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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal January 2013

Last Post 1815 days ago

A new voice in the Scrub!

30 January 2013 22:14:22

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After a long long time Esmeralda has finally found her voice. She is the large goose that has been featured in some of Scrubber's photographs. Funnily enough it was just after Terrishoo's stone had been placed beside her that she began to speak-or repeat, as that is what she does mostly. If Cherub suggests 'move that rock an inch' she will chime in with 'an inch an inch' Mind you she would not be in Sr Josephine's top hundred but then neither was Scrubber! She has one strange gift though ,that of reading minds. For example Scrubber had decided to 'rake the rockery' today and as he passed her he distinctly heard, '-ake the rockery' in his mind again. I dont quite know how she does it but it will be hugely useful in future. We all have our own gifts.

Well when he went to '-ake the rockery' he realised what a silly Scrubber is to have a big rockery just under the beech trees! Such an amount of leaves-and like sand on the beach they get into all the crevices! It takes an age to rake them all out and not take the alpines with them. Added to this there was a fierce wind in the trees all around so it was quite like being on a ship in mid ocean. Exhilarating. especially as when I got the leaves off, all the rocks and  crannies were revealed again. Bonus-the three dwarf cryptomeria japonica -bought for a euro each as the vendor thought they would not live-have all come through the winter and the leaf coverings and are very healthy. Lost were a few azalea and some of the Alpines. But it was great to see the wall rockery emerge.

Then of course there was lots of carting of tarpaulin fuls of leaves into bottoms. After which Scrubber went back up to side garden to weed and to straighten a rock, which he had straightened a few days ago but wasn't right! Got some weeding done and cut out crocosmia stems. So a great day's work with the sun sometimes in the sky and little or no rain.'-ittle or no rain'.

Have put up some more pictures in january album. but mostly rocks and Lord buddha. 


Many thanks for all the help on ransoms. A poem

28 January 2013 12:37:48

Help re ransoms -wild garlic

27 January 2013 21:17:01

Notalot! Notalot!

23 January 2013 20:49:37
I'm waiting to greet all those EEC dignatories!

I'm waiting to greet all those EEC dignatories!

But then one cannot do loads every day-or so I excuse meself! But i did ring around this morning when taken by an uncontrollable longing for a prunus serrula. Fool that I was I didnt buy one in the sale when they were 25E. They were 36 Euro everywhere today and 60 E in one upmarket place! I managed to order one for 30E and luckily had a token for that amount . The reason I got the longing was I had decided on where one would look very well . So come the weekend i shall have added one to the garden. I did think of going to Forest??? and buying three small saplings but Life is too short!

Then I went out and cleared a bit more of the patch and reset the stone i set yesterday and am pleased with it as its much better in its new position. And found one in a border and put it down in hannah's bank and discovered another. So have nearly the whole small bank lined now.

And that was it. I had to finish at two o clock but I feel i got a good bit done if notalot! and I know where i am starting on the next day.

I see there's a big snowdrop day on the 2nd of February with talks and lunch and stuff which should be good. It costs 60 Euro for the full day. Robert Miller is organizing it 0879822135. John Grimshaw and Rod Leeds are the speakers.It was in the garden.ie on the inside cover but it might have been missed.

And then there are the doldrum days!

22 January 2013 18:23:45

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How is it that some days everything goes with a bang and others, like today ,its inch by inch gritted teeth sort of stuff! And very litle to show at the end of it. scrubber decided to clean just one small patch about two metres by three and if he got that done he would have  been well satisfied.

Unfortunately the weeds were covering a handsome flat rock that he had forgotten about so down to hannah's garden to fit it in, meanwhile eyeing another that could be spared so that was dug out and then while putting them in he found two smaller ones so a lot of time went there. However its done and the concrete cat is back on her stone and it looks  ok.

But then back to the patch. Oh before that Scrubber thought he would just place the new rhodo in position but of course then he had to dig the hole and plant it. It will be lovely when it flowers and luteum usually has a nice scent-or one of those scents that people like or dislike intensely. Im lucky!

Then back to patch and inch by inch. The ground was soft enough as it had a lot of leaf cover but the grass and weeds had taken hold big time and it was slow and tedious and dirty and he only got about a third of it done-of course there was another rock and he decided it would look nicer flat thatn on edge as he had it but that only took five minutes-honestly.

Anyway he knows what's on for tomorrow and he has promised hisself that if a rock approaches him and wiggles its hips (What do you mean, youve' never see a rock wiggle?) He will resolutely ignore it and continue with the weeding-unles of course its exactly theone that would fit in that section between.....

