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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal

Last Post 1 day 10 hours ago

D'ye know what---I just couldnt!

15 August 2017 22:39:00

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And I'm glad I didnt! I knew today was to be a good one so had decided on getting out early and doing a lot. And then I just felt I would instead go into the Fair of Borris-I have got some lovely plants there in the past but when I got in there were NO plantsales at all! So I came home empty handed. Then thought Id go out and work and again just wasn't up to it so had quite a lazy day. Tonight I'm not regretting it. Tomorrow is to be wet but if I get some grass seed Ill scatter it on bare patches and that will do me.

One bare patch is around a very large boulder which the fairies moved one night. Now they had only to move it about two feet but as they did so they unearthed another nice rock which they left beside it andit now makes a very nice natural feature. When in spring its surrounded with daffs and before that ,snowdrops both the boulder and rock are going to look very well.

The one disadvantage of improving an area like this is that therest suffers a bit from neglect and there is a LOT of suffering going on at present. I cleaned out around the path down to the Gates and the little bordering box hedge is coming on a treat and I found some hellebore seedlings and have put them in the cleared area.

And while all this goes on the veg beds go under, silently screaming as couch and thistle and dock take over. But maybe next week Ill get back to that-and theres thelong border to be weeded and cleaned up and and and......

But I dont regret my break today!!!



Just weeding and a tiny bit of rock exposing.

10 August 2017 20:31:24

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Yes I got into Eileen;s bed and finally finished it today, hard work as elder was very strong but noe wcleared and the edge sets it off nicely,Wanted to dump leaves but very nice visitors came in and so work is for tomorrow,

I HAVENT A CLUE HOW THESE PHOTOS ARE UPSIDE DOWN. Ive tried a few times. If you stand on your head you get the right picture but I would not advise it!

And on it goes.....

07 August 2017 22:47:24

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Started out very well as I intended to broaden yet another path! Ladygardener used always say her paths were wide enough for two ladies in crinolines to walk together! That would be lovely but mine are smaller, paths not ladies! And yet by taking about six inches off the edge it made a lovely difference. This was easier than the last path and took about half an hour.

Then ther was a very large rock that just need a tilt of about four inches to straighten it up so I jammed in the crowbar and that too was about half an hours work and is a big improvement for a little effort.

After that I did some real gardening and weeded a largish area of ground elder. I had cleared it three years ago but it shnuck back in-to Eileen's bed. Have a lot of it done and planted six delphiniums there. Unfortunately all the Lupins I planted some weeks ago have not done at all well. I think they are dead but am leaving them for a while to see.

Am still enjoying my little gates no end and wondering what I should plant to enhance them-hostas Hellebores azaleas are all suggestions. I want low growing and lasting foliage if possible possibly sarcococcas?

Then I trimmed a crab apple to expose the nice red fruits. Its a pillar shape. And lopped a few magnolia branches to improve the light and the look! Then I lightly trimmed the circular beech hedge or spiral for the second time.

Lastly I cleared out a lot of dbris from Fern corner .The ferns there are now so much stronger Ill have to take out some.

I still have lots of red lily beetles munching on the ruins of my yellow turkscap. This year they got every one of them. The little beggars. Any advice for next year? Imanaged to use the video on my new phone. Its a pity our website doesnt take them. Maybe as well as I videod the beetles and the accompanying commentary was NOY edifying!

The best laid plans....

05 August 2017 21:34:11

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Well Scrubber was all set to go this morning as it dawned cool yet sunny. He had Delphiniums to plant, edges to scuffle, a bed to clear of ground elder, borders to weed----all written down carefully on his new mini clipboard -all of three euros worth and very useful but then he passed a path and visions began to happen. He blames Cherub Lute! ‘That small area of path would look nicer if it were widened’. And of course it wouldn’t take more than an hour or two.

At half five Scrubber came in and the path had been done but nothing else! Not alone had the side of the path to be dug out by about eight inches but all the roots and stones and small ferns had to be taken care of and some of those roots were challenging! And then when it was done and raked it was noticeable that it narrowed very much near a step. If some rather large stones could just be pushed out a bit more…. And of course when one moved, others had to as well  but it wasn’t too hard and it worked very well. The delphiniums will have to wait, So even though I got only a small portion of a path organised, about six or seven meters, its done for ever---well until Cherub Lute starts again!

Ladeees and Gintlemen!!!!

