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Margaret's Blog

 

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Blog

Hello Spring.

Spring has arrived and it is time to begin preparing your school garden. Through out  the school year Griffins Garden Centre, Muintir na Tíre and Cork County Council will be posting various blogs with quick top tips, proven winning formulas and advice for  School Gardens in Cork . If you wish for advice on any part of your school garden, please feel free to email Margaret or Miriam in Griffins Garden Centre, Dripsey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. or call us on 021 7334286

Each year we all ask, Where to Start?Take a walk around the School Garden, take photos, notes and be creative.  
Many garden projects are created with a Mood Board for your Garden. This is just a board with pictures of your space and images you find of garden ideas that you would like to do in your school garden.  Then decide how to get this project done, who can we get materials from, can we get external help with the manual labour, what can we plant and when to start planting. 

 Sow and Grow 2017 is open now and accepting applications from schools across Ireland! This is a primary school based campaign. Early registration gives teachers the best chance of receiving a free growing kit, with seeds,soil and instructions and, of course, loads of support from GIY.  Apply now at giy.ie 

Ask the local commuinty groups if they would like to help, Mens shed, tidy towns and active retirement as well as the parents can be a great local resource. 
Also you maybe able to get older compost for local fruit and vegetable growers. 
What to do in your Garden over the next few weeks?
 
Get Organised
Collect Toilet Roll Inserts for biodegradable pots , plastic water bottles  for watering or for upcycling Containers. 
Get Cleaning, spring clean glass houses, polytunnels, raised beds etc. 

If you already haven't, get well rotted  (at least 2 years old) farm Manure or Fresh Compost into the Garden Beds

Do you have a compost heap? Its a great time to get one started.

 

Have you a water butt? Is it near the School garden? What can we use as a Water Butt?Start Chitting you first early Potatoes 

  • Chitting simply means encouraging the seed potatoes to sprout before planting. 
  • Start chitting from late January in warmer parts of the country or in February in cooler areas, about six weeks before you intend to plant out the potatoes. 
  • 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.

 

 

Save the bees with seed bombs:
Make a seed bomb with soil, compost and bee friendly seeds. allow them to dry. when it gets alot warmer, get the kids to throw these seed bombs into a Wasteland  area and watch these bloom 

 

DIY Pebble Art 5 2
Be creative and start making your labels for flowers, trees shrubs and plantsI hope this will help you to get started in your school garden and remember please reach out to Griffins Garden centre if you would like any advice at all. 
Happy Gardening from all the team at Griffins

 
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. 
 

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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.
 
 
 bee2

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.

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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. 
 
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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. 
 

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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.
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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.
 

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Sun 10am - 6pm

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Restaurant open til 5:30pm

 

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

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+353(0)217334600

 

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