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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal January 2015

Last Post 1082 days 7 hours ago

Hurrah for Bruno!!!!

30 January 2015 22:09:45

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On Tuesday it was all tangle and tiresome and today was so cold to begin with that Scrubber thought he’d tidy inside. So he gathered up all the January magazines and hefted them up into the box in the attic and brought down all the February ones which are now on his desk in a holder and he can read them throughout the month.

But the day became sunnier and the outside beckoned and he went out ‘just to see if percy was there and he was and while standing beside the entrance to the Scrub proper a certain lighter Cherub voice (Lute’s) whispered ‘P’raps if one took out that small rock on the top of the wall and fitted the other small one in at the back, one might be able to have a little bed in the actual wall and snowdrops would look beautiful there and even a hellebore or two if one could find a seedling’.

Rocks and snowdrops were too tempting so Scrubber dressed for the weather and Cherub Lute was right. A very little shifting made a lovely bed and it was filled with glorious compost and some snowdrops set into it-they do look a bit raw now but by next year they will have clumped up nicely and he found a seedling ,so that went in as well. And while splitting the snowdrops he had a few bunches for under the pine tree as well. The stone that was taken out served to finish a step so nothing was wasted.

Then while down in the Scrub he gave Percy some peanuts and edged all along  a path so that it stands out much better and yet is natural looking. (Must stop here and go to see Bruno on T.V.!!!)--- And wasn’t he splendid? Gentle unassuming, hugely and nicely knowledgeable and that garden! Words fail Scrubber. I think the other gardeners realized that this was a very special and unique garden and well deserving of the golden trowel! Well done Bruno! We never doubted ye!)

Have forgotten where I was. Yes back up to rockery and got a little bit more cleared and dug. Then down to Scrub with debris and cleaned area around ‘rock pool’ Hope fran’s grass comes again after being under the chestnut leaves.

Again well done Bruno! We are all very proud of you!

'Headin' for a Fall'

27 January 2015 19:15:20
2013 January I think the 'flowers' are heucheras!

2013 January I think the 'flowers' are heucheras!

I never liked the phrase, even when preceded by ‘The poor misfortunate’ ( We never had unfortunates in Waterford). The first time I heard  it was from the mouth of a certain Sister Josephine when John Shortall was ‘showin off’ on the gymnastic horse and fell and embedded a tooth in the skull of Patricia ‘Blondie’ Kellegher who was laughing at his antics and stupidly standing in his line of sudden descent! John broke his wrist in the fall and the roars of the one and the wails of the other were capped only by the roar from Sr. Josephine ‘Well ye were BOTH headin’ for a fall!

Scrubber remembered the phrase today because for the last two occasions he had been revelling in the snowdrops, cutting up whole trees, carting loads of leaves into the bottoms, planting Rhubarb and viburnum Eva Price. ‘Headin’ for a fall?’.Of course he was. He was brought to a sudden halt to his gallop today (Another favourite of hers!). It was a nice day and the side border beckoned invitingly but it was the call of a siren! Such dirty knotted intertangled weeds, such wiry resistant crevice- seeking grasses, so many smothered plants and sliced bulbs, such scraping of fingers against sharp stones, such nasty skulking thorns, such slow slow progress and so little to show at the end of the day!

My Momma never done told me there’d be days like this-though Sr Josephine often did . ‘We are born in a valley of tears, children and we must make the most of it!’

Anyway there’s a start made on the side border  and of course Scrubber will NEVER let it get so out of hand again! And in the evening light it did look a bit better than it was this morning. And he may appreciate all the more those glorious days when things just go right and wonders happen!

Someday I'll get to that side bed!

26 January 2015 23:46:22
this is from 2013

this is from 2013

Scrubber is very grateful to have Cherub as guide and motivator and now that Cherub Lute is serving his time its even more noticeable that as often as Scrubber goes out to do something he is gently but firmly steered in a different direction! For example on Friday I was quite determined to get some of the side border bed done. Then i found the scrubbing brush was ideal for removing moss between the sets so did a bit of that. Turned for side bed and noticed ash bucket was full-or was it brought to my notice??? Down to scrub and filled ashes in under two slabs in squelchy path. On the way back I ‘noticed’ the small thorn tree that fell down after a recent storm and landed on another small one pulling it out of the ground..I had left it as a job for someone with a chainsaw but then wondered if I did it bit by bit. (I didn’t hear Cherub Lute giggle but I should have!’ I had only a lopping saw and the  diameter of the tree was about 12 cm! But by going in from the side and then from other side I managed to cut it and remove the crown which was very thorny and intertwined. With some help from both I managed to push the trunk up and back and into the hedge. Set at crown with loppers and disentangled it from other smaller one. Got pieces into hedge and was able to lever the other out of the ground quite easily

Then lots of raking up of debris. Putting pieces into the hedge reminded me to clear out a little overgrown patch there and got two ferns out and put them into Elizabeth’s corner.Then went back to clearing paths. Raking – raking- raking. I was in a bit of a dream. Then I noticed not two metres away Percy Pheasant was scratching –scratching- scratching so the two of us continued to work away together. It was a real Zen sort of moment, both of us at our respective tasks and neither bothering the other!

