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Rachel's Journal

Rachel's Journal June 2014

Last Post 1239 days 9 hours ago

Sunday Times

29 June 2014 22:29:26
Sunday Times

Sunday Times

Did anyone see today's Sunday Times?

I didn't but I understand that Philip Hollwey's meadow is featured in Jane Power's article and there is mention of his Open Day on Sunday 6th July.

Come see both our gardens on Sunday 6th July as they are appropximately 20 minutes apart!

My GPS coordinates are ... 52.67527, -6.54488

Splinters

29 June 2014 00:26:38
Splinters

Splinters

Gardening can be a tough business.

It can result in aches and pains and splinters.

It can result also in immaculate gardens, as seen today in Waterford or last week in Limerick.

For my part, I am happy to have my daughter home to remove splinters and know that I have another week until Open Day.

Hope to see you there.

Melianthus Umbrella

26 June 2014 13:25:10

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My melianthus is now very big and casting a nice bit of shade.

What better place to plant a few begonias.

But look - it seems someone else has taken up residence!

I hope it is not a stow away from my recent visit to Terra Nova :)

Visited a farmer neighbour yesterday, who thought I was mad but was extremely helpful despite my madness.

I will have some fun news on the 'new platform project' soon.

Epiphyllum

25 June 2014 00:00:48
Epiphyllum

Epiphyllum

Grown from a leaf cutting, given to me in 2008 by RitaD, this is the first flowering of this epiphyllum.

I was blown away yesterday when I saw it opeing in the greenhouse.

There is something outrageously exotic about the flowers and they really are enormous!

Who chould think that such an amazing flower would come from such an ugly plant!

Yarn Bombing

24 June 2014 00:57:24

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Inspired by Terra Nova, I spent a very productive day in the garden.

I decided to do the job that might be overlooked later, in the mad last throes of getting everthing ready for Open Day. The fiddly job of dressing my trees!

I can honestly say that I now have the best dressed trees in Knocknalour!

Some people have balloons at their entrance but I have yarn bombing so you won't miss me when you come calling!

 

Terra Nova

23 June 2014 22:59:20

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Yesterday I took a jaunt to my favourite Limerick garden, Terra Nova.
It was wonderful to see Deborah and Martin again and catch up on all the chat and the garden was exquisite.

Many people have talked about the tunnel, draped in the scented climber, Teasing Georgia, but I want to talk about the contrast with light and shade that permeates that beautiful, tropical garden.

From the magical 'woods' to the exotic Thai House, the whole garden is a treat for the senses and the imagination. It brims with unusual plants and artistic touches.

Thank you for a wonderful day, Deborah and Martin. I will upload the photo album tomorrow morning.

Pink Pig

21 June 2014 21:20:19
Pink Pig

Pink Pig

Every garden should have a pink pig :)

PS All my photos are in the June album now.

Ornaments

21 June 2014 19:40:50

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What is a garden without its ornaments?

The truth is I love them.

So today I got to unload the empty wheely bin where I overwintered a large number of my ornaments and set about finding places for them.

Even the pink pig found a home.

Hubby came home from Aldi last night with two garden standards so I was very happy to look for homes for these to.

I will upload a few photos of my work to the album soon.

And, Hazel, you'll be glad to see the bridge is back in action.

 

Round Two

20 June 2014 21:42:07
Geranium scheckteri

Geranium scheckteri

This morning, while I was giving everything a good and thorough watering, the breeze blocks arrived!

So hubby built the blocks up and we all maneuvered the new platform into place. I am very glad to have this done but now have to worry about decorating it!

Today's main job was 'round two' of planting the new Lasagne Bed. Does anyone else do this? 'Round two' involves looking at an already planted new bed and thinking - that needs more plants! So I put more plants in, including 20 ricinus and 12 pots of Arisaema consanguineum.

No one will call my beds gappy! And my plants-in-waiting area is seriously reduced!

And finally I did a couple of hours potting on and potting up this evening. The days are so long and the evenings seem to beckon for a few extra jobs to get done.

First Dahlia

20 June 2014 00:08:05
Dahlia australis

Dahlia australis

This is the first dahlia to come into flower here.

It's a species one called Dahlia australis.

I think it has a lot of elegance.

It reminds me of that wonderful year when I did Jimi Blake's Plantsperson course!

Seed Capsule

19 June 2014 23:44:10
Seed Capsule

Seed Capsule

This is Glaucidium palmatum after it finished flowering. I thought the seed capsule was very interesting.

