We are CLOSED

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

Garden Diary October 2015

The air is getting cooler and the warm days and colder nights result in a blanket of fog and heavy dew in the mornings. It is a great time to take pictures of the Connemara landscape and I sometimes stop for a quick photo shoot on my way to work. The scenic mountain range surrounding Kylemore Abbey & Garden invites you to take out the camera.

Pic1 Dawn over Pollacappul lake in front of Kylemore Abbey
Pic1 Dawn over Pollacappul lake in front of Kylemore Abbey

The sowing of the next generation of spring bedding plants is finished, now its time for potting on and hardening off all the thousands of little seedlings; a job which needs a bit of patience! We experienced a problem with the seeds of Forget-me-nots, one of our main spring bedding plants. The seeds were from last year and the germinating rate was very poor. So we had to reorder new seeds which germinated much better but left us a bit behind. One of the challenges a gardener has to face!

Pic2 Seeds are just starting to germinate
Pic2 Seeds are just starting to germinate
Pic3 Seedlings nearly ready for potting on
Pic3 Seedlings nearly ready for potting on
Pic4 Potted seedlings
Pic4 Potted seedlings

We just held our last Vegetable sale for our Kylemore staff for this season. We had a good selection of everything; the bestseller is always our spuds, though. Since this year’s crop is not as good quantity wise, we had a few sad faces when they were sold out after few minutes. The money raised will go to the Galway Hospice once again.

Pic5 Last spuds for this season
Pic5 Last spuds for this season

Our carrots on the other shad gave a very good crop. We feared the opposite few months ago and we nearly took them all out. And luckily there is no visible sign of carrot fly on them.

Pic6 Our three varieties of carrots: ‘St. Valery’, ‘Chantenay Red Cored’ & ‘Autumn King’
Pic6 Our three varieties of carrots: ‘St. Valery’, ‘Chantenay Red Cored’ & ‘Autumn King’

We also sold the last crop of Broad beans and a nice selection of Garlic, Shallots and Onions. The green Runner beans are not as popular around here and a bit of ‘convincing talk’ was needed for people to try them out.

Pic7 The Onion family
Pic7 The Onion family
Pic8 Runner beans
Pic8 Runner beans

We also started to harvest few different apples. One of them is the ‘Golden Spire’ I mentioned in last month’s diary. Another more unusual variety would be the Cider Apple ‘Finoula Lees’. It is a small long shaped apple with a lovely strong aroma. We received this tree from the local priest from Lenane many years ago and it developed into a nice small crowned tree.

Pic9 Apple ‘ Golden Spire’
Pic9 Apple ‘ Golden Spire’
Pic10 Cider apple ‘Finoula Lees’
Pic10 Cider apple ‘Finoula Lees’

The last of the spring bulbs for the coming season just arrived and need to be stored in a cool dark place like in the upstairs of our bothy. A regular check for diseases like mould or signs of mice is essential to make sure the bulbs are still there when it’s planting time!

Pic11 Spring bulbs – Tulips
Pic11 Spring bulbs – Tulips

Thats all for this months diary, let’s enjoy the few ‘Indian summer spells’!
Your Head Gardener
Anja Gohlke

 

Things you can do in your garden in October:
To Sow / Propagate:
~ Sow seeds of perennials as soon as ripe
~ Pot on or store tender plants like Pelargonium or Fuchsia
~ Take root cuttings of plants like Santolina or  Phlox

~ Take cuttings of Gooseberries or Currants
~ Take cuttings of tender shrubs (Fuchsia etc.)

To plant:
~ Prepare beds & start to plant spring bedding and bulbs like Daffodils and Crocus
~ Plant out trees and shrubs left in pots, stake if necessary

To harvest:
~ Apples, Nuts and Pears
~ Lettuce, Courgettes, Marrows, Pumpkins, Leeks, Carrots, Parsnips
To maintain & prune & feed:
~ Start to cut back perennials in borders
~ Keep deadheading late summer flowering plants like Kaffir Lilies
~ Cut back few shrubs like Buddleja or Lavatera by half (hard pruning next spring)
~ Rake or blow leaves of lawns, collect for leaf composts
~ Autumn feed lawns after scarifying and resowing