The run-out on the year


jack two
member
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The new improved Jack Holloway v.2

The countdown continues...

22 Nov '08 8:33 pm
Less than two weeks to go...

This morning I picked up my cleaning lady from friends who run a nursery - she works for them, and temps for me on Saturdays. On impulse whilst there I celebrated with some retail therapy: several hydrangeas I don't have or want more mother plants of; a big blue salvia, a little magenta creeper, a lovely yellow indigenous flower. This afternoon when I take her back I shall write down all details, for in the NEW LIFE I intend to again claim against tax and keep a proper record of every plant I buy. 8) That idea succumbed ignobly nine years ago when I went back to teaching...

We had two minutes of sunshine this morning - the first since Monday. I've opened every window in the house, but it is growing darker. Oh well - better get on with my marking!
Retail therapy.jpg

gordonf
Happy Collector
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Lillooet, BC, Canada

Retail therapy

22 Nov '08 9:01 pm
Hi, Jack!

Isn't retail therapy grand!! It works wonders for me, especially if the retail part involves new plants!! And, yes, get all the write-offs that you can.

It has been a truly vile day here, weather-wise, with wind gusts around 100kph off the ocean and driving, cold rain - nothing like the warm-shower rain you folks get closer to the equator! This was just a few degrees above freezing! I spent most of the day cuddled up in bed with my loyal, winpy dog buddy beside me - even HE agreed that it wasn't weather fit for a dog!

Later in the day I pretty well completed wrapping all my Christmas gifts so I can get them mailed off early next week to avoid the rush. Then I decided to try making rice pudding in the slow-cooker (it was that sort of a day). WELL! The recipe said it would take 6 hours to cook, but it wasn't ready for 11 hours, so I got my dessert round about midnight! Chalk that one up to experience, eh?

Well, that's it for now!

Cheers!
gordonf

jack two
member
User avatar
The new improved Jack Holloway v.2

Time out

24 Nov '08 9:32 pm
At 5pm on Sunday I finished marking my grade 9s's exams - 18 odd hours of steady marking. Time for a reward! What is more the sun was breaking through, and a leisurely exploration of the garden was called for. The light really demanded a tripod to get proper depth of field, so these are just snapshots - but some are rather atmospheric! And you can imagine how I enjoyed being out in the garden AND in the sun after that marathon session!
1 Red berberis among the coreopsis and ox-eye daisies.jpg
2 Rosemary border and down to dam.jpg
3 Rosemary borders.jpg
4 Rosemary borders 2.jpg
5 Rosemary borders 3.jpg
6 Rosemary borders 4.jpg
7 Spiraea and penstemons.jpg
8 Spiraea and penstemons close-up.jpg
9 Iris.jpg
10 Ellensgate.jpg
11 stairs.jpg
12 unusual angle.jpg
13 sunset.jpg

MacFlax
member
Canberra, Australia

25 Nov '08 12:32 am
Lovely photos. The penstemons and the iris are beautiful. I love the contrast of the berberis with the golden flowers. I bookmarked your link to the story of Ellensgate the other day and read it a little later and then couldn't find where you had posted the link. I found it very interesting and quite moving.

Mark
Home gardener & plant fetishist
User avatar
Berkeley, California, USA

Extra wow!

25 Nov '08 3:49 am
Jack your garden has the architectural interest of an English estate garden but tempered with an Asian naturalist feel. Some of the best photos yet. Great immediacy. They really give me a the feeling for being in your garden. Thanks for having us over. Now get your marking done so you can retire and get to work designing some more gardens!
Mark in California

Q: "Do you ever sit down?"
A: "All the time until the urge to 'play' some more becomes too strong."

