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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal September 2012

Last Post 1947 days 6 hours ago

Scrubber needs a helpful comment

23 September 2012 15:14:14

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Yesterday he went to Graiguenamanagh where there was a Bookfair. Now usually he manages to find one or two books that he absolutely has to have-sometimes they become birthday or Christmas presents if they are expensive. Well yesterday-not one book! Well there was one but it was 650 Euro! So that was a little on the dear side-and he didn’t actually long for it!(And even if he did he’s not that cracked!) BUT there was a plant stall there from growers in Clare and he got three Aruncus and two Heuchra and two Catmint (white) and a freebie of a good Sedum. Now the plants are healthy but the surface is covered with liverwort on some of them. Should I scrape all that off before planting. I don’t want a field of it!

But the comment relates to the urn. He was able to get out this morning for a little while-didn’t even change to gardening gear and dug out two ferns. This makes the path near the urn more visible and sets off the urn nicely. He thinks Elizabeth11 and Hazel are correct in counselling him not to plant something big into the urn as it takes from its lovely shape. Now he has put up two pictures. One with ivy and one without. Which in your opinion please is the most pleasing? He's not sure.  He thinks he likes ---------   but respectfully requests everyone's opinion!!

The stillness of the air in September evenings

21 September 2012 20:23:50

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I was down in my favourite Glanbia in Kilmeaden, who have the nicest staff  anywhere, and got very fine dahlias at a very fine  (cheap) price. Three cactus ‘red pigmy’. Three Ellen Houston (orange/red) and two Roxy (pink with purple foliage. I hope to get a month or so out of them this year.

I was out in the garden this evening just wandering and stopping and letting it all sink in, the light and the shade, the leaves and the ferns, theold urn, ghostly white on its rock. Gardens can be such busy places unless we sometimes just stop and stare and breathe in! You see things coming together and falling into place (rather than sprawling all over the place!) That isn’t to say that I did think ‘If I took out that fern there and cut into the bank I’d see the urn better and that stone might fit better…’But for the most part I was content to let the garden take over. And it did! September evenings ,with a hint of chill in them and yet so still, good for you!

I have tried very hard to get up three pictures. Ill try once again! Ah good they got up this time!

Me an the Duke of Windsor

19 September 2012 18:18:32

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are both 'a trifle indisposed' nothing much but cant go out today to wheel barrowloads of clay into my new 'rock pool' in the rockery. So I wrote out a nice journal and sent it into the ether-its vanished and for once I didnt first do it in Word where I am this time!

Nothing much but I hope to be back into my stride on sat. However as every cloud has…. My silver lining today was the sight of a huge amount of new buds on a rose that had given its best all summer. I had cut off the old sprays to tidy it up and lo and behold! The promise of many more. It is heartening! It is an old rose that someone gave me a cutting of and has flowered well for the last twenty thirty years!

I like Autumn. The business of summer is over and things begin to emerge again-paths, rocks, edges, The urn I put in about two months ago had been completely overcome by ferns and bindweed and stuff but now like a ghost its emerging again and as I strimmed the path beside it it looks fine. Hazel and Elizabeth 11 thought I shouldn’t plant it just enjoy its lovely shape and I think they are right. ‘THINK SCRUBBER?’ ‘Know Hazel!’ I have two small pots of ivy inside it and the leaves trail very nicely so just that and no more.

My new Acer continues to delight and it is to have pink stems in spring! Wot larks. I put in five other acers about eight months ago and only later found out they were to be green whit and pink! The pink didn’t materialize to any great extent but the green and white leaves are lovely in the shade. One died but four survive. I find a good few of my admittedly cheap azaleas have bitten the dust-every second one but as I say they were very cheap so musnt complain, Some do some don’t.

The coprosma for example was on the to- be- dumped -shelf for two euro. I took three and they are fine. You win some. I love the Accidanthera or gladioulis something or other, And the perfume is powerful!No that was definitely not on the bargain bench. Anna bought it for me .

So even if I cant get digging today theres lots to see and maybe plan! Then again I could ring the Duke and have a natter!

