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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal July 2014

Last Post 1304 days 16 hours ago

Is the carnival over?

31 July 2014 20:28:49

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You know that feeling, after a fireworks display, when all the ‘OOOOHS’ and ‘WOWS!’ are silent and the sky darkens and you turn reluctantly to go home? Well it feels a bit like that just now. For the past three weeks there were roses and day lilies and silacea and phlox and it was indeed a riot of colour and now most of them are gone over just when Scrubber had been congratulating himself on finally getting a ‘succession’ into his garden.

No its not empty and recently Ive added another Chinese willow and a liquidamber to remember a very dear man and I got a nice thalicthrum today…but there is a definite sense that the wham bang boom is over and as the garden is not strong on the autumn side, that it will be a quiet season ahead. Memo must do Dahlias and more daisy plants next year. But then it was glorious while it lasted and the scrub is  free of a lot of growth and can be raked and remodeled a tiny bit-theres a slope that’s to become a ledge!

So a little bit of melancholy and a lot of thankfulness and there’s always the looking forward. The dry spell has cost me one or two plants and I think Ill have to move some hydrangeas-too dry an area- but theres still grass to be cut and borders to be weeded-if I can find them.

We have been very busy lately with visitors and many other things so there’s a lot to catch up with and loads of journals to read and respond to. I must put in that Liquidamber tomorrow. And then possibly we may get time to visit a garden or two!!!

I thought shirley lanigan made a good shot at describing Paddy and Mary's garden but being one who visits it regularly (Ahem!) Scrubber felt that she didnt quite capture the essence of this very remarkable treasure and its even more remarkable custodians! Thas not B...s..ing, Paddy! I mean it. She just didnt sound dazzled and thats the effect it has on me every time! 


What a glorious week!

18 July 2014 21:41:15

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We had visitors but one young gentleman helped Grandad collect all the walnut leaves and put them in the Bog garden. Grandad in the meantime had balanced precariously on the top of a set of steps to try to trim the roundel? Cupola? Circle of walnuts which had grown ginormously during the past few weeks. It was like old times balancing up there with loppers and shears and thinking that ladygardener and jacinta and elizabeth will be taking me to task for risking life and limb well I was only about four feet off the ground. It is looking a bit battered but is shorn and theothers in the lawn have been started.

Today I weeded the bed in the lower lawn abd began to trim back just a little the big hawthorn. Of course by day's end i had carved out nice branching shades and all the carved out branches filled the gap in the hedge where the berberis had collapsed after those two severe winters..And now there's more light on that border and a friend dropped in today with two big clumps of geranium palmatum so they went in there.

As he goes around the garden Scrubber wears, in the warm weather, shorts and an old orange tee shirt with LIFE IS GOOD emblazoned on the front. And do you know what-it is!

The garden is so full of colour now it gives the old ticker a lift every time I go out! Life is good! Ill try to put up three 'colour' pictures. Very soory my med ones failed .I tried many times but failed and craig hasnt got back to me.

Crocosmias are taking up the banner!

12 July 2014 16:46:43
Mullein doing the boogie woogie!

Mullein doing the boogie woogie!

I have a sneaking feeling that a journal has disappeared on me during the clean up!  Yes it did because I had mentioned going to Flowerpower and getting eupatorium and salix farragesi! because rachel had actually  said i got a bargain and gave me the proper name for joe pye weed.!I see we are still celebrating our christmas get together on the Message section! Spent  a long time yesterday on just one corner of the patio. It was the flowering quince that had turned into the Unruly Monster. A lot of scratches and hacking and cutting and it is now a very respectable upper garden plant! (The upper garden attempts to be formal and somewhat restrained and then i can go wild in the scrub!) I also managed to find the herb bed and cleaned it up and also some of the long border  the crocosmias have taken over from the day lillies and there are lovely splotches of red all around th garden. Its lovely to begin to see continuity happening, one plant taking over from another and carrying on the show.

yesterday was fairly satisfying and I had earlier placed the eupatorium nicelyin the bog garden and the cimicifuga (Actea), in marian's bed). Am tempted to go for another willow as they have lovely red buds and I have the space for one! I know i will succumb! (I did too!)

Well the site has apparently been serviced so we can all get back to chatting again! Very sorry re mediterranean scrub phos. I have been in touch with Craig so here's hoping!

To bring things up to date...

07 July 2014 21:59:11

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Well  how  ‘the Bottoms’ became ‘the Bog Garden’ is the main story I suppose but before that I have to go back to Mon 30th. Beautiful weather if you remember and scrubber stormed the gate! Well he cleaned up the entrance around the gate which had collapsed under a mound of grass and cow parsley and sticky goose grass. It was a two hour battle and  the entrance finally emerged , shorn and clipped ‘to the scut’ as my old barber used to say.

Then  on to trim back the ivy around the walls as I only allow it to grow to chest height-otherwise it would race off up over the roof! That was also a big  job but afterwards I strimmed the grass in the scrub and the terraces and banks. Was afraid id strim astibes by mistake so gave up and swam in the (very fresh!) river.

Next day was mowing the lawn and watering heathers and marveling at the height the Swiss Chard had grown to as it went to seed. Its thick stems were brilliant red and anna suggested we dry them for Christmas decorations! I cut them at bas and some poppies and hung them in two big bunches from the rafters in the attic! We shall see! More strimming in bottoms and  disaster-I cut right through my precious magnolia slip! More strimming on Wed. and was careful not to whack the astilbes! On Thursday back down and strimmed even more in the bottoms and  really felt a great sense of achievement as if I were carving out a new garden down there. Heavy work but as the astilbes and other plants emerged and areas began to resemble open lawn spaces and the twenty or so dogwoods put in earlier took on  a hedge aspect theplace began to assume an identity and Scrubber decided ‘bottoms’ was insufficient to describe the new extension of Garden space and so it is now  ‘The bog garden!’

After all that it wasn’t surprising that Scrubber was gently advised that the scrub was becoming an obsession and reading the above he can see why! And that the upper garden was sadly deteriorating so rest of day was spent weeding and clearing the top border. Not as much fun, harder work but also satisfying. Down to Waterford and called into Woodies and there was another lovely pink astilbe for ten euro-very fine and exactly right for the Bott/ … bog garden! Pure coincidence as we were grocery shopping!

The following day we were expecting visitors, one of whom is a great veg gardener so I strimmed all my veg beds- I understood how a commander can feel a certain sense of relief when the battle is finally over and the day is lost. This year the veg was  not even attempted and the beds were littered with the gone- to- seed remnants of last year along with rickety old brussell sprout stems and lost strawberry plants and long twists of couch. So to fully admit failure and strim it all clean was in a sense a great release! I had put my heart and soul into the scrub and the roses and other things so didn’t feel too guilty.

And now our visitors have gone and the summer lies before Scrubber and who knows, he has firm intentions of making sure the top garden does not collapse and maybe just maybe he might get in a few lettuces and some winter cabbage and??? And there is a ‘massive’ sale in Flowerpower in Kilkenny so who knows whats in store. Some nice Ligularia perhaps for you know where!

Things fairly hectic!

05 July 2014 22:19:10

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Scrubber has been extremely busy and hardworking trying to get things back to normal and to his delight after MUCH strimming and weeding and swearing and pulling out of sticky back grass things are coming around. We have visitors at present so cant go on at length as is my usual wont. Am really looking forward to telling you about how the bottoms become The Bog Garde- a lot to do with paddy's wonderful astilbes butit will have to wait for a few days. hope everyone is enjoying their gardens as they are so lovely at present. 


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