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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal January 2012

Last Post 2213 days 11 hours ago

Scrubber has a rasper!

31 January 2012 15:35:58
There will be roses, roses, roses!

There will be roses, roses, roses!

Joking apart for once I have a rasper of a sore throat for the past week and havent been able to garden. Even put off the swim tonight! So that explains why theres no garden news from here. Was in Dublin-didnt help throat- and finally managed to use an old token for Waterstones no less! But was really lucky. Got Cuttings by C Llyod and also his In the Garden. Then going out i saw In the Garden for less than half the price so brought it back, they swapped the cheap one for the dear one and with the money saved was able to get his Garden Flowers-it also had been reduced! So good value and nice to have three new books when one cant venture out.

Snowdrops are out in abundance and Winter Aconite and daffs and more shooting up. So glad I had got a good bit of clearing digging and planting done before the throat struck!

The picture shows the border along the lower lawn. Its only about a meter wide. It has about a dozen roses in it and leads back to the other rosebed where the Cherubs are. The wall overlooks the Scrub and Elizabeths corner. You can just see Cherub Cymabals and the bench if you follow it back. The thorny one in the fron is Frülingsgold. Up to know I used prune it but learned recently that it must be left alone so it will be interesting to see what happens.

Wot larks! He has a mirror in the attic/garden

25 January 2012 11:47:49
View from Pwincess' seat

View from Pwincess' seat

Have just taken out an old Jan Feb Irish garden and who do you think was smiling out at me from its pages. An ever fresh faced head gardener on the Garden.ie page! I didnt know Bill then of course but it was fun to read about and see his new garden and to compare with the paradise there now!

He hasnt aged a minute! But the garden has. Does that tell us something?

I am going to arrange my garden mags in bundles of months and then get to re read them for each month. I may even stop buying new ones.

Thats a feature they should get back. No I wouldnt, but its far more interesting than some articles! 

I didn’t touch one ,honest!

24 January 2012 17:53:25
Anna's fly-through Mac Donalds

Anna's fly-through Mac Donalds

Can you believe it, a day in the garden when Scrubber did not go near a stone! A boulder or a rock? No Sireee I wus a gardening! Realtime! Weeding and clearing and trowelling and planting! I went at the side of the house under a  juniper tree and cleared a small area of weeds. I did it on hands and knees with a trowel so didn’t get a huge area covered but ‘What I done, I done well!’ Then I planted some Allium (Big Ones whose name alludes me) and some tulips and anemones and corn lilies so there should be a good bit of colour.

That was yesterday. Today went to dentist. Called in to Sweeney’s new ross on way homw and got ten alpines for 20 Euro-they were nice onesSome small SedumsGaultheria winter pearlSedum spurious ‘Voodoo’ which I see is a herbaceous Plant but I think it will rockerise! (New verb!) So just got time to go down and put them in. Am pleased with that whole area now. But must get back to other bed.

Isnt it funny how just one section takes over your full attention or is that just me?

Decide to observe the sabbath

22 January 2012 17:04:41
Snowdrops on the way!

Snowdrops on the way!

so stayed out of the garden. Not that the lord abovewould object Im sure. Anna and i went to Woodstock, Inistiogue. We like to walk the avenues of norway pine and the other of monkey puzzle. They have done magnificent work there. I noticed they have two Cherubs identical to mine as well  CherubsCymbal and Tambourine but i think the Lute is a classier instrument!

I see the snowdrops are coming out earlier this year and have put up just a few photos at the end of my January album. But i think early Feb will see them at their best. Fran and co are going to Altamount for the snowdrops-no to view not snatch ,on the 3rd. Cant join them Im afraid but i will get over to see them before feb ends. 

So good to be out again!

21 January 2012 23:27:38
Backfilling!-and backbreaking! (Ah no!)

Backfilling!-and backbreaking! (Ah no!)

Had the whole day from eleven to five with a break for dinner in the garden to my great joy. Had a lot of heel trouble but went to doc and he said I could go on gardening which was a huge relief.

Went down to bottom of Wall rockery and remodeled two stones. One of them was always out of kilter and with a bit of cherucic help and the blessed crowbar  we managed to switch the two around-They are the two centre ones in the photograph. Then backfilled with rubble from clearing of Elizabeth’s corner and topped with soil. Planted one Ceonothus there and another up on the rockery-I took out one rock to make room! Am really pleased as the line at the bottom is now very satisfying.More rock photos in album.

Then dumped four tarpaulins of beech leaves in the bottoms where they will rot down eventually. Put in a few Alliums on bottom slope of Rockery-thank you Clara!

