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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal July 2013

Last Post 1635 days 17 hours ago

No its not the rain or envying Fran

31 July 2013 18:23:53
Wonder will the rain soon go away again!

Wonder will the rain soon go away again!

but I just felt today that the Summer had passed-(admittedly a great one) that the veg were disastrous , that the borders were empty of everything except weeds and that the garden, in fact was very much the worse for wear-all the spring promise and the early may abundance was gone. Then jackie reminded me of rudbeckia and I went out and again last years abundance has thinned to neglibible-And I planted loads, courtesy of paddy.

So I could give in to melancholy and wander around moaning miserably like this or I could say now what had Rachel in her borders and remember them for next year!

Anyway the next cut of the lawn-once the rain gives it a charge will smarten up everywhere and I bet we'll have better weather again so welcome August and there's always another year to look forward to!

Four letter word beginning with F

28 July 2013 14:55:31

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And its not 'fork'. Might be 'Flip'! I put up my pictures of rachel's day and then carefully captioned everyone. Then did something and lost all the captions. Now a Photograph without  caption is like a knickers without elastic. It just doesnt hold up , so ignore my album and i will try to put them in again! Sooory! Later: Yippee, got it finally elasticated! Captions are in. 

Six Letter word beginning with R meaning gardener!

27 July 2013 21:03:47

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‘Scrubber looks very  thoughtful  tonight’.  He always does, having come back from  a major garden!’ ‘I suppose he’ll be getting up to all sorts of new things now as a result!’ ‘Well achshually he jusht migh’nt because I believe that to have a garden like the one he vishited today, one has to have an enormush amount of knowledge , buckets of exshpertise, endlesh determinashun and the patiensh of a saint’ This last from Micilin Dee who actually hit the nail on the head.

Because, after today’s visit, Scrubber realized that there are worlds that are not for him to conquer but that have been conquered very well by someone else! Six-letter word beginning with R! From the minute he swept in the drive and saw all the changes and developments since his last visit he realized that this gardener was way ahead of the posse!  She had in fact crossed the border! And what borders! Crammed with an incredible number of plants and every conceivable colour they snaked sinuously around what was originally a fairly level sloping site .

It has now become a whole series of wonderful mysterious places to be discovered and I don’t just mean the Kid’s secret path. All the borders seem to revolve about each other and wonderful stands of tetrapanex and Catalpa and Liquidamber and Buddleia  just tantalizingly shield off each area from the next so it’s a continual series of discovery and delight. And the colours whether the scarlets of Crocosmia Lucifer or Monarda Cambridge or the wonderful steely blue of the Eryngiums or the flame of the Alstroemeria aurantiaca, th bronze of Helenium or the sultry purple tinged Hemerocallis Betty Grable or the cobalt yellow of Ligularia dentate, were all mixed with abandon and dizzying in their intensity.

Some unkind people are smiling and saying hasn’t Scrubber learned a lot of new words! But Rachel was asked so many times for  identification that she had to bring out her data base of plants!!! Pages and pages and pages and pages of stuff. And it was not just the other visitors who asked but the very knowledgeable .iers! Clare was there and Geoff and their delightful granddaughter, Jurga ,Ingrid and Violetta and Jurga’s little gentleman who really enjoyed the Kid’s secret path. Myrtle and Ron who seemed to have got over their camel tiredness after the desert last week, Linda and uour humble scribe and of course we were very polite to the other visitors and said all the right things as we passed and mingled with them. The main words were ‘breathtaking’ ‘Wonderful’ ‘Superb’ but they were all deserved. The lady whose name begins with R is a formidable gardener and her garden is truly something extraordinary  and to quote the ‘ier phrase ‘You don’t get there just by poncin’ around with snowdrops!’

Rachel be proud, be very proud. Many thanks for the lunch and the chat and the genuine warmth of the welcome extended to all , by all of the family , especially the indefagitable Norman! We had a very special day and will long remember it! I know emulation is the best form of flattery but in this case I think I may be allowed to pass! And so the Scrub denizens can relax!

Photo album to follow as soon as possible!

The' Fran Phenonemon'

25 July 2013 21:38:21

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Yes I know Fran is a phenomenon in his own right (NB This was written BEFORE I saw the photograph in Fran's last journal which merely proves the point!) but this is different. He was my very first visitor along with Maria and after they left and I had done something new or tidied a bit, I often said 'I wish Fran had seen that'. Then I found that whenever visitors left and I was working I would say 'Oh .pity I hadnt that done when they were here'. Now that Myrtle and ron are gone I am doing a huge tidy up in the Scrub and cutting back overhanging branches and raking out all the dead grasses and pulling up the foxglove remainders and resetting the odd rock or two and sweeping and  chopping and dumping.... And its the 'Fran phenonemon' all over again!

The place looked so much better this evening and the rain has helped. I took a few photographs. I wonder will they recognise the place at all. Wish I had it done before they came....


