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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal August 2017

Last Post 151 days 9 hours ago

And on and on and on

25 August 2017 23:38:06

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Thats the long border. Its only a meter wide but it stretches over sixty meters long and it has become totally WEEDINFESTED ! So I take about three meters a day and do that much and dig up everything, divide and replant. The excess plants go to the Bog where I expect great things next year from the daylillies.

Then I managed to strim the bit of lawn that defeated the mower the other day and that mad it look much tidier. 

I ventured outside the gate and strimmed there and then dumped all the debris threee tarpaulin loads down in the bottoms. I am so lucky to have a dumping place that swallows up everything.

Then I noticed the candelabra primulas were thriving but weeds were encroaching so I roughtly weeded around them and now they stand out quite well and have very good form. I am told I can cut back my viburnum opulis? Wayfarer tree. Its the native one but ill wait to see the autumn colour. I even got some berries in this their first year but I think they are a bit straggly and hope that by cutting back they will bush out a bit. I rang Future forests for advice which was a bit cheeky as I didnt buy there but I have bought some stuff from them,

Finally I cut the main lawn and as I had strimmed around all the trees it was much easier to cut straight paths.

To finish I went down to the river and swam. It was quite fresh=a little colder than normal but it was nice as I was hot and dusty after all the work.

Tomorrow theres another three meters to do and more grass cutting and then maybe an edging of the lower lawn border. Monty has reassured me tonight that my new box plants are not blighted,just a bit stressed! Like the gardener!!!

Michaelangelo I aint!

24 August 2017 20:19:02

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But I got a stone chisel today so was able to finish my inscription on the rock! Adear friend arrived in today with a basket of the most delicious and varied tomatoes. Then when she heard Anna was going to make tomato sauce she arrived back with more and some fresh pesto leaves. Isnt it great to have friends like that especially when one is a duffer at growing veg!

I spent most of day digging up hemerocalis? Day lillies which had become a bit too vigorous. I had the ideal place to put them-believe it or not it was the bog. I tried them last year and was rewarded with a few lovely blooms so next year I should have a lot more.

So between uprooting, transplanting and replanting the day passed quickly. Oh and Tom Jones asked me to include her picture. She is a perfect poser! The name cames as a result of my son's quirky humour, ;What's new pussycat' but Tom Jones is definitely a lady!

Cherub Lute is the cleverest cherub!

20 August 2017 20:59:46

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He knew I was getting a little dispirited as the garden seemed to be running away from me and I was tiring, There was a very tough area where the old hedge had gone and weeds and brambles and lots of rotten old wood were all over the place, I couldn’t cut the grass before the hedge as it was too long. This morning I went out and first transplanted two ferns that were cluttering up the others in fern corner, Then I changed another and so heartened a bit I got out the strimmer and bamboozled the grass area. It was tough going and then I sliced down with the spade at th eback of the long border in preparation for a long and weedy battle!

Cherub Lute as I said, knew I was a touch dispirited and he whispered ‘Give yourself a little treat and go back down and spend the day in Fern corner, Shift that rock with the pot on it and take out the excess ferns and briars and weeds and expose the rocks a bit as the clay and moss have made them lose definition..Go on you know you want to, the border will wait.

So Scrubber trotted down, shifted the rock-easily. Put the Pot back and spent the day carving out a steeper drop down from path above and by the time he was finished the place looked transformed. There’s a lovely passage from Monty Don that I will copy  down as it explains exactly what Cherub Lute was up to today. Ill try to upload pictures.

Was on a message in Thomastown yesterday and called in to the Watergarden. Its now run by a charity for people with special needs. I got three Ligularia for 3 Euro each and a find-a lovely bright hartstongue cristata fern for 6.50. It fitted in beautifully with the cleaned fern corner.

Today I was there again and got two more and despite the rain I got them in and they do make a difference.

Monty Don The Ivington Diaries p74

“This business of making places obsesses me. It is certainly at the core of everything I find interesting about gardening. You set out to ‘make’ a diminutive coppice in a garden but pace garden makeover programmes it doesn’t just happen. Time is an essential part of the mix.  Even the time spent not being the place is an important part of becoming the place. It wouldn’t work if you could somehow magic it overnight. Faith and a little skill-mainly exercised in knowing what to leave alone-allow you to persevere with the notion of what this space is allotted for. Then one day, quite by surprise, it is there. It is like sunshine sunshine breaking through the mist. I know that this is going to happen but because I don’t know when, it remains a desperately exciting and compulsively attractive mystery.”

