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Margaret's Blog

 

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Blog

Tried and Tested ...... Proven Winners at Griffins

Looking for plants you can trust to create a beautiful, easy-to-maintain garden? All you have to do is look for the Proven Winners name to

know you're getting the most distinctive plants on the market. That's because Proven Winners have been tried and tested by our head grower John

to ensure our varieties are vigorous, healthy, vibrant, and unique.

Proven Winners plants are:

Easy to grow and care for

  • Covered with blossom and blooms

  • Bright and colorful

  • All-season bloomers

  • Disease free

 

I am sure my favourite proven winners will also be your when you test them this year

 

Osteospermum symphony Orange . Vibrant orange daisy Flower with a purple centre. Loves a sun position and very good drainage.

Beautiful in pots, hanging baskets and beds. Low maintenance and no deadheading required. Combine with purple surfinia in a sunny window box

or pot and this plant will reward you all summer long.

osteospermum

Nemesia Trio Mio Alegria: trio mio creates the perfect summer pot or basket with one easy plant. Three varieities of nemesia have been carefully

selected and planted together as a recipe to make a beautiful display. Bright, cheerful and sophisticated. Alegria combines the best of early flowering

Nemesia in red, yellow and white, all with coordinating yellow eyes on green semi-trailing foliage.

algeria 2

Verbena Vepita Dark red , White or Hotpink.

Verbena have a beautiful large round clusters of bright dainty blooms that appear against luxurious green spreading foliage. These trailing plants are so easy to maintain when planted in grosure container and hanging basket compost. They love full sun and flower from the end of April to October.

Perfect mixed with other seasonal plants for bowls, baskets and other containers, alternatively they can be planted on their own.

verbena dark red

Nemessia Cherry on Ice The unique red and white bicolour flowers of Nemesia Sunsatia™ 'Cherry On Ice' make it ideal to grow in a

courtyard pot, in a basket or for stunning garden display. Flowers from May to October, easy maintenance with no deadheading. Feed with slow release

granules when planting for a longer flowering period

 

nemesia cherry_on_ice_pot

Million Bells Double RUBY also known as Calibrachoa SUPERBELLS are delightful, interesting and easy-to-grow annuals that flower all summer.

Superbells ‘DOUBLE RUBY’ is a novelty in Calibrachoa with fully double flowers which resemble small roses in a beautiful ruby red colour.

It has a slightly trailing to upright, strong and rich growth. Prefers a sunny spot, but is resistant to rain and wind. The greatest winner last year

for my front door basket

doubleruby2

 

 

Buddleja Buzz ivory, lavender and sky blue. Three of the best varieites of small buddleja A Buddleja for the pot!

A revolution in Buddleja, the Buzz series has been bred to be suitable for the container and border planting.

Great for butterflies and bees too!

Buzz ‘Ivory’ are strong, elegant plants with gorgeous, white flowers.

Buzz 'Lavender' Wonderful violet-lilac flowers with an orange eye on good container performing habit.

Buzz sky Blue Sky-blue flowers emerge in early summer attracting butterflies and bees.

 

Salivia Hot lips This variety flowers from June right through to November! It's a very easy Salvia to grow and if we get a 'normal' Irish winter,

it should flourish again next year. 'Hot Lips' is a wonderful for patios and it's striking red flowers really stand out in a container.

It has won numerous awards in UK flower shows and are well worth having as an outstanding addition to your patio garden!

What People Don't Know about Rock Gardens (in the Natural World)

 rock-garden-plants

Rock garden plants grow on very high altitudes, which means they need to tolerate being exposed to the elements. On these mountainous landscapes, the ground is generally shaley rock, with very little actual soil. From this natural habitat of 'rock garden' plants, we know that stoney, well-drained soil is best.

The conditions typically seen in this habitat can be a far cry from wet and sodden soil of Cork and Kerry. This is why a lot of plants rot and die in our climate! Rock garden plants are very useful for harsh climates and exposed gardens, and once you invest in a few bags of grit, you're on your way to adding an amazing feature in your garden.

Rockery plants must be cut back regularly to give repeat flowering. Most colour rock plants will flower until late summer when this is done.

