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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal January 2017

Last Post 356 days 7 hours ago

Scrubber is sooo sorry...

31 January 2017 21:00:05
Isnt he lovely?

Isnt he lovely?

That about thirty years ago, beguiled by the lovely white bluebell like flowers and not being as careful as he now is re leaving wild things in the wild, he grubbed up two fistfuls of the three cornered leek from a roadside verge and stuck them into the bottom of the scrub.

Well thirty years later and Scrubber is ‘admonishing’ himself for introducing a tsunami of growth. If anyone has a foolproof method of getting shut of the pretty green leaves and white flowers Id be grateful and like Theresa Mannions ‘Don’t swim in the sea’ DON’T  take three cornered leek into your garden!’

What I am trying is strimming the stuff before the bluebells start coming through. I want my bluebells! The only advantage is theres a fabulous smell of Garlic when I do so!

I planted two Juniper Skyrockets today-6.95 each in Flowerpower Kilkenny and my new rocky area is looking well after the rain. I also staked my little roses so that I wont walk over them and have started cleaning the side garden near the rockery. Oh why cant I be like the Tobins , ever kempt and pristine????? I no sooner go to one area then the others all disintegrate!

However Im glad I got the strimming done before the bluebells are up AND I put in another little rock to finish of a line of rocks at the bottom of my crocus slope. You may remember (YAWN! Yes Scrubber) I put in the rock I got from Terri and Alan in that line and this smaller one today finished it. Well actually the one I used was a swop from another down in the Scrub-better shape I thought. This goes on all the time.(Yawn! Yes Scrubber) Sorry! Am going to ask Austin how to put up the bird pictures. Here’s hoping. Ps Daffs up in the bottoms Hurrah!


Giving thanks....

28 January 2017 21:05:50

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The caption on the second photo should have been  I only did the rocks around the moss covered ones (biggies) Also in the first photo you can see the rock Behemoth behind Titanic . Theres a third massive rock Ungeheuer but you dont see it in thids picture  

It wasnt that Scrubber got such a lot done this morning but the joy involved was what mattered. It was a beautiful spring day, the crocuses and snowdrops were coming out. The ground was soft and the first two azaeleas went in easily along with a bucket of compost to give them a good start. Then when planting the third, Scrubber hit a rock no not a huge one but when he levered it some of the stones fell out of the rock wall he had renovated a few days ago, But this was such a glorious morning that that didnt bother Scrubber. He lifted them back in again and made the base firmer and introduced some smaller bracing stones and it looked even better. Then he raked and cleared the area fitting in the new small rock and now Titanic stands out much clearer from every viewpoint. And theres a lovely view down from the little water basin, over the rock and down the path to the bridge and Buddha, Serendipity indeed. Scrubber then dug out one semi standard dead rose and replaced the clay and staked it firmly and then staked two others and pruned them carefully.

At which point an expected visitor (non gardener variety) arrived so Scrubber came in.

But at one stage when he went in for his camera he said to Mrs Scrubber-'If there is a heaven, it must be very close to the way the Scrub is this morning' It was that beautiful.






27 January 2017 18:22:17
Cant get austin's pictures up! This will have to do

Cant get austin's pictures up! This will have to do

to get out tomorrow and do a bit of weeding and a bit of clearing and a bit of planting-near my new bit of rockwalling. Havent been out for a while and am missing it, Snowdrops beginning the big push. When do fritillaries meleagris begin to show? I hope to put up two bird shots that Austin my son took.

Oh and big news. Scrubber and his family have been adopted by Tom Jones. And Tom is the same size and colour of Shoosh but slightly quirkier markings. Its early days but she-yes the name was a bit awry!-seems determined to stay. More anon.

A worry about Mr, Scrubbers stone fixation!

