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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal April 2013

Last Post 1668 days 12 hours ago

Scrubber and Monty Don!

29 April 2013 20:33:12

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‘Mr Scrubber looked a right Monty Don today didn’t he?’ said Cherub Cymbals with a sardonic smile on his cherubic face. ‘Onty –on’ ‘Onty –on’  from the lower reaches of the Scrub. ‘Do you mean, when he was standing at his new potting table?’ asked Statue Scrubber who in his simplicity wouldn’t recognize sarcasm if it sat down beside him. ‘Ackshually I thought he looked very well. It reminded me shomewhat of once…’. Just then Mr Scrubber passed by on his way down to a big rock so voices were stilled for a minute.

In fact Scrubber had indeed felt very Monty Donnish and  almost as much a gardener as Rachel or Michelle or the Gracedieu Duo or Bil or Fran or Elizabeth or Jacinta or….the list is endless—to be actually standing at his potting table and filling pots with compost and putting in three sweet -pea seeds in each. So much so that he actually asked Anna to record the event-the man has NO shame!

Earlier that morning in the attic he had found a very precious bag containing packets of Seeds given as a present last year by Hilary’s daughter and put away so carefully I couldn’t find them again! These were all plants that my dear friend of forty years who passed away two years ago had loved so I was really pleased to find them.

Next out to the veg patch and put in three different rows of cabbages plants, one of cauliflower and some celery plants and netted the lot as I don’t want to share with the pidgeons! Then down to Scrub and revealed the Titan! This is the biggest rock of the trinity which are three huge boulders very nicely placed in the Scrub-by Nature not by Scrubber. As it was almost lost in the undergrowth  I took off all the moss and herb Robert and dug a bit to release more of its massive side and it matches the other one that  came more into focus when the Hawthorn tree went. (If you have read earlier journals you know where I am!) Am going to keep it fairly in view but allow the ferns to grow beside it as lovely contrast.

In then and washed and had tea. And then later went out and thought! (always dangerous) ‘Now if I actually moved that front rock-this was far away from the Titan  at the foot of the steps up to Lord Buddha Id make a nice first step. And in about fifteen minutes the deed was done!

This morning I went out and cut grass around daffs and snowdrops and I also spared the sheets of blue speedwell on the lawn. I always leave them there to bloom until they go over. They are so lovely. Then in the last fifteen minutes I thought that if I shifted the stone a bit the top would align with the one on the other side and the face would work well at the front. Did this but then  thought ‘If I can make the left side an inch lower and the right side an inch higher it should be perfect! ‘A bit of earth packing and gentle twisting. Cherub didn’t even have to help and  the people on the river bank were startled by a great shout from the weird man inside the hedge ‘PERFECTION!’. Just as well it was too far away for Cherub Cymbals to have overheard. Cherub himself just smiled quietly at the simple joys of Mr Scrubber.

Scrubber goes FRAN tic!

26 April 2013 19:24:19
Scrubber's pride and joy!

Scrubber's pride and joy!

Yes that might need  some explaining! A few journals ago i was bemoaning the fact that I'd never have a potting table (a la Monty Don!!!) in the garage and fran said something like 'Never say never'. And then someone posted up the potting table that he had made himself. I thought it was john Plotman but Ive searched those journals and dont see it there. Whoever it was I am grateful to them because it set a niggle in Scrubber's head.

Now I havent hands to pray with (as someone said recently) but there was an old wooden kitchen/garden table in the garage under all the debris. I though'If it had wheels i could  bring it out and work outside potting on merrily while the birds sang around me.

Then last Thursday. What was for sale in Lidle. Wheels! And a set for a fiver! Two universal joint ones and two fixed.Bought them and today went into Homebase and got a wide shelf. Home and screwed the shelf on to the base of the table and screwed the wheels on to the shelf and voila! I have what will be a potting table thats manouverable! It even has brakes!!!

