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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal

Last Post 3 days 2 hours ago

Oh dear oh dear oh dear!

18 October 2017 21:59:05

Autumn all around us

15 October 2017 15:07:34
Not this years hellebores!

Not this years hellebores!

Gorgeous colour from maples and viburnum and beech. Very busy yesterday. Decided that the new juniper was slightly smaller at the end of the line of five so I swapped it for another and put the taller at the end. That gave me a better line. Then  I planted five small pieris-four varieties- along a path in the scrub and I divided up the asters into 15 pieces and put them into Eileens bed and in the long border. Monty advised doing them in clumps like this. Then back and dug around the circle  of box and relaid the veryy narrow turves on the surface of one of the terraces. I also hauled up two wheelbarrow loads of clay and gunk from the drain excavation and spread that along the terrace to even it up. Its still very raw but I know it will settle and become grassy and the old concrete box is gone so the view from above is immeasurably improved. 

Sorry i cant show pics of same but will do when i get my laptop back. Meantime it looks  as though its batten down the hatches for Monday! I might get the study tidied!

I thought I'd have to give up for a while

13 October 2017 17:51:43
Cant put up latest pictures but Micilin D offered to 'shtand in'

Cant put up latest pictures but Micilin D offered to 'shtand in'

as my laptop is back again in IT Hospital!!!But I resurrected my old lap top and apart from the factthat like meself it takes AGES to get going, it seems to be working. I cant manage the phos on it though.

Well exciting days! Donal did the drain and I flatter myself i was of some help and the following monday I began to fill in the gaping hole left when he  demolished the cumbersome concrete box that wasnt needed at all. This would have left me with a far better terrace but there wasnt  enough in the concrete blocks to fill in the holes. BUT when Scrubber was up at the local garage he noticed a lot of rubble and many rough concrete blocks there. And the owner very kindly allowed me to take as many as I wanted. So the hole was filled in and is solid and can be overlaid with turf!

Now yesterday Scrubber was in Glanbia and he had had his beady eye on some asters for a few weeks and some pieris that were perhaps struggling and so he purchased-to save them the embarrassment of being left on the shelf! Pure altruism!

There was a lineof Juniper skyrocket on that terrace and now that it was extended it could take one more! On the way home from kilkenny I called into Flower power. No sign of Juniper-thuyas in abundance at about 22 euro each. Was at the point of giving up when I saw a clump of Juniper skyrockets  32E 50 each. There was one slightly bedraggled one which was small and needed love. So I carried into the shop and asked Pat what he wanted for this very miserable specimen. He knew what I was up to but graciously let me have it for ten!

I got it home and it fits in beautifully and will be planted tomorrow along with the asters and the Pieris. I may have to shift one tree back to get the alignment right but they are only in, a year or two, so it should shift easily enough. Happy Days. and if I divided the asters into two......

He's at it AGAIN!!!

09 October 2017 21:28:45
Liquidamber tree-to remember Anna's brother and planted by his grandchildren two years ago

Liquidamber tree-to remember Anna's brother and planted by his grandchildren two years ago

Shouted a panicky cherub Cymbals to Cherub Lute. 'Mr Scrubber is shifting a huge rock-and you know what he did last time-and he said he would reconsider -and he's going to hurt.....' Cherub Lute smiled and said soothingly 'I know I know but relax dear friend. All he actually has to do is to roll out that rock.And it is quite rollable. Then dig out about a foot of earth. And then roll back the rock and perhaps-if he notices- turn it the other way'. There's no huge effort involved and I know he will be careful and if he remembers to use the crowbar to edge it in it will be all done very easily'. Cherub Cymbals was a little less worried at this and it happened exactly as Cherub Lute suggested. The rock rolled. It was easy to dig out the hole a foot deeper. Then Scrubber realised (or thought he did)-that it would suit far better turned the other way and the crowbar worked a dream. Now the big rock that was a little awkwardly stuck into the grassy slope by the steps, actually contacts with the bottom step and makes a fine turning point towards the path down into the Scrub. Thank you Cherub Lute!

Scrubber also got some strimming done especially around the tree where he planted the box. Speaking of which, he wasnt 100% satisfied with the line of his other box hedge and took out five box plants-great roots after two years and replanted them slightly back and it works. Later this evening he got a good bit of mowing done.

Earlier in the day he thought the rain would spoil today as Donal was coming to work on the drain going into the septic tank. yes believe it or not these mundane things are also in the Scrub! There was a  concrete chamber that led the drains into the actual tank and it was beginning to give trouble. Without going into too much detail it was replaced by a much more efficient and simpler piping system and the ugly block structure was demolished. The good news is that Scrubber can now fill in around the pipe with the excavated clay and the debris and can extend the terrace line into Elizabeth's corner and it will look 100 times better. Theres a lot of work to be done but ill do it little by little and it was great to have it done before winter set in.

