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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal November 2011

Last Post 2241 days 8 hours ago

They're out ,They're out!

30 November 2011 15:12:50
Scrubber's first ever November Daffs!

Scrubber's first ever November Daffs!

Came back from a weekend away and even though the weather was wet i managed to get in ten redstemmed dogwoods in the bottoms. They were good value. 7 25 for five well rooted stems-not huge plants but they will grow and grow. And then as i came up out of the scrub I noticed that these two daffs were actually out. I am sure lots of you have  them in bloom for ages but this was such a lovely surprise. I think its the first time ive had daffs in November! Was proper chuffed!

I have started to divide clumps of forget me nots .I hope they will take. 

And after that He'll get going, cutting a bit more

23 November 2011 20:26:09
Heaps an' heaps an' heaps

Heaps an' heaps an' heaps

into the lawn beside the wall and sowing the bulbs and digging a trench and....

Three days later reality dawns.Scrubber is NEVER going to get all those leaves done! He had planned to blow the leaves into heaps on the drive, then blow the leaves on the lawn, then cart them down to the bottom of the Scrub where they will rot down. Well he started on the drive-the easy bit and that took him a whole  day. And he was out today from ten to three with a dinner break and that just about got the lawn done and hauled all down into scrub and blew leaves,[ think sodden rain drenched lumps of leaves from Eileen's bed] (Incidentally guess who he found in the spare bed this morning-left door open for five minutes-Sh---h!).

Then  he tried to blow leaves off various steps-well- So he expects to be doing this for quite some time. He may have a chance to eat his Christmas dinner in between!CF photos of leaves that remain! 

So he has not as yet had time to widen a border by a wall and plant all his bulbs (48 packets!) More if he is unable to pass Glanbia! and a 25k sack of daffs! He did get in some packets of crocii so theres  hope. And then theres a planting line to be dug for the hedges and perhaps the cutting out of a circle around a certain tree-for bulbs and annuals.

But still Scrubber is profoundly grateful that thats all he has on his mind at this present time when so many have so much to really worry about-and he likes collecting leaves even if it does take ages-Oh I think it has been  said-the friends in Wicklow were extremely pleased so despite the rabbits something worked out well in the end. Hurrah! 


Question re sowing bulbs

20 November 2011 22:57:48
delicate acer

delicate acer

I have asked Liga but am now throwing it open to all in the hope of making my bulb sowing mor practical??? And using up my flower pots

  Could one fill ordinary flowerpots with a mixture of clay and compost, put in the tulips and then bury them instead of just putting the bulbs in the ground-and then when they are finished one could perhaps take them out and let them die down naturally? Im talking about ordinary plastic flowerpots of which i have about five million!

Busy busy busy

18 November 2011 12:27:20
Now some bulbs might be nice down there....

Now some bulbs might be nice down there....

But not in the garden. Went down to waterford today and got some jobs done then out to Easter island where the ever obliging leonard and  his helpmate loaded Cherub Lute into the confined space of my boot. He is still there as i wait for any strong person to come in the drive.'I wonder could you just...'

Then into Glanbia and got more of their bargain bulbs. The daffs hadnt been reduced yet. Later got a phone call from Anna that those lovely people in Glanbia had reduced the daffs! They very kindly left them into a local shop as I was tied up, not literally, until six o clock.

Later I collected them, Two huge sacks! It was hard to carry them out singly. One is for Wicklow the other for greedyguts Scrubber. They are also in the car but i can lift them out!

Then into Mount sion, my old school and was warmly greeted by Ann, Mary and Paddy. Unfortunately Noelle couldnt make it. We had a lovely talk on Prairie planting from Frances Mc Donald a very erudite and easy humourous speaker. She had lots of slides and while i would not be a fan of Prairie planting I got lots and lots of ideas for Herbacious borders and there was one delightful spiral in a lawn that i may attempt!

I must get some bulbs for it!!!!!!Only joking i am bulbed out.

I very much enjoyed the .iers company who made me very welcome and our group collected three of the raffle prizes! Annn won two and very kindly gave one to me for Anna! Mary also won and Paddy and I covered our disappointment with aplomb! (I hadnt even bought tickets as I came in a tiny bit later). We were even given a lovely cup of tea!

