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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal September 2013

Last Post 1578 days 14 hours ago

The beautiful birch!

28 September 2013 13:04:38

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You may dimly remember earlier on this year I asked for advice for a friend concerning the infestation of greenfly and the sticky black mould that was covering her Birch. Well you all helped and she would like to say thanks because as you see ,this year it is greenfly free- (And she had been told the best thing to do was to take it out!!!. The best advice came from the magazine Erin's own! It told her that the eggs were the things to get rid of and they sprayed apparently at the right time and lo and behold you see the lovely results

I am itchin' to get back to gardening But for once am behaving myself. Am resting pulled muscle and just walking around the garden thinking ! Sometimes that is a good thing sometimes not. Anyway there's no mad rush on to get a whole lot done as its too late to do most things. However I had a very good day in Glanbia recently and there are a good few plants waiting to get in. Some rhododendrons, leucothoes, heathers and a beautiful lacy sort of perennial with pink blossom whose name alludes me. There are also two sambuccas? or is that a drink-the bright yellow ones which should look well down in the scrub.

So when i do get back it will be a question of planting and weeding at the same time. I do feel though that I have got a good deal of landscaping done this year-nothing startling but some good edgeing and rock revealing and maybe next term i can concentrate of filling in the gaps in foliage. There are a few beds up around the house and lower lawn that could be far brighter next year and of course there are veg.-always my weakest point.

Unless I get a load of stone i dont think Ill have too much to do in that direction and am pleased with the bits done-steps in the banks, little style, granite kerbing etc-there are two stones waiting for me in Waterford. One that will fit in exactly where i borrowed one and the other a lovely flat one that will act as a bottom step and allow me to put the one it replaces in higher up! No Jacinta -not until I am 100%! What do you think I am? reckless?

Colours in scrub are so lovely. I think there's a german saying Even the Autumn has its golden moments and they are just becoming obvious now. Theres an acer that is usually butter cup yellow but this year its a fiery red. Lots to be thankful for.

Er! When Scrubber recently bought that blue pot

22 September 2013 20:06:07

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(last journal) he just happened to notice over among the stone owls and little rabbits and other ornaments, a very nice Japanese lantern made in terra cotta and very like the two he got a few weeks ago. (but a good deal bigger). Well somehow when he got home with his blue pot, someone had obviously mistakenly put the Lantern in the boot as well! We live in strange times. To be honest he had noticed the lantern a few weeks ago but hadnt at that stage got the two smaller ones! It was brought down beside Lord Buddha  yesterday eveningwhere it suits to perfection-or as close as one gets in this life- and had already in the shop acquired the beginnings of a green patina so the moss wont be long in coming!-Scrubber has also noticed that at the back the little opening can take a candle so he is going down tonight to light the three!

Actuall He thinks that they work well in that  one sees, depending on the direction you are coming from the small lantern first. Then your eye is raised to the big one and settles on Lord Buddha so they are indeed lanterns of illumination! Im off down now-hope i dont fall over in the Dark!

Back up! It was magical! Wait until the grandchildren see it...

Funny how fings work out!

21 September 2013 21:05:17
The yellow Stipa  behind them help too!

The yellow Stipa behind them help too!

Sr Josephine would call it Divine Providence, others would call it serependipity. Scrubber says 'Funny how fings work out'. He had four nice glazed long- tom type pots. Two at the top of a slope, two at the bottom. A dear friend stumbled over one and it broke. Many a time scrubber searched B and Q and Woodies and Homebase for the identical pot but to no avail. Then one day in Glanbia there were pots on very good offer that were the exact colour but bigger and a diferent shape. Scrubber bought one and placed it at the bottom and it did not look bad-not perfect but fitting in quite well. Then a gentle nudge from Cherub one day and he put the single long tom in line with the other two and the three looked well in a line. So he rang Glanbia and asked them to hold on to the other pot (still on offer!). Today he brought it up and it works very well. The three on top form a nice line and the two bigger stand nicely at the bottom and frame the slope. So fings do indeed work out surprisingly well! Hope the photo shows what he means! Oh and he will have that new pot filled with a sedge by Monday!