04 August 2017 22:50:45

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IOh dear I hope it all works now! I was down in Waterford today and came home with a samsung 3J at least I think thats what it was! People in carphone were so helpful and I think-not sure note-I think I should be able to reveal the Gates tonight. Now Dont be expecting ones like Blenheim Palace or Sans Soucis. They are just gentle little 'inviting -in gates' and each time I see them I know that Cherub Lute was right. They are not meant to be closed but to invite one in to a new part of the garden and I am very pleased that all the sketching and waiting and hoping paid off in the end as Scrubber is very quietly pleased inside hisself with this new addition. I do hope you like them and I also hope you were not expecting more after all my rabbiting on about them. And I now hope I can import them from the new phone!!!!

An 'inviting in' kind of gate!

01 August 2017 21:26:06
This is where the gate is placed-old photo

This is where the gate is placed-old photo

Well the weather held today and the cold is beginning to recede, ie. The runny nose, sore throat stuff. So Scrubber was up and out fairly early. First on the list was the painting of the gates. I had got a new wire brush and extra paint and sandpaper yesterday. Had to laugh at the price of the brush---two euro!

He scraped and brushed and washed down with white spirit. The gates were easy to handle as they are in two parts. They were fairly easily balanced as Scrubber covered them in Green. He decided to leave the gold bits until later so was able to handle them without getting covered in green-didn’t entirely succeed! Then while waiting for that to dry he dug five or six holes for the new Rhodos. There was a bonus in that while digging , four decent size rocks came up and were incorporated into the edge of the new path. About a metre’s length. There was nice rotted compost from the bottom of the scrub. That was mixed in and six Rhodos now give me another reason to look forward to next spring! In the meantime Scrubber got an idea. The Pwincesses chair had been painted once since the days of the Pwincess and the Giant so as the pot of green was handy most of the painting was done. Tomorrow Scrubber (Weather willing) will paint the underside,

Then finally it was time to see if the gates worked! I had dug two deep holes each side of the two stone steps that led up through the rough field wall in the Scrub. The gates had to clear the second step which was why I had asked Ian to place them so high up on the posts. I lowered each into the hole and then had to dig in some more clay to balance heights. I closed the gates and wrapped the touching edges with carpet tape-to keep them even, when I was filling in the holes. No concrete used as the poles were about a foot and a half deep below ground.

Then came the big moment! I had filled the holes, took off the tape and went down the path and turned. Unfortunately the buzz did not come!!! All I could think of was an old bedhead filling a gap. This despite the fact that Ian had given me exactly what I had asked. It was fine and a gate but as I said it didn’t give me the great buzz I expected. Then as I continued to look at it a gentle measured but very confident voice sounded in my ear. “ Perhaps if you left the gate open Mr Scrubber?-I don’t think you intended it ever to be a ‘closing out gate’ but rather an ‘Inviting in gate’..It was Cherub Lute! He doesn’t usually come down and stand beside me as Cherub used do but this was the time to do so. I opened the gates and suddenly it all fell into place and the bed stead image disappeared. Here was a very elegant “ inviting in gate”. No wonder Cherub used be so proud of  Cherub Lute!

'What changed his mind'

31 July 2017 20:12:42
peace perfect peace

peace perfect peace

‘ I  thought Mr. Scrubber was NOT going out to the garden today?’ asked Cherub Cymbals and there was a chorus of agreement ‘yes, sore throat, cold, tired, not in form’ everyone had a reason and yet there was a definite twinkle in Cherub Lute’s eye. ‘Was it YOU?’ asked Cherub Cymbals. ‘Not at all Cymbals, but sometimes things happen. ‘Was it that phone call at around one o clock?’ growled G. Nome. ’’He certainly hared off very quickly after it!’

Statue Scrubber, who as you know stands a little closer to the house in which Mr Scrubber lives, blushed a little and said ‘ Well I think Mr Ian rang to say the gates were ready’. ‘THE GATES!’  shouted  Micileen Dee in his excitement! (It’s well known that he has a ’ predelicshun’ for houses with georgian windows and imposing entrances.) ‘Oh’ he said , covering his embarrassment; ‘Mr Schrubber hash been in a shtate of sushpended antishipashun waishing for those Gatesh’ ‘Understandable ‘ said Cherub Lute. ‘He wasn’t quite sure what Mr Ian would make of his very rough sketch. It’s one thing to jot down an idea, it’s quite another to go over and see the actual result.’  ‘Yesh ‘ agreed  Micileen and sighed loudly ‘Trepidashun’.

