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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal November 2012

Last Post 1913 days 5 hours ago

For Michelle

28 November 2012 18:15:11

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Micilin was 'delighted' to be asked to pose for the camera especially when I told him you had specially asked for his picture Michelle. he is inundated with leaves at present so we had to clean up about the cave before 'snapping'.

Otherwise it was a gentle day, lovely dry weather, not too cold, I planted all my tulip and allium bulbs and marked them so here's hoping for a good show later. Spent a lot of time digging out a small bank of clay which was under a line of stones. I thought that the whole thing would look better if it were a steep bank and wonder of wonders it does! And i got another rose out of one that i dug up-it divided easily at the root. Being delighted with that I stepped back and promptly stood on another one-you win some you lose some!

monotonous but not Boooring!

27 November 2012 19:13:02

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Apparently discussion became very heated in the Scrub today according to Cherub. It began as a result of Statue Scrubber saying (quite gently!) that he really liked November as everything seemed to ease down and things were not so hectic. Micilin Dee then pronounced-Micilin hardly ever just ‘says’ anything –that ‘ it was a season when things were pared back to the bone, where the spirit becomes more important and one breathes the air of contemplative serenity’. This was given in his most authoritative voice with lots of whistling sibilants and complete conviction. Unfortunately both Cherubs then began a chorus of ‘Boring, Booorrring’. No one was sure whether they were being disrespectful to Micilin or talking about the garden in November but as Cherub informed m , they particularly favoured June and July when they were surrounded by roses and definitely looked their best. Lord Buddha smiled and gazed enigmatically in the direction of the river.

 ‘Lookit, Mr. Scrubber even’ shouted Cherub Lute.’ I bet he’s bored to the bottom of his wellies just hauling leaves down to the bottoms, day after day after day’. This was a clever move as it made him sound very Sympatico to Mr. Scrubber, who really does not mind at all raking and hauling and dumping all those wonderful leaves-it gives him space to think and plan -‘contemplative serenity’ in fact! ‘Yes and there’s loads of twigs and branches to be cleared before he can mow the lawn and anyway its too late to be mowing at present’ This from Cherub Lute and then both went back to ‘Boring ,Booooring’

Cherub explained that Mr. Scrubber does not at all mind cleaning up and that an added bonus at this time of the year is that the bones of the garden emerge and Mr. Scrubber and indeed Cherub himself took a particular delight in seeing rocks that had been enveloped in foliage for months now standing free in all their glory. It was getting quite dark at this stage and Cherubs Lute and Cymbals were a little afraid that the bones of the garden might emerge in a rather frightening combination. As Micilin Dee observed of them-note he didn’t just say it-‘They never know the difference between a well turned figure of speech and its literal equivalent!’ So they quietened down and as Mr Scrubber gratefully looked around at his leaf- free well -mown lawn, and the lovely shapes and shadows of a twilight- lit Scrub, he thought of all the work of the last few days, ‘Monotonous perhaps, a bit repetitive, but definitely so very far removed from ‘Booorrring!’

Once more into the Beech dear friends, once more..

21 November 2012 19:14:25

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That’s what it was like this glorious day. I planted two carex and  another leucothoe in Eileen’s bed which by now is looking furnished. Then back to the slow long haul. Blowing all the beech leaves that came down in their thousands. Thankfully that looks like the end of them. I couldn’t get the lawn cleared but I mowed the bit I had done. I blew them into lines and then ‘tapaulined’ them down to the bottoms. Very monotonous and laboursome and yet one had lots of time to day dream and think-a bit like being in Sr Josephine’s class in a way!

I’m sometimes asked where do all the rocks come from. Well for example I had planted two fremontodendrons (Conrad has cautioned me not to inhale the hairs!) without inhaling. Then went to dig the next hole. CLUNK! I knew I had hit a big one so I dug beside it. Then I got the crowbar and levered out the first one-not as big as I thought but big. There was another bigger one beside it and a smaller one. So I had a nice hole for my plant and three rocks to play with. Two went into edging a path and the third went in beside two more in a small bed. So where do they come from-wherever Scrubber seems to want to dig!

