What to do in April

  1. Keep weeds under control- use your osslating hoe( have some in stock) and also get down on your hands and knees.
  2. Protect fruit blossom from late frosts.
  3. Tie in climbing and rambling roses.
  4. Sow hardy annuals, herbs and wild flower seed.-Sunflowers, Cosmos, Ammi majus, Calendula, Cleome, Marigolds ,Basil, Coriander,Dill and Chervil
  5. Start to feed citrus plants. Oranges and Lemons- I have them in pots which I protect during the winter.
  6. Increase the water given to houseplants.- tidy them up, check if the could do with a compost freshen up and take cuttings.
  7. Feed hungry shrubs and roses.- Chicken manure pellets are a great slow release general fertiliser.
  8. Sow new lawns or repair bare patches. -only time to water grass is when it has been seeded.
  9. Plant summer bulbs, corms and tubers –  Dahlias.,Begonias. ,Gladioli. ,Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia) and Lilies.
  10. Vegetable seeds, here are a few –  Corn,Brocalli,Beetroot,Kale,Peppers(capsicums),Perpetual spinach, Tomatoes.

What to do in the January Garden

Some tasks you could do or might do now:

  1. Start with a plan.Do your best to source organically produced seed, free from environmentally disruptive chemicals such as neonics that have been linked with the decline of pollinating insects.. Use peat-free seed compost, try Klassman Organic Seed Compost available from Fruithill Farm.
  2. Early in the month, sow onion seed in an indoor propagator.Pot on autumn-sown sweet peas and place on a sunny windowsill. Pinch out if becoming leggy.Chilli and aubergine are slow growers, so order them this month for an early start. A heated propagator is another really useful tool that I’d also highly recommend.Take hardwood cuttings from deciduous and ever green shrubs, such as forsythia, willow and viburnum.
  3. Clear away soggy, collapsed stems of perennials and compost them  –  plants like sedum be careful of any new growth.Move dormant plants that are in the wrong place to more suitable sites.Check tree and shrub stakes to make sure that any ties are secure but not causing damage by rubbing. Bare rooted trees and shrubs can be planted, but not if the soil is frozen, keep a check on watering.
  4. Check dahalia and cana tubers to make sure they are not drying out.Check that small alpines don’t become smothered by fallen leaves and other wind-blown debris
  5. Pruning whatever the plant, you should always start by removing dead, dying or damaged branches.Don’t prune early flowering clematis  and shrubs now, or you won’t get any flowers.It is best to leave shrubs such as hydrangeas and buddleia until late winter.Apple and pear trees can be cut back in winter, cutting no more than 20 per cent off all over — so that regrowth is even pruning stimulates new growth.Prune blackcurrants, gooseberries and redcurrants to maintain a productive framework. You can use pruning as hard wood cuttings to make new shrubs. Don’t prune plumb or other stone fruit trees, until late spring.

Gardening in December

Now for some task you could do:

  1. Take an inventory of tools and equipment that you need for next year. Add them to your Christmas list! How about an Osslating hoe,to save your back when weeding? Have some in stock.
  2. Finish off cutting back herbaceous plants and apply a mulch of compost / manure sealing in what ever heat is left, and protecting the soil from weathering.
  3. Bulbs are beginning to emerge now a good reason to finish off any clearing and weeding.Plant tulip bulbs, provided the ground isn’t frozen and waterlogged.
  4. Plant bare-rooted hedges, trees, shrubs and also native hedges  especially hawthorn-Crataegus monogyna  to encourage wildlife and create attractive boundaries around your garden.Blending it with species such as field maple, hazel, spindle, buckthorn, wild rose and viburnum make for tough and variated hedging. Planting two-foot high saplings a 30 cm apart will provide a fine hedge within four years. Since many are woodland species, they thrive in creating a thick wall of foliage as they vie for light.A wildlife fruiting hedge with crab apple, wild pear and guelder rose. A flowering hedge, with berberis, forsythia, fuchsia, ribes, hydrangea and philadelphus.
  5. Good time if you need to move young deciduous and evergreen shrubs as long as they’re not too large and the ground isn’t waterlogged or frozen.  Pre-dig the new planting hole before digging up plants to make the transplanting process as quick as possible and protect the roots from drying out.
  6. If you leave your dahlias in the ground , cover with an extra layer of mulch. If you don’t have any compost or mulch cover with a layer of leaves. Peonies don’t like their crowns covered as it prevents flowering.Baby slugs love to eat emerging shoots, so pull back the mulch in early spring.
  7. Take hardwood cuttings of dormant shrubs and fruit bushes.
  8. Sow antirrhinums (Snapdragons)in a cool greenhouse now for early flowering in the summer.These make great cut flowers.
  9. Protect your poinsettias from cold draughts and allow them to dry out slightly between waterings to make them last for the whole Christmas period and well into January. My last years plant is still thriving.
  10. Bird feeders give them a good cleaning and try and make them squirrel proof. Don’t forget to have water available for all visiting creatures.

