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Margaret's Blog

 

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Blog

 

 

 

 

 

Its a new year and Spring is just about to arrive. What projects will be done  in our school garden this year. 

Through out the year Griffins will give tips on various topics that maybe of interest in your school. 

Our first one for 2018 is Wild Flower meadows in schools and communities.

 

Is there an area in your school garden that is perfect for a wildflower meadow or can it be grown along the verge of the pitch or path. Can we create a pollinator corridor  in an area of the garden. 

These maybe a few questions that you may like to consider.  

 

 

The vibrant colour and low maintenance required for a wild flower seed meadow are the main reasons why wild flower meadows have grown in popularity of the years. Many communities, tidy town and schools are now creating wild flower meadows through out the communities. With signs up saying Messages like "Don't mow let it Grow" . 

 

These areas create a haven for our pollinators and wildlife.  Many gardeners are including a wild flower area in their gardens, especially in areas hard to mow with your lawnmower or along ditches.  

Such a pretty way to attract the bees and butterflies.

Follow these easy guidelines below and prepare the soil properly to create your own wildflower meadow. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Site

When choosing the area you would like to plant it is worth considering if the prevailing winds will blow the seeds from the wild flowers onto the lawn. This is one thing that you do not want to happen as some of the flowers may seed in your lawn creating a problem later on. If it is a shady area under trees, choose a shade loving seed mix.   

 

 

Preparation: Unfortunately, just throwing out a few seeds won’t produce the desired results. You will need to prepare the soil. The main Objection is to remove any plantation that will compete with the wildflower. Remove all the wild grass and weeds like nettles etc. For small areas, remove weeds by hand or cover with black plastic or a weed-suppressing membrane for a few months prior to sowing.lightly dig over the ground to loosen the soil and rake.

When choosing the seed, I would recommend mixing both an annual seed and perennial seed mix. The results are much better. In most areas, it is much easier to spread the seeds by hand as you will have a better control. read the instructions on the box of seeds for best advice on rates of seeds per sq m . Its unlikely here in cork, but if required you may need to water the ground during dry periods until the plans become established. Afterwards keep an look out for weeds too and remove them as quickly as possible. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcycle probably the easiest way to do it in a school.

Creative Wild flower Containers.

Wild flowers will grow very well in containers and Pots. It is a great way to upcycle  an old wheelbarrow , bath or Container. Always ensure there is good drainage holes in the container and a layer of horticultural Grit at the bottom to ensure excess water will drain away. Then fill with a mixture of compost and grit and sow your wildflower seeds. Always mix both annuals and perennial flower seeds to ensure a vibrant display each year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make your own Wildflower Guerilla Seed Bombs with Children:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a fun way to get children interested in gardening. There is something satisfying about the idea of tossing seeds of wild flowers  into wasteland with the hope that it will magically turn into a flowery meadow and it is so easy to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To make the seed bombs, the ingredients are simple: Clay/soil, Compost, water and a pinch of seeds. Mix equal parts compost  with clay / soil with a little bit of water until you have a dough that sticks together but is not soggy. Next press your finger into the ball to create a bowl shape. This is where you will place a pinch of wildflower seeds. Gently roll the seed into the inside of the ball and set aside.  The seed bombs can be left out for a couple of hours or days to firm up. Afterwards They should then be stored in a plastic bag in a cool place until you and the children are ready to engage in your guerilla seed bombing action. Fling the seed Bombs into wasteland at the bottom of the garden or along the road. Don't forget if its not your land ask the owner if its ok to colour their world with Flowers. I would recommend a pollinator friendly mix of wild seeds . The bees will be buzzing with Joy. 

 

 

 

 Pasáiste na bPailneoirí:  Pollinator Corridor

a carpet of wild flowers:  brat bláthanna fiáine

Colour your world:  cuir dath id shaol

 

 

 

 

Climate Change and Gardening

Gardening is a great way to reduce Your Carbon footprint . Part of Climate Change Soloution

 

Did you know when you plant tree and Plants they eat up Carbon dioxide. There are many ways how gardening helps reduce our Carbon footprint. Can you think of Any.

