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Garden Diary August 2019

It is early morning here in the Walled Garden of Kylemore Abbey and I am walking through the six-acre tranquility to take my monthly pictures. The rain, which we had plenty off for the whole month of August, just stopped and gives me the needed opportunity to catch every angle of the garden with my camera. We have only had two dry days in August as a matter of fact! That leaves us with soaking wet lawns which squelch when walking over them, a big challenge for our greenkeeper!

It is coming towards harvesting time for apples, pumpkins, and grapes. These all developed quite well this season, despite the recent weather conditions. The grapes and pumpkins need another two or three weeks to fully ripen.

Pic1 Apple ‘Valentine’, a dual apple; also suitable to make Cider

 

Pic2 Grape ‘Black Hamburgh’ needs another two weeks to be fully ripe

 

Pic3 Pumpkins and Marrows; the orange Pumpkin ‘Rouge Vif D’ Etampes’ grew a lot since last month (look at the Garden Diary from July)

 

It is also harvesting time for our french and runner beans. I love especially the crunchiness of the string-less french beans. They are so easy to prepare without the fuss runner beans sometimes need.

Pic4 Runner and French beans on our newly designed supports; these supports proved to be very successful in holding up the weight, especially during strong winds and storms here in Connemara

 

Pic5 A selection of French beans ‘Bluelake Stringless’, ‘Cosse Violet’ and Runner beans ‘Painted Lady’

 

We had to wait a while before we were able to take out our Onions, the ground was just too wet and we could not leave the onions on the plot for drying off.

Pic6 Onions laid out for drying

 

When I was up on a ladder to prune and train our indoor peach tree along the inside wall of the Vinery I thought that the interior looked very tropical from above with all the lush greens of the Bananas, the Ginger Lilies, the Bird of Paradise and the climbing grapes.

Pic7  Plants in our Vinery

 

The flower garden and the Herbaceous Border changed colour again. Late season perennials and shrubs are now flowering in different shades of rosé, purples, lilacs, and yellows. These include Anemones, Cyclamen, Cannas and Hydrangeas.

Pic8 Anemone ‘Queen Charlotte’, bred over 100 years ago in 1898

 

 

Pic9 Cyclamen hederifolium – the Ivy-leaved Cyclamen in our Fernery

 

Pic10 Our Cannas have a stunning season this year, the best I can remember anyway! It is not often that they get to this height.

 

Pic11 Kirengeshoma palmata in the Fernery likes half shade and moist conditions; slugs love them!

I was always wondering about the genus name and where it came from: It is Japanese, ki means yellow and rengeshoma is a similar-looking plant, the false anemone.

I actually educate myself a lot when doing these Garden Diaries! Nothing is worse than false information’s, even so, it is hard to get it always spot on with so many sources available or sometimes none at all!

 

Our main walk through the garden is lined by flowering Red Hot Pokers once again. It always resembles the beginning of autumn to me. I really like this point of view through the whole length of the garden. It gives you a good idea about the garden’s huge scale. This view would be facing west where we could get strong gales from the Atlantic which is only two kilometers away. The line of trees protects the flower garden at least partially.

Pic12 The East – West orientated main avenue through the garden which was formerly the main road to Letterfrack

 

As I mentioned in one a previous b I  have tried to grow Melons in our cold frames once again. Hand pollinating the female flowers with the aid of the male flowers was necessary to get any results, a task you need a bit of patience for! Hidden under leaves we found this little guy below!

Our first and only melon! My gardeners thought he needs extra care since he looked a bit fragile! He is only in his infant stage and needs to grow a lot more!

That’s all for now, more to come from our September garden at the end of the month. Below are more garden tips for the month of September.

Your Head Gardener

Anja Gohlke

 

General Garden tips for September:

To sow/propagate:

~ Sow overwintering green manure directly in the ground

~ Continue potting on spring bedding plants like Wallflowers as backup plants

~ Propagate shrubs from semi ripe cuttings, cuttings could be left outside or in frames once they rooted

~ Collect ripe seeds of various annuals and perennials, dry them properly before bagging, label and date them

 

To plant:

~ Lettuces, Spring Onions or Spring Cabbages can still be planted out

~ Re-sow lawns after scarifying

 

To harvest:

~ Apples, Pears, Nuts, Blackberries

~ Carrots, Cabbages, Kales, Lettuces, Beetroots, Spring Onions

~ Runner Beans, French Beans, Dwarf Beans

~ Herbs; also for drying (great for the winter colds…, my favorites would be thyme and sage)

 

To maintain & prune & feed:

~ Blow leaves of lawns regularly to avoid browning off the grass

~ Pick up fallen fruits, they will only attract rodents; could be still used  to make jams or chutneys

~ Moss treat and scarify lawns

~ Prune summer fruiting Raspberries, Gooseberries and Currants