 April 2013 19:09:25


I visited Altamont last Saturday with our visitors and it's really looking super.

I hope to put up a small album in the next few days but, for the moment, this is the only photo.


29 April 2013 11:13:29
Dendrobium Starclass 'Purple'

Dendrobium Starclass 'Purple'

I've been a bit tied up with guests the last few days but now they have gone.

This Dendrobium orchid opened recently so I thought I'd put up a photo.

I got it, as a division, in January from LindaB, who originally got a keiki from RitaD, a lady who used to look into this site.

When Linda gave it to me it had swellings for buds but I was sure that they would abort and turn into keikis because of all the disruption the plant had experienced. But they didn't and now the flowers have opened.

I think it is Dendrobium nobile Starclass 'Purple' but I could be mistaken.

Thank you, Linda. Off to do some gardening now.


26 April 2013 17:05:21


It was a wet old day and I spent it indoors, watering and organising my orchids.

I think I've shown the ones in the kitchen off to better effect now.

Outside, I supervised the moving of large pots of tulips and box and placed them for best effect.

I've added a few new orchid pics to the album...

My Orchids


25 April 2013 13:40:16
Peltoboykinia watanabei

Peltoboykinia watanabei

This plant is just starting to make an appearance.

It has a really long name but for some reason it trips easily off the tongue and is easy to remember.

The leaves are great but very similar in colour to the ground so it's not shown off as best it can be when it first appears.

But the leaves are wonderful once they get going, and this is the real reason for growing this plant. I had flowers last year, which were a bonus.

In The Greenhouse

25 April 2013 13:29:30

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A wet old day today.

Here's hoping the rain keeps the frost off!

More photos in the April album...

Douentza, Apr 2013

Bits & Pieces

24 April 2013 22:47:04
Crambe maritima

Crambe maritima

I felt like taking it a bit easy today. Besides, we have people coming to stay so I didn't want to start making a mess with the second bale of mulch!

I potted on tomatoes, tomatillo, Cosmos and Dahlia imperialis. And I brought my 40+ Ricinus communis plants out from the kitchen to the greenhouse.

It should be plenty warm for the Ricinus now and they'll benefit from the extra light. That meant I emptied two sets of staging in the kitchen and could put them in the greenhouse too. So the kitchen and greenhouse are much tidier, despite the greenhouse having many more individual pots in it since yesterday.

It's wonderful opening all the doors and windows in the greenhouse every day. But did I see a nasty forecast for the weekend. Groan!

Let me find a photo from yesterday to put up with this journal.

Open Day

23 April 2013 23:25:05
Open Day

Open Day

Smith's Garden, Minvaude.

Open this weekend, April 28th, as part of the Wicklow Garden Scheme.

A fabulous garden, well worth a visit.

I'm only sorry not to be able to make it this year.

Dinner in the Garden

23 April 2013 18:23:16
Arisarum proboscideum

Arisarum proboscideum

It's a first for this year. Dinner in the garden. I could get used to this!

Long may it continue.

I continued mulching the Long Border today and finished the first bale. I must be more than half way through. It's not called the long Border for nothing!

I also finally cut back my Penstemons and Aretemisia 'Powis Castle' as there is new growth from the base. The Melianthus, Paulownia and Romneya were pruned about a week ago.

Poncing About With Snowdrops

23 April 2013 18:13:00
Bergenia & Primula dentriculata 'Alba'

Bergenia & Primula dentriculata 'Alba'

Yes, I must now surely be in Scrubber's club because I spent a good chunk of today poncing about with snowdrops.

I lifted a few clumps and divided, putting some clumps in the Ligularia bed, especially under that horizontal Acer I mentioned yesterday. How lovely to look through the bare branches in spring and see a mass of white underneath.

And I lifted some badly planted snowdrops, where they were growing up through primroses and spoiling the primrose display.

Yes, poncing about with snowdrops!

Symplocarpus on Strike!

23 April 2013 16:36:24
Symplocarpus foetidus

Symplocarpus foetidus

This is Symplocarpus foetidus, possibly my rarest and most valued plant.

It is flowering size and was in flower when I got it in 2011 from Terra Nova.

This plant creates heat to crack through the ice and flower in its native Nova Scotia. Its flower is claw-like and dangerous looking.

