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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal October 2011

Last Post 2275 days 9 hours ago

You know that feeling when...

31 October 2011 20:35:01
dear bold brave beautiful little Bidens....

dear bold brave beautiful little Bidens....

you have bought something and you see it in another shop! Do you peep at the tag or not!. Was in lovely garden centre today and saw my cherubs! Holding my breath I peeked. Well they were a fiver dearer as they stood but then I got two for the price of one so i am well pleased! Phew!

Then Scrubber had the infernal cheek to ask a very obliging staff member to measure the base of the statue for him!!! -As I need to firm up a foundation in readiness for the pair. Square foot which is a lovely old fashioned measurement.

I have changed my mind about their siting. And I know its going to work and its given me ideas about a plot. 'Feverish excitement!'

The only danger is that my two are playing a lute and cymbals and there are others there playing a flute and playing a tambourine and there's a temptation to have an orchestra!

What a dirty day..

30 October 2011 16:35:54
Enkianthus aflame. Now i see why i bought it!

Enkianthus aflame. Now i see why i bought it!

It may be mild but its still very wet. Theres a drizzle out there that turns to heavy drizzle, then rain then back to drizzle. I had changed and gone out in the hope of doing something but finally gave up. Tidied the garage a bit and came in. maybe Ill get the study in order. Its an on going saga.

I managed to shift one fern and put in my Cristatas. I split one into three so I hope it will be ok. I still have two more to put in and also have some Yuccas to go into the bog along with two astibes or maybe four if i divide. Am still dreaming of my cherubs. Ladygardener has viewed them and pronounced them most acceptable so i was chuffed!

I think Im going to edge the rose bed again so that the bed is slightly more noticeable and i have a place for the spare sods. All this was to be done today but alas! The Ozakazuki is blazing. I hope i get a good photo of it before the leaves fall.

Almost too much excitement....

28 October 2011 21:03:28
This original tellytubby mound is thirty two years old...

This original tellytubby mound is thirty two years old...

A,m still in a dither of excitement over it all! Was down in waterford and decided to checkout Easter Island garden centre-just to view you understand. there had been mention of a half price sale. Well i got there and as my time was very limited I ran around it like a mad thing to see what was on offer. There was lovely stock and well laid out. I met the delightful Rebecca and explained i wasn't buying , just reconnoitering-never thought id spell that-. She was graciousness itself and explained that the famous half price sale was beginning on friday.(Today)

Oh says Scrubber 'thats nice' and turned to go. just then he noticed some nice garden ornaments and went over to have a closer look. I think the italians call it 'A bolt from heaven!'. There before me was a wonderful cherub or putti , sitting on a ball and playing a musical instrument. It was cast in some sort of stone cement and weighed a ton-which i consider a very useful attribute. But wait there beside it was another! Playing the Cymbals! Luckily there were no more.

I went back in and hesitantly asked ' er, were the ornaments in the sale.?' Affirmative.! 'Be still my beating heart!'. I may be back in the morning! Went back to my dear wife and told her that I had found my christmas present! I told her the price of the pair and then that I would only have to pay the price for one and she graciously said she would give them to me for christmas! I rang the centre and got the equally helpful Leonard and tentatively enquired re ornaments and half price sale and again Affirmative! But I would have to get there early to be fair to other customers.

To cut to the chase  I was there at six-thirty-no I jest- early next day and the cherubs are  now mine! I am so thrilled. Ill have to get them home one by one as they are so heavy but I will! I got two grasses for Wicklow as well.

Oh and there were four beautiful ferns (half price) in the boot of my car when I got home. I havent a clue how that happened because as you know I am pledged not to buy till christmas-funnily enough there was a receipt as well! Maybe the cherubs??????

The sale is on for the week from today Friday and if you get there check out the remains of the beautiful meadow garden of annuals still quite lovely so late in the year. Oh there a fabulous oak Bonsai in a beautiful glazed container and I think its half price-    now had i not been smitten by the cherubs.....Many thanks to Anne, paddyand mary, Noelle all of whom i think put me on the track of easter island.

