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Rachel's Journal

Rachel's Journal January 2014

Last Post 1389 days ago

Rain

31 January 2014 11:13:29
Streptocarpus 'Harlequin Blue'

Streptocarpus 'Harlequin Blue'

The rain was coming down in sheets this morning. Of course the heating didn't come on so I had to go out in the rain to manually switch it. Then a little later I was out again to switch off the heating in the greenhouse. And then, doing a little potting I remembered that I'd left the polystyrene in the greenhouse so had to go out in the rain a third time!

Well it's yucky and the last day of January. Good riddance, I say.

I've added a few photos to my January album but it's mostly house plants.

Douentza, January 2014

No Two The Same

29 January 2014 15:49:54

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I adore these little antique clay pots.

Originally they come from a pottery here in Enniscorthy but I had to chase them up north to finally get my hands on them.

As they are all handmade, no two are identical. There are differences in colour and shape. Some are lopsided and some have the potter's thumbprint still visible on the side. But they are all a lilttle slice of history and just beautiful! It brings a smile to my face whenever I work with them.

I thought I would take longer getting through the 50 pots that I bought but I only have a few left. I really should have bought more!

Signs of Spring

28 January 2014 22:50:06
Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring

It was cold and wet today and I hadn't planned on any gardening.

But then I spotted something out the patio doors. It was Iris 'Katharine Hodgkin', not yet open but bravely emerging from the ground.

As it wasn't actually raining, I was out in a flash to edge the bed and tidy it up a little. Imagine such poor little beauties having to come up in the middle of scruffiness!

There are lots of snowdrops and white hellebores in the garden now and the other hellebores are beginning to bud up. Oh for a flash of sunshine to get some photos!

The photo shown is from the weekend when we had a Doctor Who themed birthday for my son. There are some plants in the photo and the patio doors give onto the irises (tenuous link, I know). But of course you can't see them! Who recognises the Doctor Who character?

Another Orchid

27 January 2014 19:26:23
Cattleya Johnstown Orange

Cattleya Johnstown Orange

This is the cattleya hybrid orchid I bought at Johnstown the meeting before last.

I can't believe how long it has taken to open!

The flowers are small but there are lots of them and I adore that orange and purple mix!

 

Rejuvenation

27 January 2014 18:52:56
Rejuvenation

Rejuvenation

Rejuvenating last year's pelargoniums by cutting off an inch of roots from the bottom and burying some of the stem at the top.

I used a bread knife.

The stem will quickly grow new roots and the plant won't miss the inch from below.

The Trick

23 January 2014 13:20:59
The Trick

The Trick

Hubby took some photos of me watering orchids yesterday.

He has captured in a photo the trick to successful growing - pour a little sunshine onto your plants.

It's the magic ingredient :)

Yarn Bombing

22 January 2014 22:48:43
LC Blossom Bounty

LC Blossom Bounty

Inspired by Jurga, I have decided to do something new in my garden for this year's Open Day.

I am knitting like mad at the moment.

Will keep you posted :)

Ding Dong

21 January 2014 15:38:47
Ding Dong

Ding Dong

Ding dong, went the postman.
What on earth could that be since I haven't ordered anything?
Oh, Jurga, you are spoiling me too much! It is beautiful!!! Thank you.

Pruning & Moss

20 January 2014 16:52:18
Sinningia leucotrichia

Sinningia leucotrichia

It was another day for the garden. Bitterly cold at first but it soon warmed up.

I got all the roses pruned, some herbaceous cut back and the moss removed from one complete side of the drive (the worst side).

The moss had been quite dense at the edge of the drive, where it meets the borders, so I had to follow Jacinta's idea and get the hoe on it.

I feel like a great weight is lifted with the Rosa rugosa hedge pruned and the moss all lifted!

Meanwhile my men folk got another few pallets to add a fourth compost bay and turned all the compost.

I noticed new growth on my sinningia indoors. What a funny little plant!

The Gift of Snowdrops

19 January 2014 18:10:51
The Gift of Snowdrops

The Gift of Snowdrops

I'll never forget when Fran presented me with a shoebox full of snowdrops at some get-together. I was speechless. It can be a painfully long process getting snowdrops into a big garden and there it was, done for me, in one fell swoop.