I remember vividly the excitement on bringing this amazing plant home and, despite being one-hell-of-a-stinker, it had to sit in my kitchen so I could gaze at it.

But since planting, Symplocarpus has refused to flower - not last year and not this year!

It must be concentrating on growing those amazing roots. I have no fear telling anyone where this plant is because it can never be moved (not even with the best HeadGardener spade) - its roots grow something like 6ft under the ground!

Maybe I need to increase moisture. Maybe next year for flowering!

Unfocused Wandering!

22 April 2013 18:07:42
Tulipa 'Purissima'

Tulipa 'Purissima'

The plan was to finish mulching the Long Border this morning but as usual I got distracted.

After mulching a bit of it, I switched to mulching a nearer border (that was also earmarked for mulch so why not?).

But before doing that I planted a few bits in it (best to plant now and not disturb the mulch later) - Anemonella, Farfugium etc.

Then, somehow, I ended up weeding around a tree, far away from any action, and lifting and dividing native primroses from the edges of the lawn to put around the base of this tree. What was that about? That was so far removed from anything I should be doing that it was laughable!

Focus, Rachel, focus!         

So I headed back to the Long Border but, en route, decided to mulch around my Veratrum. They need shade or moisture and since I'm not giving them proper shade and have a dry garden, I need to trap all moisture in. Best done straight away! So I did.   

Then I noticed that the Ligularia could be divided and spread around the border it was in so I did that.

Then I looked at the adjacent Prairie Border (my troublesome border - every garden should have one!) and realised it really needed weeding because it's not going to get mulched and it does run to scouch grass if left. So I did that and then I saw all the gaps and remembered how I was going to transplant some Sedums in there.

So, over to the West Garden I went and lifted Sedums and an Actaea  that I was reminded about. Last autumn there had been a list of things to be moved but I lost it!  

Back I went with Sedum & Actaea, split them up, planted them. Planted a few more things from the greenhouse, which fit with the theme.

Then the oriental poppies in that border really started to bug me. I tore out most of them from the Prairie Border. They should never have been in that border in the first place. Awful thugs, with their tap roots and messy leaves! Hate them!

And I finished by edging the 'Prairie Border' and the Ligularia bed. The Ligularia bed had to be widened slightly to give room to a mature, horizontal acer, which was extending out over the grass and liable to get hit by the mower so I did.

All in a day's work, I guess, but maybe I'll get to the Long Border tomorrow.

In Flower

22 April 2013 17:08:39

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I noticed these two small plants in flower today.

It is the first flowering of the Epimedium and I can't say I really noticed the Anemone last year but I'm pleased to see it's a fine clump now and not so easily missed!

I am a bit surprised at both.

Somehow I imagined the Epimedium would have had bigger flowers and that the Anemone was more pink.

But I like them both.

Back from Tina's

21 April 2013 18:18:31

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This morning I went to visit Tina and to see her garden in beautiful south Wexford.

It was very windy as I pulled in to the stylishly designed drive but the view was spectacular.

Tina has only been gardening this space for two years and she has done an enormous amount in that time. But Tina is up against the elements. Apparently today's wind was nothing compared to the winds that normally gust through, laden with salt spray! The wind and salt make gardening very difficult and the soil, surprisingly more clay than sand, also poses problems.

We headed off around the garden but soon I was stopped in my tracks by the most spectacular wallflower display. Now that's how they should be grown! There was plenty of pretty planting around the pond and many primroses, one of Tina's passions. I loved the monolith composition and there was a stone trough to die for.

Soon we were inside looking at Tina's orchid collection, all looking very attractive in antique clay pots. I anticipate that Tina's orchid and houseplant collection will continue to grow as she has prime space to house many exotics.

Thanks a million for having me, Tina.

Much Mulch

20 April 2013 20:45:23
Much Mulch

Much Mulch

It was a mulching day for me.

And a dividing day. And a planting day.

My twelve-year-old son, Josh, astonished me by asking if he could dig.

I put him to work where some large planting holes were required. It was hard going but he completed three of them for me.

I was flabbergasted. Don't know what that was about but I'm not knocking it.

And Sammy, my youngest, planted eight sunflower seeds in pots. He had gotten the seed packet with the Lorax DVD at Christmas. He lost the last two seeds but it's still all good!


