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450px-Heuchera marmalade_02

 

 

For a low-growing plant with incredible foliage, it’s hard to beat heuchera. When you add pretty, delicate blooms and the fact that most heucheras are evergreen, what you end up with is a “must-have” plant.

There are nearly 300 known varieties of heuchera, also called “coral bells” or “alum root.” In general, heucheras grow to about eighteen inches tall (not counting the flower spikes) and around eighteen inches wide. Their blooms grow on spikes of delicate “bells” in shades of red, pink, white, and purple, generally blooming for four to eight weeks in late spring through early summer. Recent varieties have made the blooms more prominent. But it’s the foliage that makes heuchera a winner. Purple, black, red, orange, brown, silver, chartreuse-you name it, you can most likely find a heuchera in that colour.

Planting Heuchera

Heuchera can grow in shade, although some cultivars do better in full sun. They like soil that is average to rich fertility,and well-drained. Heavy soils can be amended at planting time by incorporating grit into the soil from the planting hole. Heucheras are great plants for either edging a bed or using a group as a focal point. They suffer from very few pests and diseases, but powdery mildew can be a problem. Be sure to give them some room so they will get good air circulation. Heucheras tend to be shallow-rooted, and will heave in the winter if there is a lot of freeze/thaw action. To prevent them from heaving, give them a good, three inch layer of grit  in late autumn

I find my heucheras grow far better in good rich soil with lots of grit put under their roots. For a long time my plants were rotting in winter before I took action with grit. Windy conditions suited them as well except for that dreaded eastery direction which is not good for man or plant . 

Heucheras do very well in pots, containers, and window boxes. Grow them as combination plants, summer bedding, patio plants or mixed with shrubs. Heucheras will give great winter colour once your soil isn't too wet or soggy. On our nursery here in Dripsey, heuchera are a very important crop for us both in summer and winter, and our grower John has devised a great growing regime that gives a finished plant of superior quality. 

 

Some of the best varieties we grow are: Black Beauty, Can-Can, Creme Brulée Firechief, Marmalade, Midnight Buoy & Berry smoothie . 

As delicious as a  Summer dessert  'Berry smoothie'  is a sweet treat for any gardener.

Campanula Mrs Rosholt

 

 

Many, many people love and adore this flower but find it hard to get the right variety. By the right variety I mean the one that grows tight over rocks and stones and gets into crevices in walls. Well, 'Mrs. Rosholt' is the name of this variety. 'Mrs. Resholt' is a low-growing, spreading, semi-evergreen to evergreen perennial with small kidney or heart-shaped, toothed, mid-green leaves and racemes of star-shaped, mid- to violet blue flowers in summer. It is not a difficult variety to grow but a few rules apply:

 

Rule No 1

While campanula loves dry conditions it need to be well watered till it gets established .

 

Rule no 2

You will needs patience ,while this plants grows fast it does take a while to get established.

 

Rule no 3

The best time to stick this plant into crevices of walls is October, but you will not get this plant for sale then as it is always sold out in early May.

 

Rule no 4

Buy plants now and grow them on in the ground or in larger pots and containers - this will give you a ready supply of material that you can stick into crevices and holes. These will get anchored in over winter and start to grow the following Spring, giving you your required effect you had wished for.

 

Rule no 5

Campanula is good combined with other rockery plants, especially aubretia, the purple spring flowering rock plant that most people confuse with campanula. A combined planting will give you a prolonged flowering season from Spring right through to late summer.

 

Planting instructions:

Campanula loves well drained soil, so add lots of grit if you are planting in the ground or in pots. If planting into stones walls, just use some wet soil mixed with Westland slow-release fertilizer. Campanula can be evergreen in dry conditions, but in damper soils will lose its foliage for winter.

 

Description: A good neat, clone of this vigorous alpine plant which is smothered in deep purple flowers in mid-summer. It makes an excellent wall plant. Grow in a soil that is not too dry in sun or semi-shade. May-Aug. Height approx. 15Cm, spreading habit.

aquilegia

 

 

Aquilegias have wonderful foliage that emerges early in the year, creating tuffets of bright green among the sharp verticals of daffodils and other bulbs. They are among the most telling of springtime plants, both for foliage and for flowers.

Aquilegia longissima is an exquisite flower. Its petals are a pale, soft, buttery yellow, and its spurs - of a deeper yellow, and sometimes up to 6in (15cm) long - are swept elegantly back, giving the whole flower the look of a ship's figurehead.