Kerole
A Gardener of Disrepair
User avatar
Taupaki, New Zealand

25 Nov '08 6:44 am
Jack, the place is looking very floriferous! I love the view beyond the perennial beds to the water. I can almost feel the hot, muggy air. Ellensgate is fab as always.

gordonf
Happy Collector
User avatar
Lillooet, BC, Canada

25 Nov '08 12:47 pm
Jack, your pictures are wonderful!! I can almost smell the plants and feel the spring air! What a beautiful iris! Do you know what variety it is? Also, I really liked the shots of the Rosemary Border. They were so very soft and dreamy!

It's good to be back online again. I was off for a short while today as I installed my new high-speed wireless modem (one less cable to get tangled around my feet under the desk). I just got a new "telephone bundle" from my phone company which gave me higher speed internet access, free long distance across
Canada, "Call Display" and other stuff for $25. a month cheaper. So far I haven't noticed much difference in the internet speed, but perhaps it only shows up on things like videos, etc.

All the best!

gordonf

jack two
member
User avatar
The new improved Jack Holloway v.2

The countdown continues...

30 Nov '08 5:13 pm
Hi everyone, and thanks for all the kind comments!

Gordon, I know - or rather KNEW - what that iris is. I will find it and let you know. It is quite one of the easy common little irises, flowering from early in the season, but usually hidden amongst its own leaves. A few were transplanted and I was amazed at how strongly they stood out! I know I've read that they aught to have their leaves cut back before flowering time - and obviously if done early enough then they don't flower among 'chopped spikes'.

On Friday I was on site again to check some measurements and discuss a few details with the owners - and mainly, after two weeks, to show that I'd not forgotten about them! I found the family moved in to the semi-finished house and the swimming pool - the first focus - still very incomplete. When I asked the 12 year-old daughter, on her way to swim in the new dam, if they were enjoying living there, she said earnestly "We are, but I don't think my mother enjoys it yet!" And at one stage in discussion her father said to me " Hoia, slow down, I've not thought about that yet!" to which I could reply "Good, I'd rather be ahead of you than behind you when it comes to thinking about such details!" I was really worried that my finishing off at school would be delaying their project, but luckily that is not the case!

Yesterday we had our end of year staff function and by late afternoon, rather half-heartedly, I was sitting out under the wateroak working on my final set of marking, due in tomorrow at 8am. The children have left, we hope to be done by Wednesday...

Here is a bad picture of the children at play in the new dam, and some distractions from yesterday afternoon!
Swimming in the new dam.jpg
1.jpg
2.jpg
3.jpg
4.jpg

gordonf
Happy Collector
User avatar
Lillooet, BC, Canada

Cutting Back iris Plants

30 Nov '08 7:04 pm
Hi, Jack;

You mentioned that you have been told (or heard) that you're supposed to cut back the leaves on iris plants before they bloom. I've always read that you cut them back AFTER blooming, before they go dormant for winter. Maybe the difference lies in our very different climates, but I thought I'd just mention it. And, if you could get the name of the one you posted, I'd appreciate it, as I really liked that one!

Also, I liked the latest pictures that you posted; but what was the tree in the second-last picture - the very rounded one?

By the way, when is the official day for the start of summer in S.A.? Is it the same as in Australia, or is that just an Ozzie thing? I've always been taught that it should be around Dec. 21.

Cheers!

gordonf

Mark
Home gardener & plant fetishist
User avatar
Berkeley, California, USA

Jack, you have the blues as well.

30 Nov '08 7:28 pm
I really like the lace cap hydrangeas in the photo #2. I see you have agapanthus which might well be blue too and unless I miss my guess those spillers at the front of the border are a blue flowering rosemary.

Congratulations! By the time you read this I expect you will have marked your last paper. Now we will be standing by for updates on the new garden's progress. No pressure.

Tomorrow I will take some photos. Today I finished the new fence and set the new planter into the hot tub deck right after I picked up Lia from the airport. Once I've planted it I'll get out some pictures and finally reveal the name of that narrower cabbage tree folks were spectucating about.
Mark in California

Q: "Do you ever sit down?"
A: "All the time until the urge to 'play' some more becomes too strong."

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