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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal May 2014

Last Post 1371 days 2 hours ago

I've put up a photo journal

25 May 2014 18:35:39

Indeed a dirty day

24 May 2014 22:42:33

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as a number of people have commented but during a long break in the bad weather I got in the coeluses (Im not sure how to spell that ) It looked very 'babbyhouse' but I think when the plants grow and get bushy they will look zingier!

I managed to get all the clay under the circular beech hedge dug and edged and that made it look better and then  went strimming. Got very little done as grass was wet and knee high but did make a start. Unfortunately I was watching the roses so carefully i forgot a small magnolia and think I have done for it! I have bandaged it so will be watching carefully for the next few weeks to see if it is spared.

I never had so many stinkhorn mushrooms before. Have had about five, all very large, very rude looking, and very stinking! But I love them! Sorry I cannot put up a photo as garden.ie would probably be sued fo indecent plant exposure.

By the way did anyone else think Fionualla fallons article on Chelsea (Times sat) was the pits. Scrubber rarely gives out but I thought it was rather silly, twee and rashly opinionated! There's a spake!

And once again it happens,

23 May 2014 21:59:43
Colour nearly gone

Colour nearly gone

 even on a wet and misty  and unlikely sort of day like today. For the past few weeks everything seemed in chaos, weeds overcoming every bed, goose grass and bindweed strangling rose stems, things you planted earlier on getting lost in the sea of grasses, debris of faded leaves and spent daffodil stalks. Everything conspiring in fact to convince scrubber that he was losing the plot -literally!

And then today, out of the blue, or perhaps green! A reassurance, a little  encouragement, a sign. Scrubber had taken out all the stuff in the little bed  under the circle of Walnuts in the front and replanted it with pale blue pansies.Also put some around the granite quern in the lower lawn. Theres a little square bed that contrasts with the circular form of the quern. The rain came and the only place he could work was under the beech trees, clearing the bottom of the circular beech hedge he had put in three years ago. On hands and knees, he pulled out tufts of grass, dandelions, wild mallow and spent daffodil leaves. Finally the rain came so badly that he had to go in.

When it cleared he came out again and it happened. The hedge had suddenly  taken on a new aspect. It was clearer, better defined, stronger looking. The grass path between the lines of hedging had become that-a real grass path and now the surrounding area all began to look better in relation to this more defined feature-hedge, path, circle…

Once again the garden had played an old trick on him. Let him think everything is  just at tipping point and then shock him with a surprise. Later as we were in kilkenny we called into Flowerpower. I wanted white pansies to go with the blue pansies in the two small beds. None to be had so scrubber resigned himself to thinking lobelia (white) or arabis. Then out of the corner of his eye he saw them. Coeleus? Those heart shaped almost furry plants-pure foliage. They were in shades of zingy lime green and deep purple reds! As far removed from white as you could get-and yet and yet….

So tomorrow four little trays of them will be planted among the pale blue pansies and the path between the beech hedges will be edged and Scrubber will take a break and enjoy looking at them for a little while before going on to empty some of last years veg bed and weed some of the long border and feel just that little bit lighter of heart as a result.

Curiouser and curiouser

12 May 2014 16:21:59

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The rain is bucketing down here, so much that the drainpipes are not taking it all! But luckily I was out earlier and got a good bit strimmed so am not unhappy. Also it gives me time to speak of the  most curious  wonderful  coincidence that happened the other day. In my last journal I said how I had cleared a good area in the scrub bottoms and I had strimmed to neaten things and then thought ‘wouldn’t a lot of astilbes look well there,’ Well believe it or not  a few hours later I got a phone call from a Generous  Donor who asked me if I would like a lot of  astilbes as they were being disposed of! This Great Donation came straight out of the blue. I am dropping hints as the GD would be far too modest to want to be named!