 

Long-spurred hybrids have been developed from it and from several other species: its close cousin A. chrysantha; A. formosa, which has dainty red-and-yellow flowers; and A. coerulea, a graceful blue-and-white columbine with finely divided "maidenhair" leaves.

The genus aquilegia is widespread in the northern hemisphere: Europe and Asia, as well as America, have their own columbines. Many of the North American species are short-lived, but they can be grown easily from seed.

 

Growing tips

 

Aquilegias lend themselves to cottagey or semi-wild settings. Most relish dappled shade. They love deep, rich soil. Most garden varieties do not resent clay, but alpine types prefer well-drained loam. When planting, work in extra humus: old muck or garden compost is best. Mulch with the same material.

Remove seed heads before they disperse their contents, otherwise the parent plant may be crowded out by its own offspring. Save the seed and sow it fresh if you want more plants elsewhere.

Good companions

Try A. longissima contrasted against the darkly dramatic foliage of Cimicifuga simplex var. simplex Atropurpurea Group or in combination with pale-lemon buttercups and golden grasses. Plant blue A. alpina as it grows in the wild, with Geranium sylvaticum and trollius. A. formosa and A. canadensis, both of which are soft red and yellow, look at home with Primula cockburniana, a small asiatic primula with vermilion flowers.

Dwarf wallflower sugar rush

 

 

Wallflower 'Sugar Rush' F1 Hybrid

Erysimum, Cheiranthus

Best New Bedding Plant at the Grower of the Year Awards 2013

Winner in the ‘Best New Bedding Plant’ category at the Grower of the Year Awards 2013, this is one of the most exciting wallflowers to emerge in recent years. Dense, fragrant flower spikes in shades of cream, yellow, red and purple appear not only in the spring, but throughout the autumn too, blooming just 10 weeks after sowing! With a delightful sweet fragrance and compact, multi-branching habit, Wallflower ‘Sugar Rush’ is perfect for beds, borders, containers and window boxes, creating a mass of colour and scent when much of the garden is dormant. Versatile and undemanding, wallflowers are tough enough to cope in even the poorest soils.

A great way to brighten up your garden or front door for Easter, giving you colour for a long period and fragrance that will take you back to your childhood. The best compost to use is Westland john innes multi-purpose which has a mixture of mostly loam and reduced amounts of peat making it a great compost and environmentally  friendly, John our nursery manager has tested this compost over the past few years and he has found it to be the very beat on the market, newer composts have come on stream but none could compare to the john innes from westland ,this compost has slow release fertilizer added which will keep your plants in tip-top condition. Sugar-rush will grow to a height of 30cm (12"). Plant in groups of 3 either on their own or combined with any of the following:

Aquilegias

Pieris

Choisya sundance

Senetti

pansies

To get the best perfume from your 'Sugar Rush' choose a sunny position.

Happy gardening

David Austen rose - grace



The secret of getting primroses to stay flowering!

If you study where primroses survive in the wild , its always on a dry ditch or bank,notice how they grow at an angle allowing excess rain to run off. If you copy this type of planting, use grit for good drainage and tilt you plants at an angle to allow excess water to drain off. Your primroses will flower right through until late april.

 

Daffodils: Love them in flower, hate them when they are dying back? Griffins have a Solution!

Next autumn, plant them in pots and then bury them in the ground leaving them in the plastic container. At this time of year they will delight you with wonderful colour, but when they have finished flowering and are beginning to look tatty, you can pull up your pots of daffs and leave them die back somewhere out of sight. You can replant them again in late autumn/winter. In doing this, you will have the opportunity of putting late spring colour where your daffs were. Clever!

 

Blackspot on Roses

Would you like not to have to spray your roses this summer? A great tip is to plant cloves of garlic in around your rose plants. Garlic acts as a soil sterilant, therefore reducing the population of insects and disease. You can also buy 'Garlic Spray', a foliar spray that will clear up your plants organically, so you can use it on fruit and veggies. As well as roses and other flowers, research has shown a chemical reaction takes places between the roots of roses and that of garlic , resulting in scented roses giving a stronger perfume!

 

Grit   - is a gardeners best friend if you live in Cork or Kerry, where lots of plants need well drained soil. With our heavy rainfall, lots of fatalities occur due to wetness, not frost, as lots of people think. Grit needs to be mixed through the upper part of the soil - the area where the roots will be in contact with soil. Plants that need well drained soil are lavender, primroses , pansies ,lilac all herbs all silver leaf plants, to name but a few .

