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Rachel's Journal

Rachel's Journal May 2013

Last Post 1635 days 8 hours ago

Sarracenia Pitcher

29 May 2013 23:23:32
Sarracenia flava var. ornata

Sarracenia flava var. ornata

Just as a follow on from my previous posts on Sarracenia, here's one in pitcher.

The pitchers are modified leaves.

This plant was too small to produce flowers this year so it's made pitchers early instead.

I think they are very elegant and beautiful plants.

Rhodos etc

29 May 2013 17:18:53

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It was a nice sunny day here, just a little bit windy.

I noticed that it is rhodo season and thought I would post photos of these two unnamed ones from my garden.

At last the pollarded Paulownia are starting to grow leaves. That was an unreal wait!!!

The Continuing Pasta Saga

29 May 2013 17:05:12
The Continuing Pasta Saga

The Continuing Pasta Saga

We caught up with a few bits and pieces today.

Hubby ousted a whole load of my plants from the greenhouse so that he could plant his tomatoes in the border. Bloomin cheek!

And we covered the Lasagne Bed with plastic. It will make a nice logn bed for planting next year!

Plastic Rhododendron

28 May 2013 18:28:56
Rhododendron 'Percy Wiseman'

Rhododendron 'Percy Wiseman'

The thing I don't like about some Rhododendrons is that when their flowers start to go over they look awful.

Some of them go all wishy-washy pink and remind me of the plastic flowers people put on graves - you know the ones that fade badly in the sun.

Just sharing a thought :))

Anyway, this rhodo is a nice one so I'm not complaining about it at all :)

I've uploaded today's photos, if anyone wants a look...

Douentza, May 2013

Why?

28 May 2013 16:10:37

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And for those who ask what I am going to all this trouble to grow, here is the answer.

They are Sarracenia - carnivorous, North American plants, which really should be grown more! They have a long season of interest and are relatively easy to grow once a few initial set-ups have been followed.

My plants are now at their flowering stage. But once the flowers fade they will produce tall pitchers, with intricate pink, yellow and green markings. The plants have evolved to grow pitchers only after they have been pollinated, as they don't want to eat their pollinators!

I have written more about Sarracenia and setting up the Bog Planters in my column in the July Irish Garden.

I will put a few more photos in the May album shortly.

 

 

Getting There

28 May 2013 15:51:41

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After recently running out of stone, I suddenly remember another stash I had in the garden and it was exactly enough to finish off the second Bog Planter. How lucky was that!

So I finished building the second wall, mixed my sand and peat and filled the first planter. Guess what? I'm out of sand and peat now! But at least I had enough to complete one Bog Planter and get the plants in!

It's so wonderful to see it coming together after planning and talking about this for so long!

Tulips

27 May 2013 10:48:06
Tulipa 'Elegant Lady'

Tulipa 'Elegant Lady'

I can't believe that these lily-flowered tulips are only opening now.

It's indicative of how late everything is this year.

Thank goodness I don't have 600 annuals in pots waiting for tulip foliage to die back before they get planted in the Annuals Border this year!!!

Extra photos here...

Douentza, May 2013

Echium Again

27 May 2013 10:35:21
Echium wildpretii ssp wildpretii

Echium wildpretii ssp wildpretii

 

Here she comes...

PS the lump of blue on the left isn't a stray plastic bag, it's a Meconopsis!

Rain

27 May 2013 10:27:23
Rain

Rain

Isn't it amazing how the rain can help wash things clean.

The garden was very dry and then, suddenly, the rain comes and it looks lush and beautiful.

Of course it helps that hubby got the grass cut yesterday - no mean feat as the ride-on is acting up again so he had to use the push one!

Building a Wall

26 May 2013 17:36:37
Building a Wall

Building a Wall

The Carnivorous Bog project got underway in earnest today.

I removed another strip of grass to make space for the walls around the planters, levelled the ground under the planters and started shifting stone.

My garden is very stony and I've been collecting large stones for about a year for this project.

So I build the first wall, around one of the planters today, as seen.

And then I ran out of stone! It's amazing how much stone such a job takes.

Unbelievable Blue

25 May 2013 23:18:17

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I couldn't believe the colour on this Meconopsis poppy today.

It is completely unreal. It may actually be just too much of a mad colour but I'll hardly get rid of it. The boys loved it !!!

My son, Josh, decided he wanted to dig again and finished off digging the holes for the box balls. He said to me afterwards that if I wanted any new beds, he was my man! I don't know what this interest in digging is due to but it is just brilliant!

