30 September 2010 14:44:42
Mirabalis from Deborah( Terra Nova)
Today I had a visit from Linda and Rachel, this was Lindas first visit this year so it was interesting to see what she thought since last year. Rachel had been a couple times before so had seen some development.
It's always nice to get other peoples reactions to your garden as the old saying goes sometimes you can't see the wood for the trees yourself. I think they might have been a little over polite is there praise of it but hey I'll take any encouragement I can get.
Luckily the weather stayed fine and we had a good look around of course the odd plant was exchanged and there was a free for all seed exchange on the kitchen island unit (Rachel made an awful mess took me ages to clean it up :-))
We had a quick cup of tea before people had to head and as Linda said I'll have to do a big open day next year for garden.ie people. Rachel was contemplating heading to Coolaught Gardens and Nursery but I did'nt see if she turned right at my gate for it or left for home (whats the bet it was right)
Anyway was good to do some socialising and get my head up out of the soil for once :-)
23 September 2010 13:19:12
Cross Section Detailing
Yesterday I attended a GLDA (Garden and Landscaper Designers Assoc) Course run by Jane McCorkell in Naas. Jane designed gardens in bloom most notibly probably the rain garden this year which won best in show in the large garden catogory. I would have like to have gone to an earlier course on sketching but missed it sadly. I really did'nt know what to expect but I really enjoyed it, it was full throttle from the start as I think Jane assumed everyone was in the business (they were except me and a Lady doing year 3 of a correspondance course) so in some ways I felt at a bit of a disavantage but on the other hand it gave me an good insight into garden Design.
Jane was great, very knowledgable and friendly always willing to help, I enjoyed the cross section detailing most as I think the main reason I went was to improve my drawing skills so I can do up plans for myself or for friends and practice design a little more. The second part was not as exciting but it's amazing the detail needed when doing a proper professional garden design.
The work was pretty intense and I came out at Lunchtime spinning from the concentration but happy, if the doing the sketching one next year I'd love to do that they were also talking of doing one on planting plans which sounds interesting, I'm now on a bit of a buzz to see if I could maybe kick start my learning again, I'd love to do a part time design course but there does'nt seem to be any, full time is'nt practical at the minute and with correspondance courses I wonder if I have the application as well as trying to find one thats properly accredited.
Anyway opposite is some detail from one of my cross section (being a cross section of a flat garden design plan to show customers how the garden will look) of a garden plan Jane gave us. I would put in the construction details one but its a lot more boring.
19 September 2010 08:03:46
Miscanthus Kaskade with Jarava Ichu
I'm not sure where my love of Grasses evolved from, maybe it was the grass meadows I used to run and hide in as a child, but I really can't pass a new grass without purchasing. I created a new grass bed this year which is'nt all grasses but predominently so just to see how they might look, my wife Gabriel indulges me as to be honest I already have a fair few grasses in other borders as well. She created two three borders of her own over the last year and none of them have a single grass in them (might sneak a few in and blame it on self seeding !).
I've a good selection of warm and cool season grasses and have grown a good bit from either bought seed or from collected seed, but there also great for dividing or sending up little babies too. I also really love the annual grass Hordium Jubatum which I use a lot in the garden. The picture opposite shows a lovely Miscanthus (Kaskade) which I think is a grass many people have as it's got 100 of different varieties, and a new grass introduced in 2008 called Jarava Ichu (Peruvian feather Grass) while only in it first year will hopefully survive the winter and shows good promise. Many people associated grasses with the large pampas grass but they can get out of control some good alternatives (but still a bit thuggish) are Cordetaria richardii or a sellonia Splendid Star, or for the adventurous with space up in Mt Venus next week try Ampelodesmos mauritanica.
Some people think your mad to be planting grasses and certainly some of them don't come cheap at the garden centre, but looking out in the wind now watching the movement they give in the garden it's easy to see why the work so well, and for any uninitiated grass gardeners go on have a go plant a few grasses, at very lease you garden should contain a Stipa Gigantica and a Miscanthus.
14 September 2010 12:43:59
Rachel Cobaea scandens in flower
Been busy these days with the kids back to school and thought I'd share some of the progress in the garden as I've finally managed to get some of the bigger jobs finished. The first big job was upgrading the greenhouse by putting in a temporary retaining wall, making a french drain to stop flooding and putting down gravel which i did earlier in the summer. I also wanted to part slab it with paving, put kerbing to retain the soil for my tomatoes and gravel a central pathway. I still have to try get my brother to make some metal staging frames and build the windows and frame from my coldframe but at the minute it's looking 100% better than it did before, I've put some of the new photos in my old greenhouse folder as a reminder of a before and after photos.
We also finally order 10 Cu Mtrs of bark mulch which was badly needed for all the new beds that have been made this year, some badly needed the mulch earlier in the year but the hey better late than never, the only bed I did'nt mulch was the exotic bed as a lot of stuff will be coming up in the next month anyway, I'll weed and mulch then to save me time. I'll make a folder of all the beds looking at there best.