In line with public health advice, Kylemore Abbey is currently closed.

Garden Blog September 2018

Welcome back to our first autumn edition of the monthly garden blog for this year.

Autumn entered quite dramatically with ‘Ali’ taking its toe on the Irish Westcoast, especially here in Connemara.

It was one of the worst storms  I have witnessed in my 17 years here, even so it was not forecast to have such a damaging impact. Few shallow rooted trees like Sycamore came down and the avenues were hardly visible anymore since a layer of leaves, twigs and branches made them blending in with the surrounding woods.

Pic1 A storm casualty – Sycamore tree at the Teahouse


I also never  saw such a windburn on the leaves of all type of plants. The scales came straight from the Atlantic and the salt contest must have been immense which lead to an even greater damage of the leaves. All  Cannas looked shredded afterwards and the Herbaceous Border was all of a sudden nearly flowerless. Well, that’s nature (maybe not at its best!) and we have to deal with it somehow!

Pic2 Burned leaves of apple trees


Otherwise the garden has still a nice display of flowers (few stronger ones survived!). The Sedum in the long Ribbon beds fully opened up their flower heads and have their annual show at the moment. We started to take out summer bedding plants like Tagetes already to prepare for the upcoming autumn planting with spring bedding for next year.

Pic3 Ribbon beds in full bloom


Pic4 Flower display before ‘Ali’ came along…


Pic5 Summer bedding gets cleared out by Michaela


We just held another Vegetable sale and Carrots, the last of the Potatoes, Garlic, Onions, Beetroot, Red Cabbages, Beans and more sold fast.

The Broccoli has developed nice heads and they look quite attractive at the moment, its a pity to cut them off!!

Pic6 Broccolli ‘De Cicco’ (Calabrese)


Pic7 Broccoli ‘Purple Sprouting’


 Pic8 Small selection of our Veg and fruit


Pic9 One of the last harvested potatoes ‘Flourball’, an old heritage variety from around 1870


These were our French and Runner beans, before the recent storm flattened the whole structure. The weight of the plants itself did probably not help. We are looking into the design of a more sturdy structure, a nice winter project!

Pic10 Our beans in better days


One typical element in Victorian gardens was the planting of specific Cutflowers which were and still are used for decorating dining tables for special events in the big house. It is lovely to just browse through the beds and pick the best ones out, topped up by greenery like ferns and shrubbery.

Pic11 Cutflowers after ‘harvesting’


Pic12 Small Bouquet for the dining table in the Abbey


I think our two pigs Gloria (left) and Ken slept right through the stormy weather, they are happy out as usual and devour treats like apples and carrots! Ken makes sure he is always getting the first bite!

Pic13 Our two Kunekune’s


The Fernery had a lovely display of Cyclamen; the recent clearing of overgrown ferns helped to open up space for these delicate flowers.

Pic14 Cyclamen in the Fernery



I will be back with more news in October, enjoy the sunny days!


Your Head Gardener

Anja Gohlke