Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!

The garden has been battered by near gale force winds for the past twenty- four hours. The blossom has been stripped from the trees, foliage has been flattened and debris lies scattered across the garden. I am residing indoors nursing my cold; doing some garden design sketches, at least. Nonetheless, I have not been able to avoid making a couple of trips to the community garden/allotments, where I am supervising a man with a digger. So, I have felt the full force of the wind on my face and this has...

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Garden colds

Environmental conditions have changed abruptly: day time temperatures have tumbled to below 10°C in a spell of unseasonable cold weather, skies are in the main dull with some sunny spells, the wind has picked up, and we have even had a spot of rain  - although, this is welcome to thirsty plants.  Fortunately, being in a coastal garden, we have had no frost but, under this new weather forecast, my Amelanchier blossom is starting to drop in protest. And, to top-it-off, I have come down with a cold that has kept...

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Joys of Juneberry!

As a garden designer, one has to have a store of ready answers to often asked gardening questions.  These need to be confidently rolled off the tongue, without hesitation, to instil client confidence in your abilities.  I find that some practice is required here as the right answer may differ significantly between gardens, depending on the particular conditions found there, and with variance in client likes and expectations.  I also find that my answers change with experience so a review every now and then is worthwhile. [caption id="attachment_980" align="alignleft" width="600"] Snowy...

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Parched March

If someone had told me that I was going to be out with my watering can before the end of March this time last year, I would have told them to go indoors and take a strong dose of a reality pill, extra strength brand for crazy gardening folk!  But what a contrast between this year and last! The Irish spring heat wave has continued and yes, last night, I was out-watering both newly divided perennials recently planted and plants in containers that were starting to wilt in the heat due...

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Obsessive edging

Here in Ireland, we have had a spell of unseasonably hot weather over the last few days (pushing 20°C) and this is expected to continue for a while yet.  And the clocks have just changed giving us an extra hour of daylight in the evenings.  This favourable combination of temperature and light has meant that us gardeners and growers have been feverishly working away outdoors...

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Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland seminar 2012

[caption id="attachment_835" align="alignnone" width="491"] Flyer for this year's RHSI seminar[/caption] Tim will be speaking at this year's RHSI seminar to be held at the National Botanic Gardens this Saturday the 3rd March at 10am. Tim will talk about his personal experiences and how they have influenced his garden design.  He will explain his current view of garden design using his show gardens and constructed projects as examples. ...

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Gardening jobs for February

[caption id="attachment_809" align="alignnone" width="600"] Cleaning out perennial flower beds ready for planting[/caption] February can be a month of anticipation in the garden.  We are itching for the warmer weather and the burst of spring when our gardens really get going.  However, a little bit of basic work now can pay dividends by reducing the workload later and giving us a head start to the season, especially if the weather is mild like it has been in Ireland for much of the winter.  Here's a bullet point summary of some of the...

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How to plant bare-root trees

http://youtu.be/l7mdP1KDN_Y Since it is now the bare-root tree planting season, I thought I would post a video demonstrating this planting technique that I made with the residents of Harbour View in late winter 2010. We carried out the tree planting using young trees called whips and transplants, which means that they are relatively unbranched and are only a year or two old.  Bare-root means that the roots are hanging loose without soil and not in a container or root-balled so they have to be fully dormant at planting.  That is why the...

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Bulb planting tips!

The planting period for spring-flowering bulbs in Ireland and the UK extends from the start of September until early December but Daffoldils should be planted by mid-season.  Autumn flowering bulbs, such as, crocus and colchicum should be planted in August and most summer-flowering bulbs should be planted in March and April with the exception of Lilies which are planted in November and December. The main thing to look out for when planting bulbs is that you purchase good-sized, healthy bulbs that are firm to the touch.  Then plant as soon as...

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It’s all about the bulbs!

[caption id="attachment_606" align="aligncenter" width="484" caption="Lilium 'Robina' in Bloom in my parent's garden in Kerry"][/caption] At this time of year, we often revist gardens with our clients to undertake bulb planting.  We usually put together specific bulb planting plans within our overall garden designs, as along with winter planting of bare-root trees, bulbs are a great way of achieving impact with minimal outlay  and care. The benefits of bulb-planting to garden design are manifold: they are often the missing links in creating a real succession of  colour through the year in the garden they...

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