Admittedly I have to cut off some fairly wicked screw points but Im sure Ill manage it. The main thing is that I managed to do a job involving handwork without a) stabbing meself,b) breaking a tool c having to take it all apart again. This is a first and so I consider it Frantastic though the man himself would have had it done-without the pointy screw bits in about ten minutes.

So here's to chancing yer arm and I cant wait to begin potting  those sweet pea seeds that I steeped in water last night. this could be the start of something big! And again thanks to whoever it was that made his own and gave me the idea!

Scrubbers Garden in April

25 April 2013 22:38:20

You lose and you gain

25 April 2013 22:33:12

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I mentioned I had lost a small whitethorn in the Scrub. It had cracked straight across. So I cut off the top half and pushed down the trunk and it came out. But if it did it gave me a much nicer bank and view of the trinity rock that was behind it. Ill try to show what I mean. The brown earth patch at the bottom of pic 1 is where the tree was originally.

I wonder is there a moral? Micilin dee certainly thinks so. 'Pershonally I believe in leshing things go when itsh time for them. It may be there are other opportuniteesh awaiting on!' So I' lesh go!'.

Ive put up an album-like Scrubber its a bit all over the place but might give a hint of how everything is rushing to fill the gaps once the bit of heat arrived. Hope you like some of them-you dont have to view them all!

'Shawon i am so confewsed'

24 April 2013 20:02:13

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There was a programme about the Osborne family and Ollie used always say the above. I have so much sympathy with him at present as I cant find my diary and cant fully remember what i did over the last few days. Nothing on monday and Sunday I know that but  otherwise?

I can remember standing in the middle of the Scrub and being almost overwhelmed by the beauty all around me. Nothing to do with Scrubber mind-just nature awakening , unfurling green leaves and ferns and foget me nots and primroses all over the place and in the most unexpected places. There was a surge of growth all around me and it was just so beautiful.I had strimmed the paths through it so that helped accentuate the rest of the wildness.

Then the small hawthorn tree that cracked-well its gone but it has opened up a lovely new vista and one of the mighty 'trinity rocks' is all the clearer as a result. The Trinity are three gigantic boulders that luckily are in situ. Then all the other rocks put in over the past few months have been softened by grass and ferns springing around them. I cleaned  the old stone steps going right down to the bottom and it unified  the whole arrangement of rocks.

Then there was a few more smaller rocks went into the wall beside my grandaughter's garden. The cat statue is incorporated into it and i had another so now there are two of them glaring at each other and I have named it-of course-'The Caterwaul'-sorry!

I sowed carrots and Parsnip and put in  the Garlic cloves from gracedieu. And I edged the tiny bed where I have parsley and chives sown. It follows the line of the rockery. I got some pockets of the rockery cleaned up and divided  some Daffs that didnt flower this year and am still dividing snowdrops. We live in anticipation, we gardeners.

But the magnolia is out and my first rhodo in bloom and the M.stellata has put out a few flowers. I know Im surrounded on all sides by rushing thrusting late spring growth and Im not coping very well but I am so relishing the wonder that I'm not to bothered by my failure. In one sense its almost as if the garden is saying-take a break Scrubber ,let us show you what we can do!

I went out recently and took about sixty photos and will put up an album as soon as I can. The pics may give an idea where mere words fail to do justice. Oh and just in case anyone who doesnt know Scrubber is reading this and thinking.'Lord , he's an awful boaster' Its not so much MY GARDEN as being surprised by the joy of gardening.

'Mr Scrubber's in a bit of a rush, aint he?'

20 April 2013 20:29:49

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Well we were busy on Friday and had done a bit of to-ing and fro-ing-got me a Chatham Island forget- me- not in Comerfords and  the second last Rheum for a friend and some alpines. Also got Gojii? berry bush in New Ross -I did say to-ing and fre-ing! But we came home and had tea and sat down but  up I bounced and said I have an hour or two left so out  and was glad i did. Put in british Queens kindly donated by Paddy and mary, sowed parsnips, carrors and peas. Then went down the scrub where I had lost a small hawthorn tree (three meters high) to the winds-cracked straight across 'The old brown thorn tree breaks in two, High over Cummion strand....' So I gut off the broken bit and I huffed and I puffed and I pushed the tree down! Thus the above comment from cherub Cymbals. Esmerelda got panicky and kept shouting '-ree down ,-ree down' until Micilin asked her to 'desist!'.

