Whilst writing this I'm away from Griffins for the first time in 27 years. Usually my time out is spent in west Kerry and always around the last week in august and never July. But I'm here in north west Brittany in a village called La Gacilly, a village noted for its flowers and art - and wow is it spectacular! Flowers absolutely everywhere: on bridges on walls of shops, on houses, and all the pavements have tubs and tubs of flowers. It is truly amazing to see, and in temperatures of 32°C, they are still fresh as a daisy, not a wilted plant in sight!
The reason I'm here is one of my sons is taking part in the world coarse fishing competition, which takes place on the river Villain on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th July. There is a contingent of approximately 60 here from ireland, and I think they have 4 teams in all. Great credit is due to their coaches and managers, as the logistics of bringing over all that fishing gear is quite mind boggling! We are very excited to be a part of this amazing competition in such beautiful surroundings, and we hope it goes well.
But let's go back to those wonderful flowers, shall we? What struck me most about the floral displays in this charming village is the variety of plants that are included - things like Verbena Bonariensis, large grasses, lots of foliage plants like aluminium plants and a whole lot more.
The other thing that I noticed was the amount of baskets that were placed very close together to give maximum impact, it is really quite simple and so effective. The quaint streets are lined with so many magnificent floral displays and I really love the way they use a bit of imagination and art in the village, decorating their doors with climbers, filling objects like painted chairs and boot or shoes with flowers. Little touches like this lend a nice arty tone the place, something some of our villages in Cork could do with. The effect these displays have on tourism is immense, and it brings a great spirit to a village or town. Peroskia (Russian Sage) is used a lot, as is lavender and dill, so as well as sight, the sense of smell is used to great effect as well .I will have lots of pictures up in the next few days so stay in touch!
Back to routine jobs to be done: continue to deadhead as often as you can, the more frequent you do it the better your displays will be. Extra feeding is needed now as all the watering that has been done over the heatwave has flushed all the nutrients out of the compost. Remember the golden rule of feeding: a little and often!
An occasional feed of high nitrogen ('Miracle Grow') is useful now and back to the usual tomato food from then on. Happy gardening!