After a very shaky start, when I thought I would loose this plant, it has really bulked up and looks brilliant now.

More Sarracenia

19 June 2014 23:34:21

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Here are a few more sarracenia flowers.

When is a ginger not a ginger?

19 June 2014 23:24:52
When is a ginger not a ginger?

When is a ginger not a ginger?

Here's a funny one for you.

The photo shows two seedlings.

One is Hedychium greenei and the other is Cautleya spicata.

For the life of me, I wouldn't be able to distinguish them without the labels!

So, I suppose the answer to when is a ginger not a ginger is - when it's a cautleya!

Garden Value & Arisaema

19 June 2014 13:08:49

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Until this year I would have said that the arisaema with greatest garden value was Arisaema costatum (1st photo). The leaves are just brilliant and they last well and look tropical, even before we talk about the dusky flowers! For he it is a good reliable one.

As for the others, I love the flowers on A. griffithii and candidissimum but they don't last long enough, nepenthoides has disappeared on me and intermedium is lovely but very small.

But this year I am super impressed with Arisaema consanguineum (2nd photo). They rose with heart-stopping rapidity from the border to an impressive height and I just think they are the most elegant thing imaginable.

I am a little biased though as these were among my first batch of seeds, sown back in 2010.

The third photo is a close up of Amorphophallus konjac, another aroid.

September Course

18 June 2014 09:04:11

More Gardening

17 June 2014 20:37:38
More Gardening

More Gardening

Yes, I did more gardening today!

There was another area I should have focused on but as my son is off school and was sitting under the parasol in the West Garden, I decided that was a good place for another round of weeding!

The West Garden is the oldest part of the garden and one side (pictured) has very traditional planting. But in June you just can't beat roses and pastels!

Still haven't gotten around to unpacking all the garden ornaments from winter! The little bridge that goes over the pond is missing, along with the frog!

Plant Fainting

16 June 2014 17:54:10
Plant Fainting

Plant Fainting

Another glorious day but the down side is that recently planted things are very vulnerable. A hydrangea that went into my new Lasagne Bed was noticeably drooping! The hose is on that border now but, speaking of water, one of the buts sprung a leak. So it was panic stations to transfer all the water before it ended up on the tarmac!

Anyway, I got a lot of plants into the ground today, filling up any gaps. It's great to see them go in.

In Flower Now

15 June 2014 23:49:07

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Some plants in flower now.

Plant Stand

15 June 2014 20:07:41

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I picked up this plant stand in spring for a very cheap price and am test driving it now for the first time.

I just love it!

Streptocarpus

14 June 2014 19:53:05
Streptocarpus

Streptocarpus

The streptocarpus on the right just newly opened.

It is called 'Fendi' and is from the Russian breeders Kabanova/Trofimeenko.

You can never tell to much from the first flowers because often they are much smaller than they will eventually be and, besides, all plants look better when covered in blooms.

But, so far so good.

Nice Alstroemeria

12 June 2014 23:37:13
Nice Alstroemeria

Nice Alstroemeria

This is a nice alstroelmeria. I like the colour.

Besides, it is tall. It needs a little staking but the flowers are a very big size so that compensates for having to stake!

Got this at Kilmurry a few years back on a visit with Fran, Paddy and Mary.

Funny story - tried to buy the plant - told it wasn't for sale - then was given propagation material for free :)

Weeding & The Empress

12 June 2014 17:57:37
Weeding & The Empress

Weeding & The Empress

I am spending a hell of a lot of time weeding up poppies this year.

Better than many other weeds, I suppose, but still a pain!

I made a great discovery today when I went to get rid of the brute, Achillea macropylla!

My Hosta 'Empress Wu', whom I'd given up for dead, was there, nestling beneath the mass of the 5ft achillea! She is a little slug eaten and not very big but very much alive.

Now, before anyone asks - the achillea is already gone and you wouldn't want it anyway! Horrible thing and it has the look of something that seeds like mad too!

Dactylorhiza

11 June 2014 23:07:42
Dactylorhiza

Dactylorhiza

The Dactylorhiza have opened.

Their purple flowers are showing off nicely in front of the yellow flowers of Sarracenia flava.

One might even say there was a Wexford theme going on here!

Bought 2 Days Ago

11 June 2014 21:08:37
Bought 2 Days Ago

Bought 2 Days Ago

Look what I picked up two days ago in Johnstown when on my way to Liga!

I bought the pot for it too.

