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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal March 2015

Last Post 971 days 1 hour ago

Rachel's exciting annuals talk.

29 March 2015 15:35:58
Valentine's pot with goldlace primula

Valentine's pot with goldlace primula

Into new time! Long evenings await us and lots to do. At present it seems as if the garden is holding its breath getting ready to jump! The daffs are  out and the snowdrops are gone. Some of the clumps of daffs haven’t produced much so will divided them this year and hope for better. Its still quite cold out though isn’t it?

Have been barrowing up wheelbarrow loads of compost and spreading it in as many places as possible. Vegetable beds should benefit. I have them fairly clean at this stage. Rockery has been weeded and looks a bit bare but that will improve. Tulip foliage is up and strong and I put in a good few last year so am hoping for rewards. But it is a waiting time all the same. Were I to sow seed for later plants I would be very busy but I aint got a greenhouse.

Speaking of which, I attended a talk in Myshall by a young lady. You probably haven’t heard of her before. I think she writes for Garden .ie magazine -the greenhouse pages. Rachel Loveable or Sweetman or Darlingshon or something!!! Well she was brilliant! She gave us a long list of exciting annuals and showed us lots of lovely slides of what she had done and even where she had flopped-which wasn’t often. Even though there was a coach training children (loudly) in the hall beside us it didn’t phase Rachel in the least. She was informative (very) Easy, Humourous, Approachable, Authoritative (without being superior!) Modest, Capable, very natural in delivery and had the entire room in the palm of her hand from beginning to end. She was very good at handling questions from the floor and Scrubber was very grateful that she kept his identity hidden (well I was outnumbered,26 to 1!) referring to him as the ‘gentleman at the back’. Were she to give another talk within striking distance I’d sign up right away. Well done Rachel. Garden.ie can be proud of you!

So now back to the barrowing. I haven’t had a lot of gardening days recently due to birthdays, concerts etc. all pleasant, but hope to get back to business over the Easter holidays. I got two nice small terra cotta pots, simple bowel shape for Seven Euro each-they are in lots of garden centres and they tie in nicely with the valentine pot in my side border. Now to plant them!

Not hand act or part in it!

20 March 2015 22:21:48

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Cherub has assured me he had nothing to do with it. ‘No Mr. Scrubber, I majored in Rocks in Cherub College, Rocks, not animal husbandry’. This was said with an enigmatic smile. ‘Of course we did take a short option on nesting provision, but that was very minor’.

The reason i had asked him in the first place was that it happened today.I was very curious as to why and how. But Cherub had nothing to do with it. Or so he claims.

Percy had been following me around diligently for the past few days despite his contratemps with Shoosh. She ,by the way has not given up yet on a pleasant pheasant dinner! Anyway I gave Percy the usual little handful of peanuts. I sat down on the little wooden chair and extended some nuts in the palm of my hand. Very gingerly he approached and then suddenly he pecked one out of my hand. I was afraid to breathe but he came back for more. And then I offered one between my finger and thumb and he took it and any more that were going! Lest you think it was a one off he did the same later in the evening-Shoosh being corralled in the garage to allow Percy full freedom. As I told Cherub, I was chuffed. ‘And Percy was probably stuffed! ‘he smilingly replied. But i did get such a kick out of it!

Today hadn’t promised to be so interesting as I had laid out !) weeding of herb bed-very timeconsuming and fidgety work! And 2) more division of snowdrops. Well i stayed at the weeding for as long as I could then went down to divide snowdrops. I just happened to notice that the ivy  had taken over completely in one section of the wall and that one large stone could be displayed a bit better so happily got the shears and cut back and trimmed and seesawed the stone into a better position and by the time I had finished I had about five metres of boulder wall exposed to the light. Cherub did admit to that. He thought I needed a break. Then up to main lawn and dug and divided snowdrops  so that next year there will be  loads of them-all arranged to look as though they were not arranged which Cherub assures me is best practice!

So between Percy and Wall Clearing and Snowdrop Division I would not have had time to notice the eclipse even if we had perfect conditions-which we hadn’t!

'we weep to see......

16 March 2015 22:28:33

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Scrubber had been dreading the departure of the wonderful show of snowdrops. For about six weeks the scrub had been transformed, a wonderland and everyone who came in was charmed. Each time Scrubber went down to enjoy them he was stunned by how nature when left to her own devices can out-perform all the planned gardens

.And then one day there’s a slight almost imperceptible change. It’s almost nothing , a petal or two turning brown and then  gathering speed the little white blossoms disappeared. Its almost like a switching off. The flowers gone, the foliage increases in volume and greyness. Scrubber has only two varieties of snowdrop, nivalis and flore pleno so they all go over together.

But oddly, once it began to happen Scrubber felt very tranquil-or as Monty Don says about the autumn leaf fall ‘arousing gentle sorrow without the taint of grief’. He just felt blessed and now the work begins, dividing and dividing so that next  year will be even more wonderful!

And of course the Scrub Denizens are getting quite excited about Spring! They are a bit worried that Mr. Scrubber ‘will spend too much time on the rockery and not get round to everything else’. Well he has a plan and before going out he writes down the tasks.E.G. 1) One big barrow of compost. 2) clean remaining ‘pools’ on the old rockery.3)Snowdrop division-one hour 4)Scuffle  side bed.

The trouble is as Micilin Dee observed ruefully ‘Mr Scrubber, bless him, occashionally allows himself to be sidetracked’ ‘Stoned’ giggled Cherub Cymbals delighted at his little joke! ‘Shtones do indeed have a deletrioush effect on Mr. Scrubber’s good intenshuns’ agreed Micilin. ’ –tenshuns, -tenshuns’ echoed Esmeralda.

And he is right. Scrubber brought up a full barrow of lovely crumbly compost. Then he went onto the rockery to clear the ‘pools’ i.e .the little beds among the rocks---and the inevitable happened. There was a line of rocks that could easily be inched into a stronger and more impressive line. It just needed a few stones inserted under them and a shift with the crowbar. Two hours later the job was done, Mr Scrubber having gone down to the scrub and dug out some stones!!! (There’s a foundation of stone rubble under ‘dads garden’ so much so that there may have been a path there many many years ago.)

He then got back to cleaning up the ‘pools’ and when they were dug and cleaned he put in a layer of the compost. But the snowdrop division and the scuffling had to be left to another day!  ‘Stoned!’

Scrubber's gone 'potty'-again

09 March 2015 21:23:52

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About twenty years ago Anna bought me, for a significant birthday (No not my thirtieth, Fran! How kind!) two squarish black glazed pots-chinese-looking. Not surprising as most of the pots then came from that country. I was thrilled with them and put them on a corner of the Patio where they have remained ever since.

The other night  a thought arrived…courtesy of Cherub no doubt. @What if I shifted them about eight feet over and then they would frame the tiny set of steps going down into the rockery. As I say it was night time so next day I changed them and was quite pleased. But imagine my surprise when I looked out the sitting room window and realized what I had done!

Where they originally were they drew the eye. Now gone the eye was able to travel the semicircle that is the full side of the rockery. It was the tiniest thing but it made a huge visual impact. Before this the pots though lovely were a stumbling block to the eye and now the rockery can be viewed as an entirety. The fact that I had enlarged Scrubber Statues bed and put in a new bed just below also ties in well with the rockery so I am really pleased with this unexcpected bonus!

I will try to put up some pictures but its difficult to explain what a difference a tiny change of emphasis has made.

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