A Host of Golden Daffodils

A Host of Golden Daffodils

I think that January is often seen as a slow month, but that is certainly not so for us here in the
gardens. The month has flown by, and we have a huge list of jobs to complete before Saint Patrick’s
day which is the traditional start to our tourist season. Along with the usual seasonal jobs we have a
lot of housekeeping and infrastructural work to complete. This is the time that we get chance to
bring in larger machinery and complete construction and maintenance jobs that would be impossible
to do during the rest of the year. We are really playing catch up right now, and the pressure is on.
Saying that, it’s great to be so busy and we are excited about what we hope will be a bumper year
for visitors.

There are a lot of other jobs to do over the next few weeks in preparation for spring. We have
already put in our indoor early potatoes and are about to start sowing seeds including tomatoes,
peppers, indoor salad crops, leeks, sweet pea and assorted bedding plants for this year’s displays.
Put in shallots and garlic now if you didn’t do it in the autumn. We have just pruned our grape vines
and also applied a winter wash made from sulphur, lamp oil and soap. This helps with pests and
diseases. Winter pruning of fruit trees should be finished as soon as possible. Do not prune stone
fruit such as plums or peaches in the winter. Leave this for spring and summer. Roses should also be
pruned back soon before they come into growth.

It’s also never too early to mow the lawn if weather permits. The mild winter has meant that grass
has continued growing, and we had to mow some of our lawn areas over the last week. Make sure
to watch out for emerging spring bulbs though. Herbaceous plants can be moved or divided as the
soil dries out and bare root plants can still be planted for the next few weeks. If you have a tree or
shrub that’s in the wrong place, then now is the time to move it. Dig around it carefully and take as
much root as you can then stake it in its new position until its roots take hold. The important thing is
to remember to keep it watered over the dry summer months.

There’s lots to see in the grounds and gardens at the moment. Our daffodil avenue is currently
stealing the show, along with the snowdrops and the emerging spring bulbs across the whole estate.
Other areas particularly worthy of mention are the winter borders, camellia beds, fern garden and
the idyllic lake and riverside walks. Our season ticket holders particularly enjoy the wilder areas of
the estate, and there’s always a chance to spot some of our resident wildlife. We have nearly all the
native Irish species present here in the grounds and gardens and it’s an absolute pleasure to share it
with them. I hope to see some of you in the gardens soon. Adam