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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal February 2012

Last Post 2154 days 16 hours ago

Friends visiting so a day of rest

28 February 2012 23:52:41
sad to see them go (snowdrops!)

sad to see them go (snowdrops!)

Didnt do much, anything at all in fact except show friends around the garden after lunch and pointed out all the snowdrops that had gone over and the daffodils that were to come! Its an in between time at present but bless them they were most appreciative.

Its funny what other people see in your garden. It helps one to look at it in a new light. I took a few photographs ,about fourteen and they are at the end of the February album. They aint wonderful but they do show whats happening in this neck of the woods. 

Ive just looked back at last years photos at this time. NOT a good idea because I seemed to have had more done  at this stage but i was a year younger then of course!!!! Im way behind on the veggie front! 

Scrubber's back is telling Scrubber's brain...

27 February 2012 21:03:33
I really must get more of these lovely plants!

I really must get more of these lovely plants!

or whats left of it that he should realise when things are not going great and DESIST!

I was free this morning and went out to put in my sacks of pachysandra-yes sacks! Someones generosity knows no bounds. Went down to Elizabeths corner and began to dig drills like potato drills in which to put my Pachysandra roots. The very first shovel and I felt my back go. However I straightened up and walked around and went back very gingerly and the back held out all day! Its just tonight it has remembered!

I put in rows of P. so that I will have a major expanse below me when i look over the wall. Then I took a break and resettled the rock in the side bed -very carefully. Its now two inches lower and I am finally pleased. Then down to the wooded bit and put in more P. and also on my big slope where not too much grows.

 Then I put two armeria and a fern I found, on the wall rockery and went up and scuffled the clay at the foot of the new beech hedge to keep it clean. Then over to the side bed and did some serious weeding. I HATE vetch. Its a creepy little obnoxious weed and its long wiry black stems are everywhere there. Theres also a very thin grass- that gets a tenacious hold and gets into things and plants. I had to dig up a euonymous completely to get rid of it but that was good because a root came away and I had a new plant and put it into Elizabeth's corner.

While doing so my eye was caught by some of the rocks so had to go and re arrange and Im looking out for another so i can have a perfect line! Finally I got two big flowerpots filled with snowdrop bulbs in the green for two friends who are coming to visit tomorrow. the snowdrop display is well over but theyll have their own next year!

Thats why my back is catching up on me! But it was worth it!


Is anyone STUPIDER than Scrubber???

26 February 2012 23:10:07
And I have to sink that stone a bit more!

And I have to sink that stone a bit more!

I know it should be 'more stupid' but before you all rush to say 'Yes' Guess what I did. I was in HodgesFfiggis a month ago. I think I mentioned it in a journal and bought three books by Christopher Lloyd. One on Perrenials, one on the garden year and a paperback book  'Cuttings'.

Well just before I went to Dublin yesterday I was in the other bedroom and a book caught my eye. I pulled it out and it was a lovely hardback copy of Cuttings that I had bought months ago!!! So I thought 'Who can i give the paperback to?' But then I realised I was going to Dublin!!

I went into Hodges Figgis and said to the lovely kind lady behind the desk-'Er you wont remember me'. 'I do 'said she. 'You bought gardening books' some time ago'. Seeing as she was so nice I confessed what an ass i was and she very kindly organised and took it back and so I was able to put a bit with it and get 'Thoughtful gardening' Robert Lane Fox. that I had coveted for a while.

The other assistant told me that normally 21 days was the limit but seeing as I was such a dithering old idiot she would graciously let me off-those werent her exact words but im sure she thought it. While my first lady was extremely nice and probably has a doddering uncle or grandfather at home so she's very understanding!

Anyway Im sorry Im not now giving away a paperback of 'Cuttings' to anyone but i will certainly loan it to anyone who wants once I have it read!

Really Scrubber, in the words of Sr. Josephine 'If you cant behave yerself, at least TRY to CONCENTRATE sometimes!' 



Scrubber hab seen the LAHT Yeah Lawd!