That year I took the best advice and split them into clumps of 2-3 bulbs before planting in lots of different locations.

The following year the result was disappointing and I got mostly leaves.

But what a joy this year!

Thanks a million, Fran :)

6 Hours

17 January 2014 23:03:42
6 Hours

6 Hours

I did six hours in the garden today and have no photo to show for it.

So here are my boys' pots again :)

Six hours is a long time considering I only got one border and a few other bits done.

The worst job was cutting the decaying apples off Malus 'Golden Hornet'. I cut them off as far up as I can reach or until I start to go out of my mind with boredown. Would the birds not just eat them all up or would they just drop like decent apples!! I do not recommennd this tree.

Looking For...

16 January 2014 23:33:15
Looking For...

Looking For...

I am on the serious look out for the black leaved plant at the front of this photo. I spotted it in France last year and it took a lot of effort, vis-a-vis my friend contacting the local municipal gardeners, to actually get an id.

It is Ipomoea 'Sweetheart Purple' and isn't it gorgeous? Tender, of course.

Sarah Raven has it for sale on her website but won't ship to Ireland and there's a wholesaler in UK called Kernock that also has it but they are wholesale.

So if anyone sees this for sale in their internet travels, or otherwise, please please let me know.

Blossom Bounty

16 January 2014 12:39:42
Blossom Bounty

Blossom Bounty

Laeliocattleya Blossom Bounty.

Bought as a seedling from Burnham Nurseries in 2010, this is its first flowering.

And, I can tell you, four years is a very very long time!

Pelargoniums Plus

16 January 2014 12:12:45
Pelargoniums Plus

Pelargoniums Plus

I did a bit of potting on of plants that I've been overwintering in the house - pelargonium cuttings mostly.

It has been a bad season for pelargoniums cuttings for me. Lord Butte, Friesdorf and the pelargonium we call 'RitaD' did well. The RitaD ones had been grown for sharing at Johnstown so it was good I had them to offer but of little use to next year's Douentza pot display. One of my favourite pelargoniums, 'Oldbury Duet', is reduced to one cutting, which is hanging by a thread.

But gardening is like this. Some years are good for pelargoniums, ricinus, lilies, whatever. And some years are not. This coming year ny garden will not be noted for its pelargoniums but, hopefully, something else will shine.

Herb Sets

15 January 2014 17:58:54
Herb Sets

Herb Sets

When I saw those herb sets for sale in Aldi recently, I knew exactly what I would use them for. For pleiones.

So a few days ago, when I noticed that some of the pleiones in the fridge had started to grow, I knew how I'd be potting them up.

I have a number of new pleiones this year, including Steve James, which was given to me by the man himself who I met on a forum.

Competition Update

15 January 2014 15:10:26
Laeliocattleya Blossom Bounty

Laeliocattleya Blossom Bounty

You may remember my little orchid-opening competition a while back, where I asking people to guess which of nine cattleyas would open first.

To date only four of them have opened and five are left to come.

But this one, which wasn't even in the running, threw up a surprise bud, and is opening now, ahead of the five.

Isn't it always the dark horse...

Bat Plant

14 January 2014 20:57:19

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Click to zoom

Yes, I bought the Bat Plant at Johnstown.

After several years mucking about with seeds and tubers I reckoned I'd earned it.

Yes, it was expensive and yes, the flower had already gone over.

But hey, I have a Bat Plant!!!!

Do you like the 'Doctor Who' designed pot my son made for it?

More Dirt from Johnstown

13 January 2014 18:44:32

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Click to zoom

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Oh no, Poor Fran, I wonder did Maria ever believe he was given that beautiful orchid as a present! We heard house plants are a no no at their house!

 

 

 

 

 

Did you notice how some people were fierce organised with lists and everything?

 

 

 

 

 

While others were more spontaneous :)

My Tuppence Worth

13 January 2014 15:31:27

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Click to zoom

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It was a wonderful, wonderful day and thanks to everyone.

There were some real highlights, as pictured...

1) Hazel, Clare & Paul puzzling over Jurga's handwriting.

