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Jackie's Journal

Jackie's Journal

Last Post 141 days 5 hours ago

Snowy days 2018

03 March 2018 17:32:30

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Yes it came and it went and look what it left behind!

The Beast from the East met Storm Emma and they had a right shindig!

Snow, Snow and lots more snow! I thought at one stage will it ever be over. Snowed here again today up to about 1.30pm......then Jimmy went out to try and clear the driveway so that we could get the car out. So he did that and almost broke his back with all that drifted snow. Only shifted it to another spot that will have to be done tomorrow to get his van out! 

Thankfully we all survived and kept each other company. Took the dogs out a few days and they loved playing in the snow. Cant see anything only white in the garden so dont know how my plants are doing. Although looking at the back wall my Solanium and Honeysuckle are looking very sad indeed.

But Im sure in a few more days this will be a distant memory and we can all get back to doing what we love most....gardening....and I cant wait. Gardeners World starts on Friday so bring it on!!!

Just a few photos !

A real beauty!

23 February 2018 07:33:22
A real beauty!

A real beauty!

I put this up on Facebook and the response was amazing......

This Hellebore was bought in Lidl a few years ago. And every year it comes back and shows off its beauty. I havent done anything to it just let it do its own thing. 

The strange thing is that when I bought some in Johnstown at 20euro each!....I bought 5......only one has come back and Im just raging. This Hellebore cost me about 4 euro and look at it now.....and I have a few other ones which are darker in colour and they are looking great too! 

Amazing Value

What a beautiful few days!

20 February 2018 07:28:15

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Well we are being spoiled these past two days with some beautiful weather.

Sunday was really lovely, mild and sunny. Did a bit of tidying around while Jimmy started on some stone work!, photos will come in time!

Yesterday started off dull and damp but by the afternoon it turned into another beautiful day and I had an hour to spare in the garden. Still picking up leaves here and there and tidying around. Did some weeding as I have lots of Forget-me-nots seeded, which I love but in the right place! Noticed lots of growth now in the garden. Bulbs peeping up through the soil. And the perennials are making a comeback too.......so exciting!

My Tree Fern has survived so far and I took off the top layer of protection to let it breathe again. The fronds are looking quite healthy still so hopefully the worst of the cold weather is over, although there is word of snow next week, lets hope that passes us over!

Its just great to get out and start planning the year ahead. It really lifts the spirits to be out and about and enjoying some sunshine again. Hope you all had a chance at some stage to do the same. 

Just a few pictures of the garden as its looking now, the grass is looking a bit bedraggled from the 3 dogs but it will improve in time! I love all the snowdrops and daffs coming into flower and the Hellebores adding that real touch of beauty.

Hellebore delight!

15 February 2018 07:26:39

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There is nothing better than to see the beautiful colours of the Hellebores in the garden at this time of year. Mind you mine are not bulking up as much as they should but they do look fantastic.

Here is a little flavour of the Hellebores in flower at the moment!

Also while I was pottering around in the greenhouse yesterday for a little while I came across this tiny Pulmonaria Ocupol....with its tiny blue flower....cant remember when I got it but I must plant that out today!

Hope you all have a lovely day whatever you do!

Airfield Estate Dundrum

13 February 2018 08:31:00

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Well who would have thought that such a beautiful place existed on our own doorsteps!

Last week Margie asked me if I would like to go to Airfield Estate. Now to be honest I had absolutely no idea where she was talking about and of course I thought it was somewhere further afield. But in fact it is across from the Dundrum Shopping Centre!

It was last Wednesday and a bitterly cold day. I got there a bit earlier and walked around the grounds. Im sure when the weather improves and there is more growth it will be just a great place to visit. It has beautiful laid out gardens, a farm, little cafes and a restaurant, a beautiful house which at present is being restored and lots and lots of different walks. Im hoping to bring the grandchildren here someday when its much warmer!

We went inside for a cuppa to heat up as it was so cold and then of course the usual retail therapy in Howbert & Mays garden shop just to the side of the entrance. We had a little look around as the wind would just cut you in two it was that cold! Seriously!!

I bought a few little Primula and Margie picked a few plants too. It was a really enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. 

Unfortunately I cant put up an album to show you how beautiful it is, I did put some up on FB if anyone wanted to have a look there. But here is a photo of the house and one of the many areas....plus my little purchases ;)

Planning ahead!

07 February 2018 07:20:12

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Well as the day started yesterday we did welcome some snow and of course there wasnt much to be doing in the garden. It was there most of the day and then later just in the sheltered bits. Pretty picture but bitterly cold.

But plenty to be thinking about for the coming months.

I took a trip to Lidl on Monday and found these gorgeous bird boxes. I didnt think that they would actually attract birds and would be happy for them to decorate the garden anyway. But then on FB Paddy Tobin put up a picture of one similiar to mine and he had a little bird in it, so hopefully these might attract some. I just thought they are so pretty, especially the caravan! :)

Another little project to be thinking about is what to do with this mountain of stone that we bought! I would like to do some sort of flowerbeds? features? maybe and will be looking at some ideas now in the next few weeks so I can get himself started! Idle hands and all that lol....I would love a small pond too, not sure if that will happen, but I do like the idea of a tiered flower bed made with stone...so we will see!

