Last Post 724 days 5 hours ago
31 May 2011 23:24:43
Its aptly named Stinkhorn!
I went out today to cut the lawns and down in the scrub but began with strimming. I said Id fill the strimmer and go until it ran out and go I did! Have strimmed behind the lower lawn wall (cf photos) and then went down into bog proper. Now this hadnt been strimmed or done for two years and its very fertile so the Himalatan Balsam and great big flagger leaves and other reeds had totally taken over. I couldnt find my "squelchy path" a series of slabs through the bog but by dint of strimming and cursing and battling and hacking I began to recover the ground. One nice thing was that in the lower garden I had edged the paths with stone and rediscovered all this when I went into attack mode. But it is veritable jungle and some trees have leaned over-its not my bad photography! I have a lot of picture to put up but will not get it done tonight.
It stank? Oh All day I could smell a stinkhorn but couldnt place it. I usually discover them when strimming and then i have smashed them. This even ing after cutting the grass it was very strong. I turned around and there it was behind me. Standing up straight and proud and obviously oblivious to the pong it was giving off. I have left it as i want to see how long it takes to disappear.
Ill try to get the pictures up tomorrow. Its midnight and my swamp duty has me whacked! I have some nice Iris and poppy photos and lots of bog-its the only part of the garden you havent seen-and you will no doubt realise why. Its at the very bottom of the scrub and is very boggy.
30 May 2011 21:54:25
Have been away for a few days and celebrated a first communion! Back today and went out this evening and put in the last of the 'sleepers ' on the grass steps and finished the stepping stones in the woodland area and am pleased. Also picked up a broken slab for half price and put that into the rockery so am well pleased.
Got a maple in Lidle for 13.99. Small but it will grow and also bought four arctotis-if anyone has any experience of them id be grateful. they are half hardy perennials and look like gerbenas?-those big daisy like flowers that florists have to stiffen with wire-I bet my name is wrong Bergenas? If I had known they were half hardy they would not have gone in my basket!
I also put in the meconopsis which had dried out badly while i was away so maybe thats gone. Marian's cadelabra primula put out another lovely round of flowers.
So there you have it- a not very inspiring journal but promise to do better. Perhaps the photograph will make up for it.
25 May 2011 16:11:55
Turks'cap lillies for ladygardener
Well theres progress with my stone addiction or 'petrification' (official name,-thanks to rachel). I went out and only settled one stone! And that didnt take long but a 'lotofeffort'. Everything sems to be a 'lotofeffort' these days!
Then I cut the front lawn and as i did it began to drizzle. Got it finished and went down into the scrub (Lower part of garden) where its wooded (thus no drizzle!)and was able to strim a good deal. The really nice thing was that I hadnt really cleared it for two years-study and broken leg combined- but today the old scrub began to emerge and it is lovely and much of what I earlier did there will tie in to all my new work. I tried some photos but doubt if they are great. Ill put them up.They are mostly to do with strimming!
But it was great to see the old and new fitting in together and old paths and rocks and ferns emerging. These are the pay backs! I see since I have come in ,the sun has come out! Am tempted!
24 May 2011 23:06:15
First flower in 'Marian's bed'!
Guys Im afraid I am going to have to come clean! I cant go on pretending I am a real gardener any more! Real gardeners sow things and tend things and watch them grow. No folks. I now confess. I am an addict! I have been afflicted by 'rock addiction' and i dont mean music. How else can you exlain this evening? I went out to attack the elder in the front bed and saw a stone that might just fit as a little step where i had two levels. Put it in and it was perfect. Then attack the ground Elder? no.
I went over to an older path and pulled back ivy and discovered a magnificent slab of striated granite. Now I couldnt just leave it there so got the wheelbarrow and huffed and puffed and got it over to first step and wonders! it fitted perfectly. The I replaced that with two smaller ones so there was no gap where it had been and then clearing the path again heard the clink and after about half an hour dug out a 'normous one which tomorrow is going to be set in properly to best advantage.
Oh did i start by telling you my first task was to bed the big rock from yeterday so that its flush with the ground and looks like an outcrop...
Will somebody help me as Im losing control! I wonder would hypnosis help. 'I must ignore any rocks if we meet in the future' 'I must concentrate on clay and soil and earth''I must weed and hoe and till and sow'. If anyone else has had this problem id be obliged for advice! (photos going up to document patient's progress'
23 May 2011 20:11:23
A 'shot across the boughs'!