I tried to capture misty  frosty morning in the photos today but it was far more beautiful than these.

Trying to master laptop

21 January 2013 21:22:33

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Scrubber decided to use laptop more but it was quite different organising photo journal but its done and shows some of the work I was taking about in last journal. Garden looks a bit  ragged at this stage but then who isnt just after Christmas? Hope you enjoy them. Sorry about all the heucheras!!! And wont the Amelanchiers be gorgeous in april beside the rocks! Cant wait.

A day of great blessings!

19 January 2013 22:08:11
A photo study of Moya  holding on to her hat!

A photo study of Moya holding on to her hat!

The weather forecast for today was bad, sleet showers and rain. As it turned out the showers stopped and it stayed dry and there was even a touch of sunshine for a little bit. It was great to be out and the first thing Scrubber did was to plant out Hellebore foetidus from Margaret and Crocosmia from Elizabeth. They ( the plants of course not the lovely ladies!) had been left in their plastic bags but were fine and will look great where they have been placed.

Next  it was time to test the legs (Artichoke  drains)! Scrubber carefully dug little holes for fifteen heuchera and heucherillas and planted them beside Clare’s path down in the scrub. They are in grouping of different colours and really should look well in time and the legs stood up admirably. (As legs I suppose should do!)

Satisfied with that, Scrubber took his three trays of very shook primula and planted them out near the gate having pulled off all the spent heads so hopefull ythey will come again. He had four in the urn surrounded by a little circle of box but they were lost so he cut the bottom out of a plastic pot and stuck it into the clay in the urn and filled it with compost and replaced the primula-now peeping over the box surround and the plastic pot is below the sight line.

It gets better-and more mysterious! Scrubber had made a clay bank under a line of stones-(He cant show you a picture because his camera is in another house!).

Now he wanted to find a big rock to set into the bank so that it would look a bit ‘stonier’ ‘stoned?’! He was also considering removing a very big Fern that had been there a long time and did make a nice statement but perhaps it might be nicer replaced with an Amelanchier????? (As he was unable to garden he had been consoling myself with a purchase here, a purchase there…as one does.) he was really unsure but then he took his courage and spade in both hands and removed the fern. There was a large rock beside it and a concrete cat (one of those ‘oh you shouldn’t have! Presents) sitting on it and both had become beautifully mossed. At this point Cherub took a hand.

(I think they had it all arranged beforehand!) Scrubber got the wheelbarrow and loaded the rock into it and trundled it over to the bank-yes the bank that needed the rock! He dug into the bank and Yahoo! The rock fitted in beautifully! But then there was a little quartz stone beside it and Cherub nudged him to shift it. And it turned out to be a very nice rock that fitted in beautifully beside the new one!. Was it Scrubber’simagination or did he hear a lot of clapping in the background? He’sinclined to think that the rock was a welcome back present from the denizens of the scrub. Some might think that too fanciful but how do you explain the clapping?. Scrubber made a quick bow and a very short speech (Didn’t want people walking beside the garden to think he had gone dillydahloodah!) ‘er glad to be back etc.Thank you for the lovely rock etc.’ and he swears he heard Micilin Dee’s voice piping up .’Ahm shuure you are very welcome, Ackshually it was Cherub’s idea’. Be that as it may, it finished the bank beautifully and Scrubber replaced the cat on the mossy stone and that little area is to be ‘Hannah’s garden’ from now on! Scrubber did carefully take up a rose bush while maneuvering in the rock but replaced it.

Now about replacing the fern. No, better to leave the space open as the Urn was more in sight. So down to the Scrub and inspiration. There was a place beside a huge boulder and the Amelanchier was perfectly sited there and the second one was just around the bend sothat there will be continuity. Then Scrubber planted Jemo’s willow in the boggy bit-Its not a bit like Jemo, being droopy and weepy and he is not.

After that it was back up to Eileen’s bed and Hazel’s Sidalcea went in there and two white campanula. Back down to the bank and Scrubber put in six clumps of ladygardener’s  best  lemon Helianthus which he had received from her very generous hands  on Friday..And then the rain began but he had all the work done and it would help to settle in all those plants. Oh it was a day of days and so nice to be welcomed back-the clapping and stuff! Oh that reminds him. In Johnstown some kind people addressed Scrubber as ‘Mr’. Scrubber. He should explain that to all of them he is  merely ‘Scrubber’, as we are friends. It’s only the denizens of the Scrub that put the Mr. before it! Its just something Cherub insists on, but not of course for you!


