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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal March 2011

Last Post 2522 days 1 hour ago


30 March 2011 22:50:29


27 March 2011 13:22:09
These are the new slabs (Theyll weather!)

These are the new slabs (Theyll weather!)

Was away from garden for a few days. reclaimed a bit of someone elses veg garden and had young helper who transported 'wurrums' from where i was digging to where i had dug! Didnt get a lot done as ground was tough and one apple tree attacked me and left me with a pirate scar across my forehead. Probably because I had cut it back very firmly earlier on. They wait to get you and then they strike!

Got some slabs for one of my garden paths and will build it up little by little. Will try to get some photos in later on as Im free today and taking the day off . Might go visit a garden in the afternoon though!

 Isn't the weather unbelievable! Hope you are all out and well and enjoying it.

Have put up some photos. Theres one of a plaque given me about thirty years ago by a dear friend and wonderful gardener. If you cant decipher it it goes-

Serene he stands amid the flowers

And only counts lifes sunny hours

For him dull days do not exist

The brazen faced old optimist


Not that I was ever a brazenface!

Weary oh weary!

23 March 2011 20:48:03
Do I need a shave, Mary?

Do I need a shave, Mary?

Well the great veggie adventure began today, one eye on the book, one on the packet! I made markers out of a margarine box. Cut it into strips and had a cd marker pen. Duly raked and sowed and marked and hoped! Ive never been a good veg. gardener but maybe this time!

But thats not why Im weary. I was down in the scrub-i.e. the lower part of my garden and decided to clear up the twigs and branches and the last of the dead beech leaves-Ive some pictures in the photo section! The decided to reclaim an old rockery-well it was a vertical face and i set stones into it so that it became a sort of wall, theres a little path at the top of it. It was to be a long rockery effect but in the last few years it was totally neglected so ivy ran riot! Between pulling off ivy and carting truckloads of wet soggy beech leaves to my dump ( sorry compost heap but really dump!) I was whacked by evening. It was really only in the last few minutes that I saw that something had in fact been done. The photos dont quite capture it.

Two completely different sides to gardening. Actually by six o clock I was muttering to self This isnt a garden its a bloody assault course! Got one or two nice pictures though.

Veg book

22 March 2011 22:50:03
Friend of the family!

Friend of the family!

Think I got a very good bargain from Vibes and Scribes, Lavitts Key ,Cork. I had priced the River Cottage vegetable Book elsewhere and it seemed to be coming in around 18 Euro or so. Got it in above for 8.99 and there are a few more copies on their shelf. They very kindly sent it on for 10 Euro in all but when it arrived i saw they had been charged a lot more for posting. Its a hardback by mark Diacano River Cottage handbook No 4. Who knows it may finally inspire me!

Funy old day

21 March 2011 21:33:04
Pots filled with scillas, white grapehyacinths anenomes etc

Pots filled with scillas, white grapehyacinths anenomes etc

Some days you just dont seem to get things done and yet you are out there for a few hours. Divided  some of the snowdrops. I can see thats going to be a daily task for a long while! I planted the Enkianthus and am very pleased. Managed to clear bit of ground elder that is rampant in that bed. Ill get at it little by little.

Then I filled the two pots with yesterdays purchases and they look well. In the photographs you dont see the amount of old flower pots , bits of wood  and rubbish that surrounded them beforehand.(Ah but Im wrong because when I was uploading the photographs you can see the grand collection of bins and paraphanalia at the top in the yard! They have been cleared!) The power washing goes on apace and today the wall and the remainder of the patio and the tiles around the pots and the rough granite ramp all came up beautifully. Its as if i have a new patio if a somwhat bumpy one as the slabs have shifted over the years. Also realised just how blue that area is with the  four pots containing bamboo. Glad I didnt buy purple flowers! Ill put in more photos to include the other pots.

Am determined to keep the yard tidier now that Ive got it to that stage!

Also my little red tulips are out and the Daffs are really shouting!


21 March 2011 00:08:53
Sunshine on the rockery

Sunshine on the rockery

We went over to Altamount today. Called to Aldi on the way and they had rhodos for 7 95 or so. Good looking but as I was going to Robert Millers I saved my coppers. I had seen a lovely Enkianthus red bells last autumn and the colour was wonderful. I asked Robert to hold it for me as i was buying other stuff on the day and he did and I sent him on the money. Only got to collect it today!