So lots to be thinking about now that the evenings are getting much brighter and hopefully the weather will start to notice that it is Spring too!



Cold but sunny! and then came the snow

06 February 2018 07:19:03

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It was a very cold damp day yesterday, Monday, but it did brighten up in the afternoon. So I got outside for an hour and cut away more foliage that has now well and truly gone over. Lots of buds and new plants emerging through the soil, those that can where its not been compacted by the dogs and myself! 

We have had a delivery of some beautiful granite building stone which we are planning on using around the garden. Maybe making some beds and tiered borders. Dont really know just yet but it will be used in the garden as some sort of feature/features. So looking forward to the weather picking up now again soon and getting started on that.......even though we have had snow last night, but thankfully it is melting away this morning. Roads are clear anyway! And it looks like a nice bright cold sunny day. Dont you just love Spring!

A couple of photos of whats trying its best to flower now!

This little Leucojum(I think!) down the back of the garden, almost hidden completely by the fallen leaves that are still there.....well not anymore. Its so tiny and very hard to photo. But a gorgeous little thing.

Two more Hellebores.....no names of course. I think the second one is Double Ellen Picotee....its in my front garden and almost battered by the wind, but still standing tall!

I have a few more coming up now too, slowly, but dont you just love Hellebores and how at this time of year while everything else is barely alive these add such beauty to the garden.

Have a lovely day whatever you do today!





Back outside!

31 January 2018 07:47:38

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It has been a while but I was out in the garden on Monday afternoon for an hour and absolutely loved every minute of it. The sun was shining and even had a bit of warmth to it.

The garden was so overgrown and it needed a good clean up. But I only tackled a few bits here and there. Plants that needed to be cut back and cleaned up. Planted up the Hellebores I bought a few weeks ago in B&Q.

Needless to say I literally can hardly walk these past two days, definitely need to pace myself. The pains in the back of my legs is unreal. Obviously out of practice haha....will need to rectify that. But you know I enjoyed every single minute of it too.

I noticed one of the Hellebores I bought H. Tutu is now opened and its a little beauty.

Also great growth going on and the second photo is of my Tree Lupin which I have here now about 4 years and its doing great again with lots of growth.

Last photo are the two 'boys' taking in a few rays lol.....they love nothing more than sitting on the bench and enjoying the warmth of the sunshine.

I hope that Spring is going to be good to us and give us plenty of time in the garden. We are due some good weather now for Summer so lets bring it on and enjoy every single minute of it.

Hope you all get a chance to get outside.....tomorrow is the first day of Spring afterall.


Spring is on its way now!

22 January 2018 07:31:06

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Yes there is definitely a stretch in the evenings. The lights arent going on so quickly, although the past two days have just been miserable with so much rain. But today looks brighter and a bit more sunshine promised. It was after 5pm that we turned our lights on and drew the curtains. Lots of activity too with the Starlings that have taken refuge in our roof, you can hear their young screaming, while waiting to be fed. Also lots of new growth in the garden and this 'mild' spell should help that too.

Over the weekend we took a trip to B&Q and of course my usual visit out to their garden centre didnt disappoint. Obviously there isnt much to see really but they did have some beautiful Hellebores for sale. I know I said I wouldnt buy anymore but then when I see them I just cant resist plus they were a good price 3 for 19euro. The photos show the buds that are on Hellebore Pirouette....a massive amount so hopefully they will all open. 

Then to my delight, in my front garden I noticed these beautiful cheery cute Crocus just opening despite the rain. The were almost open, but when the sun shines they open so wide. They were definitely a welcome sight yesterday amidst all that rain.

So lots to look forward to now as we approach the end of January, already!! So be prepared :) 

Nothing to see here!

19 January 2018 07:19:50

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Its bitterly cold this morning and everywhere is white with frost. Gorgeous to look out on but very cold.

On Sunday I went out to the greenhouse to have a look at all my lovely swaps and purchases from Johnstown and what a delight to see so many new plants that I dont have.

Then on Monday I went out when it was a bit sunny but cold and into the greenhouse again. This time I divided one or two plants I bought and potted them up. All of a sudden Winter arrived outside and it was lashing rain and windy. Ten minutes later the sun was out and it was so warm in the greenhouse. I really enjoyed my time in there and would be lost without it.

Took a little trip around the garden and seriously not too much to see. Yes there is a bit of growth with Hellebores, Primroses, Snowdrops, Wallflowers and a few shrubs which have the added bonus of just beautiful foliage. But Im just so excited to get going again. I cant wait to get that buzz and be out there in the 'sunshine' or something similiar. 

So another few weeks and we should be off properly. Im hoping to get some Sweet Pea sown over the weekend, as I didnt get a chance before Christmas. Usually mine are quite established by now....ah well.......we will get there. The real seed sowing season will be here real soon.

But for now..........nothing to see here really.............

A few photos from the garden......hopefully not upsidedown!!

Johnstown Get-together 2018

15 January 2018 07:29:18

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Well what can I say that hasnt been said already. I had a terrific day on Saturday and it was just fantastic to meet up with everyone again.