A little help from my friends?

15 January 2013 10:26:59

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Scrubber as you all know is getting a little forgetful in his dotage so he wondered if the kind people who gave him a big clump of pInk geranium and also (although i think it was hazel) the hellebore foetidus would let him know their names as its lovely to remeber plants by the people who gave them to me. And jemo what is the name please of that hardy orchid?

Got the good news yesterday that i can get back into the garden. I have so much to plant but think i will let this very cold spell go before doing so. No good slipping and breaking a leg literally! In the meantime i set out the pots in the places I intend to plant and listen over my shoulder to the conversations going on in the Scrub. the news has spread that Mr. Scrubber is coming back!

Deborahs Youtube video of the Swops is brilliant. Just bring up Youtube  and then Johnstown swops and there we all are in all our frenzied glory. Brilliant Deborah!

Oh and someone gave me a blue Aquilegia Mountain Columbine -is that a rockery one? Thank you to all my other donors I have you on a list!

The Johnstown Riots

14 January 2013 16:13:46
Why did nobody invite me?

Why did nobody invite me?

And behold there came a great gathering of gardeners,  sowers of seed and slippers of stems and propagators of plants; and they came in great numbers from Cork and Limerick and from the Wesht, Clare and Galway, and Roscommon, and doughty travelers from Donegal and verily Antrim, fro’ the fields of Wexford and the hills of Wicklow and the great tribe of Dubs were also there and they were all gathered into the great barn of Johnstown at the behest of The great and Mighty H.

And all sweeping in in their chariots did make a sudden swerve to the left for in that selected place would later be held the GREAT SWOPPING OF PLANTS.

On entering the great hall itself the participants flocked around the artistically gifted bestower of names, Jacinta da Vinci, whose wondrous paintings transformed two of the wall and at which many wondered and admired. And having had the bejewelled and decorated names bestowed upon them they were then found worthy to meet and greet and enter the swelling crowd within.

And the good Fran and Matrashka went around with their very expensive memory makers and made a record of the day’s event as did forsooth many of the commoner sort with their small digital memory makers so that the day would not be forgotten in future years.

And there was much joyous commingling and discussion and joking and recognition for indeed many of the partakers had not not met together since the last great gathering and there was much indeed to talk about and admire and enjoy.

And having formed the most orderly of queues the tables were piled high with the offerings. On one table at whom presided the enviably slim Bruno and the smart and trim Conrad and they did accept joyfully and number all that was brought to them. At the other table, that of Chance where the raffle was to be held,other select offerings were presented and looked after by Joann, Deborah  and Chief Organizer Hazel.

Soon the vast multidude were seated and the repast was ordered and consumed amid much merriment, memory -taking and general craic. And it was a pleasure to welcome to the assembled throng  the noble figure of Gerry of the Clann Daly who graciously deigned to join us in our celebrations. Even more wonderful to see our beloved Myrtle make it on the day and indeed many people did think they were seeing double even though the drink was tea. This often occurring when Myrtle and Periwinkle arrive together.

Whereupon the Grand Organizer H called the clans to order and so began the disembursing of the Kristkindle. And great were the sighs of satisfaction as Birdfeeders and Pots and Labellers and Books and a great variety of gifts were distributed  by Conrad and Bruno, albeit with scrupulous attention to fairness.Some expressed their satisfaction with screams of delight and others clutched their gifts to their breast murmering ‘exactly what I needed’

Hardly had the excitement dimmed than Deborah intoned in a strong clear voice the lucky raffle numbers and lo! The table at which your humble scribe sat seemed to have a leg of the organizers (speaking figuratively of course) as all but one or two at the table carried off prizes. And Peter who is very wise and not to be confused with Scrubber (who is not) carried his disappointment most nobly at being one of those two. And behold a lady from another table (whose name escapes me just at this minute, sorry) carried off a plant that seemed to be HUGE and that those who had won before her thought belonged to Johnstown as a room divider! But we rejoiced mightily at her success not being of a small minded disposition! And behold she was not arrested as she left the building so it was in fact a real raffle prize! As one person was heard to say ‘She must have one hell of a boot!’

Then Gerry of the Clann Daly spoke and told the assembled multitudes that since they were all kind and encouraging and nice and friendly, there was a free two weeks continental holiday for everyone in the audience. Well he didn’t quite say that last bit but I’m sure it was just that he forgot , in the emotion of the moment.