So a lovely and very productive day. Now to get all those bulbs planted. Lord send a few dry days! 

Have just lugged one of the daff bags into the garage (Dutch Master). I thought itd be about 15 to 20 KGs. It was in fact 25!!! Good news. My good friend Donal is calling this evening. He has kindly consented to lift out cherub Lute! Hurrah! 




Not that it's at all important......

16 November 2011 16:32:32
The top ledge of the edges and ledges

The top ledge of the edges and ledges

As Dooley remarked when telling me that Shoosh had been eating out of HIS bowl...but Scrubber talked so much about his ledges and edges that today he went out and took photos just in case anyone is interested-and mind you dont have to be: but so that you'd know what and where he was talking (Rambling on) about when referring to ledges and edges.and as said above, not thats its important!So instead of going out today and getting soaked he has put them up on the November album at the very end.- not that it's at all important.



And then there are days....

15 November 2011 18:12:46
The Walnuts await the Spring!-or maybe the C. lights!

The Walnuts await the Spring!-or maybe the C. lights!

When you do very little but seem to have got a lot done! Put in my Aldi roses Mr Lincoln Peace, and two Virgo. And managed to cut the last of the overhanging hawthorn so that the Japanese tree stands free. Also did a very minor change on the edge of one of the ledges and it made all the difference,Am very pleased with the area around the tree now and it was an eyesore so theres hope for all of us! NOT DEAR FRIENDS THAT I AM SUGGESTING THAT THERE ARE ANY EYESORES IN YOUR KEMPT GARDENS! Whew!

Every time I go up the grass steps the edges and ledges as I call them give me a little kick of satisfaction. Am still trying to work out where exactly to place my hedges and have i ordered too many/ But if i have i have plans for them perhaps as well...Ever a schemer or scamer as my gran used call me.

What a glorious dry day. The fallen leaves so crisp. Must try to collect thembefore they get soggy and wet.

The best of plans....

14 November 2011 19:39:07
Stones on ledges and edges

Stones on ledges and edges

Had this great idea for a hedge or rather double hedge and completed in my head this morning. A semi circular beech hedge with an opening in the middle and behind that opening another curve of hedge so that from behind you see a completed hedge and the garden beyond is hidden then go around the first hedge and out through the centre opening and Voila!

So got on to a few garden centres  but decided on Coillte as their nursery is near enough and the beeches were cheapest. I decided to go and dig the planting area but when i rung they wont have the beech until december.

Plan two. decided to put in the bulbs and had them all out in front of me. 24 glorious packets. Went out to prepare the bed and then atarted thinking of putting them into long rose border. Just as i did I had a look at my Japanesey Tree and the area around it was very rough as i used it for a dumping ground for lots of branches and stuff (Luckily elizabeth forbore to comment-she is such a kind visitor!)

Well I pulled out one branch and the spirits of the place gleefully reeled me in. Two hours of hard dirty work later I had pulled out and shoved in again lots of scraggley branches and short trunks. I also (carefully) pruned some more that were slightly crowding the tree, branches of Hawthorn that I also managed to jam into the hedge behind-Its hardly a hedge more brush. But was pleased even though theres a lot more to be done in getting rid of debris tomorrow. But its amazing how one bit tidied helps the rest and what was a definite eyesore is no longer offending and theres a slope which If I incorporate a few ferns .....

So even though my plans went awry I finished with something seeable done. And that strimming has definitely made the edges and ledges bit much better. Did I mention that I heard the badger working away in broad daylight and tiptoed over to view but it was Dooley burying a bone in the nice soft earth by the proposed holt! He let the badger do the hard work. Shoosh also made use of it but it would be indelicate to relate how.

By the way Jacinta I did go to Aldi for beech hedging but the stuff was tiny-little more than twigs but I did get four  lovely roses for a tenner!

Funny old day

12 November 2011 22:41:28
For Elizabeth -- 'Tiger tiger burning bright....'

For Elizabeth -- 'Tiger tiger burning bright....'

You know that sort of day when you go out and work hard-from about 12 to five oclock with a good break for dinner and yet you dont seem to have got much done.