But Scrubber needn’t have worried, When he got there and saw the gates he was thrilled, They were still in their basic iron form but were exactly as he had imagined and more so. Ian had added his own little touches. Each gate post is an original four by four square iron post topped with a perfect ball. Because they are so old the ball is a little rust pitted which when painted gold gives a terrific finish. The two gates were placed high up on the posts as requested to give  good planting depth. The gates are two rectangular frames with three iron rods in each. These are topped with small balls and the centre rod is longer than the other two-this was another of Ian’s touches and he had made a clasp that comes down over both gates that both closes and keeps them in line,

Ian miraculously managed to load them into the boot and Scrubber was soon down in the scrub digging out holes just to try out the fit, This was only a rough try as he wasn’t up to a lot of hard work just yet and they have to be painted tomorrow and the balls done in gold, the holes deepened a bit more but already Scrubber knows they are going to work beautifully and add a particular grace to that corner of the Scrub. And by tomorrow maybe this ‘orrible cold may have shifted off into the realms of memory.And he promises a photo as soon as the new phone materialises!


Youknow those days?

29 July 2017 23:24:43
old picture of obelisk

old picture of obelisk

You wake up with a sorish throat, eyes watery, legs wobbly. Now it was only a cold so I cant complain but I was advised and took it-NOT to go out working today and Im glad I didnt. I had been working hard all week raking in the Scrub and exposing a huge rock which was part of a wall-it had been prominent but now its unmissable! which I dedicated to my dear uncle whose months mind I attended tonight. Its now Jimmy fardey's rock and I will think of him every time I pass it.

Then having exposed Jimmy's rock and raked the area clean I removed a few ferns elsewhere and found I had an open area. What to do???? I just was lucky enough to acquire-dont ask- some very nice and reasonable rhododendrons. I think they are a strong red, well five of them and the other will surprise me next spring. Now I was able to go down and place them but no digging in so next monday will hopefully see that new area planted.

So even though it was a day of sniffles and gargling and non gardening ,it gave me a sense of anticipation!Oh and in a second hand bookshop in New Ross I got a lovely hardback copy of Monty Don's book 'Roots' a collection of his Observer articles I think. Im also enjoying his large Levington Diaries? I think thats the name.

Thr rockery has disappeared under stuff so that will have to be the next. And thelawnmower gave up-after being to the shop two weeks before. I was told to 'bring it in' and the very patient Pat just pulled the chord and away it went like greased lightning!!!!!!!I felt a bitofatwit but Pat kindly said it happens and told me if it conks out again------yes 'bring it in!'



So long since I was on site!

24 July 2017 20:21:41

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Havent been out for a while. Various demands on time that could not be avoided nor would i wish to avoid them, Kept me out of garden, But went out recently and redid the stones I mentioned in my last journal and reset them and trimmed a philadelphus which gave me room to plant a lovely (Glanbia) Rhodo Yakushima? I put an answering one a few yards further on where I had enlarged the steps near the acer Ozakazuki, Im very pleased with the way that path has now become a nice feature.And it follows on nicely from the path created at the bottom of the Scrub, I also dug out three roses that I continually manage to strim when working, I put them in a safer place so hope they grow-there's not a lot left of them but I took out a big rootball,

I also managed to paint my new obelisk-my last one! and its in place, Ian is to make me a little double gate for the scrub, I have Eileen's bed fairly cleared and have put in nine lupins and two big rhodos so at least its looking cleaner,When I finally get my new phone Ill be able to upload, In the meantime Ill use some old pics if you dont mind, Tomorrow I want to clean a border or two and rake some of the old leaves in the Scrub to help define my new paths.

Monty Don had 850 people at his talk in the Arboretum!!! at 25 Euro a head. No I wasnt there, I can get a very fine Rhodo for 25 Euro and can watch Monty on TV every Friday, I think Ill christen it Monty's Bush!

A nice sandwich-and how clever is cherub lute!