26 February 2012 16:52:18
I love this just filled with water-perfection!

I love this just filled with water-perfection!

I know the title is jokey as you'd expect from Scrubber but he has to be very careful of the content and to refrain from his usual fulsomeness and exciteability. Last Thursday I brought my two grandchildren 9 and 5 respectively to a garden. I was to collect some pachysandra from friends of mine. We shall give them the pseudonyms of P and M as P does not encourage notoriety or unneccessary Outbursts of Enthusiasm! In this he agrees with the remarkable Dr Johnson who once intoned majestically  'Enthusiasm, Sir, is a pernicious thing!'

On the way in My 5 year old grandson was thrilled to see 'A Tree House' and the garden was immediately awarded a gold star merit award. We were warmly welcomed even though the good people were beginning to prepare for a journey later that evening. M very kindly brought them up into the tree house while P showed me around the garden. As I say P disdains flattery and both P and M have highly developed BSD (B-lls-t Detectors) so all I am allowed to say is that I hope to visit their lovely garden as often as I can. Without being in anyway showy it manages to be all that one could possibly hope for in a garden. There is an abundance of skillful planting-the hellebores in one huge purple drift, the snowdrops in abundance and variety, the primroses Wanda and other all planted out and divided and ready to sparkle, a lush panting of white foxgloves that I have to return to see. All these set in great generous beds cut out of splendid lawn. The vegetable garden another example of craft and taste and bloody hard work! Ok Ok Im going to stop. I want to be allowed back to visit again.

Thank you both for a lovely visit and for the lorry load of pachysandra and Crocosmia Lucifer that I brought away with me.

The other lovely thing was that I went to Dublin to meet the daughter of a dear friend of mine who died last year and after whom Hilary's way is named. We had a lovely afternoon and among the presents I was given was a bag of goodies from Kew gardens! What was uncanny was that so many of things that I had decided to plant in the garden were there. Seeds of White Valerian ,Sweet Cicily, Freesias, Sweet pea, Polianthus, Catalpa , even Angelstrumpetsand Annual meadow flowers. It was almost as if i had written a list! It will be such a joy if i manage to grow them all on. A lovely memory of a wonderful lady and dear friend and now of course her daughter as well. 

Hadnt I a lovely week? 

I promised...

22 February 2012 14:37:27
The bed in question!

The bed in question!

To put up some photos of the newly cleaned and planted side bed-I took out the bays roots as you may remember and now its all one semicircular-well sort of, bed. I think it will be very nice and the path goes through the bed rather than dividing it into two separate entitities. Of course when i had it done i got a rock idea. Ive mixed this up in the photographs. You were to find the triangular flat rock and the next photo was that of its replacement but somehow the latter photograph went missing. Anyway I swopped one bigger rock for the triangular slab and am nearly satisfied- not entirely. Im sure when youif you do view the photos youll say Much ado about nothing but it was a nothing that took a deal of work!

Anna was out for coffee and very kindly brought me back a whopping hellebore. I had it placed down in the Scrub among the others but then decided it wouldnt be seen so much and appreciated. So I put it inside the front gate in eileen's bed. It should help fill the gap there before the daffs come out in glory very nicely and it deserves pride of place anyway! Whopping as in very large very healthy and very exp.!

The photos are about the last nine so that you dont have to go down through the lot! The day is picking up but i have much to do indoors so Ill sign off. 



Getting there bit by bit

21 February 2012 22:53:14
Drummond's Giant a distinctive Carlow Snowdrop!

Drummond's Giant a distinctive Carlow Snowdrop!

But its a slow slow process. Went out about three o clock and worked at the  vegetable beds making them a bit wider and putting the sods down on the terraces and over in elizabeths corner. watered some newly planted stuff.

Then planted three lavender and four paeony roses in Eileens bed. Thats filling up nicely. But hadnt got a kick out of the day at that stage. I began to weed down at the side and weeded for about an hour and got very little done as it was dirty. BUT as i turned around and looked I saw that now the top bay bed flows beautifully into the side one in a big sweep and that lifted me.'Youre easily lifted' I can hear the cynics say but I was! It works and all the bits came together. When i get it finished i shall be so lifted theyll have to get the firebrigade to get me down!

