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Margaret's Blog






mixed hydrangeas
For the last few weeks, We are been asked all about Hydrangeas so here is some of my top tips to growing these Beauties.  Not many garden shrubs can provide the punch of summer colour that hydrangeas do year after year. mostly easy to grow, hydrangeas can be abused and still reward the gardener with lush foliage and showy flowers. Think of them as workhorses with a strong desire to please.
Hydrangeas thrive in a moist, but well-drained soil, in a cool, semi-shady part of the garden. Try to avoid exposed east-facing sites, where cold winds may damage young spring growth, and also avoid dry, sunny spots. Soil
The type of compost you use is determined by the type of Hydrangea you have. Mop head Hydrangeas and Lacecap Hydrangeas will flower blue if grown in acidic soil and pink if grown in a alkaline soil.
So a general rule of thumb is if you have blue Hydrangeas you need a good quality ericaceous (acid) compost to keep them blue and if you have pink Hydrangeas  Multipurpose John Innes Compost. Most other types of Hydrangeas will be fine with Multi purpose John Innes Compost. All ways check what type of Hydrangeas you have any confirm which type of soil they need and always add a slow release Feed when planting.
“Can I grow Hydrangeas in pots?”

The answer to this is yes but there a few steps that need to be done to ensure you get a fantastic show of flowers and provides years of enjoyment.All Hydrangeas grown in pots will need regular watering to ensure they do not dry out. ( The reason most Hydrangeas die is  from a shortage of water)

Hydrangea Annabelle: My favourite Hydrangea
HYDRANGEA annebelle

This is the most spectacular of all the Hydrangeas, Annabelle produces big heads with white flowers like summer snowballs. Flowering starts in July and will continue through
the summer, the flowers will stay on the stems and will still look good dried on the plant at Christmas. It is very hardy and will grow anywhere in sun or shade. Beautiful in a moon garden, cottage garden, to camouflage a wall or  trellis, This shrub compliments all other shrubs.
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Bodensee,

Probably the most popular Hydrangeas. Bodensee is real dynamite in the world of hydrangeas as it produces a good "second showing" flush of flowers late in the summer and it also makes an excellent dried flower too. For weeks of colour, this is the one for you. The shrub itself is rounded, with deciduous foliage and thick, oval lime green foliage. They look absolutely stunning giving instant impact where ever they are planted. The colour of this Hydrangea mophead is a gorgeous blue, although if your soil is alkaline, it will have a tendency to take on pink hues over time, this is where it is well suited to growing in pots and tubs, or simply giving Hydrangea colourant a try.




Hydrangea Magical Amethyst 01




Four seasons
The  Hydrangea 'Magical' Four seasons  is a visual feast. It is beautiful in every season, in a pot on the patio or in the border .The very desirable Hydrangea Magical Amethyst produces clusters of flowers that open lime green and then change to pink, then fade to soft green with pink edges. Hydrangea Magical Amethyst is a traditional mophead variety, however is very compact only reaching to 80-90cm - making it ideal for even the smallest of spaces
Hot Chocolate
Having seen this unusual new beauty at a trade show we just had to have it. Gorgeous large lacecap flower heads have violet blue buds at the heart with attractive soft pink outer blooms to create a mouth-watering display from May to October. Sumptuous chocolate brown foliage with striking burgundy undersides fade to deep green in late season. This handsome deciduous shrub has a long flowering period and mouthwatering colouring.

Hyrdrangea Red Barron (masja)
Rosy red flowers in mophead form are produced in abundance on this easy to grow hydrangea. The blooms of Hydrangea macrophylla 'Red Baron' slowly fade to a deeper, more subtle shade of red as they mature during the season, extending this hardy shrub's interest through into autumn. Its compact growing habit means that 'Red Baron' can also be grown in containers on the patio as well as being included in a shrub border

