Category Archives: Gardening

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!

Stapelia gigantea, or Carrion Flower

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I’ve had this plant a long time. I first got it in 1998 or so. I couldn’t bring it with me to Ireland, but I did take a cutting and brought it in sans soil. Lucky for me, it survived a month in the container in a jar of water and damp paper towel. Probably still illegal, but at least I didn’t bring any bugs or weird microbes in to the country. It’s a house plant, here, but is native to South Africa – as it seems a lot of my favourite plants are!

Oddly enough, after 11 years, this thing finally decided to bloom. Not that long ago, I gave it a good soaking, and a wash (the leaves are furry and collect a lot of cat hair), and I guess that finally sparked it into flowering. I won’t read anything into a corpse flower blooming the week my Spotty cat died.

First I noticed was that there was a huge balloon sticking out the side.


Stormtrooper mini-fig for size. We all know how big they are, right?

Then it opened.


Weird as hell, right? And it does, indeed, stink of death. Not that bad, really, unless you stick your face right in it. The scent and hairs are to mimic a dead animal, as this is a fly-pollinated plant. The texture of the bloom is very much like leather, too. This one started to shrivel today, so I cut it off. But there are several more coming, so I am taking better care of it than I usually do. It got another good soaking today.

If you want to learn more about this unique plant. 

Roses for Mama 2016

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My mother died 19 years ago today. It’s never a good day for me, and somehow the day before is worse. I have her beloved peace roses growing in my garden, and I think of her every time I see them. She wasn’t a gardener at all, but passed the love of this particular rose on to me.

I just wish I could share them with her.


If you love any of these photos, please save them, but share with someone you love. I would feel as though you are spreading the love of the peace rose on behalf of my mama.