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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal January 2016

Last Post 754 days 4 hours ago

Burstin' a gut!

29 January 2016 22:41:26
The labour is shared!

The labour is shared!

'Is Mr Scrubber wise 'burstin' a gut so to speak so early in the year?’  This was Statue Scrubber who was just a little anxious about his namesake. Today had been a gloriously dry one and Mr Scrubber had taken advantage of it. ‘No, Statue Scrubber, ‘ replied cherub Lute. ‘ I think he has got over that strain he had last week as he is not emitting those moans and groans and he was certainly smiling when digging out and levelling that new small path at the bottom of the main slope’. ‘Pershonally I thought thash was an exschellent idea’ stated Micilin Dee. ‘You would!’ grunted G. Nome. ‘Becaush’ continued Micilin , ignoring the interruption ’It fits in very well beside Jim’s Path and winds around nicely over towards Hilary’s Way.’ Cherub Lute blushed slightly. ‘I suppose the earth was nice and soft and workable’. Mr Scrubber got in a lot of plants today. He had made a good haul in his favourite garden centre on Wednesday and had some slightly battered but perfectly viable plants, one small Rhodo, two prostrate Rosemary’s, three dianthus and three heathers, a rock rose and a pittosporum! All were put in with care of course and should add a lot to the colour in the Scrub.

He then began the weeding of the border on the lower lawn. Here the damp didn’t help him as the ground was quite wet and there was an invasion of creeping buttercup. However he stayed manfully at the task and got about two  metres done. Mightnt sound a lot but twas tough! After that he went out front and scarified the walnut circle. He thought it would take ages but he found he was able to wreak considerable havoc in quite a short time! I dumped three large loads of branches down into the bottoms and the waltnut  circle is looking like a shorn sheep if you can get the image. Ill have to wait for the leaves to get the canopy back again.

Then just when a normal person would have gone in I went into our local hardware and bought two kilos of grass seed. There are a few areas in the Scrub and elsewhere where the grass was very thin or gone so I raked hard and scattered the seed. I know its a dangerous time to chance it but Im banking on a mild February! (Anyway the seed was only 10 euro in the hardware-far cheaper than in a garden centre I thought. Nothing venture nothing win. I think it was that last final burst of activity that set Statue scrubber worrying. Bless him.


a day of two halves and a bit of another

26 January 2016 21:55:08
a day of two halves and a bit of another

a day of two halves and a bit of another

Saturday, if I remember correctly was a half and half day. Half dry in the morning and half wet in the afternoon. But I got out  and raked multitudinous leaves from the border at the side of the house and carried them down to the ‘compost heap’ ie the scrub bottoms. There were quite a few yellowed daff stems under them but most of the ground was pristine clear so all I have to do is claw it. (I have a three pronged  tool, and its prongs are great for a light but thorough scarifying of the ground.) Spent a long time as there were mounds of leaves ,mainly Beech. I also dug out a bit of the side of a path and raked it to take the slant off and then moved a middle sized rock a smidge so that it didn’t protrude too much. That was it.

Yesterday, Monday, I went out and collected all the heaps of leaves etc on the drive that Anna had swept earlier and then clawed-I suppose I could say ‘tilled’ all along the long border and in under the rather battered berberis hedge which hasn’t at all recovered from those two wicked winters we had. Dumped the stuff and ‘ clawed’around the walnut circle and the square at the base of the urn.When Dooley died I put his kennel out of sight and used the three big slabs of concrete under it as a base for the Pwincesses chair and a step into the scrub so  there was a rectangle of very clean clay left there. I dug it and enlarged it and may use it for flowers...planting out etc. But I transferred the sods of lovely green grass over to where Dooley is.

Then I raked off all the leaves on the wooden railway sleeper steps and a good deal off the path that goes from them down into the Scrub. While doing so I got a gentle nudge. I was quite startled but it was Cherub Lute suggesting that I make an extra level little path at the bottom of the big slope. I thought it was taking on a lot but he assured me the clay was very soft and he was right and before I came in I had the extra little path done. I am not sure why but it just feels right.

