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The Bees Will Follow 2017
Plant  Flowers and the Bees will follow
For 2017, We are asking all gardeners, tidy town groups, businesses and schools to Always consider bee freindly plants when gardening. 

Where would we beee without bees?

As far as important species go, they are top of the list. Bees produce sweet honey but more importantly they pollinate most of our plants, Resulting in fruit, vegetable, nuts and seeds. A lot of crops that feed our animals, The plants that we harvest for coffee and cotton. Imagine what the shelves in the supermarkets and the menu in our favourite restaurant would look like. A world without the buzz of bees would definitely stingIf we respect nature, learn to grow with it, Nature, Bees and our Children will thrive. At Griffins in Dripsey, Margaret and her team believe the solutions to a bee friendly world are simple. If every home, school garden, business and community think about bees when planning their next outdoor project, we will protect our Bee population 

Support the replanting of Hedgerows and reintroduction of wild plants and shrubs to our country ditches. Theses natural borders were the home for so many habitats and flora. The decline of the fragrant and beautiful honeysuckle and Wild Roses is a massive loss to all.

For 2017, When designing a garden or bed, Margaret will always encourage planting bee friendly plants like traditional cottage garden plants, herbs, If possible create a wild garden area for wild flowers and provide a nesting site by leaving a pile of leaves, twigs and grass in a sunny corner. 

The Leaders of Nature

We are asking each Tidy town , Community group, Town Chamber should elect a sub team who are interested & excited about Nature and Wildlife. Small patches of wildflowers here and there in margins, gardens, waste ground, roadside verges and motorway embankments. A Small Change in each project could make a big difference. 

Pesty Solutions:

We can still control the Garden pests with out using neonictinoids and Chemicals.
neonictinoids are widely used to kill insects on farms and in gardens. Research has linked it to the disappearing bee population. In all of Margaret s talks and workshops she love to educate people on how to garden in a ecological friendly way. Cutting out neonictinoids and still keep insect and pest from your garden is easy. Use Garlic as a natural pesticide. An easy garlic wash is made from crushed garlic cloves in water with a few drops of washing up liquid. This is your bee friendly pesticide.

Teach The Children
Margaret love of nature has come from her parents and her wish is that parents would encourage their children to love and respect nature. Design their homes and gardens to be fun and friendly for Children and Bees. Get Children of their Ipads and into the Gardens . Check out The Slug Club at Griffins. Kids Learn all about nature and gardening while having Fun

Pollen & Nectar Rich Menu for planting ideas
The best Gardens provide a range of nectar and pollen rich flowers which bloom from spring through to late Spring.Bulbs: Bluebell, muscari, Snowdrops, CrocusHerbs. Nearly all herbs are Bee friendly especially rosemary, lavender and thyme.Cottage Garden plants: wallflowers, geraniums, foxgloves, heather, catmint, Geraniums,Shrubs & Trees Apple tree, horse-chestnut, willow, Hawthorn. Cotoneaster, Berberis, Quince, Fuchsia, Climbing hydrangeas and Honey suckle
Please do your bit and BEE Friendly
bee main image

Top Fragrant Daffodils For a bright Spring

Some of my favourite daffodils are the ones that exude a wonderful fragrance in spring and early summer. Some of these scents are so nostalgic, bringing me back to my childhood and wonderful walks through fields and gardens. There is something about the fragrance from a flower, it's like a time machine has been switched on and has taken you back to your childhood. The Variety of Double Fragrant Narcissus this year are amazing

Double narcissus have extra petals present, or have a double trumpet, and sometimes both. This double effect makes a very interesting flower that will add a special touch to any garden or landscape. Often Double narcissus have more than one flower per stem and the following varieties have a wonderful fragrance

Narcissus Rose Of May: Delight your senses with this compact, late-blooming daffodil. This distinctively different variety produces fully double whorls of ivory white petals that resemble gardenias, and exude a most delicious fragrance

rose of may 1200 a

Narcissus Obadam :The large, Gardenia-like blooms of this highly fragrant daffodil make a show-stopping and stylish addition to the spring garden! The fully double, clear white blooms of Narcissus 'Obadam' are produced in mid to late spring, looking superb in contemporary containers or planted in bold drifts through borders. These scented narcissus flowers are also excellent for cutting

Narcissus Pipers End : This small cupped pure white variety is a valuable addition to our range. Pipers End flowers in May and has a distinctive sweet scent

Narcissus Rip Van winkle:

An Extraordinary, Yet Beautiful Dwarf Daffodil with Highly Cut-petals like a homemade child's star. Its one of my all time favourites.

narcissus rip van winkle dwarf double daffodil 373

Margaret's Tip of the Week:

It's a great idea to plant your bulbs in a plastic pot (recycle some) and then plunge them in the ground. When flowering is over and you have got all of the please that these plants have to offer, lift the whole pot out of the ground and hide it somewhere in your garden, so that you won't have to look at the dead foliage of the daffodil.

On Friday the 5th August The dripsey valley was filled with the magical voices of the High Hopes choir. 