Well we said goodbye to our dear friend on Sunday, beautiful ceremony, lovely choir and Cara o Sullivan singing, warm appreciative eulogies, many memories. came home and went out and spent the afternnon planting up Marian's bed. mainly Hostas and hellebores and a new primula. there are snowdrops but must get in some colour as she loved colour. cf Photos
The I noticed a big rock on a wall that was wobbly so went to fix it and it was wobblier so i took it down and filled the space with smaller stones. Then I put the big rock at the end of the old rockery (photos) and shortly after when tidying up i heard the clink! Unearthed another big one which I have also placed near old rockery but I need to sink it deeper than it is in the photo. Dont ask me why, I just know it has to be deeper!
Had a squirrel and a baby rabbit in the garden yesterday. It was a grey squirrel who left suddenly. The little rabbit ran all over the place before getting away. Im fed up of his relatives eating my brassicas. Today I just swept and swept after the high winds. Not the most satisfying of jobs and tidied away debris from yesterday. have just noticed another stone that might do as a step...... yes stone cracked!
Have put up some photos to accompany the journal.
21 May 2011 17:36:41
My cloud pruned Pittosporum now alas defunct! a pile of twisted black twiggy bits!
We were over in galway for a few days and I cheekily rang and asked could we visit the garden above! Mrs. Mc Mahon was very welcoming so last thursday afternoon we got to visit Ardcarrig again. It was about ten or fifteen years since i had been there before and the lawn was 'pissappeared'!
The garden is huge and winds up and down and in and out through boulderstrewn mosscovered hazelwood scrub which suddenly opens into pools of azaleas, rhododendrons, hostas and wonderful candelabra primulas. You can view these from the decking of the new house and see over the tree tops to lake Corrib.
The amount of work done by the slim slight lady gardener is unbelievable as I am sure she has had to hack out everything from the original wilderness. It was a huge treat. And I was able to buy a lovely Hosta, some candelabra primulas, a mecanopsis and a strange green primrose that is called felicia because it was rescued by a lady of that name from a roundabout somewhere in Canade that the local council were digging up! Mrs Mc Mahon had divided it and got five plants. I had seen it as I toured and was delighted to see one on sale! So now Scrubber has one!
On the day we were returning I got the sad news that a dear younger friend of ours had passed away, she was also a great gardener. last week knowing this was about to happen,I had made a special bed to remember her and the Ardcarrig flowers will start it off. Its just beside the little Japanese lamp of enlightenment. Today as i came back from visiting her family I got some more Hostas so the bed is off to a good start once i can get at it. I hope it will be worthy of her.
Fecking rabbits have cleared my vegetable plot of brassica and Lettuce. (Dooley is on hols!)
16 May 2011 21:55:49
Can you spot my visitor?
No its not what it might seem! I dont know whether to put up a photo of one of my visitors or the object of my rekindled affections! O.K.Ill come clean. The first visitor was a bumble bee the exact yellow of my Iris and he landed on it and sent me scurrying for the camera. I got one shot of him on the flower-if you look closely. Then a little later on out of the corner of my eye a movement. A mouse! Lovely brown countrymouse-no definitely not a rat. And he or she (well i couldnt very well ask!!!) stayed around and I got a few photos!
As regards garden I put in the 'sleepers' in the grass steps and am quite pleased with them. They are not intrusive and give a firm step. I have one more to put in and two more in my woodland path and then i can go back to buying flowers rather than cement!
I wed the rose bed. One that I reclaimed a month or so ago but it was so much easier this time and the wall stands out better now that the hazel is trimmed. (cf photos)
Oh my rekindled passion? Well there was this beauty, a blue geranium which unfortunately if ignored spread like wildfire. I think Christopher Lloyd branded her a Thug! It was so prolific that I got rid of it. Well this year she appeared again and fitted in so well that Im glad to have her back and will be very attentive so that she remains in my good booksand within limits! I have also put up some photos of this geranium. Goes beautifully with Pink poppies.
Iplanted up a good bit of the old rockery and it looks well and I cut the grass again for a nice finish. I did around the box balls in the front circle but didnt get to the ground elder patch. Cant do everything. Im now going to put up the photos. Think Ill open a new album in honour of the visitors!
14 May 2011 20:23:07
Light and Shade
The hedge is a bit too much for me so my good friend jim was in today. While he did the hedge- its worrying as it is a berberis and has great patches of die back after the snow-I cleaned up a bit in the scrub. Then I helped gatjher the clippings which are @@$$*!! as they are so thorny. Then I strimmed the big mound (cf .photos It is big!) and that took a while but the paths on it are now clearly defined. I lopped a big branch or two of beech and raked below in the scrub. Amazing the leaf mould after two years!
I planted the tomatoes that my friend Fritz gave me-five different types and very strong and also some cauliflower plants. Started to weed a bed in front of lawn and just saved two overgrown lavenders (bindweed and vetch the culprits) and went out and got some lovely photos which I'll put up.