New and Exciting Hydrangea





hydrangea curly sparkle blue


Hydrangea Curly Sparkle Blue or Red , named after the curley petals in the flowers, These will create a focus point in your garden bed.
 Curley Sparkle blues and red forms a rounded shrub ideal for pots to around 1m tall and wide. Deep green foliage and strong branches that carry mop-head inflorescences where the individual (sterile) flowers have conspicuously crinkled sepals.
If you would like some help choosing the perfect hydrangeas for your garden, then Bring in a photo to us at Griffins Dripsey, we would love to Help.
Griffins Drispey www.griffinsgardencentre.ie or 021 7334286
Queen Kate arrived to Griffins of Dripsey to officially open The Enchanting Fairy gardens at Griffins.
On Saturday the 1st of July crowds travelled to Dripsey to Meet Queen Kate and the Fairy Council.
In the last few years, the Irish Fairies had to relocate their National Fairy Library and the fairy Dust Factory, so without much debate the decided that The lee Valley was the best location and where else but Griffins. So after many Fairy years of planning and Building The fairies moved in last Friday night, all in time for the official Opening on Saturday the 1st.
The wonderful kids of cork and muster travelled to Griffins to welcome Queen Kate and her Fairies. Through out the Day, the Children listened to the seanchai fairies and got many top tips to write their own Fairy Tales.
These children are going to write their own wonderful and enchanting fairy tales, which when returned to the fairy library will be registered into the official fairy Library.
Queen Kate was excited to meet and greet each and everyone of the children, who went home with their packet of Fairy Dust, With sunshine, face painting and stories the children enjoyed a magical afternoon at Griffins, when many glimpses of Fairies to be seen through the peep holes of the library and fairy dust factory
I would highly recommend visiting the Fairy Gardens , Travel into an enchanting fairy land where  you can read the history of the Irish Fairies relocating back to The lee valley,  see where many of the chief fairies now live and discover which flower fairy is watching over you. Awaking the Magic within the children's imagination with a stroll through the Fair trail . And it is free to all. The perfect day out this summer. 

The Fairy Garden is now open 7 day a week to all at Griffins of Dripsey . A truely magical experience

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Each year, We are all frantically looking for the Best fathers day gift,

Here are a few of our Favourites For Fathers Day 2017, here at Griffins, Dripsey Co. Cork.

Top of Every List is Slow Roast Beef Lunch Followed with Granny Griffins Famous Apple Pie.

If you prefer to Give a gift , Hopefully These will Inspire you.

Station Clock and Thermometer

TF005 clock

Never wonder about the time or temperature with this double faced outdoor clock with thermometer. Perfect for placement in the yard, in the garden, or on the patio

Griffins Dripsey €50.00



Chimes of Pluto by woodstock

Chimes of Pluto

This wind chime is designed and handcrafted for superior musical performance. It is hand-tuned to a universal, pentatonic (five-note) scale and acts in concert with the wind to create random patterns of wonderful sound.
Griffins Dripsey €40.00


Tell your Dad he ROCKs with this solar Powered Jumbo Rock Light



rock light
Classic rock spot
High performance Super Bright 15 lumen lighting effect
Perfect for use in beds, borders, pathways, drives and ponds

€16.00 Griffins Dripsey


For a dad who loves to Cook
Mezzaluna by Joseph Joseph
Add some flavour to your cooking with this handy folding mezzaluna for a safe and easy way to chop your herbs, this handy herb chopper folds away to take up less space in the kitchen drawer.

Griffins Dripsey €26.95



How it Works THE DAD.
ladybird the dad
A wonderfully illustrated Ladybird book.  (Ladybird for Adults Collextion) All about the journey and experiences of being a Father. Telling a short story of Fatherhood on each page. The perfect sentimental gift for Father's Day.

Griffins Dripsey €9.95



The Deckchair Gardener

A guide to what not to do in your garden, this entertaining and helpful book teaches you how to avoid pointless and unnecessary garden work, leaving you with the time to enjoy looking after your little patch of paradise.

Griffins Dripsey €10.99



A little Book about Me and My Grandpa
me and my Grandpa

Write, draw and store your favourite memories of you and your grandpa as a celebration of the special relationship between grandfathers and grandchildren

Griffins Dripsey €9.00





Dante Pyramid Heater


DANate pyramid Lifestyle 1

This Dante Pyramid Flame Patio Heater is brilliant for garden patios to keep you and your guests warm on chilly summers evenings.  Be mesmerised by the performance of the flames dancing in this heater as you relax around your patio
Griffins Dripsey €649








Creative Hanging Baskets for your Home & Patio. 



Favourite part of my day is without  question it is planting up and creating hanging baskets and containers for our customers. The fragrance and Colour in the garden centre on the sunny days this week brings joy to all our staff and customer.  Here are a few top tips to creating and maintaing your summer baskets, window boxes  and pots.
Create a container/ basket to suit your colours, style and environment. 

Easy maintenance
If you want to be transported to the Amalfi coast,  Grow a lemon tree or olive tree in a pot, Surround your self with Trailing Geraniums and vibrant coloured pots and containers. If your baskets are located in a Sunny windy position or maybe difficult to water,  then Ivy  geraniums will thrive the best for you. Geraniums give a magical blast of colour and dont require as much watering as other summer plants. Ivy Geraniums  require so little maintenance. Don't forget the rule of Gardening , Always Plant in odd numbers in a basket . 


mediterranean basket


Shade Loving Basket/ Pot

Begonias & Fuchsia will brighten up that corner for you. Both of these have been the best performers over the last few years as they dont mind a cloudy summer. Often with plants like begonias, A basket filled with just begonias can be a real show stopper. 