Ill try for photos tomorrow. In the meantime ill dream about my nice big half moon bed! 

Where does Dick get his energy?

20 February 2012 19:30:21
But there are still some that have not gone!

But there are still some that have not gone!

 This was the question on Scrubber’s mind as he staggered into the gararage after a longish day’s gardening! Exhausted he was! And if you do have a magic potion Dick Id love a sample!

Got out about eleven and it was a lovely day for working. I had to laugh! I found myself doing the same work as this time last year!!! The plot around the Bay now that the Bay is gone needed redigging and some more uprooting and that led on to the path beside it and what with digging roots and putting in plants and getting out fiddly weeds between paving stone I was puffed.

I put in three paeony Roses and three Angeranthemums? And a nice big  Lavender and theres Sildalcea there and Agapanthus and for later some Jap. Anenomes. The nice thing is that it fits in now with the bed on the other side of the path so its one big bed. Ill try for some photos tomorrow.

Then I went at the small vegetable beds and got two readied and weeded (Rachel!) I added six inches at each side and top and bottom so it will be interesting to see if that makes any difference. My veg last year were extremely poor but Fran has kindly given me a fine book so here’s hoping!

I love beech but that love was tested today as I dragged about four tarpaulins full of beech leaves down to the bottoms! I mean by now youd think they would have blown away or decomposed or done something instead of just sitting there!

However I have solved my Snowdrop query. Bill says it’s the weather and I consulted a friend whose snowdrop garden is awe-inspiring and she said that hers went over quickly this year and that the Head gardener in Altamount said so as well! Remember fran organized a day and that man Paul said to come earlier than their usual snowdrop week?  Clever Fran!.

Speaking of Snowdrops guess who, gets very special mention in Angela Jupe’s contribution to Gardens Illustrated this month! Buy it and see. I was reading it and said this would interest X. and then X was mentioned-with a certain amount of reverence I might add. Good thing X is so modest as otherwise it might turn Paddy’s head.OOOPs!

Anyway Plot done, Leaves swept, Some of ‘Glanbia haul’ planted, only remains to discover how Dick does it which was where I came in!!

Is it me or wha'?

19 February 2012 17:38:44
Im pleased with the new 'badger' path/the new stone fits well

Im pleased with the new 'badger' path/the new stone fits well

I just wondered and thought I'd ask. Am I the only one who thought that the snowdrops went over rather quickly this year. last year they seemed to go on for ages/ This year they are already packing their little bags and saying goodbye! And my usually reliable second flush (Nivalis i think) seemed to go over even more quickly.

Took it very easy today as we had lovely visitors at the week end and they left after lunch so I only went out and put in three Cyclamen coum-they are so dainty and a few saxifrages on the wall rockery. Im now pulling out little stones to cram in more plants! But i am pleased with it overall. I tried for a few photgraphs and will put them up in the Feb album but it was getting dusky.

Hope tomorrow is ok as i need to startgetting the Glanbia stuff into the ground! 

Scrubber, Youll never learn!!!

16 February 2012 20:37:39
This was the final 'tooth', pared to the bone!

This was the final 'tooth', pared to the bone!


 That’s what Sr. Josephine in her wisdom used intone at least four times a day and particularly in connection with seven times tables! Of course I wasn’t Scrubber then, but she could make ‘You’ sound exactly like ‘little time-wasting inattentive thingy that has crawled out from under a rock!’

But she was right and I didn’t!  For example after the feats of strength of yesterday wouldn’t you think Scrubber would take it easy? And he had planned to! Just rake away a few tarpaulin loads of leaves that have gathered in the scrub and plant some glanbia stuff. But then I started raking the leaves from around the stump of the thiry year old baytree that succumbed to the two last winters. Now if I tell you that Jim suggested we hitch it to his car and drag it out ,you have an idea of the fun involved were one to tackle it with just an axe! Which is what Scrubber did!

