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Rachel's Journal

Rachel's Journal December 2013

Last Post 1419 days 11 hours ago

A Few More Orchids

30 December 2013 15:43:36

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I couldn't resist putting up a few more orchid photos before I finish using the current orchid album. The album is here and covers more than a year of orchid growing, if anyone is interested...

My Orchids

These three photos were taken today.

I as you can see, for anyone who took part in the competition, Cattleya noid Betty Boop is the third cattleya to open.

The King

30 December 2013 14:40:54
The King

The King

I love this photo of my daughter sniffing The King of Taiwan.

He is 15cm wide and has a lovely scent.

The photo isn't mine, or the camers, but I am lad to have it.

More Christmas Cactus

29 December 2013 22:42:03
More Christmas Cactus

More Christmas Cactus

Are Christmas cactus the new amaryllis on garden.ie?

I ask this because I've seen much more Christmas cactus journals this season than amaryllis/hippeastrum.

This is my second Christmas cactus. It was my mother's and I can't give it enough light because it is so big. It did well this year after a stint in the greenhouse and produced loads of buds. Unfortunately it has re-absorbed most of them due to insufficient light.

It's the downside of too many house plants! But at least I'm getting a few flowers.

Slipper Orchid

28 December 2013 17:46:38
Paphiopedilum

Paphiopedilum

I have another slipper orchid just opening.

I'm looking forward to this one flowering again.

Sláinte!

28 December 2013 14:29:27
Sláinte!

Sláinte!

Well it will soon be time to raise a toast to the New Year but you'd better be careful what cup you pick up in my house!

Liga recently told be of a cure for scale on orchids, using vodka and a little washing up liquid. I decided to test out the Irish version, using whiskey instead of the vodka.

When I was finished treating the orchid I thought I wouldn't throw out the mixture, just in case I have to use it again soon.

Hubby decided it wasn't safe to leave it lying around like that so he gave it an appetising label ;-)

Sláinte!

Christmas Day Flower

27 December 2013 11:25:59
Cymbidium

Cymbidium

It was very considerate of the orchids that at least one of them opened on Christmas Day.

This one is a cymbidium, which I've had for a few years but the flowers are always welcome.

I don't know about the rest of you but it has been unbelievably stormy here. I don't ever remember such scary winds! I was astonished to see the garden was still there this morning with no trees down!

Gardening Pressies

25 December 2013 23:59:04
Gardening Pressies

Gardening Pressies

A lovely Christmas was had by everyone here.

I thought I'd just put up a photo of the gardening things I got.

THE bOOPHANE HAD BEEN ON MY wISH lIST SINCE 2010.

Happy Bunny :)

A Few Christmas Flowers

24 December 2013 19:43:50
Streptocarpus in flower

Streptocarpus in flower

Have a great one :)

Why does Santa have three gardens?

23 December 2013 23:44:51
Ludisia discolor

Ludisia discolor

So he can ho ho ho!

 

Merry Christmas to all my garden.ie friends out there and a very Happy New Year.

Highlights

22 December 2013 10:00:18

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The recent highlights thread has got me thinking about my garden highlights for this year.

Despite a successful public Open Day in July, and great support from many friends like Clare, Myrtle, Fran, Scrubber and others who I hope will forgive me for not listing them here, that is not my best highlight of 2013.

Number one highlight has got to be the mini trip to UK that I made in August with Krista, Fran and Deborah. I saw several gardens that I had been yearning to see for many years. We saw eight in total in a whirlwind frenzy of plant buying, wine and great company.

Number two highlight is probably the trip I made to Galway in June, where I saw Caher Bridge and Lorna McMahon's. Caher Bridge being the main event. I remember it being a wet, stormy night and I stood in my kitchen for at least an hour, with my coat on, debating whether to go or not. In the end I went and was so glad that I had!

Number three highlight is the talk I gave to Limerick Garden Group back in March. They were a super group and never threw a single tomatoes! I was especially touched by people who had made a big effort to come see me, particularly my good buddy Fran (who apparently drew up in his car beside me but I never saw him). And Carl from Caher Bridge, who pulled himself away from soil sifting to make it to Limerick. The best thing though was the welcome Deborah, and a very sick Martin, gave me. Myself and Deborah had a super chat, well into the night, giving a taster for our impending UK trip.

Of course there were many other great trips that I feel guilty for not listing - Dhu Varren in June (where I chatted for hours with Mark and Laura, much to my son's dismay), The Alpine Show in April (getting to know JoanG a little and, of course, all the gang), Patthana in September (Liga's pelargonium cuttings frenzy :)), Periwinkle's SeaView in June (to see her face when we arrived at the Donegal garden), Huntingbrook & June Blake's in a balmy September (having the gardener's full attention is always invaluable) and Maulévrier in France in August.

And there were others too but this journal is already very long. The main thing about garden visits is the fact that we get so much more out of them when we are with like-minded friends :)

Cattleya forbesii

20 December 2013 20:00:30
Cattleya forbesii

Cattleya forbesii

Fully open now.

Number 2

19 December 2013 12:49:01
Number 2

Number 2

It seems that the second cattleya to open will be Cattleya forbesii.

This was number three on the list, finishing second to number seven, 'The King of Taiwan'.

So, well done, Jackie, Mobober and Jurga. But there's no prize.