What to Do Now in the Garden October

Top 10 things to do in
your garden now

1 Photograph your garden- it is amazing how we forget.

2 Visit garden centres to see what plants/shrubs  are flowering now to fill in gaps

3 Divide large clumps of perennials – we get more plants, free up space and allow for better growth next year.

4 Take hardwood cuttings – this is when this year’s growth has become harder – firmer in other words not soft.

Take care to choose a healthy parent plant free from pests or disease and use a sharp, sterilised secateurs or knife. Careful labelling is key and should include the date the cuttings were taken, along with the name of the parent plant, use a compost 50 / 50 sand in a pot. Plant around the edges of the pot. Also, there can be a low rate of success so take lots. Unlike soft and semi-ripe cuttings, hardwood cuttings do not require bottom heat or a moist atmosphere. If you have space you can also simply dig a slit trench half the height of the cuttings and fill the bottom with sharp sand or grit.

Insert the cuttings vertically, to a third to half of their length and back-fill the soil, firming them in. You can use a hormone rooting powder, but this is generally felt to be unnecessary. Water well and label the cuttings so you know what they are. A cold frame can be placed over the top to encourage faster rooting if required.

Hardwood cuttings are very slow to form roots, so don’t expect them to root fully until at least the next spring. If rooted well the cuttings will sprout strong shoots and grow away.

Ideal shrubs for hardwood cuttings are Buddleia, weigela, privet (Ligustrum), Philadelphus, forsythia and willow, but you can experiment with any woody shrub that takes your fancy. Taking cuttings is free, and if they don’t succeed, no harm will have been done. Others plants eminently suited to being propagated from semi-hardwood cuttings include many shrubby evergreens such as rosemary, sage, lavender, box, escallonia, holly, viburnum, hebe, camellia, ceanothus, cistus and choisya. Good luck.

5 Plant bulbs for spring – wait till November to plant tulips. Think also of indoor bulbs for Christmas such as Hyacinths, plant NOW for Christmas. Narcissi Paper White take 6 weeks from planting to flowering and have an amazing scent to fill your home at Christmas when they are finished flowering plant them out into your garden the same with your Hyacinths.

6 Plan your flower borders for next summer — look at midsummer magazines etc for ideas also include spring as it will help you choose bulbs. Come to Patricia’s Workshop on Saturday, November 3.

7 Get your leaf pile organised — you can’t buy leaf mould.

8 Trim lawn edges, scarify and repair lawn, use a low nitrogen law feed.

9 Cut your hedges before frosts – pruning at this time of year is for shape.

10 Veg garden plant garlic, onions, broad beans and green manures.

It is very nice to have a neat tidy garden with good structure but don’t forget to leave some areas for all the little creatures to hibernate in – so don’t be too tidy. Leaf and wood piles make great places for hibernation and shelter. I take down my hanging baskets and replace with bird feeders. Birds are essential for our gardens and they do need a helping hand. Containers with water can act as little ponds for frogs and of course sources of drinking water for our little visitors.

There are lots of other jobs to do as well, but try and get as much done now before it gets too cold to venture out.

Sunday, September 30.Gardening Workshop covering the basics.

The garden is now going to sleep, and now is also the time to plan your beautiful garden for next year.
Seed sowing at this time of year can give you a head start on Spring, roots develop and are stronger. Division of plants- making more, moving plants to better positions, planting bulbs for spring and summer. Feeding your soil, protecting it for the weather ahead- drought, are a few of what we will be covering.

Arranging Garden Flowers for Winter Interest

Sunday, October 7 10- 1 pm

Sally Horn florist extraordinaire.

Sally will show us how to use Seed heads, fresh flowers, greenery to make pleasing Winter displays. How to condition your flowers and greenery to get the longest life from them.

If you have a container you would like to use bring it, and we will also have some for you to use also.

All materials will be provided.

 

Fermented Foods

Fermented Foods

on some of my fliers, the date is wrong Sorry !!!

Saturday 20 October 2018

10am – 1pm

Ever wanted to try making your own fermented food but don’t know where to start? Come along to this demo and learn all about fermenting food and drinks, nature’s probiotics! Learn how to make milk and water Kefir, fermented vegetables, sourdough bread, labneh cheesecake and more. It is a fantastic way to introduce natural probiotics into the body. Walk away with your very own sourdough starter, recipes and a confidence to make them all at home.

Fiona Staunton is a  Ballymaloe trained Chef and has a Degree in Education from Trinity.
Having worked as a chef at Ballymaloe House she started her own successful catering business in Dublin in the late 1990s, catering for Private and Corporate functions.

Plein Air Oil Painting

Plein Air Oil Painting

25 August 2018

10am – 4pm

Orlagh Murphy

Orlagh Murphy is based in Co Cavan and started concentrating in 2010 on her studio practice after working freelance as an interior decorative artist in the US, Italy, Japan, UK and Ireland.  Orlagh now lives in a very rural area of Co Cavan and this has formed the basis for her work to date. The inspiration comes from an area of about 4-8sq kilometres comprising of farmland, river, lake and bogland which surround her home, she also produces work from Sligo, Mayo and West Cork always in a direct response to the seasons. book now