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Moya's Journal

Moya's Journal

Last Post 192 days 12 hours ago

List for Johnstown

11 January 2018 10:46:48

Happy Christmas to Everyone

22 December 2017 23:34:34
Happy Christmas to Everyone

Happy Christmas to Everyone

I hope you all have a wonderfully happy Christmas and perhaps we will meet up in January.

Can't believe I've been away so long

22 November 2017 21:14:27

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Hazel, you did warn me that retirement was busier than work. How right you were  - I had no idea. I am constantly running after my tail. I am ever hopeful that it will settle down very soon.

Anyhow, news of my garden. I haven't actually had as much time in it as I thought I would have - just a day or an hour here and there. It's looking very soggy and sorry for itself at the moment.

I've made lots of garden friends and we've been around to many of the gardens in the Donegal Garden Trail.

I recently attended a course in the Organic Centre delivered by the no dig expert Charles Dowding which was great and I am continuing to go to Jimi Blake's wonderful plantsperson's course. Oliver Schurmann and Carmel Duignan have given presentations on it which were fab but a real highligh of the course are the other participants. So much experience and skill.

That will do for now. Here are some photos of my garden at the end of October.

I hope you are all well and I will post again very soon.

Dahlias Today

15 August 2017 21:45:23

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Here are a few photos of dahlias doing well here at the moment.

I have always liked dahlias for their pzazz and continuous flowering from July on.

I have a lot of them in pots but I plan to move some of them into the open ground next year as I think they would do better there.

Earwigs have been having a field day as well. I tried setting traps but that didn't really work.

I am also going to get some new colours as the bright yellow and red Merluza just doesn't fit in.

Overall, though I am very happy with their performance and I wouldn't be without them.

Astilbe chinensis 'Purple Lance' or purpurlanze

29 July 2017 23:03:58

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I read about this plant in a feature on Jimi Blake's garden in Garden Heaven a few years ago. I thought it was the answer to lack of height in late Summer shady borders and I loved its dramatic colour and shape.

I went about aquiring a number of plants and got four from various sources on the internet. Seamus O' Donnell of Cluain na dTor gardens kindly gave me a plant as well.

I planted them all and they did nothing at all for the first year.  This year, however, I am very happy to see the plants flowering in the border as I imagined them. They need a bit of staking as we have had a lot of wind and I will finish the job tomorrow.

Here's one plant that I staked this evening together with Angelica sylvestris purpurea or Angelica gigas. (I have both and they have crossed and also reverted to wild angelica) 

Thalictrum ID

09 July 2017 23:45:02

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I fell in love with Thalictrum a few years ago and bought a few Thalictrum delavayi 'Hewitt's Double' and possbily a Thalictrum 'Black Stockings' but their description doesn't fit this one which has sprung up in the middle of the border.

It is about 8 foot and the flowers are a kind of off white with some purple pink at the base. It has been flowering for weeks.

Anyone got any idea which Thalictrum it is?

It's an ill Wind!

29 June 2017 23:53:23

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What a horrible wind that blew here all day. Northerly I think, cold and dispiriting. It was cold and I could not get enthusiast at all in the garden.

On a positive note, here are a few dahlias flowering in the garden at the moment.

Wonderful Morning at Margot's

26 June 2017 00:44:52
Wonderful Morning at Margot's

Wonderful Morning at Margot's

The Muddy Boots Garden Club's  (set up by .ier Feverfew aka Evelyn Gallagher) Summer outing was to none other than our esteemed Fleurette's garden in Shrove. Margot had a wonderful welcome for us and brought us on a very informative tour of her amazing garden. She had her trusty fork in tow and dispensed many clumps and bits of plants along the way. Her generosity knows no bounds.

We all had a ball.

The garden and all the plants in it looked great. It is a magical garden in a spectacular setting.

There was much evidence of plants given by garden.ie friends especially Jackie and Joan G. and there wasn't a weed or a gap in sight.

How do you do it Margot?

Margot, thanks so much for the opportunity to enjoy your wonderful garden once again. I will never tire of it.

I will put up a photo album so you can all drool.

Formal Border also "Finished"

17 June 2017 23:00:43
Formal Border also 'Finished'

Formal Border also 'Finished'

Yes, almost finished I should say. I managed to get 3 'Iceberg' shrub roses in Lidl and got another white rose -'Princess of Wales' which is smaller so I planted it at the side.

I sowed some Cosmos 'Purity' and had more than enough but alas some died - due I think to sitting in cold wet compost after being potted on. I am 8 short as each quadrant required 12 plants but no matter, I may pick up a few plants somewhere.

I gave the box hedge a slight trim and it does seem to be shaping up. 

Definitely the last one.....