Other than that, there was little gardening done as I had to go to Wexford. Hubby sprayed some weed killer and drilled the overflow holes in the bog planters for me. I must get on with that job!

I repotted some orchids when I got home and watched Chelsea. I can't wait for Bloom now!

PS Is anyone else finding that Liquidambar is very slow to leaf up? My two experienced leaf burn with the late frosts and are slow to make an effort now. Cercis is also pretty leafless!

Hardy Orchids in flower

24 May 2013 16:30:33

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Two of my three Cypripedium are in flower. Happy days!

The wind is really dreadful and it's so dull that I've been waiting for several days now to get some good photos of them. Today I gave up and just took photos regardless!

You may recall that last year I made a hardy orchid bed by excavating earth and refilling with perlite, grit etc.

Cypripedium are the crème de la crème of hardy orchids, and possibly the most tricky, so I am very pleased with my achievement.

The first one is Cypripedium Aki 'Pastel', bought at Johnstown at out get-together last year. It is a first flowering for me. It has one large flower this year. I love it.

The second one is Cypripedium Parville, bought from Burnham Nurseries at the Orchid Fair last year in the Botanic Gardens. This is a great little one. It is nicely scented and I have six small flowers!

The third, Ulla Silkens, is coming. It has large white flowers with pink markings and I flowered it last year so I know what to expect. I wonder will I get two flowers this year!

They may be tricky but they are so worth it. And now that I know I can grow them I reckon I have space for another two cyps in that bed!

Clay

24 May 2013 16:05:35
Clay

Clay

I'm very pleased with the Aldi terracotta pots for €6.

They are really big, but not too much.

They are just perfect for a number of large Mediterranean plants that I needed to pot on.

I could do with a few more but I seem to have snapped them all up.

A few more garden photos added to the album...

Douentza, May 2013

Celmisia

23 May 2013 23:28:57
Celmisia

Celmisia

I'm looking forward to the flowering of this Celmisia.

I think its foliage looks nicer than the daisy-like flowers though.

But this time I intend to collect the seed and sow it.

The Hill & Bloom

22 May 2013 23:27:50

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Spent a few hours weeding the Persicaria hill today.

It's not my favourite job but it has to be done.

I noticed the Typhonium leaves looking particularly lovely today.

I wonder is anyone going to Bloom on the Friday?

Mutant

22 May 2013 23:04:18
Cymbidium Miss Scarlet

Cymbidium Miss Scarlet

Strangely the flowers on the second spike of this Cymbidium are deformed.

The first spike was normal and is still present but the second spike has weird conjoined flowers.

See how the flowers have an extra petal below and two lips each.

Every flower on the second spike is like this. Strange!

Paeonia delavayi

21 May 2013 19:53:10
Paeonia delavayi

Paeonia delavayi

What a glorious day it was. It was wonderful to be able to eat outdoors and enjoy the garden for a change.

I took all the gingers out of the greenhouse and tidied them up then I took them over to the West Garden where they are to be planted. There are 10-12 large pots of it.

My daughter put them in position and seemed very happy to be asked to do that but I didn't quite get around to planting them. Look at the lovely tree peony that's in flower at the back of that border!

I've been enjoying the Chelsea coverage. But isn't it a shame not to have a Dermot Gavin garden to gripe about for a change ;-)

Sarracenia

21 May 2013 19:39:33
Sarracenia

Sarracenia

I spent a long time outdoors today but I'm not quite sure what I was doing :P

Did you all get your hands on those lovely large clay pots in Aldi for €6? They are great value and I've done a bit of potting up using them.

Following my trip to Liga's on Sunday, I took a leaf out of her book and went a bit mad with the secateurs, cutting pieces off a lot of Aeonium and Brugmansia and potting them up separately.

And following my visit to Bill's I filled some buckets with water and left them around the greenhouse to raise the humidity. It was an eye opener to feel the difference in humidity and air circulation in Bill's greenhouses, compared to mine.

Orchid Paradise

19 May 2013 22:47:11
Dendrobium anosmum var. album

Dendrobium anosmum var. album

Today Liga and myself visited Orchid Paradise. It's in County Meath, don't you know?

We went to the home of Bill Hunter, founder of the species specific orchid site, orchid importer, seller and member of garden.ie. Bill, and his lovely family, were most welcoming to us and soon we were chatting away like old friends.

