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Book Launch with Gerry Daly, 2 December

24 November 2017 11:42:11

I would like to invite you to the official launch of Rachel Darlington's "Journal of an Irish Garden" on Saturday 2nd Decembe 2017.
The event will be launched by Wexford's very own, Gerry Daly, and will take place in Bunclody's coolest venue, the Art Bank, from 17:30 where Rachel will do a reading from the book and will be signing copies. The book is for sale at €13.
Hope to see many of you there.

Journal of an Irish Garden (with forward by Helen Dillon) is a collection of columnist and plantsperson Rachel Darlington’s articles in the Irish Garden magazine from 2007 to 2015. It details her development from amateur gardener to owner of a garden open to the public. This book is, in essence, a horticultural journey. It is an odyssey of discovery, knowledge and fulfilment, while taking the not-so-occasional foray into the realms of iffy dress-sense, hypothermia and muck. This journey contains elements that most gardeners will recognise from their own endeavours.

"We follow the author’s development as a gardener and that of her garden, Douentza, which is a joy to visit, full of well-grown unusual plants and one of the up-and-coming Irish gardens."
—Helen Dillon, the Dillon Garden

"What really makes the book for me is the clear and ever-present love of plants. From the mundane to the rare, the plant mix is eclectic and the book peppered with handy tips for growing them."
—Jimi Blake, Hunting Brook Gardens

PeterW PeterW 25 November 2017 10:11:54

Best of luck with it Rachel

Amaryllis After Flowering & Greenhouse

11 February 2017 11:23:39

And here I am postponing going out to the garden again with a second journal for today.

I guess I'm hoping that moss will scrape itself and those perennials will cut themselves back!

Anyway, I thought the following two videos might prove useful.

The first is about what to do with hippeastrums after flowering and the second is a look around my greenhouse in winter.

Four Easy Steps To Reflowering Amaryllis/Hippeastrum - YouTube

Midwinter Greenhouse - citrus, cold orchids & lots of succulents

Happy growing!

Michele Maria Michele Maria 11 February 2017 21:21:07

Just what I needed! I've just watched your  utube video Rachel. What a great explaination of all the steps to getting an Amaryllis to flower again...thanks.

Eilish Eilish 12 February 2017 00:13:15

Thanks from me also. I have three of them - so now I know what to do with them. What feed do you use for them and how often do you feed them?

Rachel Rachel 12 February 2017 09:00:58

Thank you, Michele. Your support is much appreciated and good luck with reflowering your hippeastrum.

Hi Eilish. I use multi purpose at half strength about every two weeks. Good luck.

Ungrateful Wretches & Sowing Seeds

11 February 2017 11:04:42

Hi folks.

It is quite cold and miserable here and I decided to spend some time scraping moss from my drive rather than dealing with the cold earth.

But I have been doing a bit in the borders, where I realised strobilanthes had become a thug and needed serious curtailing. Two years ago I made the mistake of putting its stems on the compost and I had lots of strobilanthes in my lasagne bed last year. Thankfully it wasn't too hard to sort. When I think of how I nursed that plant from seed and this is how the ungrateful wretch repays me!

Anyway, I've been sowing a few easy seeds. Some beautiful sweet pea that were gifted to me last year at an open day and some amazing blue China asters. Being true to form, I made videos about both and I'll post the links below.

How To Sow Sweet Pea - easiest & most rewarding of all seeds - YouTube

How I Sow Half Hardy or Tender Annuals - blue China asters - YouTube

Happy gardening!

Jackie Jackie 11 February 2017 11:17:37

Great videos Rachel. I looked on fb and the China Asters are fabulous. It's soooo cold here today too. 

Rachel Rachel 11 February 2017 11:25:19

Thank you, Jackie :)

Yes, it's bitter here. When I was out I didn't wear gloves, as usual, because in any case the work warms you up. But this time my fingers started going numb despite it. Not funny!

Dick Dick 11 February 2017 19:03:08

Good to see your new picture, Rachel. While I was missing from Garden.ie, I have been reasonable active. The reason was problems with the computer but while I had facebook for some time, garden.ie was out of commission. I got 100+ roses pruned and my tomatoes(Alicante) are potted up. Four other varieties of Tomato were sown late in January and are doing well. Over the past week it has been feeding the robins. For some time there were two probably male and female To day when feeding, I saw three maybe four. This is surely unusual.