Then dug the rose bed behind the Cherubs-easily done as it was friable and weed free-ish! Put in lots of big Allium purple sensation and Tulip Queen of the night and Anemones so there will be lots of colour. Then wed and cleaned Rays bed which is a little strip 5 m by 1 m which runs along by rose bed and will put in lots of alliums there next time im out. Lots of work done and heel not at all bad tonight so much to be thankful for.

Ive put in eleven new shots at end of January album. 

‘You Fella -me - lad, are a FLIBBERDEYGIBBET!'

17 January 2012 18:13:24
Lord Buddha resides at the top of the steps.

Lord Buddha resides at the top of the steps.

And do you know what ? Sr Josephine was right because Scrubber just flibberdeygibetted through his day’s gardening  today. Here he is at the end of it. What could he have done/ well theres grass that might have been cut. There are Clara’s and glanbia’s bulbs to be put in, and that’s just a start. But what does he do? Off down to the Scrub to plant the Sarcococca and set the stone that came out of the planting hole.

Got the stone out . Then needed soil to fill in before planting. Over to Elizabeth’s corner to discover the clay I thought was there was actually builders sand that I had wheelbarrowed down twenty or more years ago. So? Well filled the barrow and went down to the bottoms and put the sand under the slabs in the squelchy path. That did about five. Back up and dug some more and heeled that over an edge-don’t ask! Dug our some more and dispersed it, i.e. big shovelfuls in the air which descended as a slight film over grassy area. Then decided to get real soil so went to veg garden and robbed eight shovelfuls. Back to beginning and planted two Sarcococca and four azaleas. Decided to use stone as rough step up to Buddha but found it better to take out one step and replace it with new stone and then put old step where I had intended the new stone. This is called doubling the work.

Dinner (lovely) and then brought out the blower to blow the leaves off the wall rockery. (Made a note NEVER to let them mount up like that again. Blew and blew and blew and rockery didn’t fall down. Then there were still piles of heavy wet congested leaves so I went at them with a plastic leaf rake-halving one of my newly sown azaleas in the process. Got the rockery and base reasonably cleared and discovered nice flat stones I had put there last year! Also some struggling daffs and snowdrops.

Then just when I might have done something I decided a large rock could fit in a bit better and spent about three quarters of an hour trying to alter it and will have to continue tomorrow. FLIBBERDEYGIBBET! That’s why Scrubber will never have a show garden. ‘Rocks , villainous rocks have been the ruin of me!’ But Maybe tomorrow, grass will be cut and bulbs sown. Our best garden is always the one that’s in our mind's eye!

Ill put up a few shots of todays work 

Ladygardener's gift to Anna

16 January 2012 17:37:34
The Gift came good!

The Gift came good!

When a few of us were at a talk on gardening in Mount Sion Anne won an amaryllus and she very kindly gave it to me for Anna. Needless to say we watched it and watered it and now its a radiant bloom! See picture. many thanks indeed from both of us Anne.

Had delightful visitors today and received a Sarcococca confusa as a present . i was thrilled because i have just the place for it down at the bottom of the wall rockery. I was putting the last one down yesterday and discovered a nice big rock. Have just run out in the twilight with crowbar and the rock has been shifted-Theres nowa nice hole waiting to be clay filled and the rock will become a step on the series of little steps up to lord Buddha! I had left the Sarcococca indoors but the scent was overpowering so tomorrow it will join the other and i may get Claire and glanbia's bulbs in. Hope weather holds.

And again thank you Anne. 

Scrubber is a happy camper

14 January 2012 17:05:50
Just a random shot across the Scrub

Just a random shot across the Scrub

And soon shall be a happy planter! His son-in-law gave him a generous Glanbia voucher and they were clearing the last of their bulbs this week for the most minimal of sums. I walked away with four full shopping bags of bulbs, four little azaeleas (two for 12Euro) and a sarcococca.

Have just been down in the garden placing the azaleas on the wall rockery-well on the slope below it and they fit in well. Then I have to put those bulbs into order for planting which I hope to do early this week.

None of the big stones have shifted since their new placement so I think they are ok.

The weather here has suddenly turned very cold but we couldnt expect that mild spell to continue!

Oh help re Hellebores please. The authorities tell one to cut off the old leaves before they new flowers come. My old leaves still look very fresh so I was afrain to cut them. Would really appreciate advice on this. 




Mucky Corner is no more!

11 January 2012 19:08:19
Well thats not going to budge now!

Well thats not going to budge now!

Well at last there’s an end to it or better still a new beginning. As some of you know Scrubber was a teenshy bit fed up of doing nothing but lugging rocks and rubbish around but it is finaly over and I’m very pleased.

And I know he goes on about rocks and yesterday the Slider outmaneuvered him a bit. But today a minor miracle. There is a huge square rock at the very top, its in the photo there, which should not have been able to be moved but I dug around it and crowbarred and just when I was not really getting anywhere a little voice- cherubic I think-suggested ‘Try the other side’.I did and lo and behold the perfect shift and the perfect lie as the top was parallel to the wall above. All aches and pains were forgotten and barrowloads of clay were cheerfully hauled up to even things off.