It just keeps on going!

18 September 2013 18:05:13

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And long may it do so. Gracedieu last thursday, Helen Dillon's on Saturday and yesterday I was kidnapped as a ladyfriend came to the door and said 'Have you time? Come and see my Cyclamen' I wasn't in the garden and anna was away so off we went. Its only about ten minutes away. And then as we went in the drive literally thousands of pink and white cyclamen hederafolia under the trees and lining the avenue-a great big absolutely beautiful blanket of cyclamen. I honestly never ever saw anything so beautiful in a garden. It stunned me. I went back today and took some photographs so Im putting them up to try to give some idea of its splendour.

It remeinded me of a Hopkin's poem  'The world is charged with the grandeur of god/ It will shine out...'


Still cant quite believe it happened

15 September 2013 23:15:11

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Sorry about this. I did a journal and when I had it sent in, the add comment bit was about a hundred miles down from the start so I did a 'help me' and people wrote in and told me what to do and it didnt work so I deleted it all and am going to try to put it in this way and i do apologise for hogging the site but im not going to let it go to waste. many thanks to the folk who did manage to reply! Below is the journal I put in first! Whew!!

Still cant believe it happened. There I was last Thursday  having had  such an enjoyable informative generous evening in a certain garden in Gracedieu, then comes Saturday and….. Well I was in Dublin and free at about two so grabbed a sandwich and got on the Luas to Ranelagh. A short walk brought me to Sandford Rd and there in the garden was the lady herself and her assistant, labouring to remove a gigantic grassy clump of stuff whose name eludes me. I boldly asked ‘Are yiz open?’ and Helen replied ‘ No, but come in and look around’. With that the dear lady downed tools and brought me in and toured the garden with me for the best part of an hour! It was a wonderful time because she knows everything about everything and is quite willing to answer question after question and give a lot more information besides. While being a dead straight talker and spades are called spades she has a great sense of humour and the ridiculous so there was a lot of fun involved.

The garden itself was still packed with colour and the lovely lemon yellow Helianthus  shone out in three different places. Some of the agapanthus had gone over, leaving me to wonder at what they must have looked like but there were two enormous ones, each the size of a football and deep deep azure blue.’There were three but one snapped off yesterday’ Helen commented. There was a strong scarlet rose still going strong but whose name I forgot to request and some glorious white yellow- centered  Romneya coulteri spreading  itself around very vigorously. I loved the agaves with their clean grey sheen and some of the box balls again very healthy looking had been sculpted into Box bowls and they were very effective. I asked  had the dreaded blight struck but  apparently the conditions they were in were very suitable. The courtyard was a blaze of colour and there were lots of pots keeping colour going strongly into September. The garden is open on Sundays this month.

I always feel, visiting the Dillon Garden a little as though I have been making a retreat –although I don’t think Helen would be flattered to play the role of reverend mother!-  and I leave it convinced ‘I must do better’.  Generous as ever, I was not allowed to leave emptyhanded  (Again a repeat of last Thursday’s experience!)  And I made sure as soon as I got home that my gifts went straight into the soil.Isn’t it amazing how people’s kindness and generosity in giving you their time makes for really unforgettable moments. It’s something one can’t just go into a shop and purchase. I’m still ‘kinda dizzy’ and thinking ‘Did that really happen’ and then I say ,loudly to myself ‘Yes it did!’ and a grin that even Sr. Josephine could not wipe out ,spreads from ear to ear.

And I didn’t help the ladies dig out that clump because I still have that stupid strained muscle-I knew someone would ask!



