Garden visits: E.H. Wilson memorial garden

[caption id="attachment_1385" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Entrance to Wilson memorial garden[/caption] E.H. Wilson was born in Chipping Campden in 1876.  A small memorial garden to the great plant-hunter can be found there.  Barely noticeable, the garden is accessed through a small arch, which is not much more than a gap in the wall at the northern end of the High Street.  I stumbled across the garden on a walk whilst visiting my grandparents  a year or two ago - I had not known it was there before that. The garden is simple in design...

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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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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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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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Mossy marvels on an Irish woodland floor

As a garden designer, I seek to take inspiration from nature whenever I can.  Last weekend, I took these photos on a lovely walk through a coniferous woodland in Wicklow.  Although the wood was predominantly commercial evergreen species, there were some deciduous species, such as, Birch and Beech  present and understory trees like Holly here and there.  But the most striking thing about this woodland was the beautiful carpet of spongy moss spread throughout. [caption id="attachment_477" align="aligncenter" width="574"] Mossy woodland floor[/caption] [caption id="attachment_484" align="aligncenter" width="594"] Moss close up[/caption] It reminded me that I...

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The Herb Garden

[caption id="attachment_407" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Herb garden in Farmleigh House walled garden[/caption] In Irish gardening, there is a major trend towards “Grow-Your-Own” fruits and vegetables.  This is for a variety of reasons including: wanting to know where our food comes from, cost-saving, taste and experimentation as well as the satisfaction that comes with nurturing and producing our own food.  There is something primal about this too. Many garden designers have long understood the productive side of gardening and encouraged their clients in this area.  This new general trend has obviously made this easier,...

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Tim talks showgardens at the North West Garden Show

On the 8th March, Tim Austen will be speaking about garden design at the launch meeting of this year's North West Garden Show in Donegal.  This will be the second year of the highly successful garden show that attracted 10,000 visitors last year. Organised by the Castlefinn Partnership Initiative, a network of community and voluntary organisations, the show will be held on the 28th and 29th May 2011. Tim will be appearing as a special guest of the show along with TV gardening superstar Diarmuid Gavin....

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