A Wow Basket 
When A customers request summer baskets bursting with colour for a sunny position,  Its Surfinia baskets mixed with white bacopa, vibrant verbenas  and bursts of yellow biden flowers that will tick all the boxes. The bright colours  and quality of Cork Grown Surfinias that  are the Base to all these baskets. I love the Double headed Surfinias for very large baskets but these need to be dead headed reguarly. If you are not a fan of dead heading, The Million bells and Nemesias would suit you. 
Here are a few of my favourite cominations
White Icing basket or containers
A combintion of these will give you an elegant white Basket or window box: White bacopa,  Nemesia Anona, White surfinias , Buzzy lizzies and White verbena 
white icing
Country Cottage Containers or baskets
Ostopemum Orange underplanted with purple surfinia,  Verbena Blue Violet, White bacopa and yellow bidens
 osteopemum orange
County Pride: Calebrate the Cork county colours :
Nemesia Cherry on ice. red  and White surfinia , White verbena , Red and white upright petunia

county pride1
Pastel Pinks
Verbena Coral stars, Hot pink million bells (calibrachoa ), Brachyscome Magenta Delights, Blue vien and pink vein Surfinias , Doble headed pink surfinias
Cool Blue:
Bacoppa Colossal Blue, Deep blue Calibracho , Verbena Silver magic, Neptpea ,  Blue surfinias
 Petunia surfiniabluevein
Planting your basket 
Does your basket suit your bracket, I would recommend a 16inch bracket for 14 inch Basket
Make sure you basket has good chains and liner. Fill the baskets & pots with Grosure container and hanging basket compost. When planting a basket always tilt your plants and don't plant too deep. Add 3 slow release tablets to your basket

Aftercare of your Baskets

Basket provide a great source of colour and vibrance all Summer but you need to give them appropriate care:

• Check for water requirements. If it has become dry water thoroughly. If it is still damp refrain from watering.

Sometimes the weight of the basket is a good guideline.

Sometimes you have to water a number of times before the compost soaks up enough moisture so we suggest you water each basketor container and repeat a few minutes later. Touch the compost with your hand and if it is nice and moist you have done the job well!

• Griffins Baskets will have Slow-Release Tablets in them but it is a good idea to add some more throughout the Summer. Liquid feed with Tomato Food is also highly recommended (make sure to follow instructions)

• Dead-head when required.• It may be necessary to rotate your basket on it’s bracket to get a nice even display of flowers.




Moon Garden 2017

With the long summer evenings coming, We all try a spend more time out doors, relaxing in the Calming environment of our Gardens. One of the most romantic garden beds is a moon garden. This is becoming a very popular style as your garden bed rewards you at the night, when you are at home the most. Moon gardening  is a great way to enjoy white or light-colored, night blooming plants, in addition to those that release their intoxicating aromas in the evening. Design a Moon garden and the White Blooms and silver Foliage will reflect the Moonlight or Soft Lightening and  Solar Lights

white hidcote
Design Tips 
1. To create you Moon Garden, first choose the location. ensure it is a position that you and your visitors will enjoy while also reflecting the moon or uplight it with Solar Lights.
 2. Chose a selction of shrubs and plants that will bring a white glow to your garden through out the year. Below is an extensive list that can be included in your Moon Garden.  Consider height and tier these plants, the result will be magical as if the white blooms are floating at night. 
3. Make Use of design element such as gravel paths, arbours or Large stones
4. Consider artifical light source such as solar lights, lanterns, candles or water features
5. Install piece of art or Mirror, I love garden mirrors in the right place to reflct the moon
6. Choose the correct piece of furniture, I love this years vienna range from LG at Griffins, Ideal for your moon garden or why not paint your Graden bench white.
7. Looking for extra height or a feature, Concrete urns and pedestals filled with White fragrant plants will complete the look. 
white foxgloves
Climbers and Trees to consider :Davidia (dove tree) Silver Birch, Cornus China Girl,  Jasmine, Clematis alba , Climbing hydrangeas, Snowball tree