 

Brighten up your Garden Shed

You have probably been looking at it the same boring shed for years , wouldn't it be nice to give it a lick of paint to give it a fresh look with fresh summer colours. Nice pastels like lavender, provence green, coastal blue - whatever suits your colour scheme in your borders

 

Herbs in a window box or pot

We don't use enough herbs here in Ireland, especially home grown ones. Let's change all that this summer - grow them in a window box or pot, locate them near your kitchen so it will be easy and fast to run out and pick some. By growing them in window boxes and pots, slugs, cats and other animals won't pose a problem.

 

Glorious fragrances – Location is Everything!

A garden isn't really a garden without fragrant plants. It is important to position your plants in a place where you will get pleasure and enjoyment from them, in places where you are on the move front door, patio, or on the way to your garden shed. It's great to use pots for your scented plants too, because they are mobile, and when in flower you can move them to a position where you will get the value of their fragrances. Remember, the sun brings out the best fragrances so position in a bright sunny place .

 

A Little Secret Garden

Make your garden your heaven. Create your little haven in a quiet corner of your garden - ferns , pastel blues and pinks, soft foliage, a nice seat, a hammock, a rocking chair or a romantic bistro set.

This will be your sanctuary to chill out with a good book or even just a place for a quiet moment.

 

Trees are so important in any garden! 

Choose the right tree for your garden and it will transform your surroundings. A nice tree over-hanging your patio will transform your outdoor living space giving shade when needed. It will give you a prop for hanging lanterns or chandeliers for those wonderful balmy evenings under the moonlight.

 

 

Make your Garden Fun for Children

Meandering footpaths, secret gardens, tree houses, hills and dells, fun projects for your kids to get them creative and imaginative. All of these beneficial distractions help develop the imagination and keeps them off computers and gadgets!

 

 

Grow your own!

If your soil isn't good quality, then that's no excuse! If you can't dig down then build up - raises beds pots walls etc!

 

Hanging Baskets & Window Boxes

A great device to help with watering is this watering funnel from Plantwell. Put this funnel into your basket and you can have a reservoir of water when you need it. This will transform your summer baskets!

Laburnum-yellow

 

There are many trees widely available for smaller gardens, in all shapes and sizes, evergreen and deciduous. Given that many of us have limited space in which to garden, it becomes important that any trees chosen are right for their surroundings, in terms of proportion as well as for their decorative value.

 

Most trees growing near buildings cause no damage. Subsidence and structural damage can be caused by many other factors, including soil type and depth of foundations. This is why it is important for qualified professionals to carry out a detailed site assessment to determine the exact cause.

 

There are many factors to take into consideration when choosing a tree for a small garden. Here are some of the more important ones:

 

Height and spread: This is probably the most important factor. Even small ornamental trees may, over time, reach a height of 6-7m (20-23ft) or more. If this is too much, consider a weeping form, as these rarely increase much in height or even a large shrub. Spread is not normally such a problem, unless in a very restricted area, in this case consider a columnar tree, as these do not spread appreciably

 

Season of interest: Consider when you want your tree to look good, thinking about flowering time, foliage, fruit and bark. If you only have room for one tree ideally look for one with more than one season of interest such as fruit or autumn colour following on from flowers

 

Deciduous or evergreen: Both types of trees have their advantages, the obvious one for evergreens being that they keep their leaves. But you don’t get the lovely autumn colours with evergreen trees

Trees for specific locations: we have also provided the following profiles to help with growing trees in containers and trees for wet soils

 

Trees and buildings: many people worry about planting a tree close to a property, and there can be risks in doing so. To help you choose, you may find it useful to visit gardens where a good range of well-established and mature ornamental trees can be seen and evaluated.

 

My Top10 best trees for a relatively small garden are as follows

 

Amalanchiers

Malus

Sorbus

Japanese maples

Betula (Birches)

Crataegus 

Magnolias

Laburnum x vosu

Weeping cherries

Cotoneaster cornubia and Cotoneaster hybrid pendula.

 

Trees can be grown in large square containers. Nearly all trees can be grown in containers and this is a great way of keeping them at a smaller size. Imagine a wonderful tree on your patio – wouldn't it transform the whole setting?

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