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JoanG's Journal

JoanG's Journal

Last Post 109 days 19 hours ago

Ice cream anyone?

02 March 2018 22:29:33

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... with sprinkles or flake?

Photo taken this morning during a brief interval before it started snowing again. (It's sideways).

The second photo was taken on Wednesday morning after the first snowfall.  By this afternoon I can't see where any of the raised beds are! 

 

Scilla vs Puschkinia

20 February 2018 21:13:43

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I went for a walk yesterday and ended up in a nice garden centre in my neighbourhood (surprise, surprise) where they have well established planting displays.  The owner was away and two staff members were trying to identify some little bluish white bulbs which had come into flower.  They were thinking possibly Puschkinia.  I had a good look and thought they were Scilla mischtschenkoana, which I have in my garden.  I was chuffed when they looked it up and agreed!

The two do look very similar but the Scilla flowers are softer while Puschkinia are in more of a spike.  I find it hard to remember the Scilla’s long name (never mind pronounce it!), so I just call them my ice-blue scillas.

Snowdrop Week at Altamont

13 February 2018 22:28:00

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With the sun shining this morning, I decided to have a day out and headed off to Altamont Gardens. 

It was a cold bright day and the gardens looked resplendent in the sunshine.  I've visited Altamont before around this time; this year the snowdrops are at their absolute peak of perfection to coincide with Snowdrop Week which is in full swing.  Other early spring treasures such as hellebores, cyclamen, winter aconites, irises and hamamelis are there to be savoured too.  I joined the tour and talk by Paul Cutler, Head Gardner, which is at 2pm every day until Sunday and is very informative and enjoyable.  There was quite a large group, perhaps down to the good weather and the mention on Nationwide yesterday.

The plant sales area has expanded since my last visit but I resisted temptation (yes, really!); some of the plants were quite expensive, hellebores in particular and "special" snowdrops, but they were beautiful. 

And it was so nice to see restoration work on Corona North's house in progress too. 

Early February flowers

08 February 2018 20:56:43

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Though I have done no gardening for the past fortnight, spring is coming despite the cold and there are quite a few flowers to enjoy now.

Snowdrops and irises are out, crocus are about to open, Chaenomeles too; the hellebores are about the same as this time last year (some flowering, others to come).  Camellia 'Donation' is earlier than ever this year; a few flowers appeared in January and now it's about to burst out all over.

Hope you are all getting some time to enjoy your gardens. 

Thank you Elizabeth7

07 February 2018 20:41:19

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Over the past couple of weeks I've been delighted to see that Daphne 'Jacqueline Postill' has not only survived her transplantation from Cork to Dublin but has surprised me by producing these beautiful flowers already with their gorgeous scent.

Thank you so much Elizabeth, I'm thrilled with it and it has brought back memories of our most enjoyable visit with you last July. 

Iris 'Katherine's Gold'

29 January 2018 19:27:36

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Like some of you, I planted the newly available Iris 'Katherine's Gold' last autumn and they have just started to flower.  This is a hybrid with 'Katherine Hodgkin' as a parent.  The colour is more pale lemon than gold, with some nice markings on the falls and creamy white standards.  Very pretty I think.

There were nine bulbs in the pack and eight are coming up; the first flower opened yesterday and got slightly torn in the wind but I decided to take the photos today as the forecast for later this week is poor.  I hope they'll be ok when the other flowers open! 

 

January gardening

24 January 2018 22:51:19

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After all the rain at the weekend, like many of you I was delighted to be able to get out to the garden on Monday.  It was more pottering than hard work; cutting back some perennials that were not done in autumn, gathering up leaves and debris, pruned a couple of roses, and a general tidy up (what a mess the birds can make foraging for food at the border edges! but I do love them).  

Snowdrops and cyclamen are out, hellebores, irises and primulas are starting to flower and the tips of bulbs popping up everywhere promise joy to come.  Hamamelis has been flowering since before Christmas; much smaller than Sean's beautiful one but it's young and coming on.  

I stayed out until nearly dark, so had to dash out yesterday with the camera to get a few photos. Back to the wind and showers today; ok as I had other things to do.  Tomorrow I'm supposed to help my sis-in-law in her garden, fingers crossed for a mostly dry day. 

Paradise Gardens on BBC tomorrow

18 January 2018 21:57:14
Paradise Gardens on BBC tomorrow

Paradise Gardens on BBC tomorrow

Reminder ... don't forget Monty's new programme on Paradise Gardens tomorrow (Friday) evening, 9.00 pm on BBC 2.  I caught a glimpse by chance as Monty was on The One Show this evening, looks sumptuous and just the treat for a winter's evening TV. 

Johnstown Get-together

13 January 2018 20:09:18

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Our dear Scrubber has given a fulsome and perfect account of our get-together today, so there's nothing for me to say, except to add to the huge thank-you to Hazel for organising it all once again and to Terri and Alan for offering to take up the mantle next year. 

And thanks to my travelling companions Myrtle, Ron and Dorothy, for the lift and your company, to the friends who gave me plants, to Jim and the Johnstown team for looking after us all so well, and to my kris kindle donor for the giant lilies and gleaming new spade to plant them with!  You know who you are :-) 

I was enjoying the chat so much that I took very few photos; hopefully someone else will post theirs.  And, yes, I did indulge in some (modest) retail therapy.  Thanks everyone for a great day. 

Johnstown - Kris Kringle

11 January 2018 21:28:46
Johnstown - Kris Kringle

Johnstown - Kris Kringle

For anyone who hasn't been to a Johnstown get-together before, you don't have to bring a kris kringle present on Saturday but people attending usually do and it makes a nice part of the occasion. 

So, if you can bring along a small vaguely garden related present, value around €10, please wrap it but don't put your name on it; it's a "secret santa" and the anonymity is all part of the fun.  When we go indoors after the plant swaps (about 12 noon), bring it up to Moya and myself at the table.  We will put your name on one half of a ticket and attach the other half to your gift.  This is to ensure that you don't end up with your own present when names are drawn! 

Enjoy the day and we look forward to seeing you there. 

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