Saturday, 11 October 2014

October Garden Colour

It's amazing how time moves on and here we are almost in mid-October. 

After a beautiful September, October has brought cold nights, high winds and rain, along with some smashing sunshine too. 

The recent cold nights were a prompt to move some of the tender plants under cover, otherwise the oncoming frosts would do some permanent damage. So the first picture here is the greenhouse after the tender plants have been moved.
You can see there is an abundance of Fuchsia plants, still looking good, and with moving them, it's been a chance to give them a clean, removing dead flowers, leaves, etc. Of course I'll have to be careful with watering, ensuring I don't neglect or over do it, which if I'm honest can happen from time to time.

After my visit to the Botanic Gardens this weekend, I was inspired to sort through some of my other pot plants, and revamp the bench display area, which had been stripped clear of the Fuchsias, leaving it looking a touch sad. 
You can see by the picture, the revamp was a success. I've pulled all the grasses together, some of the bonsai feature here now too, and for a spot of flower colour, there is a bowl of fresh viola.

Moving to the front gate area, you can see the garden arch a year on, and it's looking great. The wood is taking on a nicely weathered look and the Miscanthus grass I planted two years ago is doing exactly what I intended, framing the arch nicely indeed. There is the Rosa 'Maigold' planted on the left side, which has grown very nicely this year, and will have great colour in early Summer. I've a couple more plants to pop in this area, otherwise, I'm happy with it for now.

I've also included a picture of some seedlings. These are a mixture of lettuce, beetroot, spinach and rocket, all being grown for leaf picking for Autumn salads. I wasn't sure how well they would do, but with the weather being as good as it has, they've germinated well and are growing away. 
You can see from the picture below, I move the seedlings outside for some sunshine during the day, and then take them in at night. When they're slightly bigger, they'll be moved into pots and grown on some more, and when they're at picking size, I'll move them close to the house where picking will be convenient and more likely to happen.
The orange looking plant in the picture is the pot grown Japsnesse maple called Acer 'Orange Dream', and it's certainly living up to its name! At the base of the chair you can see the Hemerocallis which I repotted recently and top dressed with gravel, in preparation for 2015.


This next picture is the 'mauves & blues' bed I planted up earlier this year, and what a success it's been! There has been colour throughout the Summer, and, even now looks great. You can see Fuchsia 'Tom Thumb' is as reliable as ever in flower, with the mauve wallflower, Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' providing a mass of colour. I will need to cut this back soon, if it is to have any chance of surviving the horendous Winter winds we have. Other plants here could also do with a tidy up, so that's on the to-do list.

This blue daisy picture is included here as I was pleasantly surprised to see it looking so well. It's a Michaelmas daisy, one that I picked up a some stage two years ago, but it never came to much in its pot. I planted it out in early Summer and here it is, looking very colourful indeed, hidden in the mauve bed under some sweetcorn plants. I might move it to a more promenent space over the Winter months, seeing as it's providing such valuable colour.

Speaking of colour, this 'picture of pink' has been brought to you courtesy of some Nerine's which have sprung into colour, providing a nice lift to the flower border. These plants came as bulbs from my Mum's garden a couple of years ago, and I'm delighted they have taken so well. This bed is also due some attention, requiring some substantial moving of plants. The bed is now three years old, and typically with herbaceous borders of this age, requires moving, lifting and dividing of plants, so if you've some time over the next two or three weeks, let me know!

I've included this final picture as it captures the cat basking in the glow of Autumn sunlight, sitting on top of a variegated grass in what must be a lovely warm pot.


Happy gardening.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

September sun rising


Here's my picture of the sun rising yesterday. Of course it was intended as a Wordless Wednesday picture, but for this week Thursday is just as good. 

It is great to get out early when we can at this time of year with the clear crisp mornings we are having. 

Enjoy.

Onion growing rewards ...


A picture speaks a thousand words, so here's a picture of one of the larger of the crop grown this year. 

I know I keep saying it, but there was little work involved, and there was a great return. Here's the blog I did when planting them earlier this year: http://hughcassidy.blogspot.ie/2014/03/onion-planting-time.html

And, here's a picture of some of the crop, now that they've had a chance to dry out and are ready for storage.


These will be stored in the garden shed which is frost free and not liable to mould or damp, which is ideal. We'll draw from this stock as needed, and I expect we won't need to buy any until early next Spring.

The next question is what about 2015 & where will I plant the next crop. I have some ideas on this, but that's for a different day. Rotation of onion growing areas is important, and I won't be planting onions in this space for at least another 3 years to avoid build up of pests and diseases. 

Through chatting with people, it's interesting to hear how they grow their onions, whether it's from sets or seeds, types of soil they have, and the methods used. So plenty to think about over the Winter months.

In the meantime, there'll be an onion or two enjoyably consumed.

Happy gardening.