Dead pleased with this kalanchoe.

Orchids in Flower

11 June 2014 20:40:12

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Most of my orchids are cattleyas and winter flowering ones so they are resting now in the greenhouse.

But these two are in flower.

The Disa is from South Africa and is unusual because it's a bog plant that must sit in water.

The paphs look like they're having a disagreement and not talking :/

Big Hairy Animal

10 June 2014 20:34:05
Begonia sizemoreae

Begonia sizemoreae

Well, the begonia we all saw on this year's Chelsea arrived in the post yesterday.

It is Begonia sizemoreae.

Mine is a plug so it has some growing to do to get to the size of the ones we saw on telly but it is wonderfully hairy!

My son enjoyed rubbing its soft bristles on his face - very tickly!

Castle of the Pelargonium Queen

10 June 2014 11:37:46

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Yesterday I headed up to the north of Dublin to visit the castle of the Pelargonium Queen.

It is always wonderful to see Liga. She grows such a variety of plants and has such extensive horticultural knowlede that I always come away feeling enlightened! But besides all that, it is humbling to think of the great friendships that have been forged on this site and how it would be impossible now to imagine my life without Liga being some part of it.

I had not been to Liga's place since the pelargonium bug had kicked in in earnest so I knew I was in for a treat! The reality was even more mind blowing. I think Liga only has to touch a plant for it to be be propagated into six! Besides every know cultivar, Liga has a passion for the species pelargoniums and I saw so many beautiful and really interesting plants at Liga's that my mind is swimming.

Sometimes people visit my garden and greenhouse and they leave saying that I am a teeny bit obsessive about my plants and that maybe I have more than a few. Well, folks, suffice it to say, I doff my hat and bow to Liga Plata :)

Thanks for a super duper day, Liga, and let's hope that the next one comes quickly :D

 

Garden Visit

08 June 2014 16:31:42

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Today we visited Bloomfield in Enniscorthy. It doesn't normally open to the public so it was a great opportunity to look around.

The house was fabulous and the garden, which was old, seemed to have been relatively recently replanted. In fairness, I don't think I saw a single weed.

The high point for my boys was the delicious cream teas that were laid on. They wish that all garden visits could be like this one :)

Putting up a small album of photos now.

Typical!

08 June 2014 16:13:33
Typical!

Typical!

I spent yesterday removing the tulips from the 8 pots at the front of the house and replanting them.

Typical! The poor plants are having the life blown out of them today!

And, yes, I really need to replace that pot of primulas on the windowsill!

Date for your Diary

07 June 2014 13:58:17

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On Sunday 6th July two gardens near Bunclody will be opened as a once off from 11am.

They are Rachel Darlington's garden, Douentza, and that of Philip Hollwey.

It is a great opportunity to see two great Wexford gardens and make a day of it.

Rachel will give a guided tour of her garden at 11am and Philip will give one of his at 1:30pm.

All are welcome.

TO RACHEL’S FROM Carnew
1) Take the Bunclody Road from Carnew (mind the fork)
2) Turn left at the 'Kilrush/Ferns' sign post on that road (soon after Carnew)
3) Take the 2nd left
4) 4th house on the right, named Douentza, Knocknalour

FROM RACHEL's to Philip's.
Go to Bunclody and turn left at the mini-roundabout and follow the N80 south for a few miles, past the graveyard and Slaney foods (metal fence and Poplar trees) comes up on the left. You turn right for KILMYSHALL/TEMPLESHANBO  and go a mile and a bit up the hill into Kilmyshall (a church and a few houses), bear left at the pump and out past the church.
One more mile and a bit, my neighbour’s fir trees meet in a little tunnel over the road and my cottage is on the right on the bend. Not a good bend so you might be better to park under my neighbour’s conifers – I’ll warn him!

PS Rachel will also open on 12th and 13th July but Philip will not.

Streptocarpus from Leaf Cuttings

06 June 2014 13:09:10
Streptocarpus from Leaf Cuttings

Streptocarpus from Leaf Cuttings

It is a happy day here because the first leaf cuttings that I made have paid dividends. This is the first of my strep babies to flower.

Last year in Wisley (name dropping now!), I spotted Streptocarpus 'Harlequin Lace' and I thought it was simply and utterly gorgeous. I had to have it - despite having to carry it home in my coat pocket on a Ryan Air flight!!!

And that was the beginning of my love of streps. I can't understand why streps aren't more widely grown as they are very easy house plants. I suppose the problem is that there are a lot of mediocre ones out there putting people off.

