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

Garden Diary July 2016

Welcome  to our High season edition of the Gardeners Blog .

I am sitting in my gardener’s office on this rainy Monday morning and just reading through last year’s blogs for July. Surprise, surprise I also mentioned rain; I also want to make sure that I don’t repeat the contents of the monthly diaries too much, even though it is hard to avoid similarities. So I decided to focus on different areas of the Walled Garden for the July edition.
We just cleaned out our garden shed (a new floor needs to be installed) and  we came across many broken bits and pieces which filled out the corners in the recent years. We also found something very much unexpected and exiting and I still don’t know how it ended up there in the first place. It is a granite panel with the original Mitchell Henry monogram engraved on it. Sadly the top piece is missing. We will look into it a bit more to find out where this special piece had its original location.

Pic1 Mitchell Henry engraved initials

Pic1 Mitchell Henry engraved monogram

We also rearranged the contents of our restored Vinery to make more space for visitors, especially on wet days like today. Tender plants like our big Banana or the Strelitzia were replanted into new wooden planters, made by our Carpenter on site.

Pic2 Banana plant waiting for its new planting box

Pic2 Banana plant waiting for its new planting box

Pic3 The flower of Strelitzia

Pic3 The flower of Strelitzia

This gives also more space to the magnificent climbing Pelargonium, one of the main plants our visitors take pieces of. It is an Ivy-leaved type Pelargonium which has a tendency of climbing up walls. Since we are still unsure which variety it is exactly we still call it Sr. Benedict ( we got it from Sr. Benedict few decades ago). I am in contact with the European Pelargonium and Geranium society at the moment to  finally put a scientific name on this plant. We propagate new plants through cuttings every year to ensure a stock of plants.

Pic4 Pelargonium Sr. Benedict

My area of work  not only consisst of the Walled Garden but also the upkeep of the extensive grounds on the Kylemore Estate. Regular check-ups on avenues and woodland walks are essential, especially after wet and stormy nights. The ferns growing along the mountain side in between rocks of lime stone are very picturesque at the moment.

Pic5 Natural growing ferns along the avenue (2)

Pic5 Natural growing ferns along the avenue

On a misty day like today, just when the rain is easing off, the top of Doughruagh mountain is covered in mystical clouds and the sacred heart statue is just about visible.


Pic6 Doughruagh mountain and sacred heart statue.

One of the nicest and quietest corners in the walled garden is our Fig tree pit, which is also one of my favourite places during this time of year. The Fig trees are not, as would be typical, trained against the lime stone wall but grow freely as  trees. The warm sheltered spot encourages the ripening of the figs.

Pic7 The Fig tree pit

Pic8 Figs still not ripe

The wet spell gives us also the time to clean, grade, count and bag the many bulbs from last spring. These bulbs will be used again for the coming spring season and newly bought bulbs will be added to ensure a full display.

Pic9 Cleaned and graded spring bulbs

Pic9 Cleaned and graded spring bulbs

The last image for this month’s diary will show the centre circle bed of our D-beds on the top part of the garden. On a sunny day this scene will also have the Diamond hill as a backdrop but a heavy and very low layer of clouds made it invisible.


Pic10 The circle bed

Lets hope we can enjoy a bit of a summer, good gardening to everybody.

Your Head Gardener
Anja Gohlke
Things you can do in your garden in July:

To Sow / Propagate:
~ Sow more Green Manures to cover ground if needed (Phacelia, Crimson Clover, Mustard)
~ Take cuttings of non-flowering shoots of Fuchsia, Pelargonium and Hydrangea
~ Pot on second sowing of summer annuals as backup plants
~ Start to sow spring bedding like Wallflowers and Bellis for next year’s spring display end of this month and beginning August
~ Sow spring cabbages like ‘April’ or Curley Kales for over wintering

To plant:
~ Replace summer bedding if necessary
~ Plant out more catch crops like lettuces and spring onion
~ Sow Green manures into empty plots, for example in recently harvested potato plots
~ Plant potted plants out into final places to prevent to become pot bound

To harvest:
~ Soft fruits like Raspberries, Gooseberries, White Currants
~ Mangetouts, Peas, Broad beans
~ First Potatoes (very late this season)
~ Lettuce, Spinach, Leaf beet
~ Herbs for drying or for fresh herbal teas like Sage, Mint ore Lemon Balm

To maintain & prune & feed:
~ Cut down Comfrey and use as mulch and feed
~ Regularly dead heading of bedding plants like Calendula and herbaceous plants for continues flower display
~ Check vegetables and flowers for pest and diseases e.g. cabbage root fly, caterpillars, green flies, blight
~ Prune shrubs like Weigelia after flowering
~ Feed lawns and Buxus hedges