Now to look at it at present it may not seem wonderful but think Grass and plants and time.

And so-Drum ROLL…… LET IT BE KNOWN to all and sundry that ‘mucky corner’ is no more and shall hitherto in this journal be referred to as ‘Elizabeth’s Corner!’ Its ok I have permission! But of course Scrubber forbore to name it until it was respectable enough to bear the honour. So’ Elizabeths Corner’ it is and God Bless all that’s planted in it!

And the next time the garden sees me will be a weeding and bulb planting day and I am so looking forward to it!

I put up some photos in the january Album-the last ten I think. 

Scrubber is tired!

10 January 2012 17:00:55
The 'Slider' is the big one in the middle!

The 'Slider' is the big one in the middle!

He would like to be out planting Clare's bulbs and may indeed do that tomorrow. But he is still labouring mightily on the Mucky corner which does not as yet deserve its new name. And it seems an endless succession of raking briars and old branches and carting them down to the Scrub and trying to shift rocks into position and carting barrowloads of clay back up to the top and heeling them over the wall to cover the rocks below with sufficient clay and it seemed today to be endless.

Also there was a very large boulder which if one dug around might slide into a perfect position and it didnt so Scrubber had to settle for where it settled which was not too bad. Itis now officially named the slider and is i think the biggest i have ever moved. Actually I didnt move it .It moved of itself very slowly but very determinedly and settled a foot or two below the original site! He also managed to turn a pointy rock upside down which helped form a ledge rather than a jut! Its the one on the right of the two below the slider. Very technical terms used by us mountaineers! I put in that photo in the journal

 So a tough unyielding day but I know ,come spring and grass and ferns and snowdrops Scrubber will be glad he did it. It would be nice to be weeding though rather than scaling the Matterhorn which is what it feels like. Shoosh loves it. All that loose clay in which to pooh! 

Ps the funny looking plant on a pudding was as you all guessed snowdrops which were under one of the logs  ,they are recovering fine but still a bit yellowy! 


Oh what a blessed day!

09 January 2012 19:54:35
Sr Josephine---'Hands up now!' ' Who knows what plant this is and why!'

Sr Josephine---'Hands up now!' ' Who knows what plant this is and why!'

Wasnt it absolutely balmy. It started misty and Scrubber thought he would be clearing the garage but it passed and soon he was down edging a bit of path with some of the trunk of the cut down thorn tree. It fitted perfectly.

Then back to debris and he has devised a new method of thorn branches disposal. You use the loppers to chop up the long bits of branches and as much as you can. Then you rake it all together. Then, and this is the good bit, You jump on it!!! This flattens it and it gives up resisting. Then you gather up the four corners of the tarpaulin and carry it down to the bottoms or wherever you ditch stuff!

So this was done and the area cleared.

Then back to Mucky corner which is drying up respectably and continuing to rake down the debris of thirty odd years. Some of them very odd indeed! This is mucky and time consuming and not hugely enjoyable but at least Scrubber is getting there. I took some photos of it and realised that one of the shiftable rocks isnt well placed . Its amazing how a photograph can clarify things.

He also found two new big rocks at the very top-one of them is clear in one photo but even with Cherub and crowbar it remained immoveable. Scrubber bowed to fate and just cleared around it. He still has lots of clearing up to do at the foot of mucky corner and then he has to cart up all the loose clay and up end it over the wall on top so that the ledges become a little more level, so it will be a busy time!

He is quite pleased that the thorn tree was cut down-this in a whisper lest he fall off something else as the ash looks well and the mound will also look much better and cleaner.

I have posted few new photos in a new album but Ill leave you all with a new year puzzle as to what's in the picture. Solution is in the photo album somewhere!Have a great new year after that wonderful start in Johnstown! 

Jacinta how did you do it?

08 January 2012 18:04:16
Back to Mucky Corner tomorrow!

Back to Mucky Corner tomorrow!

There was Scrubber grinning fiendishly to hisself and certain he would be the first to comment on Johnstown as the rest of yiz are probably still in the pubs or the Centre or on the way home-and jacinta has already a photoalbum in??????

Anyway what a supremely happy wonderful funfilled friendly day we all had. THANK YOU RACHEL and JACINTA and LINDA! It was indeed a get-to-gether and Scrubber laughed so much and talked so much he swallowed his temporary filling!