And half way through he had to ask Anna to make him a cup of tea and to put sugar in it for energy! Whack! And a bit might come off. Whack again and a splinter. Whack and a chunk went spinning up the garden. Whack, well you get the picture. Suffice to say that as evening drew in there was one last tooth- like defiant bit. Whack and wonders to behold it finally gave up the ghost. Then all the debris to be carted down to the bottoms and a final rake and a (very dim) photograph) But the joy is that on my next gardening day I have a lovely area for planting-And oddly enough plenty of plants to put in! So that will be an easy day.—Unles the spirit of  Sr Josephine has something up that long deep mysterious black sleeve of hers.!


This is the day that the Lord has made

15 February 2012 19:53:17
The Scrub is looking a bit rough today!

The Scrub is looking a bit rough today!

Let us be glad and rejoice in it!. It was a lovely mild day here and my friend Jim came over to give me a hand with the two big boulders. I dont think he knew what he was letting himself in for!

It took us the best part of two hours Id say to get them in position but it's done and the next time Jim wants snowdrops divided or carrots wed (sorry Rachel! weeded!) or even a bit of light hoeing done I'm his man! Thanks a million Jim!

The first rock was a corker but Jim had the idea of using a piece of tree trunk as a stepping stone and then crowbar and brute strength. Oddly enough Cherub didnt seem to be there at all today. Wonder was he miffed that i asked Jim. No stone went in easily or turned right at first. Anyway we got the big one into the bottom of the wall rockery and THEN Scrubber decided it needed to be three inches lower! Jim is a patient man! With a bit of prodding it happened and with the addition of another fairly large one it all slotted together very well as you can see in the last few photographs.

That left us the Giant! And that was on bother of a rock! (Not the word I used today!) We had to dig around and beneath and literally inch it all the way until it was upright and then secure it so it couldnt fall outwards and crush visitors to Scrubber's garden-You have been warned. But finally we got it in and firmed and settled and it looks very well. Scrubber is indeed charmed with the final result,

He also put in two Carex testacea-one at each side of some steps. I dont care for Carex Testacea as a name so Im going to call them Hairy Mollys! I am pleased with them but havent a photo to hand.

There you have it-a typical Scrubber's gardening day with a planting of Carex and a planting of Rocks. God bless Jim! I have put up pictures so that you will all realise what a herculean task it was! 

Scrubber FINALLY gets sense...

12 February 2012 21:15:34
Hilary's Way

Hilary's Way

Had only two hours out today but it was ages since I was out so it was lovely. Anna and I went to Arboretum and it has expanded and redeveloped its restaurant and has a completel;y new look-no expense spared and great to see people shoving out the boat in these recessionary times. Well done Rachel and Frank and Barryjohn and Feargal. And the staff there are so helpful-all of them.

Home again and then out as above. Its funny how one task fits into another. Took out a huge rock from a path. Then filled hole with debris and rough soil from base of Elizabeths corner. Took out another biggish rock and put in a piece of a log which made a better step. Then put the biggish rock at the bottom of the wall rockery and had another little niche for plants behind it.

However Cherub, Crowbar and Scrubber had a big confab as to what to do with the two huge rocks-the one Scrubber removed from the path and another that was encroaching on same path jutting out from bank. When I dug around it it emerged but was humungous! The three decided after a bit of trial and Error that these were ‘Jim-rocks’. In other words we would all have to wait until some day my friend Jim was here and then and only then could these mammoth-rocks be lifted. (Jim is a mighty man!). I think it was a great sign of maturity that the three Cherub Crowbar and Scrubber didn’t break a spine (Scrubber’s) in attempting the impossible. The annoying thing is that the first stone now lies within three meters of its intended  goal. (Wheelbarrowed down) But it has to be raised UP to get there. The other really only needs resiting in the position it's in but it's quite massive. ‘Jim-rocks’ they are and Scrubber Crowbar and Cherub are resolutely going to ignore them for the present.

