We are CLOSED

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

Garden Diary September 2015

It is nearly mid-September and the summer is coming to its end.
The bedding is holding out great, despite the weather. Few annuals like Tagetes tenuifolia are starting to go over. We spend a good while on dead heading each plant to encourage the last buds to develop into flowers before the season is over.

Pic1 Late summer bedding in our Parterre
Pic1 Late summer bedding in our Parterre

In the last few years I noticed that it is very much weather depending how strong the colours of the annual bedding schemes are. This year for example seems to be a very good season for all shades of blue and purple. One of our main bedding plants, Lobelia ‘Chrystal Palace’, got a lot of attention during the last few weeks.

Pic2 Lobelia ‘Chrystal Palace’ on the left
Pic2 Lobelia ‘Chrystal Palace’ on the left
Pic3 White and Blue Lobelia in our Diamond beds
Pic3 White and Blue Lobelia in our Diamond beds

Also the tones of oranges give great colour splashes at the moment. The wild Mombretia can be seen in full blossom everywhere around Connemara these weeks. It also adds a nice touch to our woodland walk up to the Head Gardeners House.

Pic4 Wild Mombretia near the Head Gardeners House
Pic4 Wild Mombretia near the Head Gardeners House

We nearly finished the summer pruning of the wall fruits. It is vital to do also a summer pruning of the pear trees to keep the trained shape of the trees and to encourage the development of new fruit buds. It is very time consuming but important to train them in the right way for a future success.

Pic5 Trained Pear tree
Pic5 Trained Pear tree

Our old apple tree ‘Golden Spire’, a dessert and cooking apple, is loaded with fruits. It had a ‘Year off’ last year so we are delighted that it is cropping so well. I will try to graft a couple of new Golden Spire trees later in the winter time.

Pic6 Apple tree ‘Golde Spire’
Pic6 Apple tree ‘Golde Spire’

Finally there are the first Runner and French beans to be seen. I am actually surprised that especially the French beans made it as far. The lack of sun and heat was totally against it. We never had the Broad beans in the plots as late either. We are still harvesting and also keeping few beans for the seeds for next season.

Pic7 Runner bean ‘Painted Lady’
Pic7 Runner bean ‘Painted Lady’

The courgettes and pumpkins are coming along slowly, too. The wet condition caused a lot of mildew on the leaves but the vegetables themselves grow along.

Pic8 Courgette
Pic8 Courgette
Pic9 Pumpkin ‘Golden Hubbarb’
Pic9 Pumpkin ‘Golden Hubbarb’

The Herbaceous Border is coming slowly to its autumn stage. Few perennials like Echinops are still in full bloom and the later varieties like Kaffir lily, Aster and Sedum started to bloom recently.

Pic10 Echinops and wild bee
Pic10 Echinops and wild bee

One of the strawberry seedlings must have found its own little pocket to develop and is growing right out the brick wall where it is sheltered, warm and dry. There are even few fruits on it. Vertical gardening seems to be the answer so!

Pic11 ‘Wall-Strawberry’
Pic11 ‘Wall-Strawberry’

Happy Gardening  and dry feet to everyone!
Your Head Gardener
Anja Gohlke

Things you can do in your garden in September:
To Sow / Propagate:
~ Pot on and harden off spring bedding plants like Bellis, Forgetmenots and Wallflowers
~ Last chance to sow overwintering green manure in vegetable plots
~ Take semi ripe cuttings of shrubs
~ Sow new grass seeds after scarifying

To plant:
~ Shrubs and trees left in pots
~ Last of catch crops like lettuces and spring onions
~ New perennials in borders

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

To maintain & prune & feed:
~ Prune summer fruiting Raspberries,
~ Blackcurrants & Gooseberries after finish fruiting
~ Treat lawns for moss and scarify, rake out dead moss and sow new grass
~ Remove leafs of lawns and paths