Bill has been growing orchids for many years and has perhaps 2000 plants in his greenhouses. I can tell you, we didn't know where to look next. There were so many different types and many genus that I'd never even heard of. Bill is an encyclopaedia of knowledge and helpfulness on orchids.

So a great big thank you to Bill and his family for such wonderful hospitality and Liga for being, as always, such great company. What a wonderful day!

Unfortunately, I had no camera so the photo was taken when I got home. Look at this monster Dendrobium that stowed away with me somehow! Isn't it like something from the film 'Alien'?

Garden Views

18 May 2013 10:30:54

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A few garden shots in yesterday's sunshine.

Anticipation

18 May 2013 10:18:47

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I can't wait for the hardy orchids to open.

The picture shows Cypripedium in bud in the Hardy Orchid bed I made last spring.

They should open any day now. So excited.

I have three and know the names but not their positions so unfortunately I won't know which is which until they open.

Arum 'Crimea'

17 May 2013 18:06:21
Arum 'Crimea'

Arum 'Crimea'

 

Arum has opened.

Eek

17 May 2013 17:58:43
Eek

Eek

I was delighted to pick up these two little cast iron mice today and put them together with an ornamental bird cage that was headed for the bin.

 

Here We Go!

16 May 2013 16:55:20
Here We Go!

Here We Go!

I started the first stage of the carnivorous bog today.

I removed strips of grass from beside our table area. The two borders beside the table are now linked and there is just one border going almost all the way round the table.

I will put my two planters in this area, roughly as pictured, and build two dry stone walls around them to hide the ugly plastic. The remaining ground will be planted.

The area pictured, with the two planters, is at a higher level than the paving that the table is on. So, because at a higher level and the fact that the planters are higher again, I hope to be able to look my Sarracenia in the eye when eating dinner!

King Protea

15 May 2013 23:34:56
King Protea

King Protea

This is King Protea.

It was bought as a seedling at a plant fair in 2010.

Well, I didn't fancy all that mucking about, blowing smoke on the seeds to help them germinate!

The plant grows bigger and bigger every year and is now in a big pot but no sign of flowers yet.

It keeps trying to trick me because the new leaves unfurl at the stem tips and look very like a bud before they do.

Another strange thing is that if you manually unfurl the leaves, they kind of spring open. Normally plants just get damaged from that kind of messing!

And, this will not be the year for it to flower either. I saw its brothers in full flower already in the Botanic Gardens last week. Maybe next year...

Clianthus

15 May 2013 13:39:00
Clianthus

Clianthus

I was very pleased to come across this sight in the garden this morning (excuse the dreadful picture). It is Clianthus and it is going to flower!!!

I was given three small plants by Deborah in 2011 and they grew into small, healthy bushes. Then, after all that, THIS SPRING two of them seem to have died. So you can imagine how pleased I was to come across buds on the final one. The lesson here is to always plant in threes!

I did some mulching this morning (nearly finished now) but was driven in by the wind.

The I remembered the fresh Hepatica seeds that had been sent to me in the post so I scurried out to sow them and ended up potting on a few more seedlings.

Hey, anyone got a copy of the latest Gardeners World magazine?
I'm looking for the garden entrance card, 2 for the price of 1, if you're not using it please!

Polygonatum

15 May 2013 08:19:14
Polygonatum

Polygonatum

I love this variegated Polygonatum. It was another Terra Nova purchase a few years back.

I did some planting and moving of things yesterday. I planted Cosmos out and will take the risk.

I also tidyied up the plants-in-waiting area, giving it a good sweep. It's good to see the plants reducing.

Carnivorous Bog

13 May 2013 21:50:06

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I did a little gardening today until the rain beat me indoors.

Then I decided it was time to go get the things I need for my Carnivorous Bog Garden.Si I did.

Time is marching on and I need to get this project done.

Watch this space!

Garden Views

12 May 2013 16:08:41

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Another miserable day.

Can't get the motivation up to go out and do a bit!

I broke out the liquid feed and gave some to the pelargoniums and other plants in the greenhouse.

So we're all fed up now! Boom, boom!

Douentza, May 2013

 

 

My Namesake

11 May 2013 23:20:56

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This is the Darlingtonia, my namesake.

It is a carnivorous plant.

The photo was taken yesterday in the Botanic Gardens as, unfortunately, I lost mine in the bad winters.

I think I'm going to have to look out for a replacement as it is a great plant.