16 January 2017 19:25:04

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‘Cherub Lute both Statue Scrubber and I are very worried about Mr. Scrubber. Especially after today! ‘Don’t worry about that Cherub Cymbals, Mr Scrubber’s is a minor complaint and not at all sinister. He has  bouts of temporary Lithopassionatis and is undergoing treatment. Terri and Alan should not blame themselves as their rock though large would not normally trigger a reaction. And Mr. Scrubber had a list of things to do this morning.Seven in all and got off to a great start. He emptied the ash and greens bin-putting the ash under the slabs in the squelchy path. Then he edged a border taking about six inches off and replacing the sods over near Dooley’s resting place where the earth had sunk a little. Next step was to pot up Mrs Anna’s lovely new Hellebore. A new pot had been bought the other day and Mr Scrubber filled the bottom with polystyrene pieces and then lots of lovely compost from the beech leaves of former years. Then it was time to put in Mr Scrubber’s hellebore. This may have been a trigger as when Mr S, was passing an old iron cooking pot he thought it would show off the new white hellebore ‘Anna’ to perfection. Only thing was it would be nicer if the pot were raised to the next rock and looking at that rock Mr S. thought it could be raised. He was then called in to dinner and after (It was delicious) he went out to slightly shify the rock. Easily done with crowbar but then the neighbouring rock looked a bit low so that had to be lifted. These lifts were only of four to six inches each. And Mr S, was extremely careful not to strain!!!

That went well and the Hellebore has a lovely perch and should look well. Then Scrubber took his courage in both hands and trusting in the words of his gardening guru he went around and snipped all the lovely green leaves of the hellebores, This was a complete act of faith in Paddy and Mary Tobin’s advice and Scrubber had often wanted to but never dared do so before,

Then he noticed that he could landscape an edge by making it into a slope rather than a drop and had great satisfaction. Only thing was a little entrance between two stones needed resetting and that involved replanting a little apple tree a bit further back. Other stones needed resetting so that took up some time.

Then Mr Scrubber decided to go down to a spot now named Margot’s edge. The reason for this was that Margot had given him a slip of a creeping willow that will eventually droop elegantly over the edge, BUT and HERE BE DANGERS-there is a very large-think two ton!-rock there and Scrubber thought it would be nice to expose more of it and maybe build up a little wall effect beside it. But then the more he delved, the more he found. Lots and lots of lovely small rocks! He doesn’t know how they all landed in this spot but he dug and delved and levered and pulled and was able to do the little wall and has still more over. He became more and more excited seeing all these rocks coming and only went in at dusk!

Thus the anxiety felt by Cherub Cymbals and Statue Scrubber. I had better reassure them as Cherub Lute says ‘Its just a phase and once the rocks settle so will Mr. Scrubber!’ However its just another little piece in the jigsaw that makes up the Scrub and even I don’t know how it will turn out. Anyway I didn’t get the other two things on my list-Strimming of rampant three cornered leek and clearing of one patch of long border-Ill do it patch by patch so I cant spend all my time on rocks and their settings.


Thank you Fleurette

13 January 2017 16:43:10

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For some odd reason I cant edit this entry as the Cursor gets stuck at the beginning. I wanted to add in thank you jemo and Hazel after 'pear tree'. So I had to put it iup here instead. The journal begins below. Oh and another thank you to Fleurette again. She very kindly had told me about the Japanese tradition of placing stones. I was fascinated and googled it and got lots of insights. But one really hit home. Three rocks aligned in a triangle are a representation of the Buddha. Now in my Scrub there are three huge rocks, I had named them Behemoth, Titanic and Ungeheuher (German for a Giant) Now belive it or not ,those three rocks are in a triangular formation not very far, indeed overlooking my new large statue of the head of Buddha. I was really moved. Stranger and stranger. I shall make sure to honour them properly!

 Can you believe it, Scrubber was out for about four lovely sunny hours this morning and got all his lawns cut,-Yes the man is mad. And then I planted the ferns that Fluerette kindly gave me and oddly enough when I was planting the creeping willow near a rock I took out some ferns  and that gave the rock more presence. I shall use all the ferns I took out but the place looks better, Also got in the ballota and the other goodies and the nerines and autumn crocuses so many many thanks Fleurette, And Jemo's Hosta went in. I have yet to place that Clematis Hazel but am thinking of near a pear tree,,,

It was really a blessed day and for once the Lawnmower behaved itsef and my hip was fine so am really thankful this evening.

Laetitia's 'Ode to Jean' to be read haughtily!

12 January 2017 19:24:13
Early morning. The bridge in centre of photo looks a long way down!

Early morning. The bridge in centre of photo looks a long way down!

Laetitia Churchill Beauman of Castle Beauman in Co Westmeath.