So, this plant was started on 2nd September last year and now I can see its first flowers. There are others in the pipeline and, as the first propagating was done really as an experiment, I will be selling these baby Harlequin Lace for €5 each at my Open Day.

The Other Carnivorous Beds

05 June 2014 20:30:56
The Other Carnivorous Beds

The Other Carnivorous Beds

The sarracenia in these beds are a little behind my more established planter in the West Garden.

Both these raised beds are bog ones and enjoy full sun - conditions necessary for sarracenia.

A few sarracenia are in flower, some are in bud and others are not old enough to flower so they are sending up pitchers now instead.

I have a little Venus Fly Trap in one bed and it is in bud. Although slightly more tender than sarracenia, Venus Fly Traps often do well outdoors if given the right conditions. The problem with growing them on your window sill, in a saucer of water, is that it is too warm in winter for them to go dormant. So they grow and continue for about two years then drop dead from exhaustion.

New Project

05 June 2014 19:59:58
New Project

New Project

Fran and Clare, who visited recently, will know what this new project is all about.

It involves some decking and elevating some ornaments so that they can be better seen.

It was going great guns until today when Norman realised he hadn't bought quite enough wood. Ooops, he had! I'd just borrowed one of the planks to help mark straight edges on borders! Guess who was in the deeps!

But now a second obstacle has occurred, in that the drill has died. Time for a trip to the shops!

Arty

04 June 2014 22:27:08

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I got a bit arty with the camera in the garden today :)

Big Hostas

04 June 2014 09:30:05
Hosta 'Sum and Substance'

Hosta 'Sum and Substance'

I bought the famous Hosta 'Empress Wu' in Johnstown at our 2013 meeting but it has completely disappeared. It is supposed to have enormous leaves so I'll have to try it again. I am not sure quite what happened.

But I am delighted with this other one called 'Sum and Substance'. It is tucked away under TRex, so I'm not making best use of it, but look at the enormous unblemished leaves!

Help with id please!

03 June 2014 15:00:12
Help with id please!

Help with id please!

I am looking for help with identifying the tall plant in the middle of the border, growing through the erysimum.

I checked my database and thought it might be Rehmannia angulata (which should be in that border somewhere but has disappeared) but I'm not sure from the photos I find on google if it is it or not.

Can anyone help? Anyone with experience of growing rehmannia? Thanks.

My Bloom

02 June 2014 17:53:16

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I was at Bloom too, on the Saturday, and have uploaded a small album of photos.

For reasons I can't quite put my finger on, I didn't enjoy it as much as usual.

Some of the gardens were nice, some of the display were lovely but there was nothing I was interested in buying. I came away with a dahlia and a pelargonium.

After my companion, Kristina, left I had to go through the plant pavillion again to get to the exit and I really tried to find something else to buy but came away empty handed.

Oh well, better for the bank balance!

Pelargoniums

02 June 2014 12:55:54
Pelargoniums

Pelargoniums

Pelargoniums are looking really well at the moment.

I have lots of photos in my new June album but I thought 'Lord Bute' was looking particularly lovely at the moment.

Daphniphyllum

02 June 2014 12:50:19
Daphniphyllum macropodum

Daphniphyllum macropodum

And here's a nice bush I picked up in Crug a few years back.

It took a few year's for it to look 'at home' in my garden but I think it's there now.

Nice Plant

02 June 2014 12:44:43
Nice Plant

Nice Plant

This is a nice plant and very hardy.

It doesn't need to flower to look good.

It is Symphytum × uplandicum 'Axminster Gold'

Hardy Orchids

02 June 2014 12:37:35
Hardy Orchids

Hardy Orchids

This hardy orchid is probably looking their best now.

It is Cypripedium Ulla Silkens.

I had one flower last year. I have four this year. Long may it continue in this vein!

Dictamnus

02 June 2014 09:01:15

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I bought this at Bloom in 2012.

I'm glad to see it's going from strength to strength as others have complained about it disappearing.

Irises

01 June 2014 22:32:04

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It is a great year for irises.

Here are some of the ones that have flowered here so far.

The first photo shows a border with 'Champagne Elegance' (a repeat flowerer), Jurassic Park and an unnamed one I've had for a long time.

The second photo shows 'Superstition', recently featured by Paddy and Mary and also thanks to Terry.

The thirs photo shows a repeat flowerer called 'Peach Jam'. It is its first time to flower in this garden and I think it is awful!

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