20 April 2013 20:31:56
Sanguinaria canadensis 'Flore Plena'

Sanguinaria canadensis 'Flore Plena'

This plant so reminds me of a Spanish Flamenco dancer.

See how she has wrapped her dress around her!

Can you hear her stamp her foot and shout 'olé'?

Okay, maybe I was too long in the sun today!


Spoiler for Tina

20 April 2013 20:08:07
Primula auricula 'C.W. Needham'

Primula auricula 'C.W. Needham'


Tina, one of your auricula is flowering in anticipation of tomorrow :)

Spring Trees

19 April 2013 22:55:00
Prunus serrulata 'Accolade'

Prunus serrulata 'Accolade'

It's a funny old spring.

Last year I was delighted with the early flowering plum, Prunus cerasifera 'Nigra'. It flowered for simply ages and looked great when there was little else in the garden.

This year the same tree is a disappointment. There was no point when I could say it was fully in flower and now it is definitely gone over.

On the other hand, the early cherry blossom, Prunus serrulata 'Accolade' is making much more of an impression on me this year.

My magnolias have a way to go to flowering yet. Funny old spring.

Succulents & Agapanthus

19 April 2013 19:17:01

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I did  some potting today, focusing primarily on succulents.

I had a lot of succulents in individual pots, some of which had suffered in the bad winters. Many looked too small and sad for their clay pots.

So I took them all out and repotted them in clay dishes together or around larger specimens. They look a lot better now and are more manageable. I freed up about 14 clay pots to boot! They will come in handy for pelargoniums and orchids.

And I potted on a few seedlings. I had a hopeless task with a pot of Agapanthus seedlings, sown too close together. I spent a long time trying to untangle them and gave up in the end! So I just potted them on en masse, like I did last time. Now I know the reason for it :P

Hey, I was delighted to see Trillium erectum has germinated. Only another six years to go until flowers now! And, miraculously, my Fritellaria never broke in the wind!

Child of Starry Eyes

18 April 2013 22:55:27
Child of Starry Eyes

Child of Starry Eyes

A while back I put up a journal about Omphalodes 'Starry Eyes', the best Irish cultivar of Ompahlodes.

Starry Eyes, however, seldom comes true from seed.

But all babies are worth growing as you never know what beauty you might get.

Here's one of its babies that is growing in my garden.

Thanks, once again, to my good friend, Myrtle.


18 April 2013 16:54:21
Lychnis 'Orange Dwarf'

Lychnis 'Orange Dwarf'

I noticed these seedlings, looking pretty today.

It is a beautiful, yet short-lived, Lychnis called Orange Dwarf.

It has purple foliage and, guess what, orange flowers.


18 April 2013 16:47:29


Yes, the Cypripedium are up.

Two of the three are up.

And a Calanthe is also poking up in the Hardy Orchid Bed.

Come on now!

Looking Nice

18 April 2013 16:42:01
Veratrum nigrum

Veratrum nigrum


Veratrum is looking great right now.

I always think the leaves look like a queen's richly quilted robe.



18 April 2013 16:35:42
Primul 'Duncliffe'

Primul 'Duncliffe'


I guess I forgot about the tulips when I planted those primroses :P


Thoughts on Primroses

17 April 2013 19:12:10
Thoughts on Primroses

Thoughts on Primroses

I had to go up to Crumlin in Dublin today so I went via Johnstown Garden Centre. Needless to say, I picked up a few plants.

I'm finding it fairly hard to resist primroses at the moment and snapped up yet another two - the Kennedy one called 'Avondale' and a mad hyper-pink one that my son fancied (but I'm not allowed tell his friends :)).

I need to stop buying primroses now because I don't want the infamous 'dotty effect' in the garden! You know -  splodges of random, clashing colour! I am trying real hard to put only one or two types of primrose in the one location and to live with the spaces until they are big enough to divide. I want large swathes of the one type of primrose in each area.

I fear, however, that I have gone a step too far down the 'splodge route' in my new Cherry Tree Border. I'll have to look at it objectively next year but, for the moment, I'm forbidding myself from putting anything new in that border :P

And I've come to an interesting conclusion regarding purple-leaved primroses. In summer I adore purple foliage so when I came across the purple-leaved Kennedy primroses, I snapped them up. However, summer is not the same as spring. Now I think that green foliage looks nicer in spring, while purple just looks like something that is dead or still dormant. And there's already enough of that in spring without planting something that mimics it!

