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Rachel's Journal

Rachel's Journal December 2014

Last Post 1151 days 23 hours ago

Wednesday Videos

31 December 2014 09:40:40
Wednesday Videos

Wednesday Videos

Well it seems that the weather is improving slightly.

Here are this weeks videos from my YouTube Channel, Gardening at Douentza.

I hope they will cheer you up and it's good to see a few pictures since none can currently be uploaded on the site.

The first video is about begonias and some of my favourites so I hope you will enjoy it.

The second video is a little jaunt around the garden in the frost of three days ago when the light was amazing. Brrr!

Around the World with Begonias - YouTube

Douentza in Frost - YouTube

And a very HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all!

Gardening Pressies

28 December 2014 23:46:17

Happy Christmas Video

24 December 2014 00:12:06
Happy Christmas Video

Happy Christmas Video

A very Happy Christmas to you all and may your New Year be full of growth and flowers!

Here is a short seasonal video on hybridising Christmas cactuses.


Hybridising Christmas Cactuses - YouTube


20 December 2014 10:16:23
Begonia U614

Begonia U614

I have come to really appreciate my begonias the last while.

They are such wonderful plants, from the rex hybrids to the more exotic ones. There are even some hardy ones.

This begonia is as yet unnamed. It was found in India and is supposedly cold tolerant but I have not tested it. Conrad gave out a number of them at last year's Christmas get-together. Thank you, Conrad.

It is looking particularly well at the moment but, actually, it always does.

Most Un-Christmassy

19 December 2014 10:04:02
Nepenthes 'Miranda'

Nepenthes 'Miranda'

Here is a very un-Christmassy photo of one of my nepenthes.

I think part of the reason for fewer posts on the site now is the lack of light. It certainly stops me from taking decent photos of house plants!

Well, this lad has a red ruff. So maybe a bit seasonal!

Wednesday Videos

17 December 2014 09:58:59

Christmas Cactus

15 December 2014 17:18:35

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

I always have great difficulty photographing my Christmas cacti. It is because I am stingy with the amount of light I afford the poor things.

So this morning I brought them into the garden for a photo shoot!

The large orange cactus was my mother's and the two smaller ones are recent acquisitions.

One is pure white and I haven't really made up my mind about the second as it is an off-white and just looks 'nicotine stained' to me so far. But I will give it time.

A Few Flowers

11 December 2014 18:54:20

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Click to zoom

Click to zoom

And here are some of the flowers I found in the greenhouse today...


Brugmansia 'Lagenbuschergarten'

Some mums and pelargoniums

Bartlettina sordida, which is setting seed.


I will upload all the photos I took today to my December album tomorrow morning.


11:00am 12 Dec 2014

The greenhouse photos have all been uploaded now.

Greenhouse Buds

11 December 2014 18:08:06

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Click to zoom

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It was completely miserable outdoors today so I went into the greenhouse in search of flowers and buds.

I am really looking forward to these three opening.

They are

The King Protea


Primula auricula 'Sword'


Veltheimia bracteata.

Wednesday Videos

10 December 2014 10:41:33
Wednesday Videos

Wednesday Videos

Here is a video clip containing a few winter gardening jobs to be done.
I hope some of you will find it useful...

Winter Gardening Miscellany - YouTube

And a very short clip from my garden last July - just to remind us what summer is all about!

Douentza Garden Tour - Circular Bed - YouTube


08 December 2014 21:23:10


Anyone fancy a glass of streptocarpus?



08 December 2014 07:47:33


My niece shared this to me on facebook.

I think it is brilliant and perhaps encompasses a lot of what we are feeling right now :)

Where's your amaryllis, Phyllis?

06 December 2014 20:17:08
Where's your amaryllis, Phyllis?

Where's your amaryllis, Phyllis?

After several years without, I weakened this year and picked up a hippeastrum from Aldi.

There used to be dozens of posts about these this time of year. What happened to you all?

So where's your amaryllis, Phyllis?

A Few More Seeds

05 December 2014 10:20:18

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Click to zoom

Well, with the new cold frame in place, I was itching to fill it. I had a look through my seeds to see if there was anything else I could possible want and sow now and, lo and behold, I found a few 'overlooked' packets.

I also filled up the coldframe properly with sand.

Could do with a few Barnhaven primula seeds in there, methinks!

Anyway, I'd better get on with a little work but for anyone interested, who missed the 'germinating cold seeds' video, here it is...

Germinating Cold Seeds - YouTube


Wednesday Videos

03 December 2014 08:36:55

Thank you

02 December 2014 17:58:04
Bergenia 'Balawley'

Bergenia 'Balawley'

A very big thank you to Paddy and Mary Tobin for this wonderful bergenia.

It is quite vigorous and has fabulous autumn colour a little later on.

I think it looks good here because in winter the red colour catches your eye from the front door.

And, it's an Irish cultivar too, hailing from just around the corner from where I grew up in Dublin. So, there may have been a spot of hinting when I saw Mary and Paddy's original photo and heard of its provenance...

All in a day

02 December 2014 13:00:03
Hydrangea quercifolia 'Burgundy'

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Burgundy'

There was lots of work done here yesterday as it was a beautiful, dry, clear day.

I bagged some leaves, weeded, tidied, swept, removed moss, moved pots to shelter, lifted the last of the potted dahlias and autumn pruned the roses. Hubby got busy with the mower, which is heavy going as we're currently reduced to hand mower.

I'm going to try a little experiment in overwintering 3 ricinus. Will let you know how it goes!

And lucky I got those plants lifted as it frosted again last night. I'm still getting the hang of the greenhouse heater though and had it too low so hit a +2 minimum!!! That's it for trying to economise with the lowest setting I think I'll get away with. I'm going to err on the side of caution in future!

Saw some lovely plants on facebook.  Filled a trolley on a website and then abandoned it when sense prevailed :) Anyone else do this?

I thought this combination of leaves in the garden was particularly attrative.

November Photos

01 December 2014 08:25:24
Pelargonium 'Cream 'n Green'

Pelargonium 'Cream 'n Green'

So, it's the first of December today.

I've finished putting all the photos in my November album, if anyone wants a look.

Pelargoniums are finished flowering in the greenhouse and it's now that I'm really coming to appreciate the ones with nice foliage.

Better go out and do a bit...


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