There are a good few snowdrops out but there are hundreds more just peeping through so I know I am going to be in a happy dream for the month of February! All the little bits and small improvements and extra plants and repositioning of Pwincesses chair (I have the Pwicesses permission!) have come together and are working well and I am so pleased but of course not one bit smug. Were I to be smug Sr. Josephine would probably land me with horse tail or vine weevils to safeguard my humility.’Pride comes and all that!’

Tomorrow I have a morning free so am hoping to get some more leaves done. Anna bought me a surprise today as she was in the Arboretum-two trays of lovely cheerful primroses. Exactly what was needed to brighten up the odd dull corner and myself of course!! Raking leaves can be just a tad tiresome especially when heavy and wet.

very sorry i have no  up to date pictures. Lost my camera and I dont think its coming back. and cant download as yet from phone.So I'm using old stock!

There's a kind of hush

23 January 2016 21:13:02
'Here he lies where.......

'Here he lies where.......

All over the Scrub tonight, in fact there has been up to the last few days. It’s a sadness and a gentle missing of a familiar low dark figure nosing around or on his excited way down to the river bank to join up with his other friends for a walk or a frolic or a barking session. Dooley has gone to where dog-biscuits , chewey bones and bowls containing the freshest of water appear out of nowhere; rabbits are there for the chasing (but never catching) and on Fridays I believe the cats from the Elysium fields next door are allowed in to ensure that all the dogs and all the cats get loads of exercise so that they stay fit and young and healthy for eternity.

He had a most easy passing , watched over by two caring lady vets and one not very stiff- lipped master and he now lies, I would say where he longed to be, on the edge of the lawn overlooking the Scrub, the river and the bank. His Master is quite composed and indeed glad that his going was so easy. It was a final kindness on my part and a final courtesy on his.

As I mentioned the denizens were hugely upset and in their own way were worried for Mr. Scrubber and his family who all loved Dooley. There wasn’t a sound to be heard for days until, amazingly, this HUGE voice BOOMED across the Scrub. 



                         HE  FELT THE SUN ON HIS BACK




Which, of course, frightened the sarcococcas out of everyone in the Scrub. Such a voice had never been heard before, down there. It was like rolling thunder and came from the many forked whitethorn tree within whose branches was a bust of the Sea God Poseidon. Micilin Dee had always thought it was just an old statue, correction a ‘very fine and beeoshiful shtatue’ and no one in the garden had ever before heard Poseidon speak. And even now he seemed to have relapsed again into eternal silence . But they did think about what he had said and gradually the little strains of conversation began again and as Cherub Lute, the first to regain his compsure, said and wisely, ‘Its not as if Dooley has gone away because master brought him back and he is here and part of us in a very special way’.’Yes, Dooley will always be part of the Scrub now, piped up Cherub Cymbals rather timidly. ‘Indubishally’ agreed Micilin Dee.And someone definitely heard, though he spoke in a very low tone indeed, Mr G.Nome himself murmer ‘Dear dog!’.


A very late comment on johnstown!

16 January 2016 00:50:58
And will they come again?

And will they come again?

Oh what a day! Now I know the euphoria is past and that everyone has commented and all have done so very well indeed. If you have not read Terri’s hilarious WHO organization’s report you might enjoy going back to  check it out. One of the loveliest things about the day was the fun of meeting up after a year with so many friends. There was a really warm enjoyable atmosphere that everyone felt.

Two people who were not exactly garden.ie members had earlier asked Mr Scrubber if they could vent their frustration as non- gardeners. Well he wasn’t sure so he went to Hazel and Hazel in the interests of fair play and inclusivity said ‘why not?’

I don’t know whether Hazel regretted it but they both had a ball. Laetitia Churchill Beauman from Castlebeauman Co. Westmeath and Jack ‘the sack’ kellegher from Cloneenabuaille, west Waterford. Laetitia said she would be in touch as soon as she returned from Abu dabbi where she was establishing a camel- riding school in conjunction with her own Connemara pony riding school. Jack thought it was all ‘great gas’ and has written but the post from west Waterford is quite erratic. As soon as Scrubber receives their  accounts, he will edit them and include them in his next journal.