You know I treasure my ‘Marian’s Bed’ named after a dear friend and great gardener who left us all too soon. Well some years ago Marian had given me a Fuschia that was always out of place where I placed it. It hadn’t flowered well either so I decided to take it out. I was able to split it into three and I planted the three in poor soil in my daughter’s garden. Of course they bloomed beautifully this year and I was sad I had treated them so badly and!. A few days ago I got a nice Hydrangea in Glanbia and I knew Hydrangeas did well in that garden so I substituted the Hydrangea and dug out one of the three bushes! Now it has been settled in again here in a much better site and I am sure Marian is enjoying the joke. And what will my daughter say ?-----‘I never noticed’. Unlike her Dad she has other interests in life!

Lord, Scrubber does  go on!  He must put up a November Album over the weekend-that is if the beech Leaves give him time to do anything!

Sorry! correction

20 November 2012 23:46:19

Scrubber's prayer

20 November 2012 18:43:31

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Dear Lord,

I have a lot on my planting agenda for this day so please let it be dry enough to work in, (I don’t need sunshine). Grant that, when I get up, I will not have a crick in my neck or a twist in my back or a gammy leg.

I would be grateful ,if when I saw through that big branch that is casting a shadow beneath that I don’t wobble and that the little wall I’ll be standing on doesn’t collapse under me. It would be a help too if the branch just dropped straight down without twisting and whacking me in the leg. When I am gathering up all those thorny branches and sticking them into gaps in hedges could you ensure that they don’t spring back and prick or scratch me? Id hate to have a stab wound in the ankle!

I know Lord when I take out that fern, you know the one, that a big stone will probably roll out from the bank. You know a thing or two about big stones rolling back! Help me to replace it without damaging back or fingers-helped no doubt by your good servant Cherub. And don’t, lord allow me to get so involved in repairing the wall that as usual,I forget about everything else

When planting the three fremontodendrons in that bit of lawn could you ensure that I don’t hit any big rocks that might prove a total distraction! And If I do hit rocks may they be manageable and direct me in ways that will ensure I can use them close to where they were discovered rather than staggering the length of the scrub to place them.Also that they are in a reasonable straight line-cf below for standard roses!

When I go down to plant Marian’s bush and the Magnolias could you see to it that I don’t encounter mighty roots in the places I choose, because they are in under the trees and the soil can be very ‘rooty’.

Lastly Lord when I put in the standard rose may all three be in a reasonable staraight line so that I don’t have to dig one up again to resite it and it would be helpful if I didn’t chop through the Hosta roots as they have disappeared at present.

If I get all this done today Lord I will be very happy but not proud because I know that I will have been greatly helped so help me to be humble when writing about it or I could drive all those lovely garden.iers  mental through my smugness. Thank you Lord in advance for what I hope will be a lovely day and at its end may I be tired but happy in the knowledge of a good day’s work done when the ‘day thou gavest Lord is ended’. 

Guess what Scrubber was doing Thursday!

16 November 2012 19:24:45

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No its a trick question. On wednesday he was raking and blowing and raking beech leaves. On Thursday he went to visit the grandchildren and of course their parents and spent the day raking and blowing and raking maple leaves. But for the fact that he always eats too much chocolate when he goes down there Scrubber would have been slim and trim after all the exercise! Maple leaves seem a lot easier to rake and blow than beech-probably because they are larger and 'crinkeldier'  ( Like grandad's eyes).

Then to Glanbia and came out with two bootloads and a huge grin on his face. He is going to be busy over the next week but knows already where most of the stuff will go!

Still though lots of beech to rake up and i wont be able to get to that until next week. Has anyone Fremotodendrons in their garden and what advice would you give Scrubber. I havent a sunny wall facing south but i have a big bank and there are big granite rocks in it so that might do?




And so an end does come into view

14 November 2012 20:25:18

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And no, its not Scrubber's as he bends over to plant the Hostas and Primula back in the very soft clay-mud? But today the area I was working on was finished and the clay and the plants  put back and tested for drainage and it passed with flying colours so even Cherubs L and C admitted that 'sometimes Mr. Scrubber does manage to get things reasonably right'-No overenthusiasm there!