Dear Gerry, I am worried!

23 July 2013 11:50:46

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While out in the garden a few minutes ago stuff began to fall on me out of the sky. It was quite like water. It was in big drops and there were lots of them together. Do you think this might have anything to do with what we used to call rain. Will it ,I wonder cause lasting damage to my plants-those that are left after the long hot summer. Do you think this stuff will fall again and should i erect shelters over my mediterranean plants and my new grevillea? Should I cover up well or are these drops quite harmless after all?

Lastly , a moral point, and keeping noah in mind, Is it wrong to feel happy when one sees these drops coming down? I do but am not sure if I should!

Many thanks, your very own worry wart,


Desert Song

22 July 2013 18:24:00
Looking well in the Carlow badlands!

Looking well in the Carlow badlands!

No sooner had his two delightful guests sachayed out the gate astride their great brown camels, than Scrubber hurried back into his computer to record that he had in fact been worried over very little. Myrtle, for it was she, with a devastating  new gamin hairstyle and the redoubtable Ron didn’t in fact seem to notice the desert conditions that prevailed . They very kindly ignored the lack of nearly every flower usually found in July, the tiny skeletons of conifers and the drooping washed out looking leaves of Rohdodendron and Cornus. Instead they commented on the lovely circle of Walnuts, which distracted them from the national weed collection in the long border. And they also admired the massive rocks and filmy ferns down below in the cooler reaches of the scrub. They even essayed and managed the Squelchy Path!

Its very easy having visitors who are determined to enjoy themselves and so the fact that the garden was parched and practically flowerless made no difference to a very pleasant visit. Myrtle, I am glad to say was in great form (as was Ron!) and it made my heart glad to see her so well again.

I had been out earlier this morning to put in a few Dahlias from their pots and was expecting as I dug to feel the sudden gush of an oil well any minute. Bone dry earth and withered grass all round but appreciative friends put everything into perspective and by going around every part of the garden one sees the worst victims of the drought and later on tonight I shall sneak out with my watering can and try to save them. The hose would be an unforgiveable extravagance and I suppose one can get used to sand dunes after a while!

Thank you both for being so kind and encouraging and reassuring and for enjoying yourselves so much ,thereby ensuring that your host enjoyed himself as well! I ‘ll finish and go and put on some suitable music to relax by, something perhaps from ‘The Desert Song’!

Sorry I havent been on

18 July 2013 20:44:22
It was as green as this a few weeks ago!

It was as green as this a few weeks ago!

But am expecting an important visitor- all my visitors are important-on Monday and my garden seems to have just died! Its the heat. Even the Cherubs and goodness knows they arent wearing much, are feeling the heat. I have lost a few small conifers-Anne i hope yours is still alive- and am desperately trying to make areas look good -lots of strimming and flinging oneself into the river afterwards!

However got a bargain China Girl (Cornus) and she has gone into a very stony soil so I put in buckets of water and plant food to help her settle Got it in Altamount and as the leader had broken and was cut out Robert was most reasonable. I also got a magnificent scabious and that Tetranapax or whatever you call it that Elizabeth got from Bruno and looks so well in her garden. And paid proper prices for them!

Have to go out now and water. Am nervous about using the hose lest there be a drought and the well runs dry! So buckets it is! Did an amount of strimming and  raking and cleaning  so here's hoping the place will look well. The person in question is an .ier and I know will be most gracious! and has already reassured me that weeds are not a putter offer!


This is in NO WAY a COMPLAINT!

13 July 2013 20:40:39

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But Scrubber finds that all he can manage at present is a bit of watering and a bit of rose planting and then he has to go and fling himself into the river to cool down. Its so glorious and warmer than France. And then come up from the river and ie down in the sun for a bit and then do a little watering and another planting and then back down and SPLASH! Micilin Dee has shuggeshted that I might like company!

Got a very generous birthday token and am now the owner of fifty feet of bright yellow garden-hose. I bought a very posh nozzle three years ago in Ideal Homes exhibition and intended to get a hose to go with it! Having done without one for thirty odd years-some of them very odd- I do hope Ill find lots of uses and that I wont become a water waster!

Shoosh things its an anaconda!

A begging Journal !/ 'The Garden' June 2012

11 July 2013 22:39:35

‘Er, Cherub? Is Mr. Scrubber a bit , er, slow or

10 July 2013 21:32:28

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 what? Or is it all the swimming in the river that’s gone to his head?’ ‘Why do you ask Cherub Cymbals?’ answered Cherub. ‘Well he was talking to Mrs. Scrubber about how he had just put in three white climbers ‘Swan Lake’ at one side of a path and there were four white roses on the other side and then he noticed that they complemented each other and that the big white clambering rose Alberic Barbier was just beyond them and the whole thing came together’. ‘So?’ ‘So why didn’t the eej… why didn’t Mr Scrubber not realise that that’s what was going to happen anyway?’