Anyway there are the two hauls from Glanbia waiting to go into the ground as I write. Maybe this week? The Snowdrops are giving such joy!

Oh dear

11 February 2012 18:01:10
This has a name but i cant remember it!

This has a name but i cant remember it!

I think that Paddy has put in a photo album after mine! And i was going to apologise for the hazy quality of my shots-apart from two good ones ofthehellebore and the unusual Snowdrop. Unusual to me as Im sure many of you galanthophiles will name it. Robert miller gave me a bulb as a present about four years ago and each year I have had one more snowdrop!

It was too wet this morning to go out and too cold and damp later so I tidied up a bit inside instead. It will be nice to get out and get stuff into the ground. If one has great big sedges, can they ,should they be divided?

Sorry for the poor quality of most of the photos. If i get better Ill delete them and replace. 


And mindful of fran's very wise words. We are not in any sort of competition but we celebrate one anothers gardens so I raise a large glass of Jameson to Paddy and Mary Galanthophiles extraordinaires !

Visit to Elizabeth's Garden

10 February 2012 18:48:23
This is a last year's picture/ will try for same tomorrow

This is a last year's picture/ will try for same tomorrow

 I dont think I qualify!Its been so long since I was out in my own garden to be a bona fide member of Garden.ie! Had that nasty throat. Then Anna and I went to Cork for a short break. Then back and final dentist's visit Hurrah! (And another hit and run, on Glanbia. Anne there are Hostas out there for 2 Euro if you ask! Patriot and another greyish one.) But thats the last of the old stock. I even picked two pyracantha out of a rubbish bin! Finally home today.

HOWANDEVER!!!! Even if  I was not in my own garden I had the great joy of visiting (albeit briefly) Elizabeth's! And that folks was the highlight of my Cork break. There are gardens you admire, there are gardens that daunt you and then there are Gardens you love and this was one of them! Even though it was February all the flowers bloomed for me as Elizabeth and Meg showed me round and explained what comes where in Summer etc. Lovely inviting paths and the stile and the magnificent Bird sculpture and the viewing platform with a view to die for. I could see it all baked in summer sun and sipping our lemonade and looking down on the blue border and over towards the red....Maisie tolerated me quite benignly. Now there's a cat!

I loved the feel of this garden and felt one could be blissfully unaware of Greek Debt and Current Bail outs and all that tosh, working away quietly here in communion with place and nature and reality. ELIZABET TAKE A BOW! I am so proud that my snowdrops will be part of that lovely and well loved garden from now on. 

Now Im home and have all the stuff from my Glanbia raids to put in and I must get some photos of the snowdrops before the first flush goes over... 




Sometimes Scrubber can be so lucky....

03 February 2012 19:41:13
...yearning to breathe free...

...yearning to breathe free...

 He was  in a garden centre today as is his wont, and saw a sad trolley. All the plants that were destined for dumping . Past their prime, withered, desolate! Scrubber empathized with them even though his throat is back to normal again! Anyway he said (somewhat wistfully) to the man ‘I suppose they are for the chop?’ (And he didnt mean Chelsea!) The man agreed.Scrubber gently suggested that sometimes the man in charge allowed him take the soon-to-die plants for a reasonable sum.The man in charge was away today but the good man rang him! Scrubber was hoping for  a good reduction but got better than that. All in all, a major haul, for about one sixth of original! When buying the paeonies he felt ,'well even if they don’t do well its no great cost' but going out to the car  noticed  fine fat pink buds pushing through and promptly went back in and took the last five.!

Scrubber was so chuffed. There were Paeonies, Lavenders, Gazanias, Ceratostigmas, Eringyiums, a nice Chrysanthemum and two mysterious Patio Plants-three each in pots, that will be exciting to discover. And if he hadn’t gone in…and all the plants...

 Its silly he knows but Scrubber's feeling a bit like the Statue of Liberty tonight! 'Give  me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses....'


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