We are CLOSED

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

Garden Diary August 2016

Time is rushing by so quickly and we are already in the second half of the summer season.
Weather wise it feels more like the middle of October, the long awaited heat wave did not reach us, ‘yet’! This weather is testing our patience, once again.
This unsettled weather doesn’t seem to bother our plants too much thankfully.
The colour scheme in the Parterre is still very strong, the blue of Lobelia ‘Chrystal Palace’ is complimenting the intense blue of Clematis jackmanii and gives a good contrast to the yellow of Tropaeolum ‘Golden King’.

20160720_131639

Pic1 The Parterre
The first set of summer bedding is partially replaced with a second lot of Calendulas, Tagetes, Nasturtiums and annual Chrysanthemum.

We just held our third Vegetable sale for our Kylemore staff. People always look forward to freshly harvested products from the Walled Garden, especially traditional Irish crops like Potatoes, Cabbages and Onion. Our range of products was much wider though and included Marrows and Courgettes, Leaf beets, different types of Kale, Garlic, Garlic Chives, Dwarf Beans, the last of our Broad beans, Peas and Mangetouts, different types of Lettuce, Endive and lovely fresh Fennel. All raised money from these sales will go towards the Hospice in Galway.

Pic2 Cabbage ready for harvesting

Pic2 Cabbages ready for harvesting

Pic3 My shopping basket with fresh Vegetables from the Walled Garden

Pic3 My shopping basket with fresh Vegetables from the Walled Garden

Our Herbs are also doing quite well and a selection of freshly picked herbs are used in the Teahouse once again. Edible flowers like Nasturtiums, Chive flowers and the very attractive looking flowers of annual Borage are used by our Chef in several dishes and cold refreshing drinks. Also our Elephant Garlic set a very attractive flower this year which looks quite funny with the skin still attached. This type of Garlic has exceptionally big cloves.

Pic4 Fennel & Calendula

Pic4 Fennel & Calendula

Pic5 Borage flower

Pic5 Borage flower

Pic6 Good growing season for Courgettes

Pic6 Good growing season for Courgettes

Pic7 The flower of Elephant Garlic

Pic7 The flower of Elephant Garlic

The Herbaceous Border is also at its peak now; it’s all down to regular dead heading, hoeing and staking. The leaves of Crocosmia pottsii are very heavy and are prone to fall over and suffocate smaller plants if not staked in time.

Pic8 The Herbaceous Border in August

Pic8 The Herbaceous Border in August

Pic9 Chrysanthemum x superbum as a show-stopper at the moment

Pic9 Chrysanthemum x superbum is a show-stopper at the moment
I am drawing up the spring bedding scheme for 2017 at the moment; now it’s time to propagate first seedlings so they will be ready in October when we will plant them into their final positions. I also need to send out orders for our spring bulbs within the next two weeks. These jobs are very time consuming but so important to get right since they will dictate the success of the next season.
That’s all for this month and I hope we will enjoy some more sunny spells!

Your Head Gardener
Anja Gohlke
Things you can do in your garden in August/Beginning September:

To Sow / Propagate:
~ Sow spring bedding like Myosotis or Bellis in modules
~ Sow last of Green Manures
~ Take cuttings of Herbs like Sage
~ Sow more Radishes and Lettuces

To plant:
~ Plant Spring Cabbges, Curley Kale and Swedes / Turnips
~ Plant potted plants out into final places to prevent becoming pot bound

To harvest:
~ Main crop Potatoes (very late this season)
~ Onions, Garlic, Lettuce, Spinach, Leaf beet, Beetroot
~ Herbs for drying or for fresh herbal teas like Sage, Mint ore Lemon Balm

To maintain & prune & feed:
~ Regularly dead heading of bedding plants like Calendula and herbaceous plants
~ Feed bedding plants, roses and vegetables if needed