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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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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Unexpected flowers!

[caption id="attachment_439" align="aligncenter" width="617" caption="Patty's Plum Poppy"][/caption] I am both delighted and amazed that this beautiful Poppy Patty's Plum  (Papaver orientale) has just flowered in my garden - it's October in Ireland!  This poppy featured in our Bloom 2009 Gold medal winning garden (see pic. below) and was a real crowd pleaser.  But that was early June.  It has been quite a mild summer/autumn but pretty dull and overcast so I am not quite sure why this poppy has just flowered.  But what a joy, and a beautiful reminder of the...

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