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Garden diary for September 2014

September started with lovely early autumn weather and I hope that this is a good sign for the coming winter. The midges are also enjoying their last few moments for this season and try their best to leave a lasting impression on us! One of the evenings, shortly before closing time, I captured a special moment with my camera. Even though Ireland is well known for its rainbows I never saw such a nice one in our garden before.

Pic1 The perfect rainbow
Pic1 The perfect rainbow

We are digging our spuds quite late this year but it’s worth it! ‘International Kidney’ & ‘Kerr’s Pink’ are one of the most successful varieties for this season and each are a treat on the plate.

Pic2 ‘International Kidney’ (right) & ‘Kerr’s Pink’ (left)
Pic2 ‘International Kidney’ (right) & ‘Kerr’s Pink’ (left)

I have to say that we had one of the best seasons I can remember in this garden. The growth of a couple of annuals like Antirrhinum or Amaranthus exceeded their usual height by far.  They also flowered much earlier and seem to last much longer which is not so common in our climate here in Connemara. The intensity of the flowers is another positive thing we noticed this year. Talking to other Gardeners, they experienced the same and put it down to the mild winter and the dry spells early summer.

Pic3 The ‘Vinery Bed’ with Amaranthus, Senecio, Coleus &  Agave as a dot plant
Pic3 The ‘Vinery Bed’ with Amaranthus, Senecio, Coleus & Agave as a dot plant
Pic4 Antirrhinum ‘Night & Day’ in combination with Lavatera ‘Mont Blanc’
Pic4 Antirrhinum ‘Night & Day’ in combination with Lavatera ‘Mont Blanc’

Our main walk way through the flower garden is once again framed by the flowering Red Hot Poker. For me it is always the last sign of summer in our garden and I hope that it will last a very long time.

Pi5 The main walk way with Red Hot Poker
Pi5 The main walk way with Red Hot Poker

I mentioned the intensity of the flowers of many plants earlier on. One of the best examples would be Hydrangea ‘Blue Bird’ in combination with Fuchsia ‘Thalia’ and also the display in our ‘Ribbon beds’, a line planting of Sedum, Anaphalis and Fuchsia ‘Tom West’.

Pic6 Hydrangea & Fuchsia & Lobelia
Pic6 Hydrangea & Fuchsia & Lobelia
Pi7 The Ribbon beds
Pi7 The Ribbon beds

The warm and sunny weather lets the pears ripen nicely, especially the ones growing along the south facing wall. Also the cob nuts in our nuttery are nearly ready to be picked.

Pic8 Pear ‘Catillac’
Pic8 Pear ‘Catillac’
Pic9 Cob nuts
Pic9 Cob nuts

The vegetable garden went in competition with the flower garden this season and nearly all crops are doing well. One of the heritage varieties of Beetroot which we started to grow last year is called ‘Golden’. As the name already suggests,’Golden’ is turnip like and root yellow in colour, which has the advantage that it does not bleed.  Taste wise they are similar to the red varieties and are best harvested when still small. You also can find a recipe for roasted beetroot in our chef blog for September.

Pic10 Beetroot ‘Golden’
Pic10 Beetroot ‘Golden’

Halloween is coming closer and our pumpkins are getting in shape. Why not try out unusual looking varieties like the ‘Golden Hubbard’? It has a very warm dark yellow skin and looks great as a decoration.

Pic11 Pumpkin ‘Golden Hubbard’ and ‘Mammoth’ (in back)
Pic11 Pumpkin ‘Golden Hubbard’ and ‘Mammoth’ (in back)

I nearly feel guilty to sit down in my office to write this blog. The midges from this morning are chased away by the warmth of the afternoon sun and the garden is calling…!
Best wishes from
Your Head Gardener
Anja Gohlke
Things you can do in your garden in September:

To Sow / Propagate:
~ Last chance to sow overwintering green manure in vegetable plots
~ Pot on spring beddings for 2015
~ Pot on rooted cuttings of Helichrysum, Fuchsia or Hydrangea

To plant:
~ Plants left in pots
~ Last lettuce planting outside
~ New perennials in borders
~ New grass seeds after scarifying

To harvest:
~ Last of Runner and French Beans; let few of them dry for taking seeds
~ Seeds of flowers like Sweet pea or Petunia
~ Apples & Pears & Nuts
~ Carrots, Celery, Beetroot, Spinach, Leafbeet, Lettuce, Herbs

To maintain & prune & feed:
~ Prune Raspberries, Blackcurrants & Gooseberries
~ Treat lawns for moss and scarify, rake out dead moss and resow grass
~ Start to rake leaves of paths and lawns