a mediateam website

See a sample issue of The Irish Garden!








Rachel's Journal

Rachel's Journal October 2014

Last Post 1113 days 11 hours ago

Halloween Competition

31 October 2014 18:37:34
Halloween Competition

Halloween Competition

Just because it's Halloween, here's a little fun!

Guess how many sweets are in this jar and win a selection of my plant seeds.

There will be only one winner so the first person to guess the correct number before midnight will be victorious.

Good luck!

Looking Good

29 October 2014 13:17:33

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

And also looking good right now...

 

Hydrangea 'Ayesha'

 

Variegated tibouchina

 

Nipponanthemum nipponicum

 

Ginger Close Up

29 October 2014 13:04:08
Ginger Close Up

Ginger Close Up

 

Here's a close up of Hedychium greenei, which is just coming into flower now and as mentioned two journals ago.

Rogue

29 October 2014 13:00:38
Rogue

Rogue

A single rogue delphium, in full flower :D

Garden Views

29 October 2014 12:56:10

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

There was bright sunshine here this morning so, of course, I was out with the camera.

The paulownia trees are really looking spectacular right now and Hedychium greenei is just coming into flower.

Other foliage effect plants like ricinus, echiums and verbascum are still adding value.

Planted a Tree

27 October 2014 16:02:40
Planted a Tree

Planted a Tree

I planted my new Sassafras tree today.

I only bought it a month ago so that's good going for me. But I don't like to have trees knocking around unplanted for two long, especially not going into winter.

Of course there was a good half hour wasted trying to locate the mycorrhizal fungus but it's planted now.

And there was some work done in the greenhouse too, drilling a hole and digging in plants.

At Their Peak

26 October 2014 22:38:10

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Some house plants at their peak right now...

Vanda coerulea

Begonia 'Escargot'

Oncidium sotoanum

Coming into Flower

26 October 2014 22:24:36
Coronilla valentina subsp. glauca

Coronilla valentina subsp. glauca

This bush, Coronilla valentina subsp. glauca, is coming into flower at the moment.

Its heady scent greets me each morning as I open the greenhouse.

A Visit

23 October 2014 15:21:16

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Today I went to visit Jurigta (Hoeys) in Avoca. Influenced by last night's gardening programme, I think I am going to start calling Jurgita's a smallholding from now on, as it is so much more than a garden!

Jurgita was there to welcome me with big smiles, warm cake and lively banter.

After a while we took a little trip around the garden. In fact it turned into a bit of a hedonistic treat as there was something yummy to munch on at every turn. We ate the sweetest purple grapes, pineapple salvia and the most delicious cross between a melon and cucumber (I seriously need the name of that vegetable, Jurgita!).

We marvelled at Jurgita's giant pumpkins and the cutest lantern-shaped peppers. Unfortunatley, however, it was very steamy in that polytunnel so I have no photos from there to show for my visit.

I also marvelled at the pond, which is now full of clear water and home to some trout. Even since my last visit the edges have been softened by planting and the water looked very inviting. Not too inviting though - I didn't venture in!

House Plant View

22 October 2014 20:52:28
House Plant View

House Plant View

Well, if we can have a garden view, we can have a house plant view!

A selection of streptocarpus currently in flower.

Favourite Plant of 2014

21 October 2014 15:31:40
Favourite Plant of 2014

Favourite Plant of 2014

I have had a long and soul-searching few weeks since Fran nonchalantly asked us to feature our favourite plant of 2014.

I mean, like this was on the tip of our tongues!

Like this was an easy, five-minute job!

Well, after trawling though my hundreds of photos, doing up a spreadsheet to weight the pros and cons of every plant and much agonising....

Actually, no. I didn't do any of that. I'm not completely bonkers!

Instead, I am working on a 'notion'. And this 'notion' has led me to say that my favourite plant of 2014 is...

Begonia luxurians

Why? Well, because it's beautiful and exotic and unusual and reminds me of our mad adventurous holiday last year!

It's not been hard to grow, as long as it was kept in shade. It's completely tender of course. The only downside is that, despite three attempts, I have not managd to propagate it. So, if the weather turns bad, this will be coming into the house. Actually, I might just bring it in anyway!

More Autumn Colour

21 October 2014 15:13:23

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Here are three tree that are looking fabulous at the moment.

The first is my favourite tree of all time, Paulownia tomentosa. If I could only grow one tree, this would be it. As a bonus it has beautiful butter-yellow autumn foliage.

The second is the slow-growing Disanthus cercidifloius. I think this tree has perhaps the nicest autumn foliage of all trees.

The third is Cornus kousa. It is a shockingly bright colour this year, so much so that you would be forgiven for thinking I have coloured up this photo. But I haven't. It really is this colour!

By the way, I have added some photos to my October album. I add a few most days.

