Welcome back to our April edition of our garden blog.
Finally there is a hint of spring in the air. Like many other businesses dealing with mother nature like farmers or nurseries, we also suffered a bit under the endless lasting cold and wet conditions. The weather just did not allow us to move seedlings outside to be hardened off and were piling up inside the glasshouse. Every corner was used for seed trays and the watering of the same took a bit of maneuvering. Thankfully our new set of coldframes is finally in full working order and makes a huge difference in getting the small plants to the next stage. Bee and Co must be hungry at this stage and they will have a nice feast in our woodland behind the Fernery where the Wood Anemones and Lesser Celandine are creating a lovely spring carpet theme at the moment.
Pic1 Our new coldframes in front of the propagation glasshouse
Pic2 Vegetable seedlings like Lettuces, Cabbages and Kales in the coldframe for hardening off
Pic3 Wood Anemones and Lesser Celandine in our woodland behind the Fernery
Pic4 Fritillaria meleagris, Narcissus ‘Rip van Winkle’ and Narcissus canaliculatus in the Ribbon beds
The busy time in the Vegetable garden also kicked off. The first early potatoes like ‘Epicure’ or ‘May Queen’ were planted four weeks ago and the ‘British Queen’ are getting planted coming week.
Pic5 Ulick is preparing the ridges for the first earlies
The time is flying as usual and we had a very busy time within the last four weeks. On top of our ‘normal’ garden work we were also holding two big events.
The first one was our annual Easter Egg Hunt. Close to 500 children and their families came to look for all the hidden eggs and bunnies along the Easter trail. As part of the the trail we had a naming competition for our two Kunekune pigs. They had a name already from the previous owner so we felled they deserved a second one. We picked the names from all the lovely entries (few were quite ‘unusual’!); so we can now re-introduce to you ‘Gloria Summer’ and ‘Ken Scamper’.
Pic6 Gloria Summer (left) and Ken Scamper (right)
Pic7 Our new ‘Pig Sty’ sign
Our second event was the Kylemore Abbey Food Village as part of the Galway – West of Ireland Food Charter. County Galway was the European Region of Gastronomy 2018 this year and we were holding a full day of gastronomy related events and local producers here on the whole estate of Kylemore. Also the Walled Garden played a big role and local businesses and organisations like the Connemara Bee society had a stand with a hive of live bees for example.
Pic8 Members of the Connemara Bee Society
Sally and John McKenna and myself did a guided walk through the garden for visitors with a herbal tea tasting at the end. Freshly harvested Sage, Thyme, Mint and Lemon Balm were on offer and many went for a ‘herbal cocktail’ (Non alcoholic of cause!).
Pic9 Sally Mc Kenna (right) and myself at the Herbal Tea tasting
There was also a bit of baking and jam making going on in our Head Gardeners House and Heike, our local basket maker presented her skills outside the former Tool shed.
Pic10 Heike with her selection of self-made baskets
We were very fortunate with the weather and Ann Cassin from Nationwide, the crew from Week on the Farm and Galway Bay FM were here that day to capture the event.
You can see that a Head Gardeners Job can be very multi-faceted, which makes our job so interesting and I can truly say that it is never boring!
With that note I will finish for today, please find below few more images of our Easter Egg Hunt and the usual monthly garden tips.
Your Head Gardener
Pic11 Little bird houses in our woodland play area
Pic12 Easter Bunnies on a day out
Pic13 Flying bunnies in our Vinery
Things you can do in your garden in April:
To Sow / Propagate:
~ Sow Pumpkins and Courgettes
~ Succession sowing of radishes and lettuces
~ Pot on more annuals as backup plants
~ Plant out rooted Strawberry runners if weather allows it
~ Plant Lettuces, Cabbages, Kales, Spring Onions, Peas, Broad beans
~ Divide and plant Herbaceous perennials before main growth starts
To maintain & prune & feed:
~ Moss treat, aerate or scarify lawns, especially after the recent wet winter
~ Feed all fruits with pot ash
~ Put up supports on taller perennials, broad beans and sweet peas