Archives for posts with tag: verbena bonariensis

What a strange feeling, to be wearing a t-shirt at the very end of September in the west of Ireland. I ate a strawberry straight from the plant the other day. All sorts of flowers are blooming… again. I’m enjoying the weather and wouldn’t complain about it. But somehow it just feels wrong. I’m sure it will rectify itself within a few weeks, then we’ll all be complaining about the cold and the rain.


Queen of the autumn, Rudbeckia lacianata ‘Sonnenblum’

I’ve been busy at home trying to tidy up the place a bit. My garden club friends came over last Saturday and we got a good bit done. The side of the house is getting a complete overhaul. Posts and windbreak had to be taken down. The windbreak was supposed to keep the chickens out (that didn’t work) and the only role the windbreak played was to shelter weeds. So out it came (thank you, Bridgette). Group effort moved the very heavy scaffolding board bed that I thought would be a good idea (it was not because it looked crap by the house and sat wonky on the ground). So out it went to be used as a bed for raspberries (that’s a whole other story for later). My French friend very nicely turned my compost heap for me in order to make use of the new extension. Now I have room to move compost back and forth to aerate it, plus have a bay that I can constantly add to. All in all, I was very happy with what we got done. Best of all were Caroline’s peanut butter cookies afterwards.


Stalwart of the autumn garden, one of the best Asters ever and he is named ‘Monch’

The Big Garden will be host to a car boot sale this coming Sunday. Actually, it will be held down at the stables. It’s the first time something like this has been done there. It will hopefully draw the local crowd and should be a bit of fun. There will be tea and coffee, a barbecue, plants for sale, homemade baked goods and jam, and all sorts of junk. It’s on from 11-3, 6 October if anyone nearby reads this.

Butterfly on Verbena

Cabbage white butterfly on Verbena bonariensis

Garden work at the Big Garden over the past couple of weekends has been bulb planting. The lady of the house just bought me a couple more Sedum ‘Matrona’ plants and 2 shrubs (Caryopteris and Perovskia). Just as a side note, I actually grew Perovskia from seed and it was surprisingly easy. Three years later and it is full grown. It makes a fabulous substitute for lavendar, which can be very unhappy in the Irish climate and conditions. A Perovskia walk doesn’t have quite the same ring as a lavendar walk, but at least you’d have lovely living plants, instead of poor sad things limping along.


When Nasturtium go bad, prisoners of Cell Block H

I feel as though I’m rambling, so that’s probably enough for now. Must get out there now and enjoy the weather… oops, I think it has started to rain…

Next time… willow wattle and tales of the triangle bed.


Sometimes I feel like I spend more of my weeding time on paths than I do on beds. But then again, sometimes you get the nicest of surprises that sprout up on paths, especially if you have gravel paths which seem to be the perfect seed incubation site. Here’s a nice little Sedum seedling. I have a few around the place. I’ll remove this one from the gravel and pot it up to be re-homed most likely next spring.

Sedum seedling

Sedum seedling

My best self-sower is Verbena bonariensis. It could almost be called a weed if it weren’t so nice and so share-able. Every year I give away pots of the stuff. It creates a veritable forest and is covered with butterflies on sunny days.

Verbena bonariensis forest

Verbena bonariensis forest

Another nice little surprise I often find is Knautia macedonica. It is the favourite colour of course and fills a space nicely. It can get a bit floppy but, then again, can’t we all?

Knautia macedonica seedling

Knautia macedonica seedling

I worked a bit at the Big Garden last weekend. The rose beds were edged (three and a half hours later and with a gimped back). They look ok. I had to prune out most of the colour as the petals were dropping, but happily the dahlias (which were planted in the red bed to make up for the fact that the red roses were so pathetic) look absolutely fabulous. I don’t know the variety but they are ace. See for yourself.


Dahlias in the red rose bed

The big flower border needs edging (again) and general weeding and cutting back needs to happen. Hopefully I will be able to do a couple of hours tomorrow. The Little Garden really needs my attention but I’ll have to try and spread the love.

Here’s a nice way to end. Finally, a summer that has allowed for a pumpkin to grow outside in the west of Ireland. Here’s the progress so far:


Pumpkin at the Little Garden

Next time… a few new plants to show off, plus lots and lots of bees and flying varmints.