My Garden Diary 2002




January 1st 2002.
A Happy new year to everyone. May we all have a wonderful year in the garden. January 11th 2002.
Nothing to report. The garden is looking very brown and damp but hopefully a few weeks will make a big difference.

January 21st 2002.

Just returned from a week away during which time I visited one of my favourite gardens . Even at this time of year it looks great ; I am speaking of A seaside garden and if you want to visit it look in the Irish Gardens section of this site. I left this garden with a piece of Libertia caerulescens ( oh, I was given it!) which I look forward to planting tomorrow.  It is funny to see the garden seemingly still asleep but on close investigation clematis that looks very dead is producing lovely big juicy buds. Same with Camellias, covered with buds and it won't be long before the glorious flowers appear.

February 10th 2002. A great deal of progress in the last few weeks. Several Camellias have started to open buds. Pulmonaria is also flowering as are the baby daffodils, tete a tete. Pride of place goes to Edgeworthia chrysantha which I got last year. It was an expensive plant but well worth it. The scent of the flowers just now is wonderful. In the conservatory the Passion flowers continue to bloom and to have the pink and red blossoms at this time of year does ones heart good.
March 6th 2002 It is all happening now. Camellias blooming, daffs looking good, buds everywhere, and seeds germinating. Spawn in the pond with a froggie who has sat there for two days ribbiting like mad. Birds feeding as if they expect a famine and two new Orfe in the pond gliding around majestically. Lovely discoveries like the bit of rose pruning I stuck in the ground last year and has taken off producing new leaves...I love these finds. Attacked one side of the garden over the last two days. Cut down piles of Pyracantha....rotten job...but more space there now ; have to decide what I do with it. Oh and another find was that the Chatham island forget-me-not that I got as a seedling last year is going to produce some flowers. Yes it is the time to wander around and look very closely to see what unexpected pleasures are in store.
March 17th, 2002. St Patrick's day and I fear a miserable one with heavy rain. What a pity as yesterday was lovely , mild and sunny, a good gardening day. During the week I had got 5 new hardy geraniums from a net friend in Belgium as part of a swop. I potted up these and also some geranium seedlings I had grown. A lovely blue alpina clematis is in flower , I am not sure of it's name, but it is growing up through a contorted willow tree and looks well. I also potted up my Banana and Ensete. I wonder what the future holds for these as I will run out of space to house them during the Winter as they get bigger and bigger. The famous or perhaps infamous Pulsatilla Budapest are above ground and looking well, fingers crossed I will get to see flowers this year.
April 8th 2002. Oh dear time has slipped by and I should have updated my diary a week ago. Well I blame the weather ; there have been some great gardening days so I was busy. Just goes to show the poor weather can never win!! Growth is progressing so quickly it is hard to keep up with developments. Camellias are still blooming and clematis Willy is in flower as well as macropetala and alpina Ruby. Most of the later flowering clematis are showing a lot of growth. Daffodils are nearly finished but the Tulips are looking good. There are a lot of buds on the Lilac which should open early next month. On Sunday last I visited a friend who grows exotic plants and came home with 23 !! Most of these can go outdoors for the Summer but it looks as if I will have to extend the conservatory,,,,,if only. How generous fellow gardeners can be. I also got two more hardy geraniums in the mail today. Three Passion flowers are blooming in the conservatory as is a Rhodochiton. There is so much pleasure to be got when it is possible to grow some plants under glass.
April 30th 2002. I have put a picture of the Rhodochiton on my home page as it is now in full bloom. What a lovely plant and a pity it is frost tender. Only one camellia still flowering, Adolphe Audusson, this seems to go on for ages. Several roses have buds just ready to open and Etoile de Holland is looking particularily good. The pretty Pleione formosa growing in very gritty compost is flowering and there are several more still to come into bloom. I am very pleased with the growth of an Acer griseum I bought last year but sadly another Acer has got some problem resulting in it dropping all the young leaves; I hope it will recover. I have about 40 geranium plants from self sown seedlings and I hope to sort out what some of them are!! Then comes the problem of finding somewhere to plant them... I am still keeping the very tender plants like banana indoors until risk of frost is past.
