Zooming through the Week.

Waterford, south-east Ireland, 13th February 2021

Zoom, Zoom, Zzzzzzoooooommmmmmmm!

That’s how the week went! Now, of course, you have imagined that the week simply zipped past but this was not the case at all. In fact, it was a slow week, a very slow week with very, very little gardening at all. I did an hour of gardening last Sunday morning and it was perishingly cold so I quickly called it a day and went indoors to watch Wales defeat Ireland in their Six-Nations fixture. It would be a reasonable comment to say that Ireland lost rather than Wales won but such is sport and it will be justifiably recorded as a win for Wales and I wouldn’t begrudge them their victory nor celebrations.

So, what zoomed?, you may well ask! Well, in one sense, I zoomed for most of the week and then I zoomed some more. Zoom meetings have become the thing for gardening clubs with the restrictions on travel and large gatherings. I am a member of a gardening club in Cork (about two hours away from home) and also of another club with a nationwide membership. As replacement for their normal winter talks with visiting speakers, both have organised Zoom meetings for the entertainment of the membership. I have joined meetings from both of these clubs and, indeed, a couple from the U.S.A. (David Culp, which was free!) and have also joined a few from Plant Heritage in the U.K. And, now, I am going to be zooming myself as I am going to give a talk to the members of the Irish Garden Plant Society on the 2nd of March and another to the members of Plant Heritage in the U.K. on the 10th of April. As the weather was too cold for gardening, I spent the week selecting photographs for the talks, deciding on their arrangement and sequence in the talk and, with some research, adding notes for my information and captions for the benefit of my audience. It will be a new method of presentation for me and I am a little anxious, hoping it goes well but, at any rate, will do my best. The titles of the talks, by the way, are “A Snowdrop Garden” and “Mount Congreve, An Irish Treasure” and links to details are below.

There was a little improvement in the weather on Friday which tempted me to give the big mower a run but I failed to start it. I imagine the battery is run down though it was turning over so I haven’t given up hopes that it might start when next I try it. In the meantime, I took out the push mower and ran around the edges of the grass and afterwards trimmed the edges with a strimmer – a case of giving the garden a cat’s lick, so to speak. It wasn’t a great deal but it heartened me and brought back the enjoyment of being active in the garden, something I hope we will be able to be more and more as the weather improves. We live in hope!

Now, let’s have a look at some things from the garden this week. Let’s begin with a sprinkle of primulas around the garden, nothing special, none a named cultivar but they have grown here for years and years without intervention or help.

This camellia is probably ‘Donation’, a very easy one which has grown well over the years and is the first to flower in the garden. It has also given a crop of seedlings underneath but all are still too small to flower. I may move some to see how what they become. It would be interesting but, I imagine, the will simply be another pink camellia!

These evergreen shrubs give interest in the garden right through the year but are especially to be appreciated in winter when they provide colour and form in the garden.

I am borrowing Mary’s work for these irises for it is she who has grown them on in pots on a stand at the back door, a beautiful spot of colour each time we go out and in. Iris ‘Katherin Hodgkins’ is planted out in the garden and has multiplied very well so that there is now a very good patch of it there.

Few plants better the daphnes for fragrance. Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postil’ has especially beautiful fragrance and we have grown it for years but, only purchased last year, Daphne ‘Fragrant Princess’ is also especially fragrant and a wonderful addition to the garden – it is still in a pot until the head gardener decides on the spot for it. Daphne mezerium ‘Album’ is a seedling in the garden and I have never thought of it as being particularly fragrant. It is a shrub which doesn’t invite the nose to explore.

Finally, for this week, thought the weather has been too cold for snowdrops to open it has been possible to take a quick walk around and take shots which show the contribution snowdrops make to the garden in groups rather than peeking into the details of the individual cultivars – though a few are included individually.

So, we have passed another week, another week under the confinement of Covid restrictions, and we can only look forward in hope for the successful implementation of the vaccination programme and, in the short-term, to better weather which will allow us to spend more time in the garden. Best wishes to everybody!

I’m sharing this blog with a group of fellow bloggers who contribute to a “Six on Saturday” theme which is hosted by “The Propagator” on his blog site. To read more contributions to the Six on Saturday theme go to The Propagator’s entry for today, scroll down to the comments and you will find other bloggers have posted links to their Saturday entries there. Lots to read!

A bit of self-promotion: My two talks: A Snowdrop Garden and Mount Congreve – An Irish Treasure

36 thoughts on “Zooming through the Week.

  1. I think you’re right about the rugby. I was rooting for Ireland but ultimately you can’t win if you give away that many penalties. They look very promising though!

    The various flowers, of course, look fantastic, but that’s an excellent selection of variegated foliage too!

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  2. A lovely selection of irises and primulas there. Good luck with the Zoom talk planning. I’ve been reading some Zoom instructions in case I have to give a talk for work this year – it seemed a little complicated during the first read through but hopefully all will become clear.

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    1. With the gardening talk, somebody will be organising the technicalities so it is a matter of joining the meeting, sharing my screen and hoping for the best.