 

 

 

2) Scrubber's enthralling speech

 

 

 

 

 

3) Gerry Daly's reaction to Scrubber's speech and the Good Life quote

Thanks a million for all the lovely plants, books and seeds and the gorgeous Kris Kindle metal hanger (I just love it). Photos going up now.

Centaurea 'Shelser'

11 January 2014 11:40:32
Centaurea 'Shelser'

Centaurea 'Shelser'

I have two plants of Centaurea montana 'Alba' to give away at Johnstown.

The important thing about this plant is that it came from the garden of Shelser, a much loved garden.ie member who passed away. I would like the plants to go to someone who will remember that it came from Shelser's, even if they never met her.

Let me know who wants them.

PS I still have two books and a Dendrobium (see recent journal).

Big Thank You

10 January 2014 23:17:06

Spring

10 January 2014 18:53:01

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Click to zoom

I know that everyone is far too excited about Johnstown at the moment to talk of anything else.

But the good news is that after Johnstown, the next stop is spring :)

Some Books for Johnstown

10 January 2014 18:36:47

Getting Organised

09 January 2014 22:42:18

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A very productive day!

And I started organising my plants for Johnstown.

Labelling tomorrow.

Real Gardening

08 January 2014 15:29:10
Cattleya forbesii

Cattleya forbesii

This morning the darkness began to get to me in an unhealthy way.

When I got home about 11, I took a trip to the greenhouse, just to open it up and do a little watering. It was cold (5 degrees) but the weather was still and dry for a change and, passing by the Hardy Orchid Bed, I suddenly came up with a mad idea. What about cleaning it up for spring!

I thought it would be a half hour job but things never are and as I worked I started to realise that I felt a whole lot better.

Epimedium, asarum, hepatica, hellebores and other little bulbs were poking up all over the place. It was wonderful.

Reminder : cut off your epidimedium and hellebore foliage now if you haven't already done so !

So, I got it all ship shape and ready for spring before the rain came. The only thing left to do is to top up the grit in the orchid area. Who knows - I may add another Johnstown cypripedium to that bed after our Sunday get-together.

PS Tonight's Great British Gardening Revival is the orchid one!

Late Pressie

07 January 2014 22:13:31
Late Pressie

Late Pressie

Isn't it great when some pressie is overlooked and you get it unexpectedly.

I'm looking forward to reading these books.

They're not for Johnstown but the two books I mentioned in my Johnstown list are still available if any one wants them.

Cold

04 January 2014 20:16:46
Cold

Cold

Not much done here again today except reading my fantastic new cattleya book and dreaming.

I removed dead foliage from plants in the greenhouse and worried about how dry I'm keeping them! They mostly don't get watered unless they droop!

I noticed the Christmas box plant outside, Sarcococca confusa, was in flower in its pot but I couldn't get any scent. I whipped it into the greenhouse so that soon the whole place will smell sweet.

 

Plants for Johnstown

03 January 2014 00:40:03

Great Day for a Walk

02 January 2014 21:03:37
Great Day for a Walk

Great Day for a Walk

The morning was beautiful - crisp and dry. Given the forecast, I realised we should seize the opportunity so we headed off for a walk at Altamont Gardens.

The woodland section was closed off, due to the recent weather conditions and there were few snowdrops in sight, but we had a great jaunt all the same.

The gardens were beautifully groomed, as always. Whenever I see the pristine lawn, razor edges, weedless borders and neatly clipped hedges I think to myself how Altamont is the standard I aspire to. Pity I'm a long way off!

And, great news. The bridge out to the little island is now open to the public. I don't ever remember it being open before. Photos are in my recent album.

For Roofy

02 January 2014 15:15:17

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Here' a photo of the inside of the bubblewrapped greenhouse for Roofy, who asked.

It was a beautiful crisp mornign but the rain's coming down now.

Streptocarpus 'Harlequin Blue'

01 January 2014 21:41:09
Streptocarpus 'Harlequin Blue'

Streptocarpus 'Harlequin Blue'

Just coming into flower now.

This is the streptocarpus that won the Chelsea Plant of the Year a few years back.

Once again, I'm looking forward to this plant being a mass of flowers.

Happy New Year

01 January 2014 14:10:57
Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all.

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