Contemporary Rock Gardens

The modern contemporary rock garden is based on the use of clean design lines, with the focus on hard landscaping materials – stones, concrete etc. The planting style is bold but simple, with the use of drifts of one or two plants that repeat throughout the design. Grasses are a very popular choice for this style of design and lighting will sometimes play an integral role in the modern garden, especially low voltage LED lights, used to create subtle and atmospheric lighting effects.

Japanese Rock gardens

Japanese rock gardens are probably the best in the world, at least, based on the principles of rock and gravel gardening, with most of the plants consisting of evergreens such as pines, mosses, Japanese Maples and Japanese Azaleas. The attention to detail is always strikingly obvious in Japanese rock gardens and most are actually very small in terms of area.

Margaret's Tips for a 'Wow!' Rockery

1. Strive to achieve year round colour – most rockery gardens look well in spring but fail to impress in late summer and winter.

2. A raised bed would make a great rock garden

3. Most banks or slopes just scream 'turn me into a rockery!'

4. Poor, stoney soil is your main criteria

5. Use rocks that are local to your area as they will look more natural

6. A gravel area where you can sit is worthwhile in every rock garden

7. Rock gardens can be serene or full of life and vibrant colour, depending on your own taste.

Some great rockery plants:

Arabis

A foolproof choice of plant for any beginner gardener. Beauty as well as simplicity!

Alpine Phlox

Alpine Phlox is an amazing plant, quite happy to sit in gravelly paths and crevices. Phlox absolutely hate damp, sodden soil.

Campanula

Most people will recognise this plant for it's ability to hug rocks and ditches to produce an abundance of flowers all summer.

campalula

Aubretia

The mainstay of any spring garden. By cutting back when flowers get tired, this plant will give wonderful colour until late summer.

Arabis

A foolproof choice of plant for any beginner gardener. Beauty as well as simplicity!

arabis

Lithodora

there are few plants that have such a contrast between bright blue flowers and deep green foliage,

making an unforgetable Display.

2012-04-27105046

Get on your Bikes and Up cycle in Your Garden

Some people are up cycling in school. The school garden competition loves to recycle and up cycle.

Your teacher will love some creative Ideas

bucket

What Container will you fill?

Is there a hole in it. If not don't over water and fill base with Stones. We dont want the plants roots to get yucky by been stuck in water all the time

succulent-toolbox s4x3_lg

 

The first Rule of Up cyling is Be creative.

campalula

What is around and how can I use it. Most thing can be used as a containers

upcycled-plastic-soda-bottles-urban-verticle-garden

A FEAST OF TREES

FEILE na gCrann


 National Tree Week is a time to celebrate all positive aspects of trees in our lives and environment. The world as we know it would cease to exist if we didn’t have ample numbers of trees. Just think of the range of food from trees: fruits of all kinds, nuts, seeds, oils, tea, coffee and other drinks.

Bit by bit the world would crumble no food (none of the above), no agricultural food production – without birds and bees how could anything grow? If pollination goes, we all starve. It may sound a bit dramatic but it is true. It will happen so quickly and suddenly we will all be stunned but the signs are there at the moment. The bumble bee and the honey bee are disappearing across the globe and nothing is being done about it.


So what can be done about it? If everyone planted a tree this week look at the difference this would make. Trees are low maintenance. Once you choose the right tree for your garden the amount of maintenance is so low – a feed once a year, a mulch and that’s it. Over time a prune or a trim back is all that is needed.

If you have children you should be planting some apple trees. Give your offspring the joy of eating chemical free apples straight from the tree. Anybody who has grown fruit trees will know the thrill of delving into a juicy fresh apple – can’t you just taste it. I still remember the taste of ‘Beauty of Bath’ in early autumn and later on what we called ‘The Christmas Apple’ which now I think must have been ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ which was the icing on the cake. Such taste! What goodness!

