a mediateam website

See a sample issue of The Irish Garden!

Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal

Last Post 5 days 2 hours ago

Early one morning just as the sun.....

19 May 2017 21:44:15
Hawthorn in bloom as beautiful as anything

Hawthorn in bloom as beautiful as anything

was shining as the song has it, The father of a dear young friend died and his funeral was at eleven today. I went out for an hour or so and planted about thirty drumstick primula down in the boggy area so next year there will be a lovely memory of the good man whose funeral was today. I never met him but he seems to have been a wonderful father and family man and he was also a gardener!

Ive noticed that that bottom path has really come together . Ive been doing a lot of little things, clearing rocks, enhancing edges, removing reeds, adding Tetrapanex, and quite suddenly there is a beautiful new area replacing what was just a track across the bottoms. Ill try for a picture tomorrow.

I also noticw that forget me nots are great ground cover. Now they are gone over and can be taken out they leave nice clear areas where they have been. And yet there will be lots of little plants coming on later on. Great little flowers! I notice a lovely Iris coming in some numbers this year. Again a pic tomorrow

and a coat of paint.......

18 May 2017 18:32:11

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

And of course Monday was wet and windy so I couldn’t paint the arch.However I was in Bagenalstown so I called into Ian and told him I had bought the arch. He was very encouraging and said he was pleased I had got what I was looking for which was very nice of him. Then I asked him to make me a gong!!! Anna sometimes can’t contact me if I’m strimming in the Scrub. An old friend’s wife used use a whistle but I refuse to be whistled at! Bells are very dear so I had an idea. A piece of pipe with two bars of metal bent over the top and a small circle on top, hanging by a chain from a tree. We tried a few different pipes and settled on one resonant one. I wonder what Ian will turn out!

On Tuesday afternoon I got out and painted the Arch. I ran out of paint but Anna kindly went into Borris and got me a small tin. I was quite pleased with the look but wondered could I possibly fit in the arch where I wanted it. There was an old arch of two cotoneasters and there were large stones at the base and a small stone built pillar.

This morning ,Wednesday, Austin my son helped me lift the arch into position. It was unbelievable, I did have to take out a large rock but was able to replace it once the arch was in place. Both cotoneasters fitted exactly onto the arch and I tied the branches in with soft plastic tape and trimmed just a little. There will be room at the base for sweet pea and a clematis or rambling rose. I was so pleased that the arch fitted  so well .

I had hoped to get in some of the Mount Congreve plants after that but had to turn to something completely different instead as we had a touch of the drains!!!Kept me going but the fact that the Arch was such a success helped immensely!

Now the obelisks are in place and the arch has arrived I can get back to weeding and planting the plants which at least are being well watered!!

Such a day! Mount congreve last Sunday

17 May 2017 20:09:19
Not of course in position! and unpainted as yet

Not of course in position! and unpainted as yet

O my goodness. Tonight Scrubber is in an absolute dither! A very pleasant dither I must confess! As you could see from my last journal I had resolved to be restrained and temporate on my visit to the rare plant sale in Mount Congreve.’Well maybe a tenner’s worth if I saw something I really liked. We drove in and at first glance I thought that there was not a huge amount of stands there. But then I realised my mistake. There were lots and they were all filled with the most tempting of delights! I went into the Future Forests and the very helpful young man there advised me on trimming my viburnums, the wayfarers tree. Mine were a little leggy but I can cut them back very low after flowering. So I bought an indian rain tree-very small but it will grow. Next stall had a beautiful species Iris in Blue and gold. So I took that and was satisfied.

Anna and I went for Lunch and there was a glorious Portuguese tent with great simmering dishes. I had sea food and some grain stuff and also some lamb and choriza? The mixture sounds mad but I ate them separately. Anna had a beefburger. Linda and Diego were at the next table and we chatted and met one another countless times. I also met Rachel Norman and Sam and was delighted to see them. Came out and there infront of me were lovely Obelisks and two fine arches. Now my own obelisks were a match for them but the arch was  very strong and nicely proportioned. I had told Ian I would be looking for an arch from him and I was in two minds so I walked away. At the Mount venus stall I got a lovely new fern and then there was another beside it that I went back for! Of course Caherhurly were there and they had Ligularia and my bog needed some ligularia so I got two! Then I met my first cousin and her husband who had a stall of cacti and succulents and sarcenias (The ones that eat flies-also a bog plant).So that was my total.