So, it's green leaved primulas for me from now on, if I were allowed to buy them. Which I'm not! Jesus, I hope I don't get vine weevil!

PS The other two plants I bought are Hemerocallis 'Golden Zebra' (seen recently on other members' journals) and Anemone coronaria (supposedly hardy and I have just the spot for it.).

Rubic Cubes

16 April 2013 17:34:00
Primula 'Dawn Ansell'

Primula 'Dawn Ansell'

I got loads done today in the garden but I did get some help from hubby.

Two large Stipa gigantea are now on my 'grass bank', together with three small ones that I grew from seed and the Miscanthus from the wheelbarrow.

In the West Garden both enormous fennels were moved and two large hostas were lifted, sliced and replanted.

Everything has been watered in well.

The sun shone and I'm feeling very chuffed witht he day's work!


16 April 2013 17:24:03
Streptocarpus saxorum

Streptocarpus saxorum

This is my favourite Streptocarpus.

That is not hard because it is my only Streptocarpus.

It is just coming into flower. I love the foliage on it.

The Jury's Verdict

16 April 2013 17:18:23
Pachyphragma macrophyllum

Pachyphragma macrophyllum

I put up a journal about this plant a while ago because I couldn't make my mind up as to whether I liked it or not.

Okay, I've decided.

I do like it after all.

The Colour Blue

15 April 2013 14:48:03
Omphalodes cappadocica 'Starry Eyes'

Omphalodes cappadocica 'Starry Eyes'

I was delighted to spot this little beauty this morning, just coming into flower.

I had feared that I had somehow offended it because there was no sign of flowers until recently. But it was just late, like everything else this year.

Starry Eyes is an Irish cultivar and far superior to Omphalodes verna (often touted as the best) in my book. Thanks to Myrtle for introducing me to it.

This plant has spread nice and wide in the two years I've had it and doesn't require fussing. I can't wait until the whole plant is a mass of tiny blue, white-rimmed flowers.


15 April 2013 14:35:47
Camellia 'Debbie'

Camellia 'Debbie'

I did a few hours in the garden this morning but my heart wasn't in it.

I guess it's the stage in the game where I feel like I've been doing this clear-up for years and it's still not finished.

The plan was to dig up three large grasses and relocate them. And likewise with two large fennel plants. There was also a potted Chionochloa rubra to go in the place of one of the grasses.

Well one of the large grasses is up, and sitting in the wheelbarrow, and the Chionochloa has gone into its place. But that's all that came of that plan today. The grasses were hard to lift so I wimped out in favour of clearing borders. Mañana...

Harmattan, Wood Anemone & Cypripedium

14 April 2013 16:34:48
Echium pininana

Echium pininana

It's like a Harmattan out there. The wind is dreadful.

It was quite scary last night. I lay awake, fretting about the greenhouse and the trampoline. Then today I suddenly remembered my crown fritellaries. I ventured outside, sure that I was too late, but they are still standing. The wind is from an unusual angle and that seems to have spared them. I placed a full wheelbarrow between them and the wind. There's no point in staking.

I was delighted to see that the two wood anemones I grow have spread nicely. I have 'Robinsonianan' and 'Vestal'. Vestal is the prettiest little thing imaginable and I am pleased to see it is thriving, despite not having been planted in the most ideal place.

And, big excitement, some of the Cypripedium in the hardy orchid bed are poking up!

Best Dry Shade Plants

14 April 2013 10:42:35


13 April 2013 20:50:20
Tulipa 'Giuseppe Verdi'

Tulipa 'Giuseppe Verdi'

I caught a very good gardening programme this morning, by accident, called Beechgrove. The repeat was on a.m. after the repeat of last night's Gardener's World, which I had missed.

You can catch it at 7:30pm on BBC2 Scotland on a Thursday.

The programme seemed very like Gardeners' World, yet let glamorous as the presenters were older and there was talk of growing show veg and mums. They did have Chris Beardshaw for this episode though :) I'll be watching it from now on...