Coming into Flower

21 October 2014 14:52:46
Coming into Flower

Coming into Flower

It seems that one of my Trex, Tetrapanax papyrifera 'Rex', is coming into flower.

That's a first.

Garden View

20 October 2014 14:51:00
Garden View

Garden View

Yep, definitely autumn.

Iron Tree

19 October 2014 21:23:39
Parrotia persica

Parrotia persica

This is the first year this tree has coloured up properly for me.

It had been a bit worrying since I'd bought it for its autumn colour.

I think acid soil is key to good colour and, although I have acid soil, the place where the tree is planted is against the drive so would have been back filled with whatever.

I think what has happened is the roots have finally stretched far enough to avail of the surrounding acid soil, leading to good colour.

Tender Tubers

18 October 2014 20:12:32

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

I am busy drying out my calla lilies, pleiones and stink lilies at the moment for dry, house storage over winter.

This Amorphophallus konjac is really big (the biggest of all the tubers - I have a number of them). Each year since I started growing these in 2009, the tubers have been slightly bigger when I dig them up in autumn.

I have also been told that the size of the pink growing tip on this one augers well for it to produce a flower next year. Fingers and toes crossed!

Like other people, I am also waiting impatiently for my begonias to die back so I can dry store them. They seem so full of life yet though.

Fran, these are the begonias I got from you. Thank you very much. These are pale yellow and white flowers, both colours which I really like so these will be carefully minded for next year.

Best Supermarket Buy of 2014

18 October 2014 14:08:43

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

I thought I would share with you these two great supermarket bargains of this year.

The first is a dark-leaved ipomaea I picked up in Tescos for a song. I just love it.

The second is this gorgeous begonia I got in Aldi for €2.99. I had to have a good root on the tray though as there were lots of more ordinary ones there.

I can't work out if it's tuberous or not for overwintering but it's definitely a keeper.

Left Behind

17 October 2014 18:00:49
Left Behind

Left Behind

The storm is whipping up out there now but most of my tender plants are safely in the greenhouse.

It's a tight squeeze this year and if I run out of space (highly likely) this brugmansia is going to be left outside.

It seems that the plant is producing flowers now, in an attempt to soften my resolve. It seems to say :

"No, no, don't leave me to die. Look how beautiful I am"

Panic Attack

17 October 2014 12:38:14

Propagating & Seeds

16 October 2014 16:53:13

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

I thought I would show you these two successes.

Fran has posted journals about propagating Begonia 'Escargot', using chunks of leaf and he has had great success.

I propagated Begonia sizemorea (the Chelsea one), using the leaf-laid-flat method. For me it has produced bigger plantlets quicker than Fran's method.

I had to call the whole family in to look at this - baby plants growing up through the parent leaf! It is quite amazing.

And the second photo shows my trevisia seedlings, which have germinated very well. I look forward to having this exotic in my garden next year.

Digging Up

16 October 2014 14:58:48

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

I did some digging up of plants for winter protection.

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be at all and I missed most of the rain.

Broke a branch off the bartlettina in the process so I'll be trying cuttings again!

I was delighted to see that my second Abyssinian banana, Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii', has grown good roots in the ground. Last year it had completely lost all it's roots but I stuck it in the greenhouse anyway, just for a laugh, and it regrew them. Now, don't we wish they'd all be that obliging!

Hedychium greenei is just coming into flower so that can stay put for a spell.

And here are some nice indoor photos as it's too ycky out there.

Looking good

15 October 2014 12:59:17

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Here are some indoor plants looking good right now.

1. Dudleya brittoni and Kalanchoe 'Tessa'

I love the colour contrasts between the foliage of these two. The 'farina' on the succulent dudleya also adds attraction.

2. Vanda coerulea

For the blue lovers out there, an orchid in gingham :)

3. Pelargonium 'Quantock Double Dymond'

I think this is quite an exceptional pelargonium. If temperatures plummet this will be the one I save fromt he greenhouse. It is very hard to propagate!

Final Purchase

14 October 2014 20:09:52
Brugmansia sanguinea

Brugmansia sanguinea

I had to laugh yesterday as I was driving home from the National Garden Centre.

Actually, I was driving home from Avoca because I nipped down there after our visit.

A text came in from Fran, saying :

Put down those plants! You don't need any more plants.

Well, it was like Fran was psychic because I had a beautiful Brugmansia sanguinea sitting in my boot at that stage, which I certainly didn't need.

But it was a bargain at €14.50 and, although I didn't need it, I certainly wanted it!

Maybe Fran wasn't psychic enough and should have caught me a little earlier. lol.

Planting & Encouraging Wanderers

14 October 2014 19:28:27

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

I got what will probably be my last planting of the year done.

