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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal August 2016

Last Post 450 days 15 hours ago

You have no idea/ I dont believe it

29 August 2016 18:59:06

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Take your choice of either phrase. What Scrubber is rabbitting on about is the length of growth his walnut trees put on this season. Normally he trims them back twice in the year but of course having the pair of pigeon chicks meant waiting. I asked Anna to photograph me with two representative branches! There were about fifty of these in the circle. The good thing was that they are easy to tidy up after, being long and light enough but that job is half completed and tomorrow sees it done, I also cleaned around the box ballas and the stems of the walnuts and then strimmed the alchemellia Mollis that borders the grass circle and edged that. Which was all I had time for today, Ill clear up tomorrow and plant some clematis that fell into my boot lately when visiting Glanbia, I must remember to close it!

Theres a very nice grass in a shop not far away {Graignamanagh} and a little bamboo as well, I dont know if Bamboo would be out of place in the scrub? Perhaps near the Lord Buddha? Its small and variegated and the grass is Miscanthus Zebrinus, They are both generous sizes and only 22Euro for the two so I might be tempted! Someone reminded me Jacinta I think of eupotoria? Joe Pye weed so that might suit the bog as well. Open to suggestion. I dont want Gunnera as its too massive, Darmera Peltata will do nicely instead.

Hope I dont have to go to Graiguenamanagh for any messages tomorrow as I dont think Id be able to resist!

It was nice just to have one area to tidy up completely and by tomorrow that should be looking well. Now I have to download some pictures but Ill just stick this up while Im doing so! Very sorry for some reason the laptop refuses to process my camera. I dont know why. It has done so up to this. Any advice warmly welcomed. Laptop is HP Pavilion. It tells me 'the wait operation timed out' whatever that means.Ill put up some other pics that I downloaded a while back.

What a lovely day!

27 August 2016 20:44:25

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Instead of diving into the Bog Garden again I took the day off and Anna and I went over to Bunclody, We had lunch in the golf club there and if you havent been, its a wonderful building overlooking a great pond and rolling fairways. The food was very nice, simple, hot and tasty and the service was friendly and prompt. It was the first time Scrubber had ever eaten in a golf club and I'd return there. We had a choice of two gardens-the local Big House garden which we had visited before and Lucy's Garden, a private garden on the mountain road from Bunclody. We decided on the latter and found it easily. The owner Erica was exceptionally kind and accompanied us all around the magnificent beautifully kept garden. We tasted Mulberrys and figs as we went and there seemed an abundance of everything unusual .Gleditsia Magnolias (The largest in carlow!) Davidia Involucra-I may have the names wrong, There was one particularly beautiful tree with blossoms that looked as if they were made of wax whose name I forget, Paulownia and many more.

The owner Erika could not have been more obliging and made us both very welcome, We will go back in May to see the blossom. Erika's home was originally that of Miss Booth the famous botanist-I have her book on the flora of County Carlow. Its hard to find nowadays.

On then to Altamount where I had reserved a copy of Norah Burgess and Danae darling's book A tale of two gardens. It was mentioned two weeks ago in the times (Irish). Roger Miller kindly kept me a copy. He was away but a very nice lady named Ingrid was in charge and had my book and sold me a beautiful rose Lobelia, Id have liked to buy lots more,

Home and planted my lobelia. I mentined yesterday that I had shifted a big boulder to show a different plane, Looking at it today I realised I could bring down a big blue ceramic tub and it would look well on it. I couldnt carry it so I carefully rolled it down to its new location. Was very pleased. What a lovely day to be grateful for and i am.

And still at it!

26 August 2016 21:10:38

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'Is Mr Scrubber EVER going to come back up out of the Bottoms again ?' asked Cherub Cymbals a little anxiously.' He has a lot of Glanbia stuff waiting to be put in still' said Statue Scrubber.' 'Well acshually' intoned Micilin' It has been said thash you can take the bog out of the man but you cant take the man out of the bog' 0r shomething to dash effect; He has been down there an inordinash amount of time, admittedly', If he's not careful growled G Nome he will falll into that deep muddy patch and Garden,ie will be one less!'

