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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal March 2012

Last Post 2123 days 3 hours ago

Just on the off chance if you are Rachel bound

31 March 2012 13:00:37
Rockery in evening sunshine

Rockery in evening sunshine

next Saturday and if you live anyway near Elizabeth, (Cobh) or Nuala (Ait Alainn) (Doonbeg Co. Clare) and if you had room and a generous inclination....... could you possibly bring them some pots of bluebells  from me. I am going to Rachels and would bring them there so if theres anyone going to Rachels from near Cobh or Cork and Doonbeg Co. Clare going Id be very grateful.

Yes Sister i know it was bold but....

28 March 2012 22:09:33
And this is the cat who minds the wall....

And this is the cat who minds the wall....

I had that delicious feeling again todaywhen you know what you are doing is against one of the Commandments but still you are enjoying it so much you dont..... There was Scrubber balanced precariously on the wall over Elizabeth's Corner, yanking down a branch with the crook of the hoe and reaching out into space with the loppers to snip off some overhanging branches!!!It was sooo bold and felt sooo good! He said to himself 'Its just like old times!!!'i.e. Before he got sense and people told him to be more careful. But it was done and now the rosebed has more light and I had such fun so please dont rebuke Scrubber!

And now for being so nice i am going to give everyone who needs it this solemn warning. In capitals. NEVER ,I MEAN NEVER, PUT BLUE BELLS INTO A BORDER!!!!!I did a few years ago and am now paying dearly. Like Topsy they'Growed and growed and now i am desperately trying to get rid of them with no great success. Tosday I carted loads down to the Scrub bottoms. Dont get me wrong, they are lovely flowers and in their place are supremely beautiful but never  in a bed unless you really want trouble-they root down deep and multiply faster than rabbits! I know most of you know this but lest there is one other unenlightened gardener out there, be warned!

Have some lovely new photos, at least they should be and will upload them soon Evening in the garden sort of thing. 




Again a little but far more satisfying!!

27 March 2012 23:31:21
Magnolia Stellata in Scrub

Magnolia Stellata in Scrub

Yes first Scrubber went strimming. Hit only one cornus and  cleared a lot of scrub bottoms and was fairly well covered in mud! But looks a good bit clearer and there is grass beginning to colonise swamp!

Then worked on old rockery. Not a lot done but it was the last bit of it so a great sense of satisfaction to have it done. Its funny same amount or even less done tody but more satisfaction.

 Also got some drumstick polyanthus in the Post from Sally and they went straight into potting compost and will be treasured! 

So very little done...

26 March 2012 21:19:50
on the other side of the wall...

on the other side of the wall...

What a fabulous day as dick says and I was out in it for a good while but the reult of my labours? a) Five big pots emptied and refilled with soil and compost for Anna's sowing of parsley etc.One big bunch of daffs unrooted as it was slap bang in the middle of the grass path and dividied and put in Elizabeths corner. Some snowdrops also divided. A paved path cleaned up as there was a lot of growth and stones on it. I used the stones to fill a hole in the Scrub! And lastly the planting-rather late of the remains of a huge bag of Crocosmias given by a very generous gardener. I put them on a slope in the Scrub and hope that come flowering time they will look gorgeous under the pines.

 But that is all i managed and other days Id get a lot more done. However it was a joy to be out and everytime i pass the Magnolia tree its like a blessing-this is the first year the blossoms have not been caught by frost and it has got to a very good height. The little azaleas are coming out on the wall rockery. I cant wait for the foxgloves but Ill just have to. Am reading Lane Fox Thoughtful gardening. He's a bit Oxford Donnish at times but he's very interesting most of the time. I have C Lloyd going atthe same time. 'in my Garden' as usual he's great. 

Scrubber's backside is much improved!!!

24 March 2012 20:54:12
The backside in question

The backside in question

Now lest any of the more delicately minded members keel over in anticipation of medical revelations, he hastens to assure them that the backside in question is that of the wall at the rose garden!

Neighbouring cows were able to overlook and overchew the wall so Scrubber asked his neighbouring farmer could he plant a hedge at the back of the wall. It was overgrown with thorn and nettle and one or two whitethorn. Permission being graciously granted Scrubber grubbed out the thorns and pulled out the grass and left the  whitethorn. Then over to his other neighbour to beg some whitethorn quicks. Malcolm has a wonderful wild hazel wood on the banks slope of the river and he has been laboriouslyclearing paths through it without prettifying it. Oh it was wonderful sheets of wood anenome and also white wood sorrel. Loads of bluebells to come. Celandines and primroses, beautiful layers of rocks, unbelievably simple beauty, oh and a few orchids coming as well! It was a wonder Scrubber could concentrate on the job in hand.

