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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal May 2015

Last Post 1000 days 16 hours ago

I havent seen Mr Scrubber's feet touch ground

30 May 2015 21:01:12

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‘I haven’t seen Mr. Scrubber’s feet touch the ground yet, have you Cherub Lute?’  Asked Cherub Cymbals. ‘Ah well’ came the answer ‘It might not be too easy to come back to terra firma again after being on cloud nine for so long’. ‘Yesh’ came a very determined agreement from below. ‘’The Contemplashun of perfeckshun is inclined to induce just such a rapt engaghement of the senses’ Micileen was at his most rhetorical but it was true. For shortly after returning  from Chelsea Mr Scrubber and Anna received tickets to Bloom on the day the man himself was there! No not the President, though he was. The gentleman in question , dominating the flower pavilion was Mr Fran! Which ensured our day was made. Scrubber also had the pleasure of meeting Deborah and Joann just as he was about to launch into a description of his garden!!!(to a lady who had asked him to describe it of course).

I thought the gardens were of a very high quality this year and many of them would have qualified for Main Avenue. I thought the Specsaver garden deserved far more than a bronze but there were none that you looked at and thought-not really impressive. There was a fabulous vegetable garden using a growing wall but how practical it would be was an issue.I loved the Mount Venus display and the owner was very willing to help and gave me good advice. (My Chinese willows apparently are done for!) A friend gave an excellent talk on hanging baskets which I enjoyed even though my talents don’t lie in that direction.

Scrubber bought nothing at the show but made up for it the next day in Glanbia-a lovely solanum and some bedding for instant colour. And then in Lidl were gorgeous Hydrangeas (White macrophylla for ten euro each0. I got one and put it in today under the shade of Acer Ozakazuki where its almost like a lantern in the dappled darkness.

So despite the above query, the feet are beginning to touch down. Ah but it was wonderful while it lasted!

Scrubber in Chelsea!

27 May 2015 12:43:56

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Was it only a dream? That phone call to tell me I had won  and that Anna and I were going , courtesy of Bord na Mona to the Chelsea Flower show with flights, airport collection, two nights hotel accommodation, tickets to the show (special invite into the Cloudy Bay Vital Earth (B na M) gold medal garden) and spending money to boot! No wonder I was in a daze that previous week and could not share it with you all in my journal as nowadays one doesn’t admit that one will be away for any length of time.

But it was a fact and last Wednesday we flew out to Heathrow and were collected along with the four other prizewinners ( very nice friendly easy people) and brought to a lovely hotel in South Kensington. Our big day was Thursday and we got there about ten. Going in I said to myself ‘I hope after all this it wont be an anticlimax’. I didn’t need to fear.

We went to the Cloudy Bay garden first. Designed by the Rich brothers Harry and David it had very sophisticate ‘casual ‘ planting and a moveable ‘Shack’ that ran on rails about the garden! We were given our time and moved off to view the main Gardens. Indescribable! Dan Pearson’s was as if a mountainside and stream had landed  in a field in Chelsea. As a rock fancier I was overwhelmed. Again the planting was almost ‘wild’. A garden I loved was Sean Murrays. He had won their version of Supergarden, a lovely gentle man very willing to talk. Superb subtle planting with tones of chocolate and purple and even the bug hotels made from recycled rusty cans. I liked the waterloo garden with the pointed stakes and lots of symbolism.

Back to ‘our’ garden and we were invited in (Cant you imagine Scrubber inside and all the people around outside the ropes looking on and probably wondering ‘why does that git manage to be invited in?) and met David and Harry Rich and there was a photo shoot and Anna was given a spin in the shack! Then we adjourned to the cloudy bay reception area and the wine flowed and the chat and craic was mighty.

Anna and I then went for  lunch and courtesy of a stall holder had it on a garden seat (£1465!). We were so lucky as seating was very rare! Then we did the Big Marquee and here words do fail. The extent skill and variety of exhibits just blew my mind. Monty Don was doing a BBC stint and he was exactly as he appears, casual disheveled evn and warm and enthusiastic. I was lucky enough to meet him on his own in the only uncrowded area of the show. Just a handshake and a word but to remember.

On and on and on,There was a lovely silver gilt winner from Dubai , very Moorish with white arches and delicate planting. Then down to the Artisan gardens which were about five metres by five. There was a wonderful Japanese entry with acers mosses moongate and bonsai all coming together beautifully and a very evocative ruined church corner with an English air man hiding in it. (His son designed the garden to remember his father’s eventual escape) That was quite moving.