Snuggled down to Carol Klein's Plant Personalities today. Thank you to whoever gave me that at the get-together. Clare, maybe?

The photo is from yesterday. I didn't put my nose out today.


12 April 2013 17:52:28

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Other things were on the menu today but I did take a few photos.

Still Hanging in there...

12 April 2013 17:33:07
Echium wildpretii ssp wildpretii

Echium wildpretii ssp wildpretii


Guess who's still hanging in there...

Welcome Rain

11 April 2013 18:51:46


I got lots done in the garden today.

And when the rain came, I just kept going.

Never was rain so welcome!

It's great to see things emerge and  to shake off all the winter's decay.

All the tulips in pots decided to poke up simultaneously, as if they were waiting for the rain before making an appearance. Sensible really!

Three types of cold seed germinated overnight - exciting!

I've added a few pictures to my April album, if anyone wants a look.

Douentza, Apr 2013


11 April 2013 17:55:10

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I completely forgot about my bog planter this dry spell!

It was my first year to leave the Sarracenia in situ and we had a dry spring and I forgot to water them!

However, they seem all right and I even see one flower bud coming!

Got a shock today to find that the Enniscorthy Farmers' Coop no longer stocks moss peat. I'll have to look into this but if anyone knows where I can get pure moss peat, please let me know.

The top photo shows my Sarracenia bog planted and the bottom photos shows the hardy orchids, Dactylorhiza, planted at its foot. I love their speckled foliage.


11 April 2013 10:14:53
Trillium rivale & chloropatelum

Trillium rivale & chloropatelum

The replacement shredder arrived a few days ago and hubby got the mountain (and I mean mountain) of woody stems that we had been accumulating shredded - just before the rain!

There was a little rain last night and there's a little falling now. I'm off out to make the most of the day!

The picture shows trilliums from the Alpine Show of a few days ago (although trilliums aren't alpines). I would love to get my hands on that Trillium chloropetalum.

Coming to the end

10 April 2013 13:48:57
LC Coastal Sunrise & Debdrobium Berry 'Oda'

LC Coastal Sunrise & Debdrobium Berry 'Oda'

I'm coming to the end of my orchids' flowering season.

The kitchen windowsill is still full but there are only two more definites - two plants in bud.

Of course there have been orchids that really should have flowered, yet refuse.

There are ones that I am still mildly hopeful for!

And then there are those that just keep on growing and growing enormously and don't ever want to flower.

There are a few babies and a few sulkers too.

I put the Dendrobium, that Myrtle gave me some time ago, against the LC in the photo and think the colours look very nice together.


09 April 2013 18:59:41


I'm feeling very 'weathered' today after a day in the garden. Normally I would have the whole garden sorted by this stage but it's been so cold that I have fallen behind. Another week should do it though!

The wind keeps blowing and the soil is still dry. I think I will have to water my Persicaria hill. When we had a dry spring before, I lost a number of established plants on the hill!

The lupin tree has split and will need to have a major chunk taken off. All three Clianthus have not a single good leaf to their name. The Echium wildpretii are still alive, two plants doing better than the others, but the Echium pininana is looking very sad. On the bright side, the Hydrangea I feared I had lost a few journals ago, is alive as I see green when I scratch the bark.

The light is not good for photos so I'm only putting up this one. It shows pots of 'cold seeds' (aren't we all this weather, boom, boom) under the shade of a tree where they have overwintered.  A few have germinated already (Gillenia came today) and I have great expectations for the rest.


09 April 2013 17:38:14

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I noticed these primroses coming into flower today.

The first is a drumstick primula, Primula dentriculata 'alba' - ages late!

The second is 'Pink Ice', which I think Clare recently bought.

The third is the well-known 'Dawn Ansell'


Desert Wadi

08 April 2013 19:34:27

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I spent most of the day gardening but it was windy and quite unpleasant to be out.

The Long Border is now a whisper from completion and another bed, that I had almost finished before, got finished today.

I spent a a good while removing Lysimachia 'Firecracker' from the Long Border. It had behaved itself quite well for years on one side of the border and then I decided to introduce it further down the same bed. However, it has gone mental there so it's coming out. I might even take it out of the garden altogether - haven't decided yet.