So today of course I was determined to get that side bed done. First to put in a viburnum Eva Price in the hole I had dug previously. I got it on Sunday in Sweeneys new Ross and had also got two different rhubarb plants Timberly Early and Victoria, two each only 1.95 per stool. I dug a small drill in the veg plot and then brought up lots of rich compost and planted them. Then was encouraged to dig all the vegetable beds!!!! Then something suggested that I hand weed the chive/rose ‘rill’. The bribe was that I could use the edgings to fill in a grass edging needed in the scrub!

For variety I decided (or was it decided for me?) to strim all the three cornered leek which is in danger of smothering the bottom of the scrub. Its a pernicious if very pretty weed and I am hoping that by strimming it regularly I will weaken it. The air was thick with garlic scent! Then a final nudge from my advisors and as Dusk came in I managed  four tarpaulins of leaves from the top path which i really didn’t think I’d clear. A lot done and maybe since tomorrow is good i might get that side bed done yet!

Sorry about the pic. Its an old one of fern Corner! I havent any great selection of pics on Laptop!

Haven't been out since

22 January 2015 21:38:31

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but as the site seems to be accepting photos I just thought i'd put up three to explain what I had been trying to do in my last journals. Still am wheezy and coughing but very touched by so many peoples concern. Its really just a head cold.

I felt extremely strange coming home today as there was not one, not one! plant, shrub or bush in the boot. I owed for two camellias I got the last day so I spent my lot paying for those. 

Then Homebase had yews, clipped to cones, reduced from 70 to 35 E. I waited until after Christmas and rang hoping to get them for less! 'They were all sold' I went in today and they were there! Four of them-two obviously dead and the others reduced to 15 Euro each. I was a bit annoyed. I would have taken six of them and they would not have died. Two werent much use---unless they might be further reduced next week????

I think tomorrow is to be wet so study may get long awaited overhaul and then who knows sat might be nice!


19 January 2015 22:11:02

'And it came to pass that as he weeded.......

17 January 2015 20:43:16

'And it came to pass that as he weeded.......

17 January 2015 20:43:15

Busy, busy, busy

16 January 2015 21:12:30

Another letter from Laetitia

12 January 2015 00:55:03

And on and on and on......

09 January 2015 21:23:12

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Weather has been fairly wet recently but got out twice and managed to clear all the wood debris into the scrub bottoms a heavy enough job. Then started to clear the leaves of which there are still lorryloads. But i keep the thought of glorious compost in mind and it helps. Cleared a lot from ‘Dad’s Garden’ and also cleared Jim’s path which is the slope down from the Sleeper Steps. Also raked some off the old rockery and the grassy area in front of it.
There is a nondescript rough lawn bit there and i found that by roughing up the edges on each side it accentuated the lawn and created a curving path-like lawn. It looks better now from the top of the main lawn.
Also did a little bit of realignment at bottom of Lord Buddha’s steps. There was a biggie hidden behind smaller stones so I liberated it! And have three or four nice smaller ones to fill gaps. (There are always gaps)
The path across to the wall was not a strong one so i raked it and built up the sides a little (only about five centimetres) with the rakings. The path is now more pronounced and I think I will grass it in march. The whole area looks better ,surrounded by the boulder wall and Ill try to get up a pic or two from main computer.
Im thinking of lining the path with small buxus and allowing the area on each side to be wild flower garden as soil isn’t wonderfull which would suit.
It may sound very boring-just raking, collecting , dumping on and on but there’s great satisfaction in seeing the new area emerge-or rather the old area emerging in a slightly newer light. And the aconites are out and the very first snowdrop scouts. (The rest are massing underground for a big charge!).
Who knows I may get back to weeding proper in a few more days but there are still leaf mountains to shift!