Rachel Rachel 12 February 2017 09:03:07

I'm glad to hear you are keeping well and active, Dick, despite the recentl lack of social media. You are ahead of me as I have not yet pruned my roses. Take care and keep well!

sallysarah sallysarah 12 February 2017 09:08:44

Thanks, Rachel for Amarylis sound advice.  Have just sowed my sweet peas.  Glorious day here yesterday (though cold) and this morning it seems the same - forecast saying we'll be getting the best of the weather in the West!!!

Rachel Rachel 12 February 2017 09:18:17

Good morning, Sally. Lucky you with the weather. I notice a strip of the roof covering has gone from my shed in last night's wind. It will be a scented summer for both of us! :)

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 12 February 2017 18:08:10

I've tried that Strobilanthes before without success. I wonder does it like acid soil? Thug or not I'd love to give it a go!

Rachel Rachel 14 February 2017 13:45:29

I'll pot you up a piece, Hazel.

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 14 February 2017 19:29:31

Thanks Rachel!

What seasonal tasks would you like videos on?

24 January 2017 21:09:09

Hello all.

As we are all busy in our gardens, kicking off a new year, I thought I would ask this question. I would really appreciate your feedback.

Are there any particular videos you would like me to make on certain gardening tasks? For example, pruning is always popular at this time of year? What task are you about to do that you will need to look up first? Or what tasks do your friends ask your advice on because they need to do them and are unsure of how?

Thanks a million.


roofy roofy 24 January 2017 21:21:58

Gidday Rachel,I,d like to suggest Rose prunning can never learn enough.

Jemo Jemo 24 January 2017 23:06:22

Hi Rachel...pruning established rambling and climbing roses...wisteria is another....thanks for the video suggestion...B

Jackie Jackie 25 January 2017 07:52:38

Great idea Rachel. But pruning is a terrific one. Maybe something like Top Ten Tips on what to do at this time of year or month by month.  What's growing in the garden this month and recommendations on how to have year round interest in the garden. Thanks. 

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 25 January 2017 13:40:42

Lawn care might be popular.

Rachel Rachel 25 January 2017 13:47:23

Thank you, Roofy and Brian. Rose pruning is probably a good one.
I won't be able to do wisteria as mine is too young and I don't know someone who would let me loose on theirs :)
All good suggestions, Jackie, although they might lead to long videos.

You are probably right, Mary, about lawn care being popular. Thank you.

Please keep the suggestions coming!

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 25 January 2017 14:04:33

Rachel, my front lawns are covered with moss and was wondering if you or any member here used Mo Bacter moss killer. I have been trying to buy it here in Waterford, but none of the DIY stores seem to stock it.

fran m fran m 25 January 2017 15:37:04

Just keep them coming LOL

Scrubber Scrubber 25 January 2017 18:07:34

I suggest mud wrestling as it is something I have never tried, watched or even thought about until your kind offer!That is if Norman consents also. Apart from that Id love something on continuation plantingeg what would follow on after one plant has finished too vague???? well then mud wrestling!

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 25 January 2017 18:48:34

Peter, you are beyond redemption. Met Lindy and Dilly yesterday in Ardkeen Shopping Centre.  She is calling to see us on Tuesday 7th. 

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 26 January 2017 10:11:03

I have traced down Mo Bactor, but I went on to read that the temperature needs to be 12 degrees for it to work. Also with my research I discovered that the reason I have lichens in my lawns is because I have acid soil. 

Scrubber Scrubber 27 January 2017 18:05:31

No the reason you have lichens Mary is because they are the sign of a misspent youth. Did yer mother never tell you youd end up with lichens if you kept carrying on like that! Sr Josephine would agree that I was beyond redemption but I never had lichens on me lawn or if I had they werent there! (Trump logic) Sorry Rachel , any updates on the mud wrestling???

Rachel Rachel 27 January 2017 18:35:10

No mud wrestling for you, Peter. You've been far too bold!

Jemo Jemo 28 January 2017 11:14:16

Peter you make me laugh on this frosty non mud wrestling morning...