I arrived around 10.30am and found Margie in the carpark. So off inside for a cuppa and the Donegal entourage arrived and joined us. It was just so nice to see Moya, Margot, Brid (Moya's friend, who has attend for the past 3 years, lovely lady) and Daphne (Kittybane) she has the most magnificent garden in Derry if you ever get a chance to visit it, its amazing.

So after lots of chit chat we were off out again to the carpark for the plant swap. Now there were lots more people arriving and it was getting exciting. Everyone was chatting and swapping, which is great craic. Running from car to car, who's getting what and who's giving what. Great to meet everyone again.

Off inside again and it was now time for food and chat.....the raffle and Kris Kindle. The day was just flying by, which of course always happens when you are enjoying yourself. Lots of laughter and cheering and the next thing it was time to go outside.

Well thats just the icing on the cake haha........everyone outside having a look and trying to decide what to spend their vouchers on (those that won them!) and others, like me, just going to spend anyway.

Found a few 'bits and pieces' and I was happy. And before you know it its all over again for another year............gone in a flash.

I had a fantastic day, great company, great food, and lots of great retail therapy too. 

Hazel has decided to step down now as organiser, and she has done a great job for all those years and I thank her for that. So now Terri and Alan will fill those shoes, which I am sure they will do a terrific job.

Really looking forward to the next get together whereever that may be. I am also hoping that my Linda will oblige and hope to get to see Moya's garden and maybe even Seaview in the coming months.....watch this space, I feel a road trip coming on lol

So thank you all for the plants and the great day. I dont have a lot of photos as I was so busy enjoying myself I completely forgot, we didnt even get a group photo on the day! that will tell you how quick it all went. But it was just fantastic to have that again this year. 

So on to the next one now......cant wait!

Name tag for Saturday!

11 January 2018 19:17:33
Name tag for Saturday!

Name tag for Saturday!

So at this stage we all nearly know who is who, but of course there will always be a newbie arriving, hopefully, who would be totallly lost without the good old name tag!

Do you have one? 

Do you need one?

For the past couple of years I have been doing these name tags and at this stage you should all have a few!! or at least one! If you do will you please remember to bring one along with you on the day. 

If by chance, like me, you cant find one or you need a new one, or your first one, will you let me know on this journal and I will have some sort of name tag for you on the day.

So go on, get digging, in those cupboards I mean and see if you can find your name tag or if not, just let me know!! 

Looking forward to seeing you all on Saturday, should be a great day, as usual!

Plants for Johnstown

09 January 2018 17:08:35
Plants for Johnstown

Plants for Johnstown

So here is a list of plants that I have if anyone would like some. Just shout out. So looking forward to meeting up with everyone again. Can’t believe another year is here! 


Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

Salvia ‘Royal Bumble’ x 2  Mary Jacinta

Achillea Pink/dark pink x 4

Sambucus Nigra ‘Black Lace’ x 4

Lobelia Queen Vic x 3   Linda Joann Margie

Heuchera Purple Palace x 3

Heuchera Lime Green x 2 Hazel

Persicaria campanulata x 2

Geum orange ....some seedlings 

Pelergonium sideoides x 2   Mary JoanG Joann

Amni Majus seedlings x 5 Moya Joann

Anemone Cinderella x 1  Linda

Zantedeschia Easter Lily x 4  Moya Brid

If you see anything there just let me know. Or if I’ve told you I’d give you something g during the year and I’ve forgotten!!!  please remind me too. 

Happy New Year

28 December 2017 09:44:53

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Its been quite a busy few weeks here for us.

We headed to New York for 5 days, Jimmy, Nicola, Linda, my son, Chris, met us there after flying from London and myself. We had an absolute ball of a time. THe snow came and it was freezing but in New York you dont mind as its so magical at this time of year. Especially going around Central Park and the Rockefeller centre, pure bliss and the Christmas lights just magical. 

Then we all arrived home for Christmas which of course was lovely with us all together and the grandchildren. It was a hectic few days I can tell you but so lovely. Then yesterday my son had to return to London, work beckoned after 2 weeks!! but it was sad to see him go as its been a while since we had him home for so long. Now the house feels so empty........I cant wait for the New Year to be over and start January, my favourite month of the year.

New beginnings and lots of planning to do both inside and outside in the garden. Looking forward to meeting up with everyone at Johnstown and doing some shopping!!!

I bougth this brilliant new Apple Macbook Pro and thought Id be in business putting up photos here, but alas that is not to be for some reason!! Will that new site ever materialise..................I do hope so because I wont be able to put up any photos unless you all stand on your head or sideways! lol, 

Anyway.........lets see if the new year brings a new site, we live in hope!

So finally, I would like to wish you and your famililes a Wonderful New Year, blessed with health, happiness and peace. 

Hope to see some of you in the next few weeks!!


28 December 2017 09:24:57

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I got a new Apple macbook and I wanted to see if it would work with photos on here, so here goes!!

This was taken yesterday when I was coming down the stairs as the dogs were waiting to see if I would take them out for a walk!!


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