Went out and strimmed edge of lawn and outside gate and (after listening to The president about getting involved) I went outside and strimmed a good area along the road! Then back in and strimmed under all the hedges (Many thanks jacinta, Im off to Aldi for beech tomorrow). I also reformed the ledges edges a bit (Involved standing and stamping them in a bit more!) And strimmed the main slope which is a big area and all the newly sown grass.

I planted some wall- flowers which were growing strongly though sown very late and that was the lot. Oh I did dig a tiny bit on a slop to reveal some rocks more clearly as an edging-youd need a photograph to see what i mean but that wasnt a lot. So where did the day go????

No sense of having something done but Im sure the strimming will help clarify things over the next few days.

Inauguration day

11 November 2011 18:58:32
Inauguration Day in the Scrub!

Inauguration Day in the Scrub!

When President Higgins moved into the Aras and Cherub Cymbals moved into the garage. And a strange new presence appeared in the garden.

Was down in Waterford and called into Glanbia and they had their bulbs reduced to half price so my resolution of not buying before christmas went out the door or rather in the door! I got lots of wonderful bargains. The packs that were three for 5 Euro were now Six for five euro!

I rang the Wicklow garden friends who arrived back last night to see FOUR FE--KIN' RABBITS grazing their new garden! However they were very pleased with all the changes and said they would be happy if i got them some  bargain bulbs. Came out with two loaded shopping bags so lots of colour next spring hopefully!

Then over to Easter Island and Leonard kindly loaded my Cherub into the car! I spotted another much smaller creature and was told I could have it for half price so that went into the boot as well. You can see him above in his/its new home in the scrub! Who on earth does he keep reminding me of?????

I was so lucky. My friend Donal who is kindly going to set the Cherubs into concrete in their new positions just happened to call in and being a man of prodigous muscle he simply lifted the cherub out of the boot and carried it to the garage for me! I did offer to help but was redundant. that was great because i would have had to drive around tomorrow with the Cherub in the boot until my son or son-in-law called and could help me to unload!!!

I went down the Scrub and took a photograph of the new rocks on the ledge and one of the little fellow in his new home. Then in to TV to watch the president go into his new home....strange similarities....coincidence... who knows?

On mature recollection..

10 November 2011 10:47:59
Just to pinpoint the site

Just to pinpoint the site

It was only last night and this morning as Scrubber lay abed that he realised just how silly he had been and what could have happened. So to all those kind people who took the trouble to tell me to be careful and cited other similar accidents I am really very grateful and will indeed take more care in future! Thank you all and you do manage to reprimand gently in such a kind fashion that Mother Immaculata could have learned a lot from you all. Bless you and thanks again.

'Pride, Children, comes before a....

09 November 2011 19:56:40
I will arise and prune now..........

I will arise and prune now..........

Fall. That was one of Mother Immaculata's favourite mantras chanted over our six year old heads. And today she was right! Scrubber began the day sillily by getting up two hours in advance thinking the Electrician was coming.-Wrong day and it was raining so back to bed for an hour!

Woke to sunshine. He went down to hardware store and bought a pruning saw-Husquavarna-yer not dealing with muck here! (He had been eyeing it for a month or two but now had a use for it!) Back to Scrub still wrapped in a warm glow of PRIDE after the visit of a hugely appreciative Elizabeth and her Dublin friend Anne. David,  the tree surgeon, had done himself out of a job by telling Scrubber not to remove a very large branch from the pine but rather to trim some lighter branches and then all the inside scraggeldy bits so as to have a ‘Japanese' look! David called on the day Elizabeth was there.

So the PROUD Scrubber fetched the step ladder and set it up carefully and began very successfully to lop and prune. Up higher and higher and then he was perched on the very top. Then in quick succession , a wobble, a shaky ladder leg, then no ladder leg, then a topple over and as Billy Joel used sing ‘And we would all go down together'. All I can remember and I bet it was Cherub shouting, was ‘Don't get your leg tangled in the ladder!' Luckily Scrubber didn't and landed thankfully if winded on the flat of his back!

After that he got the very BIG ladder and made SURE it was safe and got stuck into lots of pruning. Then cleared all the prunings down to bottoms. And the Tree IS very japanesy! And it sets off a small prostrate juniper under it that gracefully covers the waste soakage pit.(Septic tank to older friends!)Its funny how if one thing is improved ,another shares the glow! Ill have to clean up that corner now to do it justice.