10 July 2017 23:57:23
Ive put in two prostrate junipers among the cobbles surrounding the ball fountain

Ive put in two prostrate junipers among the cobbles surrounding the ball fountain

The sandwich is simply that I had a nice beginning and end to my work today. I went over to Ian with my little sketch of the gate I am hoping he will make and though I told him I would not mind if it was too awkward he said it could be done and seemed a lot surer about  how to go  about it than I was. Then at the end of the day Cherub Lute suggested I cut back the edge of a path to make it a more uniform width all along. There was a biggish stone at the end and he thought it could be easily set in a bit further. I thought so too but in shifting it I found another very suitable one underneath! Now how did he know that. I was able to make a little corner with the stones that ends (or starts) the path nicely and I spread the clay I dug out to even up the other side of the path.

Now they were the sandwich breads if you like but the filling was a lot of digging and clearing in Eileen's bed. In my innocence I thought it would be a day's work but a week's is the truth. A lot of digging out unprofitable stuff and I got in the three euonymuses and two rhodos so they filled a bit of space. Incidentally some day lillies I planted in the bog are about to bloom. I never thought they would.

Had a nice swim as well so a good day's work.

Good luck to Hazel tomorrow!

08 July 2017 21:30:49

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Im nearly certain she is opening her garden for charity tomorrow. Every success.

Well I called into PC World and a very helpful young man managed to get the pictures from my phone to my laptop but when he tried again nothing happened so it seems as though I will have to upgrade my phone and then Im off again. I can however put up some phone pictures which I have not used so things aint too bad.

Spent a very tiring half day on Eileen’s bed lately. It had been neglected and ground elder was rife also a lot of straggly plants that I hadn’t the heart to uproot but this time I was ruthless!!! Am taking out anything that doesn’t really give a decent return. I have three big euonymus? And think they might give a bit of backbone to the bed and today I bought two large rhododendron in Glanbia which filled the boot! They were  gone over for this year so there was a bit off!-which was why I was able to have two! They are pink and early so should help to offset an over- abundance of yellow with the daffodils (Or easter bells as some nice German people down in a boat on the river informed me.) I ran them into Borris yesterday just to see the town and visit a pub-I didn’t join them as it was dinner time. But we were in Waterford last night and at the door when we came back was a box of very nice Lily Obrien chocolates with ‘Thank you for the taxi’ written on it. They had gone on upriver last night.

So the rhodos and euonymus might help to ground the bed. There are two more rhodos I have my eye on for my next visit!

Also my friend who makes my Obelisks has been asked to make me another! I just felt that theres a small step in the lower wall and if there were two obelisks they would enhance the step. So I shifted one closer to the other but now need to have one to replace that. Also Ian has offered me two gate posts .I already used one other to mark the end of a row of small roses-I was in danger of walking on and breaking them. They are lovely narrow square iron posts with a round ball on top and I visualise a tiny double gate hanging from them and framing a big step through hole in the wall. I kow its impossible to imagine without a photo. I find it hard to imagine myself! But Ian will know the best way to do it and it will be so beautiful down in the scrub that I cant wait! But Ill have to!

Such are the dreams of a very fallible gardener but often Nature gives us a little lift up and carries things to a higher level!  

This was the first cemetery mass since my Mam died (Last year) and my sister had organised the engraving on the stone, It was very simple and underneath the names was room for ‘Together may they rest in peace’ which was I though very beautiful. I did matching wreaths and will try to get them up to show you.In fact they were so matching I copied Dad's twice bymistake-sorry!

No up to date pictures yet

03 July 2017 21:42:53

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The fact that I haven’t been on in a while doesn’t mean that Scrubber has been idle. No even today I was up at the crack, well a good bit after dawn! The weather was dry so I hared off down to the local metal yard-yes we have a very good one. I got some iron lengths and on the way home stopped at a convenient telephone pole! E.g. one that stood out a bit from the wall. I slipped a rod behind it and pretended to look like an Eir representative! Then I bent the rod-you need no strength to do this by the way. But I realised this didn’t give me a big enough ‘hoop’. On driving in the gate at home-no -through the gateway I noticed the pillar in the middle of the circle of walnut trees, Yes a bit bigger than the phone pole! I tried it. Perfect!

Next I stuck the rods into the lawn and was thus able to paint them very easily. While waiting for them to dry I scratched around the trees in the lawn and finished some mowing, hoping all the time the mower would hold out as it had recently cost me 70 euro for repairs,It did and I got the rest of the main lawn, the lower lawn and a lot of the Scrub done, Don’t worry, the Scrub is not prettified-just that the paths are a bit grassier. After lunch I went out and turned the rods upside down and painted the remaining six or seven inches. Then the rain came down heavily, But I had like Brodrick a ‘cunning plan’. Down into the Scrub again and cut and disposed of some large branches I had cleared a few days before.