Botanic Gardens

11 May 2013 18:57:16

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Out and about yesterday, I got the chance to spend an hour and a half in the Botanic Gardens before it closed.

The tulips are looking fabulous - they made me start planning for next spring!

Echium wildpretii was also looking good, putting on that growth spurt that hints at flowering, like the ones in my garden.

Nothing of major interest in the orchid house but the Sarracenia were in flower and fabulous.

We came across a wedding party and my daughter insisted on me taking a photo.

 

Happy Birthday to me!

11 May 2013 16:34:37
Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to me!

No, it's not my birthday!

But I got my pressie yesterday.

Last year I got a big box of orchids for my birthday, a whole month early!

But this year I've been even more precocious and got my pressie two months early!!!

Couldn't resist. I'll get a smart phone next year. Isn't it gorgeous though?

Shady Corner

10 May 2013 12:08:29
Shady Corner

Shady Corner

A few more little touches to Brendan's shady corner...

The little table is the one I recently bought for €12 in TK Max and the shelf came from the same shop.

Getting there...

The wind is NOT getting them!

09 May 2013 17:11:49
The wind is NOT getting them!

The wind is NOT getting them!

The last two nights I woke up with the wind, fearing the worst for my Cypripedium.

In the morning the Cyps were still standing so I had assumed that their position was  nice and sheltered (which was the original intention). My Fritellaria imperialis was downed but the Cypripedium were still okay!

But today, potting on South African bulbs in the greenhouse, I noticed how the wind shakes the Cyps and bounces them about.

Maybe they can take it. But I'm taking no chances! Two are very tall now and one has a whopping five buds. There is no way I am loosing those to wind!

So this is my elegant solution!

Who Knows...?

08 May 2013 17:05:22
Who Knows...?

Who Knows...?

Aren't these the prettiest little seedlings?

But who knows what they are?

Deborah and Fran, you are excluded from guessing!

Trachelium

08 May 2013 16:44:29
Trachelium caeruleum

Trachelium caeruleum

This plant came into flower yesterday and I was surprised because I didn't remember it.

Then I went and checked my notes and found it is Trachelium caeruleum, grown from seed that Myrtle gave me early last year.

Between the swings and the roundabouts, the seeds didn't do well for me so I only ended up with two plants but that is enough.

Thank you, Dear Myrtle :)

Pot Tidy

07 May 2013 23:24:28
Hardy Orchid Bed & Pot Tidy

Hardy Orchid Bed & Pot Tidy

We've done a bit of a rejig of the area beyond the greenhouse, where the compost area was.

Last year I had three compost bays beside the Hardy Orchid Bed - two held compost and one was a pot tidy.

It was never ideal because I was always afraid to open the pot tidy for fear that the side pallet would fall on the Orchid Bed. And, besides, it all looked a bit cramped.

So, now the compost has been moved further up. Only one bay, the pot tidy (pictured), remains.

This gives me a little more space and I fancy extending the Orchid Bed a little to be able to plant the slightly-tender Rhododendron 'Lady Alice Fitzwilliam' there, where it's nice and sheltered. For the moment I've just put my newly potted Echium and Verbascum seedlings there.

It Worked

07 May 2013 17:59:55

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You may recall how I had timing issues last spring with one set of tulips opening before the other.

This year I planted the earlier tulips on their side to delay them.

And, guess what? It worked!


I have Carlton and Prinses Irene in flower at the same time!

Wicklow

06 May 2013 23:42:33
Wicklow

Wicklow

Today was a glorious day. I'd had enough of mulching and, feeling that I'd broken the back of it, I deserved a day off.

We went to the National Garden Exhibition Centre in Kilquade, Wicklow. We all went.

It was a glorious, sunny day. We need to make the most of these!

At one point I felt worried that the boys were not enjoying themselves as they let me wander on ahead in the gardens. But they were just enjoying the gardens in their own way. I think they sat on every single available seat, and there were MANY!

The gardens were magnificent. I think they are very inspirational in terms of fantasising about what you would do if you had money... But most of us don't have money so we still pick the lessons we can learn from the planting. And it is all good.

The gardens are free all this year so do visit, if you are anyway near!

I bought nothing so afterwards when we headed to Arklow for lunch (no tables available in the restaurant of the National Garden Centre) I popped into TK Maxx. It isn't a patch on the Limerick branch but I picked up a small, metal garden table for €12. Very, very pleased. I need more seats and tables in my garden.

Anyway, here are some photos. Enjoy!