Altamount looked fabulous in the spring sunshine. It was warm and there was a swathe of daffodils along the entrance drive and lots of colour with some serious hellebores-one was almost grey in colour. It wasnt in Roberts or Id have succumbed. As it was we got scyllas and anenomes and white grapehyacinths (Never saw those before) and will put them in two large pots for show and later transplant them under the tree at the side of the rockery where there are already some blue anenomes (Spelled wrong?) Gorgeous colours. Ill photgraph them when they are done.

He also had poppies and peonies and lots of other desirables but you does with what you can! The Enkianthus promises lots of red bells and fabulous winter colour. Im putting it in Eileen's Bed (Dear Friend) which is west facing and should catch the setting sun nicely.

More splitting of snowdrops tomorrow and raking of paths and  general tidyupping.


Back to normal!

19 March 2011 17:57:16
These are the gloves I mentioned.

These are the gloves I mentioned.

Simple enough tasks today. Started to divide the snowdrops and put aside some for friends. Raked more beech leaves down the slope . The got stuck into redefining rough steps that get me down a big slope. They had nearly disappeared under the clay but have got them back . Took some photos, among them the wonderful welders gloves! You can get them in any good hardware store and at only eight euro Theyre a steal!

Got the patio powerwashed and it came up a treat.

Then the rain came down which was welcome- Match on and ireland doing very well-a good day!

At eleven ten Irish time war was declared...

19 March 2011 17:16:08
The Battlefield (bed) at evening

The Battlefield (bed) at evening

On the 18th of March 2011 acting on the hawkish advice of Jacinta, General Scrubber committed himself to battle and declared war on the rose bed! Unkepmpt and neglected for years the enemy had no fear of this warrior returning to battle after a long absence. They trusted in their sharp thorns and stinging backlashes to repel all his puny advances.

However what they did not know about was his secret weapon! Welding gloves, bought that morning in the hardware shop for 8 Euro, Big leathery thorn resistant arm length gauntlets! Battle commenced and there was no quarter given or taken. Secateurs snipped viciously, loppers lunged into the very heart of the bush, Long whippy branches sprang back, obviously aimed at nose and ear. It was ferocious and prolonged but finally the forces of welding gloves and secateurs prevailed and the enemy were reduced to a few bare stems standing in a sea of prickly thorn. There were of course casualties. Some observer daffodils strayed too near the action and were trampled underfoot. In the height of battle the loppers sheared its bolt and a journey had to be made to the hardware shop for a bolt- repairs cost 40 Cent! But then as suddenly as it had begun it was over.

The bodies of the slain had to be carted away and a prickly difficult lot they remained to the bitter end. And then what had flourished beneath and arounf them! yards of scutch, fat roots of convolvolus, yellow threads of nettle roots- all ahd to be cleared by an already tired General. And yet though all day long the noise of battle rolled in the evening there was a great peace and smugness descended on the general as he surveyed the field (bed). It had been worth it and the day was ours!

Still difficult to get through!

17 March 2011 18:56:08
Now theres a job worth tackling!

Now theres a job worth tackling!

Web site seemed to come on and off today but ok tonight. I didnt eventually get out to garden. Went to Woodstock where the trees are always  so impressive. There long before us and will be there when our grandchildren are grandparents-this last comment from my better half.

Did get some daffs photos and work done yesterday and of course the bed that is to be done tomorrow-must check weather!

Have put another view of that bed in my photos and some of daffs. 'St Patricks day daffs' made it out for the day despite the cold. They are a lovely pale yellow and have come well every year.

Where were you all?

17 March 2011 10:33:24

Pot problem solved

15 March 2011 18:47:40
pot with box cone-the solution

pot with box cone-the solution

Well finally solved pot. Took it off the other pot and then got the idea of a box cone to give it height. Got one in Superquinn for 14.99. Priced them elsewhere at 60 Euro! But my one did me fine. See over.

Have spent a lovely day outside-well half day as had to work in the morning. Isnt it a pain when clearing  a bed to dig up all those black balls of compost that were once plants! You tease them out in the hope of a root or bulb. Nada! But today I unearthed a huge clump of fleshy roots. The compost told me it was something i had bought but could I visualise the plant. No way. It had lots of fleshy roots and was quite big. I split it into four clumps. There were shoots or buds Violet colour. I said id ask my friends in garden.ie. Then as I came into the house it dawned on me. It was a big old Hosta! I do hope i get four clumps. Hostas do transplant fairly well for me. I was putting an extra foot on a flower bed, eating into a lawn but it ties in with the rockery which I have finally wed!

Tired but happy tonight even though I still have more work on that bed and then theres a hugely overgrown bed beside that! No rest for the wicked!