17 June 2017 22:46:43

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....or so I hope. This border has been on the go for a good 6 months, if not more.

I covered with wet newspaper and mulched with well rotted manure/compost. Then let it rot down for a few months and started to plant it about a month ago.

I finally finished this evening to the background noises of the Donegal International Rally!! It was really hard work and I am exhausted.

I have run out of space and I really am not planning to develop any more new borders, I will have enough to do to maintain and renovate the existing ones.

There are many plants from .ie friends in this border - Jackie, Joan G., Margot among others and I will post pictures as they flower. Thank you friends!

Meantime here is a picture of the border (have to finish edging it and resow the grass path), a lovely pink calla lily and a nice white waterlily type Dahlia - I thought it was Dahlia 'My Love' but that one is a semi-cactus which is flowering beside it. 

Brid's Garden

28 May 2017 23:38:10

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I visited my friend Brid's garden today. Some of you may have met her at the last two get togethers in Johnstown. It is a big garden by the sea and as well as enjoying the wonderful effect of the gulf stream, it is also very sheltered so an ideal habitat for many plants, including many tenders.

Two specimens stood out today and I couldn't resist taking pictures of them and sharing them with you. One is Melanoselinum decipiens, seeds of which originally came from Rachel - thank you Rachel. I grew quite a few of them and gave some away but this is the first plant of the group that I have seen or heard of flowering. (Mine don't appear to be going to flower even though they are three years old!) It is spectacular!!

The second is Echium pininana. It must be at least 10 feet tall and buzzing with bees - a wonderful sight!!

Plan B

19 May 2017 22:44:51

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As some of you may know, I have a rather wild garden - mainly perennials and lots of self seeders that I don't control enough so I planned to develop a formal part to contrast with all the madness. This has been in the pipeline for a number of years and I got the hard lanscaping done last year and the box hedge planted.

I wasn't sure for a long time what I would plant in the 4 squares inside the box but then I thought I might try shrub roses again.

This plan was further revised when I was at a talk by Dermot O' Neill recently where he featured a slide depicting a mass planting of Iceberg shrub roses. I queried Dermot about whether they were repeat flowering which I think is essential in this situation. 9I forgot to find out from him if they were scented.)

Suffice ' to say that he recommended this variety and I thought I made a decision that I would stick to white and go after the afermentioned Rosa 'Iceberg'. I calculated that I would need between 12 to 16 plants.

Well, to make a long story short, I quickly found out that it is not possible to buy that number of any one rose in most garden centres at this time of year as they have all ordered whatever roses they are getting in in Oct/Nov.

That is when I decided on "Plan B" - plant up the sections with white cosmos 'Purity' this year and order the roses in the Autumn. I set about buying and sowing the cosmos and they obligingly germinated straight away.

This evening I potted on 34 seedlings and only need another 2 which I have waiting. I think Plan B might just work out....

It's amazing....

03 May 2017 22:00:46

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......what you can get done in 2 hours at times. Tonight I headed out to the garden from 7.30 to 9.30 and I managed to get the following done -

Sowed some Virginian Stock seeds in the trough with the sweetpeas

Sowed some pots of White Lady runner beans 

Watered some plants in the greenhouse

Put fleece over some pots of Dahlias

Watered some shrubs which have been moved recently

Sowed Autumn King carrot seeds and planted parsley and marigolds nearby

Pruned a large Hydrangea aspera Villosa and a Hydrangea macrophylla

Planted a Veroncastrum

Took a few photos at dusk

I am a genius at pottering and have often not got that much done in a whole day. It must be the good weather and the glorious sunset!

New Addition to the Garden

02 May 2017 21:41:23
New Addition to the Garden

New Addition to the Garden

I bought this arch in Aldi but had no idea how big it was. (I'm sure it was written on the pack but hopeless at visualising the size.) I had in mind that I would use it to support sweet peas but it couldn't go into the ground in the spot that I had planned for it as it needed to be sunk 30cms.

What followed was hubby and I trying it out in different places in the garden. We finally decided on this spot at the start of the path and today I put the sweetpeas into troughs on either side. 

I finised off with some night scented stock so the smells should be divine when they all bloom.

What do you think?

Help! All Advice Welcome

13 April 2017 00:41:09

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A good friend is getting married on the 5th May and is giving her house a face lift as she will be hosting some relatives beforehand. She has a number of containers - window boxes, a hanging basket and some pots and has asked me to help her to plant them up with plants that will be in flower on that date.


This is quite challenging, I think, because I know it is the hungry gap so I am looking for help. What plants would you recommend? What will be in flower? 

Bear in mind that we are a few weeks behind here in Donegal when compared to the south of the country.



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