National Garden Exhibition Centre, Wicklow

Tree Id please!

06 May 2013 20:37:20

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You know how you get an idea in your head about an id and never question it. Well, I think I've been doing that for years with one particular tree.

This tree was planted almost 13 years ago for our middle son. It pre-dates any interest in gardening and has travelled from our previous address with us.

It is a well-behaved, small tree (10 foot after 13 years), with nice, striped bark and up until now I thought it was Acer rufinerve.

But the leaves are not like maple leaves! I only came to realise this this morning when assessing another problem!

And the second problem is : do the seedlings that appear under it belong to it? The seedlings seem like maple (with the typical leaves) and grow quickly. People have identified them as sycamore seedlings previously but they do seem to be coming from this tree, which is not sycamore.

If it were a species tree like Acer rufinerve then the seedlings couldn't be from it but if it is not rufinerve and some class of cross that doesn't come true from seed then maybe they do belong.

Can anyone help? What is the tree in photo one? Does the seedling in photo two belong to it?

Arisaema

06 May 2013 20:15:43
Arisaema nepentoides

Arisaema nepentoides

Nearly missed this! Oops!

I was delighted to see Arisaema nepenthoides up and flowering this morning.

I had companion planted it with an orange perennial wallflower, in response to a lovely combination of orange Euphorbia with this aroid that I had seen in Huntingbrook.

But my Erysimum 'Apricot Twist' seems to have died on me so the aroid is all on his lonesome :(

Mind you, where was that lovely combination in Huntingbrook when I visited last week? It is no more. I must ask Jimi what happened.

New Corner

05 May 2013 20:04:27
New Corner

New Corner

I'm working on developing this corner beside the shed this year.

The metal shelf was bought in TK Max when I visited with Deborah a few weeks back but I still haven't decided on what plants to put in it.

Maybe I should have bought three!

This area is under construction!

M is for Magnolia

05 May 2013 19:50:18
Magnolia 'Star Wars'

Magnolia 'Star Wars'

My Magnolias are coming into flower.

This is the first to open.

T is for Tulip

05 May 2013 19:42:56
Tulipa 'Little Beauty'

Tulipa 'Little Beauty'

Lots of tulips up in my garden now.

These botanic ones were looking lovely today.

It looks like the trick of planting the doubles in the main display on their sides has worked too and both types will be in flower together.

R is for Rhododendron

05 May 2013 19:36:44

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Don't you just love 'em?

Last Orchid

04 May 2013 23:32:34

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Potted on a few seedlings today - Swertia and Wahlenbergia.

But mostly it was an orchid day for me. My final orchid is opening. I live in hope for a few others but there are no buds yet...

This one is Miltoniopsis, which I struggle with. They need lots of water. But this particular hybrid must be easier than most because it is doing well for me and reflowering with three spikes. Maybe it's down to the generous amount of sphagnum I put in when potting on last.

Huntingbrook

04 May 2013 23:19:15
Huntingbrook

Huntingbrook

The photos that I took of Huntingbrook yesterday are up now, if anyone wants to look...

Huntingbrook, May 2013

Celandine

03 May 2013 17:28:18
Celandine

Celandine

I visited Huntingbrook Gardens this morning.

Whilst I don't like celandine, what I saw there only goes to show that every plant has its place.

The woods were carpeted with Celandine and the wooden table and tree-stump chairs looked completely charming, framed by a golden tapestry.

It was so pretty it would bring tears to your eyes. More to come.

Orange

02 May 2013 20:09:14

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I don't know if I ever mentioned it before but orange is my favourite garden colour.

I know some people think that orange smacks of autumn but I'm not among them.

Here are two great plants in my garden right now.

I spent the day mulching, weeding and I even did a little planting and moving of existing plants.

I'm getting round to feeding the hedges too.

Open Now

02 May 2013 19:58:22
Glaucidium palmatum

Glaucidium palmatum

 

There it is, all open now!

This one could grow on me!

For Krista

01 May 2013 16:33:33
Glaucidium palmatum

Glaucidium palmatum

It's not quite open yet, Kristina, so I'll try to remember to snap it again in a few days time.

I hope the plant grows some more leaves after flowering because there's not much of it there at all.

Lucky there are no slugs about this year because I remember this plant's leaves being murdered by slugs in Huntingbrook!

Final April Photos

01 May 2013 09:22:59

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I've just added the final April photos to the album.

If anyone would like to see it, it is here...

Douentza, Apr 2013

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