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Margaret's Blog






Tulip Bakeri



Bulbs for Spring colour are something you should think about! What could be better than the surprise element of snowdrops, anemones, crocus,minature daffodils and dwarf tulips? It's all so exciting even just thinking about it! I so love bulbs popping up in places I had forgotten I ever planted, the element of surprise can be electrifying.

I know summer isn't over, especially with the great September forecast, so forgive me for talking about winter and spring, but good gardening is all about planning ahead. Bulbs only take a few minutes to plant, and in return you will get weeks of pleasure throughout spring. Remember to keep active in your garden - you will feel so much better in mind and body. Being out in the garden is a very spiritual thing and I feel it allows us to put life into perspective, reminding us what is important in this world. Anger and worries  seem to disappear in the garden - could it be the garden fairy who banishes all our problems?

Margaret's tip:

Soak your bulbs in a liquid feed of maxicrop tomato food before you plant - this will make a huge difference to their performance.



If I am to be truthful, my favourite specimen plant for a container has to be Cordyline torbay dazzler  This stunning foliage plant has spiky, variegated leaves with bold cream stripes and margins. A native of New Zealand, it makes an excellent container plant for patios and elsewhere. The beauty of this cordyline is it doesn't shed leaves like its green relative. It needs warmth and shelter, and is not quite hardy inland but does very well in Cork/Kerry. If we get snow or severe frost, plants are best protected before the winter frosts by bundling up the foliage in a sleeve of sacking, wrapped around in several layers and then covered with a plastic bag to keep the leaves dry.

I find the secret of success of keeping this plant healthy in a severe winter is to use plenty of grit when planting, so plant into 50% John Innes Multipurpose compost and 50% grit. I managed to keep one alive even in the arctic winter two years ago by wrapping the container in bubble wrap and placing it on top of some aeroboard. Positioned in the right place, this cordyline is like rays of sunshine all through winter, which is much appreciated .

So what can I underplant these cordylines with?

Your choices are plentiful:

winter pansies

winter violas


winter cabbages

trailing ivies


Kids just want to have fun in the garden. They want to get their hands dirty - they have the instinct to know this will make them feel good, and it does! When we are in direct contact with the earth, soil or mud, a natural chemical is released in our bodies - this is commonly known as 'the happy chemical'. It makes us feel good it is a natural anti-depressant.
                      Children from an early age want to be outside climbing trees, exploring in rock pools, kicking up leaves and jumping into water puddles. They love it, but usually parents or guardians
interfere and stop their children from all these activities. Yet at the same time they don't mind their kids looking at the television for long periods because it's a great way to keep them quiet!

Essentially, what this means is they don't function, don't ask questions and don't get any exercise, but it's great to keep them quiet, as is the Nintendo and Playstation etc.

How many of us have a garden that encourages kids to be creative, use their imagination and have fun exploring?

How many parents have given their children the chance to experience growing and eating their homegrown food? Do many children know anything other than over processed food? Are we content to allow this to continue?

May I ask you to do one thing? Go out and buy a head of lettuce from a supermarket. Now at the same time go to your nearest allotment and ask some-one for a head of home grown lettuce. Take both home and see which lasts longer, the home grown lettuce will be fresh for one day, the supermarket one can last for 2 weeks - is this natural? It has been laced with sprays to keep it fresh. Are you happy digesting all these chemicals? Well, we must be because we all buy from these supermarkets. We must ask ourselves, is it great for our
health, and for our children's health?
As a parent have you spent time with your children looking for frogspawn, planting a snowdrop bulb, digging for worms, making a tree house, building a nesting box or picking blackberries?
I think as we are  post celtic tiger era, its time to do all these things with our children.
If space is an issue, use pots and containers, use wall space, every
area should be utilised to grow some thing! Start today - you will have great fun and your kids will thank you for the great memories. Come on, this weekend get out and about and get those hands dirty…it will make you happy!

Butterfly bush

If you have children, there is one plant you simply must have in your garden and that is Buddleja buzz. It will give both children and older folk hours of pleasure all summer long. What could be better than watching beautiful multi-coloured butterflies enjoying themselves on these wonderful summery bushes.


Buddleja plants are really low maintenance, but they do benefit from pruning in early spring. Pruning will prevent them from becoming leggy and helps to maintain a nice compact plant. Buddleja plants flower on new growth, so pruning will also help to promote lots of new stems that will flower in the same year.


