Category Archives: Gardening

Gardening Gifts

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My sister sent me gardening stuff for Christmas! Along with a cool bug hotel, I got this:


Ah, she knows us too well! It’s a nice little kit with six types of seeds, biodegradable pots, plugs of soil, stakes for labelling, and a very nice, big pamphlet that not only tells you ideal planting advice but has drink recipes!


I planted everything but the strawberries on Sunday, as I have a different variety still going from last year and I don’t have much luck with them in any case.

I saved the last pot and plug for seeds that Kalamain from Kal’s Gardening sent me. Acer seeds! Hubby has wanted an acer for-ev-er. My first attempt at germination failed, but Kal sent extras so I’m trying again. He also sent me alliums and calendula ‘candyman yellow’ so I am trying those, too. Hubby loves yellow or orange flowers the best, so if I can grow him a maple tree and some yellow flowers, Kal will have made him a happy garden-observer!

All of them are in the heated propagator right now. I’m keeping a good eye on them, and the cinnamon basil is already sprouting. I also have bad luck with basil, so I’m 100% positive it is just the heat making it even think about living with me. 

Some Flowers (Dinner-safe viewing)

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Oh wait, there is a bug also, but it’s not pooping.


The honesty is going absolutely crazy. It does look like a pretty weed, however. 


Not flowers. Yet. But this is my first peony and I just love it! All along the back are self-seeded digitalis, and a few weeds (oops). But isn’t the peony just lovely, stems and all? I hope she blooms this year, but as I’ve said this is a bought plant and I have no idea how old it is, so maybe not this year as she might still be a teenager. I don’t care, the foliage is beautiful, too. 


Purple hyacinth. A bit out of focus, sorry!


Pink hyacinth. Dirty because this one was flat on her face from the wind a few days ago, and it hasn’t rained much since to wash off the muck. I’m happy that she came back to stand tall again.

I’ve not seen many bees yet this spring, but I have seen hoverflies. They like to warm themselves right by my front door. Freaks himself out as he thinks anything that looks like a bee is going to attack him. I’m working on that.


The steel rods were in the recycle bin at work, so I brought them home to hammer into the ground as supports for my raspberries. The ground is so rocky and hard here that I can’t get a bamboo cane deep enough to be a proper support, unless I start a major excavation. Here is to hoping that these will work. When I get around to it…

A Lot Of What Is This?

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It’s been warm, mostly. I’m talking hovering right around 10 deg C or 50 F. Heat waaaaave!

My plants think so, anyway.

The azalea is small, but blooming like a mad thing. The pic I took was a blurry mess, so I’m not sharing. The peony seems to grow an inch a day, and is such a lovely dark reddish purpleish maroonish that I think it needs a colour named after it instead of my awkward description.

The bleeding heart that hubby bought last year is very small, but in flower.


It has just the one stem, and very minimal leaves, so I don’t think it is so happy in the current location. We will see, next year I expect.

The columbines are going beserk right next to the bleeding heart, now that the not-sweet-pea’s mess of dead vines have been cleared out.

But what I really want to know is… what the heck are these?


This was taken a couple of days ago, and there are many more flowers now. This/these were given to me by iDJ’s uncle last year and they did SFA then. This year? Going crazy.

And what are these? 


Also accidently came over from the Gardening Uncle. They are in pots he gave me, that were meant to be just bluebells (the long narrow leaves). I have no clue.


I should know what these are, as himself bought them for me last year as ground cover. I’m sure that I posted then what they are, but I’ve forgotten now. They are starting to do the intended job, at least.

Bloomin’ Wonderful

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Himself bought me a bunch of hyacinth bulbs. I love to have them inside, as I adore their fragrance. Can’t do that, with kitten-features about the place. I was rushed to get them into the ground, so I stuck them wherever I could. I’m well pleased!


First one to show her face. I found her fallen over and staked her up, to no avail. Broken off at the stalk, this one is now fragancing my living room. If you look closely, there is another flower head coming up on the right, so all is not lost!


I’m feeling a bit sorry I didn’t put them in sunshiney places. This, and the next one, never see direct sun.


So lovely, aren’t they? And the scent is incredible. Hope I get some bees having a sip.


My new peony has survived! Not being sure how old she is, I don’t expect flowers this year. I could be surprised! It’s the first one I’ve ever grown.


Indoors, my gerbera daisy plants are soooo happy. As am I, to see these beauties every day.