We went to my daughter’s house and made tea then headed for home. The baleful thought struck me ‘had I turned off the kettle?’ Luckily we were only ten minutes away. Back and checked and all ok. Then Anna said’ Would you like to buy the arch and offered to pay half and make it my birthday present! I wasn’t sure as I felt a tiny bit disloyal to ian (even though I hadn’t actually ordered it yet) back and haggled with the man Liam  from Abbeyleix and finally arrived at a price, the arch to be delivered that very evening! On the way out I got two more Ligularias and went home rather shaken at all thissudden expenditure. Liam arrived in my gate two hours later!

So It was a wonderful day and I am only now beginning to relax after it. A lot of painting and planting ahead of me!

And the rain it raineth every day-well today anywa

12 May 2017 23:04:49

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

What a day of continual soft yet determined rain! I must say Scrubber was very pleased to see it even if it stopped his projected garden work. But just before it got too heavy Scrubber went down into the scrub and managed to rake some bald bits on the lowest path and scattered lots of grass seed. Actually one of the places that was renewed was the area around the rock that moved in the night (last journal). Apparently the ground was quite disturbed by the moving rock so yesterday Scrubber spread a bit of compost there and hopefully the rain will have settled the seed in.

He then started to put in some drumstick primulas that he had got in Glanbia but the rain came down and put an end to that.

The garage was in such a mess so seeing he was in his working gear Scrubber got stuck in and by seven o clock there was an improvement. Some of the time was taken up with sorting through piles of labels and seed packets-all out of date! How many plants Scrubber has killed down through the years!!!But it is satisfying to see the successful ones and the amount of pleasure a few euros expenditure can bring.

So many things promising to break into flower soon. There’s still one shy rhododendron waiting to come out. It looks a bit like ponticum but hasn.t its bad habit of spreading madly.

Im really looking forward to Plant Fair on Sunday as Mount Congreve always is a delight. I shall only look as Scrubber sort of lost the run of himself last week in Glanbia. He had got a beautiful Clematis and then spotted some small clematis which were very reasonable so he got three of them. Then the following day Scrubber in a moment of weakness went back in and got some more!! Greed or seizing the moment???? So if you see him coming out from the rare plant fair with a very tiny bag that’s the reason. ‘When Temptation comes near me make me strong against it’ as dear Sister Josephine drilled into us long ago!

So much going on....

10 May 2017 21:14:52

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Well Scrubber has been quite busy lately. He got his last two obelisks and also the iron bowl he spotted in the iron works attached to a slab of metal. Ian the owner said he could have it so he asked Ian to remove the slab bit and mount the bowl on a stand. Ian did this and the result is very beautiful. Scrubber thought about leaving it in its rusted state but eventually ended up painting it a dull gold and he thinks it works beautifully. So then the Obelisks are in order and he got some sweet pea plants lately and he had some clematis so it looks like they will be clothed soon enough. It gave him HUGE pleasure to see an obelisk in a very prestigious store in wexford selling a wispy coat hanger strength obelisk-rusted- for 38.50! Now the ones Scrubber has cost about a third more but they will see scrubber out! He is going to allow the bowl to fill with rainwater rather than plant it. And as it is it has a lovely resonant gong sound if struck gently-which has given Scrubber and idea for a gong-watch this space.

As if that wasn’t enough last evening as scrubber stood contemplating a large -very- boulder and wondering if it would look better eight feet away, he saw a large cat come slowly up the path towards him. Then he realised ‘That’s no cat’. It was a large and fearless mink with a whitish head and beautiful full brown black coat. It had no fear and after staring at Scrubber for a few seconds it came on and went past him about twelve feet away and disappeared into the hedge-all done quite measuredly without any fear. It was such a thrill to see a wild creature so at home in my garden!

But back to the boulder. Scrubber had two free hours yesterday and the boulder had exercised his thoughts quite a bit over the past few weeks as it was in the middle of Lady gardeners path and sort of spoiled the sweep of grass there. Now if it were eight feet further up would it enhance the sweep of grass or did it serve a better purpose marking the end of the slab path????? Luckily there was a big wind last night and do you know what! It blew the stone al lthe way up to the new position and once there Scrubber realised it was perfectly placed!!! I might add that the winds in the Scrub can be very strong at times! That’s my story and Im sticking to it!

Theres a plant sale on the 14th in Mount Congreve!