 High hopes choir blog
A few weeks prior Griffins entered a competition on Today fm to win a BBQ for your staff with Hellmanns and Off the Charts. When the team at Griffins saw this, They decided to try to win in and donate the BBQ to the wonderful Penny Dinners and High hopes choir.  A thank you to all the volunteers and the team that do Magical work in Cork in bringing awareness to Homelessness and Producing quality Free meals everyday for so many people in cork
 Margarets interviewblog
After Wining the Competition, Margaret Contacted Caitriona in penny Dinners with the great news. Fergal darcy and Today fm are bring the off the charts show to Griffins in Dripsey. They will working with Hellmanns to put on a beautiful BBQ  and all this will be for Cork Penny Dinners and the High Hopes. 
What an event it was. The Grilltopia arrived with food for over 100 people. Fergal Darcy and co produced a show of fun , love and song. The High hopes choir with members from cork , Dublin and Waterford arrived to entertain the nation with their magical voices. Bringing hope and awareness to Homelessness in Cork. 
Fergal and Ed fell in love with Griffins hot lips and of Course Granny Griffins scones. Tasting them live on air they too agree that they are the best scone in Ireland. 
Best scones blog 
After the show, High hopes heard exciting news that they will be travelling to Dublin to record an album with Aslan in the next few weeks. Christy Dignam is a true friend and fan of the High Hope Choir. 
Margaret Griffin would love to thank all involved , Creating a Joyful Afternoon for Cork Penny Dinners. The team from Today Fm, Hellmanns and Grilltopia were Kind hearted and Loving. An afternoon of great laughs, Emotional stories, Heart warming Singing and Music followed with exciting news for High Hopes choir. Thank you everyone. 
Grilltopia blog

Heaven-Scent: The best fragrant roses for your Garden
Is there any fragrance more legendary than the scent of the rose? Its delicious, sweet perfume is the highlight of the summer garden. The following are among the very best for scent:

David Austins in General:

David Austin® Roses are bred by crossing old garden roses with more modern roses to achieve the superb fragrance, delicacy and charm of the old-style blooms combined with the repeat flowering characteristics and wide color range of modern roses. These are the  Premier league winner in a Rose garden . 
Gertrude Jekyll ( David Austin)
The flowers of this rose start as perfect little scrolled buds and soon open into the most beautiful, large, rosette-shaped flowers of rich glowing pink.  The most outstanding characteristic of this lovely rose is its beautiful and perfectly-balanced Old Rose scent. This is often described as being the quintessential old rose fragrance.--

Gertrude Jekyll 1 2

Mary Rose (David Austin) (RHS AWARD)
The most popular David Austin rose grown  in  all Gardens because of its extra long flowering season and perfect shaped flowers.  A first class rose for every cottage garden

Mary Rose albury botanical gardens 1

Shelias Perfume (RHS Award)This beautiful repeat flowering floribunda has flowers of a form and size more synonymous with a hybrid tea rose! The striking blooms are yellow edged with red and are very fragrant, they are borne singly and in clusters on strong short stems. Plants are free branching with glossy dark foliage good disease resistance.It’s received the RHS Award of Garden Merit, so you know you can trust it to be a great performer in the garden.

sheila s perfume 1 l

The Albertine Rose 
Want a Climbing rose to grow up through an arch or climb a wall? I love the Albertine. The sweet perfume is memorable and  Display of salmon pink double Roses is a romantic as they get. 
This vigorous rambling rose is perfect for training over a pergola or along an open wall, and the highly fragrant blooms make wonderful cut flowers.

 Albertine 1 2 1

Margaret tip for All Roses 

Put a few cloves of garlic around the roots as well as slow release fertilizer when planting and you will have healthy roses all summer long . 


Creative Hanging Baskets for your Home & Patio.



Favourite part of my day is without  question it is planting up and creating hanging baskets and containers for our customers. The fragrance and Colour in the garden centre on the sunny days this week brings joy to all our staff and customer.  Here are a few top tips to creating and maintaing your summer baskets, window boxes  and pots.
Create a container/ basket to suit your colours, style and environment. 

Mediterran Basket/ Pot
If you want to be transported to the Amalfi coast,  Grow a lemon tree or olive tree in a pot, Surround your self with Trailing Geraniums and vibrant coloured pots and containers. If your baskets are located in a Sunny windy position or maybe difficult to water,  then Ivy  geraniums will thrive the best for you. Geraniums give a magical blast of colour and dont require as much watering as other summer plants. Ivy Geraniums  require so little maintenance. Don't forget the rule of Gardening , Always Plant in odd numbers in a basket . 


cottage garden

Shade Loving Basket/ Pot

Begonias & Fuchsia will brighten up that corner for you. Both of these have been the best performers over the last few years as they dont mind a cloudy summer. Often with plants like begonias, A basket filled with just begonias can be a real show stopper. 

