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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal

Last Post 2 days 17 hours ago

"Wow" and then "Ow!"

26 March 2017 23:04:24

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Ever since Jackie posted a picture of her Fritillary Meleagris I have been down the Bottoms looking to see if any of the fifty bulbs I put in last Autumn had come up. No luck for ages and then this morning I saw one! One out of fifty but the Scrub Denizens got a fright to see Mr. Scrubber jumping up and down in excitement. Grumpy G. Nome quoted Dr. Johnson ‘Enthusiasm is a pernicious thing!’ and he may have had a point as I at that same moment remembered that I had recently raked that bank into a level area so Have I wrecked my Fritillaries???Time will tell but there are three out now.

Actually there was one dinger of a row in the Scrub today and G. Nome got more than he bargained for. Anna was away being pampered by her daughter for Mother’s day so after mass Scrubber had a sandwich and was out into the Scrub. Now later in the evening he decided to clean the steps going down to the Carraig Mor and then he had to sweep off the winters gunge from the surface and noticed the steps might be improved by a slicing away of part of a bank and then that revealed another bit of the carraig mor that was a natural step and of course that entailed a lot of work and clearing and cutting and brushing. ‘Really shameful to be wasting such a good day,’ grumbled G. Nome quite loudly ‘Especially as the vegetable beds are a disgrace’. Micileen Dee lost it! ‘I’m very shorry Nome! (Omitting the G!) he shrilled, ‘bush I mush take ishoo wish you on this ocashion! Mr. Shcrubber hash shpent the entire morning clearing all the briarsh and brambelsh from the back of tash very spikey berberish hedge, a nashty, dirty, tangled mesh it is too so that a fench can be put there to keep the cowsh at bay. Thash wash a marathon effort. AND he shtrimmed all the grashes around the vegetable plotsh as well and left them ready for preparashuns tomorrow! He has been working at thash hedge for the pasht few daysh and shtraining himshelf to clear it. SO IN MY HUMBLE OPINION HE HASH MORE THAN EARNED THE RIGTSH TO SHPEND A FEW HOURS BEUTIFYINGH TH SCHRUB! An if you continue to critishise Mr. Schrubber who has all our besht interests at heart ILL, ILL, ILL….Report you to Mr Gerry Daly and HE’LL SOFTEN YOUR COUGH FOR YOU EXSHTREMELY QUICKLY! Micilin had worked himself up into a frenzy by this stage and  everyone waited for G. Nomes response. In a quieter voice than normal he merely said ‘Well weel have to see, wont we?’

So to save Micilin’s blushes I suppose Id better get to those beds tomorrow. Luckily the forecast is good!That third photo is difficult, Its looking right down on the bottom step to the carraig mor and on the left is the new outcrop of rock that emerged today.


19 March 2017 00:01:00
A memory of Autumn

A memory of Autumn

Just to say Lidle has got in a lot of nice stuff. Got a good biggish magnolia stellata for a tenner! There were two sorts and nice big rhodos for thirteen euro. Id say they will be snapped up soon so if you are near a Lidle...

I promised to put up some pictures

17 March 2017 21:16:01

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And if I can manage it ill do an album but these few are to explain my previous journal-the levelling beside  Katie's path. Have an amount of plants to get in-maybe tomorrow-two very nice  (cheap) small conifers, three hebes, a heather, alstromerias and loads ofmichaelmas daisies (again very cheap-looked very shook but all now revealing green shoots, oh and two Nandinas that need a bit of cosseting, The magnolia soulangea seems in bloom very early. Hope frosts dont come,

Funny that!

13 March 2017 22:45:22
Just a little spot of blue!

Just a little spot of blue!

Yesterday i was walking along the wood path and looked down on the one below, Katies path! It is bordered by three or four larger rocks and then smaller ones. There is a slight slope down into the boggy area. I think I distinctly heard a whisper but Cherub Lute said he wasn't in the vicinity. It sounded like him though and he has been so instrumental in creating the Bottoms, maybe it was just one of his many thoughts lingering in the air. 'If you levelled out that tiny slope it might make the edging rocks more imortant and then the tree might stand out more and the steps might be more pronounced...just a suggestion..' so Scrubber was down digging out soft black peaty soil and raking it and levelling and it did look well or at least better. Funny how a little thing just works. The path is better, the edge is better, the link to the boggy bit is better.

