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Rachel's Journal

Rachel's Journal September 2014

Last Post 1146 days 4 hours ago

De-Flasking

30 September 2014 21:57:11

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Today I did some 'de-flasking'. Well, I call it de-flasking but it isn't that really at all.

I mean I removed some sptreptocarpus from their parent leaves and propagating trays and potted them up separately.

I have to make space in those propagating trays for the next batch!

I also spent a good while wrestling with the Russian names of some of these hybrids in my databas :P

PS There are some new photos in my September album for those who care to take a look.

Pasta Power

29 September 2014 11:36:13

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Just in for a break from making the new Lasagne Bed.

Lasagne Beds are an easy way to get new borders without digging!

I'd marked out the edge of the border a few weeks ago by removing a strip of sod.

We've been collecting cardboard since then and this morning I laid it out on the bed. I think I covered a bit more than half so we'll have to get more cardboard!

Then we started moving the compost from the bays. We took the least digested stuff and layed it first on the carboard. Norman helped me with this. And I trampled it down.

There's plenty more to do but it's time for a break now.

Misty Morning

29 September 2014 08:47:23
Misty Morning

Misty Morning

It's a misty morning here, as is usual for this time of year.

Going out to work on my Lasagne Bed now.

Old Man Live Forever

26 September 2014 21:23:31
Pelargonium cautyledonis

Pelargonium cautyledonis

This is a funny little pelargonium. It is a species one called Pelargonium cautyledonis.

Would you have known it was a pelargonium before I told you?

I know I wouldn't have before I was introduced.

It's kind of like a bonsai tree, if you ask me.

I love it to bits and thank you, Liga!

 

Greenhouse

26 September 2014 20:07:54

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Twas a greenhouse day for me today.

I did a fair bit of deadheading, sweeping, watering and feeding.

Did I mention how I love my greenhouse?

Tall

26 September 2014 17:11:09
Tall

Tall

This is an eipidendrum orchid.

This year it is taller than me, even taller than my Sammy, who is also taller than me now.

Sammy is holding just underneath the bloom in the photo so as you will notice the slender flower spike.

Lucky this one can stay in the greenhouse over winter!

Sea Food

26 September 2014 16:47:26
Sea Food

Sea Food

A little something that can be done with the shells of your sea food :)

Garden Visit, 2nd October

25 September 2014 19:28:39

Seeds

25 September 2014 14:32:39

New Brugmansia

24 September 2014 23:25:08
Brugmansia 'Apricot Queen'

Brugmansia 'Apricot Queen'

I bought a few new brugmansias this spring.

This particular one has just flowered and it's called 'Apricot Queen'.

This will make a great display at Douentza next year.

All Set

24 September 2014 11:04:57
All Set

All Set

I'm all set for the talk this evening in Rathvilly.

Really looking forward to it now :)

These are the plants I'll be taking for sale afterwards and I hope they will like them. There will also be seeds.

That's all for now.

Nice Hat!

23 September 2014 11:17:55
Nice Hat!

Nice Hat!

Yesterday I spotted this set up in the garden.

Dahlia australis has bent over and is crowning the head of my little statuette!

I think it looks very cute.

And I didn't set it up, honestly. I wouldn't have thought of it :)

Orchid Alert

22 September 2014 18:40:20
Cattleya maxima

Cattleya maxima

This catlleya has flowered for me.

It has five blooms on three spikes.

Happy days!

Garden Shot

22 September 2014 18:30:44
Garden Shot

Garden Shot

Sanguisorba 'Pink Brushes' is looking exceptionally well at the moment!

Thank you, Sally

22 September 2014 18:12:26
Thank you, Sally

Thank you, Sally

Sally sent me some Scarborough lily bulbils back in 2010.

I was feeling very disillusioned about South African bulbs in general this year but then I spotted this!

Thank you, Sally :)

Stuff & Stuff

19 September 2014 23:36:58

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I'm trying a new propagation method with pelargoniums (angel type) and received an order of streps in the post today.