And THEN, CHAOS WAS LET LOOSE UPON THE EARTH! Or rather the car-park where the ground was soon covered with pots and plants and shrubs and slips and labels and bags and grasses and bodies. And verily there was great difference in the delivery methods. Bruno favouring zip lock Bags neatly labelled for the lucky recipients,Fran forgetting his list but remembering everyone, Jemo doling out generous clumps of herbaceous roots, Elizabeth calling out her wares ‘Anyone want ferns? Crocosmias?’ And Choruses of ‘Yes Please’ ‘Thank You’ ‘Are you sure you can spare it?’ ‘I’d love some’. Frenzy but frightfully appreciative Frenzy and the strange sight of Scrubber toddling to his car with a great lump of rock brought all the way from the garden of Terrishoos in the land of the Burren.

At length sated by all the exchanging the tribes drifted back to the great hall and verily many bank balances afterwards groaned mightily even despite the generous discount.

Dusk was beginning to fall and the mist was settling. One by one the chariots started up and goodbyes were shouted on the cold evening air. Boots crammed with greenery swept out through the gates of Johnstown and into the night, heading homeward their drivers dreaming of all the places where they would plant their new found treasures.

To all who worked so hard to make the day the tremendous success it was, To Hazel and Jacinta, Bruno and Conrad, Deborah, Joann our sincerest thanks. And last but by no means least a special mention of Dick whose Christmas hat, worn with elan and grace was an inspiration to all of us in our enjoyment of this wonderful day!

Definitive rules for Johnstown 2013.

09 January 2013 14:11:28
View through the trees

View through the trees

With apologies to Hazel who is organizing everything so well. Some people are having a little difficulty in anticipating the requirements for Sundays gathering so I thought it might be helpful to suggest some rules!

  1. The organizer ( Hazel) is to be addressed as Madam Organizer and one makes three slight bows (curtsey optional) on approaching her.
  2. New members do not speak until first addressed by the Organizer. (She is very busy and will bite your head off!)
  3. Before opening one’s Kristkindle, new members  must affix a rigid smile on one’s face and maintain it even if the enclosed single gardening glove does not come up to expectation.

4)   All New members are each entitled to tickle Fran twice-at which he will run around the store roaring his head off. Mature members are allowed to tickle Fran behind the knee but only when he is bent over examining either swops or Johnstown plants thus allowing for a longer extension of the limb to be tickled

5)   Even if the Aspidistera display is shaking and heaving there it is strictly forbidden to peep behind it. (Don’t ask!)

6)   At the swops one may not ask ‘Have you perhaps a better specimen than that?’ One year a member mistook the query as referring to her husband and there were wigs on the green.

7)   Raffle prizes may not be resold at the entrance to the garden centre.

8)   Any members puzzled by long latin names or even short Irish ones are directed to Bruno, Hosta, Elizabeth or any of the Cork Mafi/---contingent. There is also a man from Antrim but he was too shy to be mentioned-rhymes with Monrad- and Rachel will also oblige for a very reasonable 2 Euro per plantname.3 Euro if it has more than six syllables.

9)  It is considered poor form to comment on the tan of any members obviously back from sun holidays. Irish gardeners are supposed to have a pinched ,frostbitten look about them for the winter season and a runny nose garners extra bonus points.

10) Every member new or otherwise, is expected to thoroughly, determinedly and hugely enjoy themselves; to chat, laugh, discuss, agree, admire, encourage, meet old and make new friends. It has been decided this year that this obligation be laid upon all members and failing to observe the above will result in having to pay a fine of three bags of compost and a nice granite rock to The Examiner for Mirthful Enjoyment, i.e. Scrubber. This to be paid before leaving the premises at Johnstown on Sunday.

  • Just in case new members have become a little upset by the above, Rule two is obviously a joke. Hazel is a gentle generous soul- a real pussycat,and of course would not bite anyone’s head off! (Just try not to forget to bow!)



And as I walk!

07 January 2013 20:51:00

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As you know or maybe you dont-it hasnt been on the six o clock news- i am committed to a walking programme and as a result this morning found me striding away about four  miles from home on a misty but dry enough mild morning. I was passing a lovely simple church and just at the gate pillar there was a big clump of wallflowers-yellow and fairly full. I bent down hardly believing to see if there was any scent and bang there i was in May! It was weird to have the full wallflower perfume so strong in January! It was a real uplift and i managed the rest of the walk on the strength of it. We gardeners are so often blessed with the moment. It just happens. Thought i'd share it!


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