Well I called into the garden on my way back from a First Communion-oh and what a garden! Unbelievably well kept and such a variety of plants and veg patches impeccably tended. I had of course been there before but every time is a revelation. I had better shut up or I’ll be accused of Plamas! But believe me its what we all strive for. Anyway I loaded my boot with booty and as soon as I arrived home I went down into the Scrub and divided and planted all the treasures. There was also a big clump of solomons seal. That’s why today I am not that sad that its so wet as everything will get a great drenching and settle in and later I shall have an Astounding astilbe display where before was overgrown chaos. Thank you so much Pa—Generous Donor-I nearly let it slip!

You Tarzan, me jaded!

07 May 2014 21:39:39

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You Tarzan, Me jaded!

This might have been the exchange between Scrubber and his younger self, i.e. that young man of thirty years ago who could run all the way down to the bottom of the scrub and back up and not be winded! Now Scrubber counts the steps! There are fifty one of them in all.

Well between yesterday afternoon and today Scrubber has had his work cut out for him  –literally. Jim had cut all the branches and logs but it was scrubber’s task to clear them. down in the ‘jungle’ Thus the tarzan bit!Most logs and branches went into strengthening the border on one side. It was very heavy work involving raking out the old hedge bottom and clearing all the debris over into the boggier part. He also stuck in some dogwood cutting which were about nine foot tall so is hoping they will take! At times he nearly gave up as it seemed quite endless and then suddenly-it was done and there was a fine space where before there had been chaos. And the space added to the rest of the bottoms and when the grass and ferns and dogwoods regrow it may be very nice indeed. And scrubber will forget all the dragging and pulling that made it so!

He tried to get before and after pictures but they are not great. I wonder now will Scrubber be finally finished with organizing the garden or will another corner crop up to grab his attention from all the other stuff he should be doing. Vegetables for instance! But I doubt it. The great thing is that as you improve one section it adds to all the others!

Caustic comments!

05 May 2014 18:39:13

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I’m afraid I’m beginning to fear for Cherub Lute these days. Cherub Cymbals shows all the signs of eventually being a caring and kind Scrub denizen but the twist in Cherub Lute’s voice as he slides out a sarcastic comment has me worried for his future. Take, for example, this morning when Scrubber was out doing his best to tidy up the place- he heard behind him a distinct snigger. ‘Oh I ask you! LOBELIA! How pedestrian can one get.  LOBELIA the last refuge of mundane gardeners!’. Scrubber ignored it as he didn’t see any need at all to apologise for using inexpensive plugs of lobelia to brighten up the violas in the box beds.  ’I do think Mr. Scrubber has succumbed to mediocrity …continued Cherub Lute ‘He who used pride himself on maintaining the wilderness and cultivating the Robinsonian ethos’-(Say what you like about cherub Lute, he is developing a definite sense of phrase,) ‘LOBELIA, who’d ever have thought it!’

He must have rattled Scrubber all the same because Scrubber later put in three MOREpots of Lobelia into other places and filled a big pot at the side door with what was left. Then he went out and pruned the box beds so that they were looking very smart and neat with their centre pieces of viola and lobelia and he started on edging the square under the walnut circle.’‘What Cherub chooses to regard as ‘pedestrian ‘,I am going to enjoy as ‘formal’  ‘’ he reassured himself.

Just then Jim drove in and he had his chain- saw in the back. The rain had become heavier but the two made their way down ,down, into the boggy bottom of the Scrub. There were trees that had leaned right over and ones that had fallen and  the border had become lost and a tangle of thicket and briars. After half an hour of hard graft all the offending trunks had been disposed of, the border line clarified and an impenetrable barrier created. The two workers were by now drenched and a halt was called seeing as how Scrubber could continue on his own when the weather improved. The added bonus was a fine area of cleared space which invited visions of lysmachia and Astilbe and Primula and Lobelia cardinalis Ranunculus and ferns of all descriptions.

And as we toiled up through the falling rain Scrubber distinctly heard Cherub Cymbals giggle and say very loudly indeed ‘Well Mr. Scrubber may have been gardening daintily this morning but he wasn’t long getting back to the wilderness!’ . Cherub Lute’s response was lost in the evening air.

That's what friends are for!

03 May 2014 22:38:42


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