Garden design tip 1

I am conscious of the fact that I haven't really done a specific garden design post to date.  I have been mulling over how to present these.  Shall I just dispense the information in a prescriptive way, like a garden doctor, if you will?  Perhaps in bullet point format: All gardens should have a design style to them Garden designs can be formal or informal Take inspiration from gardens that you have visited No, I think this could get pretty dull and is never going to satisfy either my need to use words or...

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Potato planting: under St. Patrick’s thumb!

It was with some relief that I managed to plant my potatoes last week.  I know - can you believe it? - they were not planted until the 9th of April! Yes, the fact that they had not been planted by the purported St. Patrick's Day planting deadline had been troubling my mind...

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Weather forecasting for the garden

It is not my intention that my blog is used as a long term climate recording tool, but the ongoing variability in our weather is so dramatic that I will continue to comment on it as long as I feel it is impacting on the plants in our gardens.  So for the record, today is dry, sunny, but quite cold at c. 8°C. Sadly, my Amelanchier (Juneberry) blooms were completely removed by yesterday's wind, so it will be interesting to see if there will be any fruit on them during the...

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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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