Scrubber and Sr. Josephines's bottom...

26 October 2011 22:45:59
Ledges and grass steps...grass WILL grow over all...

Ledges and grass steps...grass WILL grow over all...

Scrubber got out despite the rain and had a glorious two hours of fun in the garden! He began by trimming the edges along the low wall where he has roses planted and he edged them carefully. But as he edged them he took up the edgings-little sods- (in a nice sense!) and carried them carefully over to the ledges near the steps. Then as they were wet and squishy he was able to plaster them on to the ledges, building up the edges with pieces that will hopefully root well. Edges to ledges!

It was like using marla (plastecine) or Playdough (to you younger ones) and i hadnt had so much fun since Tommy Dooley and I stuck two balls of red marla together in junior infants and said they were like Sr Josephine's bottom! Oh the laffs! Tommy Dooley has never forgiven me for owning up! He said i should have said tea-cakes when the good nun asked what we were laffin' at. But even then I was honest if innocent and i told her!

Anyway I have a beautifully trimmed rose border and grassy ledges to boot. I had to supplement the sods with some more but i cut those from circles around tree in the lawn so it all added up/! Then I managed to cut the grass before coming in.

I got some nice photographs which Ill put up and youll see what I mean by the ledges. Scrubber also wishes to confess that though he didnt realise it he too has a telly tubby mound! And I put it in thirty two years ago so cant be accused of copying it. Only realised i had one when looking at todays photo!

I see I have misnamed a photo its the squelchy path not the squelchy Pat-lest you think there is someone stuck down there!

Lady Alice Fitzwilliam has died

25 October 2011 18:33:28
The (newly defunct) 'Hedgehog'-now gone!

The (newly defunct) 'Hedgehog'-now gone!

And I cant say that i am all that sorry. The lady in question was a tease. Every year she would promise wonderful things with plump green buds but in all our fifteen or more years together Id say she gave me about four blossoms! She had three sisters as well and although i knew they were 'tender' I think they could have been a bit more gracious. She was the last of the four (They cost the considerable sum of £6.25 and an outlay of 21£ in those days was not done lightly! She was dug up today-although there is one slip that seems to have survived!

Another departure was that hedgehoggy looking stump of the Johns Wort Hypericum on the slope where i have put the new levels. It stuck out like a sore thumb and I made a number of attempts to shift it to no avail. Then today I took an axe to it and a crowbar. Cherub wasnt really helpful as he thinks using a crowbar to move a plant is ridiculous but he had to give in and give a hand at the end or id never have managed. Now i have a clear slope and imdelighted with it.

I also shifted-yes you know the rest... I only shifted them about six feet but now the stones are at the edge of a step and look much better than they used to!

Lastly i gathered up lotsof leaves and put in a good few violas and pansies that i had put by a few weeks ago, The rain made the ground lovely and soft. So -not a bad day despite milady's demise!Oh the bottoms which I may call the new patch that I strimmed is after all the rain quite boggy. Ill have to choose plants with care and of course mind meself as well. It would never do to be a genuine stick -in -the -mud!

Bishops Palace garden

21 October 2011 16:25:59
Shade and sunshine

Shade and sunshine

I take it back! I was in waterford today and visited the glass- factory cafe-quite good! and went over to view the garden. Its not spectacular but it is I think quietly effective. I like the benches at the side and if the box is kept trimmed it will contrast nicely with the grasses. Nice to be proved wrong! I think its formal enough to suit the palace building. hadnt time to do the museum but i will.

Apparently it was all because Scrubber

19 October 2011 22:15:11
As far as the eye can see!

As far as the eye can see!

 used ‘Hum drum' yesterday in his journal. The Spirits of the Garden, or at least one of them, were NOT pleased. This information, by the way, was relayed to me by my informant, S---- ,who does not want to be named and who was ‘mousing' down in the Scrub. She says she heard the voice. It was a very deep one and semed to come from the dyke in the swamp. ‘Hum drum indeed. We'll give him hum drum!'

