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Gracedieu Lass's Journal

Gracedieu Lass's Journal April 2011

Last Post 2399 days ago

Lady in her bath

29 April 2011 08:21:50
Lady in her bath

Lady in her bath

Following on from Rachel's post yesterday on Dicentra spectabilis, here is a photograph of the flower illustrating the common name, Lady in her bath.

Paddy 

Mount Congreve Gardens, 21 April 2011

21 April 2011 22:16:35
Mount Congreve Gardens

Mount Congreve Gardens

You will have read earlier that LadyGardener Anne visited Mount Congreve gardens this  morning with her boys. Mary and I went in the afternoon on what has been the hottest day of the year to date. By the time we arrived over 200 people had already been to the gardens this morning. This is such good news, that more and more people are realising what a treasure we have on our doorsteps here in Waterford. It is truly one of the best spring gardens in the world. 

Although we visited only a fortnight ago there was another wonderful display to see today, changes since our last visit, new plants coming into flower, new plants emerging and everywhere the evidence of a new vibrancy in the garden. There is a new energy in Mount Congreve and it is so wonderful to see it. We have been visiting the gardens for thirty years; have always loved our visits but now see the gardens leaping ahead with improvements. Everywhere there is the evidence of renewal and extra care. If you haven't been to Mount Congreve you are missing one of the great gardening experiences. 

Rather than showing many photographs of individual flowers I have posted a set of shots showing the views as experienced on our walk today. The range of magnolia, rhododendron,  camellia and azalea cultivars grown in Mount Congreve is simply mind-boggling and there will be beautiful and interesting flowers on view on every visit you make. Rhododendrons were outstanding today, magnolias were generally just going over. Deciduous azaleas were just beginning to open and should be a great show in the next fortnight. The huge paeonia borders in the vegetable garden are just showing their first flowers and a visit to see these would be worthwhile in its own right. 

The gardens are open every Thursday. Admission is free. Plant sales - an excellent selection at reasonable prices and you can sit down and enjoy a cup of tea if you like. There are hopes and plans to extend this side of the gardens but Rome wasn't built in a day and the developments to date have been outstanding and, I imagine, progress will continue in similar fashion. 

Have a look at the photographs and you will get an impression of what a great garden this is.  

Paddy 

Crabapple Roof

20 April 2011 15:18:33
Crabapple over shed

Crabapple over shed

I don't, at the moment, recall the name of this crabapple but it has grown in a most obliging manner. It was planted at the back of the garden shed and has, over the years, draped itself over the roof of the shed. It's a nice effect at this time of the year. 

Paddy 

My Favourite Crabapple Tree

20 April 2011 14:47:39
Malus floribunda

Malus floribunda

Sitting here and wandering around the garden in my mind I can picture eight crabapple trees in the garden. There are also five culinary apple trees, so a good selection. However, this one is my firm favourite and has been for years. It is Malus floribunda. We first saw it in the garden of Mrs. Rosemary Browne, recently deceased, at Old Connaught Road, Bray. We reckon we planted our tree here just over 25 years ago and it is the only crabapple which was planted as a specimen tree. 

As the buds open, the blossom is a strong red. As it opens further the overall effect is of a pink/white blossom and it carries this in huge abundance and I know of no other crabapple which is nearly as good in flower. It does has a drawback in that it doesn't have any crabapples, well those it does have are very small indeed and hardly noticable. 

On the other hand, Mary has expressed an admiration for one called 'April Love' this morning. This one has a very double blossom, carried in abundance also but lacks the good shape of M. floribunda.  

See April Photo Album for photographs.  

Paddy  

My Most Favouritest Tulip

18 April 2011 22:34:46
Tulipa saxatilis

Tulipa saxatilis

Tulipa saxatilis Bakeri. 

This is my favourite - well, if Mary can have one, so can I!

Yes, it has a lovely colour but what I like about it most is that it grows really well in the garden and has multiplied very well over the years and seems to make its way around the garden with great ease appearing in place I had never put it. It spreads by stolons and I reckon this is how it moves - little pieces get moved along when moving nearby plants. It has formed two particularly good patches and several smaller patches; something to appreciate, especially in a nice tulip.

Photos of groups in April photo album

Paddy 

My Favourite Tulip

18 April 2011 15:03:21
Tulipa clusiana 'Pepperming Stick'

Tulipa clusiana 'Pepperming Stick'

This is a cultivar of the Lady Tulip, Tulipa clusiana with the full name of Tulipa clusiana var chrysantha 'Pepperming Stick'. The species is native to Iran and Afghanistan and there are several named cultivars.

'Peppermint Stick' is red and white on the outside but, surprisingly, all white on the inside and a very clear, bright white at that. It is a slender tall tulip, very elegant and the nicest of all tulips to me.  

I've added some photographs of this tulip to the "April Album".

Mary 

April Album 2011

14 April 2011 15:07:00
Pulsatilla vulgaris

Pulsatilla vulgaris

For some reason I ran into difficulties when putting up a photo album last night and was not finished when I could no longer connect to the site. However, all seems back to normal at the moment and I have added a few other photos to those I managed to post last night. Just some flowers around the garden at the moment. 

Mary 

Plant Fair at Fota Gardens, Cork

12 April 2011 17:50:25
Plant Fair at Fota Gardens

Plant Fair at Fota Gardens

Does anyone know what nurseries are attending the plant fair at Fota next Sunday. Will there be any nurseries coming from England and what time is it starting? I suppose their is an admission charge.  Mary

Mount Congreve Gardens, 7th April 2011

07 April 2011 19:42:42
Magnolia 'John Congreve'

Magnolia 'John Congreve'

Rachel and Linda have already put up photograph albums from our visit to Mount Congreve today but I will add a few shots of plants which appealed to me. 

Mary and I are regular visitors to the garden as it is so close to us and is one we really enjoy. Being local, I suppose we don't always appreciate that it has been recognised internationally as one of the best gardens in the world.

The gardens were created by Mr. Ambrose Congreve with the well-recognised assistance of Mr. Herman Dool who came from Holland to work at Mount Congreve. Mr. Dool's achievements at Mount Congreve were recognised by the Dutch government and he was awarded one of the highest honours possible in Holland, an extraordinary event. Mr. Dool's son, Ron, runs Orchardstown Nursery which is only a few miles from the gardens.

It was lovely to have good company on our walk around the garden today. The bit of chat adds greatly to the enjoyment of a garden. Hopefully, it is something which we will repeat.

I posted a view of the River Suir from the garden which shows the new River Suir Bridge. We live just beside this bridge, on the Waterford side, and my son and I have regularly walked along the narrow gauge railwayline which runs out to Kilmeadan. It is a lovely walk along the riverbank. 

Paddy 

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