Last Post 601 days 16 hours ago
28 September 2011 17:42:33
Ben beside the Tetrapanax
The Indian summer did not certainly arrive here on the footsteps of the Blackstairs mountains I can tell you. It rained all day yesterday and for a good bit today only brightening up now.
I had forgotten that someone had asked me to show them a scale of what size the Tetrapanax will reach, this is it's third year and it's second outside. of course showing it could be the kiss of death as it could go during any cold snap (last year it was protected only with a double layer of fleece and some straw around the trunk and went down to -13 here).
I should however point out that where this bed is it nearly always gets full winter sun and frost very seldom sits on this bed for long (thats why the exotic bed is where it is after all), so that helped pull it through I'm sure.
I kindly asked Ben whos approx 4ft to stand beside them to give a sense of scale the leaves are about 3ft in Diameter but if you want a laugh then look at the following site http://www.pbase.com/pillharrier/tetrapanax_rex although this was in a south wales garden (thanks Conrad for the amendment)
22 September 2011 10:31:02
I have three of these tree in a row but this one has the most stunning colour, it's funny but perhaps shows that sometimes it best to buy when the autumn colour is visable on the tree as you get very different plainer colours on the other two (for now anyway)
It is suppose to smell of toffee but I have a head cold and can't smell anything right now..just enjoying the autumn colours.
20 September 2011 10:54:48
Having removed all my potatoes from my bed after getting blight this year, I did'nt expect to see it again but sadly it has struck a lovely plant I had in the exotic border. Solanum lacinatum being a potatoe relative of course must be suseptable but I just blanked on my need to spray it (wont make that mistake again)
The heads now all look withered and pretty bad just wondering should I take all plants affected out? and spray those unaffected or just leave them there and chalk it down to experience. Of course I'd hope to get some seed from these for next year not sure If I will have much now..
damn shame... I'm gutted
18 September 2011 15:07:19
I had a big long list of wanna have plants when I arrived at mount Venus which suprisingly was my first time there. I had a good look around first and saw lots of the things of my list (mostly for dry shade) and they looked slug eaten and very green and boring also the two bamboo I wanted they did'nt have. Like a hungry man in a fancy restaurant I watched as much more tempting delights passed me by in wheelbarrow from other gardeners and went mmm that looks delicious.
So i made a decision to abandon the list and buy on sight, I also had the dilemma of what to buy when so much was tempting and with 20-30% off. In the end I bought somethings for dry shade, some I just liked, some grasses of course and a few things to keep the assistant head gardener (and chief financial controller) happy.
I met Hazel and her sister there and we had a bit of a natter before getting Oliver's attention to give some advise while I slipped off to start picking out my plants, after that I'm not sure where they went but they were the only garden.iers I met.
My Purchases were as follows:
Grasses were: Poa Labillardieri (delight with this) Miscanthus transmorrisonensis, Oryzopsis millacea, Chasmanthium latifolium and Sesleria heufleriana.
Aralia continentalis (Gabriel looked at me like I had two heads when I showed her this) Persicaria amplex. 'orangefield', Boehmeria tricuspis (very nettle like), Tellima grandiflora purpurea, Euphorbia var Robbaie. For Gabriel I bought Rudbekia subtomentosa, Helenium 'Ruby Tuesday', Clematis 'New Love' (Herbatious clematis)
15 September 2011 12:52:15
Anne my Leymus is in small bits so hard to show a comparison but have used a we shot of it.. as it's a dune grass it mostly spreads underground. Where as Elymus Magellanicus spreads by seed and lasts about 3/4 years before going scraggly (it self seeds all over the place)
Just to say as per you journal the Elymus is a neater plant and it's flowers are much less significant than that of the Leymus you have in the pic opposite you can compare them. Hope this helps
By the way my all time favorite blue grass is helictotrichon sempervirens flowers much earlier in the year but love it..
14 September 2011 12:23:38
Some of the Grasses in pots
I love grasses they grow on poor soil, need very little maintenance and look elegant and beautiful in the garden especially at this time of year. It's always worth a punt in trying to grow some from seed I have had mixed results and I think a lot has to do with when to collect the seed.
This year I wanted to build up my stock and decided to try growing some from seed, some bought, some given (thanks Rachel) and some collected myself. My own collected seed did very poorly probably because it was'nt done in any scientific way so I had no idea if it was viable.