And so a plot was hatched. Next morning an innocent Scrubber went out to weed. Instead he noticed the walnuts were drooping under their own weight and chopped them back a good bit. Then brought them down to the scrub. The trap was sprung there. And a clever one it was. He dumped the branches and then looked up and the thought struck him (as the spirits intended) that that swamp area which had never been touched could perhaps be strimmed-leaving just a little of the flags and Himalayan balsam that covered it.

Not realizing it was pre ordained, simple scrubber got out the strimmer and strimmed and strimmed and strimmed while deep in the Dyke could be heard  muted cackles and giggles of delight.'Hum drum,-hum drum! He hee!' Having done that and having sawn down a few branches and cleared around, Scrubber realize he had added roughly an extra 70 square metres of needing -to- be -tended space to his garden!!!! ‘Wonder when he'll get the  hum- drum weeding done now! Yeeeeah!!!,'

Never underestimate the power of the Garden Spirits!

I have posted some photos of the new acerage in a new album! They are pretty boring  photographs-no, on second thoughts they are LOVELY photographs of the cleared area and nothing more. LOVELY pictures! (Someone might be listening!)

Suggestions for planting cordially invited!

Its a mystery

18 October 2011 23:36:02
This is a really old picture Nov 2007!!!

This is a really old picture Nov 2007!!!

I did a journal and put in a picture and then garden.ie blew up and the computer kept telling me lots of lines of trace elements or something and I couldnt get back on line and thought id be gone forever and some of you would be sorry but went to history and got back but my journal is gone-just as well as it was very hum drum!

Ive just checked and this journal came up but the other vanished. Im now going to try a photo just in case that was what went wrong. By the way rabbits like Hebes and Alchemellias!-Spent a good few hours weeding today-hum drum.

Very briefly...

17 October 2011 19:25:03
Do I LOOK like I've had an OPERATION ????

Do I LOOK like I've had an OPERATION ????

Paddy and Mary that, as I have said in last journal was onehellovawalk! On saturday I got in the ten roses and twenty trays of primulas and pansies so that kept me going. I know where i put the roses but I forget exactly where all the others went!!! No doubt ill have some pleasant surprises.

Today we took off for friends in Wicklow. Yes again. I had help as you see from the we! Anna suggested putting all the roses into one bed and in a sense I did. I dug out two quarter circles at each side of a flight of steps down from the patio and centered a Rosa Rugosa in each. The on the left I put three apricot and on the right three red roses-rather than mix them. So that was eight. I put the rugosa and another apricot in on of the other beds and then we dotted the pansies and violas around the roses and  in as many other places as we could . Also used up the ten trays of primula. Should be lots of spring colour. Took us about three hours and had I been on my own would have taken me ages more.

On the way back the storm or at least high winds and rain broke. I called into Cois na hAbhann and got three packets of winter Aconites which I love and a little dwarf juniper for 3 euro reduced from12.50. Couldnt pass it! Now am not spending any more until christmas!

Hardy Perennials deise-grown!

14 October 2011 20:23:01
An' Scrubber spent an' spent an' spent ......

An' Scrubber spent an' spent an' spent ......

I was driving slowly past Diarmad Gavin's garden in front of the Bishop's palace, Portlairge, and again was thinking I have to go see it properly and give it a chance when I spotted two of our noblest and finest, purposefully striding towards it. I yelped'Oh Look!' and blew the horn but they were intent on their mission and went by determined to vet the Gavin Creation. So now I dont have to visit it i can ask Paddy and Mary if they agree with Ladygardeners perceptive appraisal.!

The saga continues; In Glanbia yesterday I got trays (six pot) of pansies and slightly damaged primroses for a ridiculuous sum. So ridiculous I bought twenty trays for Scrubber and twenty for the Friends in Wicklow! Thus my haul in the photo! There are still lots there in Glanbia. And when I say ridiculous I mean it in a nice sense. Its so sensible to sell things off cheaply if they are not going to move off the shelves. Maybe i should have used 'generous'? I was very grateful!