Rachel Rachel 11 February 2017 10:58:33

Mary, I'm just seeing that your message about the moss killer was directed to me. Sorry. I thought you were talking to one of the others. I have never used Mo Bactor but have a lot of moss this year myself. I also have acid soil. I've just spent days scraping moss from my tarmac drive and it was no picnic.

I have listened carefully to everyone's suggestions and am working towards making some of those videos. I know the videos are very short and simple but, surprisingly, there is a good bit of preparation that needs to go into them.

One video I'm not making though is mud wrestling! Naughty Peter!

Johnstown Get-Together Video

12 January 2017 10:40:44

Hello folks,

I just wanted to say that I too was at Johnstown last Saturday, despite a rotten cold, and what a wonderful day it was too. Hats off to all the organisers!

Can you believe, I didn't take a single photo on the day but I did make this little video, which I'm sure you will enjoy.

Hazel, you were recognised on YouTube from the video as the lady whose garden I visited last year ;-) I wonder who I'll inflict a visit on this year!

Snowing heavily here in Wexford today so stay warm, all of you!

Gardening Club Get-Together at Johnstown - plus orchid display - YouTube

My YouTube gardening channel...

Gardening at Douentza - YouTube

fran m fran m 12 January 2017 11:32:29

Watched it on FB yesterday, really enjoyed it. Thank you.

I have no photos either, thought I'd forgotten the camera, found it in back of the van on Sunday I've never put it in the back of van before. No idea what I was thinking.

Cold but grey here so far.

Rachel Rachel 12 January 2017 11:40:57

Oh yes. There was no snap-happy Fran the meeting. Now I know why :)

fraoch fraoch 12 January 2017 12:10:14

Great video, Rachel, lovely to see everybody enjoying themselves. Cold and wet here today, no snow yet!

fraoch fraoch 12 January 2017 12:20:19

Actually,, sleet now.

JoanG JoanG 12 January 2017 12:26:33

Thanks a mill, Rachel, you really captured the spirit of the day there :-)

Cold but still dry here in Blackrock, sleet/snow showers forecast for later. 

Myrtle Myrtle 12 January 2017 14:39:00

Well done, Rachel !

Rachel Rachel 12 January 2017 16:38:20

Sorry the snow caught yo with you, Heather. You were missed at the get-together.

Thank you, Joan and Myrtle. I seemed to have missed you completely, Myrtle :O

Myrtle Myrtle 12 January 2017 16:40:29

Just as well, Rachel, might have broke the camera :)

Rachel Rachel 12 January 2017 16:42:41

Haha. Not a bit of it!

Scrubber Scrubber 12 January 2017 18:58:36

Aw Rachel, you held up so well that we didnt realise you were unwell. Backdated sympathies and werent you great to travel. Lovely video apart from one unfortunate individual in a headscarf-obviously enjoying himself hugely but scaring the newcomers!

Jackie Jackie 12 January 2017 19:33:01

Oh didnt realise you didnt feel well on Saturday, you certainly kept that to yourself Rachel! Great video, I too saw it on FB yesterday lol.

I  didnt take that many photos as I was far too busy talking and catching up with some great friends!

No snow here as of yet, but now bitterly cold after a glorious sunny day. Hope everyone is ok and keep safe!

Lìga Lìga 12 January 2017 20:37:05

And when i slipping all around place,,,that ok Jackie :D ???

Great video Rachel!!!

Jackie Jackie 12 January 2017 20:45:16

Yes Liga, you nearly went on your ear lol... you have great photos too!!


Rachel Rachel 12 January 2017 22:26:21

Peter, I've had complaints over on YouTube from someone who was bitterly dissapointed to not have the full text of your performance in the video this year :)

Feeling much better now thanks, Jackie. So many are fallen with this flu at the moment.

Liga, fear not. I got you properly when you fell. Check out tomorrow's video on outtakes ;-)

Lìga Lìga 13 January 2017 09:08:31

Poor ,poor me :)

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 15 January 2017 16:45:10

Great video, Rachel! I was just remarking how much Johnstown seem to have increased their stock of Orchids over the past few years ..... I blame a certain Doyen of the Orchids from Douentza :-)

Rachel Rachel 17 January 2017 17:02:04

Ah, you're all right, Liga ;-)

Yes, I think you're right about the increase in stock, Hazel :)


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