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See a sample issue of The Irish Garden!

June 2013

To see a sample of the current issue of Ireland's best-selling gardening magazine, click the image below.

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Multi-tasking the garden!

Whenever I plan to do a particular task, something always gets in my way. The best example happened last April when I was mulching with cocoa husk. On the day that I am going to describe, the plan had been to mulch the long border. I set out to the garden early, full of the best intentions and launched into laying the chocolate-smelling husk.

But soon I got bored and switched to a nearby border. After all, it all had to be mulched in the end anyway. However, it made sense to plant a few perennials first. Best to plant now rather than disturb the mulch crust later. Then, inexplicably, I found myself weeding around a hawthorn tree, which involved lifting and dividing native primroses from the edges of the lawn to put around the base of the tree. I stopped in my tracks and laughed out loud at myself. What was I doing? The primrose job was so far removed from anything I should have been up to that it was laughable.

I forced myself to focus and headed back to the Long Border but, en route, noticed Veratrum nigrum. It needs shade or moisture and since I have a dry garden, I need to trap all the water I can. Best mulched straight away, so I did.  

Then I noticed that Ligularia ‘Britt Marie Crawford' could be divided and spread around the border it was in so I set to that. And, while busy, my attention fell on the adjacent prairie border and I realised it really needed weeding. No sooner had I finished with the ligularia than I went to work weeding the prairie border, only to find that, once weeded, all the gaps became more evident. Then I remembered the plan to transplant some sedums in there.

So, over to the west garden I went and lifted Sedum ‘Purple Emperor' and Artemesia lactiflora. Last autumn I had made a list of things to be moved but somehow it'd been lost.  Back I went with the sedum and artemisia and I split and planted them. I also planted a few more things from the greenhouse, which fitted in with the prairie border's theme.

Suddenly the oriental poppies really started to bug me. I tore most of them out. They should never have been in that border in the first place, with their tap roots and messy leaves. They are one of my pet hates. Finally I finished the job off by edging the prairie border and ligularia bed. All in a day's work, I guess, but what on earth happened to mulching the long border?



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