Halloween Again

18 December 2013 17:52:01
Halloween Again

Halloween Again

If I didn't know better I'd swear this orchid was bleeding!

I did consider putting the photo up on the orchid forum and watching all the experience growers tie themselves in knots, speculating on what kind of exotic disease this poor orchid has.

In truth, the orchid is not sick and is certainly not bleeding.

It is beetroot on the root, caused by careless salad making :)

Competition Winner

17 December 2013 11:16:24
BLC King of Taiwan 'Dashin #1'

BLC King of Taiwan 'Dashin #1'

I've been busy with guests over the weekend but I did notice that a certain orchid decided to open to welcome them.

This one is the clear winner in our little cattleya opening competition as none of the other buds have even started to split yet.

So, although not completely open yet, The King of Taiwan is the winner.

Congratulations Sally, and Hazel too. I will message you separately to see what seeds you would like.

View From Window

14 December 2013 12:25:12

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Here is my view from an upstairs window.

The garden looks like it's about to blow away!

I thought I'd slip in the second photo showing the development of some hardy bulbs in the greenhouse. Roll on spring.

Streps

12 December 2013 12:12:24

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Streptocarpus 'Pink Leyla', from the German Fleischle collection.

I can't wait until the plant is covered in flowers!

Miscellenary

11 December 2013 20:46:52

Cats, Hellebore & Bergenia

09 December 2013 15:44:11
Oncidium in full flower

Oncidium in full flower

I decided to give the newly service felco a test drive today, by tidying up some of the borders. We have house guests on the weekend. I wonder could that have been a contributing factor?     

I cut back, weeded and cleared five borders, making the drive a much barer but more civilised place.

Hugo, our cat, felt he should help, mainly by stalking and pouncing on the rake and occasionally my hand when I reached for weeds! I  foiled him though by finding his secret hide-out, under the dome of a Japanese acer, where he is almost completely hidden from view.

I am glad to have sorted out the hellebore bed, cutting back the leaves in preparation for, hopefully, a great spring flowering. The early irises are poking up now but no sign of snowdrops yet.

Two things irked me in the garden. The way forget-me-nots masquerade as omphaloides and how easy it is to uproot bergenia if you tug as the lower spent leaves!  Ouch!               

Question of Scale

07 December 2013 18:51:39
Dendrobium Spring Dream 'Apollon'

Dendrobium Spring Dream 'Apollon'

I noticed scale on this orchid this morning.

Spent the morning picking it off and cleaning the leaves.

Nice!

Causing a Stir

07 December 2013 00:05:47
Causing a Stir

Causing a Stir

This plant is causing quite a stir in the kitchen at the moment.

When I was choosing which orchids to buy I remember how I made the choice.

I asked my youngest child, Sam, which one to buy and he chose this one.

I think it is often easy, when you get completely wrapped up in a subject, to loose perspective. Will I have something because it is unusual for its type or because it is spectacular? I couldn't see the wood for the trees so I alsed my Sammy. I think he chose well.

Conrad's Talk

06 December 2013 13:50:15

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I too was at Conrad's talk in the Botanic Gardenes last night.

He has some amazing array of plants in his garden, all densely packed in to best effect.

I loved Conrad's summing up phrase which went something like...

"Less is more but not in my garden it ain't"

It was great to see a lot of the gang again albeit for a short time.

Next stop Johnstown.

 

Competition Update

05 December 2013 12:26:38
Competition Update

Competition Update

So, how are those orchids doing?

Who is in the lead? Which one now looks like flowering first?

I think there's everything to play for with seven of the cattleyas but two particular ones do seem to be lagging behind (as if to prove that 'drivers' do not get special hints ;-)

I've put the names of who has voted for what in brackets.

1. BLC Huatand City 'TY Naughty' (PCON, Fraoch)

2. Cattleya Bob Betts (Pwiseman, Fran)

3. Cattleya forbesii (Jackie, Mohober, Hoeys)

4. Noid Betty Boop (Keego, JoanG)

5. LC Coastal Sunrise

6. Noid Johnstown Orange (Tina, Clare, Joann)

7. BLC King of Taiwan 'Dashin no. 1' (Sally, Hazel)

8. Guarcyclia Voilà (Jacinta, Scrubber)

9. LC G.C. Roebling 'Sentinel'

Propagating & Mice

04 December 2013 15:24:14
Propagating & Mice

Propagating & Mice

Despite much laziness and heel dragging, I surprised myself by actually doing gardening today!

Well, I made root cuttings at least. So, Tina and Violeta, at last I have some romneya cuttings for you as promised!

But, oh that soil is cold to the touch!

And I made a few more strep cuttings too, after performing some emergency surgery on the existing ones.

The photo shows a little ornament that usually hangs in the greenhouse. My son surprised me last week by pointing at this little fellow and announcing that he didn't like French mice.

Poor Monsieur La Souris!

3 Fave Garden Pics

01 December 2013 14:14:32

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I know I'm cheating here, but here are 3 garden pics from the summer, which I do like.

3 Best Plant Pics

01 December 2013 14:11:41

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Trying to follow on from the theme, I found it impossible to choose the three best pcitures from the summer.

I found these three plant pics, which are quite nice from May, June & July.

Oh, roll on summer!

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