06 May 2017 20:39:22

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

I hope to get down as the entrance price includes the gardens which is decent-very. My news is that today I finally collected my iron bowl. Ian who makes all my iron work for me had thought I wanted it at the same height as my obelisks but he kindly cut it down to size. I am really pleased with it and cant make up my mind whether to leave it rust or to paint it very dull gold, I might put in a big cobble stone as Ian suggested so that were little birds to drink from it they would be ok.

In the photo the stand is only just stuck in a few inches. I intend setting it a bit deeper. I am very pleased as it forms a nice sculptural touch and yet it fits in with the natural shrub background. Its definitely not 'pretty' but Scrubber does think its rather fine!

I was so pleased that it fitted in exactly as I had hoped. I have my last two obelisks which I shall paint on Monday and then as fraoch advised, Ill chance the sweet pea seeds even though its late.

The nice thing about the Obelisks is although they are large and very sturdy they are not at all obtrusive and you have to look to notice them. Being painted green probably helps.

Im looking forward to Monday when that aspect of the Garden will be complete. The forget me nots are just gone over so I will pull them all out and shake them out down in the bog. I think it was Mary who suggested forget- me- nots might be nice contrasting with the strong yellow Skunk cabbage.

The border at the lawns edge can then be prepared for summer. Sure even if theres only one well kept area it will help a lot!

Hope you like the Iron pot!


03 May 2017 18:48:39

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

The garden’s got the bit between the teeth and is careering into summer. Grass has sprung up and veg beds still undug! But Scrubber is just going to enjoy whats there rather than bemoaning what’s not!

The Azaeleas are out in glorious purple, the candelabra primula in the bog have all come out-lovely purples against the rush of new green, theres a lovely Blue Peter Rhododendron still going strong, ferns are unfurling everywhere and Hostas are unsheathing themselves. The green of the Beech is one of the most beautiful spring unfoldings.

So what if things are a bit ragged around the edges Scrubber has decided to enjoy it! And maybe ,just maybe he might gradually get around to things in time!

Round and round and round...

22 April 2017 22:48:52
Eggzactly !

Eggzactly !

Was a bit disheartened at all there was to do at present so Scrubber very sensibly followed cherub Lute's advice. It just floated into Scrubber's mind 'Do one small area well and then see what happens'. He is so wise for one so young. After all he's only about 100 in our years which is nothing for a cherub.

So for two days I laboured on the circle of walnuts at the front and finished this evening. Theres a small one foot border around and little circles around the trunks and box bushes. Theres a lot of Lady's mantel but a lot of weeds daisies plantain vetch etc mixed in with the roots so painstakingly inch by inch Scrubber moved round and round but it was satisfying and he forgot all the other things-

Oh and also found time to collect another obelisk! Two more to finish-- and managed to paint it and place it. They dont dominate at all and I hope the clematis will soon grow up around them and also the sweet pea that Jackie told me are in Lidle. Is it too late to sew seeds as I have two packets???

So if anyone feels like despairing-dont! Just do a little bit well! (Although I cant help  wondering how another garden seems to have every little bit at perfection level...)

A book is no' a pwesent!

20 April 2017 20:11:52

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

So said my very wise grandson on one accasion when I thought I was doing well by telling him I had a present. A Book is no' a pwesent I was told very firmly. I know how he felt as I worked today. 'Sweepin' is NOT gardenin' I spent a lot of time sweeping the yard and the grass clippings on the drive and doing the joints in the sets with one of those longhandled  wire brushes.

Earlier I planted four clematis in advance of the ordered Obelisks! I am going to have three more of the pillar like ones and if the clematis dont work Ill fill them with sweet pea! Had great fun trimming the branches of a hawthorn as one of the obelisks fits beside it and so I had to ensure that there was lots of light in the canopy. Now that WAS gardening and I enjoyed meself.

Managed to get some lawn cut as some of the daffs have finally turned yellow. The snowdrops also. Got an idea of leaving a narrow grass path -actually the lawn but no snowdrops and I will try to set them behind it in a long triangle of grass. The pattern was there but I didnt realise it until I cut the grass.

And Im definitely going to have loads of tulips next year both in beds and in grass. Im going to start buying bit by bit as soon as they come into shops but wont plant until november.

But theres SO MUCH to be done at present as everything is racing on. Grass is knee high and weeds are flourishing and veg beds are totally empty,,,,,,,,

Another Obelisk has landed!