Isn’t that just splendid. I had broadened the path and put in the rhodos and sown the grass and exposed and straightened two big rocks and then yesterday as I cleaned up the fern corner it all fell in together, the ‘mystery’ Monty talks about. Magic or maybe Cherub Lute!

Dick there's reading between the lines

17 August 2017 19:21:03

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and getting between the sheets and they are two entirely different processes. When I mentioned innocently in my last journal that I had got into Eileen's bed I never thought it would occur to anyone that I was attempting anything but weeding!I really must protest my innocence. But I did have a goodlaugh so thank you! 

I was collecting my son at the airport today so didnt get home until early afternoon. But I managed to sow grass seed around that rock that the fairies moved for me and also renewed a few more patches on paths.I scuffed over all of Eileen's flower bed (NBDick!) and also got main and lower lawns cut so was quite happy with todays.

The weather helped. One massive shower suited the grass sowing.

D'ye know what---I just couldnt!

15 August 2017 22:39:00

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And I'm glad I didnt! I knew today was to be a good one so had decided on getting out early and doing a lot. And then I just felt I would instead go into the Fair of Borris-I have got some lovely plants there in the past but when I got in there were NO plantsales at all! So I came home empty handed. Then thought Id go out and work and again just wasn't up to it so had quite a lazy day. Tonight I'm not regretting it. Tomorrow is to be wet but if I get some grass seed Ill scatter it on bare patches and that will do me.

One bare patch is around a very large boulder which the fairies moved one night. Now they had only to move it about two feet but as they did so they unearthed another nice rock which they left beside it andit now makes a very nice natural feature. When in spring its surrounded with daffs and before that ,snowdrops both the boulder and rock are going to look very well.

The one disadvantage of improving an area like this is that therest suffers a bit from neglect and there is a LOT of suffering going on at present. I cleaned out around the path down to the Gates and the little bordering box hedge is coming on a treat and I found some hellebore seedlings and have put them in the cleared area.

And while all this goes on the veg beds go under, silently screaming as couch and thistle and dock take over. But maybe next week Ill get back to that-and theres thelong border to be weeded and cleaned up and and and......

But I dont regret my break today!!!



Just weeding and a tiny bit of rock exposing.

10 August 2017 20:31:24

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Yes I got into Eileen;s bed and finally finished it today, hard work as elder was very strong but noe wcleared and the edge sets it off nicely,Wanted to dump leaves but very nice visitors came in and so work is for tomorrow,

I HAVENT A CLUE HOW THESE PHOTOS ARE UPSIDE DOWN. Ive tried a few times. If you stand on your head you get the right picture but I would not advise it!

And on it goes.....

07 August 2017 22:47:24

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Started out very well as I intended to broaden yet another path! Ladygardener used always say her paths were wide enough for two ladies in crinolines to walk together! That would be lovely but mine are smaller, paths not ladies! And yet by taking about six inches off the edge it made a lovely difference. This was easier than the last path and took about half an hour.

Then ther was a very large rock that just need a tilt of about four inches to straighten it up so I jammed in the crowbar and that too was about half an hours work and is a big improvement for a little effort.

After that I did some real gardening and weeded a largish area of ground elder. I had cleared it three years ago but it shnuck back in-to Eileen's bed. Have a lot of it done and planted six delphiniums there. Unfortunately all the Lupins I planted some weeks ago have not done at all well. I think they are dead but am leaving them for a while to see.

Am still enjoying my little gates no end and wondering what I should plant to enhance them-hostas Hellebores azaleas are all suggestions. I want low growing and lasting foliage if possible possibly sarcococcas?

Then I trimmed a crab apple to expose the nice red fruits. Its a pillar shape. And lopped a few magnolia branches to improve the light and the look! Then I lightly trimmed the circular beech hedge or spiral for the second time.

Lastly I cleared out a lot of dbris from Fern corner .The ferns there are now so much stronger Ill have to take out some.

I still have lots of red lily beetles munching on the ruins of my yellow turkscap. This year they got every one of them. The little beggars. Any advice for next year? Imanaged to use the video on my new phone. Its a pity our website doesnt take them. Maybe as well as I videod the beetles and the accompanying commentary was NOY edifying!