Only have time to say

13 September 2013 22:35:56

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visited beautiful garden yesterday and saw many wonderful things besides the two gardeners themselves. The Cannae have to be seen to be believed. A walk around said garden is an education in itself and I always have less time than i need to take it all in! I came away with three courgettes, a small one , a big one and a MONSTER1 The grandchildren were thrilled to bits with them. Many thanks Paddy and Mary and also for the Pulmanaria. 'Zactly what I wanted for the scrub!

Hit Glanbia this morning and found a blue pot to replace broken one. Not a match but colour perfect. Bought a blue pulmanaria. Called into sweeney's on way home and got a HUGE pot of Cyclamen for 8.50 densely packed. Got three Trillium corms and two Fritillary bulbs-the big 'uns.

So roll on Tuesday when the ground will be nice and damp after the rain.I think a few hours planting as I now have a few pots in waiting. And no rock moving for a while more!


Scrubber the Rockweiler!

11 September 2013 19:28:36

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As one advances in life's journey one begins to realize that the steps one put in when one was a healthy young stripling can no longer be mounted in a series of leaps and bounds! With this in mind Srubber went down this morning and salvaged three small flags that had been overgrown by moss and weeds and set them between the aforementioned steps to facilitate his doddering ascent and descents.


BUT while so doing he found a nice big rock-incidentally a lady passing by today said ‘Peter you are a real rockweiler aren’t you?’- Now for the past two weeks I had been wondering if I should or could raise a particular kerb so that I could get a higher level of clay behind it. (No not the new granite one). Well I had one rock! Then I ‘borrowed another to put beside it. I have to find a replacement for that. After that I was stumped. A nudge from Cherub suggested that a nice moss covered one was not really necessary where it was-he was so right –as always and then I thought of the new rock I had found and put in yesterday in Fern Corner. I felt even as I finished it that it was not right there and so was quite happy to go back and dig it out again and continue the kerb. I now had a much higher one and was able to level out the clay behind it and am thinking Pulmonaria for that area. Maybe the white version. So that was all I did today except for removing two big stones from a bank and putting them into fern corner to compensate. Oh and two more beside the rill- small enough ones but effective.

So the placing of four stones doesn’t seem a lot for a half days work but I am happy with them and that’s the main thing. I wanted that higher kerb for some time. Its too late to photograph it –will try over weekend.

'-ery –mportant –isitor!'

09 September 2013 21:24:33
Another shot of lantern

Another shot of lantern


The Scrub was agog. ‘Who was that very important visitor down in the scrub with Mr. Scrubber today?’ ‘And did you see how Mr. Scrubber listened very carefully to what the visitor had to say?’ ‘Yes and he was nodding and mos’ polite’ added statue Scrubber. ’Not of course that Mr. Scrubber is ever impolite!’. No added Cherub Lute ‘except when he trips over anaconda!’ ‘Yes ‘ Cherub Cymbals ‘ we all heard what he said that time!’

I have obsherved that gentleman before’ pronouncedMicilin Dee ‘and I think his name is Mr Bill and he has also been known as ‘Headgardener’. ‘Wow!’ Does that mean he is the head over all the gardeners, even Mr. Paddy and Mr Brunoand Mrs Rachel and Mrs Jacinta?’ ‘  I am not exactly certain’  responded Micilin Dee ‘But he seems to be a very senshitive man as he didn’t wince once when he saw all the weeds that have sprung up while Mr. Scrubber has been busy with rocks!’

‘He must have given Mr. Scrubber lots of advice because Mr Scrubber was nodding a great deal’ said statue Scrubber thoughtfully. Cherub arrived back just at that very moment and he soon put things into perspective. ‘Mr Bill uses headgardener as a pen name but he is indeed very knowledgeable. He came over to return some books to Mr Scrubber as he is a friend of his and Mr. Scrubber asked would he like to see the garden again. ‘Ah’ said Micilin,’Mr Bill was one of Mr Scrubber’s first visitors, now I remember’.’ I wonder did he notice many changes’

‘Well they both seemed to have a very nice time looking at trees and rocks and things’ said Cherub Cymbals. ‘And Mr Scrubber didn’t seem to be as bervous as usual before his visitor came’ added Cherub Lute, ‘Cos he spent the morning shifting a rock instead of weeding the long border’. ‘I think it was a fairly sudden visit’ stated Cherub  but a very pleasant one’ A –ery –leasant –un’ agreed the voice in the Scrub.