Only time to say how happy the

15 September 2012 19:11:16

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little Robin was today. Cherub had let him know in advance that Mr. Scrubber would be weeding on the rockery today but what even Cherub didnt know was that while weeding Nr Scrubber came across an -yes you know-an normous rock! Not alone that but another one beside it.

years ago when mr scrubber moved in a big machine had pushed a lot of rocks together ,the foundation for his rockery. So when this one was found it had to be excavated followed by the other and so Mr robin had a great time, especially as Mr Scrubber had to infill with fresh soil the excavated holes!!!

Cherub of course was a big help and we both decided on the placing of the new rocks relevant to their size and weight! Hope you like them!

Serendipity or sometimes you can be lucky!

14 September 2012 19:31:04

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Last week i found meself unexpectedly free on Thursday morning in the neighbourhood of Mt Congreve! So in I toddled and the walled garden display was really inspiring. It even conquered my not very warm relationship with Eupatorium.Joe pie Weed Sorry Fran!

I always associated it with the riverside weed, lovely as it is in its own place, but yesterday's viwing had me waiting to purchase same! The Eucryphia was in ful bloom as was the Abelia. And the gardeners there are always so helpful and willing to name names etc. I also realised that its a good idea to divide even the commonest things one has to make a plenty. One man was working away on a bed of stachys lanata and i realised 'I could do that! 

It was a lovelysunny morning and I enjoyed it but the last time i had rachel anne Paddy and Mary to name things for me and guide around the very spacious grounds. Still I didnt get lost!

Then on the way in I had spotted large acers Senka for sale at half price! I spent a lot of time as i wandered, wondering where i could best fit in one of them-I had to justify my purchase after all. I remembered a place and when I came back i asked the man to pick out the best of the three for me. He did so and a voice behind me said'And now can you pick out the next best for me!' It was a man I had been chatting to earlier.

I went out this morning and  put it in position and to me it was just perfect-Not often that it happens. So I dug the hole and added compost and bone meal and set it in and am so happy with it. After that I put four sedges into four blue pots that had bamboo in them which failed but i put what was left of the bamboo down in the scrub among rocks so although I didnt do an awful lot it was very satisfying. Ill try to put up photos of acer. I still have to finish the rockery!




Ferns are lovely but....

12 September 2012 22:37:24

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If they are on a rockery they are fine for a few years but then they get very big-Im talking about your normal bog ordinary fern that looks magical in the scrub. Today as i was laboriously weeding the rockery I felt they had taken over. More a fernery than a rockery so I took them out-not an easy task. There are few things as stubborn as a fern that has spent four or five or more years getting in under a rock. It refuses to be budged. But budged it was or most of it!

Then again the danger of a rockery is that Scrubber is tempted to reset a stone here or there! Or hollow out a little cave so that he can set something, not a fern- into it. However today there was very little resetting done but lots of weeding and deferning.

I did feel a bit guilty cutting back the lavender as there were still bees and butterflies coming to it but i think theres enough other flowers for them at present and the Rockery was wild. I couldnt see the rocks for  growth. Ive put up my three pictures. They are not good as there was no sunshine to lift them but they show how it has been cleared. And the ferns are not missed!

A bolt from the Blue

09 September 2012 18:16:16

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Having done very nicely from the bargain bench in the Glanbia Garden centre kilmeaden on friday, solanum and grasses and alpines I genuinely meant just to look around Johnstown as we had to go to naas on Sat. After a nice cup of tea and a cake  I went around the plants. Then I thought i might just get a small packet of St Patrick's day daffs, some aconites and possibly a small whipchord hebe. But then i saw them Gladioli Callianthus (used to be called Acidanthera murielae) and i was smitten! beautiful arching elegant white purple centered flowers on large elegant green stems-and the perfume, across between Sweet Pea and Lily, a little stronger than the first and not as pungent as the second. Daffs and aconites etc. faded immediately!