It was wonderful to meet all the friends he had made previously at Bill's and Rachel's and then all the new ones, all wonderfully friendly, generous, warmhearted. Of the new ones Scrubber is being very careful not to name names because when he does he always leaves someone out But meeting Moya, Dick, Conrad, Claire, Michelle/Kitty Joann (SCRUBBER IS MALE!), Kate and Graham, Peter (CON), Deborah and the togless Martin,Weliie from just up the road and many  others was a great thrill. So much so that cups of tea and digestives are needed to bring the blood levels down again!

And of course being a first cousin seven times removed of Santa, Scrubber loved meeting the three perennials from Kiltealy. and Michelle's two stalwarts and Ali's fine  young chap  and i can see why they got all they wished for for Christmas.

And we all got all we wished for I think from today, Fun, Friendship, Laughter, Thrills! (Kristkindle was a brill idea!), Plants, Books, Memories.

To all my dear old friends and to all my dear new ones, thank you so much. Indeed a day to remember! 

And wasn't Dick's hat a corker!

p.s. Jacinta, Scrubber is still very red faced as when you said 'Take any of them, take all of them, youll be doing me a favour!' Innocent old Scrubber thought you meant the entire contents of the boot and not as you intended the magazines. So Im sorry you had to prise that Echium back out of my fevered grip!'N-o Sc-rub-ber-the Mag- a- zines on-ly. Than-k youuuu'! LOL!

Twas the night before Johnstown

07 January 2012 21:29:24
Still lots to be cleared away!

Still lots to be cleared away!

And all through the land

There were gardens being raided

And Kristkindle's planned.


Just managed to get mine this evening before the garden centre closed! Now its at the door waiting in case I walk out tomorrow in a daze and totally forget it. excitement is mounting higher and higher! There are a number of people crubber has not had the pleasure of meeting in reality. I was going to say 'in the flesh' but i knew Fran would slag me! And that will be a huge bonus. (The meeting that is, not being slagged by Fran!)

Also I am looking forward to winning the raffle and will look suitably surprised Rachel when my name comes up. You did promise to put it in a few times didnt you?

Im so delighted we are to have name tags as the excitement being what it is, I could very well call myself Jacinta and what would poor Steve do then i ask!

Seriuosly though folks as Scrubber sometimes, not often, says, what about a big cheer for Rachel and of course Jacinta, and Myrtle, Linda and anyone else involved in the very demanding job of giving 58 people a great day out. Hip Hip...

Like Noelfitz Decisions decisions!

06 January 2012 22:55:06
Jim labouring mightily

Jim labouring mightily

Hadnt time to get out today as there was lots to be done including getting down decorations inside. But Jim visited me and he had his saw with him and there was a tree that scrubber wasn't sure about. A thorn tree so the fairies may get me. but then I have an army of cherubs now!

We debated and considered and then decided and the tree is gone leaving the big ash behind it lord of all it surveys. I think it will work. Otherwise as Jim wisely says'It gonna' take a lot of glue to put things back together!

Hadnt time to clear up so am awaiting that to see has it worked!

Fell off a bench that collapsed under me. I had often stood on it before. was it the fairies????? Am fine though so it probably wasn't. 

Oh DEar! Now when I should be calming myself down

05 January 2012 21:45:17
Oh DEar! Now when I should be calming myself down

Oh DEar! Now when I should be calming myself down

before the excitement of Sunday didnt I take a little peep back at my snowdrop album for last year and of course became far too excited at the coming prospect. I had forgotten there were so many and also there has been quite a bit of changing around so its gonna be a very very exciting jan/ feb this year!

Now Scrubber should i think sit down and have a nice comforting soothing cup of tea and a digestive biscuit. 'Thats it, deeep breaths, reeelaaax..... 

Greed, is a terruble ting!!!!

03 January 2012 21:31:17
At least the terraces are fitting in!

At least the terraces are fitting in!

As Sr Josephine made tom Dooley write out sixty times when he took the pencil my Auntie had brought all the way from Dublin to me. It was a special pencil with 'souvenir of the capital' written on it.Only he didnt take it! It rolled off our desk into his bag! Honest!

Well anyway Scrubber fell victim to the 'terruble ting' in B and Q today as they had acers reduced from 17.50 to 8 Euro. He only thought of delicate Acers waving their  tapestry of light foliage in the scrub. He even picked out all the same ones, ignoring palmatum  purpureum, (all in a rush because the garden centre section was being closed because of the storm)--- selecting only Flamingo. Because he had a vision of pink stems and mixed them up with Deborahs article in which she mentioned Sango Kaku. It was when he got them home he realised that flamingo referred to theor spring foliage!!! Apparently they have quite pink ash like leaves. Scrubber has never really warmed to that variegated maple and he loves pink in most flowers but down in the woodland Scrub area??? He dont pink so! They may match the tulips. Anyway the damage is done. I shall put them in and SEE. And if they are a fright I have a few places around the lawn and edges where they will fit in nicely. Serves me right for bustin' a gut to get them! 


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