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The end of the gardening year is reached with the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, and then the sun begins again to get stronger, warmer and brighter in the Northern Hemisphere. So this month is a good time to take stock of successes and near-successes during the gardening year. Plans for the new season can be based on these considerations, and, in the meantime, there are plenty of things to do in the garden, as outlined in WHAT TO DO NOW and KNOW-HOW.
In a special seasonal presentation, Carol Bone presents three inspiring flower arrangements. In PLANT PROFILE, Ciaran Burke describes the ornamental value of mahonia for its distinctive foliage and charming mid-winter flowers. In PLANT HISTORY, Charles Nelson recounts the story of the Irish marigold man. In GARDEN VISIT, Shirley Lanigan visited Maureen Cannon's cottage-style garden in Donegal. In DESIGN DESK, Gabriele Sanio and Shane O'Neill develop a creative design for a small back garden in North Co. Dublin.
In NOTEBOOKS Lorna MacMahon and Mary Waldron relate the challenges and rewards of their own gardens. Dick Warner reports on drowsy wasp queens. In GARDEN CENTRE EXPERIENCE, Eileen Murphy won €300 worth of plants at Arboretum Garden Centre, Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow.
In PEOPLE, Fionnuala Fallon met Adam Whitbourn, head gardener at Blarney Castle Gardens, Co. Cork. In our NEWS pages, we keep you up-to-date with news, events and new products and accessories for the conservatory and garden with Lindie Naughton. Barry Liscombe, head chef at Harte's of Kildare suggests Roast Goose with Sausage Meat & Chestnut Stuffing, and Pear & Clove Chutney, while Caroline Byrne suggests some interesting and good-value wines for the season.
Please remember that a subscription to The Irish Garden for 2015 makes a very satisfactory gift for your family and friends, or perhaps it is time to drop a hint for your own gift subscription!