Back with his quicks or young bushes and set them in and then the rolling of a small rock or two to help the wall and the trimming of branches of elder to give the rose bed more light. And then in for the camera to show you the backside in question. Now Fran you neednt have been so shocked after all! 

Earlier in the Scrub bottoms (Its all bottoms and backsides today!) I put in my three new taxodiums Swamp cypress. They grow to 70 feet . I shall not see that but wont it be a lovely legacy in years to come. That and my snowdrops and my daffodils. But I do hope to see them get to twenty feet!b And the autumn colour is lovely.

Afterwards i separated some clumps of snowdrops and will do that each day I am out rather than giving myself a bad back by doing it all on the one day.

Oh it was sooo good to be back! I will put up more wall pictures as soon as I can.

Have been out of the garden for a while but hope

23 March 2012 20:20:49
I thought a bridge would improve the view!

I thought a bridge would improve the view!

to be back tomorrow. Sometimes when one cant work in the garden one gets a great chance to just mooch around it and then the ideas begin to gather and you see where a drift of daffs would improve a place or a tree would look well so its not time wasted.

Was in the Arboretum and chatting to Rachel Doyle the owner. and told her all about garden.ie. She is a lovely person , a wonderful business woman and totally unchanged by all her success. I have been buying from her from the time she had a small nursery of about an acre at the rear of her house! It must be thirty years ago and more.

I only bought one plant! Aubretia! So there's restraint. But in TKMAX today I spotted a small stainless steel trowel with a long handle, only Ten Euro so was delighted. I hope as I say to be back tomorrow and have a small line of Whitethorn to put in. I have to dig them up first from my consenting neighbour's field. Then I can play with my new trowel! 

Oh and as we drove in this evening there was a lovely small parcel from future forests! Three little taxidiums swamp cypresswhich must also go in tomorrow! My cup runneth over! 

The importance of proper labelling!

19 March 2012 18:55:20
Labelling is all very well but this is a straightjacket!

Labelling is all very well but this is a straightjacket!

Now as most of you know, Scrubber's gardening methods might well and kindly be described as haphazard and unorthodox. Labelling for example. This year he thought he discovered a new and handy way to label his tulips. i.e. Cut off the top of the packet just below the staples and jam in a bit of stick for an instantaneous label. jacinta kindly informed me that they would collapse and were not weatherproof. As they went in so very late they did manage to survive until now but as you can see for the enclosed ,one dutiful tulip purissima thought it was supposed to grow up through the label!

Dont worry I have eased it off it and the tulip is none the worse for wear. But next year Jacinta Ill have proper posh labels beside the tulips. The Pulsatilla that I divided is ok and there are flowers coming on some of the off shoots. And so far the tulips I planted by mistake among the Thalia have not come up!

Oh a last point re my condemnation of pink and yellow, Nature seems to be giving me a rub as everywhere I see pink prunus and pink camellia with dancing yellow daffs beneath them! Serves me right for being pedantic!

Many thanks to Elizabeth and Mary (Keego)

13 March 2012 22:46:04
Forget-me-nots for Ladygardener as promised.

Forget-me-nots for Ladygardener as promised.

For giving me the courage to cull my forget-me-nots! I pulled out great handfuls today and could at least see some progress on the old rockery. But unless you had told me you had done it the nerves would have failed me. Got a good bit done but very pernickety tedious work. Found a few new things and discovered the scientific way to determine whether its a weed or a flower-If it has a fairly solid ball of garden compost around the roots it must be something i bought last year!!!

I am putting up a picture for Ladygardener who specially requested a snap of Forget me nots. It was the best I could do. 'A poor thing but mine own!' 

Forget- me- nots are lovely and I wouldn’t be

12 March 2012 20:26:24
Took this three days ago-they are all out today!

Took this three days ago-they are all out today!

 without their lovely blue haze BUT

They seed all over the place and on a rockery they are absolute divils. They do not all grow uniformly either and you have tiny seedlings crammed in against bigger plants and before you know where you are you are swamped! They are also most friendly plants allowing all sorts of dandelions and hawkweed and vetch to grow through them. You spend all day trying to clean them up and the result still looks a dishevelled mess!