The best laid plans....

05 August 2017 21:34:11

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Well Scrubber was all set to go this morning as it dawned cool yet sunny. He had Delphiniums to plant, edges to scuffle, a bed to clear of ground elder, borders to weed----all written down carefully on his new mini clipboard -all of three euros worth and very useful but then he passed a path and visions began to happen. He blames Cherub Lute! ‘That small area of path would look nicer if it were widened’. And of course it wouldn’t take more than an hour or two.

At half five Scrubber came in and the path had been done but nothing else! Not alone had the side of the path to be dug out by about eight inches but all the roots and stones and small ferns had to be taken care of and some of those roots were challenging! And then when it was done and raked it was noticeable that it narrowed very much near a step. If some rather large stones could just be pushed out a bit more…. And of course when one moved, others had to as well  but it wasn’t too hard and it worked very well. The delphiniums will have to wait, So even though I got only a small portion of a path organised, about six or seven meters, its done for ever---well until Cherub Lute starts again!

Ladeees and Gintlemen!!!!

04 August 2017 22:50:45

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IOh dear I hope it all works now! I was down in Waterford today and came home with a samsung 3J at least I think thats what it was! People in carphone were so helpful and I think-not sure note-I think I should be able to reveal the Gates tonight. Now Dont be expecting ones like Blenheim Palace or Sans Soucis. They are just gentle little 'inviting -in gates' and each time I see them I know that Cherub Lute was right. They are not meant to be closed but to invite one in to a new part of the garden and I am very pleased that all the sketching and waiting and hoping paid off in the end as Scrubber is very quietly pleased inside hisself with this new addition. I do hope you like them and I also hope you were not expecting more after all my rabbiting on about them. And I now hope I can import them from the new phone!!!!

An 'inviting in' kind of gate!

01 August 2017 21:26:06
This is where the gate is placed-old photo

This is where the gate is placed-old photo

Well the weather held today and the cold is beginning to recede, ie. The runny nose, sore throat stuff. So Scrubber was up and out fairly early. First on the list was the painting of the gates. I had got a new wire brush and extra paint and sandpaper yesterday. Had to laugh at the price of the brush---two euro!

He scraped and brushed and washed down with white spirit. The gates were easy to handle as they are in two parts. They were fairly easily balanced as Scrubber covered them in Green. He decided to leave the gold bits until later so was able to handle them without getting covered in green-didn’t entirely succeed! Then while waiting for that to dry he dug five or six holes for the new Rhodos. There was a bonus in that while digging , four decent size rocks came up and were incorporated into the edge of the new path. About a metre’s length. There was nice rotted compost from the bottom of the scrub. That was mixed in and six Rhodos now give me another reason to look forward to next spring! In the meantime Scrubber got an idea. The Pwincesses chair had been painted once since the days of the Pwincess and the Giant so as the pot of green was handy most of the painting was done. Tomorrow Scrubber (Weather willing) will paint the underside,

Then finally it was time to see if the gates worked! I had dug two deep holes each side of the two stone steps that led up through the rough field wall in the Scrub. The gates had to clear the second step which was why I had asked Ian to place them so high up on the posts. I lowered each into the hole and then had to dig in some more clay to balance heights. I closed the gates and wrapped the touching edges with carpet tape-to keep them even, when I was filling in the holes. No concrete used as the poles were about a foot and a half deep below ground.

Then came the big moment! I had filled the holes, took off the tape and went down the path and turned. Unfortunately the buzz did not come!!! All I could think of was an old bedhead filling a gap. This despite the fact that Ian had given me exactly what I had asked. It was fine and a gate but as I said it didn’t give me the great buzz I expected. Then as I continued to look at it a gentle measured but very confident voice sounded in my ear. “ Perhaps if you left the gate open Mr Scrubber?-I don’t think you intended it ever to be a ‘closing out gate’ but rather an ‘Inviting in gate’..It was Cherub Lute! He doesn’t usually come down and stand beside me as Cherub used do but this was the time to do so. I opened the gates and suddenly it all fell into place and the bed stead image disappeared. Here was a very elegant “ inviting in gate”. No wonder Cherub used be so proud of  Cherub Lute!


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