Scrubber and the Orient!

06 September 2013 16:37:19

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Sometimes things can just work out. Was down in Waterford and visited Mt Congreve with my granddaughter. It was after school so we had very little time as it closes about 4.15. But we nearly made it to the pagoda. There were plant sales and I fell for a Pittosporum with a lovely arching habit (Silver magic). Now I had been in Glanbia and seen the same plant-same price- so I said Id go back there (they are good to me!). I wanted a plant for friends and I thought they would like that. Then I spotted terra-cotta Chinese lanterns going at half price-small ones but I had a place for them! We bought the plant-full price, and the lanterns, half-price and came away and then I thought of how lovely the pittosporums would look in the Scrub and I had some cash left on my Glanbia card so back I went and blew it on three! Came out from Glanbia slightly stunned!

Ive just been down the scrub and the lanterns fit in beautifully-I think. And now to fit in the three pittosporums.Ill try to put up some photos.Still not quite over the shock!

Scrubber's quandary solved!

04 September 2013 21:18:30

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‘Oh pleeeese Cherub, pleeeeese!’ Both Cymbals and Lute were creating a right old din today. ‘Pleeeese! Tell us’ pleaded C.Cymbals ‘how you manage to make Mr. Scrubber do things!’ ‘Yes, because when we grow up we would like to be able to help gardeners just like you do’,  wheedled C. Lute, sounding a bit like a rose of Tralee. ‘-ighly dubioush’ ‘-ighly dubioush’ echoed up from the Scrub embarrassing  Micilin Dee no end. He liked to be on the besht of terms with everybody and had not counted on Esmeralda, broadcasting his muttered comment on C. Lute’s protestations!

‘Well’ said Cherub slowly,’Its not a question of making Mr. Scrubber DO something, but rather  letting the suggestion slip into his mind and also his heart of course because if he doesn’t really believe in what he is doing, it wont ever work. Today , for example. Mr Scrubber was in a quandary’.  Both minor cherubs nodded sagely although neither of them knew what a quandary was. Cherub Lute decided it was a swinging boat in a carnival-odd for Mr. Scrubber? And Cherub Cymbals guessed it was a quarry because Mr. Scrubber loved rocks!

‘You see’, continued Cherub, ‘Mr. Scrubber had asked his friends about some edging he had done and some were in favour and some were not and he became quite anxious, not wanting to offend anyone and yet wanting the scrub to be , well Scrub-like. ‘And???’  both said together…

‘Well you saw what happened. I merely suggested to him to take out the stones and then when he did so, I indicated that the way they were lying on their sides was in fact rather nice and fitting in quite well scrub-wise. To give Mr. Scrubber his due when something is suggested, he does act on it and he immediately tried the stones out on their sides. As he worked he became more and more excited because the stones seemed to fit in together so much better and they made a slight but effective curve and they all seemed to merge. When he straightened up and went to look down on them there was no longer a row of dentures or tombstones but a very fine understated granite verge and he knew in his heart that his quandary was solved. ‘So it wasn’t a swining boat’ thought C.Lute.

He filled in behind the stones and raked the path and then went off happily to fill a few holes in walls and mend a step with concrete  his friend had left for him and later he strimmed the Scrub and went back to look at his wonderful new kerb  which will e even better when the green moss covers it as it will eventually.

‘So that’s how things come about, young cherubs, with patience, judgement and a gentle nudge’. ‘Sounds complicated to me,’ said Cherub Lute. ‘Definitely’ said Cherub Cymbals and ‘-omplicated,-efinitely’ echoed from the Scrub below.

Well its really about Dentures!