Isn't gardening such great fun!

Sir Alf Ramsey

19 September 2014 13:40:12
Sir Alf Ramsey

Sir Alf Ramsey

This is Dahlia 'Sir Alf Ramsey'.

It was one of the few plants I bought at Bloom this year.

Who says size doesn't matter!

PS The bud I am touching in the photo is on the same stem as the big flower. I am sure it would have grown even bigger if I had cut it off.

With Love from Poland

18 September 2014 16:59:42
Streptocarpus 'Maja'

Streptocarpus 'Maja'

This streptocarpus was one of the presents I got for my birthday this year. I got a number of streps from the renowned Polish breeder, Piotr Kleszczynski, and this is its first flowering. This one is called Maja.

To tell the truth, my streps have had a bit of a set back as they contracted powdery mildew, which I had to treat and cut back all the tainted plant material. I am sure they will be grand now and, thankfully, this one was not affected.

A Few Plants

17 September 2014 09:27:08

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Here are a few plants that struck me at yesterday's garden visit to Kilmokea.

The first is Firmiana simplex and its label clearly said hardy to 2 degrees yet it was planted out.

The second was climbing Fuchsia 'Lady Boothy', looking very attractive.

The third was Colquhounia coccinea, resplendent with its orange flowers. I am pleased to say I recently bought this one.

Here are the photos if you want a look...

Kilmokea, Wexford, September 2014

Sunny South East

16 September 2014 22:40:30
Sunny South East

Sunny South East

I am forever hearing about the sunny south east in the weather forecast and in popular lore.

I have always know that such myths do not affect my gardening.

Well, today I discovered where in Wexford this mythical sunny south east resides and it is at Kilmokea.

Yes, in Kilmokea there was a 10ft Musa basjoo in flower and fruit. And you know what fruit on a musa means? It means bananas, growing and fruiting in the open soil, in Ireland!!! I have found the mythical sunny south east!

Thank you Paddy and Mary for such a wonderful suggestion and wonderful company on a wonderful day.

TV Tonight

15 September 2014 17:06:11
TV Tonight

TV Tonight

At 8pm this evening on BBC4 is the repeat of the Great Dixter programme from the British Gardens in Time series.

If you haven't seen it then I recommend watching it! It will be my third time.

I particularly love the fact that Christopher Lloyd's best work was done when he was 70 years old, when Fergus Garrett came to work with him and they dug up the Rose Garden to plant the iconic Tropical Garden.

Truly an inspiration for us all!

Woodstock

15 September 2014 13:13:58

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No, not the music festival in the 60's. The garden in Kilkenny!

Anyway, we visited there yesterday and walked the famous monkey puzzle avenue.

My favourite bits were the fantastic planting of zinnias, cornflowers, sweetpea and other annuals in the Walled Garden. Although, as it is September, the planting was past its best but the zinnia still looked amazing.

I also loved the glasshouse. I think it is the coffee shop normally but it was closed yesterday.

I want that for Christmas!

Garden Visit

15 September 2014 12:12:33

Still Unplanted

14 September 2014 23:22:53
Still Unplanted

Still Unplanted

Did I mention how I've been trying to plant this restio for weeks?

I know where it's goign and everything.

It's even in the wheelbarrow for the last few days and been on a trip to its new site.

But no, it's still not planted :P

Path Less Travelled

14 September 2014 11:49:25

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I've come to realise that there's a whole part of my garden that's mostly unusued.

It's the two sections down the very front (pictured), which can't be seen from the house, drive or road. God knows what happens down there. I know rabbits romp! But it does seem like such a shame.

Last year in the summer I tried to make use of it by having breakfast down there with Sammy, my youngest. It hasn't really happened this year for one reason or another but today, we did breakfast down there.

Out came the Bodnant tray (thank you, Clare) and a fig from our second fig harvest (brag, brag) and down we went.

I listened to elaborate talk of Pokemon mega-evolution and the new 'fairy' type for a long time but, while listening, I did look over his shoulder and spot two things - the teeny, tiny, flowers on ballota and my Eryngium pandanifolium about to flower!