May 21st 2002. As I write the wind is howling and the rain coming down in buckets. I see the glorious blooms of Rose Etoile de Holland being tossed around like feathers. You will gatber the weather is not clement! We have had one or two sunny days and all the tender plants have been put outside...not to drown I hope. I have a Lilac tree in the garden which I admit takes up a lot of space; however it had been given to me by the previous owners of the house and is of definite sentimental value. In 1986 it was knocked over by hurricane Charlie but continued to grow and blossom This year the scent in the garden has been magic. Even if blooms last for only a few weeks that tree is going to stay as long as I am here. Clematis Nelly Moser is looking good on the bottom wall as is Rose Zepherin Drouhin. The acer I mentioned last time is not showing any sign of recovery so I think I will dig it up and pot it in the hopes of a revival. Lots of hardy geraniums are flowering as are clumps of an Iris whose name escapes me.
June14th 2002. Loads of hardy geraniums in flower, which as you may know makes me very happy. Looking out the window I see a white Watsonia, it is about 5 feet tall and a lovely plant. This is one I brought home from Madeira last September; others are not so advanced and it will take a week or two for them to flower. Most of the roses are blooming and two climbers are proving a bit heavy for an arch which is tilting at quite an angle! Water lilies are about to open and then they will continue into the Autumn. There has been amazing growth despite the fact that Summer has yet to arrive. I can't recall a year in the past that I have not been able to sit out in the sun on at least a few days...ugh. I am off on a weeks hols to West Ireland tomorrow so have my fingers crossed for a bit of warmth. In a way I don't like leaving the garden but then it is great when, on my return, I see what is flowering. July 9th 2002. Oh dear, a long gap since I last wrote but quite honestly the weather has been so dreadful that visits to my garden have not been as frequent as usual. Rain and more rain. Anyway the plants don't seem to be objecting to this and there is a lot of growth. Many hardy geraniums blooming and this week the Bottlebrush burst into flower and looks great. The Ensete is producing new leaves and it is a joy to see the sun ? shine through them. Watsonias, white , are looking rather majestic and I must try and get an orange one. As ever Sweet pea is in several vases indoors ,what a scent, no year would be complete without that. Black bamboo seems to revel in this weather and there are several new growth growing to enormous heights. Naturally Water lilies are happy and there is an abundance of them, sadly they only open wide when it is warm enough which these days is a rarity. I do hope next time I can report some sunshine.
August 9th 2002. Still very sad here weatherwise; there have only been a couple of hot sunny days in the last month . To make matters worse there is a feeling of Autumn in the air. So now that my moaning is over lets see what is blooming. Second flush of some roses like Leaping Salmon, blue berries forming on the Dianella, they are an amazing shade of blue . Late flowering Clematis, while the durandii and integrifolia continue to flower really well. These herbaceous clematis are great value. Many hardy geraniums still going strong ; though not a dahlia lover I have a nice white one ; also Aconitum and the crocosmias. The ensete is looking great and the huge red leaves look wonderful when the sun deigns to glimmer. So all in all despite the weather the garden is doing its best.
September 1st
Signs of Autumn here as seen by lovely berries on Dianella and Billardiera; both forms of berries are a lovely colour. Anemone Prinz Heinrich is also blooming as are the Crocosmias. I got a lovely new one this year called Severn Sunrise and though there is only one small flower I know it will bulk up for next year. I think this is the nicest of the crocosmias. My mystery little Dahlis is now flowering since May,,, wish I could find out its real name. I have take cuttings which root very easily just in case the plant does not like winter conditions. I have also taken cuttings of the interesting geraniums which arrived as seedlings last year. I must admit that another little bit of grass has hit the dust and will be a bed for some of my small geraniums. Big job on line for later in the year and that is to replace one of the metal arches with a wooden one. The weight of a two roses and two clematis has proved too much for the present arch which is now listing drunkenly.
October 10th
Oh dear what a gap since I last wrote. Do I have an excuse? Not really, time just seems to have raced by. I did spend a lovely week in Lanzarote enjoying lovely sun , a commodity that was sadly lacking in this part of the world. Having said that September was a lovely month and the result is that there is still a lot of colour in the garden. Several Canna lilies bloomed this year one yellow and the other red. The others just produced masses of foliage with not a bud in sight. I am delighted that clematis Duchess of Albany bloomed this year and it is a beauty. That lovely climber Dicentra scandens which I thought had finished flowering has produced another flush of yellow flowers. A big thrill is that a Hibiscus in the conservatory is in flower, a pretty white one with a red centre. Tibouchin's wonderful purple flowers add even more colour. I saw a wooden arch yesterday a really strong one that would suit the garden well but it was very expensive so unlikely it will come to live here.