25 June 2010 20:07:43
Will the world love this new 'Redlove era' Apple?
Not sure what to make of this - an apple with red flesh. I guess it does have extra antioxidants and it keeps its red colour when cooked, but I'm still not sure. When my 5 year old saw it he said 'they must have been cheating when they did that!' Cheating nature perhaps. It will be available in the Uk from suttons from November, but I think I'll stick to my Discovery for now!
24 June 2010 11:58:23
The herb garden
I wasn't able to go to the herb garden this morning due to car trouble so instead I'm using the time to update my journal. I'm really enjoying the herb garden and have learned the names of lots of new herbs and I've seen first hand what a challenging and arduous road the organic route can be, but also what a rewarding and satisfactory approach it is.
So far I've been picking over stock plants, weeding, clearing and dividing camomile that hopefully will end up as somebody's camomile lawn or fragrant seat.
Last week we were tidying up a load of pots in a side area that was a little over grown and I came away with a load of new plants - Great mullein, Camomile, Ajuga, Santolina 'lemon queen', the real st John's wort - Hypericum perforatum (I always thought it was the yellow flowered shrubby one many people have in their gardens but this is not the medicinal one), marsh mallow, teucrium, veronica, oregano and meadowsweet to mention but a few. There is also a wonderful collection of wild flowers around the cottage - 3 types of Crane's bill, wood avens, forget-me-not and lots of wild strawberries.
In the border in front of the cottage with a blue door is a bed with aquilegia, borage - white and blue, monkshood, elecampagne, artichokes, geraniums, and irises. Behind the cottage is the nursery area with two polytunnels. In front, beyond the border, is a large grassed area leading down to the meadow area with ragged robin, meadowsweet and massive gunnera. Beyond this is the river Delvin. There is also an old well near the cottage the water from which was reputed by locals to have restorative properties. Denise plans to uncover this well and make a feature of it in the garden as it is currently overgrown with brambles and grass.
19 June 2010 02:43:06
Raiding the cabbage - with permission of course!
Last week I visited Trevors Sargent's garden in Balbriggan along with the GIY Naul group. It was nice to see Mairin there and to see how Trevor manages to grow so much in not a lot of space. I put up a few (not great) photos. I don't think Trevor will mind as there was a professional photographer there. Trevor has his own gardening blog http://trevorskitchengarden.ie/ - well worth a read. His garlic was very impressive and he talked about how he manages to have home pressed apple juice for most of the year from his freezer from just one James Grieve apple tree. Most people ended up leaving with a few Greens - enough cabbage for dinner, that is, and a few cabbage shoots which are supposed to root readily - hence the name everlasting cabbage.
09 June 2010 19:48:41
I got this aquilegia from Liga at Belvedere last year - I didn't get the name so I have been waiting for it to flower to see what it was and now it has. She tells me it is a 'McKana Hybrid' but I'm going to stick with 'Aquilegia Liga', a much nicer name I think. Once again, thank you Liga!
08 June 2010 10:24:34
Upsidedown fern from Shady Plants
We had a family day at Bloom yesterday. The rain set in in the early afternoon and there was no letting up, but the kids didn't care. They spent the whole time at Imaginosity which was really fantastic. Thanks to my other half for keeping them entertained while I tried to take photos with my phone.
Had another good look at the gardens - I have to say I don't think they were as good as last year, although I wouldn't go as far as Deborah ;-), but given the economic situation they weren't bad, in my opinion! The 'Rain Garden' came into its own in the downpours - it was hard to 'get it' on thurs when the sun was splitting the stones. Still I thought it was a bit harsh with all the hard landscaping in one corner, and the steel effect beams were a bit too industrial in scale for my liking but there was lovely planting along the pedestrian edge. The amazon garden had great planting but I was shocked at the finish - the pond liner and black pipes showing on the 'green' wall - you wouldn't see that at Chelsea. Still, as they said on the radio, the whole of Bloom could be staged for what they would spend on one garden at Chelsea. Maybe Bloom should be open for a week next year as it was so crowded over the weekend.
I only bought two plants of note yesterday as I don't want to be putting money into the garden of a rented house - a little upside down fern, Arachnoides standishii, and the Japanese tassle fern, Polystichum polyblepharum, from Shady plants.
The artisan food hall was great, just so packed. I didn't get to hear any talks as I was so busy looking at the plant stalls and gardens. I think it is funny how so many people here were disappointed with the choice of plants - I think it shows how far we have all come, and how much we have learned since we started these garden journals.
03 June 2010 18:56:19
Made it to Bloom today for a couple of hours. Didn't buy much, just a couple of Primulas - they and foxgloves seemed to be everywhere (the floral display marquee seemed to be full of them). I also bought some books. Had a good look at the gardens but won't say anything positive or negative yet, although I did love what I thought looked like a caveman's garden, if there could be such a thing! - you'll know what I mean when you see it - there is no cave but the feel of it is very natural, and I could picture some Neanderthals cavorting in it. I think it was called Nemeton.
Well worth having a look at the book stand in the Grand Pavillion - I got 'Primroses and Auriculas', 'the Plantfinders guide to Garden Ferns', and 'A guide to Choosing and Growing Lillies'. I couldn't get over how busy the place was - but it was a fab day. I hope the weather keeps up, and I hope they water the gardens well tonight! Looking forward to reading what people think and what they come home with. I'm planning to head back on monday for the plant sell off! Enjoy!
02 June 2010 22:14:39
Comfrey in the Ardgillan herb garden
I'm Very excited as tomorrow I start my work experience at The Herb Garden near the Naul, Co. Dublin. I have to do two weeks work experience as part of my organic horticulture course and am so happy to be able to do it close to home and in a Herb nursery. And as if it wasn't enough that I'm spending the morning dividing herbs - and some pretty unusual ones at that, then I am hoping to head to BLOOM tomorrow afternoon... Can't wait.
For anyone who hoards the Irish Garden magazine, there is an article about the Herb Garden in the JULY 2005 issue where it is the featured specialist nursery. The garden looks a little wilder now as Denise gardens organically and is battling bindweed and couch grass but it is a lovely spot, and I am really looking forward to spending some time there and learning more about herbs.