He is so glad to have it done and working and then he was able turn his mind to the golden carpet of Beech leaves that were on the point of obscuring the drive!!! The last two days brought so many down. He took out the blower and he huffed and he puffed and dragged tarpaulins full of leaves down to the Scrub and at least one can now drive the car in and there are some patches of lawn clear.

But every now and then he'd drift over to the edge and look down on the  reorganised bed (Marian's Bed) and give hisself a little pat on the back-figuratively of course or the cherubs would start to snigger!

Hazel or Elizabeth or Anne have you seen Cherub?

13 November 2012 22:22:29

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Because he was definitely NOT around today when Scrubber was wrestling in the mud. There was a bed and he decided to drain it and then found there was a 'normous rock in the middle. Well it seemed an easy thing to do. Go into town. Buy two concrete blocks and manouevre the rock on to them to set it into position, 

Scrubber had not allowed for the squelch factor! He was very lucky in town because while buying the two blocks he was given (he did ask!) a few broken half blocks for nothing and he bought drain piping for a veritable song-two Euro! The broken blocks were broken even further and served as drainage but the amount of manouevering and grunting and swearing Im afraid was not quite according to Sr Josephine's standards. Cherub just didnt seem to be around as usually something happens and the rock behaves but this one! Stubborn, unyielding, discontent. And the fact that the clay was wet and sticky meant things were quite unpredictable!

But finally after a hard day's work the drain was in place and the broken concrete infill and the lot covered with soil so hopefully we will get a dry spell and I can replace the Hostas and Primula Bulyana that flourished there.Ill try to get phos of the finished bed as soon as possible

 Once again many thanks for all the advice re sooty mould. It was so appreciated!


Can somebody help a dear friend of Scrubber's?

12 November 2012 19:31:17

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A very dear friend of mine has a problem. No its not that she is a very good friend of mine! She has a beautiful weeping Birch in her garden. It is quite mature and has a lovely habit. (Sr Josephine would approve!). But in the last four years or so greenfly seem to have attacked en masse and they secrete a sticky black mould that covers the leaves and everything else near, Hydrangeas, grass, paving etc.

Its  sticky and impossible to remove. She wondered about using Jeyes Fluid on the trunk and branches around now or in early spring before leaves come out. Would this harm the tree. Would it help it? Is there any other protective method that might be used. A gardener of formidable reputation advised her to get rid of the tree but it is beautiful and (apart from this infestation) quite healthy and a beautiful shape.

So then if any of you out there can help, you who are far more knowledgeable than Scrubber, please let him know what is best practice in this case and he will be so grateful and pass it on to his friend who is a wonderful gardener in her own right.Many thanks in advance.


10 November 2012 23:17:06

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Cherubs Lute and cymbals both thought it was hilarious, Statue Scrubber tried to avoid the issue. Mickileen Dee for once did not want to comment and even Cherub had a pained expression. Mr Scrubber had let hisself down and thereby let down all the denizens of the scrub. ‘Shewing off!’ giggled Cherub Lute. ‘Acting the big’ smirked Cherub Cymbals.

Three very nice ladies had been walking the river bank beside the Scrub and noticed Scrubber working-he had two trowels in his hands and some plants. ‘What are you planting?’they innocently asked. And Scrubber-even remembering is painful- retorted ‘Four carex, eight sarcocooca, three Hydrangea and two Leucothoe’. It didn’t matter that they came in after to see what a leucothoe was and were very gracious and even thanked Scrubber. Tonight he is feeling a proper pain in the a- neck at giving such a snotty nosed answer. Instead of just saying ‘oh a few things I got recently, shrubs and stuff’.

He thinks Cherub Cymbal and Lute may have a very definite point and feels like apologizing to Cherub and Mickilin Dee for letting the side down. Cherub may have engineered a little penance as a rock appeared and in attempting to budge it Scrubber found he had to dig and dig and dig and wrecked a special bed that will all have to be put back properly. ‘Pride’ according to Sr Josephine ‘Always comes before a FALL’ and she used say FALL in capital letters!