Today was vintage Autumn, damp, not a bit cold, leaves swirling down and a real sense of the beginning of the end of the year. The grass doesnt seem to realise its over though. I feel that years ago one stoppped mowing in late October and didnt start until late february-now its ongoing. And guess what as I moved some leaf litter I saw the crowns of snowdrops peeping up! Theres also a primula florindae out in the bog and thats surely out of season!

 

Guess what, Scrubber's back!

29 September 2017 20:48:12
Guess what, Scrubber's back!

Guess what, Scrubber's back!

He got the phone call today to say the lap top was fixed. I have to start all my e-mail addresses again but that can be done easily enough. It was gone for the week and life was a bit different. But as is obvious Im back! The finger healed brilliantly and I didnt lose a nail so far. I was out putting in bulbs on Monday and hope to put in some more dwarf rhodos tomorrow and some double anenomes that I got today in Glanbia.

The grass is coming up on my new path Via Felicia! but as the area is shaded I dont know how successful it will be, The rain brought it up quite quickly.

Bulbs- I got a packet of thirty six lately for about 8 99 and thought that was ok but in Lidle I got two packets at about the same price each but theres about 80-90 good sized bulbs in each packet. I realised it when I put in clumps of six opposite each of the trees in my walnut circle. Having done so I realised the bag was still quite full!

I put in s0me snakeshead fritillary in the bog garden. I love their delicacy. When people talk about those little red lily beatles eating also fritillaries is it the big imperial ones or the little snakeshead, Id be greatful to know this.

Im going to keep an eagle eye out for the beetles as they devastated my turkscap overnight this year. The difficult thing is I HATE killing anything. I wonder if I put them in a bag and scattered them somewhere else would that work? Answers appreciated.

I was lucky to get a good lot of dwarf rhodos so Ill be expecting a nice show next spring. And I must get those tulips in. I did a big scattering of crocii in the main lawn about 100 so that added to the others should help. 

Have got a lot of the long border weeded and will put in the divided anenomes-they are big enough to divide each in two.

Anyway glad to be back again! Sorry cant just manage my pictures yet as some seem to have disappeared.  Ive used an old one here

 

In hospital no not me

23 September 2017 17:33:18
Peace

Peace

My laptop.am doing this  on the phone and it's very difficult as the screen is so small.Just to explain that I won't be online for a few days as a result. Finger improving Got nice bulbs in lidle.maybe wed I'll be able to plant.

Not to labour the medical

20 September 2017 20:12:43

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was advised by Anna to go to Doc this morning and our very kind Dr. assured me all was well. No need for a stitch which apparently is quite sore in finger tips-our tips have lots of nerves, Instead Dr, used super glue of some sort and gave me tetanus and the flu injection so Im now stronger than ever and very grateful and will be even more careful with the rocks from now on.

I went out and took photographs to show new log edging. You can just see the little pegs I hammered in to hold the logs in place.  While looking around I noticed a fairly young oak but in the wrong place. Its twenty or thirty years old and not especially lovely. Scrubber is in two minds. If I do take it out the area will look better and airier and the other trees will look better as a result. But one hates to take out a tree thats not diseased. The trunk is about 10 inches diameter. I know Im hoping people will tell me to do it........

Lots of rain today so wouldnt have been able to get out anyway. I expect to get back next wednesday.Hope you like the third photo. I looked out and saw the sun shining through the other morning and ran out and caught the light.

Ouch!

19 September 2017 19:51:46
The edge is now lined with logs and theres the rhodos inside them

The edge is now lined with logs and theres the rhodos inside them

 

Oh dear and things were going so well! I had edged the newish path with logs and hammered in supporting pegs and it looked fine; I had done great work in clearing the long border and had finished about two thirds of it. I had planted eight dwarf Rhododendrons in the area beside the new path ‘Via Felicia’ and an odd hellebore that had self seeded. All going well until a branch caught my eye and I thought I could lop that easily and some more and I did all that as well. While standing on the wall to do same I noticed the rock I was on was wobbly. ‘That could be dangerous’ I sensibly thought and began to stabilise it-luckily wearing heavy leather gloves. The blessed rock slipped and landed on my finger. No bones broken but damage done. Ill spare the details. Put it under a tap and held it there for a while. Into house and Anna got me lint and bandage and rang Doc who was unavailable. We decided to leave it so and its not causing me grief except I was going to start swimming in Enniscorthy tonight and had to put it off and will probably be out of garden action for a few days. Lucky I had so much done and luckier that I was wearing my big gloves. And luckiest of all I was BEING CAREFUL. It wasn’t as if I were trying to shift a boulder with the crowbar. It was a simple accident.