19 April 2017 20:30:38

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Before it did I managed to get down to that path edge. There was a huge reed growing over the main stone. I went at it with an axe and it just folded! I was quite surprised and wondered if I went at more things, people, taxes with an axe would I clear them as easily!. The main stone the one at the end, caused me no grief but the one beside it was awkward. easy to dislodge but difficult to reinstate. The secret was little by little and no straining. Funnily enough the muddy ground below yielded up quite a few nice small rocks- I had no idea they were there- also the top of an unbudgeable! I just cleared the clay from the top and left it. Had some nice wildish looking primulas and I put them in and today I transplanted a few dogwoods which should look well in Spring next year.

Yesterday as I laboured at the new edge of the bottom path I got a text to say the new obelisk was ready. I had asked ian to make me a sort of columnar obelisk that would fit a narrow border. When I saw it I was delighted. Exactly what I requested and he capped it with a spearpoint from an old railing he had. I spent a happy two hours painting it today. It began to rain when I was halfway through it so it was fun trying to get the half painted obelisk into the garage without mucking it or me!

I took a photograph or two so you could see it. Hope you like it as much as I do.Sorry have tried twice to upload and it wont work.Ill try one more time.


17 April 2017 21:06:35

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Some people might say I have a sad life! I am sitting here and looking forward to tomorrow. Now there's lots of work to be done, weeding, strimming, clearing...BUT today i was down in the scrub and as I glanced down at the bottom path I suddenly saw that one rock that bordered the path was really striking and that if I were to-no not move it!!!--- if I were to cut away the reeds that were at the back of it it would enhance the stone and show up the edge of the path and make it more defined. So before I do any work tomorrow I'm going down to do that and Im so looking forward to seeing the difference. As I said above -a sad life! but a happy one! And there's NO MOVING INVOLVED!

Im going to put up some egghunt pictures. There not very  eggciting but as Micileen would say they gave the children eggshepshional fun! --and the adults!I enclosed below the clues I gave them. If you have been to the Scrub you may recognise some of the places!

Easter Egg Hunt First set of clues 16/4/2017


1)            Down the stone steps in a basket I see

Where a statue is minding a nice egg for me!


2)There’s a goose in the scrub and an egg she is minding

Although it’s not golden, it’s really worth finding!


3)A tree with four trunks, a stone head in the middle

Might just show you an egg and answer this riddle!


4)I know a wise owl who sits in a tree

And who possibly has a small eggy for me!


5)Theres a wheel in the garden that never turns  round

But within its bent spokes a nice egg might be found!


 Easter Egg Hunt  Second set of clues 16/4/2017


1)The Lantern of Knowledge may show where you find

The first of your eggs, the rest not far behind!


2)If you walk the wood path and look up to the skies

A bird’s house might harbour a pleasant surprise.


3)Who knows the mind of Buddha? let those who  would draw near

A nice surprise before your eyes, behind the Buddha’s ear!


4) Across the little wooden bridge, there lies a leaning tree

And in its core there’s something more, a little treat for me.


5) Of all the rhododendrons, the nicest is the white

And up among its branches there is the strangest sight!




We had such a ball!

17 April 2017 13:09:01
Carraig Mor

Carraig Mor

Yesterday was a day the Scrub should remember for a long time! We had an early morning egg hunt and both grandchildren kindly forgot their ages and humoured grandad and searched diligently. They had separate sets of clues and having gathered five eggs each they merited the special envelope containing their Easter Prize!

Then after a wonderful lunch their two young cousins arrived and the three boys had another egg hunt! They had such fun and ended up taking off their shoes and running through the mud in the bottoms missing all the lobelias by a miracle.'We ran between the flowers Grandad!

Meanwhile the parents sat on one of the big rocks and enjoyed the chase. Then still on the rock had tea and buns and red velvet cup cakes freshly made.

The Scrub Denizens approved mightily. 'Lovely to hear all the young voices' Micilin Dee and even G Nome said it was nice to watch the shenanigans!

Id say it will have been a memorable day for all. And it was nice to see the scrub being used as a playground and a cafe! 



Woke this morning to a pounding

14 April 2017 17:22:35

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

sound outside. No Trump had not bombed the Scrub. My long awaited fence was being put in. Nothing at all fancy. Big strong poles and sheep wire topped with barbed wire, I will replace the old hedge in front of it in Autumn with whitethorn so it only has to keep out the cattle. But it was great to have it done.