Hello everybody. Im frahtfully pleased to be back again among you and seeing all my old friends, among them Mr Jemo, Mr Bruno and of course Mr Fran. And this year there’s the added bonus of Mr Gerry. Unfortunately Jack the Sack Kellegher is indisposed and unable to attend. Some of you may know that a TRAGEDY has befallen me during the year. Yes my spouse, of whom I spoke here last year, has had the audacity to leave me. He has in short, run off with the wife of Jack the Sack and his only excuse was that he found her begonias irresistible. Well I rallied as one does and this is exactly how I did it.


I’ve got a brand new gardener

I watch him every day

Bending over the rhubarb

He quite takes my breath away.


My friend was green with envy

And asked to know from where

I conjured up this marvellous male

‘I googled him, my dear’.


His name is Jean, he came from France!

He’s great at shifting rocks.

He’s six foot four, built like a door

With shoulders like an ox.


But when my friends come visiting

They find it hard to stay

Indoors, instead they drift outside

In a casual sort of way.


And I find them staring sillily

As he prunes the ancient plum

But they’re not admiring his technique

They’re just gazing at his bum!


And that bloody Daphne Mackintosh

She’s always at her game

Asking Jean to check her artichokes

She really has no shame!


And as for Gertrude Pilkington

She, after one small sherry

Got carried away one sultry day

And tried to steal Jean’s beret,


And that frightful Maud Fitzhenry

Leaning on My potting shelf

Asking where to plant her sillybums

She’s a silly bum herself!


And if he buts snips a fading rose

They all go ‘oh! ’ together.

And I distinctly heard one ripe old bird

Ask Jean to ‘trim her heather’


And if he says ‘la fleur’ ‘ la bulbe’

There’s a little peal of laughter

Now Jean can’t see, but it’s clear to me

Exactly what they’re after!


So- I’ve stopped their visits, cancelled all

My evening teas, my soirees,

My open days, my welcome ways

And Im not one bit sorry.


I have Jean to myself once more

Within my red brick walls

As he trims my hornbeam hedges

 Into pyramids and balls.


Sometimes he takes his shirt off

Then the birds begin to sing

As Millicent Brown once said in town

That Jean’s a damn fine thing!’


No I don’t want Gerry Daly

And not even Mr. Fran

For I believe I’m Eve in Paradise

With my darling  Jean the man!


Many thanks to terri and alan!

11 January 2017 22:33:46

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What a wonderful day we had on Saturday and I'm not saying that because I won a very generous token in the raffle. (Two lovely hellebores!) but it was great to meet up and chat and be given such generous swops even though I had nothing to swop with. Everyone is in the best of humour and there's great catching up. There were a lot of new lovely people as well. Of course Paddy and Mary and Lady gardener and Elizabeth, Bruno and Hosta and Ted and Jacinta and Dick were hugely missed yet we carried on bravely and reassured ourselves that they would all be back next year. And of course Gerry was there and Laetitia fancied him unmercifully! But at present she is taken up with her new gardener, a fine chap named jean-She told us about him in what Elizabeth (Dublin not Fota) correctly and warmly described as Doggerel verse! She has promised to send me on a copy so I will share it with anyone who wishes to read it-remembering it has to be read with a very haughty or hoity toity accent!

A huge thanks to hazel and her elves who managed the raffle and Kristkindle with aplomb and admirable skill-none of us got our own kristkindle! People are so generous with their talents and everybody contributes in one way or another to make a great day happen.

Now to my title. Two stone mad people brought a boulder all the way from Clare for Scrubber! Now Scrubber loves rocks but he has gently advised that they do not continue to denude the Clare landscape (No its ok, this boulder came up from the pit dug for a septic tank) or to banjax their car springs. Scrubber got it home, watching carefully for speed bumps! and his son lifted it out! Scrubber spent quite some time wondering and wandering and then as clear as day the gap appeared between two rocks . It just needed one large rock to complete the line and here was Scrubber with just such a rock courtesy of T and A.Again many thanks!

Today he spent a glorious hour and a half fitting in the new rock and it was just A.I sizewise and contourwise. Scrubber was so pleased.He had enough energy left to take a photo and to re-edge the lower lawn and clean up a border, Proper pleased with himself he was and it wasnt a bit cold here, but then working with rocks is a warming exercise! I have two Snowdrops out, Colossus, a gift from a snowdrop colossus! and -I think Hill Poe or one very like it. I think Paddy named it for me but Ive forgotten. And also one daffodil! But theres lots of promising buds and I have filled my little urns with clumps of snowdrops-just dug them up and set them in-here's hoping. Oh and the daffs are coming up in my bottoms!!!!







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