Here is 1 idea to get you started :

 Use planters and containers made from upcycled materials.  Planted up tyres instead of dumping them.

 

 

If there is any topic you would like covered in  this blog, Please feel free to email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

Are you looking for seed Pots to Plant up your seeds. Griffins have used compostable Takeaway coffee cups : free to A good Gardening. Pop into griffins and Pick up some Compostable Cups.

 

 

Griffins 5th Annual Charity Cycle 2017

 

 

Charity Cycle 2017 DATE3

 

 

The Cycle For Charity 2016 raised €3154 for Cork Simon and One Ethiopia

This year will you get on your bike to help  raise well needed funds for Two Great Charities

This is Griffins Fifth Annual Cycle in aid of Cork Simon Community and One Man's Ethiopia.  Griffins has organised 2 Cycles in the scenic Dripsey area to suit all levels of Cyclist.

Granny Griffins will have complimentary Soup and Homemade Brown Bread in Griffins  for all Cyclists participating in the event on arrival back to Griffins. All Costs including Ambulances, labour, administration and catering for this event is covered by Griffins. So every Penny raised on the day will be going directly to the charities.

 

Cycle begins at 10 am on Sunday October 8th at Griffins of Dripsey

Registration starts at 9 am

Pre register or for Maps please  email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

or text 087 9517574 with  CYCLE, your name, route

 

Route for (86km)  Advanced Cycle https://ridewithgps.com/routes/25405910

Route For (60km)  Intermediate Cycle https://ridewithgps.com/routes/25405960

 

Each Steward along the route will have Water and Food, Also there will be a Food stop half ways. The back to Griffins to enjoy complimentary soup and Brown bread,

 

One Man's Ethiopia , Gerald Mc Sweeney works in Ethiopia for 3 months every year, providing badly needed help for the homeless, poor and dying people of Addi's Abba. Gerald will actually be In Ethiopia  on the 8th of October working with variuos families, Helping them to create a Home, Schooling and a Living to ensure they will become self sufficient and able to work their way out of homelessness in  Addis Ababa (Capital and largest city in Ethiopia)

 

Cork Simon Community :  Those working on the front lines of Cork's homelessness crisis

Take a Moment to watch this video By the Simon Community. This is why we are asking you to support this Charity Cycle.

 

https://www.facebook.com/CorkSimon/videos/1451741171529224/

 

 

Cork Simon Community works in solidarity with men and women who are homeless in Cork, offering housing and support in their journey back to independent or supported living. Each year Cork Simon supports over 1,200 people, providing accommodation, a daily soup run, access to health services, housing support, training and employment opportunities, addiction supports and connections to the community, to enable people to move out of homelessness. Now more than ever, as the housing and homelessness crisis continues, your support of Cork Simon is needed and greatly appreciated.

Cut t he red tape cyc20161

 

 

 

 

 

And the off cycle1

 

 

TIM 014

 

 
 
Please Vote JCI Web 2017
If you  can take a moment to Vote For Griffins  in the National Friendly Business Awards  in the Eco Friendly Category 
 
It is easy and takes less than 30 seconds just click here https://www.jciireland.ie/fba-voting/
 
(By the way you can vote every 24hrs)
 
Winners of Cork JCI Eco Friendly Business 2017

 

Griffins are proud to announce that we have won Corks Eco friendliest business with JCI Ireland. As a result we are now in the running for Ireland's Eco friendliest business. 
This is judged by both judges and the public. If you believe Griffins deserves your vote, we wold love if you could take a moment and give us your vote.
 
It is easy and takes less than 30 seconds just click here https://www.jciireland.ie/fba-voting/
 
 
 
If you would like to Hear more about our eco Friendly Projects 
 
I have listed a few of these below
 
 
 
Plant Flowers and The Bees Will Follow. 
BEE friendly
This is our strong message across all branding and through out our  Events 
With Many Open days, talks  and other excellent events, Griffins has advised many tidy town groups, residential communities and gardeners to  always  use  bee friendly shrubs  plants and gardening techniques in each of their projects.  
 