Oh and there were stalls and stalls of useful and decorative and artistic and fun pieces. Fancy a magnificent life size horse created from driftwood? (£30,000) or a small bronze goblin from  David Greene (Do google his stuff) around (£2000). There was one stall where I would have bought the lot-old stone urns, lead cherubs, sandstone spheres all old and weathered. On and on and on. We finally emerged at seven o clock having walked ourselves to a standstill.

It was a once in a lifetime experience and I wrote to Bord na Mona to thank them as soon as I got home. I am sorry I couldn’t tell you all before and that it has taken me so long to get this done but after our three days we were fairly but very happily jaded! Ill try to put up a photo album very soon.


Scrubber actually didn't!!!

10 May 2015 15:18:27

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He was trying to put up an album and it was going so slowly he pressed a button and lo! This uncaptioned series of twelve photos came up! Sorry , there were to be more but I suppose they may give an indication of the feathery flowery state of things in the Scrub this May. Great to say, I finally got out and did a full Saturday in the garden. It was mostly grass cutting with the blades set at the highest-I will give it another go next week. I also put in the vegetables that Anna bought-yes that is correct- she accompanied to Glanbia and bought veg plants last wednesday!!! Beetroot parsnip and carrots so I do hope they thrive!

Then I strimmed as much as I could-there are still lots of daff foliage although the snowdrop leaves are yellowed and vanished in places. It was really good to get down into the bottom of the Scrub and clean up there so I could plant my four new primula Florinda, three white one red with the others and Paddy's astilbes are making good progress. Oh and also arranged for my son in law to get four prunus (Tai Haiku-great white) for his lawn. I did a lot of ringing around and dettled on Flower Power in Kilkenny-good trees and very good price.

So things or 'fings' as Micilin says 'is looking up'. It was such a relief to be out and about and creating and cleaning and enjoying ecerything. The Rhodos and Azaeleas are beautiful and the bluebells are a wonderful contrast. I strimmed the three cornered leek earlier in the year and it did make a difference, It hasnt taken over everything but  contrasts nicely with the bluebells.

As regards the Scrub Denizens we nearly had a riot as G. Nome had a row with Micilin and the latter in an irate tone called him by his full name, Giraldus Sorley Nome! Nobody knew that before and as G. Nome is inclined to be a bit sharp and even critical at times Cherub Cymbals couldn't resist calling him 'Surly' the next time he spoke to him! War broke out although nobody took sides but G. Nome let them all know what he thought of them!!! even to calling Micilin Dee 'a presumptious, pontificating pip-squeak'. Micilin though startled,kept his dignity 'I shall not deign to dignify thash unkind asshault wish a reply'. The leaves are still rustling down there but I'll give them all time to settle before going down tomorrow!

Anyway sorry about the photo album that wasnt. I'll try to fix it later this evening. And many thanks to all who sent good wishes and texted same when I was in the bed! Meant a lot.

bulletin from the house-bound

04 May 2015 12:56:37

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Today is chilly enough down here in Carlow and rain is threatening. But it makes little difference as Scrubber is still mainly occupied indoors. He went out lately and divided an Astilbe. The ground was soft, the effort minimal and yet when he came in he felt he had done a day’s work. Perhaps by Friday energy levels will have come back.

And hey! There are advantages! There’s time to look and plan and visit the Arboretum. They had beautiful white florinda Primula the other day but I ha forgotten my wallet! The daffs have all gone but the azaleas are out and the background of bluebells sets them off to perfection. There is a small patch of Spanish bluebells but I watch them like a hawk to ensure thee’s no hanky panky with the Irish ones! The ferns are unrolling their scrolls and the primroses are springing up all over the place. I have always had white violets and today met the lady who as a little girl brought them in to the teacher! I had forgotten their provenance so was delighted to have another memory.

I have done a bit more walking than usual, not too much but about an hour at a time and have seen lovely clumps of cowslips and loads of primroses and all the hedgerows beginning to leaf .

Another bonus was that I got the gardening books tidied and the study almost in order. I was quite hardhearted and let a lot of old useless papers and things go but of course spent hours on the floor reading old letters and books and ticket stubs and looking at photos-no I kept those! Even two old garden.ie calendars!And a lovely old photo of my Dad my sister and meself at the sea side-he wearing a jacket and trousers and no socks but strong leather sandals!I had a handkerchief draped over my head to avoid sunburn! Oh the days….

So I wander around the garden and make plans and see where the astilbes are being covered by grass. Paddy, yours are thriving and I cant wait for the blossom. They have taken to the bog!

Otherwise that’s all the news. G.Nome thinks the place is being let down a bit but Micilin asshhhures him that ‘the unculchivated look is really in, these daysh’ Well ‘Uncuchivated’ is the exact word but soon  I hope to remedy that!

Meanwhile those of you who can—enjoy your May garden!



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