The next job was to fill in Broc's holt as he/she had made no attempt to develop it and had started on another much lower down.On her visit Elizabeth asked Scrubber where he got all the stones and apart from one trailer load they were all found on site. Scrubber's eagle eye noticed this one jutting out on the ledge and getting crowbar managed to shift it slightly to form edging of the ledge. Cherub was wary of trying any more as it was a biggie. And there beside it was another biggie just peeping out but crowbar, Scrubber and Cherub unearthed it and he was able to put it into one of the ledge sides.

The rain came then but Scrubber wasn't sorry. ‘Nuff done for one day!

p.s. Ive put up the remaining photos of Japanese and St fiachre's Garden in the Japanese gardens album and todays work in the November album. So you can see the heights to which Scrubber goes to prune!

Press release: Straight off the blocks

07 November 2011 17:35:56
Seconds before the V.I.P.'s arrival...

Seconds before the V.I.P.'s arrival...

And now ladies and gentlemen, for the first time, Scrubber is proud and priveleged to reveal-the mystery of the V.I.P. who graced his garden with a visit today. Ta tataratatatataaaaah!

As the large dark limo swept into the drive, Dooley's ears pricked to attention! And rightly so, as the lady who descended from the driving seat accompanied by her friend from Dublin had ,in fact , a prezzie for that canine cannonball. And treats for Shoosh as well. Scrubber so far forgot himself as to jump up and down when he received gorgeous Geraniums and Anna was not forgotten either. Such Largesse!

But that in itself paled before the appreciation of the visitor at beholding Scrubber's little kingdom for the first time and placing all the elements-Walnut ring, carraig mor, Dad's secret garden, Sr Josephin's Bott--the Bottoms- etc. This was a visitor who was obviously very chuffed to be able to place all the elements seen earlier in photos, into reality while Scrubber toddled along beside her: thrilled to tiny pieces that Elizabeth (For it was indeed SHE!) approved of the Scrub and its trees and ferns and mossy stones-we did not attempt the squelchy path as a mud bath had not been included in the prospectus.

Its lovely to be approbated (if there's such a word) and my Visitor and the gracious Anne could not have been more approbational! It was a great pleasure to have had them visit. Dooley and Shoosh concur! 'Dooley was heard to mention to Shoosh that 'Master often gets Plants'ntings but this is a First for us!'. Shoosh of course has the 'but I am worth it' Mantra embedded in her feline skull but didnt object when I opened her package!

The lovely thing about gracious visitors-And so far I have had no visitor that wasn't- is that they like and enthuse with you and that is very special. So bless you Elizabeth and also Anne for your warm hearted APPROBATION-there's that word again. It meant so much! And we all enjoyed your visit and our chat over a cup of tea sooooooo much. Many many thanks.

Mikado moments!

06 November 2011 19:32:45
The real thing! Ozakazuki /Japanese gardens

The real thing! Ozakazuki /Japanese gardens

Today was so lovely Anna and I decided to take off and visit the japanese gardens. We had of course been there many times before because it was there I fell for Ozakazuki. Well today was the day for it and Scrubber nearly died and went to heaven-surrounded by beautiful rocks, wonderful bonzai, Glorious acers among them Ozakazuki in all its glorious scarlet- And then complete contrast in the wild and wet of St Fiachre's garden. It was a day to remember. I will put up an album later even though the photographs are not wonderful. I needed Paddy or Fran for that! But it was a real tonic and a reminder of just how beautiful things can be given care and thought and Im sure buckets of back breaking work.

Two days report...

05 November 2011 21:41:50
Whats not to love?

Whats not to love?

Because i put up a long journal last night-turned my back-whoosh, off it went into the ether!

Fri: Very busy day-I have V.I.P. coming to view on Monday so must have place organised! Went out and couldnt make up my mind whether or not to widen Rosebed by about six inches! Would I woulnt I? So I did a little bit and went and looked and then said 'Go for it' so I did it all along the wall and the little squares in front of each rose. Put the sods in the wheelbarrow.

Then down to Scrub and planted Rhodo. Not where i had intended but as I went down another place suggested itself so I went with it. The planted the astilbes in 'the Bottoms' (Dedicated to sr Josephine of course and also filled in a line of Yuccas-i had some there but had strimmed a few in my unbridled enthusiasm!