So first thing today was to remove trunk of same tree and as I had to don the wellies I was able to check on the willows Bill gave me last year. Alas quite a few had succumbed to whatever willows succumb to but the remainder were good so I trimmed them a la Bill! Then I put in all the new alpines-all very ordinary aubretia etc but I cant be doing the Monty Don on it! And the lovely fleshy leaved Forget -me -not. Then I cut some grass-not a lot as there are loads of Daffs and snowdrop leaves left. I never saw so many primroses out-the wild ones and the forget me nots are getting readly to show off. There are a few bluebells pushing out as well and its odd to see them in company with st patrick's daffs which are still going strong. With all the new growth things do seem to be getting on top of scrubber but its worth it.

I saw my first swallow so instead of the usual glass of sherry to toast the arrival-which i drink down in the scrub looking at them flashing over the river I had a glass of erdinger beer instead! I strimmed the bank where the hawthorn stood and  it shows up the huge stone behind it much better.Also strimmed the paths through scrub. Also did a tiny rearrangement of a step and  that gave me the kick of the day. Odd man that Scrubber!

What a Stinker

17 April 2013 11:19:48

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Im talking about today's weather not my beautiful blooming Skunk Cabbage which is also for the first time proving to be a stinker-luckily I dont mind the smell-its a bit like turkscap lillies the yellow ones.

Yesterday was a far nicer day. Took up one clump of blind daffs and replanted it in twelve divisions-all good ones. Am also trying to spread the snowdrops around now before they finally disappear for the time being.

Had four things to do and got two done and some extra ones that nudged their way into the schedule (rock or two and the divisions mentioned). I planted uout my Comerford stuff. I could divide the Dicentra but only halved one. Put three in one bed and divided one and put the two sections into the wooded bit which should suit them. Then serendipity! I put the Rheum-plum purple leaves and a monster it grows to about a two meters high and two broad i'm told.- into the boggy bit and when I stood back I realised I had set it opposite the yellow Skunk cabbage. A very nice lady passing by explained that on the colour wheel these are directly contrasting so the effect will be quite strong and yet i dont think garish! Not garish???Purple and Yellow in the middle of the Bog?. We shall see! I put the other two up a bit from it and discovered yes you know the rest but as they were quite deep in the bog I didnt get them out and decided to leave them. But if we get a dry summer, dem stones is cummin out!

Back up and spent rest of afternoon and lovely it was, weeding part of the long Border which was not as bad as I thought and got a nice bit done. Transplanted a few white campion which do give a good show and are hardy as can be.

So pleased but tired or tired but pleased at day's end. Jobs that I didnt get to Cutting of grass and sowing of peas s broad beans carrots etc.Wonder why!! I think this year Im going to buy brassica plants rather than seeds. I dont need hundreds and it saves a lot of time. Is that chickening out on real gardening?

Big surprise-the dwarf tulips in the lawn around the corbus variegata came again this year. They look tatty enough in the photo but in fact are quite good. I didnt expect them back.

Great to be out again!

15 April 2013 19:58:24

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After an enforced absence of three weeks it was great to get out today even if the evening turned wet and nasty. I had a whole lot of inside jobs to get done in the morning so only got out after dinner.

Over to Elizabeth's corner where i spent a strenuous afternoon manhandling a rock with Cherub's help. Funnily enough it was one which I attempted to shift long time past and yet finally got a move on it today. Its the one on the left of the very big one and was quite big in itself as one only sees the face of it in the photos.