Then on the way home I called into Aldi. I had a twenty five euro voucher  given to me because the lavender failed miserably and there were lovely roses there for 2 49 each. I got ten roses for my voucher. Came out and said should I? I drove around the roundabout and went back in and got another ten for wicklow! I am not buying any more for them but i couldnt leave them? could I? So another trip is on the cards but it will only mean planting and Ill bring a hose, Hazel! 

Came up and was ready to go out to garden at two and it poured. But I beat the weather by cleaning up the garage-one of my put it off jobs and am really glad I did. Sometimes a dull day can have many bright moments...says Scrubber philosophically...hoping his friends will understand his enthusiastic purchasing... No I know they will...hopefully,,,

Scrubber among the Wicklow Hills!

12 October 2011 13:39:02
Chapter One!

Chapter One!

Well it's the day after and I'm much refreshed! If you are fed up of Scrubber's friends' garden switch off now. But if interested forgive me if ive made too big a deal out of ‘designing' the garden. In fact the design was simply the replanting of the two big beds and the enlarging of the rectangular one between them, the removal of old stuff and the importing of new and the digging had been done beforehand-that is not to say Scrubber hadn't to dig! He had and the ground is very hard in places!

I set off about nine with the boot full of goodies I had been collecting at half price. 4 lavendula, six lavender, three cistus, six Rosemary and stachys lanata, hardy geraniums and forget me nots from my own garden. My friends need simple plants and would not be into dead heading in a big way.

Up to Cois na hAbhann and met the very helpful Liam Sommers who stayed with me all the time I was choosing and was full of info and good advice. I got a lovely Crab (Malus Gorgeous) three prostrate Junipers . some Hypericum, some hebe heartbreaker (variagated ) some small Rhodotwo Choiysa ternate sunburst, a weigelia, two magnolia Susan and Stelata some Achillea an Agapanthus (3 euro!) another 3 Euro I forget what and packet of Aconite, Thalia and Iris reticulate. ‘Some' in the above means about three.

Arrived and was relieved the weeds had not regrown. Started on bed two with the malus. Then Hypericum whose berries took up the colour of the apples and whose yellow will take up the yellow privet beside it. Put on Achillea and the magnolia Stellata.

In the rectangular bed I put a few rocks! Then cistus and hebe and the two sundances to close it.

I put all the rest into the big bed and kept replacing pots until I was fairly satisfied. Then I put them all in and watered-there was a good walk to the outside tap! Then I dotted the forget me nuts around and put in the tachys and the geraniums (endressi and one I call Thug! Big blue bruiser! Then I edged all the beds as best I could and it didn't look too bad if a little bare.

Of course if one had a huge budget  or know how and application like Bill you could go into formal design and do wonders with box and grasses and swathes of colour but my friends and I live in the real world  So does Bill of course!) and one does what one can.

All the above done on a chicken sandwich and a bottle of milk! But on the way home I hit a chipper and had delicious cod and chips and coke! It brought me back! Anyway its all done and I can get back to my own which is suffering neglect!

I have put up a new album and when i go to visit Ill be able to update that one!

The Deed is done!

11 October 2011 21:40:04
Just before take-off this morning!

Just before take-off this morning!

I'm home, bone weary and totally whacked! Was going all day but it was very very satisfying. Will put up a journal about it tomorrow. Now for a hot soak and maybe a whiskey-or two! Many thanks again for all the encouragement. It means so much.

Imagine the daffodils are peeping through!

10 October 2011 22:08:01
Yes these are daffs in october!

Yes these are daffs in october!

Scrubber was stunned today to see the first little nibs of the daffs peeping through the earth beside the beech. he took a photograph which he will endeavour to put up.

Cut grass, so mundane but makes such a difference! Then dug out an elder from a slope and needed to infill the space so 'borrowed ' a rock from fern Corner and it fitted in well. Then repaired another part of a wall that collapsed. what am i doing wrong with my walls. This one only lasted thirty years!