The bought and gift seed worked out much better and I now have lots of little plants to grow on and hope they'll bulk up in the years to come. I also have lots of self seeding grasses namely the Elymus Magellicus (blue grass), uncinia rubra and Carex bunchanii (the one the uninitiated always think is dead :-))
I grew Poa alpina from seeds that cost €1 but it's small and I really wanted Poa Labillardieri but could'nt get seeds for that. Also Sporobolus (on my list for MV on Sat) sadly did'nt take but my Stipa Calamagrotis (actual Achnatherum), stipa tenuissima, stipa elegantissima, stipa Inchu and Briza maxima all did well.
All in all it's not a bad return for a small amount of initial outlay andthe generosity of friends :-) ok back out to thegarden now breaks over :-)
10 September 2011 10:00:02
Tetrapanax Rex in the exotic Border
I've been trying to get out a bit to do some maintenance and a little of planting over the past few days. The weather has'nt helped and I spent a bit of time restaking or removing fallen plants. The young Helianthemum lemon queen's all suffered and I had heard people say that they need staking (they were staked) but only really in the first year as they are top heavy after that I have found them to support themselves well.
I now hear that were going to have very strong winds from the tail end of Hurrican Katia on Sunday night so today if I can I will again try to stake just in Case. I have already started moving stuff from the border which has done it's thing and is in the wrong place. The border at the very front of the deck beside the stone stairs is partiularly grating as it is the border I look out on ever day and it has gaps you could fit a truck through :-)
As I speak I see the rain lash down... more greenhouse work today :-) I was looking at gardeners world and I loved The Millenium Garden in Pensthorpe designed by Piet Oudolf was mouth watering (given that there an acre andhalf but look so much bigger) I was really taken with the grass Sporobolus heterolepsiswhich I have tried unsucessfuly to grow from seed, it went on my ish list for Mount Venus instead :-
It is quite a long list and open ended... but then wish Lists often are :-)
p.s. I got to aldi yesterday and all there greenhouse heaters were sold out (suprise suprise after last winter) could'nt get there on Thursday cursing my luck now..
07 September 2011 14:00:41
The new side of the exotic border
The kids are back to school and after an initial burst of planting last week my energy levels have dropped and I have done very little in the garden this week. I went to mow the grass Monday and there was abang out of it that I thought I;d been shot, it's now gone to Dr. Lawnmower in Bunclody for exploratory tests :-) meanwhile the grass seems to grow by the hour or maybe it's my imagination.
The wind has battered us a bit here too but the exotic bed has filled out nicely on most places. The nicandra, solanum and ricinus particularly did a good job, the coleus and amaranthus have been terrible and the climbers at the back wer'nt enough to cover the wire but generally I'm happy with it given it was planted in June before the gathering here.
We did a brutal and sometime controversial stocktake of the borders and now have our list of things that did'nt work or have to move.Of course come spring I'll might not be able to rectify all the issues, but what I really wanted to do is to try deal with the gaps in the borders.
I have lots of plant to still get in the ground and I have a lot of small plants that were raised from seed or cuttings that either need to go in the ground or be prepared for winter. My Grass seed programme especially I'm pretty happy with as there so expensive to buy I'm glad to have raised so much from seed.
The weather is very mixed I think over the next week so I hope to get out and do some work soon :-)
03 September 2011 23:29:43
Come on the Cats
Tomorrow I will do no gardening except perhaps to admire the beautifully manacured grass in the wonderful place. I will be travelling on what for a proud kilkenny man is at this stage a yearly pilgrimage to Croke Park.
For the past six years I have been steeped in luck in that my wifes Aunt and Uncle have give two All Ireland premium tickets to us each yearat the back of the Davin Stand and my brother and I have enjoyed mostly good times there.
My son Sam was a little dissappointed he did'nt get to go but I told him maybe next year God willing :-) Just to wish all the best to Kilkenny and I have a feeling we'll nip it by a point although there hasn't been a draw in 52 years :-)
02 September 2011 12:00:02
Whats this Shrub?
I finally got a new power cable for the laptop so back in business.. it's been a busy week with getting the kids back to school, the house felt strange yesterday in silence but I was able to get lots done, cut my front hedges, sprayed weeds, mowed the lawn, planted 25 small plants and still had time for a coffee and newsapaper before pick up :-)
I should have put this up a while back but when I was visiting Cedar Lodge Neil asked me to take a photo of a shrub neither of us could recognise to see if anyone on here could it's about 10 ft tall and I'll put a pic in the september albumn later on if I have time I might put some pics up of the Bay garden visit.. it will take me time to catch up with people.