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Fuchsia & Busy Lizzies – we can flower without sunshine!

Fuchsias and Busy Lizzies are great in not so sunny spots as they have great ability to flower without sun. Needless to say this makes them ideal for our Irish summers! So easy to grow, I find that they do really well in John Innes Multipurpose and slow release feeding. Some of my favourite varieties of Fuchsia are Coachman, Betty, Martha, Peggy and Springtime.

Busy Lizzies come in a great range of colours – from whites, pinks, salmons right through to bright red.




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 and are less likely to get disease (by being away from the damp Cork soil).

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 new, 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!



Surfinia – The Genuine Trailing Petunia

Surfinias are great in baskets and patio containers and will produce a cascade of colour before long. The key to success is regular feeding, so give them slow release feeding and occasionally some Maxi Crop tomato food. Surfinias love a sunny position and hate being too dry, so keep an eye on your watering programme. When you water your baskets or containers, make sure they are dry – never water with compost that is still wet. Remember, all in moderation - not too dry, not too wet.


Choisya Aztec Pearl

All my good points:

  • I smell beautiful

  • I'm evergreen

  • I can be grown in a container

  • I have beautiful white flowers in May/June

  • In a hot summer I may flower in late summer

  • I have lovely glossy foliage

  • I'm simply the perfect plant!


Tolerates any well drained soil and a reasonably bright, sunny position – generally, a very hardy shrub. Lovely near a patio or front door. Use John Innes Multipurpose compost and Westland slow release fertilizer and your shrub is looked after for another year. Repeat feed annually.
Keep in mind that Choisya is weather conducive to the spread of blight!




Tough little plants that flower all through the summer. They can tolerate very dry positions and are ideal for pots and containers. Nicotiana is related to the tobacco plant, thus the name.I recommend you plant these in groups of three.



Blight warning

The weather at present is conducive to blight, so spray regularly, follow dilution ratios and don't be too heavy handed. A little washing-up liquid in the spray will help the spray stick to the foliage better.

Seeing as this flash new website is up and running and everyone is so excited about the start of summer, I said I would start a blog. This is a first for me and it seems to be a great way of getting handy information out there for all of you to get a hold of instantly. I wanted to start with a bang, so I've decided to give away one of the best kept secrets in the culinary world, no less! That's right, after a whole lot of coaxing and convincing, Granny Griffin has allowed me to publish her much coveted recipe for her delicious homemade Brown Bread! She had debated whether the first of her recipes to be made public should be that of her apple pies or maybe her delicious scones, but ultimately she said she would go all out and went with the extremely popular brown bread.

It has taken quite a while to get this recipe from her and she was apprehensive for a long time about putting this out in the public spectrum, but here it is! Bon appetit!




Herb window box


Boys & girls!


Margaret here! Wouldn't it be lovely to have your own herb window box? Growing herbs is a wonderful way for children to learn about gardening. Most herbs are easy to grow and take little care to flourish. Children of all ages will marvel at the different and exciting scents that are available in a fragrant herb garden.


The 'Pizza' Herb Window Box:

Parsley, Oregano, Basil & Strawberries (for dessert, of course!)


The 'Tutti-Frutti' Herb Window Box

Lemon Balm, Scented Hints, Pineapple Sage, Scented Geranium


Letting your child grow his or her own herb garden is a fun way of learning about nature, gardening and cooking all at the same time, while giving your child a strong sense of accomplishment and boosting self esteem. By introducing your child to gardening, you are giving him/her a chance to get involved in a wonderful hobby, which can be enjoyed together for the rest of your lives. 


How to make a window box:

Get yourself a window box (or make one from old timber - get your parents/guardians to help you!).

Make sure you have small holes for drainage - we don't want the plants to drown, do we?

Fill your window box with John Innes Multipurpose Compost.

Now simply plant your herbs/flowers etc.












Good luck Sluggers!

inspirational gardens