The main focus was down at the road where I planted a number of echiums, a hardy restio and Crocosmia 'Prince of Orange'. The idea is to advertise that this garden has exotic plants from the road ;-)

I also spent some time digging up and transplanting bits of Erigeron karvinskianus and that creeping campanula Hazel gave me way back when. I have many stony edges which I want to soften with these little babies but it is hard work!

And I did some weeding and cutting back too and then went indoors and wrote my next article for the magazine so it was a productive enough day for me and I'm feeling quite satisfied.

And, I've been meaning to say all summer how glorious the foliage on Agastache 'Apache Sunset' smells and thank you, Joan, and I am really hoping this is one that will come through the winter as not all agastaches do but if this one does it will rank among my favourites!

National Garden Exhibition Centre

13 October 2014 20:43:52
National Garden Exhibition Centre

National Garden Exhibition Centre

What a beautiful day it turned out to be and I was glad to be spending it with friends in a beautiful garden.

The autumn colour in the National Garden Exhibition Centre is just breathtaking at the moment. Get on down there, if you have the chance to do so.

Here's today's line up - Periwinkle, Myrtle, me and Jackie. Some of us basking in the sun and some in the shade.

The photos are here for whoever cares to look...

National Garden Exhibition Centre, Oct 2014

The Roof

13 October 2014 20:20:48
The Roof

The Roof

Yesterday myself and hubby put the bubblewrap up on the roof of the greenhouse.

Only the door remains to be done but I don't want to do it yet because then I will only be able to open half the double doors and I feel the greenhouse still needs plenty of ventilation these days.

IGPS Plant Fair

12 October 2014 09:35:33
IGPS Plant Fair

IGPS Plant Fair

Yesterday I attended the IGPS plant fair in Dartry and met up with Liga, Kristina, Violeta and Ali.

It was a great plant sale with lots of good bargains but, although it was due to start at 11:30, it actually started about 10am so those of us who thought they were being smart and arrived at 11am still missed out!

It was a beautiful day and everyone was in good form and there was tea and cake available too (isn't that right, Violeta?).

Afterwards we went on a little walk around the gardens (TCD Botanic Gardens) and couldn't believe our luck when a gardener with a key turned up and let us in to the glasshouses!

There was a bit of plant swapping too, besides the obvious purchases. I'm sure no one is interested in what I bought though!

Soil

09 October 2014 22:11:08
Soil

Soil

I moved three barrowfuls of soil from the greenhouse border today to make room for the plants in pots I'm sinking into it.

That soil went very well on the top of the new Lasagne Bed and will hurry decomposition along.

I fulminated about how I am going to fit everything into the greenhouse. Maybe I need to stop buying tender plants!

Mauve

08 October 2014 17:04:21

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

I think I have featured tibouchina far too often in my journals but, once again, I am drawn to its glowing colours.

My tibouchina was mistakenly sited in a place where the wind bent it when it was young. However, as a result, it has accidentally turned out with a lovely drooping shape that is very attractive.

I love the red stems, the iridescent flowers and the buds, once the flowers have fallen!

Thank you, Tina, for the cutting :)

My second mauve plant of the day is this beautiful gloxina (now, correctly sinningia). It should be drawing to a close for the year but keeps on producing more and more flower. Thank you so much, Clare, for such a beautiful present.

Here We Go

08 October 2014 15:04:05
Here We Go

Here We Go

I started digging plants into the greenhouse border today.

Ground frost is forecast for Friday night.

I've ordered clips to hold the bubblewrap on the greenhouse roof in place but they won't come for a few days. In spring I only removed the bubblewrap on the ceiling so that is all that needs replacing now. A few extra clips for the walls won't go astray though as it's a bit saggy in places!

Dahlia 'Coupe de Soleil'

07 October 2014 18:44:12

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Here's a word of warning about Dahlia 'Coupe de Soleil'.

I know Peter rates it highly and has had no problems. In fact I've taken the liberty of copying Peter's September photo of this plant as my first photo on this journal.

However, my experience has been quite different. The second photo on this journal shows my Dahlia 'Coupe de Soleil'.

Following a lengthy telephone conversation with the National Dahlia Collection in England today, where I purchased this plant, this is what they say (and I paraphrase)...

The incorrect colour strains in my Dahlia 'Coupe de Soleil' are due to either a) it being an unstable cultivar that should therefore never have been registered or b) the fact that my plant came from a cutting they made, which may have unstable tendencies in year one but may well iron out in year two.

They are not sure which it is but have had the same experience with their stock. In any case they accept no responsibility to refund.

Dahlia Cage

07 October 2014 15:06:12
Dahlia Cage

Dahlia Cage

I started collecting up the garden ornaments for winter storage.

And look what I discovered!

This dahlia has grown up inside this ornament and is flowering inside the middle section, as if in a cage.

What a hoot!