‘Well Cherub Cymbals, there are gardeners who tell their garden what to do and they have beautiful plans and the garden measures up to those plans and that is hugely satisfying for those gardeners. And then there are gardeners who listen to their gardens (and sometimes to their Cherubs), and edge their way along sometimes unconsciously in the hope that things will turn out well. ‘And Mr Scrubber is one of those?’ ‘Indubitably’ answered Cherub getting in just before Micilin Dee,  ‘indubishally’ being one of his favourite words.

‘So is it you that decides what has to be done, then?’ ‘No little Cherub, it’s not as simple as that’. One suggests and then it is up to Mr. Scrubber to put the idea into action’. ‘And is he always happy with the result?’ ‘I should think most times he is very happy as he was tonight, taking photos of the newly enhanced path.’ ‘So it was you who suggested putting the three white roses on the other side?’ ‘Well yes ,but it was Mr. Scrubber who realized what the final result added up to!’ ‘So it’s a sort of combination?’ ‘You could call it that.’ ‘And Mr Scrubber is not er, slow’. ‘Not at all, Mr Scrubber has his own gifts and he is often a  very good listener’. ‘And that’s important?’ ‘INDUBISHALLY’ thundered up from the Scrub where Micilin was determined to get it in this time.’-dubishally, -dubishally’ echoed Esmeralda.

Elizabeth's Garden

09 July 2013 21:18:11

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There are gardens and you visit them and come away a little chastened, knowing that  their perfection is beyond your skills, energy, knowledge. There are others and you come away acknowledging that they are ‘very fine gardens indeed’- but just not your kind of garden. And then sometimes you wander in to a garden and you say ‘ Yes this is exactly what I would have liked to have done with this space’. And you know its just right for the place.

I think a garden is a place to get lost in, physically or even more so mentally  and even though Elizabeth’s garden is not huge, I found myself getting lost many times in it. You turn a corner and there’s  a wonderful surprise, maybe a little stream, or a lily pond, or a viewing platform, or a hot high border tucked away at the back, or a low ditch crossing the lawn covered with colour, the remains of a field wall but cleverly retained and giving a quirky touch.I think thats why one of my favourite photographs is that of the young lad reading his book lost in his own world and yet totally at ease in Elizabeth’s.  It’s a garden of so many possibilities and depending which route you take, you receive a different impression whether it’s the almost deafening clamour of the Lysmachia shouting ‘halleluia,’ or the delicate edging of blue along one border.

If you do climb the steps to the viewing platform you are rewarded by a sweeping view of the countryside and water and this is another thing about Elizabeth’s garden, it is never removed from the lovely rolling countryside around it. It fits itself in so well , the ash trees anchoring it to the greater outside. It has its very own quality, a sense of having evolved bit by bit and yet all the bits come together so well. There are surprises in colour, in shapes, in positioning but nothing strident. This is not a garden that says ‘Lookatme! lookatme!’ It’s a garden that allows you in, little by little, scene by scene. If it says anything  its ‘Relax, take your time, savour the quality, enjoy’.

Of course the dear lady owner and gardener hadn’t much time for relaxing or taking her time as she was answering multitudes of questions, renewing old friendships, meeting her neighbours and being special to the iers! Only the gardeners know the effort that goes into having such a seemingly artless garden, the work and worry of ensuring that on the day it peaked to perfection. Mother Nature of course does and she contributed a cloudless blue sky and buckets of sunshine to set off all that work.

It was obvious from the delighted comments all round that this was, for everyone, a special visit. I think it may have been so because it is a different sort of garden and the intention of its owner is so clearly shown. This is a garden to be enjoyed, to linger and be at home in. It’s ironic that it was such a huge success as its not in anyway intended to be a show garden and even as I drove home I was imagining Elizabeth going out in the quiet of the evening with Meg and Maisie and reclaiming for herself the quietness and serenity of her very own place.

Thank you Elizabeth from all of us for such a memorable day-definitely one of the bestest! And well done on the great contribution it made to that very worthy cause!

Photo album is up for Elizabeth's gathering!

08 July 2013 23:15:42

Elizabeth's glorious 'gatherin'...

08 July 2013 22:10:18

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Folks I am sitting here tonight trying to organise my pictures and caption them and write a journal and the hour is late-for me! and I think its going to take me another day. But fear not ,you shall have all the startling details, no secrets shall be kept back, and as always Scrubber shall tell the truth, the whole truth and sometimes anything but the truth. You have been warned. Watch this space!

I could spend time telling

01 July 2013 21:38:12

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you all about the way i edged the circle around the square or the attack I made on the long border today but it all pales into significance at the big news. Shoosh is bag and full of talk about her holiday! Just as you described with your cats linda, she came acroos the field this evening miaowing to high heaven. She didnt seem to be hungry and had a slight tuft of fur missing from her crown but in good form and great voice and delighted apparently to be back after a week awayy. I expect she'll tell cherub thestories and cherub will let me know-if they are suitable ,of course.


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