Garden Visit?

14 September 2014 08:04:21

Fainted

14 September 2014 07:58:38
Fainted

Fainted

Inspired by Fran's latest post, here's a snap I took in the greenhouse yesterday.

It's as epiphyllum flower that is finished and has seemingly 'fainted' on top of its own leaf.

I thought it looked kind of elegant and funny at the same time.

A Few Pelargoniums

13 September 2014 21:05:41

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Here are a few pelargoniums looking good right now...

 

 

1) P. 'Westdale Appleblossom'

 

2) P. 'Kimono'

 

3) P. 'Quantock Kirsty'

 

Super September

13 September 2014 20:39:55

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I'm really enoying this glorious September weather.

I don't ever remember it being so nice in September before.

Besides meals outdoors and some watering while hubby hand mowed the grass, I packaged up some seeds for sale at my upcoming talk in Rathvilly.

Gosh I hate preparing squirrel grass, Hordeum jubatum! It is so fiddly trimming them!

Lilies & Open Day

13 September 2014 15:33:06

Grass

12 September 2014 23:19:51
Chionochloa rubra

Chionochloa rubra

When people visited my garden this summer, several mentioned the fact that I grew many grasses.

I am not a grasses person. But after the Open Days I got to thinking and I do have a few.

Let me just say, I never grow a grass for the sake of it. It has to earn its keep to be included.

One that really stands out right now is Chionochloa rubra. I have this grass on the four corners of certain beds and I also have two flanking the beds on either side of my amelanchier. Big grasses always look good on corners and this one was easy from seed.

I do think that Chionochloa rubra is a keeper.

 

Pasta Power!

12 September 2014 15:27:01
Pasta Power!

Pasta Power!

Pasta Power is at work again at Douentza.

Today I started my new Lasagne Bed.

The first step is to position a hose along where you want the border to be then to remove a strip of sod at the edge.

It is only the size of a small field :O  No bother! Hubby says this is smaller than last year's Lasagne Bed.

Seeds, Cuttings etc

11 September 2014 20:58:17
Seeds, Cuttings etc

Seeds, Cuttings etc

Seed collection is in full swing here and paper bags festoon the kitchen.

I'm also doing a lot of propagating in water, hoping to keep the cuttings in water until spring.

Time will tell.

Other Oddments

11 September 2014 20:52:06

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A few other bits from the garden.

It is a really good year for the summer flowering magnolia. This tree never seems fully comfortable in the Irish climate but this year it has loads of lovely flowers.

Also, Kniphofia caulescens (best red hot poker for foliage, in my opinion) is flowering for a second time this year. That is a first.

And here's a gratuitous insect photo. See the butterfly and bee, working in harmony. I have no idea why they love echinacea so but they really do!

The Right One!

11 September 2014 20:29:59
Dahlia 'Alva's Regalia'

Dahlia 'Alva's Regalia'

When in Mount Congreve this autumn, I was once again bowled over by their fabulous dahlia displays.

However, this year I managed to find the label on a particularly gorgeous one. It said 'Regalia'.

At the shop afterwards I discovered only two types of dahlia and one (last plant left) was called 'Alva's Regalia'.

Obviously there was a lot of humming and hawing and wondering if it was the right one and then I bought it anyway.

And now that the flower has opened, I am pleased to say that it IS the right one!

I adore the heavy red mixed into this colour and the fact that the light makes it seem luminous.

First Cattleya

11 September 2014 20:18:45
First Cattleya

First Cattleya

Forgive me an orchid post!

This is my first cattleya of the season to flower. It is Cattleya forbesii. It is a small one but where I had one flower on it in January, now I have three. Things are moving in the right direction.

Judging by the sheaths (cattleyas prduce sheaths as a precursor to buds), I should have a bumper orchid season this autumn/winter.

Cattleyas love lots of light so this summer has been really good for them.

Happy days.

