Strokestown Park House & Famine Museum, Roscommon, Ireland

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Roses

Friday, 06 July 2012 14:49 Published in Garden Blog

Roses

ROSES_4

Another wet week, tough times for gardening, but really great growth at the moment. Plants are doing well. As bad as rain is, it is great for our newly planted trees there are as happy as anything.

Vegetables are slow, fruit is doing good. Big basket of peaches went into the Woodland Walk Cafe yesterday from the Walled Gardens. Peach and Rhubarb Crumble on this weekend mmmmm.

Roses are doing really well, little bit of rain damage to the flowers but almost all of the varieties growing in Strokestown Park are old varieties and they are quite tough.

Decide that the best way to deal with the rabbits is to chase them out of the garden, picture this a line of people start at one end of the Garden with bin lids, saucepan lids etc anything that can made lots of noise and march through the garden hunting all in-front of them towards one open gate out of the garden. I will let you know how it goes.

 

Rhubarb Crumble???

Friday, 29 June 2012 12:52 Published in Garden Blog

Dragon_fly_walled_gardens

Rhubarb Crumble?????

Great weather?? Well even though the weather has been fairly bad to say the least a lot has gone on in the Walled Gardens our bedding display is planted out and so far it is true rabbits do not like Marigolds. The Sweet Pea are out too all a bit shocked by the heavy rain. This is really ideal weather for Slugs and also a few very humid days so Potato Blight is always a worry. We are using copper based organic Slug Pellets and the potatoes have been sprayed with Bordeaux Mixture (blue stone & washing soda). The woodlands are looking great too the pieces of Sculpture, for The Roscommon Schools Sculpture Competition, have settled in nicely. At the moment there is lots of rhubarb coming into The Woodland Walk Cafe in Strokestown Park so some lovely Rhubarb Crumble and Tarts being made. The image this week was taken by one of our visitors (Tony Carton from Celbridge) and it shows how the walled Gardens abounds with all sorts of Wildlife. Great picture thank you Tony.

Rhubarb Crumble???

Friday, 29 June 2012 12:52 Published in Garden Blog

Dragon_fly_walled_gardens

Rhubarb Crumble?????

Great weather?? Well even though the weather has been fairly bad to say the least a lot has gone on in the Walled Gardens our bedding display is planted out and so far it is true rabbits do not like Marigolds. The Sweet Pea are out too all a bit shocked by the heavy rain. This is really ideal weather for Slugs and also a few very humid days so Potato Blight is always a worry. We are using copper based organic Slug Pellets and the potatoes have been sprayed with Bordeaux Mixture (blue stone & washing soda). The woodlands are looking great too the pieces of Sculpture, for The Roscommon Schools Sculpture Competition, have settled in nicely. At the moment there is lots of rhubarb coming into The Woodland Walk Cafe in Strokestown Park so some lovely Rhubarb Crumble and Tarts being made. The image this week was taken by one of our visitors (Tony Carton from Celbridge) and it shows how the walled Gardens abounds with all sorts of Wildlife. Great picture thank you Tony.

Rabbits, Rabbits & More Rabbits

Friday, 15 June 2012 09:50 Published in Garden Blog

 

Broomhilda

 

Rabbits, Rabbits and More Rabbits.

The weather is not being kind to the walled gardens or to the woodlands. Beds flooded, perennials being knocked over and trees losing limbs. But we will survive. The border is doing its best to stand up to these conditions it is holding off on a lot of its flowering at the moment , the minute we get a really good spell (which should be very soon) it will burst into flower. All of the pieces of sculpture are now in place on the woodland walk for the Roscommon Schools Sculpture Competition everybody should try to get out to see what the students have created and vote for your favourite piece. The winning school gets €3500 sponsored by Investec Bank. Well the rabbits are causing havoc as cute as they are they have become a nuisance. They actually went into the glasshouse to dig under tomato plants, crazy. We are trying strips of carpet soaked in Jeyes fluid as a barrier(kept well away from the plants of course) at the moment and it is working so far. If anyone has any other ideas, apart from the obvious, we would be delighted to hear them. Our annuals are ready for the bedding display just hoping for right conditions now for planting out. The really Great news is that Broomhilda the beauty queen of all scarecrows is back in the vegetable garden looking more glamorous than ever (in this picture she reminds me slightly of Jedward).

Lots Happening in the Woodlands & Walled Gardens

Friday, 01 June 2012 16:09 Published in Garden Blog

 

FOXGLOVES_4

 

 

Lots going on in the woodlands

All of the pieces of sculpture are in place now for the Roscommon Schools Sculpture Competition and voting begins on Tuesday 5th June. Really great work again by all who have taken part this year. Make sure you get over and visit. One of my favourite plants is in flower in the woods at the moment - Foxgloves, there is one clump that we were very careful about while putting in the path and it is in full bloom at the moment. I hope you like the photo. Earlier today as I was  out putting posts up for the sculpture comp I came across a red squirrel using one of the squirrel feeders, this is great they are really getting used to people these days. I took a photo with my phone but it would not upload, maybe next week. The walled gardens are colouring up nicely the herbaceous border is getting a major weeding these days and last few veg plants going out. Rabbits are now becoming comical you go into the garden and they just sit looking at you, it’s their garden. They think! The croquet club are doing really well, nice to hear the whack of a croquet mallet and ball on a sunny day. Enjoy your Bank Holiday weekend.

