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A magical transformation takes place during May - the month starts off in the last days of spring and ends in start of summer. The trees leaf up and plants of all kinds push on rapidly towards the summer crescendo of growth. Keep plants growing well to make the most of summer days. We have all the tips and suggestions in WHAT TO DO NOW and KNOW-HOW.
Informal mixed planting has become increasingly popular in recent years and an informal style of summer bedding has been gaining great popularity, writes Gerry Daly. In PLANT PROFILE, James Wickham chooses his favourite primulas - from the simple yellow posies of the wild primrose to the fancy faces of auriculas, and the towering candelabra primulas. In PLANT HISTORY, Irish Lady's Tresses: a garden history, Charles Nelson tells the story of a rare Irish native orchid.
In GARDEN VISIT, Carmel Duignan visited recently Brian Wood's exquisite garden in South County Dublin, beautifully built and filled with interesting plants. In DESIGN DESK, Gabriele Sanio takes on the challenge of a small suburban back garden, currently empty except for a garden shed!
In NOTEBOOKS Hester Forde has been busy with the early season of growth while Carmel Duignan suffers a twinge of nostalgia on May Day. In GARDEN CENTRE EXPERIENCE, Aoiffe Lowe won €300 to spend on plants at The Pavilion Garden Centre, Ballygarvan, Co. Cork. In NEWS Lindie Naughton has collected ideas across a range of garden accessories and equipment. In PEOPLE, Fionnuala Fallon visited a couple growing cut-flowers in County Leitrim.
As in every May for over twenty years, this month, The Irish Garden includes your free guide to GARDENS OPEN 2017, the only comprehensive guide to gardens open to the public this summer, if just for one day, north and south!
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