The Show Ain’t Over – Last Blast of the Perennials!

Thu, Sep 29, 2016

As the Autumn Equinox approaches, it’s time to stock up on firewood and pull out the woolly blankets and snuggly cushions, as the evenings draw in and we get ready for cosy nights catching up on those Booker- nominated novels (or binging on Netflix – whatever’s your thing....) There’s still lots to enjoy outside though, and I’m still hoping we’ll get some of those golden autumn days when time seems to stand still. If you have a fire pit or chiminea and are lucky enough to have a sheltered garden, it’s not too late to enjoy some time outside, even as the autumn chill creeps in.

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Planting Bulbs for Spring Scent-sation!

Fri, Sep 23, 2016

At the time of writing it looks as though the much hoped for Indian Summer is not going to put in an appearance this September, and instead of the golden, sunny afternoons a damp, browny-green sogginess is the order of the day. If there’s one thing gardeners have lots of though, it’s hope, and it’s already time to think about next spring and what we might have to look forward to.

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Taking stock

Thu, Sep 22, 2016

As summer draws to a close, now is a good time to look around your garden, taking note of what worked and what didn’t, and planning for the rest of the year and indeed the year ahead. As everyone with school-going children knows, the rain soaked Irish summer tends to give way in September to calm, sunny weather just as the new term starts.

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An Apple a Day

Thu, Sep 22, 2016

If there is one kind of tree most of my clients ask for, it’s an apple tree. If you’re lucky enough to have the space for an orchard, there are many magical ways to incorporate such a wonderful feature, but even much smaller gardens can accommodate a fruit tree or two with careful planning.

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Climbing and Rambling Roses

Thu, Sep 01, 2016

In Tralee last week for the Rose Festival I noticed a great many beds of roses in full bloom throughout the town, well looked after and flowering freely. Many Irish gardens feature rose bushes in one form or another, and the brightly coloured shrub roses, floribundas and hybrid teas brighten the front gardens of our towns and villages throughout the summer. But it’s the climbing and rambling roses that really seem to appeal to the romantics. Many of the clients who call me in to produce garden plans have visions of softly coloured roses tumbling over an archway leading into an idyllic cottage style garden, or gracefully clothing an old stone wall – pretty and nostalgic, it’s an image that’s hard to resist and it’s a great pleasure to help them achieve this.

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Gardenwise - Plants for Pollinators

Thu, Aug 11, 2016

Early this morning, letting the dog out to, ahem, powder her nose in the garden, a gentle humming reminded me that the day’s work was already under way for bees on the early shift. Closer inspection of a nearby catmint revealed several little furry bodies buzzing harmoniously as they moved methodically from one bloom to the next. This plant – Nepeta “Six Hills Giant” – is a magnet for them and you will often find several bees busy at work on the same plant.

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Summer Time.....and the Trimming is Easy

Fri, Aug 05, 2016

We like our hedges in these parts. Maybe it’s because a healthy green hedge is such an attractive backdrop for more colourful garden inhabitants – or maybe it’s the sense of enclosure it gives, the sense that our home is our castle and by enclosing it with a wall of green, it marks out the boundaries of our territory and somehow makes the space more our own. A well chosen and well maintained hedge can certainly do these things, as well as giving us shelter from prying eyes and chilly winds, so it’s no wonder they are a fixed feature in many of our gardens.

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Scented Plants for Summer

Fri, Jul 29, 2016

Scented Plants for Summer

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Be Dazzled by Dahlias

Thu, Jul 21, 2016

Dahlias were such a revelation for me when I first got interested in gardening. I could not believe that the brown, wizened, dried up tuber in the packet would produce the dazzling blooms printed on the cover in just a few short months. Armed with some helpful advice from the sales lady (for instance which was the right way up!) I gave them a try and I was thrilled with the results – they’re brilliant plants for beginner gardeners because you get such magical results so quickly – within a few months of planting the tuber you can get dozens of fabulous blooms.

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Summer in the Vegetable Garden

Thu, Jul 14, 2016

At this time of year the kitchen garden is in full swing with warmer, longer days allowing edible crops to mature and ripen. There’s still lots of work to do though to keep your plot productive and ensure a succession of edibles right through the summer months. If you’re lucky enough to have a designated kitchen garden with raised beds, brick paths and maybe even south facing walls for ripening fruit, you’ll have room to grow pretty much anything you like and lucky neighbours probably benefit from plenty of edible presents just now!

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The Lazy Lawn Lover

Fri, Jul 08, 2016

Lawn mowing can seem a never-ending task at this time of year. I suppose the rain responsible for our lush forty shades of green is what encourages the grass to grow like Usain Bolt sprinting towards an Olympic record. Imagine if you could just press a button and close the roof like they do on Wimbledon’s Centre Court....

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Gardenwise: Please be seated...

Thu, Jun 30, 2016

Let’s take a minute to think about what you actually do in your garden. Mowing the lawn? Check. Hanging out laundry? Check. Trimming the hedges, battling weeds, watering, feeding, pruning shrubs.....tired yet? I’m tired just thinking about it. Which brings me nicely to what I’d like to talk to you about this week, which is sitting in your garden and doing – well, nothing very much.

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Gardenwise: A Splash of Colour for Summer

Wed, Jun 29, 2016

Did you visit Bloom in the Phoenix Park this year? Did you come away inspired and ready to get cracking, or a little daunted and thinking “I could never get my garden to look that good?”

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Gardenwise: The Happy Herb Garden

Tue, Jun 28, 2016

Have you ever brought home those little pots of herb plants from the supermarket, arranged them to great effect in fetching containers on your kitchen windowsill , and thrown them out a week or two later, wilted or covered in greenfly? Yep, me too.

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