However a number of people have asked that I publish their comments on the day as many folk were laughing so much they didn’t get every word. Now I know I should be talking about flowers or plants on the site but perhaps some readers, or maybe even one, might be interested in an alternative viewpoint for we are nothing if not tolerant in garden.ie!

P.s. Rachel's book is a real delight! I am so enjoying it, knowledgeable, humble and very funny!


Good afternoon Ladies and gentlemen. Although Gerry is unavoidably absent we have today two people who would like to say a few words. Laetia-Churchill Beauman-some of you may recall her letters after our last Johnstown adventures, from Westmeath and Jack ‘the sack’ Kellegher from Clareenabuaile, West Co Waterford.  Ladies first of course.

‘Thank you Mr. Scrubber and hello. As has been said my name is Laetitia Churchill Beauman from Castlebeauman in county Westmeath. One’s accent is not of course Westmeath but that’s  a result of family… I just wanted to say….

My Husband is a gardener, I married him in haste

A bit like Lady Chatterley, in questionable taste.

And as for browsing for a ring, In Weirs before we wed,

We went to Mr. Middletons, for a Felcro six instead!


I dreamt he’d bring me happiness, but without a beg-your-pardon

He left me on the honeymoon, to irrigate his garden.

And at night I lay beside him, and my thoughts turned to romance

He turned and gently murmered, ‘Remind me to spray those cabbage plants!’


I long for bouquets of mignonette, roses, Downton Abbey

Instead he brings Pak Choi, French beans, Celeriac and Kohl Rabi!

And on one anniversary, ‘My darling come!’ he shouts

And see my nice surprise for you’, A bucketful of sprouts!


And when we’re watching Telly, He’ll switch whatever’s on,

And I do LOVE ‘Strictly ‘dancing’. He has a ‘THING’ for Monty Don!

And when I go to join my friends, in convivial fox-hunting

He stays at home, all on his own, shifting rocks and grunting!


And for my sixtieth birthday, which as all of you well know

Is a time for gold or diamonds, I got a damned rotating hoe!

Some night I swear, I’ll take the shears, And snip his sarcococcas

And when in court, Ill simply plead, his garden drove me rockers!


So all you maidens, yet unwed, chose carefully your partner

Soldier sailor farmer, banker, ANYTHING but a GARDENER!


Thank you laetitia and now a brief word from Jack ‘the sack’ Kellegher.

Howyez all. I’m Jack ‘the Sack’ Kellegher from Clareenabuuaille West Waterford, the heart of the deise. I got me name from the fact that I got the sack from the Papermills and then I got the sack from Waterford Glass and I got the sack from the post-office an from the Chipboard Factory and from Dennys’Meats. An all I want to say is---

Me wife, she is a gardener, She’s very fond of flowers,

She’s always out there diggin’, Even in the rain and showers.

Her favourite flower is roses, she’s always at the Deadheadin’

Or prunin’ them or cuttin’ back, Or simply just beheadin’.


She trains them on wires along the wall, up gates and posts in thousands,

Tis getting so that I’m afraid, she’ll train them up me trousers!

And then she brings her friends around, from Garden.ie

They all go traipsin’ round the place And I’ve to serve them tea.


Don’t get me wrong now, they’re very nice, But they don’t talk G.A.A.

Horseracin’, greyhounds, boxin’,  just ‘what grows in acid clay’

And daffydils and heelybores, and phlox and box, aralias,

And Acers , Aconites and Furze, an’ Japanese azaleas!


And Pansies, Paeonies, Periwinkles, Liatris and Lobelia,

Tetrapanex, Tulip trees, Irises and Deehlyas.

And I’m pourin’ tea an’ cuttin’ cake, Salmon sangwiches wit’ cucumbers,

And doin’ so I often think, ‘Would she not grow golden wonders?’


Or Curly Kale or Carrots, with some Parsnips down the middle,

OrLeeks or Peas or Runner Beans, and we’d buy the flowers in LIDLE!


Thanks very much for listnin’.






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