A Muddy March

A Muddy March

March has been a challenging month due to the constant rain. We usually have our construction and landscaping projects completed by now, but the ground conditions have held everything up. We are desperately waiting for the ground to dry out so that we can finish paths, new borders, grass and wildflower seeding, and a number of other weather dependant jobs around the estate. I hope that April will bring us the respite that we need.
The rain hasn’t dampened the plants spirits though and the colour in the gardens is amazing, with magnolias, cherries, rhododendron, and various spring bulbs all competing for attention. Many of our new cherry trees are flowering exceptionally well, and the walk from the entrance up to the castle is picture perfect. As they start to fade, I expect them to be replaced by a new show around the Mansion as the azaleas and rhododendrons start to flower.
The next few weeks will also be hectic as we try to keep up with the growth of weeds in all the beds and borders. They love all this rain! We still have planting to do, including moving out all our tender plants back into the tropical borders, jungle and fern garden just as soon as the weather settles.
We will also shortly be thinking about summer bedding around the main entrance and café areas, and our usual hanging baskets will need to be put together. They make another show stopping display, and we have become quite well known for it. We try to add a little extra every year, and this year we are extending the display by making the beds bigger along the road leading into our entrance.
In the walled garden we are busy with seed sowing, potting on and planting out fruit and vegetables. Jobs for the next few weeks include sowing sweet corn, runner beans and outdoor salad crops, carrots, parsnips, and beetroot. Plant out onions, shallots, and potatoes if you haven’t already. Plant indoor tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and tie in and pinch out new growth on the grape vines, hand pollinate indoor peaches to ensure a good quality crop, sow herbs, check for greenfly both indoors and out. A good tip I share every year for dealing with greenfly is to mix some washing up liquid and water vigorously in a jug to make a lot of foam, then apply this directly to the infested areas to completely cover the aphids. It works very well!
We have been extremely busy over the last few years with creating new beds and borders, planting trees, improving, and renovating existing garden areas and in some cases making entirely new garden spaces. Many locals, coming in for the first time, are amazed at what they find here. There is literally something for everyone and a whole day out for all the family. Over the last ten years we have created what is one of this country’s finest gardens and a haven for wildlife. For somewhere so close to the city, we are very fortunate to have most of Ireland’s native animals still present. A quiet visitor to the river, lake or woodland walks can be rewarded with the site of an otter, kingfisher, red squirrel or even one of our elusive woodpeckers that have recently taken up residence. If you haven’t visited us recently, I would encourage you to come and see. Adam