 Tree Week is a positive week so let’s look at some of the best trees for your garden:
 
Spring Brilliance: Cherry Blossom a real sign that spring has arrived. Available in so many varities and colours. 
cherry blossom_tree
 
Summer Elegance; Magnolia  a great tree for a town Garden
 
 
 
amazing-magnolia-tree-326544-1
 
 

Wonderful Autumn Colour: Amelanchier - Striking autumn leaves

Winter Colour. Arbutus commonly known as the killarney strawberry tree. This is a native tree

arbutus unedo killarney strawberry tree-1

 

 

Fruit trees. Apple, Plum or pear

Beautiful in a container  JAPENESE MAPLE.  Loves a sheltered position

 

ws japanese_maple_1600x1200-1

 

 

Stay tuned with Facebook for a twice daily update on trees, plants and flowers. A great way to learn all about gardening!
Pieris-jap-Valley-Valentine-71



'Valley Valentine' is a particularly beautiful variety of pieris which holds the Royal Horticultural Society's prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in recognition of its outstanding excellence. As an evergreen, it looks good all year round but it is at its best in spring when it produces large panicles of dusky red flowers. It's foliage is a deep green and has a really shiny look which stands out in sunshine. A very hardy shrub that can withstand wind and cold temperatures you do need to provide protection from sharp spring frosts. It prefers to be grown in acid soil. In gardens where the soil is not acidic, it is best to add Westland ericaceous compost .

Personally, I think this variety of Pieris is great grown in a large container, using ericaceous compost. It will look terrific all year round, but especially at this time of year when it is beginning to flower. Long racemes of flamingo red lily of the valley type flowers adorn this plant. 'Valley Valentine' is wonderful planted with witch hazels and evergreen azaleas and hydrangeas.

Shade loving: All Pieris can tolerate shade quite well, and 'Valley Valentine' is no exception to this.


Some of my other favourite Pieris:

Pieris 'Forest Flame': New growth is brilliant scarlet red, often mixed with lighter shell pink leaves. I think the new foliage growth which appears after the white flowers, is as attractive as the flowers. This one is a cross between the japonica and forrestii types. Grows up to 6 to 8 feet.

Pieris 'Japonica': Lily-of-the-valley shrub. By far the most common one. Cascading white flowers are followed by pink to bronze new growth. Ultimate growth can be up to ten feet, unless pruned.

Pieris japonica 'Mountain Fire': Brilliant red new foliage growth, turns dark green with maturity. Drooping clusters of showy white spring flowers. Grows up to 6 feet tall.

Pieris japonica 'Variegata': This one is best known for the attractive leaves that are green with white margins. Drooping flower clusters are white. Ultimate growth is about 5 feet.


 

pieris-jap-valley-valentine1-300x225

 

 

 

Pieris: Good Looking All Year Round!

'Valley Valentine' is a particularly beautiful variety of pieris which holds the Royal Horticultural Society's prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in recognition of its outstanding excellence. As an evergreen, it looks good all year round but it is at its best in spring when it produces large panicles of dusky red flowers. It's foliage is a deep green and has a really shiny look which stands out in sunshine. A very hardy shrub that can withstand wind and cold temperatures you do need to provide protection from sharp spring frosts. It prefers to be grown in acid soil. In gardens where the soil is not acidic, it is best to add Westland ericaceous compost .

Personally, I think this variety of Pieris is great grown in a large container, using ericaceous compost. It will look terrific all year round, but especially at this time of year when it is beginning to flower. Long racemes of flamingo red lily of the valley type flowers adorn this plant. 'Valley Valentine' is wonderful planted with witch hazels and evergreen azaleas and hydrangeas.

Shade loving: All Pieris can tolerate shade quite well, and 'Valley Valentine' is no exception to this.


Some of my other favourite Pieris:

Pieris 'Forest Flame': New growth is brilliant scarlet red, often mixed with lighter shell pink leaves. I think the new foliage growth which appears after the white flowers, is as attractive as the flowers. This one is a cross between the japonica and forrestii types. Grows up to 6 to 8 feet.

Pieris 'Japonica': Lily-of-the-valley shrub. By far the most common one. Cascading white flowers are followed by pink to bronze new growth. Ultimate growth can be up to ten feet, unless pruned.

Pieris japonica 'Mountain Fire': Brilliant red new foliage growth, turns dark green with maturity. Drooping clusters of showy white spring flowers. Grows up to 6 feet tall.

Pieris japonica 'Variegata': This one is best known for the attractive leaves that are green with white margins. Drooping flower clusters are white. Ultimate growth is about 5 fee

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