 

The Road

11 September 2014 20:08:14
Persicaria affinis

Persicaria affinis

The persicaria bank that flanks our garden at the road is colouring up nicely.

From Seed

11 September 2014 20:01:08
From Seed

From Seed

This is Cautleya spicata, a hardy ginger grown from seed.

It is its first flowering for me and I'm very pleased with it.

In Shock

10 September 2014 11:09:27

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Can you believe it?
I have ripe figs in the garden!!!
I only ever saw the like in Kerry!

Three are ripe, three more are coming, I missed one (which has rotted) and there is a glut of baby ones that will never make it.

They are almost too precious to eat. ALMOST!

 

Coolaught Gardens, Wexford

09 September 2014 23:22:25

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I was delighted when Tina messaged me this morning to suggest a visit to Coolaught Gardens in Clonroche.

The gardens were fabulous, the 'walls' of verbena being the startling attraction at this time of year.

Anyway, we had a lovely relaxing walk and chat and then bought a few nice things in the nursery.

I am having difficulty keeping up with the posting of photos. They take such an age to upload to this site but go up quickly to facebook.

The second lot of photos from the Botanic Gardens in Palermo, The Dillon garden visit & Clonroche are now on facebook and 'public' there.

Maybe I will put my photos there from now on as it is also easy there to input the plant names as I upload.

Links to facebook albums...

Orto Botanico, Palermo

The Dillon Garden, Sep 2014

Coolaught Gardens, Clonroche, Wexford

Road Trip

08 September 2014 23:54:17

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Yesterday myself, Clare and Liga had a mega garden day out.

Despite dire warning of hurling in Dublin and motorbikes in Skerries, we boldly set forth.

Myself and Clare visited Liga first, spending a leisurely few hours there, munching on bikkies and getting the guided tour of Liga's vast polytunnel, where plants seem to be propagated before they even get a chance to photosynthesise!

Then we headed to the Botanic Gardens to see the dahlia display. Thankfully Clare's excellent skills as satnav, while on the phone to Liga's husband, got us through the dreaded north side and to the gardens.

The dahlias were absolutely magnificent!

Then we were in the car again, negotiating Dublin centre, and finally we arrived at Helen Dillon's. The Dillon garden was a blaze of colour and we had another few glorious hours there.

Super day. Photos to follow.

More Tidying

06 September 2014 19:36:28

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I did a little work in the garden this afternoon as it was such a lovely day.

In the first photo, Erigeron karvinskianus has been flowering all summer. It is a wonderful little plant and I hope it will spread to soften the greenhouse steps for next year.

For the roscoea lovers among you, the second photo shows Roscoea 'Red Gurkha', my absolute favourite one.

In the third photo Silphium perfoliatum is the tall yellow daisy. It is actually much taller than in this photo, only it has collapsed and I can't be bothered staking it now. The annual, Callistephus sinensis 'Siam', is also looking good.

End of an Era

06 September 2014 18:38:45
End of an Era

End of an Era

Today the 13ft trampoline at the back of the house was dismantled and went to a new home.

The boys never used it any more, although Sam was very grumpy with me for getting rid of it despite not having bounced once this summer.

There is now an ENORMOUS space at the back of the house where it used to be and I have no idea how I will fill it. And that unused car is going to get NCTed and sold an' all!

Of course when I win the lottery I will build a giant conservatory along here but until then...

Tidy Up

06 September 2014 10:27:58
Tidy Up

Tidy Up

Did a bit of a tidy up yesterday, including sweeping.

The colour is fading from my potted plants, which is sad, but it seems a nice autumn so far.

By the way, that hideous trampoline in the photo went on adverts.ie yesterday. The boys didn't play on it once this summer and I'll be glad to see it taken away!

Tibouchina & Dahlia

05 September 2014 20:28:38

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And for those who saw it planted in the ground in Mount Congreve, here's my tibouchina. I woudn't dare!

I've also put up a photo of a new dahlia that has opened. It is called 'Julie One'. I like it a lot.