Pasta Power

07 October 2014 14:30:51
Pasta Power

Pasta Power

The creation of a new Lasagne Bed continued today (see my journals of 12th & 29th September and this album - Lasagne Bed Steps).

We laid some more cardboard and some more compost.

This compost is the most decomposed stuff, from the bottom of the bays. It has gone on top of the rougher stuff.

Two of our four compost bays are now empty.

After the Wind

06 October 2014 18:00:47

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

There were lots of leaves and mess around today after the wind.

A few pots had been knocked over but none broken, a branch was broken off a brugmansia and Robinia 'Twisty Baby' was leaning at a jaunty angle and had to be staked and pulled upright.

It could have been worse. But it was better instead because Tina came up for a visit!

I had a lovely time and a long old chat about various plants and then, of course, there was some swapping of cuttings and bits and bobs. I am feeling very chirpy this evening :)

The Shed

05 October 2014 16:57:11

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

As there is wind due, we decided to take down the bamboo chimes and put the table tennis table back in the shed for the winter.

The chimes were no problem but, try as we might, the table tennis would not fit back in the shed! The problem is that the shed beams have sunk over the years and are now too low to allow it to pass in. We gave up.

But when in the shed, it was a super opportunity to throw out a whole load of crap - empty jam jars, light bulbs, rusty tins, unidentified bits if plastic. I even found a bag of play sand in there! It wasn't a thorough job but it will be a help. Still no getting the table tennis in though!

Besides that, I deadheaded the dahlias, hoping that this would reduce their likelihood of breakage in the wind. And I shut the greenhouse, for the first time since spring.

Kilquade,13th October

04 October 2014 20:00:04

Three Flowers

03 October 2014 20:34:56

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

The first is a glory lily, Gloriosa superba ‘Rothschildiana’. This is the first time a glory lily has come through the winter for me. They always rot. In fact there had been three roots in this pot, which is problematic with a plant that is sensitive to rotting. When the first plant started to grow, I started watering and rotted the others! And despite the flower being late, how could you be grumpy with a beauty like this!

 

The second plant is the Scarborough lily, Cyrtanthus elatus, that I featured a few journals ago. SarahSally sent me bulbils for this South African bulb in 2010. This is its first flowering and I am delighted with it. Thank you, Sally.

 

The third plant is in the garden and is a toad lily, Tricytis hirts ‘Miyajaki’. I would prefer if it held itself up better. Maybe I should plant them in a clump so they self-support like in Mount Congreve!

Wet Wet Wet

03 October 2014 16:37:33
Wet Wet Wet

Wet Wet Wet

This morning, before the rain, I went out and dug up my begonias from the garden. Most of them are house plants so they wouldn't do well in the wet. All were looking really well and have increased a good bit since planting.

I also moved the tuberous begonias out of the rain - time to let them die back for winter storage.

The knitted socks came off my trees about a week ago too.

It's not yet time to prepare for winter but it is time to take action against the wet.

And now it's bucketing down!

I got to thinking what was my favourite begonia this year and, much to my surprise, it's a complete hands down for Begonia sutherlandii.

This display was grown from bulbils sent to me last autumn and they are planted in a clay bowl. I can honestly say that they never caused me one bit of work all summer. And look at the fabulous display they're still giving! I did water and feed but there was no deadheading or tidying or fussing to do.

I hope to use more Begonia sutherlandii going forward.

Mount Usher

02 October 2014 22:10:06

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

I had a great day at Mount Usher with Fran, Clare, Hazel and Joan.

We started off by having a leisurely cuppa and scone, a few laughs and then a relaxing stroll through the beautiful Mount Usher autumn colours.

Photos are here...

Mount Usher

New Kit

01 October 2014 23:19:55

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

I picked up these great see-through, air-tight containers in Woodie's today. See how well they work and how much they fit in without messing about with plastic bags or other nonsense!

Together with some new reptile mats from a pet shop (a cheaper method of heating seedlings/cuttings), I will soon be in business!

They are both to be used for propagating new streptocarpus leaves and other cuttings.

And after a nightmare on-line tussle with Western Union tonight (I do NOT recommend them), I await my new Ukrainian and Russian cuttings :)

Members

Garden.ie Members

Not a member yet?
Join now to:

Join Now

Existing Members


Forgotten password
 

Garden.ie CLUB

Join Ireland's first online garden club! Share pictures of your garden, make new friends and chat with other gardeners. It's simple to join and free! Register Here

Featured Members


Know-How!

Thousands of gardening facts at your finger tips:


Ask Gerry

Gerry DalyTry our unique advice service from editor Gerry Daly. Got a question right now? Search here to see if it has been answered already:








a mediateam website



©2017 Garden.ie. Mediateam Ltd, Media House, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18.


Tel (+353 1) 2947777 Email info@garden.ie

Website Design by KCO.ie