Sunshine

Friday, 25 May 2012 13:00 Published in Garden Blog

 

DSCF9010

Sunshine at Last.

Wow! great weather, really hot inside walled gardens at the moment, actually having to water some plants. Must keep an eye on our newly planted trees they could dry out very quickly. In the woodlands the Roscommon Schools have place a lot of their works for the Schools Sculpture Comp. Remember voting starts from the June Bank Holiday weekend. We have a new activity in the Walled Garden, well I suppose not new just revived, Croquet. A local croquet group have formed and we were delighted that Simon from Croquet Ireland came to give a lesson during the week. The group are having their first meeting on Wednesday 30th May at 11.00am in the Walled Garden. I hope you like the pic. In the Vegetable Garden practically all veg is planted out (now let the rabbit onslaught begin). At least this weather will slow down slugs a bit. The Herbaceous border is getting its first dead-heading already. Let’s hope this weather keeps up for a while.

Adding to the Plant Collection

Friday, 18 May 2012 10:33 Published in Garden Blog

Adding to the Plant Collection.

 

Border_in_May_2012

Great activity in the walled gardens and woodlands these days. If you go into the woods you will see the first pieces of sculpture for the Roscommon Schools Sculpture Competition. Some really interesting pieces of art. The competition will open for voting from the June Bank Holiday weekend. Our new trees have started to come into leaf which is great (the rain will help this). The rare plant sale was on last week the perfect opportunity to feed an addiction for plants. Got some really interesting ferns for the woodlands going to plant these today. Also going to give an Echium another go, have never succeeded in getting these through the Winter in Roscommon, also going to plant a Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii) outside of the Walled Garden. In the vegetable garden it is still a little too cold to plant out a lot of things but hopefully within the next week this will change. The Herbaceous border is starting to show off as you can see from the photo Monks hood is such a great plant for colour at this time of year. The new exhibition in Strokestown Park is “More than Meets the Eye, the photographic glass plates of Strokestown Park” and it features some early images of the walled garden and one of the Deer-park with deer grazing. Red Squirrels are spreading they have been spotted on the avenue coming in too.

Red Squirrel

Friday, 04 May 2012 07:49 Published in Garden Blog

Red Squirrel.

red_squirrel_5

Great weather these last few days, raining this morning good for the newly planted trees. Really unbelievable how everything has burst into leaf over the last few days. The beech hedges are beginning to push off last years leaf replacing it with beautiful fresh new growth. Colour in the herbaceous border with Camassia, Aconitum, Welsh Poppies, Euphorbia etc. Delighted to see Smilacina racemosa (the False Solomans Seal) starting to flower - beautiful scent. Woodlands are looking fine too lots of growth and wildlife, at times the birdsong is deafening. In the Veg Garden we have not planted out any seedlings yet expecting a cold spell again over the weekend and next week, this would be a major shock to any seedlings so better to hold off for a week. Went out early this morning to get a good photo for putting on here took some nice photos of the border but I also met a Red Squirrel got some really bad photos of him/her, going to use one of these sorry it is not the clearest but if you look really closely you will see him/her.

Gary (works in the gardens) is marrying Jennifer tomorrow wishing them a really great day and a wonderful happy life together.

Lots Going on in the Veg Garden

Friday, 27 April 2012 13:05 Published in Garden Blog

Lots going on in the Veg Garden

Inside_Shuttlecock_fern

 

Thank goodness the potatoes are in, we have planted lots of home Guard and Arran Victory in the walled garden. We also have some Lumper potatoes in too, very important for the Famine Museum.

All of the seedlings are well germinated in the glasshouse if only the weather would warm up a bit it’s fairly cold at the moment so no planting out yet. Great to see our trees in and being well watered. A lady came into the cafe here yesterday and said that she saw two red squirrels in the woodlands always great to hear this.

Growth has slowed down quite a bit recently no need for lawn mowing really. Had a look and I see that the American Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) is settled in well in the woodlands no flower this year, lets just hope its spreading it roots in its new home for many years to come. The Shuttlecock Ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) are looking their best at the moment to those upright light green fronds just cannot be outdone.

Colour in the Walled Garden

Friday, 20 April 2012 12:16 Published in Garden Blog

Colour beginning in the Walled Garden

Red_Tree_Peony

Even though it is a little cold at the moment some plants in the herbaceous border have begun to flower. Euphorbia grifithii Great Dixter is in full bloom giving big splashes of orange wonderful for this time of year. The almost tropical Tree Peony are in full bloom also, these are exotic plants native to China, where they have been cultivated for thousands of years. The are very hardy and suitable for our climate. When I think that our tree peonys have survived through some extremely cold periods in the last few years I am very impressed. Hope you like the photo. The tree planting is just about complete in the woodlands, we have to put tubes on now to stop the bunnies from feasting. Our potato planting is a little behind this year but it should not matter too much ( I hope). Drills are ready and the first crop going in is Home guard.

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