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  3. So much colour Paddy, you didn’t have to resort to sunset photos after all! I love the colour of the iris Katherine Hodgkins (first two in the iris selection). I am looking forward to listening to your talks later. I do almost all my teaching on Zoom these days, sick to death of it, but it’s quite reliable most of the time, you’ll be alright.

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  4. Iris ‘Katherine Hodgkins’ has done very well here and I hope ‘Katherine’s Gold’ does as well as I like it very much also. Fingers crossed. A day indoors here. We have booked into another Zoom gardening talk for the early afternoon – Wim Boens who is from Belgium, I think, talking about companion plants for snowdrops. I have two sons who are teachers and they are teaching by Zoom these days as well. It’s challenging times for schools. I wouldn’t wish them to be at work, too many people together is not a good idea.

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    1. I don’t know Wim Boens, I hope the talk was good. It’s hard for students and teachers alike these days. Teaching by Zoom is tricky as you don’t have the students’ body language to guide you and it’s less interactive, I’m sure your sons would agree, but needs must…

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  5. I have as many varieties (if not more) of primroses but on the other hand you beat me on snowdrops …. It’s a good idea to highlight the pretty foliage of euonymus in winter. Maybe you give me an idea for the next Six.
    We will be spending our Sunday afternoon in front of the television to watch the Ireland France game. May the best win !

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  6. Yes, I will be settled in for the game also – a good way to pass such bitterly cold days! And, you have Barnhaven Primroses in France which is the very best source of primulas possible!

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  7. A great Six Paddy. Like the iris you have shown, I have a couple of varieties but must put a note in my diary to order a few more later in the year. I have joined societies to attend zoom lectures, which without zoom would have been too far for me to attend.

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  8. I.Katherine Hodgkins is really delicate – like a piece of cleverly painted glass. I’ve never taken much note of irises before but after seeing that montage, may have to change my mind. I also like the variegation of Eunonymous – a lovely statement for winter and have noted it for future reference. Thank you for the wonderful images, Paddy and I bet you will handle Zoom brilliantly. Do we have another Monty Don/Alan Titchmarsh in our midst? Cheers.

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  9. It’s amazing how zoom gardening talks have taken off and I can’t help thinking many will carry on after the pandemic eases. I think I’ve persuaded my club to give it a go as soon we’ll have had no activities at all for a year. I’ll be doing the first talk about my trip to Japan and the gardens and plants I saw. I’ll try and zoom into one of your talks as both topics sound very appealing. Lovely Jaqueline Postil you have there. I have just planted one and saw a fantastic large one smothered in blooms during my visit yesterday to Oxford Uni Botanic Gardens. She was a stunner!

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    1. One huge benefit of the Zoom talk is to be able to log into talks from people overseas. David Culp (Brandywine Gardens USA) has a monthly zoom talk which is free and it attracts several thousand viewers. I see Plant Heritage will have Dan Hinkley talking shortly – how else could we so easily have a speaker from the western coast of the USA as a speaker! Re the Jacqueline Postil – there is a huge clump of this in Mount Congreve and the garden curator lifts up to a hundred suckers each year and propagates them so I have a ready source of plants when needed.

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  10. Me again Paddy. Just had a thought – there’s a new instagram account set up as a not for profit thing to promote online gardening talks. It’s called hub.earth and I have the contact of the lady that’s running it. Do you want me to ask her to put your talks on that?

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    1. I’m not sure, really. It’s something I have done for local clubs and have enjoyed but I’m not sure if I wish to get into it more extensively. We’ll put the idea on hold for the moment. Many thanks for suggesting it. I’ll go and have a look at the site.

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  11. Paddy, do you not have slugs in your garden? My primula show their faces and are nibbled as soon as! Still loving the coum and snowdrop combination and now am thinking about repositioning some of my purple primulas. Or perhaps I mean leaving them where they are and adding some of your recommendations for snowdrops. Wishing you great success with your talk – can you rehearse with a willing volunteer in another room/house?

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    1. Of course we have slugs but we never consider them a big bother and don’t to anything to deal with them – except with seedlings in the glasshouse at times. They are not so much of a bother in the garden to worry about them.

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  12. It is always such a pleasure ‘strolling’ through your garden! I have to ask how your grass wasn’t too saturated to mow? I don’t think ours will *ever* dry out! Glad you were at least able to get out for a bit. That is some collection of snowdrops you have! They are fabulous. I’m always inspired to keep at it, when I see gardens like your, Paddy. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

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    1. We have had heavy rain overnight and the garden is now absolutely saturated, pure squelch, with water lodged in places so there will be no grass cutting nor much gardening for some time. It brightened a little mid afternoon and I went out to photographs some newly opened snowdrops as the temperature was up a little.

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  13. Gorgeous photos of the plants! I particularly love the one of the Primula with a dusting of snow on their leaves. Good luck with your Zoom presentation. I’m positive that it will go well with no hiccups! We’re all new to the Zooming game!

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  14. Lovely photos of primulas snowdrops , hellebores, camellia, and variegated foliage . Lastly the dwarf irises are very beautiful too . Margaret Tuohy

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