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Margaret's Blog






mung beans


I'm one of the most popular beans in the whole wide world, even more popular than baked beans! I'm so easy to grow and lots of fun too! Are you going to grow me? If you are, then listen to these great tips from our Slug Club teachers Emma and Meig.

To grow me, you really don't need much. All you need is a glass jar with a lid, and a grown up to punch holes in the lid. If you don't have a lid, don't worry, I'll be happy with a cloth over me.

When you take me home, soak me overnight, then drain me off and put me in a coffee jar. Get a grown-up to make holes in the cover of the jar. Leave me in a cool place, i don't like too much sunshine! Wash me through two times a day for 3 or 4 days. Yummy! I'm ready to eat! :)

painted snake_gourd


Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives!


Even from a very young age. Children love to mess around in the soil. It's natural at that age that they feel connected to nature and it makes them happy. But unfortunately, most parents can't appreciate the goodness of being connected to nature, and so the child gets pulled to television screens, Nintendos, junk food and all that goes with growing up in Ireland today.... kids' parties in overcrowded and noisy activities arenas etc!


In other countries, especially France and Canada, children are hiked off to enjoy more outdoor activities, woodland walks, hiking, camping and general family activities out in the midst of nature. Save our children from 'nature deficit disorder' – gardening is the best education of all!

Better health comes from being out in the fresh air, and appreciation of wildlife, quality family time and environmental awareness all lead to a better future.



Weekend project for the kids!


Snake Gourds – these are a strange gourd that are really exciting to grow as they have fruit that look like slippery snakes! When the fruits are dried you can paint them with spots, stars, stripes or whatever you like to make them really look like slithering serpents! Snake gourds are available in small seed packets. Get out there and watch them grow!

Heather Garden Girls
Garden Girls - an exciting new variety of Heather

Ten Good Reasons to Plant Heather


1. So easy to grow

2. Can be planted almost anywhere

3. Strong long lasting resistant plants

4. Long life span

5. All year round colour

6. A huge range of colours from flowers to foliage

7. Superb ground cover

8. Range of height 3 – 24 inches

9. Low maintenance

10. Suitable for containers



Give your garden that 'wow' factor with all year round colour and low maintenance, with our busy lives many of us don’t have the time to spend evenings and weekends looking after our gardens.
The beauty of heathers is that once planted you can sit back and enjoy the benefits of your work, with little after care, giving you more pleasure year after year!


Garden Girls (Calluna Vulgaris) (pictured above) are a fantastic range of heathers that are bud blooming. Bud-blooming heathers are prized for their interesting colors and textures and long bloom time. They will slowly form a dense mat that is forbidding to most weeds. Requires good drainage and prefers soil that is rich in organic matter. All cultivars should be trimmed back in the spring.


Margaret's Top Tip for Heathers:


In their natural habitat, Heathers grow on mountainsides and hills and can tolerate very exposed conditions. Usually, on the sides of mountains, heathers will have a nearby supply of water running to them, and more importantly, running away from them. While heathers love moisture, they hate to be too wet, so once you realise this you will have great success with these plants. The golden rule is adequate moisture but not too much.

Anemone Blanda



“Snake's Head” Fritillaria

This is a great bulb for planting under trees, in a woodland or in pots or containers. Unusual and full of colour, they are very easy to grow and are best suited to well-drained soil, so use plenty of grit and prepare to be pleasantly surprised!



Such a romantic flower. The first flower of Spring...

Best planted in groups of 9 or 12. I always find that clusters under trees or under large shrubs turn out terrific. They are very easy to plant bulbs that have that wonderful iconic charm.



The Element of Surprise!

One of the nicest things I find about planting bulbs is that, often, I will forget what bulbs I had put down! So every Spring I am pleasantly surprised when little groups of snowdrops, crocus, bluebells or daffodils start popping up all over my garden. Spring is full of surprises!


Bluebell Glade

The perfect way to relax...

Not everyone will have a woodland in their back garden, but it is amazing what you can achieve even in a small garden. A few trees under planted with Bluebells will transform your garden into an enchanted forest. Even a patio can look magical with the addition of these blue beauties. Pots upon pots of Bluebells will be stunning and will really create a relaxed, calming atmosphere in your garden.


Anemone Blanda

One of my favourite bulbs! I love it because of it's cheerful, pretty appearance and the sheer value that the bulbs give. They just flower and flower and flower!

Anemone can be tossed any way into the ground. They have no top or bottom so they are fairly fool-proof. Anemones come back stronger and stronger each year so they are great for ground cover. Again, as with all bulbs they can be planted in the ground, in pots, containers or window boxes.

Beef Curry roulade



Serves 4-6



• 100g butter or ghee
• 200g stewing beef
• 1 tbs tomato purée
• 2 cups of beef or chicken stock
• 1tbs of garam masala or curry powder
• 1tbs of garlic
• 1tbs of ginger purée
• 1 large diced onion
• 1/2 cup of chopped coriander
• 1 large puff pastry sheet
• 2 cups of mashed potato
• Salt and pepper to tast



Heat the ghee/butter in a pan and add the onions. Sweat for 15 mins until soft and starting to brown. Add garlic and ginger and cook for a further 15 minutes, then add the beef. Sweat until browned, then add the garam masala/curry powder, turn down the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add stock, tomato purée and simmer on a low heat for at least 1 hour, or until the meat has become soft and tender. Add the coriander, then leave to cool. Add the mash and thoroughly mix. You will want a thick, lumpy texture that binds well. Scoop this into the centre of the puff pastry sheet and roll at both ends. Seal both ends and make sure to pierce through the pastry roll a few times to let steam out. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake in a hot oven at 180°C for 20 minutes, leave to cool then slice into 4 separate roulades.

Serve with a fresh garden salad and yogurt raita. 


Cherry Tomato, Cashel Blue Cheese & Rocket Quiche

(serves 6)



• 300g plain flour
• 200g butter
• 4 tbs cold water

• 10 cherry tomatoes halved
• 300g Cashel blue cheese
• 100g rocket
• 6 eggs
• 100ml fresh cream
• Salt and pepper to taste



In a mixing bowl, mix the flour and butter until it binds. Add the water, one spoon at a time, until you can roll the pastry in a ball. Cover and leave in the fridge for half an hour. Take this out of the fridge and roll on a floured surface. You will need a flan tin, on which you will lay the pastry so that it hangs over the edges slightly. Trim the edges off with a knife and prick the base with a fork. Blind bake in a pre-heated oven at 170°C for 15-20 mins.

Beat the eggs, cream and salt & pepper in a bowl and pour into the pastry base. Halve the cherry tomatoes and arrange around the quiche. Do the same with the rocket leaves and cheese, then return to the overn for 30 minutes at 150°C.

Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy with some fresh garden salad.




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Sun 10am - 6pm

Bank Holidays 9am - 6pm

Restaurant open til 5:30pm


Dripsey, Co. Cork.
Tel: +353(0)21 7334286

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