And then a lovely white Liriope was quite near them. Anna saw i was smitten and encouraged me 'Get two! Ill make you a present!'. I ended up getting two Gladioli Call. and one Liriope! Its funny how easily one can be bowled over. We managed to get them home without breaking the stems and I know where they are going. Apparently they are a bit tender. A lovely present!

Oh Can someone tell me please. I bought two Clematis in Aldi recently and they flowered well. Now the heads are gone and the seedhead tassels are left. They were trained up on a cane. Does anyone know what I do next-do I wait for the leaves to wither and then cut them back to the ground? The labels say Summer clematis Lightly prune in early spring and another says prune if needed after flowering. Are they deciduous. Excuse my abysmal ignorance of clematis!

Little to report Sir!

05 September 2012 21:07:15

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Except for the fact that the reclaiming of the rockery may turn out to be a lifetimes work! Especially as one  rather stupidly decides that a stone her or there might look better!

My good friend Jim came and cut the hedges for me today as they are a bit beyond me at present and the transformation was amazing. Theres a good chance that the berberis will revive after those two bad winters. There's lots of new growth there.

While Jim cut hedges I tried to find the rockery again. A friend recently gave me a present of a lovely hellebore and I placed it where I will see it every day. Hellebore on a rockery you ask. Yes but  its in a pocket of good earth and one looks down on it and the leaves are really lovely and theres a red tinge in the centre, and it does say sun or shade on well drained soil! Hazel if it wilts it will be out of there like a flash! 

Later I cut the grass all round and this was Id say the first time this year I cut dry grass and the difference was unimaginable. It was really enjoyable! I had strimmed and trimmed edges beforehand so all I had to do was run along after the mower! You can cut it in half the time when its dry.

Im going to try to put up a picture of a Hartstongue fern I noticed in the rockery. Its really curious and it would be nice if I got some more from it! I think Ill name it fantasticus! But then you may all have strange hartstongue ferns in your gardens.

Am very pleased with the cementing. Theres something permanent about sticking two stones together that satisfies me no end. Simple pleasures for simple minds!





When Rocks run out...

04 September 2012 19:40:41

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A number of kind people have asked scrubber what he would do when there were no more rocks to be found in his garden. I think in the words of Blanche de Bois ‘iwill ‘have to rely on the kindness of strangers!’. Today though as he came out of our local supermarket he noticed a granite stone over in a corner so went back in and asked the owner could he please have it! He will collect it tomorrow as its not too heavy to load.

But a few days ago while cleaning the rockery Scrubber became a little perturbed as the big stones overlooking the rockery seemed to be in danger of shifting if little feet started to climb on them. He needed two good stones to anchor them all. Even though his memory is not as good as it used be he did remember a fine mound of stones near a friends house so again on asking for two they were graciously given and Scrubber was allowed pick them out and even offered more.

Today he spend the morning fitting them in with the others and redoing the cement around the basis and he is so delighted that they fitted in so well. ’Made for the place’ said Cherub approvingly over Scrubber’s shoulder.

Then he spent the afternoon mixing more cement and filling in gaps on the steps beside Statue Scrubber. This took ages as  he had to find suitable small stones to fit in and there was quite a bit of juggling to be done but six o clock saw all complete and he was very happy. Gardening isn’t always about weeding and planting and thinning, theres a time for matching and hauling and setting and cementing, but it all comes together hopefully at the end!

When Scrubber does eventually write the book

03 September 2012 19:58:16

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-Don’t laff! Two people have advised him to do so, three if one includes Dooley! It will be entitled,  ‘Gardening in all Humility’ and in the planning section there will be one word banned-that is ‘AND ’- as in ‘Today I shall go and weed the rockery and…’. No ‘Today I shall go and weed the Rockery’ That’s it. Because ‘Ands’ get one into complications and its to be a simple book. E.g. the first chapter might be entitled ‘I  too have mixed up Docks and dahlias’ and this would encourage people to do what they can-without ands.