If i can i'll put up an arrangement i did as we were visiting a friend last Friday. The other arrangement was a great idea of Anna's. We were given tulips and I stood them in deep water sothat they lasted an age. Then as they began to droop I shortened the stems and they opened out fully. But when I had decided they were for the compost heap Anna cut them even shorter and put them in a glass bowl and i thought you might like to see them in their final display. They are scented as well!

Maybe tomorrow I will do proper gardening as i have all my seed packets out and am trying to decide what goes where. Oh if only veg were as easy as rock-planting!

Put in a few new pictures in Later March Photos but  think you have seen most of them in the journals.

A Word to the Wise

11 April 2013 21:04:22
'The Scrub'  by M. Korgitta

'The Scrub' by M. Korgitta

I was in Kilkenny today and on the way in from Carlow on the left hand side beside Tubs and Tiles and before the big roundabout, there's a garden shop that I always meant to visit. To be honest I thought that it was really a 'passing trade' sort of place, loads of bedding etc and I had never really gone inside. Well I had time and went in and it was much bigger inside and the staff Matt and Senka  and Pat Comerford, the owner were there and welcoming even when I said 'Im just browsing'. And----there were lots of nice things! Chatham Island forget me nots caught my eye-is that Brunnera? and  lovely willows and some nice ferns. The prices were, I thought very fair and he is to have lots of herbaceous stuff in in a fortnight. I felt he knew his plants and would be willing to search out stuff for you.

On the bargain shelf I got three Rheum Palmatum tanguticum (I had admired them on Tuesday in Bill's garden) for half price-good big plants for 3.50 each and also three Dicentra Alba again big strong plants forthe same. Actually I got two of each and also six alpines for 10 euro. And then on my way home I called in again to get one more each-greed is a terrible affliction!

Now in case anyone is thinking I'm getting commision, I assure you this is what they call an unsolicited testimonial .But along with my beloved Glanbia its a shop I can see myself returning to again and again! Thought Id let you know about it. No trinkets, no coffee, no frills, but great selection and good value.

A dear friend recently sent me the painting she had done of the Scrub I think it definitely captures it.

A Tale of two urns.

10 April 2013 22:01:07

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‘Mr Scrubber’s looking very pleased with hisself these days, isn’t he?’ This from Cherub Lute, who went on to say ‘And he shouldn’t really be, should he, with that pressed chest or spoiled muscle or whatever?’ Being made of the finest concrete Cherub Lute wasn’t particularly well up on biological data.  ‘-ulled –uscle, -ulled –uscle’ was Esmeralda’s surprise intervention. She had been listening in to conversations between Micilin Dee and Cherub and had only caught the last bit as usual.

‘Well ‘said Cherub , in that quiet grave voice of his,’ sometimes things cheer one up no end-even with a pulled muscle’. ‘Yesh’, declared Micilin. ‘Tribulashuns can be banished by joyous happeningsh’ ‘I do remember onche…’ But just then, Statue Scrubber broke in to ask’ Did anyone see what came out of the boot?’’-‘-oot,-oot’ from the Scrub.’No ‘said Cherub Lute ‘what?’ Well if you stand on your tippy toes you can just see them’ It was difficult but Cherub Lute strained his best and then shouted ‘There’s two of them!!!’ ‘Yes’ said Cherub Cymbals in a maddeningly calm voice’-He was situated a bit further back and had a better view. ‘Two terra -cotta urns no less!’ ‘Mr Scrubber’s going up in the world!’’ I thought they were only to be had in real old gardens! ‘Well ‘,said Statue Scrubber who was a kind soul and wished to be helpful, Mr Scrubber has a garden and he’s real old so…’

Once again Cherub had to explain. ‘Mr Scrubber went to an auction’ ‘-okshun, -ockshun’. ‘A place where if you are very lucky you can buy things that other people have not much use for and apparently somebody no longer needed the urns and Mr. Scrubber was able to buy them’ ‘But, but, Cherub Lute again ‘Theyre kinda posh, aren’t they and Mr Scrubber , well he’s Mr Scrubber’.’ Its all right Cherub Lute,’ said Cherub. ‘I don’t think Mr Scrubber is going to quite lose the run of himself over two urns no matter how nice they are. And they did help take his mind off that pulled muscle. Why I saw him eyeing a rock today at the very top of Elizabeth’s corner and trying it with his foot!’