A Wow Basket 
When A customers request summer baskets bursting with colour for a sunny position,  Its Surfinia baskets mixed with white bacopa, vibrant verbenas  and bursts of yellow biden flowers that will tick all the boxes. The bright colours  and quality of Cork Grown Surfinias that  are the Base to all these baskets. I love the Double headed Surfinias for very large baskets but these need to be dead headed reguarly. If you are not a fan of dead heading, The Million bells and Nemesias would suit you. 
Planting your basket 
Does your basket suit your bracket, I would recommend a 16inch bracket for 14 inch Basket. 
Make sure you basket has good chains and liner. Fill the baskets & pots with Grosure container and hanging basket compost. When planting a basket always tilt your plants and don't plant too deep. Add 3 slow release tablets to your basket. 


Aftercare of your Baskets

Basket provide a great source of colour and vibrance all Summer but you need to give them appropriate care:

• Check for water requirements. If it has become dry water thoroughly. If it is still damp refrain from watering.

Sometimes the weight of the basket is a good guideline.

Sometimes you have to water a number of times before the compost soaks up enough moisture so we suggest you water each basket or container and repeat a few minutes later. Touch the compost with your hand and if it is nice and moist you have done the job well!

• Griffins Baskets will have Slow-Release Tablets in them but it is a good idea to add some more throughout the Summer. Liquid feed with Tomato Food is also highly recommended (make sure to follow instructions)

• Dead-head when required.• It may be necessary to rotate your basket on it’s bracket to get a nice even display of flowers.
Complimentary Planting Service for Baskets & Conatiners at Griffin  
Allow us to plant up your baskets, you choose your plants and we will plant up a wonderful creation with no planting charge just the cost of materials used including compost and slow release tablets.

Potty about Potatoes
There are so many different potato varieties, usually described as early, second early and maincrop potatoes.These names indicate when they crop and also give you an idea of the space you'll need, how closely and when they can be planted.

First Early :

First early potatoes are perfect if you want to grow small, new potatoes and should be planted from the end of February to late May. They'll be ready to harvest in about 10 weeks from the planting date. It's a good idea to 'chit' these varieties before planting - this produces long shoots from which the plants will grow. First early potatoes are ideal for growing in potato patio planters or containers. If you are short on Space and would love to Grow Potatoes The PotatoPot is ideal for you.
A few of our most popular First earlies are 

Sharpes Express,: ‘Sharpe’s Express’ is a favourite early in Ireland for good reason. It is unusual amongst ‘earlies’ in that it is a floury potato . Ideal for steaming

HomeGaurd :  a superior potato with excellent flavour

Pentland Javeiln: A lovely soft waxy-textured new potato with white skins and flesh that is ideal for boiling as a salad or new potato

 It's also worth remembering that earlies are less likely to encounter pest problems as they're lifted so much earlier in the year. 

Second earlies take 16 to 17 weeks to mature after planting, so you should be able to harvest them from very late June through to the start of August. 

Kestrel - An exhibition winner – with outstanding taste 
Pink Fir Apple – Wonderful nutty flavour – RHS Award
 British Queen : This  variety is over 100 years old and still highly prized for its yield, shape, floury texture and delicious flavour.

Maincrops are ready 18 to 20 weeks after planting, so they can be lifted usually from July through to October. Maincrops take up the most space in the garden, but they tend to be the best varieties to grow if you want some for storage.

 Sarpo Mira : Blight resistant winner:  unprecedented blight resistance, good slug resistance and it grows well in a wide range of soils. Potato 'Sarpo Mira' produces huge yields of tasty, floury tubers that have a long storage potential. 

Cara : An allotment Favourite:  Excellent for baking and Chipping. 

Rooster: the good old favourite in Ireland . Its the most widely grown potato in Ireland Ideal for the novice gardener

How to chit : Chitting simply means encouraging the seed potatoes to sprout before planting.. Start Chitting Now . Each seed potato has a more rounded, blunt end that has a number of 'eyes'.  Stand the tubers with the blunt end uppermost in trays or old egg boxes, with plenty of natural light . Keep this room cool.   The potatoes are ready to be planted out when the shoots are 1.5-2.5cm (0.5-1in) long.

How to plant

Plant your chitted potatoes when the soil has started to warm up, usually from ST PATRICKS DAY.  
Plant early potatoes about 30cm (12in) apart with 40-50cm (16-20in) between the rows, and second earlies and maincrops about 38cm (15in) apart with 75cm (30in) between the rows. 
Handle your chitted tubers with care, gently setting them into the trench with the shoots pointing upwards, being careful not to break the shoots. Cover the potatoes lightly with soil. 
As soon as the shoots appear, earth up each plant by covering it with a ridge of soil so that the shoots are just buried. 
You need to do this at regular intervals and by the end of the season each plant will have a small mound around it

Every Gardener should grow the potato tree
Solanumn Glasnevin
The potato tree, Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin'  is a plant I wouldn't be without. Also The Solanumn Alba.  These are incredible Climbers that flower so well.  
solanum  glasnevin chilean potato tree pruning
This Beautiful Image of this wonderful tree is by Simon Davis from his vibrant, informative blog  http://lifebetweentheflowers.blogspot.com/
Photo Reference: Solanum crispum, Chilean potato plant By Simon Davis

inspirational gardens