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April contents



What-to-do-now: March


04 Trees, shrubs and flowers with Peter Whyte, Frances MacDonald and Mary Keenan

‘Broughton Star' clematis . Evergold sedge . Chinese red bud

Rolly's Favourite . Acanthus Irish-style . Burgundy beauty

Starry Eyes and Mary Poppins . Chilean rhubarb . Yellow barberry


10 Fruit, vegetables and herbs with Klaus Laitenberger, Tanguy de Toulgöet and Nicky Kyle

Onion ‘Red Baron' . Swede ‘Gowrie' . Kohlrabi ‘Azur Star'

Blackberry ‘Reuben' . Tomato ‘Pantano Romanesco' . Purple potatoes

Frost in the orchard . Asparagus lettuce or celtuce! . Squash Uchiki kuri


14 Greenhouse, protected growing, and indoor plants with Rachel Darlington

Sowing sunflower seeds . Bamboo iris . Growing alpine saxifrages



16 GARDEN VISIT: Perched on a hill...

Brenda Branigan arrived here forty-seven years ago to live in, as she says, just a house in a field. But Brenda had gardening in her blood - she grew up in Fernhill, a very notable garden, just down the hill. Shirley Lanigan visited recently.




22 PLANT PROFILE: Classy camellias...

Camellias are remarkably beautiful spring-flowering shrubs, carrying a profusion of large, sumptuous flowers. Planted in the right soil, the need very little attention and last for decades, growing larger and more beautiful. There are many kinds to choose from and Carmel Duignan reviews those that have proven best for growing in Irish gardens.



FEATURE: Trees and shrubs for the May gap

                                  - keep the show going!

The May gap is a phenomenon of many gardens when the spring colour runs out of steam and the summer plants have not yet got going. Usually, the attention is on the flowers of early summer, there is a good choice of trees and shrubs too, as Gerry Daly outlines.




32 DESIGN DESK: Gabriele Sanio and Shane O'Neill suggest an interesting design strategy for a small suburban back garden.

38 KNOW-HOW: feedback from our readers

Ask a question about a gardening problem

Pass on a useful tip to other readers,

or tell us about your garden or plant success story ... and win a prize!

Expert advice, seasonal plants and fresh ideas for your garden

41 Shirley Lanigan tells a cautionary tale.

43 Helen Dillon is enthusiastic about a beautiful aloe.




37 FAVOURITE PLANT: Actor Patrick Bergin

48 WILDLIFE GARDENING: Dick Warner wonders about the current status of the threat posed by flatworms.

54 PLANT HISTORY: Charles Nelson catches fascinating glimpses of Irish gardens at the beginning of the twentieth century.


Amelanchier, magnolias, ground-covering ivy and weed membrane.


Trees grown too big, new woodland section, twelve hosta and getting ahead


72 WEEKENDER: In the country with Mary Davies.





28 MACHINERY FEATURE: Buying a new lawnmower in 2017? We have an overview of trends in lawnmowers  and other garden machinery.

44 COMMUNITY GARDEN: Fionnuala Fallon visited the Hardwicke Street community garden in Dublin's inner city.

50 NEWS: news, events, new products and accessories for home and garden.

53 GARDEN CLUB NOTES - what's on around the country in April.

66 GARDEN CENTRE EXPERIENCE, Colm Crawford won €300 to spend on plants at Homeland Plus, Sligo.




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