Then back to real work-trying to root out all the debris under the prickly ivy smothered base of the berberis , The border will be all the better for it but its dirty tangly work. I also had earlier trimmed the stipa gigantea-with a scissors! so I also had to tease out all that hay!!

I have a lot of plants to get in but have to get the border weeded first. So I was glad I took the time off earlier to follow that mysterious suggestion! Will put up the photographs of the work tomorrow night.

Back again in garden

11 March 2017 20:32:55

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 Scrub Denizens were watching Mr scrubber very carefully today as he has had a gammy hip for a while. X ray showed its just a gammy hip and does not need replacing for which Scrubber was so grateful. Held up well today so that is the last you will hear of it.

It was a wet morning but the day turned and I was able to plant up a little area with a new pieris-I had six of them- and I put them in for Joshua as I remember the day he came with rachel to visit my garden, a lovely quiet earnest eleven year old. I will always remember him when I see them.

After that I went to my long border and started at the back, edging and clearing and putting the extra forget me nots down in the Scrub. I used a saw-real one-to divide a big clump of that grassy flower-libertia? and reset  them .

Then took the snowdrops out of the urns and set them in the side border and of course that necessitated cleaning it up sufficiently to do so.I noticed a thirty year old Buddleia was almost dead so that will have to come out but it has given huge service.

So grateful to be out again. Spring was defiitely in the air if not quite in my step.And the Magnolia seem to be coming very early this year. Now that I think of it I bought a magnolia....oh no I remember-It was a present for a dear friend-for a minute there I wondered where I had put it!!!!Senior phases rather than moments!!!




Re my last photo album, all sixty pics!!!

22 February 2017 20:15:03

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Its been a wet day but the soaking will be great for the little beech hedge surrounding the Pwincesses seat and the two azaleas that went in yesterday. It has also washed Hazel's rock clean and it looks so well,. And I got the time to label all sixty photos in the album I set up last night. So if anybody wants to recap on them ....

next I have so many beds to clean it will take me till Christmas! Got a nice size apricot Prunus (not americanus but something like that) for 10 euro in Arboretum. We were buying a present for a dear friend's birthday Magnolia L Messel and when I put the tenner with it I got a fine new handfork for nothing. a really nice one. Whats not to like!


Not a lot of work but satisfying

20 February 2017 20:59:20

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Scrubber went out and got a lot of lovely photographs these last few days so I may get up an album. The earlier snowdrops are just about hanging in there but the nivalis are at their best to support them.

I decided to put out two small azaleas near a biggish slab rock that always looks a bit too like a headstone. I dug two holes and put in some good compost and settled them in. They were bone dry but I teased them out and added lots of water into which I had put nutrient-for azaleas camellias etc. I was smoothing around when I heard the clink!

I fetched the crowbar and a very nice small boulder emerged. I knew exactly where to place it-beside the azaleas and below the 'tombstone'. It immediately transformed the 'tomb' as it changed the focus-one was looking at two complementary rocks rather than just one tomb-like one.

I was really pleased ans as hazel once very kindly said that Scrubber places rocks so that they seem to have always been there, I named this one Hazel's rock!

Then I went up and cut a sliver off the woodland path so that there was a curve in it. This morning two friends had called in and I asked their advice. They had said leave the path alone but I knew I had the itch!!!There was a tiny bit more border as a result so I dug up a clump or two of snowdrops and filled in.

As I said not a lot of work but so satisfying!


After a lapse of many days

18 February 2017 22:08:52
A glance down

A glance down

(Scrubber tried to photograph the new hedge but as the saplings had very little leaves they didnt show up at a;; against the background of fallen leaves)

-Scrubber finally got out and into the garden and spent a good few hours in enjoyment! He had bought ten beech saplings, four large and six smaller one. One day he had got an idea to put in a small piece of hedging near the Pwincesses seat. The ground slopes in a small semi circle and so the four larger plants come first and then the five other. He put the last one across the path on its own as a pillar in time.

The ground was soft and yielding and there wasnt one major stone unearthed-which meant the job got done! There were some snowdrops that had to come out and the path was lined with them.