All because there has been such a lot to clear, Yesterday for example there was a very large branch that needed removing; the day before  a weigela that needed a complete deliverance service from huge briars and monstrous sedge, And today-planting of darmera and a bog ranunculus? got yesterday on a visit to Sweeneys in new Ross, Theres som rodgersia still there that I covet so a return trip will have to be made, And believe it or not before I finished up today I hit a rock! It was like old times, Crowbar made short work of it and it was rolled down to the bridge. Then another not quite as big and one Scrubber thought was as fixed as fixed could be just eased itself out so effortlessly youd think it had been practising, Then where that came out there was a very big rock but Scrubber could see it was balancing nicely and could easily be coaxed to lean forward and present a better face to the world! This was easily done and in behind was filled with lots of bog garden muck and mud so that grass will grow soon, Scrubber was so pleased. I mean its nice to plant stuff or even build bridges, Cutting down big branches is a treat but moving big stones is 'your only man!' and I thought I had run out of them!

Our pair of Pigeon chicks have finally fledged and gone and we miss them, They reminded me of the O Donovan brothers-dont ask me why! They stayed a few days after vacating the nest. The same nest would get two out of ten in a nestbuilding competition. Such a flimsy thrown together thing and yet two big chicks survived in it!

Now no rocks tomorrow-just get in the last of the plants. Anna has given me a small red leather handbag! It holds my phone,and my camera and I hang it near where I am working down in the Scrub. Deadly handy as we used to say long ago! and yet such a simple idea.You can see it in the last picture! Just over from it to the right about a meter  you can make out the stub of the big branch cut off yesterday.

Still exposing my Bottoms!

17 August 2016 22:21:16
Evening time

Evening time

By which I mean the boggy ground at the very lowest part of the scrub! I am filled with admiration for Cherub Lute's cleverness and taste. he has led me on bit by bit by bit until I had cleared so much space but today it all come together and I realised why! Not to be too morbid but I hope that when I am called above, the same happens and that I will see how everything that happened was for a purpose and I will be so happy  that it all worked out! But not too soon of course. Its funny though-you trim back and snitch a bit here and ther and then get the courage to do a big drive and it works. I had edged a path with some stones and then suddenly decided that it would be better to let the path flow down into the bottoms and somehow that seemed much better.Its hard to say exactly why but it just is and I used the stones to just accentuate the sweep down. Propbably Cherub Lute is smiling. 

A bit like Elizabeth's snake shock.

16 August 2016 22:01:57

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Today as a dear friend was home on holidays I skipped garden-Ill repeat that I skipped garden and went up for lunch to Lennons at the Virtual in Carlow. A lovely day, we ate outside. Excellent food and reasonably priced. I arrived home later and as I expect very wet weather tomorrow I thought I'd better lop the very long walnut branches as they are prone to break in wet weather. I have five in the lawn and six in the circle. I did the lawn ones quickly enough and then got into the walnut circle. I started on one side and was doing well until I looked up and met the outraged stare of a very irate huge chick! It was the fill of the rather spindly nest-would have been the fill of my cupped hands. I wondered was it a cuckoo but anna and I think it may be a pigeon.Anyway thats an end to my trimming of the Walnut circle. I think Buster will soon fledge so I'll wait til she/he does.You never know whats around the corner or the next branch!

And strimm and strimm and strimm

15 August 2016 22:54:28

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Well not all strimm but a lot! There was cutting of giant briars two thumbs thick, the removal of ivy -wrist thick and so much chopping and changing-literally, I had to use an axe to get out some blackthorn stumps-they were adding very little and choking up other plants so out they came.

I have a lot of a very big native sedge and had to strimm that down to manageable height. It will be interesting to see how the regrowth will look. I split a big Hosta into three and hope it will develop and also split a biggish fern, 0smunda regalis? I think. I cant remember. I hope that comes as its a beautiful fern but quite expensive to buy. I have another but it got buried in the mud in the bridge excavations and I hope it will resurrect itself next year!

I got some shots of the new area which must be about at least a hundred square feet. It was of course there but now is more manageable and I will keep it vey simple willows, yuccas. ferns and lots of space. But I am tempted by ligularis-not desdemona the other taller one, more loosestrife, fritillary-snakeshead and even daffs which if they bloomed beside the lake beneath the tree shoulf flutter inmy bog garden just as well.