I re- seeded a few places where the grass hadn't come back.So between cutting and sowing grass was busy enough. Also wed a bit of eileen's bed-lots of weeding to do.

Have a new project which excites and terrifies me. I have friends who claim to know nothing about gardening. They have cleared two very large beds and a joining bed and have asked me to plant them for them. I have a modest budget and can go a bit more so I have been on the lookout for bargains recently and have lovely lavateras, cistuses, lavenders, Rosemarys already got. Also some geranium endressii from my own garden and stachys lanata and other stuff. Tomorrow I am going to the Nursery which they chose and am to purchase more. Im all of a dither and hope i dont let them down. I know Ill see lots of stuff i want but I cant just splurge. Im trying to think easy care and yet colourful. I love perovskia and maybe rosa rugosa might be nice-no not together! maybe I wont spend their allowance all together and may wait for spring.Anyway ill let you know! Diarmad Gavin eat your heart out!

Ive put up a few more pictures. I like the chesnut one and the clematis. The new rock beside the pillar is on the left hand side. Its just a whitish smudge in the photo!

The humdrum is part of it too!

05 October 2011 15:32:14
The top is almost flat!

The top is almost flat!

Finally got out again after rain. I cut all the grass. Theres a sense of space now that ive lost a few trees but its a good space not an empty one. One tree that was in the shadow of the very big eucalyptus-a fern leafed beech has taken on a more significant role and ties in well with Eileen's bed.

I transplanted a few of the Lupins just to see. And they are still fairly fresh looking today.

Oh I also cut down a few branches in the bog so that the squelchy path is more negotiable and then a few chestnut branches in the scrub so that theres not too much shade if i want to underplant. So although not a very exciting day it may produce later results.

Oh and I found another wonderful mushroom-they are all over the place this year.

Can you believe it?

03 October 2011 20:16:20
Woodland floor

Woodland floor

The grass that I sowed last Saturday week at the entrance, about nine days ago has all come up and flourished! I just went down today to see if it was making any appearance and got a pleasant surprise!

I had to do something else today so couldnt get out but i took photographs to prove the speed of growth. It was very autumnal down in the scrub. the leaves while not yet fully in colour were beginning to fall, especially the ash and the chestnut leaves were a deeper brown among them. One of the new acer ozakazuki has coloured and its companions are still green. The liquidamber has some yellow leaves but I hope it holds them until the red acer behind comes out in contrast.

Shoosh is jumping up on window sills at this stage much to Dooley's disdain.'"Showoff!" Ive put up a photo to show her off in the album and i think he is quite narked.

Saw a garden magazine-no I bought one and there was a group of the rudbeckia in all their glory-something to aim at!

Werent ireland great! Im not at all sporty but I had a lump in my throat when they sang the rugby anthem.


01 October 2011 13:25:11
Couldnt locate picture of Shoosh!

Couldnt locate picture of Shoosh!

Seeing as how the only gardening around here for the past few days would need an aqualung and flippers I thought it might be of interest to one or two people that Shoosh has become a member of the household-outside dwelling that is.

She is shortly to have a house of her own and has just recently been hospitalized for a night from which we learned thatA) She is indeed a she and b) that she cats cost twice as much as he cats to ensure that there wont be too many more cats around. She is well recovered and still friends and when her fur grows back will be quite handsome. She has agreed to chase rabbits away and keep us mouse and rat free so she will be well looked after.

She does not realise and will not be told that we tried to give her away to anyone who would take her at the beginning! Now to find a suitable little kennel!

Dooley is unperturbed by her arrival as long as she doesnt go near his bowl. It was hilarious to see him ponderously chase her one time when she did. She skipped effortlessly down the rockery and he wisely didnt follow. But I did hear him grunt 'Thatll teach her!' to himself as he waddled back. Well waddle may be too strong a term. He is too fine a creature to waddle.


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