There were two small rocks in the wall at the back of the bed bordering the path but that was genuinely only a little job, a little adjustment.

Then up and he filled the three new pots, terra cotta with a basket weave design which were got in Glanbia- a tenner each and Scrubber has been buying one a week. He intends having six eventually. He used some of the lovely compost which he also used to bed in the hedge, and put four pansies in each, blue and yellow, They should be nice later on.

Tete a tete are out and the second sweep of snowdrops (nivalis) are wonderful and interspersed with yellow and purple crocuses. The flore pleno are just starting to go over but for a week more Scrubber will have both types together. Sheer beauty.

Well of course after yesterday's visitor..

04 February 2017 20:53:50

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It wasnt easy to settle down to the humdrum of daily gardening but I determined Id go out and start on the weedinfested side bed and work my way round to the rockery. And yet by five o clock the bed was still unwed! I first brought in therubbish  and papers to the skip. Then I emptied the ash bucket-I fill in under the slabs in the squelchy path. One ashbucket makes a firm base in the boggy ground.

Then I decided to stake the little roses more firmly as three of them were flimsy enough. I brought down some leaves to compost and on the way back-well we wont go there but  a lot of my day was spent at it. (Slight height adjustment!). Then I raked leaves from in front of Micileen Dees place for which he thanked me very graciously and more leaves from the rockery---so many many leaves!

Lastly I edged the wood path again and it now has a fine defining edge with which I am pleased. My back is telling me that  I may have been a touch too enthusiastic in dumping those leaves but I was so encouraged by Cherub's visit that I went at it with a vengeance. The back has NOTHING to do with the height adjustments mentioned- things were not moved more than six inches at most!)




03 February 2017 20:17:29

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To tell the truth Scrubber was just a fraction dispirited today. Especially when G. Nome remarked unkindly ‘Only a very foolish person would drag tarpaulins full of WET leaves to where one pretends one has a proper composting facility’. And then when Micilin Dee valiantly started to speak ‘And YOU! Say nothing or you’ll have a mouthful of beech leaves to contend with!’ He didn’t mean he would stuff them in himself but poor Micilin was almost submerged by last night’s leaf fall and the leaves were up to his chin! Oddly enough Cherub Lute didn’t seem to be around earlier.

I went out this morning and first I decided to gather up all the cuttings from the quince that I had trimmed a few days ago and that the wind had scattered. Thorny bits they were too. But  while retrieving them I realised the wire rake was a useful tool to roughly clear the border-it takes out grasses and long stems and quite a lot of weeds. So I did a little on the long border. It began to mist but not enough to hinder work. I then tackled the side border and another very dirty one and was quite pleased with the rough beginning I had made. But as Elizabeth commented there was such a lot of rubbish of stems and branches and weeds that I had to make lots of tarpaulin trips to the ‘compost heap’. Then I put in the two new roses and put in compost as well to settle them in and a pittosporum down in the scrub and transplanted one of the semi-standards which had become a normal rose bush due to my stepping on it last year!

There was a lot of cleaning and dumping , really just preparatory work but as the bones of the garden underneath emerged I was quite pleased. Then down to Scrub and cleared a path and emptied lots of tarpaulins full of wet very heavy leaves. I know I should have done them before this but other things (rocks) intervened. Thus occasioning the rebuke from G. Nome who is about as considerate of other’s feelings as a certain new incumbent of the Presidency of the USA.

But as evening drew on and dusk approached and the Scrub began to look quite magical I began to relax and then suddenly, without any fanfare or warning, he was there beside me! Cherub himself. I nearly fell over backwards but he just smiled and explained that it was most unusual to revisit a garden but ‘Mr Scrubber, the Scrub is a magical place in Spring’. I was gobsmacked and noticed Cherub Lute standing a little distance away grinning all over his face and cherub Cymbals was dancing up and down in his excitement. Cherub surveyed all around and commented on the new rock wall (which was an extension of the last project he had supervised). He approved the sweeping changes made to the bottoms and I gave Cherub Lute full credit for that. He admired the new bridge and the majestic head of the Lord Buddha ‘Remarkably serene’. He also thought the changes we had made to the rockery and steps were very fitting and a definite improvement and he nodded sagely as Cherub Lute listed all the new plantings in the bottoms and further up the scrub ,Guelder roses, Dogwoods, Astilbes. Irises, Primula Florinda and the junipers. He particularly like the skyrockets and one blue arrow in the main lawn. ‘I knew I left you in good hands’ he said softly but not so softly that Cherub Lute wouldn’t hear the compliment. And he blushed to the roots of his curly hair.