I got some new pics today but havent them organised yet so will maybe use yesterdays. Would welcome any suggestions re bog plants as Im not well up. I dont want Gunnera as i havent the room. Many thanks

'Tell me Cherub Lute, if you are allowed of course

13 August 2016 22:25:01

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This from Cherub Cymbals who wanted to know 'How do you manage to get the ideas INTO Mr. Scrubbers' head. 'Especially into Mr Scrubber's head' echoed G.Nome and the intonation implied it would be very difficult to get anything into Mr Scrubber's head. But of course Cherub Lute answered with a kind but enigmatic smile and nothing else. But Mr Scrubber himself doesn't have an idea! All he knows is that things like Buddhas' head and the bridge and others just seem to happen. Take today. Mr scrubber had a list of nine items! It started with strimming. There were two patches of flaggers and Himalayan Balsam there for thirty years and more and today under 'the influence' they just disappeared and suddenly there was a HUGE area developed beside the Bog garden which enhanced it and the Bridge. But when did the idea come or how did it emerge-Only Cherub Lute knows and he is not telling. If I were to compare Cherub Lute with the great Cherub-anyone see him lately?- I would say that Cherub Lute has a lighter broader touch. not quite as definite or fixed as Cherub but opening up lots of further possibilities. I felt today that it was the first time in a while that things went swiftly and sweetly and I wasn't exhausted before coming in. Oh and did I mention I only got one of the list items done but while doing it other things suggested themselves-transplanting a willow, removing some sceachs, finding a quite large spindle tree lost in a scrub of blackthorn and briars.

As Elizabeth has said its been a very dry month and lots of plants further up the Srub are suffering-especially the bears breeches which have totally collapse and also I lost a few callicarpa but hadnt got berries from them for a while. Meantime I am revelling in the new expanses of space which should be kept easily enough with an occasional strim.And thats one place where it wont dry out -ever! Thank you Cherub Lute!

If at first you dont...

11 August 2016 19:59:04

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succeed.Well you heard about my failures and how the concrete blocks sank into the mud...Well yesterday Anna and I were going to New Ross and I called into Forrestals at the ferry bridge who are specialists in all manner of wood-planks, mulch etc and I was able to buy three thick strong planks and two crossbars. This morning Scrubber sallied forth and got back into the mud and hauled out the four blocks-not easy as they were filled with mud! Then I dug into the mud on each side of the banks and set in the blocks, This took a lot of setting, hauling out, resetting etc. Next I set out the three planks and nailed the crossbars and the end pieces with big galvanised nails-very big more like bolts,

Then staggered down to the blocks and managed to lay 'bridge' across. Of course there was a slant so bridge up, blocks out both sides, blocks back in again, bridge down again and after the day's work it was there! I was striding across the rill not wanting to dirty my ne bridge with muddy boots but copped myself on and strode across a number of times! No wobbles, no shifts, infact a steady bridge after all! Then I had to relay the squelchy path slabs to come up to it more cleanly and this took time, Then I divided some Hostas and replanted them in the area and also put in some Spanish bayonet-sorry Ill look up the proper name later. You'd think it wasnt a marsh plant but it thrives! and I even managed to find another astilbe to divide!

Thought I would get to planting my latest Glanbia haul but gave up at five and came in.Hope the photos show up clearly.

Oh shucks or you cant win 'em all

06 August 2016 22:56:22

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Dissapointment today. First delighted to buy four building blocks -cement- that were to serve as base for the 'rock bridge' once I got the rock up out of the mud. However after buying the four fo rless than a fiver and carefully lowering them into the rill, they slid aside in the mud and are now under! And no I cant get them out again. So I can go back to the yard and get more blocks and fill in the rill and then lay the two railway sleepers over that or find some other way of bridging. It was messy and muckyand I got nowhere but I did put in three hostas into Astilbe garden and planted a nice conifer in Eileen's bed so day wasn't wasted. Then it began to drizzle so I gave up.

Purple Loosestrife

04 August 2016 12:57:56

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Went into flowerpower in Kilkenny yesterday to collect four of the above, The funny thing is that the wild one is blooming profusely along the river bank! I wont rob the wild. There is very very little difference between the ones I bought and the wild. Flowers marginally smaller perhaps. But they are exactly right for the astilbe garden near the Buddha, I couldnt wait and had to go down and put them in and was very pleased. Once the grass covers the mucd the area will be lovely. I divided the astilbes as they had made big clumps so the are is well clothed but still wild if that makes sense? Many thanks to Tobin generosity!

Can you believe it?

01 August 2016 20:25:25

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A good friend rang today and told me that there was a Buddhas head in Hennessy's garden centre . I immediately went over and there it was exactly what I wanted in every way except price! But my dear son had given me a generous-very-birthday present, I also mentioned that the Buddha had a slight chip on his nose so that brought the price down a bit and I was able to purchase. There was a break in the rain at five and I was able to wheelbarrow my find down to the bottom of the Scrub and set it up on one of the big boulders I had resurrected yesterday. I left the cement ball where it was. The Buddha is quite large and very white at present but I know it will weather well. I enclose some photos,

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