Buddleja 'Buzz Ivory'

Buzz are mini Buddlejas which are ideal for large pots or small terrace beds. They flower from July to October. The uses are many for these interesting, strong and graceful plants which flower throughout the summer with a refined scent attracting butterflies from far and near, creating an ever changing scene in the garden and adding height and décor in interaction with other plants. Buddleja Buzz have a compact, well branching habit, which is very ornamental and produces flowers already in the first season. Plant in full sun, e.g. in large containers or pots from where they may later be planted out in the garden beds, preferably in the foreground as they do not reach the size of ordinary buddlejas. 
Water and feed regularly, but take care neither to over-water nor to let dry out! The plants are relatively hardy, that is after most winters the growth will continue from last year’s branches. Plants will grow up to one metre in height. It is recommended to cut withered branches after the new shoots start appearing in spring

Dwarf Patio variety:

Like its larger cousins, dwarf patio variety Buddleja Buzz™ will grow in almost any well drained soil. And because it's a dwarf variety it will grow just as happily in a container on your patio. The best planting time for Buddleja is in the spring or autumn while the soil is moist. Choose a position in full sun or semi-shade.





Have you ever wondered what Griffins is like after 6pm? Well, here is a rare chance to experience the Magic of Griffins at Night...
To celebrate the World Feeder Fishing Championship in Inniscarra next week, Griffins will be opening their doors until 10pm from Monday 14th to Saturday 19th of July. Their award-winning restaurant will be transformed for evening dining, with the head chef designing a unique evening menu, fit for any champion, that celebrates the wonderful local ingredients of Cork. Just imagine: gourmet food made with the finest local ingredients, a stunning view of the midsummer sun setting over a river valley.

After your meal, you will have the perfect opportunity to meander through the 13 inspirational Gardens. These gardens which are bursting with colour and fragrance throughout the day, transform into a relaxing serene haven in the evenings. This is brought to life by the subtle use of lighting and the water. Few people have previously had the opportunity to enjoy this, and now these gardens will be open to you every night next week. Prepare to be inspired to transform your own garden in to an outdoor evening oasis.

Throughout the entire week, there will be expert gardeners constantly at hand to help you create your own little haven. Why not bring in images of your garden and get exceptional free advice on garden ideas and design? The quality and range of summer colour plants, shrubs and trees is quite simply second to none. This is why Griffins of Dripsey is Munsters only 5-star Garden centre!    

Griffins Outdoor Living and Homestore will also be opened till 10pm. This is the perfect opportunity to browse through this unique, enchanting store. Make your home and garden inspirational, create harmony between the inside and outside world! A browse around the homestore will undoubtedly leave you in awe. In a secluded, serene river valley setting, this magical store is filled with unique, beautiful ranges of everything from garden furniture to delph, from quality soft furnishing to house plants, from handbags and jewellery to unique baby ranges. Everything you can find in this homestore is handpicked by Margaret Griffin and is always of the highest quality.

Each evening, there will be promotions throughout the Homestore and Garden Centre. The best way to keep up to date on these is on website (http://www.griffinsgardencentre.ie) or Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/griffinsgardencentre) 

And that's not all! To celebrate the World Feeder Fishing Championship - Margaret Griffin has invited Rattlesnake Annie to play a free concert as part of her Irish tour at Griffins on Sunday 13th at 3pm. In the history of Country-Blues music there has never been a woman, alone with her guitar, to accomplish what Rattlesnake Annie has done with her art. This is bluegrass and country at its best and is not to be missed! Great country and blues music, check shirts and Granny Griffins Homebaked Apple Pie.... the perfect midsummer Sunday afternoon. 

What an exciting week to take a trip to Griffins! 
To reserve a table during this 6 day enchanting evening festival, phone 021 7334286





Bacopa, for me, is one of the most romantic flowers in fashion at the moment. Once seen as an unusual flower, in recent years it has become very popular in garden centres - and why not? It's adorable! This plant has long, cascading stems that smother themselves in tiny, perfect, five-petal flowers. It's become a favorite for selling in hanging baskets where its pretty trailing habit can be shown off. Also try in pots, planters, and window boxes combined with other plants or on their own.

Unlike many plants, bacopa doesn't tend to wilt when it gets dried out. Instead, it loses its flowers and may take two or three weeks to begin blooming again. Keep it evenly watered for continuous blooms and feed with slow release fertilizer and use container and basket compost .

Watering is so important to bacopa

The bacopa must stay moist at all times, as they are used to high humidity. Watering extensively once every other day rather than lightly watering every day as it best simulates what they're used to when growing naturally. A good way to make sure the degree of watering is appropriate is to use a wood dowel and insert it about eight inches into the soil beside the plant. The entire length of the dowel should be saturated with soil clinging to it when retracted, just like a toothpick being inserted in a cake to see if it's done.

Combination plants that work well with bacopa:
Lots of plants work well with bacopa but my favourite are nemesias, verbenas, blue bacopa, million bells and trailing geraniums




Mon-Sat 9am - 6pm

Sun 10am - 6pm

Bank Holidays 9am - 6pm

Restaurant open til 5:30pm



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

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Have you seen our 13
Inspirational Gardens



inspirational gardens