And then, just as suddenly, Cherub was gone and there was a quietness and peace all around. All I heard was a final almost whispered phrase-‘And don’t worry about G.Nome’s comments. He has a great variety of opinions but in fact knows nothing about gardening!’ .What a visit!

Tomorrow hopefully

02 February 2017 23:39:36

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Scrubber can put in his two new semi standard roses and trim the edges and clear the grass from a long very narrow bed of eight little 'mop heads' roses not hydrangeas that border a curving grass path and it will be neat and trim like a certain other garden where its always neat and trim-and I add breathtakingly beautiful!

Theres also a matter of some more guelder roses that fell into my boot by accident and they may go around carraig mor if I dont surround it with dogwood-some lovely specimens out at present in garden centres.

And then theres a filthy area to be cleared and made beautiful just at the side. It has run riot and if I tidy it I will get around to the rockery and then and rhen and then.

The snowdrops are coming and coming-first the doubles and then the single pearl like ones. I put a clump in each urn on the wall and they have repaid the effort (small as it was and look as if it was a long thought out move-took about a quarter of an hour!

So glad you all liked Austin's picture. I hope to put up one of a cheeky visitor who crouched on my fountain. Hope I can.


Scrubber is sooo sorry...

31 January 2017 21:00:05
Isnt he lovely?

Isnt he lovely?

That about thirty years ago, beguiled by the lovely white bluebell like flowers and not being as careful as he now is re leaving wild things in the wild, he grubbed up two fistfuls of the three cornered leek from a roadside verge and stuck them into the bottom of the scrub.

Well thirty years later and Scrubber is ‘admonishing’ himself for introducing a tsunami of growth. If anyone has a foolproof method of getting shut of the pretty green leaves and white flowers Id be grateful and like Theresa Mannions ‘Don’t swim in the sea’ DON’T  take three cornered leek into your garden!’

What I am trying is strimming the stuff before the bluebells start coming through. I want my bluebells! The only advantage is theres a fabulous smell of Garlic when I do so!

I planted two Juniper Skyrockets today-6.95 each in Flowerpower Kilkenny and my new rocky area is looking well after the rain. I also staked my little roses so that I wont walk over them and have started cleaning the side garden near the rockery. Oh why cant I be like the Tobins , ever kempt and pristine????? I no sooner go to one area then the others all disintegrate!

However Im glad I got the strimming done before the bluebells are up AND I put in another little rock to finish of a line of rocks at the bottom of my crocus slope. You may remember (YAWN! Yes Scrubber) I put in the rock I got from Terri and Alan in that line and this smaller one today finished it. Well actually the one I used was a swop from another down in the Scrub-better shape I thought. This goes on all the time.(Yawn! Yes Scrubber) Sorry! Am going to ask Austin how to put up the bird pictures. Here’s hoping. Ps Daffs up in the bottoms Hurrah!


Giving thanks....

28 January 2017 21:05:50

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The caption on the second photo should have been  I only did the rocks around the moss covered ones (biggies) Also in the first photo you can see the rock Behemoth behind Titanic . Theres a third massive rock Ungeheuer but you dont see it in thids picture  

It wasnt that Scrubber got such a lot done this morning but the joy involved was what mattered. It was a beautiful spring day, the crocuses and snowdrops were coming out. The ground was soft and the first two azaeleas went in easily along with a bucket of compost to give them a good start. Then when planting the third, Scrubber hit a rock no not a huge one but when he levered it some of the stones fell out of the rock wall he had renovated a few days ago, But this was such a glorious morning that that didnt bother Scrubber. He lifted them back in again and made the base firmer and introduced some smaller bracing stones and it looked even better. Then he raked and cleared the area fitting in the new small rock and now Titanic stands out much clearer from every viewpoint. And theres a lovely view down from the little water basin, over the rock and down the path to the bridge and Buddha, Serendipity indeed. Scrubber then dug out one semi standard dead rose and replaced the clay and staked it firmly and then staked two others and pruned them carefully.