Otherwise all is well and although not floriferous, the garden is looking better than it has done for a long time, the new circle around the tree in the lower lawn makes a big difference and I was going to get going on digging the veg beds this week so that winter frosts could work their magic on them.

Ive managed to get som crocii and some fritillary bulbs-snakeshead and will get them in soon. Meanwhile Ill read all your journals and enjoy other peoples gardens instead of doing my own. And as you see I can type despite the well bandaged middle finger!

By the way the picture is of the path before I edged it. Ill put up a new one showing the improved version as soon as I can!

Oh happy day!

11 September 2017 18:41:46

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Scrubber was a happy bunny today! He had one major job to do today and got it done just before the rain came. I had intended cleaning the area before the old farm wall in the scrub. It would have involved removing a load of Ivy and raking and clearing the 'path' beside it. Its where I put in the new gate recently and I hope to get a photo.

It all went very nicely and the ivy came off easily, Then there was one fairly big rock that I had never tried to move before. It jutted out from the back wall. Out came the crowbar and the large boulder couldnt have moved more easily. A little here a bit there and it slid into place perfectly. On the top of the wall there was a good covering of fine black clay. The ivy had covered it and it was weed free.

There were three large tarpaulins full of ivy and leaves and debris. The small stones went back into the wall and once it was all raked there was a transformation!

Its weird, Cherub Lute in action perhaps. But there are areas in the gardenthat just seem to be in waiting, And then their time comes and one idea leads to another-in this case, the new gate then a little planting around it, then changing one big stone , then another, the very large one today, the nice clay on top of thewall they all add up! I wonder whats the next area there quietly waiting its turn. Has Cherub Lute perhaps a secret and long list? I like the idea of them waiting quietly until their turn comes and they say 'Yes, It's time. We are ready'

Then I came in as it was raining and looking through the window I saw a minor miracle. A rose that had long since vanished sent out a long new shoot and there at the top a beautiful pink red rose, This was thefirst rose I had ever planted in my garden so I was so glad to welcome it back! Havent its name but its scented and has a lovely form,

So happy day indeed.

 

Scrubber should really mind his own business!

08 September 2017 19:46:44

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No its not that the scrub denizens are in open rebellions, its Scrubber ruefully acknowledging that he should stick to what he intends to do, For example there were three things on the list today a) finish long border as far as the steps b) start clearing the rockery and c) edge the lower lawn border and remove the overabundant forget me nots----all originally from two handfuls from my dad's garden.Now taking over!

Well He began on the border and got about a metre done then noticed such a lot of brown withered foliage and branches in the conifers behind the border, 'Hmmm might just trim those and clear it out. Not realising what a job that was going to be! Hours later with prickles of conifer in my hair, down my back, up my sleeves,,, Filled the tarpaulin and dumped in the bottoms but on the way back a large rock in a big rough wall in the scrub caught my eye. 'Hmnn! I think I could replace that by turning it around. Up for the crowbar, Some moved easily some didnt and some slipped out and had to be placed back,

It didnt help that there were two HUGE heavy showers. But before I knew it ,it was evening and I had to go in, And the rockery and the lower lawn border???Need you ask. They are on the list for tomorrow! That is if I stick to the business!

The photos are not great sorry! The ploughshare picture should be one turn more.The name on it is P Byrne Graig, The river has a lot of churned up mud in it.

 

 

A day off today and tomorrow!

06 September 2017 20:37:01

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The denizens will be getting worried! Two whole days-and very pleasant ones. wewent down to Dunbrody and Tintern Abbey today and tomorrow is already planned. But I went out dutifully this am to get a better shot of the Rhodo for Hazel and a better shot of the new box circle. They aint great but they may give an idea! the view of the box cicle is looking down from the rockery-you can just about make out the tiny box plantlets but they will be much bigger in a years time.

Decisions decisions...

06 September 2017 00:05:16

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Scrubber recently had an idea which came to him out of the blue or on a direct trajectory from Cherub Lute. Wouldnt it be a grand idea to dig out a circle around the dogwood tree in the lower lawn and fill it in with something. Then later Buxus sempervivens swum into his mind and he thought it might look quite posh!

Over to Arboretum and two trays of Buxus for a tenner each. Now as you know in these trays, each little punnet has four rooted slips of box. Scrubber being very thrifty, up tothis has always separated these into single plants and so instead of six plants he gets 24 plantlets. And they doo quite well and come along nicely. Now Eamonn in the Arboretum-most helpful advisor- was a little surprised at my method and he unintentionally sowed the seed of doubt in Scrubbers mind.

