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Margaret's Blog



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!

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