Back up and spent an hour and a half trimming and weaving the walnut branches now that their leaves are gone. Try tying branches together overhead with cramps in your fingers! Had bvery sore arm last night but then realised it was from that so that was ok.

hauled up old rotten tree trunk in scrub and swivelled it around out of the way. Cut the grass in lawn beside Rose bed.

Extracted , on Anna's good suggestion two acers from pots-there were only little trunk stubs left after twelve or more years but a hard job to get roots out. Put them both inscrub and hope they will revitalise themselves!

Finally put the sods on another well worn path to rejuvenate it and as the moon had come out i gave up!

Sat: Cut grass in the remaining lawns and carted grass and leaves to Scrub where i will use them under Squelchy path slabs. My good friend Jim arrived with his chain saw and he removed two almost dead Elder trees and another old Kolwitzia that was well past sell by date. I was delighted to have them cleared and asked Jim would i be mad to remove a very big branch on a pine. his reply'The way it is Peter, madness is nothing new to you!!!' But We spared it -for the present.

I see the Badger has started and made a huge hole in one of my ledges!. Ill fill it in before the V.I.P. arrives and then well see if badger retaliates!

Have put up a few new photos. Every time i look at the Ozakazuki I am grateful that such a lovely plant graces my garden. It just lifts the heart.

Fe...kin Rabbits!

02 November 2011 17:35:48
Not quite Mt Usher.. but my own Scrub!

Not quite Mt Usher.. but my own Scrub!

As  we were free yesterday, after i had shifted that little rock into fern corner Anna and I went up to visit mount usher to see the Autumn colour. We called in to the Wicklow garden that I had planted.

Bl--ted rabbits had had the run of the place while  I was gone. They ate a weigelia to the but and also three Hebes (sweetheart). They had nibbled the flowers and top leaves off all the pansies and had grazed the Alchemellias to ground level.  I do hope that the plants will come back. Anyone with experience of this? I have hopes for the weigelia and the hebes but the Pansies will hardly make it back-they are not nibbled to the very quick like the alchemellia. Ah well!

Luckily Mt Usher was a blaze of wonderful colour. We had a lovely walk.Some magnificent trees, no not some ,many many and the golds and reds and yellows were resplendent. We had a lovely meal in the restaurant there and on the way out Anna bought me a Rhododendron! So good times ,bad times and the bad may not be all that bad.  My friends  think a shotgun is the next purchase!!!

In the interests of medical science...

01 November 2011 20:59:07


Scrubber thought it might be a good idea to document and photograph an onset of the non fatal but ever to be wary of affliction known to science as Petromania- an undue attraction to rocks, boulders and even large beach pebbles.

Well this morning Scrubber was working away, dutifully planting those four ferns he found in the boot of his car recently. And as he looked at the bank of earth he thought'A nice big rock would suit there'. He turned slightly and there before him or rather above him in an old rough wall he had buit years ago was-a great big rock-.'Well if i shifted that down i might rplace it with the one beside it and replace that with some smaller ones that I saw over near the rockery.'No sooner thought than done.

Out the rock came and was replaced by the others. Then the rock was trundled by Scrubber over to the bank. He dug a hole in which to set it and then had to redig to get it right and then rolled and tugged and shoved until the angle was exactly pleasing. The infilling began and the planting of another fern and the 'planting' of another stone to 'join the new stone to another one that lay near it'-You had to be there!

To cap it he took out the straggly common or garden fern that was near it and planted a posh Polystichum setiferum 'congestum' on top of the new stone.

Now in order to help the doctor he photographed the stages and put them in his new November album. Perhaps all those afflicted with petromania will learn from this that

a)Its not the patient's fault

b) the onset is fast and unpredictable

c) The intitial action triggers a series of events

d)The patient has a happy grin on his  or her face while all this is occurring

e) relatives and unsuspecting guests may be coralled to comment (It is best to enthuse at such moments as the patient is prone to dejection if not humoured!)

f) The patient may have an odd twinge later on in the evening similar to what one might endure from moving large objects with a fraction too much enthusiasm.

g) lastly the satisfaction of performing such actions stays with the patient every time he revisits the site!


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