As you can gather I’ve been weeding! I first put in the new clematis beside some yellow daffs and it screamed ‘Get me out of here!’ Yellow and pink? They stink! I put it beside some white narcissi and that was fine. Then I put in the Magnolia Susan which wont be much for a year or two or maybe three. I put in six small heathers on the wall rockery and three Hostas at its foot so that should be interesting! I raked under the new hedge again and spent the rest of the time weeding parts of the old rockery. It will be lovely when done but  it could take weeks! The good thing was I got to divide the pulsatilla very easily and the pieces seem to have rooted easily. It’s a good one so I have great hopes for all those pieces!

So that was it. It was hard work but little to show for it but at least a start has been made on the old rockery. Some of the bulbs I sowed so very late in the year (January!) are now coming up gallantly and the Magnolia is about to break into flower. Yes and soon a blue haze of forget me nots will make me forget completely what a nuisance they can be!

A lovely surprise

09 March 2012 21:22:46
To think I once disliked ice follies!

To think I once disliked ice follies!

I wasnt in the garden today but just as darknes came down I noticed a little splashof white in the dusk. My magnolia soulangea has come out and there are a few blossoms on the bare branches. I must go out tomorrow to see them! Have put up about  forty new photos of daffs on the march album!. Its so nice to see things filling up. Hope to get out tomorrow.

And it came as it does if you wait patiently

08 March 2012 17:42:32
The new Camellia Nuccio's Jewel (Mt. Congreve)

The new Camellia Nuccio's Jewel (Mt. Congreve)

I was moaning a bit a while back -bad back, cold weather, plodding repetitive work and then today-out of the blue-The LIFT! I have visitors but understanding ones and so i went out for two hours. I shifted the slabs that go under the dog kennel in the summer and had then another small vegetable plot! Ihad to cut a bit of lawn but was able to use that for filling so my veggie beds are now ready and waiting!

I dug up three or four clumps of the narcissus fire disease affected daffs and put them down in an isolation ward! Ill see next year how they go.

Then i wed some of the old rockery and that was satisfying work and not too hard on the back.The sun shone down, the birds sang and all was well with the world.The LIFT!

We brought our visitors to the Arboretum. Please forgive me if i tell you the urinals in the mens toilets are a sight to behold! half the female population of carlow have gone in for a look. They are shaped and coloured in the form of Arum lilly, Mallow and Poppy! I called them Fleurs de Pee! But feel i could never use them! Apparently they cost a king's ransome and the transportation and fitting was all done with bated breath. Im told the basins in the ladies are somewhat the same but wouldnt dare venture in!

We were buying a present for a dear friend's birthday and fixed on a lovely Camellia. They were two for thirty so Anna said we should buy two and I should have one. When we got to the checkout we realised the offer applied to the cheaper ones only! As we love our friend we bought the dear one -more than thirty and then Anna decided we should take the other anyway! So I have a fab camellia!

The we called into Aldi on the way home and i spotted some heathers six for 5.99 and a magnolia Susan for a tenner! So greedygut i bought them.

Iwill put up a new Daff album soon. Sorry I didnt bring my camera today but it would not look well bringing a camera into the gents! 




Its worse than 'Nits'!

07 March 2012 12:07:20
This is  what it looks like.The flowers never came

This is what it looks like.The flowers never came

If you dont know what they are you are better off. Im not going into details! Ask Sr Josephine!

You may or not remember i asked did anyone know what the 'burnt' flower deads and leaf tips were (cf photo). Well I asked gerry and got a reply the next day which was wonderful and although its not  very bad it appears  my bulbs have narcissus Fire! Ive tried to look it up but its very technical. I think if i get rid of the leaves it may not overwinter. Its in three clumps and I can spare them but if its only a question of getting rid of old foliage then i may chance them for another year. I might have had this before and not noticed it!

Anyway Im thankful its not worse! 



Looking back is never a good idea!

06 March 2012 17:18:24
plants beginning to emerge.

plants beginning to emerge.

I looked back on a few albums recently and the garden seems to have been declining rather than improving. Quite dispiriting. The daffs seemed much fuller last year and the veg beds  looked better but I hope that as the plants return and all the new stuff comes up that my lovely old garden will return!

I spent yesterday cutting as much grass as I could with mower and strimmer. Today and for the week, I have visitors so i wont get out but it was good to get all trimmed. I also found my lovely neat border fork,lost for two years when strimming and an old but good shears under the mexican orange. That was gone about five years! Theres hope for me yet.