 

Griffins always thrive to be the best while protecting our environment,. This year we have worked hard to promote Bee friendly gardening. With their work with Muintir na Tire and Cork County council, Many Schools through out Cork County  have created bee friendly gardens as part of the Cork School Garden competition as well to learn the benefits of upclyling, art and our Heritage while gardening. 
Through Griffin's Slug Club, our kids gardening club, The children of Cork learn all about the importance of bees and pollinators to our environment. Kids enjoy upcycling by using many old products as containers. All kids love to plant up their old wellies and school bags with bee friendly bulbs and plants. Reduce, reuse, recycle is a strong message through out Griffins. With a rebate system, Griffins reward customers to return old plastic plant pots which are reused in Our nursery, Local schools and gardening clubs. 

 Coffee Cup 2017
 
Compostable Cup
But our latest project has got our biggest response. This year Griffins and Down 2 Earth Materials  has designed a Compostable Takeaway Coffee Cup for all our customers.
 
Did you know In Ireland we throw away 100 million standard disposable cups each year.If an item is ‘Biodegradable,’ it will biodegrade, but the length of time it will take for this item to fully break down is not specified – It could take 1000 years for something that is ‘biodegradable’ to fully decompose.
If an item is ‘Compostable,’ it means that this item will biodegrade into nutrient-rich soil within a 180 day timeline – It will certifiably break down into soil within 8-12 weeks when commercially composted.

After having a takeaway coffee or tea from Griffins of Dripsey,  you now can reuse this Compostable cup as a Plant Pot or simply Compost it in your brown bin. (even the lid is 100% compostable). If you don't have time to plant it, why not  give it to a local school , Mens shed or gardening club, They would love to reuse it at a Seed Pot. On the Back of each cup you will find instructions on how to use the cup as a plant or seed pot. 

Here at Griffins, we  are always thriving to help reduce our Environmental footprints, respect and love Nature. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

High Hopes Concert 2017 Money Raised

 

 

A Magical Night of Music Raised over €5000 For Cork Penny Dinners and The Inniscarra Historical Society.
On Friday 11th August. Inniscarra Historical  Society Hosted an evening of Music at Griffins Garden centre, Dripsey. What an array of music. The performers included The Cork High Hopes, St Senans Choir, Berrings Choir. John Murphy on Uilleann Pipes, Peter O Riordan, and Sean White. 
This was a sell out event with over 300 people attending the Concert.  Each performer Brought a different style of Music and Song to Griffins . Awareness of Homelessness , Despair, Mental Health, Addictions, Suicide was raised through some very well chosen songs and it was emotional to end the night with everyone joining in a magnificent rendition of The Banks of my own lovely Lee. All the Performers came together and with the Audience the Beautiful Lee Valley was filled The Banks of my own lovely Lee. 

€5000 euros was raised,€2500 for the Heritage Group for their new book 'Changing Times' and €2500 for Cork Penny Dinners plus a private donation of €500 bringing it to a massive €3000.
Margaret Griffin Would like to Thank each and every single performer, Volunteer and the audience for Coming together and Creating a magical event while spreading a strong message Through the Power of Song and music.  
summer concert 2

SUMMER CONCERT 3
 

 
SUMMER CONCERT GRIFFINS 5
 
 

SUMMER CONCERT GRIFFINS 6
 

SUMMER CONCERT GRIFFINS 8

SUMMER CONCERT GRIFFINS 14

SUMMER CONCERT GRIFFINS 15
 

SUMMER CONCERT GRIFFINS 17
SUMMER CONCERT GRIFFINS 19
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Coprosma Pina Colada
 
pinacolada
 

Commonly known as a ‘Mirror Plant’, coprosma’s foliage looks as if tiny little elves snuck in and meticulously varnished each perfectly shaped oval leaf. Yes, they’re that shiny. The perfect shrub for the textural delight in container Gardening . For vibrant colour I love the Pina Colada(Pina Colada Mirror Bush) - A very colorful evergreen upright-growing shrub to 4 feet tall and as wide with striking glossy wavy-margined leaves that are a distinct yellow-gold color with deep red-orange edges and with enhanced orange to red coloration in the cooler weather of winter. Flowers are inconspicuous.This Shrub is ideal in a container or pot. It is always a beautiful centre piece for your pot.
 
