Archives: journal

I’m just thinking that it might be an idea for people to start thinking Johnstown Swaps. This is a great time for lifting and dividing plants and if we plan ahead a bit we can manage to share our “spares” with our friends!

Just sayin’ ……..

And since Terri and Alan are off sunning themselves I’ll be standing in for them this year!

So what do you think? Is it a good idea to get sorted for plant swaps at this time of year?

Replies here please!

I’ll put something up for the Facebook people as well!

I notice that both this site and Friends on Facebook have a few regular contrbutors but even combining the two sites there are considerably less regular contributors so I wonder will there be interest for our annual gathering? On Facebook I can set it up as an “Event” which people can say they will attend or not.

Yukka from Dick

And this one is for Dick! The flower on my Yukka that I got from you many years ago is still surviving despite a few frosty nights – I’m hoping it might get to show me even one proper flower before it is demolished by the frost!

Its 6 days since I last felt like doing a journal – the weather has been pretty atrocious so even when it cleared for a short while I was completely bogged down in leaves! Even using the mower to chop them and lift them it is still a never-ending chore at this time of year.


Leaves, leaves,leaves

It just seems that every time I am about to go outside I am met with a downpour! However, I did manage to get a photo of the most spectacular colour in the garden at one point.


Best colour in the garden

But today, with a beautiful bright sunny morning I was sure my luck had changed! Alas no! But I was determined to get outdoors this time. Well, even if the greenhouse is no more, there is still the shed. I lifted a big clump of Iris Sibirica Silver edge  last week and although I replanted at least 20 of them there were still two large clumps left that I just put in plastic bags in the shed – and today I decided to tackle them!


Iris clump


Here they are – three plants to a pot – and a dozen pots!


3 to a pot Iris








This photo is how this iris looked in June!


Iris Sibirica Silver Edge

And how sad is it when tidying the shed seems like gardening!


Well, with all the storms battering the garden recently, and ever-decreasing light levels, my enthusiasm to be outdoors doing stuff is diminishing. But it’s at this time of year that I get the most satisfaction out of witnessing which species of birds are coming and going in the garden. They’ll probably always be around during the summer months, but with natural habitats being wiped out over the years, let’s hope that some of the less common garden birds won’t disappear. Yesterday, the garden was being given the once-over by this beautiful sparrowhawk, surveying all that lay before him in the garden . Sparrows and bluetits were in abundance all day so I hope he didn’t dine on too many. If he did……well, c’est la vie!  It’s survival of the fittest.

One of the best features of any garden is the ‘borrowed landscapes’ that are often on offer. And for us in the middle of Dublin, we are so lucky where we are living now, as it  has the most beautiful trees at the back our garden wall which then backs onto a small green.

Tall Silver Birch adorn that wall and in the Summer months when full of leaves they look stunning and it gives a great backdrop to my garden. But now here in Autumn when the trees take on their Autumn coats they look even better.

Yesterday morning when we had some brief sunshine, the trees looked amazing with the November light. We are lucky that we face East/West so we had the early morning sunshine beaming on them and making them look just fabulous!


I’ve only had this indoor plant for the last 10 or 11yrs. It has been so neglected in that time, and has been brought back to life so many times when it had had lots of near-death moments.

Today I noticed it flowering for the very first time. It really deserves much better treatment than that.  For those of you who say you constantly kill indoor plants, maybe this is the one for you. It’s Rhipsalis pilocarpa.

I tried something else with my latest Blog entry. I just copied the whole thing including photos and then opened a new journal and pasted it. Photos can’t be zoomed but that seems to be the only down-side.

There is a big cloud down over Sunny Laois today so I’m not able to work outside. I am like a caged animal staring out at the drizzle. There are 6 lb of apples draining to make apple jelly, the house is tidied, beds changed after visitors. So what will I do now? I know! I’ll write a Blog.

So looking back at some recent photos I found one of the Four Seasons border before I got at it the other day! This border used to be wall-to-wall Japanese Anemones but last year I did a re-vamp and replaced them with a variety of plants all with different seasons of “star quality”!

Four seasons border before

I’m afraid that the Anemones were not prepared to go quietly! I left one clump because I really do like them – but too much of a good thing is a bad thing!

So I bit the bullet the other day and did a major clear-out. This involved cutting back the herbaceous stuff – even the ones that weren’t quite finished. My thinking here was that it was unlikely I would get back to that border again before next year so they had to go! When I cleared that border I found that the mulch of shredded Willow I used last year had done its job – there were very few “normal” weeds – just lots of Anemones coming up from bits of roots left behind!

The wonderful hand-tools I got as my Kris Kindle last year (thank you Margot!) are absolute winners in getting down deep to get much more roots than previous attempts!

Four seasons border after

The latest issue of the blog can be seen here

November flower survivors

I hope you like it. It features a slideshow of flowers actually still flowering today!

And it only took about 5 minutes to upload the whole album and I’m afraid it just confirms me in my decision to use this means of connecting with my friends here.

Two days ago despite that it was quite cold, I moved out into areas where the leaves lay. I cannot fathom how there could be so many leaves. During the 2nd half of October (and November has just arrived) leaves from the trees have been coming down. In the case of some trees possibly all of the leaves are down with a few exceptions. A large sycamore in the middle of the lawn and the Liquidambar are generally the exception. It is going to be some job to move these leaves and then when I stack them to make some type of compost, it should be interesting.