He did , by the way put in the Leucothoe in Eileen’s bed-recently cleared along with some white campion and the four nice rusty Carexes and some solanum that were very reasonable. The Saracocca which were  a bright yellow leaf (It will turn green once its in the ground were placed along a path and are in a bed raised about two foot high so that they will give off a delicious scent if the flower this year. The three Hydrangea which are Lace cap Blue teller are  in a triangle under the trees. And if Scrubber had not discovered that stone and if he had not been so pompous in answering the ladies he would have been quite happy with his day’s work. Oh he also raked up some more leaves and intends to do this off and on until they have stopped falling.

The moral of the story is ‘Don’t act the big!’ Ah well I suppose we are all human! Oh I see Cherub is raising a quizzical eyebrow. Least said soonest mended.

A Present

05 November 2012 22:44:08

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As i walked out to the garage this morning aPresent from Shoosh lay unwrapped on the path. A large and very dead rat! So I suppose I should be very thankful that little missus is so enegetic! She was quite proud of herself.

Went out to Eileen's bed-the hugely overgrown unkempt bed i was writing about last time (Oh a nAustrian friend says that in german unkempt translates as 'uncombed!' and that thts where it comes from.'I must now go outto comb my garden!'

But anyway I spent the entire day hauling and hacking and clearing and cutting and hewing down branches and by five o clock Scrubber had nailed it! Now I still have to dig it all over but am so pleased to have all the considerable stuff gone! And Moya! Very little sign of ground elder so maybe theres hope for us!

Now what can i plant there?????

Scrubber was absolutely MORTO'

02 November 2012 19:57:11

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The day started well. Out and put in some Thalia down near new path which will tie in with other thalia and my mistaken tulips! which I hope will delight me again next year. Also put in  a lot of Crocii-I have forgotten exactly where so that will be a nice surprise. Put in a lot of that little blue starry flower-bit like a little bluebell but not scilla ,on the rockery. Put tulips into blue pots. They are white with a green streak so should be lovely.

But then decided to put in six camassia (blue) that I got in Lidle. I knew Eileens bed was in a bit of a mess and needed clearing but i reasoned i could clear a patch and put them in and have that done and could weed later.

Oh foolish Scrubber! How ashamed he was when he went to clear some ground and found thumb- thick briars snaking across the bed, Lavenders and rosemary smothered by the ruins of bindweed, The Irish National collection of Buttercup, Scutch, ivy. He was Mortified! Really ashamed that he had not seen what was hapening. There was a lovely Viburnum bodnantse? Dawn, and some of its branches had died back for lack of space. Luckily there were more and a promise of blossom. But everywhere was choked and run down and Scrubber was really annoyed with hisself! Its all very well to edge paths and lift stones-Oh he spent a half an hour today on an unbudgeable one in another smaller bed! but to allow someplace to get completely out of hand. The spirit of Sr. Josephine loomed over him. 'Always knew that boy would let things slide'

Anyway I got a tiny bit properly cleared and trimmed the rosemary and lavender and hauled out tarpaulins of briars and weeds and got in the Camassias. But there's such a lot more to be done that I dont think Scrubber will be back on site until it's accomplished! Its going to take a full week Id say.



And when least expected...

01 November 2012 18:04:50

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Had just read Jacinta's account of sudden leaf fall and then had the opposite experience! No they didnt all fly back up onto the tree! I was passing by the rose Fruhlingsgold which as you all know is a massive flowerer but  very very early and then sometimes a few blossoms later on. But today a perfect rose and two buds! I was proper chuffed.

I think it may have been because i have spent two days tidying the garage. I now find  when thats done that theres not as much space as there used be! But I managed to get in all my dahlias as well.

Cleared and dug a lot of the vegetable patch which I really must improve upon next year. Im going to plan ahead. Where have we all heard that before! Meantime , surrounded by awesome beauty as the beeches take up the chorus. Leaves on the ground but am waiting a little longer before I rake them up, under the Ozakasuki its like a turkish carpet.



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