All this played on what passes for my mind today as I planned to weed the rockery and---. Just before I began I thought I would strim a little bit left over from last time and ended up strimming a bank, another bank, the terraces, some of the Scrub, Elizabeth’s corner and under all the hedges! Strim ran out and I had to go into town to buy some. In the book Ill tell people to have everything ready before they begin!

Then I remembered Elizabeth 11 ie. (The second Elizabeth to visit my Garden).Both Elizabeths are wonderful people of course. –suggested that I make an archway between the big junipers/cypresses on the left on the way in ‘to make it an inviting way in’. So out came the loppers and shears and Elizabeth 11’s arch came into being.

Then?  Oh yes the Rockery. Back and spent the rest of the time getting about three what I call rock pools (no water) cleared of acres of creeper, bindweed, old day lilies that never did well, Vetch, forget me nots and acres of Herb Robert. There were two full tarpaulin loads went down to the Scrub and six o clock saw me with about 1/8th of the rockery cleaned. So much for ‘and’! However tomorrow is another day so ill probably finish it and…

I confess

02 September 2012 19:55:35

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Today Scrubber got out his  new ( well three- year- old present , he is only recently able to manage it), I- pod, an old carpet, a garden magazine, a book, and lay down on the carpet and read the book and listened to music and didnt do A STROKE OF WORK today in the garden. The sun was shining down, the birds singing and the roses nodding in the EDGED border!

Sr Josephine would have given up on me. 'The divil finds work for idle hands etc.' but the newly contrite Cherub Lute (c.f. last journal) kept quite quiet. I only got two ant stings (God bless Anthisan) and most wonderful of all a butterfly fluttered by and landed on Scrubbers shoulder! And stayed there for a short time. Scrubber was honoured!

Tomorrow  theres to be an all out assault on the old rockery as weeds and tangle and creeper and sally bindweed's sisters are all combined. But today was , as it should be , a day of rest. Hope it was as nice for all garden.iers!

Trouble in Paradise!

01 September 2012 20:27:35

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It was Cherub Cymbal’s simple comment that started all the commotion today. He is a simple sort of soul , perhaps at times too easily influenced by Cherub Lute.  His comment ‘Goodness but Mr Scrubber must have planted hundrits of forget- me- nots today! Hasn’t he great patience!’ was answered by Cherub Lute. ‘He probably got it from his mother. She needed it!’. There was a sharp intake of breath all about the Scrub for, up to this ,no one had ever spoken of Mr. Scrubber but with the utmost respect. Cherub Lute was unrepentant. ‘Well Sr. Josephine always said she was put to the pin of her collar’.

At this Cherub interrupted, having decided that Cherub Lute this time had gone way beyond the bounds of good manners. He told him quietly but very firmly, that as he had hardly been in the garden a wet weekend it was not his place to criticize Mr Scrubber. But Cherub Lute by now had become reckless and answered ‘Why?,what would he do’. Cherub kept his cool and explained that if a certain cherub (Lute) were not to behave himself. ‘Mr Scrubber might think again about applying joghurt to the plinth on which he stood and that the moss which Cherub Lute craved might-- ‘never grow up to his a---‘  came the ribald voice from deep in the Scrub. Whereupon the much- put- upon Cherub now had to remind a certain person that ‘although ,of course, he is NOT the president of the country, nevertheless the fact that he bore a distinct resemblance to that personage, made it incumbent upon him to behave with a certain measure of dignity and decorum. And that he should not resort to raising a cheap laugh by making ribald comments. (No matter how much others irritated him). There was a quiet small ‘sorry’ floated up from a cave beneath the eye-line.

The threat of not having a fine coating of moss on his plinth seemed to make an impression on Cherub Lute. ‘Okay then I’m sorry too, Mr Scrubber has lots of patience and his mother didn’t need to have any!’. ‘And he did a great job on the edging today’. This last sentence showed a surprising degree of magnanimity on the part of Cherub Lute and Cherub decided it was best to let matters lie.

Honour was satisfied and peace was restored and everyone relaxed again even if Micilin Dee had a very red face for the next few hours from the shame of a public rebuke from Cherub.


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