Check back soon to read all about Gracedieu Lass's Garden
15 May 2013 19:03:16
A new gardening programme has just started on BBC2 at seven o'clock called 'Get Up and Grow' with Chris Beardshaw. Looks good.
13 May 2013 15:21:22
Irish Garden Plant Society AGM in The Kingdom
On Friday last Paddy and myself headed off to Kerry for the Annual General Meeting weekend of the Irish Garden Plant Society.
On Friday, we headed down to Kells Bay where we visited Billy Alexander's garden. It seems the woodland area of the gardens is managed by Coillte and it was sad to see how badly the work was done - they have being clearing out the woodland, removing undergrowth, thinning out etc and the debris of the work is simply left piled all around. The number and quality of the tree ferns in the woodland glen was very impressive - big specimens and all thriving in the mild moist Kerry air. A large area to the front of the house, an area for palms and succulents has obviously not done well.
On Saturday, after the AGM meeting, we headed off to the first of the gardens of the programme organised for the weekend, that of Stephen Austen, situated on an exposed hillside running down to several aces of bog which are being gradually developed. Despite this, rhododendrons and other ericaceous plants flourished. To the side of the house a small cottage garden was created within the shelter of dry-stone walls. Many of the plants here were of a yellow or golden tint which created a very cosy feeling.
After lunch, in Sneem, we took a boat trip to the privately owned island of Garinish West on the invitation of the Head Gardener who is a member of the Irish Garden Plant Society. Garinish West is not to be confused with with Garnish Island/Illnacullen. "Garinish" is a name applied to many islands in the area as it simply means the "near island". On the trip out we saw many seals sunbathing on the rocks and we also saw a pair of sea-eagles flying across the bay. This garden is a lush woodland garden with tree ferns seeding throughtout. The Gardener gave us a tour of this beautiful woodland garden which was full of rhododendrons and deciduous azaleas if full bloom.
On our return to our hotel we had a delicious dinner which was part of the official weekend programme.
Sunday morning saw us heading to Dhu Varren Gardens in pouring rain where we were met by Mark Collins and his delightful wife, Laura (?), who welcomed us with a hot cup of tea which was much appreciated. Dhu Varren Gardens hosts an extensive collection of plants with two glasshouses, one for cacti and succulents and the other for tender plants. In summer, he told us, this latter glasshouse is home to tropical butterflies. There is also an ornamental Japanese teahouse with a bridge and koi tank in front.
We went back to Muckross Park for lunch and were met by the Head Gardener for a guided tour afterwards. As we were about to set out on our tour who should arrive only Margaret (Hosta) and her husband, Stephen, so we had a quick chat before heading off. Our guide (can't think of his name at the moment - Gerry...) told us of the history of the house, the family, and the gardens. We were brought into the walled garden and into the Turner designed curvilinear glasshouse, not normally opened to the pubic. We continued into the woodland which was started only in the 1960s with many plants coming from the Mount Congreve Nurseries who supplied over a hundred different camellias. The growth rate of trees is phenomenal in the area due to the mild conditions and abundant rainfall and many of the trees were truly imprssive specimens.
Our final visit, not part of the official programme, was to a fellow IGPS members' garden outside Killorglin - Michael and Christel Rosenfeldwho had kindly invited us to see their wonderful garden. This garden is set in wonderfully scenic surroundings and had a very large pond which the owners had created - it is large enough to be used for bathing. It is flanked on one side by birch which blend perfectly naturally into the surrounding countryside. There are wondderfully built stone walls which both shelter the garden from the windy conditions and give some protection from the local deer which have become a nuisance especially in the vegetable garden. After another cup of tea, it was eight o' clock before we began our journey home to Waterford.
Despite the showers we had a great time on the weekend and I can see the society returning to Kerry in coming years.
I will put up an album for each of the gardens visited.
08 May 2013 08:56:24
For Accsean - Rhododendron loderi 'King George'
Photographs taken in Hillsborough Castle Gardens last May.
07 May 2013 07:44:21
These two, along with several others, wait for me to deliver breakfast each morning. While sitting inside drinking our coffee we were watching them as they came to the pond for a drink after their breakfast this morning. We have been feeding these pheasants, and various collections of hens and chicks for about two years now. The cock is quite at ease with me in the garden but the hen is a little more shy.
06 May 2013 21:06:53
Rhododendron 'Lady Alice Fitzwilliam'
Good day, dry and bright, so cut the grass as rain is forecast for tomorrow. Had to go out for the afternoon but came back and snapped a few photographs which I added to the May 2013 Album