Scottie – these are the ones I reccomend to bring some light and colour of life into your home. They are rather expensive to buy, for a plant, but if you grow from seed like I did, they are never ending beauty. 

I’m a Bit Seedy Today

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March…I always seem to feel seedy in March! Hopefully, soon I’ll feel seedlings instead!

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Hubby buys me gardening magazines because they come with free seed packets. He gets me about one a week. These are my prizes going only back to December:


Oh my!

Some of these are for seeding outdoors where you want them to grow. So no cineraria, lettuce, wallflower, cornflower or the big sunflower in the top row.

What I did start today:

Cherry tomato Lycopersicon lycopersicum

Morning glory ‘heavenly blue’ Ipomoea tricolor

Sunflower ‘sunburst mix’ Helianthus annus

Penstemon Penstemon hartwegii

Marigold ‘Kees Orange’ Tagetes erecta 

Hollyhock ‘Good Golly Miss Holly’ (no botanical name given, but says it is a brand new hollyhock named by Garden News readers)

Sweet pea ‘old spice mix’ Lathyrus odoratus

And the one I’m going to try hardest to keep going – French lavender Lavandula stoechas.

Wish me luck!

January Greenery

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Usually not much is growing this time of year. But this has been a warm winter, mostly, and my plants are jumping ahead of schedule.

No surprise to see these fellows, though.


Snowdrops! Lots of them. I love how they spread and need no tending from me.


I’ve rather forgotten what these are. Bluebells, maybe? Hubby’s uncle did give me some last year.


Daffodils are really coming along, too. Ugh, so much clean up still to do!


For Ark – the cold hasn’t phased the monster gazania. For reference, that pot is about 45cm square. I couldn’t even get them all in the picture. 


I moved all my tulips last year. Or, I thought I did. Missed this sneaky one. Seems happy there, however.


Fall-planted garlic is going gangbusters, too.


As is the clematis in the grey willow.


And my azalea is covered in flower buds! I think it has sorted itself out, almost. Was it last year or the year before that it bloomed in November, the silly thing?

More Frosty Fronds

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I am super proud of this picture.


Nothing but frozen fallen leaves on an old garden ornament. But I love it.


A different angle.


Sundial. Clearly not able!


Life – might be uncomfortable but we persevere. 


Berry berry?


Flowers still trying! Dammit, is my finger in the picture top right? Oops.


Frosty ivy. 

November in Bloom

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I still have roses. 


The leaves on the blueberry bushes are just stunning.


Best of all, I have new gazania. Really tall gazania! These grew from seed this year, and I popped them into a pot with gladiolus. That might give you some idea of how tall they are! All of my others are less than a foot tall – these are heading toward three!


Unfortunately there hasn’t been enough sunshine for the blooms to open fully. Shame as they are just gorgeous.


Yesterday there was a bit more sun and this one tried to soak it in. Blurry as it was also windy as heck yesterday! 

Halloween Treat! Hedgie in the Compost

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It’s an old story now, but last week when I took my kitchen scraps out to the compost bin, I  got a surprise.


The bin.
When I opened it up, it did not look anything like the way it had looked two days before. It looked like the world’s biggest worm had been rummaging around in there.


Such a big hole where no hole was before. What could it be? 


Hard to see, but something had dug a tunnel into the bin underneath the massive oregano bush. 

I immediately thought of rats. I’m not a fan of rats in the wild. Not scared, but I’d rather they didn’t live on my property.


But there was a wee round nest, too. What animal is native to Ireland and is round when it curls up? A hedgehog! So I looked closer….


Hedgehog poop! Definitely not rat poop. 

Unfortunately it seemed hedgie didn’t like my intrusion into the warm safe place full of food, as there hasn’t been any sign that it has been back.

Bummer, I even left grapes as an offering!

Dahlias, Darlings.

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We bought a load of dahlias early in the year. Of course now is their prime time, despite my lack of care and feeding this year. Some haven’t bloomed at all, but have foliage. Some just keep it up and have since August!


The most recent to bloom – one pic is mine, one is hubby’s. Same flower! 


This big one is going right now, too. It was turned to the side, away from the sun, so I had to hold it for himself to take a decent picture. 


Earlier blooms from the same plant – it is quite prolific!



Plain white – don’t remember buying this one but it is here nonetheless.

  

I could swear we got a purple and white one, but instead this came up. Oh well, it’s still pretty, and welcome.

Now. Will I remember to dig them out when it gets cold? Likely not!