The March of the Cherries
The colour in the gardens is amazing at the moment, with magnolias, cherries, rhododendron and various spring bulbs all competing for attention. So much of the past few years planting is now maturing, and all the investment is beginning to pay off. Many of the Magnolias and Cherry species are flowering for the first time this year, and there is literally something worthy of an Instagram post around every corner.
March has been another fast month and we are currently playing catch up with seasonal pruning as everything suddenly bursts into growth. The next few weeks will also be a blur as we try to keep up with the growth of weeds in all the beds and borders. It’s been a very wet month which has made things difficult and I’m hoping that the soil starts to dry out now. We still have planting to do, including moving out all of our tender plants back into the tropical borders, jungle and fern garden.
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, so no pressure!
In the walled garden we are busy with seed sowing, potting on and planting out fruit and vegetables. We just divided our rhubarb and planted another extension to our rhubarb bed. We have also replaced our strawberry plants in the polytunnel with fresh stock with a view to making a lot more ice cream for the summer. 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 winter months with infrastructure and general housekeeping jobs. We recently resurfaced many of our roads and paths and visitors to the garden are venturing further and exploring new areas. Many locals, coming in for the first time, are amazed at what they find here. 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