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Margaret's Blog

 

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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

launch.1

 

The launch of Griffins third Annual Cycle for Charity

Charlie from The Cork Simon Community gives Seán Óg Ó hAilpín and Clara McSweeney the push they need to get them on their bike and "Cycle for Charity" at Griffins on the 1st of march

This is Griffins third annual Cycle in aid of Cork Simon Community and One Man's Ethiopia and Griffins has organised 3 Cycles in the scenic Dripsey area to suit all levels of Cyclist. Granny Griffins will have complimentary Soup and Homemade Brown Bread in Griffins Restaurant for all Cyclists in the event on arrival back to Griffins

Cork Simon Community's mission is to work in solidarity with men and women who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, offering housing and support in their journey back to independence

contact no 021 4278728

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 Mc Sweeney is presently in Ethiopia with the Funds raised from "Cycle for Charity" 2014

Cycle begins at 10 am on March the 1st at Griffins of Dripsey

Registration starts at 9 am

Pre register email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or text 087 9517574

All details on www.griffinsgardencentre.ie



shortcrust2


Ingredients:

Pastry:

• 8oz flour

• 4oz butter

• 1 egg

• 1 tbsp sugar

• water (if needed)

Filling: 

• Strawberries

• Passion fruit

• Sugar

• Cream

• Vanilla essence

 

Method:

Mix butter, flour, and sugar. Add egg to the mixture. Roll the pastry out and cook for 12 minutes at 170°C.

Whip the cream, add sugar and vanilla essence. Dice the strawberries, then add the passion fruit.

Once the pastry is cooked, leave cool, assemble and enjoy

lily1lily2


Regale - A Favourite Lily of Mine

120cm (4ft) Regale lilies must be one of the best of all the lilies. It's a tall, white trumpet lily, known for it's wonderful summer scent, and it's one I highly recommend. One of the most popular varieties of lily, and its not hard to see why. The huge trumpet-shaped white flowers are flushed with pink, smell divine and provide great wafts of scent throughout the garden when they are open. Alternatively bring them inside as cut flowers and they will fill your home with their heady perfume.
If you decide to cut them to place in a vase, make sure to leave enough stem and foliage for photosynthesis and food storage. Strip anthers from the stamens to prevent too much sticky pollen.

Growing lilies in pots

Many lilies are ideal in pots, and look fabulous in long tom style containers, which accentuate the form of the flower, and are heavy enough to avoid be blown over in a gust of wind. Add a layer of crocks (bits of broken terracotta pot) to prevent it from becoming clogged with compost, then half fill with gritty John Innes No.2 compost. Space three to five bulbs on top then cover with more compost, so bulbs sit about 4in below the surface. Leave a 1in gap between the top and the lip of the container.

What you need to know about growing successful lilies 

Lilies like a cool root run; well drained soil is the most important thing. When planting, envelope the bulbs in sharp sand or your will lose them (particularly in heavy soils), place lots of sharp sand under the buld so roots are sitting in well drained ground. Under this well drained soil it helps to have rich soil with plenty of organic matter. Just leave them where they are from one year to the next, adding a bucket of grit at the beginning of winter each year, or plant them in a pot and sink them in the ground somewhere very prominent in the garden for lifting out of the wet and cold until the following spring.

Feeding lilies 

The best food for lilies is a slow release food, preferably Nutri feed. Give it to your lilies twice a year and you will have terrific flowers. I also like to liquid feed with Maxicrop: a food that gives plants a strong healthy root system.

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Tel: +353(0)21 7334286

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