03 September 2013 22:30:02

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Up early enough and out as I had a big job on. To re-route some of the squelchy path so that people didnt have to limbo dance under the willow trunks! The problem was that there were lots of huge sedges where I wanted to move the path. I did find that a sharp spade and a swift chop unearthed them roots and all and even though laborious it was very satisfying and I even replanted some in other places.

Then it was relatively easy to shift the slabs over a foot or so and out from under the boughs. So I was very pleased with meself. Then my kind young shopkeeper told me he had something for me-he had already given me slates and slabs. In a corner ofthe yard he had a pile of rubble and in the rubble some nice reasonable sized granite stones! Bless him! I made three journeys and had about fifteen stones as a result.

I went down into the Scrub and lined the edge of a path with them-was delighted---until I finished and looked back and they resembled nothing so much as a set of dentures or a line of tombstones. They were stark white against the brown bank.

Now do I leave them to green up as they will and eventually become moss covered or do I go back down tomorrow and dig a deeper trench and have them just edging rather than dominating. Its to be a nice dry day and i have the afternoon free so I think that could well happen. Dentures dont really do anything for a garden!

Ill try to put up a pic to illustrate.



Andy was saying

02 September 2013 21:05:10

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how sometimes things seem to come together into a grand plan. I felt that today as I was wholly engrossed on one small job but when it was done it tied in beautifully and unexpectedly with two other aspects. It was a help because i overheard cherub Lute saying to Cherub

'Yes but mr. Scrubber's is not actually a garden is it? I mean Mr Paddy and Mrs Mary, and Mrs Rachel and Mrs Elizabeth and all his other friends seem to have lots and lots of flowers' 'But ' chimed in Cherub Cymbals ' If Mrs Anne hadnt given him those yellow flowers he'd have nothing in the Scrub at all!!!' Cherub paused and then said 'yes ,perhaps Mr. Scrubber hasn't a lot of flowers down there at present, but he does have a very nice selection of trees and in November there's going to be a great show of reds and yellows and browns'. 'And today he put in a lot of Ajuga so that will give a strong purple tint and there are lots of Astilbes in for next year. Dont forget the snowdrops and the hellebores and the daffs and the bluebells' and then he smiled and said 'Actually I think a lot of Mr. Scrubber's work at present is making places that he can later fill with flowers, but he doesn't realise that yet.'

 Then Cherub Cymbals burst out laughing. 'Im sorry, but wasn't it a scream when Mr Scrubber hit Micilin D. full in the face with the hose waterjet today'. 'Achshually that was intenshunal' came the voice from under the rock..'Mr Scrubber found a stone and put it into the bank and I got covered with dust. It was very refreshhing acshually and I was very grateful to be reshtored to prishtine whiteness again' 

I found the stone when I was working on a new project. I was clearing up a little clearing if you follow me and raking all the clay back evenly from the Edge (mentioned yesterday). There were lots of roots and ivy and it took me all day but was very pleased and the edge ties in so well with the lower rock levels and then one looks across to the t.t. mound (There's a gap you can see between the end of the ivy covered wall and the big fern in photo 1 and because of it the two seem linked). Which was where i came in above thinking about Andy's wise words.

As there are four or five small thorn trees surrounding this space im going to call it Mam's grove. Unfortunately she will not be able to ever visit it or indeed know it's there but Scrubber will and perhaps that too is important.




Not yet 'leppin' around the garden

01 September 2013 12:54:12

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but am able to get out and do most things. Today is a day off if one disredards the watering but went down to slot in a small stone. Then thought Id remove a tiny bit of clay from behind stones-Now jacinta it was only a question of three or four shovels! But it made a great difference and I now have a new bit 'the edge'. Not the U2 variety. It just emphasises the drop below the edge and the fact the stones are a tiny bit more exposed adds a lot to the edge quality. And serendipity it also ties in with the TT. path and a low wall that I was recently improving. Its great when things come together unexpectedly like that.


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