At which point an expected visitor (non gardener variety) arrived so Scrubber came in.

But at one stage when he went in for his camera he said to Mrs Scrubber-'If there is a heaven, it must be very close to the way the Scrub is this morning' It was that beautiful.






27 January 2017 18:22:17
Cant get austin's pictures up! This will have to do

Cant get austin's pictures up! This will have to do

to get out tomorrow and do a bit of weeding and a bit of clearing and a bit of planting-near my new bit of rockwalling. Havent been out for a while and am missing it, Snowdrops beginning the big push. When do fritillaries meleagris begin to show? I hope to put up two bird shots that Austin my son took.

Oh and big news. Scrubber and his family have been adopted by Tom Jones. And Tom is the same size and colour of Shoosh but slightly quirkier markings. Its early days but she-yes the name was a bit awry!-seems determined to stay. More anon.

A worry about Mr, Scrubbers stone fixation!

16 January 2017 19:25:04

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‘Cherub Lute both Statue Scrubber and I are very worried about Mr. Scrubber. Especially after today! ‘Don’t worry about that Cherub Cymbals, Mr Scrubber’s is a minor complaint and not at all sinister. He has  bouts of temporary Lithopassionatis and is undergoing treatment. Terri and Alan should not blame themselves as their rock though large would not normally trigger a reaction. And Mr. Scrubber had a list of things to do this morning.Seven in all and got off to a great start. He emptied the ash and greens bin-putting the ash under the slabs in the squelchy path. Then he edged a border taking about six inches off and replacing the sods over near Dooley’s resting place where the earth had sunk a little. Next step was to pot up Mrs Anna’s lovely new Hellebore. A new pot had been bought the other day and Mr Scrubber filled the bottom with polystyrene pieces and then lots of lovely compost from the beech leaves of former years. Then it was time to put in Mr Scrubber’s hellebore. This may have been a trigger as when Mr S, was passing an old iron cooking pot he thought it would show off the new white hellebore ‘Anna’ to perfection. Only thing was it would be nicer if the pot were raised to the next rock and looking at that rock Mr S. thought it could be raised. He was then called in to dinner and after (It was delicious) he went out to slightly shify the rock. Easily done with crowbar but then the neighbouring rock looked a bit low so that had to be lifted. These lifts were only of four to six inches each. And Mr S, was extremely careful not to strain!!!

That went well and the Hellebore has a lovely perch and should look well. Then Scrubber took his courage in both hands and trusting in the words of his gardening guru he went around and snipped all the lovely green leaves of the hellebores, This was a complete act of faith in Paddy and Mary Tobin’s advice and Scrubber had often wanted to but never dared do so before,

Then he noticed that he could landscape an edge by making it into a slope rather than a drop and had great satisfaction. Only thing was a little entrance between two stones needed resetting and that involved replanting a little apple tree a bit further back. Other stones needed resetting so that took up some time.

Then Mr Scrubber decided to go down to a spot now named Margot’s edge. The reason for this was that Margot had given him a slip of a creeping willow that will eventually droop elegantly over the edge, BUT and HERE BE DANGERS-there is a very large-think two ton!-rock there and Scrubber thought it would be nice to expose more of it and maybe build up a little wall effect beside it. But then the more he delved, the more he found. Lots and lots of lovely small rocks! He doesn’t know how they all landed in this spot but he dug and delved and levered and pulled and was able to do the little wall and has still more over. He became more and more excited seeing all these rocks coming and only went in at dusk!

Thus the anxiety felt by Cherub Cymbals and Statue Scrubber. I had better reassure them as Cherub Lute says ‘Its just a phase and once the rocks settle so will Mr. Scrubber!’ However its just another little piece in the jigsaw that makes up the Scrub and even I don’t know how it will turn out. Anyway I didn’t get the other two things on my list-Strimming of rampant three cornered leek and clearing of one patch of long border-Ill do it patch by patch so I cant spend all my time on rocks and their settings.



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