(Mr Scrubber’s note)-They have the main gist of things. Keigherys in Waterford had an unusual auction half household etc. and half garden items. There were lots of urns there mostly cast- iron and two pairsof terra- cotta. Scrubber being a complete novice, the first pair went like a flash before he could decide what to bid. His lady wife who was an experienced auction attender did the bidding on the second pair and got them! The cast iron ones were very dear and I much preferred the ones we got. The very helpful staff gentleman put them in the back seat with the seat belt on each and so we got the ‘passengers’ home safe and sound. I had been rattling the few brains left to think where I would place them and just unloaded them on to the patio and lo and behold!They were the exact match colour-wise of the stone in the patio and were perfect as they stood. So I do have a silly smile on my face for the last few days-which is where Cherub Lute came in up above!

 

A visit to Headgardener's garden!

09 April 2013 18:34:19
Some eggs are still to be found!

Some eggs are still to be found!

Isn’t it funny how the people who really know their stuff are often the people who never make you feel small for not knowing as much. Scrubber has found this to be invariably true in dealing with garden.ie folk, like…… and …….. and ……. And…… Had to omit names there of course but you can imagine you are in there!

This of course has nothing to do with the fact that I visited Bill’s (Head gardener) garden this lovely morning and came back with my head  swirling with names and authors and plants and ideas and it wasn’t the fine strong cup of coffee that did it, used as I am to drinking Barry’s.

Bill had promised me before Easter that he would show me how to pollard the willows he had given me and that I had set into the boggy part of the Scrub. But of course that was only one part of  a hugely educational journey around the garden, up the slopes and down the paths and pausing every second  second  to view something new or strange or unique. And the advantage was, you could ask and ask and ask! Euphorbias rich and rare, variegated, thugs and well behaved ones, purple and not so purple. There was a Rheum straight out of Science fiction with ruby red huge fistlike buds and the leaves breaking through, beautiful birches-we agreed to disagree on my favourite a Chinese one with a pink flush. Lots of Jacobs Ladders beginning to break through.

It was funny. Scrubber would see something, tentatively give the first letter and then Bill would chime in with a fifteen syllable latin nametag. At which Scrubber grunts and says ‘Yeh that’s it!’ The ferns hadn’t yet started to unfurl but were minutely described and examined. Meconopsis was noticed in its little fuzzy leaved budding and a wonderful herbaceous Cornus-‘Whats that you never heard of the herbaceous Cornus?’ Nor had Scrubber!

Gabriel’s Tunnel is by now a major willow miracle and Scrubber has to go back when it’s in leaf to walk its length. But the Willow Chermesina? (Sorry Bill!) was a glowing basket of fiery orange on the top of each pollarded stem. There are over thirty of these in the one area bordering a path and it’s a real shout for Spring in the dull days. Scrubber was shown how even he could achieve this wonder given a good secateurs and following Bill’s very patient instruction. (Look back to my opening comment!)

We had had the coffee before venturing out and now after a visit to the green house to view even more treasures, Erythroniums and a lovely  white  something or other and a species tulip, nothing remained except to be loaded with choice plants, one in particular that I had lusted after for many a long time. Shuttle Cock fern but a special one! So when next Scrubber is about don’t mention ferns or he’ll be off boasting that he has ……’

Then the loan of a lovely book, a present of an efficient marking pen and off, as said above, with a head filled with impressions all of them favourable. The funny thing was when I opened the book this evening I saw it had come from two more of those ‘people who never make you feel……. ‘  It’s a small world and they help to make it a happy one. Many many  thanks Bill!

I know I know dear reader. I HAD the camera but was so enthralled listening that I never used it.  Silly Scrubber, ‘-illy-ubber!’

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