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late Spring Display in shamorick beds wi

Spring Garden Blog from our Head Gardener

Gardener's Blog
Wednesday, 01 May 2024

Welcome back to our spring edition of the Kylemore Garden Blog, it seems that spring put on an extra gear this year, the season is already coming to its end.

When walking up to the garden this morning I ‘ve heard the Cuckoo for the first time this year. I wonder if it is always the same, I never spotted him in all these years. The Cuckoo flower is flowering since the last couple of weeks though.
The weather could not be more challenging either, it is hard to predict or forecast a week in advance at the moment. Cold nights, northerly wind, and a good bit of sunshine during the last few days; too cold to leave young seedlings outside, but too warm during the day to leave them inside. A lot of plant movement, opening and closing of coldframes and glasshouse windows are part of our daily routine. These jobs are crucial to insure a successful growing season once again. 
The heritage Rhododendron cultivars have a good flowering season this year, I particularly like the big-leafed types, like Rhododendron falconeri. This species was introduced from the Eastern Himalayas in the mid-19th century and named after H. Falconer (1808-1865) who was Supervisor at Saharanpur Gardens in India in 1832.

Pic1 Flowering Rhododendron falconeri in our Walled Garden 

Pic2 Tree Rododendron (Rhododendron arboretum) in full bloom along our estate avenue

Important maintenance work was undertaken on our two restored glasshouses within the recent months. New ventilation windows and mechanism got installed so insure a proper airflow. We had to close the Vinery for a couple of months but opened again last week.

Pic3 The newly re-opened Vinery with a flowering Strelitzia to the front.

Pic4 The sun is heating up the Vinery nicely, the vines along the curved 
window site are starting to grow.

Pic5 Our garden cat Jenny tries to blend in with the background which shows 
our propagation glasshouse.

A lot of work is happening in the Vegetable Garden at the moment. Well established seedlings of Kales, Cabbages, Broad beans, Peas, Lettuces and Spring onions are getting planted in previously prepared plots. Seaweed, wool and coffee ground will deter pests and feed the plants. The first early potatoes are peeping through the soil already, soon they need to be mounded up. Perennial vegetable like Lovage produced a nice fresh growth and will be used in the kitchen soon.

Pic6 Fresh growth of Lovage in one of the Vegetable plots.

Pic7 Agnes, one of our garden students, is planting the first broad beans along trellises.

The lawns got a first cut, the wet and soggy ground postponed this task by a few weeks.  As same as last year, we are leaving quite a few ‘no-mow’ areas like here in our apple orchard. Due to the very wet winter, the moss in the lawns grew rampantly unfortunately. There will be quite a lot of work to control it.

Pic8 The apple orchard with mowed and ‘no-mow’ areas.

The spring display in the Formal Flower Garden is still in bloom, mixed colours of Anemones together with Wallflowers brighten up the ornamentally shaped bedding layout.

Pic9 Late spring display in our Shamrock beds with view to the main gate.

Pic10 Tulip ‘Colour Cardinal’, white Anemones and a Phoenix palm; with view to the Vinery.

One of my favourite areas during springtime is coming into live again, too. There are many different types of ferns and shade loving plants growing in this secluded area, our Fernery. One plant, which is only showing its unusual blossom during this time of year, is called Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum). It’s graceful arching stems are in contrast to the more upright growth of many ferns. It likes damp and shaded growing conditions but comes happily back every year when in the right position. 

Pic11 Solomon’s seal growing in the shaded Fernery.

With only a couple of days left until May, this years spring is coming to its end, all bulbs and spring bedding will be coming out and replaced by the many summer bedding plants. The old plants will go straight onto the compost heaps and hopefully, in about nine-month time, be turned into new compost. 

Your Head Gardener
Anja Gohlke