No sign of a Togs Martin Im afraid. 

Isnt Ladygardener's lake something else-breathtaking! 

Scrubber needs help please

04 March 2012 14:48:57
Anna's Primroses

Anna's Primroses

I notice that a few of my daffodil clumps this year came to nothing and the tips where the buds should have been, looked as if they were burned or singed. They reminded me of cigarette buts and the tips of some leaves were the same. I do pray this isnt an invasion of some dreaded bulb disease. There are lots more looking very well.

The other area: thanks to Moya's advice and Fran's helpful book I am not worried about sowing and planting veggies just yet. (I haven't a glasshouse you see so its all outdoors.) But I wondered about those cabbage and other brassica plants that are in garden centres now. Would it be too soon to put those in???I put some in last year and within weeks they were all gone-may have been bl----ted rabbits. But this year I have Shoosh!


03 March 2012 20:32:28
Fern corner before the ferns come!!!

Fern corner before the ferns come!!!

I think thats the word for the sum total of nothing! In the garden that is! Was very busy taking down stuff and painting and other craftsmanlike doings-not at all scrubber's usual. Anyway did go out for a wander and found a little primula drumstick on the wall rockery and the Rhodo is opening into a lovely deep red.

But were any of you at the fair today and what did you see and what did you buy. Come on and tell us all about it. Its nice to share! 

Laffin’ at Lazarus!

02 March 2012 20:11:06
Sometimes the simplest is the best!

Sometimes the simplest is the best!

Im sure sometimes that Mother Immaculata didn’t know whether to laugh out loud or cry with vexation when we used end up outside her office. It was Tom Doorley’s fault this time. Sr Josephine was reading us the story of Mary and Martha and their brother who had died. She got as far as ‘by now he stinketh’ at which Tom Doorley turned around to us with eyebrows raised and held his nose delicately between finger and inkstained thumb. Result 1 –convulsions of laughter in Junior Infants and hog-like snorts trying to conceal it. Result 2- five of us sent down to tell Mother Immaculata that ‘we had been laffin’ at Lazarus!!!!’

This came to mind today as Scrubber worked hard, toiled even, in the garden.He dug all the veg beds and cleared the clumps of sods and roots and scutch by vigorous raking. Then the garden gremlins hatched their plan. He eyed the reeking compost bin. He never gets brown crumbly particles-it’s always a toxic sludge. But goaded by gremlins he dug deeper drills in the veggie garden and then transported the seething mixture into them and covered them up quickly. Luckily there had been a lot of orange peels gone in lately which sweetened the brew but still ‘It stinketh!’ So you see why I started with the above scriptural story.

Then he dug out the clay there and covered it with better stuff and will grass it later and the compost bin has been placed in the nether regions of the scrub and there’s to be a small bin for veg stuff at the back door and the plan is he will convey it when full, down to compost bin. That’s the plan anyway.

The naked veggie beds can settle in for a while and here’s hoping Shoosh keeps the rabbits at bay. The same cat is in a delirium of happiness at present having acres and acres (well lots) of newly turned soil in which to poo!

Much thanks for all the sympathy re my recent laptop debacle. Its going again but the colour is very poor so I watch your photos on the P.C.

Scrubber is really sorry

01 March 2012 22:23:14
I think celandines are as beautiful as anything else!

I think celandines are as beautiful as anything else!

I have been on to Eircom twice tonight trying to get my laptop to tune into wireless as it aleays did. One very helpful man couldnt and another could but in the meantime my album of very poor photos went out and i hadnt checked them so sorry for the quality.

Lord but its frustratin' trying to get somethings to work. I wanted the laptop so i could go intothe sitting room and not be a recluse and this means i was in the study all night being a recluse.


Anna and I were in Naas yesterday and we called into Johnstown. fabulous selection but rather expensive. Anna got some lovely strong primroses and I spent 12 Euro only- a record! Prunus Hoko no mai or something like that. It was a very small one but suited me. There were fab tree paeonies that I lusted after but restrained myself . maybe theyll be in glanbia!

Spent a few hours shifting rocks-I found three at the back of a shop and the owner didnt want them!!! and planted the prunus and did weeding. Stopped worrying about the veggies as I havent a greenhouse and most things go in outside in March so theres time. Also Back has improved!

Again sorry re that photo album. Ill put in better pictures next time. Hope all goes well for those travelling on sat. Cant make it unfortunately. 



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