My Albizia

05 September 2014 20:17:07
Albizia julibrissim 'Summer Chocolate'

Albizia julibrissim 'Summer Chocolate'

For all those who were taken by the Mount Congreve albizia, I present my one.

I brought this back from France last year and it is Albizia julibrissim 'Summer Chocolate', with dark foliage. It is the tall spindly thing against the shed.

It is not doing terribly well and part of the problem is that it wants full sun and shelter from wind, which is difficult for me to provide.

Apparently our climate it really too cold for it, resulting in its shoots not ripening properly here.

For anyone going to buy one, I would suggest the green leaved one as it may be sturdier.

National Collection Dahlias

05 September 2014 10:14:01
National Collection Dahlias

National Collection Dahlias

A few more dahlias.

This time, left to right, it's Pasadoble, Kim Willo, Coupe de Soleil (surely another mismarked one!) and Blue Bayou.

Mount Congreve

04 September 2014 22:00:36
Dahlias at home

Dahlias at home

I visited Mount Congreve today with Clare, Fran, Myrtle and Joan and it was a brilliant day although I forgot my camera.

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

And I managed to buy Dahlia 'Alvas Regalia' afterwards - one of the ones on my wish list since I saw it there last year.

Gutted that Scrubber only arrived after I had left.

Other Gingers

03 September 2014 19:08:45

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Speaking of gingers, here is a different sort of plant that also goes under the common name of 'ginger'.

These are hedychium.

Many hedychiums are tender but the two pictured are hardy.

The one with the nice flower is Hedychium densiflorum 'Stephen'. I think it is an Irish cultivar. I've only had this a few years but I've read that it is hardy.

The second one is Hedychium forrestii and was grown from seed in 2010. This one is really hardy but in a bad summer it doesn't bother flowering. This is its first flowering for me. I hope the flowers will be more ample next year.

Gingers

03 September 2014 18:30:27

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Here are two hardy gingers in flower at the moment.

Both are Roscoea purpurea but the second one is the cultivar 'Dalai Lama'.

Dalai Lama is much shorter than the pure species and has redder stems and deeper purple on its lip.

I think the difference within species is quite amazing. And aren't we all glad of it!

Early Autumn

02 September 2014 23:46:00

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There is a real early autumn feel to the garden.

But it was a great summer, all in all!

Just thought I'd put up a photo of my 'Priairie Bed' (first photo). It caused me a lot of trouble and rethinking on the way and I think I've written more about that one border than any other.

But I think finally this year I've gotten there with it.

So, Piet Oudolf, consider this my nod to you!

Butterflies & Bees

02 September 2014 21:03:34
Butterflies & Bees

Butterflies & Bees

I noticed a lot of bee and butterfly activity today as I did a bit of weeding.

Dahlias

01 September 2014 21:11:11

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Before we went away we moved all the pots of large dahlias from the front of the house to the side to make it easy for our neighbour to water them. The wind was not kind to them and they looked very sad when I came back.

To tell the truth I had half a mind to leave them alone and just keep them ticking over until it was time to put them to bed. Then today I got a burst of energy and after sorting out the three borders on the drive, I decided I wanted my dahlias back up front.

So the dahlias are back and after some deadheading and restaking they don't look half bad.

My favourite combination is Dahlia 'David Howard' together with 'Jomanda' (middle photo).

The tall white and red 'Tartan' is also lovely.

The whitish one near the front in the first photo is supposed to be 'Cream Alvas'. I wonder if I've been sent the wrong one!

 

 

Rathvilly Flower and Garden Club

01 September 2014 09:08:03
Rathvilly Flower and Garden Club

Rathvilly Flower and Garden Club

I will be giving my talk on Exciting Annuals at the Rathvilly Flower and Garden Club later this month...

Exciting Annuals by Rachel Darlington

Rathvilly Flower and Garden Club

GAA Hall, Rathvilly, Co. Carlow

Wednesday, 24th Septeber 2014

Time : 8pm

Maybe I will see some of you there.

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