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Author Archives: michael

My Gardening Month December 2021 …F stops and Feng O’Shui !

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December in the garden is generally a write off due to the holidays and the weather but then Storm Barra hit Ireland in early December and we lost two trees including a large fifteen year old eucalyptus tree and while getting it chopped up we used the opportunity to cut out nine  conifers that had died over the summer and all this kept us busy right up to Christmas . These tree losses are what gardeners live with throughout the life of a garden , nothing is guaranteed to last forever . The eucalyptus I had planted in wettish ground fifteen years ago and while their roots love damp ground […]

My Gardening Month November 2021 … A Messy Month in the Garden !

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Flowers in the November garden are rare here at Old Spa Road but I admire people who persevere with trying to keep the colour palette going in what is generally a blowsy rainy cold time and if you want to try this I would suggest planting as close to the front  and back doors as possible because generally that is as far as most people venture out in the garden at this time ! Of course it is nice at this time of year to come across a clump of flowers such as nerines or alstroemeria as I did the other day in a friend’s garden in Clonmel but for […]

My Gardening Month October 2021 … Olive oil is for your ears !

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I spent October planting and preparing for next year in the garden both in Old Spa Road and in Croatia , picked olives along the way and was reminded that gardening is an artificial intervention with nature where we try as gardeners  to “improve ” nature  … a bit presumptious don’t you think ?! An October walk in the Biokovo mountains , Gornja Podgora , Croatia My very first gardening blog was written and published eight years ago in October 2013 and here is an extract with all the hopes and aspirations for garden schemes and beds and fast forward eight years and nothing has changed , still aspiring and […]

My Gardening Month September 2021 … a time of bulbs .

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Covid had meant the cancellation of the Chelsea Flower Show since the last one was held in May 2019 but this September over a week the organisers managed to stage it . Organised by the Royal Horticultural Show in London every May since 1912  and known formally as the Great Spring Show it was the first time since it’s beginning in 1912 apart from the two World Wars that it wasn’t held in May . It was a different Chelsea experience of course with a totally different palette of plants from what is normally available in May and only a small number of show gardens , half of the normal […]

My Gardening Month August 2021…always a lush month in the garden

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What a lushness the garden has in August and while I know that the winter months are drawing close we always have the memories of the summer garden to carry us through ! The largest grass in captivity … arundo donax hits it’s peak in August and dies completely back in December I wrote last month about roses and why I don’t grow them …well in Washington even roses are political ! The most famous Rose Garden in the world is the one installed at the White House by Jackie Kennedy in 1962 when she took a tradition going back a hundred years whereby the US President’s wife planted a […]

My Gardening Month July 2021 … sweltering heat , dog days in the sun !

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Visitors to the garden often ask why there are no roses and there are two  reasons , one that I am not a big fan of flowering shrubs in general unless they have outstanding foliage or bark as usually flowers last only a short time and the plant has little to offer for the remaining 49 weeks of the year and secondly roses are full of diseases such as black spot and white fly which disfigure the plant and I forgot there is a third reason which is that I have enough work to be doing without the added chore of dead heading roses on a daily basis ! Of […]

My Gardening Month June 2021 … Deer Deer and more f..king deer !

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Since beginning this garden twenty years ago we have had to live with the fact that our area is deer country with a capital D . They are everywhere , coming down from the hilly terrain where there is plenty of open fields with cover for them to sleep up in during the day . At first of course we thought it was quaint and absolutely lovely to look out the window and see lots of bambi looking in at us but as soon as we started planting trees and shrubs the deer quickly became a pest as they ate their way through a lot of what we planted . […]

My Gardening Month 30th May 2021 … Go and Zen no More !

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May in Ireland this year never really arrived with a lot of rain throughout the month and this suited me as I had planted out hundreds of rooted slips and cuttings in the new water area I have been working on since last October and they needed moisture plus a little bit of heat to take root . Speaking of arrivals two of my grand kids visited last week and I brought Marko and Mile down to see my new Zen rock installation where I planned to fondly explain to the seven and ten year old the tranquility and appreciation that Zen teachings brought to that area of the garden […]

My Gardening Month April 2021 … A Great Feeling of Relief at Last !

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This month for the first time with the Covid vaccination program kicking up a gear it is beginning to seem that normal life is within our reach again where we can look forward to getting on with our lives and not live in fear of catching the virus every time we step outside our little bubbles . In April I got both doses of the Pfizer vaccine and it was a tremendous feeling of security and relief not to be thinking that everyone I met outside and every surface touched could be the launch pad for the disease . Last month I featured the american skunk cabbage , americanus lysichiton […]

My Gardening Month March 2021 … the vaccine is around the corner and coming to a gardener near you !

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March marks the time of year when gardening turns serious ! That extra hour of daylight , new growth beginning in perennials , trees and shrubs with daffodils and tulips in full bloom and beads of sweat on the forehead as the wheel barrow is taken out of storage , the effing and blinding when you try to start the mower for the first time since last October  ! During March I added to the new water area planting at a furious rate adding  cuttings of houtania along the wet edges and geranium slips in the drier banks for ground cover and then adding a path of concrete paving slabs […]