Yesterday I went over and collected the second obelisk, I have asked Ian to make me another in a different shape for a long narrow border and if it works out ill get three more, It has been suggested that Scrubber is running away with himself but if its too much they will find a home in the scrub!

Bought tray of buxus having made sure that each section had four! little plantlets, Divided them up with sharp knife and had thus 24 box plants to finish edging path. Also got in plants with unpronouncable name- somethingfil peltata, lady gardener was able to sing it off no bother last Sunday, They came courtesy of Paddy and Mary and are perfect for boggy area. I divided up a big astilbe as well.

This year I have got so much pleasure out of all the new plants in the bog area and yesterday I noticed some lily of the valley-youd never guess where they came from as well!!! Its been an exciting Spring so far and were only half way through April.

I had bought some grass seed and got a new wire rake yesterday-when buying gold paint to tip the obellisks! It was only 8.95! so I scarified some areas where the grass was thin and lo I have rain this evening...Lubberly!

The matching obelisks are difficult to see in the second pic but that shows that they blend in well!!!

Happiness on the double

13 April 2017 23:04:16

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Two big events in the last week. On Sunday I visited a most exquisite garden and it cost me nothing!!! It’s a private garden near a certain bridge and even as you approach it you see the wonderful planting in the lane outside, whorls of leaves of primula  florindae? And lots of other plants revelling in the damp. But then when one goes in its just one breathtaking display after another, I have been quite a few times at different seasons but everytime Im blown away. This is gardening at its very best. Fritillaries abounding following on the snowdrops, Troilus all different kinds, varieties of tulip, one lovely one that spreads quite vigorously, pulsatilla on the point of breaking. So many plants, shrubs oh and lysichiton americanus skunk cabbage revelling in a damp gulley. So much to see and enjoy and being in the company of one of the owners made it even more special. And a wonderful surprise Lady Gardiner was also calling! A joyous reunion. Then in for a chat and reminiscing about hot blaas on a cold morning! A plastic bag filled with treasures in my boot as I drove away. Ah bliss. Thank you Paddy and Mary!-even if the sight of all those immaculately weeded and mulched beds jolted me into ‘Must do better mode!’

The other was I collected my ordered obelisk. I was nervous going over wondering if it would be ok. I needn’t have worried. As soon as I saw it I was thrilled. Exactly what I wanted and a fleur de lis on top—(shows the link between my garden and Versailles!!!!) On the way home I called into hardware and got green paint for covering metal. Home and tried out the obelisk where I intended it and it was fine. Painted it and ordered another which I collected today and painted. I have asked Ian to make me a different style one for a border and if it turns out well Ill put in four of them. Anna isa bit worried I will overdo things but if they are too much I can use them below in the Scrub and Ian will also make me an arch! He uses good solid material that will outlast me and another gardiner who saw  my obelisk in his yard asked him to make one for him. I will put up a photograph and a close up to show the strong bars. Heres hoping my Clematis shows Jack and the beanstalk style climbing!

Sorry re sideways picture. I did rotate but it didnt turn out properly.

Rocks abounding.

03 April 2017 15:55:28

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Well the thrush who tried unsucessfully to build her nest on our drainpipe took away all the material yesterday and is building in an elder tree instead, It was amazing the way she recycled the stuff. Then she went to the round water filled quern and pulled the moss off and dunked it in the water and flew to the nest.

Meanwhile Scrubber went to a man who is going to make me an obelisk! Ill let you know how it goes.

Spent some time clearing the hedge bottom. hard work. But before that I went out  because the rock I put in yesterday was niggling me. I decided to remove it but then cherub Lute suggested I dig a deeper hole and he was right. It now fitted in exactly right, Cherub Lute has such a good eye !

Im going to put up the two photgraphs and you can see how it worked. yesterdays and todays.


Garden.ie Members

Not a member yet?
Join now to:

Join Now

Existing Members

Forgotten password

Garden.ie CLUB

Join Ireland's first online garden club! Share pictures of your garden, make new friends and chat with other gardeners. It's simple to join and free! Register Here

Featured Members


Thousands of gardening facts at your finger tips:

Ask Gerry

Gerry DalyTry our unique advice service from editor Gerry Daly. Got a question right now? Search here to see if it has been answered already:

a mediateam website

©2017 Garden.ie. Mediateam Ltd, Media House, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18.

Tel (+353 1) 2947777 Email info@garden.ie

Website Design by KCO.ie