The earth is completely dessicated from all this wind. It's cracking like a desert wadi! So I watered anything newly planted. Watering in April! What complete madness!

I was disgusted to note that something has dug up two of my tulips - from the big display! Grrr!

And, silly me. One of the two auriculas I bought on Saturday (Primula auricula 'Sword') is one that I already have. Don't ask! It's complicated and really not worth the telling!


07 April 2013 16:23:46
Primula marginata 'Nancy Lucy'

Primula marginata 'Nancy Lucy'

Not much gardening done today because of a visit from Carl Wright. But there was plenty of gardening chat!

The photo shows the beautiful little primula that Joan got me yesterday.

Isn't it a beauty? The foliage is just wonderful. See how the auricula behind it look beefy in comparison to its delicate foliage!

It has that floury like covering to its leaves and flowers that auricula have. It washes off with water or rain.

I think that I will lift the auricula I have in the garden and put them in pots. I couldn't work out why they never looked too well when I put them in the garden but now I think half the reason is that they loose the floury covering due to wetting from rain.

JoanG's Garden

07 April 2013 16:00:13
JoanG's Garden

JoanG's Garden

Yesterday Joan invited us back to her place for some tea and a look at her lovely garden.

The first thing that struck me about Joan's was how much love goes into that garden. I always think too that anyone who puts so much spring interest in must have the true gardening spirit! It is easy to concentrate on summer impact but only the hardy venture out in spring!

Joan has large sweeps of hellebores, snowdrops and primulas and is developing a nice echo effect along the borders with dark-leaved Corydalis and pale double primulas. There was a magnificent, large Camellia with the kind of glossy deep-green leaves that only come about through correct positioning and proper care. It was just breaking into flower, with blooms of pristine hue, with not a hint of brown.

It was lovely to drink tea, with the patio doors open and look out at the many happy birds. Thanks a lot for your great hospitality, Joan.

JoanG's Garden, Apr 2013

Fran's Garden

07 April 2013 15:46:30
Fran's Garden

Fran's Garden

I was delighted to get the opportunity to see Fran's newly-completely garden yesterday.

And what a surprise when I got there - the second arch he had been talking about was already in place!

The sun smiled upon Fran's efforts and the garden looked terrific. Angela's Corner, which I had come to think of as an area of late-season-interest, because of the grasses, was looking super in spring. The Bend also looked great, all neatly finished with the attention to detail we have come to expect from Fran. And the arches linked the various spaces together seamlessly.

The most mature section of the garden, directly behind the house, wasn't looking any less well. I won't say it is untouched by the seasons but it certainly doesn't suffer from winter like most gardens do. I really like the new positioning of gargoyle and entourage and thought they looked like they had found a niche.

Well done, Fran. When are you starting on the Bloom garden?

Fran's Garden, Apr 2013

Alpine Show, Cabinteely

06 April 2013 21:05:07

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What a brilliant gardening day I had today!

First off I met up with Fran & KindredSpirit and saw Fran's 'completed' garden. Boy is it looking good, but more about that in another journal! We had a lovely lunch then headed off the Alpine Show.

Clare was already there and had single-handedly mopped up all the plants for sale by members. Sacks, she had! I found a double snowdrop and primula she had missed so was happy with them.

Then JoanG arrived and we started chatting. I'm sure she thought I'd bought all the members' plants but I explained it was Clare ;-)

We decided to head straight for the nursery section before all the good stuff was gone and soon we were catching up with everyone and getting very distracted from the important job at hand! I did get my hands on two nice auriculas and picked up two more for Tina.

Then out we went to look at the breathtaking displays. Now I don't grow alpines but those displays would make anyone want to try. I think that has got to be the mark of a good display!

So, after passing many a comment and multiple oohs and ahhs and pondering - if you could have one display plant, which one would you take? It was all too much for me. I decided to head back into the plants sales and get myself one of the Primula marginata I'd seen for sale earlier. I was so impressed with the one in the show (3rd photo). And, do you know what? Joan went and bought it for me! That was so nice of you, Joan. Thanks a million :)

And it wasn't all over yet, oh no. After dropping off a few promised plants we all headed back to Joan's for tea and cake, in best gardening fashion. And I got to see her beautiful garden for the first time. But more about that in another journal.

I've put an album of alpine photos up.