Coffee break

08 March 2011 17:00:38
I replaced square pot with this.

I replaced square pot with this.

Coffee and cake but i must get out again. Thanks Rachel but i couldnt give it the week! It got on my nerves when i went out-the sqare pot- Its a lovely pot but was just too squat. Ive put another pot on top of an upturned one and am inviting comments. Does it look goofey? Its better than the square one but Im not sure. The height i think is ok. Yes I know I havent much to be worrying me!!! Ill put square pot into photos but believe me it didnt work-though it should have!

Inch by inch and row by row!

07 March 2011 20:15:50
That's it. I'm open to suggestions!

That's it. I'm open to suggestions!

Thats what it felt like as I ackled a little bit more of the bed beside the rockery. The consolation was that there were little bits of green things coming on the twigs. On the other hand its not fun to discover balls of compost that once must have had plants growing  and also to find squashy white pulp where tubers once were. As jacinta says-you win some ,you lose some!

It was a glorious day though and Spring seems to have sprung.

The main thing today was that I finished the vegetable bed! Its about twelve metres by three and there's nothing in it! I have never grown veg. successfully but am determined to get something out of the ground this year! Having seen Ivor's veg. garden spurred me on! It is edged with telegraph poles that were replaced beside me and I asked for them.

I see the chives are on the march and mint is beginning to appear and I think Lovage and another herb-forget its name but he was one of the rabbits in watership down! Rosemary got frostbitten but thyme is ok. Im familiar with them as I did a clean up around them today. They are the nicest things to weed because you get all the scents.

Oh and then just when I was finished at about six I got the brilliant brainwave to put the very big square ceramic pot on the square plinth-square suiting square-so pulled out the dead box that was in it-to discover it was not dead so had to plant it! Emptied the contents-quite a lot- manhandled it into wheelbarrow- fought my way up the slope to plinth. Gingerly lifted the pot that was there, minding my back. Eased in the new square pot. Wheeled back the wheelbarrow, turned around. and have to admit...Im not convinced it was the best of ideas but i'm giving it a week to work!!!!

Jeepers creeper!

05 March 2011 18:13:18
Thuja is on  the left in the original photo!

Thuja is on the left in the original photo!

Big deal on today. We are power-washing the house so the creeper had to be drastically lowered. We decided on windowheight and went from there. It came down easily enough thanks to my friend's energy and the powerwashing helped to get rid of quite a bit of the tiny tendrils. A second wash should help. Was very pleased as there are only two walls with creeper.

Got another thuja in Eddy Sweeney's new Ross yesterday and a lovely hellebore for 6.50 (The hellebore!) and in tesco i spotted one box ball reduced from 20 Euro to four! yes four! There was only one. Id say they thought it was on the way out  but it is fine!

I put the thuja in at the bottom of the rough steps in the rockery so had to take the mulleins out. There are lots of rabbit scrapes in the garden, new ones every day! Cleaned a few more 'pools' in the rockery, (that's what i call them) and was quite please and also hauled the creeper down into the bottoms along with a few more tarpaulins- full of leaves!

Its all really basic stuff but its good to see the rockery learly clean-meanwhile weeds are returning to the long border again! Ever onwards! But its great to be out  in the spring!

Have just noticed that the Thuja was cut out of the photo. It will be in the daffs album!

Ah that's a bit better!

02 March 2011 19:36:23


Again many thanks for the commiserations. I didnt get out until the afternoon and the first bit of the rockery was heavy going. I even found most of the autumn leaves that had escaped my brush in among the rocks along with dandelions and a weed whose name I dont know. Its a bit like buttercup but shinier and its not celandine-anyway working on the rockery gradually got me into better form and it actually became a bit easier as I went on -and to cap it all at the end I shifted a rock about ten millimeters and persuaded myself it made a real difference. It is beginning to look better. The begonia is very bedraggled at this time of year.

The earlier journal that I lost into the ether was to say I had got Homebase hellebores again at 2-50 each. One was rotted at base, the rest were ok.

I did a new album mostly on the rockery and daffs but the photos are nothing like the snowdrops. The full hellebore pictur was the expensive one (25 Euro) and the big white was I think a Homebase! The picture of the Irises has a story. A dear young lady passed away suddenly last year and I put these in to remember her. They all came out suddenly and together. It was a special moment.

Bad words!

02 March 2011 09:58:03
Hadnt a recent photo!

Hadnt a recent photo!

Did a long journal entry and it disappeared off the screen! Maddening as I have lots of indoor work to do today and wont get out until afternoon and havent time to rewrite. maybe tonight!


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