New Year in Blarney

New Year in Blarney

December is now behind us and as we enter 2023, I find myself looking forward to what I hope will be a great year in the gardens. The first signs of the coming spring are already here, with early snowdrops, hellebores and of course our famous daffodil avenue all starting to come into flower. It’s always nice to get the unexpected sight of an avenue with more than 40,000 daffodils in full bloom so early in the year. I’m looking forward to seeing all our newly planted bulbs emerging over the coming months and watching the gardens wake up from their Winter slumber.

We have a lot of jobs lined up for January. It’s seen by many as a quiet time of year in the garden, but for us it’s a chance to get ahead with the mulching, edging and general housekeeping before the real madness! It’s also now time for pruning and tidying the grape vines, fruit trees and bushes as well as ornamentals. Our apple orchards will be getting some formative pruning next week. While doing this we will be firming up the roots of young trees and plants that may have been loosened by the high winds and wet conditions. It is extremely important, and you should check your own gardens for this too.

Our tree surgeons will be busy in the coming weeks too, as they do their annual checks of the mature trees around the estate. This involves climbing to examine the canopies for cavities or dead wood and in some unfortunate cases even felling a tree for safety reasons. Our arboretums have really benefitted from professional regular care over the years, and because of this we are seeing healthier trees that are better prepared to withstand the more extreme weather that is becoming more common.

This is also the time of year, while we are relatively quiet, that we have the opportunity to work on infrastructure projects. Several of our roads and footpaths are in need of resurfacing, so there will be a lot of action around the estate in the next few weeks. We hope to have everything up to scratch in time for our traditional start to the season on St. Patrick’s Day.

The grounds and gardens really look beautiful at this time of year. I particularly love the riverside and lake walks. There is something here for all the family, and let’s face it, anything that gets us outside and into nature, especially the children, must be a good thing. There’s always a chance to spot some of our resident wildlife, with red squirrels, kingfishers, our family of swans and many other species to be found in the grounds and gardens. We are very lucky to have such a diverse estate on our doorstep, and the season tickets are a bargain for locals who wish to make it a regular visit. I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy new year from us all here, and we hope to see some of you in the gardens in the coming weeks. Adam