And so the gardening season finally begins...

On The Lookout

05 April 2013 22:12:42
On The Lookout

On The Lookout

Tomorrow, at the Alpine Show, I'll be on the lookout for a few nice auriculas.

They had some pretty ones last year.

I fancy a little pot display...

Pictured is one Fran gave me at the Johnstown get-together. Thank you, Fran :)

Barnhaven Primroses

05 April 2013 22:02:00

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

I came back from Terra Nova recently with a number of Barnhaven primroses, which Deborah raised from seed.

They are just so pretty I can't stop smiling whenever I look at them!

I spent a happy hour in the greenhouse today taking photos and potting Arisaema and other bulbs.

The two in the first photo are my favourites but I love them all :)

More primrose photos in my April album...

Douentza, Apr 2013


Name Please?

05 April 2013 21:33:45
Name Please?

Name Please?


Can anyone tell me the name of this cute littler perennial?

Photos Up

05 April 2013 09:58:01
Photos Up

Photos Up

Just to say that the Coolaught photos are now all up...

Coolaught, Apr 2013

Bought myself a pot of Chinodoxa 'Pink Giant' while I was there but didn't get a chance to look at the nursery, especially the new stock that had just come in.

Blue Skies

04 April 2013 22:43:44
Rubus spectabilis 'Olympic Double'

Rubus spectabilis 'Olympic Double'

With blue skies and sunshine, it was off to Coolaught Gardens for us!

Although early in the season, there was plenty to see in the gardens. I'd just missed the crocus lawn but was too early for the Laburnum tunnel!

Zak, my teenage son, stuck with me on the visit and was very helpful, noting down plant names for me on his phone and pointing out the snakes head fritellarias (his favourite). Very indulgent of him really :)

I love visiting gardens at this time of year because you can see their structure and how they are composed.

Finally, when Sammy pointed out that we'd been around every path three times, we knew it was time to go!

The site seems very slow tonight, uploading my album. I'll put a link to it here once it is complete.

What Is It?

03 April 2013 19:43:44
What Is It?

What Is It?

I got such a surprise today when I went out to the garden.

Look what I spotted!

I wonder what on earth the Miss Anthropy & Dr Acula, the gargoyles in residence, will have to say about this surprising turn of events.

My boys were captivated though and my daughter cried when she read the little verse :'(

Verse reads : I knew a little girl who would leave her garden noisily then tiptoe back to see what it was like when she wasn't there.

Last Pruning

03 April 2013 19:36:33
Hepatica 'Blue Jewel'

Hepatica 'Blue Jewel'

Somehow I always leave pruning the Buddleia until last. This year was no exception but now they're done.

And I pruned Robinia and Cornus alba 'Elegantissima'. I had postponed pruning the Cornus because I wanted to make hardwood cuttings and was never 'ready' to do that. Today I pruned and made hardwood cuttings.

The last think left is the Paulownia but I'm going to have a look at the forecast before tacking them. I was disgusted to see that a lovely Hydrangea I planted in the warm snap (yes, there was one) before the Arctic blizzard set in seems to have died. I will check it better tomorrow!


02 April 2013 23:59:28

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

I took a trip around the garden in the sunshine this morning.

I couldn't help marvelling at the enormous difference between plants in the Fritellaria genus.

If I didn't know already, I would hardly guess that these two plants were so closely related.

Can't wait for the Imperial fritellarias to bloom!

Miss Scarlet

02 April 2013 22:14:31
Miss Scarlet

Miss Scarlet

This is the Cymbidium Jacinta gave me some time back.

I've called it Miss Scarlet to fit in with the Cludo theme I have going with my Cymbidiums but it's not a real name.

I love the rim of white around the edge of the petals.

Thank you, Jacinta.

Alpine Show, Saturday?

02 April 2013 14:22:33
Hermodactylus tuberosa

Hermodactylus tuberosa

I wonder who is going to the Alpine Show in Dublin on 6th April?

I went last year and thought it was great, despite not being particularly interested in alpines...

Alpine Garden Society

They had lots of plants for sale too from the usual nurseries and, if you arrive early, there are members plants for sale.

I intend to go and it might be a good chance to meet up.

Spaghetti Meatball Bed

01 April 2013 13:03:08


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