I have one of Rhodo Gomer waterer that I think is a stunner. Only cost a tenner in tescos and some nice ones of irises whose names escape me. My favourite photo is a study in light and shade. Of course i didnt know that when i took it! But thats what it turned out like. Keego wanted to see a bit moreof the bed with rocket so I did that as well.
13 May 2011 21:18:11
For Fran and his Dad
The photo is for Fran and his drooping star of bethlehem
Have got a good bit done over the last few days. Finished my new veg plot and got all the lawns cut-all the lawns sounds grand but theres a front and a side and a lower and a scrub and a ....all small but the bottomones hadnt been done for ages and another had a lot of daffs that had hopefully gone over so it was short back and sides all round. Also I trimmed the bottom of my 'cantankerous' hazel and it looks much much better. I let the stems show a bit more.
Today i bought three small stepping stones for hilary's garden-well two and they gave me a broken half of a bigger one which fitted in very well. I also bought a rectangular slab-made to look like timber as I thought id try setting it into some grass steps that are always getting worn. It works well so ill do the other steps.
I also worked on another clay path that goes up over the old rockery so that you can look straight down on it and then thought a nice stone should mark the path. I had one elsewhere , a big boulder and i gently rolled it our of its place. It was to roll gently into position but of course broke free and like the grand old duke of York i had to march it back up the slope, over a small retaining wall and up the next slope! But we got there and its perfect so it was worth it.
Then put in Brassica plants to replace the ones i fed the snails with. I put in plenty of slug pellets this time and told Dooley they were not smarties- Also got a tree paeony for 7.99 in Lidl! Here's hoping. So thats it for these last few days. Biggest kick? Catankerous hazel and Boulder!
Sorry last few photos are poor as they were taken at dusk!
09 May 2011 20:26:41
Posh or wha'? And ye thought Scrubber was a yob!
Day was very wet and windy to start but got out eventually. Spent most of the time cleaning away debris and shaping a new bank and replacing stones and clearing around rocks- I have a new word for it 'rock-delineation' Itsounds much better than scraping around rocks. Then I tried to weed a few beds that were clean a few weeks ago. But am gebuinely pleased with getting anything done today.
Bought little solar lamps for Rockery. Only twoeuro each and they are quite small so may look well.
Dooley asked me to take his picture so we did three for which he posed beautifully. If anyone wants to use him in a commercial he is open to offers.
I didnt know whether to put up one of him or my posh pelargonium. Dont tell him what I did or hell sulk! I have put him in the photos.
08 May 2011 16:31:56
Construction on here!
Hope you all had a wonderful day at the Plant fair! Jealous???? Who me? Not in my nature. I didnt even grin when the wind nearly knocked me over and it seemed to be heading in the direction of Birr! Magnanimous thats me!
And I hope you all got wonderful bargains. Enter violins playing soulfully!(Whereas those of us who were unable to attend were pleased to get two packets of Acidanthera for three Euro in a pound shop today) Some of us are pleased with a little!Violins fade out.
04 May 2011 21:32:06
'The Pwincess' chair'
Long ago there lived a Pwincess who was very brave and not a bit scared of THE GWEAT BIG GIANT! And this was her chair. And she and her doting Grandad had to enact the story of the Pwincess and the GIANT whenever she visited. But guess who had to play the Pwincess! I had to squeak 'O please MR GIANT dont chase me!!' and hope to God that there was no one passing on the river bank.
I have recently shifted the chair-with the GIANT's permission -to a new place beside the old rockery and I can visualise many nice lazy days there reading and relaxing this summer.
Went out today and thinned lettuce that I had let grow too much. The thinnings were so fine that I transplanted them-Is that stupid? I also sowed some french beans and started on another small veg bed. The only veg Ive had so far has been radishes! Ive included a shot of the veg garden in photos.
Then down into scrub and worked on an old path, just clearing the debris of the last three years and as it skirts the old rockery it ties it in very nicely. And also with Hilary's garden. Its lovely when things come together. E.G There was a large rock at the end of the path and now its cleared the rock stands out very nicely. Was thinking too of Headgardener's journal and all the things we do that only we know about. E.g. the stone wall of boulders at the bottom of the rockery had become proud of the path, i.e. there was a layer of Clay to be seen under it. So I dug out the clay and inserted some stones underneath. Things that only I will see. But they will please me!
Lots of rain forecast so a good drenching for all. Everywhere i look in the scrub is overgrown but the colours are singing and now the cowparsley is dancing through the rhodos and over the bluebells. Bliss!