So this time Scrubber divided each into two plantlets and set the 24 little sections in the circle around the tree. They looked fine but Scrubber was troubled. On a lovely walk down in St Mullins he decided to act and when he came home this evening he divided the 24 into 48 and replanted them. He had six over and put those in another bed. And now even though they are thinner he feels that in a year or two he will have a more closely knit little circle of box around his variegated dogwood.

That being decided he went down the scrub and lopped a few beech branches to let in more light in that area. Beech are great to lop as you get a very large area covered by each Branch but then the disposal of same is a different matter!

A question for accsean or anyother rhodo fancier

03 September 2017 13:36:02

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Is this common, strange, very strange or unprecedented? I was down in the Scrub minding me own business when I noticed that a rhodo which has never been very floriferous, has jst put out one flower  and theres a few more coming. This in September! I thought May was their season!

Only did three jobs yesterday. First lifted a rock to enhance it and to help the little bed around it. It took some time but am happy with the result. Then more work on the well named Long Border! Got about two metres done and divided and replanted. Then i hoed Eileen's flowerbed with my new hoe. Great bargain in local shop. Went in for handle and got hoe for 8euro with a very strong handle -metal. (Kingfisher). Down and did some weeding in bed beside newly raised rock.

So happy that my strimmed alchemelia mollis has put on a nice show of fresh leaves.

 

 

 

 

'Jack fell down and saved his crown....

01 September 2017 18:03:55

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Scrubber wondered why he had a slight ache in his side this evening, He had worked hard but that wasn’t it. Then he remembered! He was strimmimg near Marian’s garden in the Scrub and lost his footing and went tumbling down like Jack minus Jill. He put out a hand to save himself and took the oriental Lantern of Wisdom with him! Ended up on his back with the strimmer still going. Switched it off and stood up expecting at least a cut and bruising but was absolutely fine and the Lantern was in  two pieces (As it was when I bought it and not a mark or scratch either. I said a fervent prayer of thanks and was very careful of my footing for the rest of the day!!!

But got a lot done and finally got around to Elizabeth’s corner and gave that a thorough strimming-very very carefully! Was delighted with so much done as I did the terraces and banks as well. We were visiting friends at three and just before we went a gentleman pulled in and offered to wash our patio and the area in front of the house. We have had him before and he is good so he has just finished that and its very well done,

Yesterday equally busy. I had bought five skimmia merlot-the leaves are variegated. I was able to divide each into four so I had twenty plants, I put them in in the Scrub. There are a good few more there and they seem happy. Then I mowed leaving the mower on a high level. Then I cleaned a bit more of the Long Border and divided some shasta daisies. I was able to divide them so I put some in Eileen’s bed/ flowerbed! And some back in the border and put in a few red rum hebes that I got in Glanbia.

My e-mail wasn’t receiving since tuesday so I contacted EIR last night and got a very nice young man who really tried hard. He managed to get my e-mails through webmail.eir.ie but couldn’t get the normal one to work. I rang today and got a gentleman who was a bit too technical for me, I thanked him and rang again within five minutes and got a brilliant kind man who fixed everything in ten minutes. Those phone calls are not charged. 1901 or1800 503 303 I know it’s not gardening but it might be helpful to somebody-‘If at first you don’t succeed try try again’ Sr Josephine was right to make us write that out in out in our best if inkblotted copperplate.

And on and on and on

25 August 2017 23:38:06

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Thats the long border. Its only a meter wide but it stretches over sixty meters long and it has become totally WEEDINFESTED ! So I take about three meters a day and do that much and dig up everything, divide and replant. The excess plants go to the Bog where I expect great things next year from the daylillies.

Then I managed to strim the bit of lawn that defeated the mower the other day and that mad it look much tidier. 

I ventured outside the gate and strimmed there and then dumped all the debris threee tarpaulin loads down in the bottoms. I am so lucky to have a dumping place that swallows up everything.

Then I noticed the candelabra primulas were thriving but weeds were encroaching so I roughtly weeded around them and now they stand out quite well and have very good form. I am told I can cut back my viburnum opulis? Wayfarer tree. Its the native one but ill wait to see the autumn colour. I even got some berries in this their first year but I think they are a bit straggly and hope that by cutting back they will bush out a bit. I rang Future forests for advice which was a bit cheeky as I didnt buy there but I have bought some stuff from them,

Finally I cut the main lawn and as I had strimmed around all the trees it was much easier to cut straight paths.

To finish I went down to the river and swam. It was quite fresh=a little colder than normal but it was nice as I was hot and dusty after all the work.

Tomorrow theres another three meters to do and more grass cutting and then maybe an edging of the lower lawn border. Monty has reassured me tonight that my new box plants are not blighted,just a bit stressed! Like the gardener!!!

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