05 January 2015 19:51:19
Looking down on 'dad's Garden'-surrounded by the boulder wall

Looking down on 'dad's Garden'-surrounded by the boulder wall

Sr Josephine in her wisdom used tell us not to put all our eggs into the one basket! Tom Doorley used to add  ‘’In case Mother Agnes sits on them!’. But she was right. Tonight for example Scrubber was quite irate as he had lost from his computer the journal that he had carefully made last Saturday night so as to have it ready. Gone , vanished, totally ‘pissapeared’ as a dear little friend of mine said of her cat. But then Scrubber thought of Sr. Josephine and her baskets. He did NOT think of mother Agnes sittiing on them! And he remembered he had done the journal on the laptop! He searched and here it is! Thanks Sr. Jo! Ill put this up on the lap top and later will add in the pics which are on the main computer!

Saturday 3rd January 2014

Woke to a wet drizzly morning but it cleared up before ten o clock.So  I went out and to the surprise of all the Scrub residents except perhaps  Cherub, dismantled yesterday’s work, the new bed answering Josie’s bed. I felt it was a bit too regular. As soon as it was done Cherub nodded and I knew I was right. Two  stones went into a rough new step at the bottom of the lord Buddah’s steps. Another two went into the  wall dividing Scrub from ‘dad’s garden’. Then, a gargantuan task!!! I began to remove the wood and brushwood of the last 25 years! There was a boundary wall of boulders there long ago. I used to  pile all the timber behind it and in the intervening years it had quite disappeared. It was a lot of work but at the end of the day most of the wall was there to be seen and I was lucky enough to discover and unearth some biggies to fill the two gaps. Its still not finished and Im afraid the snowdrops got a hammering but Ill get it cleared the next fine day and the snowdrops are tough little divils and will recover-there are so many this year, the mild weather is bringing them on.

So now Dad’s Garden has the two Camellias with lots of buds and they are a good size. A planting of Paddy’s yellow crocosmias, a ginko , a large c. Japonica, some ferns, two white quinces lots and lots of snowdrops,  and it all seems to have happened by accident! A bit here a bit there...and surrounded on two sides by a lovely rough rock wall and overlooked on the third by the main slope with its newly defined paths.

I often think how funny it is that one gets dug in to a certain part of the garden and almost forgets about the rest and thats what seemed to have happened in this case. But now one walks down the sleeper steps, through dad’s garden and then through the wall into the Hellebore, snowdrop and cyclamen woody bit. So there is a unity about it I think. Anyway I am looking forward to seeing the result of todays work as it was quite dark when I finished today. There’s still a lot of cleaning up to do but that will happen as well.

Monday-too wet to work but its looking nicely cleared. The pictures may show it a bit better. They are very unfocused but it’s just an idea of where things are.


Trying again to put up a journal!!!

02 January 2015 19:47:11

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The second day of 2015 and the sun shone down on Scrubber as he got out early to put in his trees. (Collected the previous Wednesday as his son kindly borrowed a big van!). First he raked a bit more of the paths on the slope and also extended one just a little. Then down to bottoms to collect buckets of compost which went into the planting holes. Then he planted three John Dobie’s (red crab apple) and three Yellow Hornet. These were on each side of the path and there was one Red Sentinel left. That went in among the hellebores so that as you walk the path through the gap in the wall you can see an answering blossom/fruit in front of you. I tried it in a few other places first  and felt that was the spot. Working there, feeling good and the sun shining down Scrubber thought ‘Well if heaven aint better than this I wont be very disappointed’. Everything just seemed to come together. The day, the task,, the feeling.

Then it was time to begin the big shift. There was the remains of a boundary stone wall around ‘Dads garden’  and it was on top of this for the past decades that I dropped any old branches, cuttings twiggy bits etc. Thinking they would eventually break down. They didn’t! I wanted the wall to ‘re appear’ so began the very tedious dirty task of transferring the timber. I cleared about two metres. But then to my joy I realized that there were lots of big boulders in the wall and that some of them were not needed. Spent a long time trying to get one out and did so and trying to shift another very big one six inches-but failed. But rebuilt the wall and had about five big stones to spare.

Decided to make another bed like Josies on the far side of thewall opening. Its wasn’t as big and when it was finished and filled I decided it was too ‘babbyhouse’! and that the one bed looked wonderful but matching beds looked contrived. So tomorrow it reverts and I shall incorporate the big stones into another piece of walling-ill take out some smaller ones and replace with the biggies and it will look much better.

So was very grateful for having such a lovely day and for getting so much done satisfactorily and for having the cop- on to realize that the scrub is its own place and that although I am allowed to enhance I should not prettify! (Ill bet Cherub was wondering how best to lead me along the right path!’)


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