Back up then and a beech at the edge of the lawn caught my attention-a branch hanging down that had died, That came out and then another and then another and then I was up into the tree-not very high though and sawing away goodoh! I think Cherub Lute was on a roll, When I had finished what had been a tangle of branches was now a shapely tree or so I like to think-Is there no end to the man’s conceit?

I only wish I had a camera-Have you seen the PRICES of cameras lately. But I could show you my shapely tree and you could judge- and the new paths and the roses and some reshaped beds and the day lilies and….. But I haven’t got one yet so that’s why I try to make up by describing what’s being done, even when it’s raining! Hope you are all also enjoying your gardens at this time.


I feel bad about

24 June 2017 21:03:25
Easter egg hunt photo

Easter egg hunt photo

not having any photographs as Ive been told the camera is kaput. Does anyone know how I get photos from a Samsung Y I phone to the computer-Windows 10 on my new laptop. I have tried but failed. I plugged in to computer and to phone thinking it would suddenly work but no.

Am desperately trying to reclaim Eileen's bed as Ground elder has retaken it, I notice I lost about four good lupins  in the resulting jungle. But I have more. Was in Keoghs of New Ross today and got two beautiful almost bonzai'd juniper. They are a little pot bound but anywhere else would have cost about 12 to 15 euro each and I got them for 4,95 each. I am going to 'nestle' them in among the cobbles surrounding my small ball fountain on the patio. I hope it works.

The river is a touch cooler but still a joy to plunge into after working in the dust and heat. As I swam across I see the far bank has lots of lovely wild waterlillies-they look like troillus- yellow and ball shaped and the near bank has a beautiful white-o lord I forget the name-Normally tall and  ah eupotorium? Think it has a common name yes Joe pie weed. Normally pink. Theres a rock on the other side to which I can swim and perch and survey all the beauty around me. Im blessed.

I cleared the weeds back from a little smothered box hedge and it looked as though it had benefitted from the shade!

I also managed to cut down a big branch of the old fallen willow and that opens up the space a bit. Damn! I wish I had my camera!




18 June 2017 01:00:21


Decided to clean circles around every tree and shrub in lawn and then discovered there were twenty eight of them. Took me the whole day and part of another but finally got it done. Then decided to  mow lawn and finish it all off nicely. And of course the mower collapsed yet again when needed. I brought it in today but a new one would cost about 750 Euro so I decided to get it repaired and to then look around . When I got home I went for my first swim in the river. Cold but not too bad at all! Then I got out the strimmer and did both main lawns!!!!Not the easiest but was delighted with the result and the circles  do look well. Went for another swim after that as was sweaty dirty and most objectionable!

Will get my mower back on Tuesday so its a holding action. Lots of nice rose surprises in the scrub and there are yellow day lillies to follow on the present russet ones so Im looking forward to that!

Winding paths

10 June 2017 21:31:48
corner of the bridge

corner of the bridge

We had lovely weather today, quite sunny and dry. It was such a bonus. There was a  lot of strimming to be done as the grass in the Scrub was nearly thigh high! Lot of slogging. Then Scrubber decided to lighten a tree’s shade! This was because he has a cunning plan to put another tree in the lower lawn. Why? Because there are two there and I recently slightly enlarged the circle around one of them and they were then both the same size so a third, in a diagonal line! Suggested itself. Perhaps an Acer?

It’s wonderful the way one thing leads to another. I had redone the path at the very bottom of the Scrub and it looks much better. Then yesterday I worked on another path and enlarged it a bit. As I walked around tonight I realised that I had unconsciously improved the whole path around the garden! One leads on from the other. And today I was fiddling around the very big rock, clearing the top just a little more. Now I find this rock is a feature on the bottom path and also looks very well from the middle path!!! And there is a plum coloured hazel there just beside the rock that now looks much more of a feature especially since I cleared out all the extra shoots that had grown up around it. So paths , hazel and rock are all fairly magically combining. I’m certain Cherub Lute is behind a lot of it! Others would perhaps say serendipity. But walking around the path tonight I did feel that things were coming together in a special way . Then others might say ‘poor old Scrubber, he’s becoming delusional!’ and they might have a point!

The trimming of the tree was so satisfying, a lot of branches down, a few awkward branches trimmed off and now it looks much lighter and airier. Always takes longer than one expects and especially the tidying up afterwards!



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