I’ve added a new entry to my Blog

Rain stopped play



I think this link should work


I must apologise for just throwing the link to my new blog to you all for testing! I’m new to WordPress and am still on a learning curve! Since I set it up as “private” rather than “public” it appears as Joan discovered it is necessary to have a WordPress login to access it. I haven’t figured how to make it “public” yet …..

So what is it all about? Well, I find that the current version of is not meeting my needs in keeping a record of what happens in my garden. I find that there are so many of my archived journals missing, and even the archive since the new site went live seems to be missing some journals. So I’ve set up my blog to record my activities (or maybe my antics!) in a way that I hope will provide me with the references I need for future plans.

It appears I can link the blog to Facebook – but I haven’t tried it yet! But I also want to share my musings with my friends here who are not fans of Facebook. So if I can figure how to link it here I hope it will help us all to keep in touch.

Did anyone else get an email notification from Webmaster this morning October 30 2018?

This is what it said: Journal – Comment received on Get together .Photos.

11:35 (5 hours ago)

 to me

Dear Liztai

Please note that tenchmanjohn has added the below comment to the journal entry – Get together .Photos.

Where can I buy Ludwigberger flair geranium?



Click here to be be taken to the journal entry.

Click here to view tenchmanjohn’s profile

Click here to stop receiving email notifications for comments made to this journal

Kind Regards Webmaster

The first two links gave me a ‘403 Forbidden’ message, but the link went to Homepage.
Just curious to know am I the only one ….
Incidentally, it will be interesting to see if these links are clickable when I publish the journal

This is the link Hazel asked us to click on. I also tried, but it didn’t work.

So now I have opened a journal and am going to use the link facility on the ‘Add Journal’ page.

We’ll see if that works

Hi everyone. I’m trying out something so can you please try clicking this link and see if you can connect to it.



Wrapped up well against the chill, I spent a colourful afternoon in the Botanic Gardens today.  It was very busy, with lots of people enjoying a bank holiday stroll and the Halloween display.  Here are a few photos.  Happy Halloween everyone!

These two small bird houses for the garden were given as a birthday present. One is already in place the other will probably go up to-day. I am looking forward to the birds using them.

This Yucca is in bloom and I have been pleased that the frost didn’t cause any damage. We only got a little frost so far but to morrow there could be a big change. While the flower can got when the frost comes, the actual plant is quite hardy.

So Summer is over and the garden is now winding down. Although the weather has been lovely this month too. So its hard to believe that we are coming to the end of Summer. Its getting colder now and I need to put the Tree Fern to bed. Put a lot of plants into the greenhouse now for fear of that cold snap appearing out of the blue. Its promised for the weekend. Ive leaves everywhere and a constant battle to keep the path clear, so Ive given up, way too much work for me to keep trying to keep the place clear.

So here are a few photos of whats still flowering away in the garden. Lots of colour going on and I hate to cut anything down. I think I will leave most of it for now and let it die down naturally……….

Not going into competition with Scrubber! After the wall was built there were some nice stones left over so I decided to make a mini rockery between two stumps that are sticking up slightly from the soil. I’ve put in some Alyssum, an Arenaria and a Leontipodium (kind of Edelweiss I think). Don’t know how it’ll turn out but it’s a bit of fun! Joan G gave me a Parahebe at Blarney and I’m wondering would it be suitable?

Hi All,


Im coming back to Bonsai as i had a break for couple of years, i would like to get in touch with local gardeners and other Bonsai people.

Anyone ?

The greenhouse got a clean out today . Tomatoes and Melons out and a few tenders in . The empty beds are now home to some Sedum cuttings along with Camelias and an Azalea. I actually remembered to dig up the Canas this year !

Bees really busy today do temp well up above normal .

No gardening has been done for the past few weeks while we enjoyed the company of friends from overseas and a lovely short break in the south west.   October may be my favourite month of the year, especially when we get beautiful sunshine as we’ve had lately … only one rainy day throughout their stay.  Yesterday I got back to work, cutting the grass, deadheading and tidying, and just enjoying the warmth and colour that’s still in the garden, though the wind has taken off all the Japanese maple leaves while I was away.

Backlighting makes the Scabious look more wine coloured than “purple black”

Euonymus alatus (compact variety) … will go even redder before leaf fall

Rosa ‘Amber Queen’

I am frustrated with this site. I am only continuing to post here because I want to keep contact with friends who are not on facebook. So for my friends ….


Purple Haze with a glimps of Heatwave Glimmer in the corner

I have a few Salvias in my garden, all from kind friends on this site over the years. At our gathering at Ratoath this year I got some precious slips from Myrtle which I am minding zealously! My first one was from a member called Damo who came to my first Open Day for the club and he brought me a tray of small plants of Salvia Forsskaolii – a huge floppy-leaved plant with brilliant blue flowers – beautiful but a bit of a thug! Then in Fota at a plant fair I bought Red Ensign – a woody one that has come through many winters unscathed! Then Myrtle gave me  Amistad,  ‘Heatwave Glimmer’ and  ‘Purple Haze’ – all doing well!’Penny Lane’ came from a garden visit to Shirley Beatty. Well this year my Greenhouse finally had to go, so I am having to mind these lovely treasures with only a small cold-frame to protect them. The main plants will stay in the ground but with a generous mulch and some fleece, and the “insurance” cuttings will stay in the coldframe, with some bubble-wrap to help them survive! i moved ‘Penny Lane’ a bit late this year and really feared for her but she has forgiven me and is now in flower! I’ll put other photos in another journal.

Penny Lane