Shrubs that are ideal for a Moon Garden for their white flower or silver foliage
Hydrangea Lime light,    Bridal Wreath Spirea, Choisya Ternata, Daphnes,  Philadelphus. White Carpet Roses, White Astible, Convolvulus crenoum, cistus white (rock rose), corokia cotoneaster,  Standard white carpet rose underplanted with white pansy   Plant with a Mixture of white showy plants, 
Foxgloves( Height), Bleeding heart, Dianthus Memories, Cosmos, White Nicotina, White Pany, White Busy Lizzies,Llily of the valley, whie Agapathus and Aliumn, Phlox, 
moon garden
Silver or Varigated Foliage : Stachys byzantina (lambs ear), Cineraria, Hostas, Russian Sage, Lamium maculatum 'White Nancy'
White Flowering bulbs: White Trumpter Tulip, White Crocus, Snowdrops, Thalia Daffodils , white cyclamen
 Magically White Hanging Basket or containers,
 Bacopa, Surfinias, Verbena, Nepeta, white Ivy Geraniums, Trailing Geraniums, Dichondra Silver falls 
So Fall in love with your garden and create your own moon garden, If you would like adice bring photos into to our design team at Griffins and we will help create your moon Garden









The Secret to Success:

Ensure the soil is warm. Warm up your soil by covering it with black plastic a few weeks prior to planting. Those extra degrees will translate into earlier tomatoes. If you are planting in a pot or growbag, put a sheet of aeroboard/polystyrene underneath. This is a much warmer environment for the root system by creating a barrier between cold soil and roots (and also a great way to re-use aeroboard).

An exception to the rule, tomatoes can be buried deeper than they come in the pot – all the way up to the first few leaves. Tomatoes are able to develop roots all along their stems. If you can't dig a deeper hole, simply dig a shallow tunnel and lay the plant sideways. It will straighten up and grow towards the light!

Pinch and side shoot tomatoes regularly. Remove suckers that develop in the crotch joint of two branches (picture)



xtomato sucker 3.jpg.pagespeed.ic.eA6Gn0jb l

Mulch your tomatoes after the soil has had a chance to warm up. As tomatoes love heat. Mulching conserves moisture and prevents soil and soil-borne diseases from splashing up on to the plants.

If planting in a pot, Place pot near warm wall as the heat is reflected from this

Remove leaves from the bottom 1ft of the stem. These are usually the first leaves to get disease and fungus problems.

Water regularly to keep the soil/compost evenly moist. Feed every 10-14 days with a good organic tomato feed , changing to feeding every 5-7 days once the first fruits start to set. Grow Basil at the base of your tomato plant! This will act as a mulch, and is naturally a great combination plant for tomatoes.

A few marigolds planted in close proximity will help keep your tomatoes free from insects Greenfly & Whitefly If you do happen to get a few insects on your plants, you can boil up some garlic from your kitchen in water, allow to cool and use this as a spray.



Growbags can be difficult I'm not a big fan of growbags for the growing of tomatoes, especially when the growbag is left flat and is planted with three tomatoes. To me, it's far too shallow and plants are difficult to maintain from the point of view of watering. A far better idea is to grow the tomato plant in a pot, approx 50cm in diameter, and use John Innes multipurpose compost. For better depth, cut growbags in half and you have two upright plastic pots.

Sungold - yellow fruit, medium sized, fantastic flavour!

Alicante - medium sized, good old fashioned flavour!

Money Maker - red medium sized, very hardy

Shirley - medium sized with a great taste!

Tumbling Tom - trailing variety, great for containers!

Try a hanging basket of tumbling toms. A great way to grow this little beautys

tumbling tom red tomato



blueberry plant


Blueberries So simple to grow and so good to eat. These berries are absolutely delicious whether eaten fresh or cooked. They grow to approximately 1 metre high, or a little lower if grown in containers. The best soil to use grow the plants in is a lime free compost, with some slow release tablets added. Here's a useful tip: it is best to grow two varieties of blueberry to get good pollination! Always plant your blueberry in Ericaceous compost. This is really the only requirement. It is such a hardy plant that it will survive what ever our weather throws at it Go on! Rediscover the good life – growing fruit is easier than you'd think!


Strawberry Strawberries large

Anyone for Strawberries? Homegrown strawberries taste amazing and are so easy to grow – but, not in the ground! I have found it much easier, and an abundance of fruit had grown, when I grew my strawberries in growbags, in hanging baskets and in raised beds. When strawberries are grown up high they won't get attacked by slugs. Why not grow a few strawberries in a high plastic container, recycle an old drum and cut holes in it and plant strawberries through the holes on top of the container as well. You will have a wonderful crop of great tasting strawberries in no time! A really tasty variety is Elan. This is a professional variety for the demanding amateur grower. It has been given the title of gourmet strawberry. Up until recently, this variety was exclusively available to the professional grower, so it's a real delight to finally be able to offer this on the domestic market! Both of these fruits are Granny Griffins favorite ingredient for her scones. If you would like more advice with tomatoes or any gardening advice, please feel free to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




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Dripsey, Co. Cork.
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