Heuchera Lime Marmalade
 
limemarmalade
 
Zingy, lime green leaves make this plant a show stopper through the year at the front of a partly shaded border where it will light up the area. Spires of white flowers in summer are loved by bees. 

This is one of the best performers in the heuchera Family. My Top tip for planting heucheras , Loads and Loads of Horticultural grit under neath the roots. I also recommend planting this quite high. The top of the roots should be about inch or 2 above ground. this is true for all heuchera, Plant them like this and the the will reward you will wonderful foliage through out the year. 


Acorus 'ogon
picture acorus ogon 10
 
 
'Acorus 'ogon' is the most wonderful evergreen grass, that shines like sunshine all year round. Sometimes known as Slender sweet flag 'Ogon', they are moisture-loving perennials forming tufts of linear or sword-shaped leaves, with insignificant spike-like flowers borne near the tips of central leaf-like stems.
It can grow in shade and can tolerate wet boggy conditions so it is ideal for a damp shady area of your garden. It's bright cheerful appearance gives any garden a cheerful appearance all winter and it stays evergreen even in cold wet conditions 
The Variety  'Ogon' is a compact deciduous grass-like perennial forming a clump to 30cm tall, with narrow, bright yellow leaves, lightly striped with yellowish-green. Perfect for container planting either on its own or mixed with plants.  Acorus has a lovely flowing effect which adds movement to any garden
Begonia Glowing Embers 
 
Begonia Glowing Embers 5 Large Plug Plants 2 81936 p

The vivid oranges and apricot blooms of Begonia Glowing Embers will keep your garden gleaming with colour all summer long right up till first frost! Fantastic dark bronze foliage provides a spectacular contrast to the flame coloured flowers, making this a star turn in any planting scheme. This luminous beauty turns heads wherever it's planted! As a tuber, like dahlias, you can store these from one year to the next. Like all begonias theu thrive in partial or full shade so ideal for our weather

Begonia  santa cruz sunset

These spectacular begonias produce masses of enormous blooms all summer long. Perfect for borders, containers, or baskets! A classic summery plant that will bring a great amount of intense colour. Feed with slow release food and these Begonias will keep flowering until October/November!

 

 

Cocktail  Recipe for a Vibrant Autumn Colour Container 
 
pinacoldapot
 
Plants 

Coprosma Pina Colada

1 Trailing Begonia  Santa Cruz Sunset 

1 Begonia Glowing Embers

1 Heuchera Lime Marmalade

1 Acorus Ogon

Trailing yellow pansies **

Yes The nursery at Griffins has just brought up the First batch of Trailing Pansies. 

Choose a large container, I love elho light weight vibrant Pots. Make sure there is good drainage in the pot. Add horticultural grit to the bottom of the pot. Fill The Container with Multi-purpose container with added John Innes. 

Add  3-4 Spoons of a Nutri Slow release feed. 

Place all the plants  on top of soil before planting to ensure that you like their postion. Then begin to plant each one. Ensure you keep the heuchera planted high. if possible place grit around the roots of the Heuchera.  Water well when planting is completed . This Container will need little to no Maintenance. Just ensure it doesn't dry out. 

 

If you would like any Garden advice Please contact Griffins Garden centre Dripsey on 021 7334286 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  www.griffinsgardencentre.ie 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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.
Location
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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
bodennes
 
 
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
 
 
 
 
 
 
hotchocolate
 
 
 
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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
HYDRANGEA M. RED BARON
 

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

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