June in the Victorian Walled Garden here in Kylemore Abbey is always a very busy time for us gardeners. All summer bedding and vegetable seedlings are planted out and growing strong, especially during these very humid conditions we experience at the moment. The same counts for the weeds of cause. Constant hoeing in between the plants is necessary to stay on top of them. We also mulched permanent planting areas like our shrub border or along the soft fruits. The mulching will keep down the weeds and retains the moist contents of the soil which is very important during prolonged dry spells. Beneficial fungi will develop which again will speed up the decomposition of the mulch and will, therefore, improve the soil fertility. We are using mainly shredded wood from fallen trees here on the estate and our own produced compost. A layer of fresh seaweed is spread between the vegetable crops to feed and mulch again.
The flower garden is slowly coming into bloom. Lobelias, Alyssums, Nasturtiums and Snapdragons are only a few of the annual plants we are showcasing here. These plants are planted into specific Victorian patterns within the flower beds. All plants were propagated in our restored glasshouse on-site earlier on, between February and April.
Pic1 Summer bedding like Senecio (Dusty Miller) and Tropaeolum (Nasturtium) in the Formal Flower Garden with the Vinery in the background
Pic2 Dianthus (Sweet William) and Gladiolus in the Ribbon Beds along the brick walls with the main gate in the background
Pic3 A selection of heritage plants labelled in terracotta pots on steps to former conservatory
Pic4 Gladiolus ‘The Bride’ and Canna with the Diamond Hill in the background
The Herbaceous Border is nearly in its main flowering season. The list of plants in the border seems sheer endless. All types of lilies like Lilium martagon, Lilium henryi or Lilium pardalinum are growing within the border and are on its best at the moment. The oriental poppies like Papaver orientale ‘Beauty of Livermere’ had huge flowerheads at the end of May. Unfortunately, they never last very long, especially after heavy rain and wind. All these plant varieties are heritage plants, introduced before 1901. A brochure with all herbaceous plants is getting updated once a year. A lot of replanting, dividing, and taking out of old perennials is necessary to keep the border in shape. Every plant has its own specific code within the Herbaceous Border so we can keep up the records and all changes. This brochure is also available for download on our web page under the Victorian Walled Garden. Visitors can then identify specific plants when following this leaflet.
Pic5 Lilium pardalinum – Leopard lily in the Herbaceous Border; originally coming from California
Pic6 Papaver orientale ‘Beauty if Livermere’ – Oriental Poppy with huge flower heads
Pic7 Alstroemeria aurea – Peruvian Lily growing in our Cutflower section; ‘aurea’ means golden; originated in South America;
Broad beans, mangetouts and peas will be ready for harvesting within the next couple of weeks. Lettuces, spring onions and spring cabbages were already taken out in parts. A succession sowing of lettuces will keep us going until the end of the season.
Pic8 Pea ‘Blauwschokker’, a very attractive purple podded heritage variety; suitable to eat as Mangetout or Pea; bred by Capuchin monks in the Netherlands and Northern Germany as a past time few hundred years ago…
Pic9 Lettuce ‘Continuity’ and Artichokes
Pic10 Calendula officinalis as companion planting in one of the Brassica plot
Pic10 Potato ‘British Queens’ looking good
Pic11 Our grapes ‘Black Hamburgh’ are starting to ripe slowly in the restored Vinery; it will take another good few weeks before they turn dark blue
The Vinery is one of the two restored glasshouses and houses mainly tender plants, grapes, an indoor peach tree and a huge climbing pelargonium. It is in full bloom at the moment and covers half the back wall in the Vinery. The hot and sunny condition in the building is ideal for its thriving.
Pic12 Climbing Pelargonium and wall trained peach tree to the right
Another stunning and very easy plant to grow, suitable for a glasshouse or conservatory wall is the Passion Flower (Passiflora caerulea). Ours just started to bloom and it must be one of my favourite flowers to take pictures off. It has similarities with a sea anemone I think!
Pic13 The flower of our Passion Flower
One of the quieter spots in the Walled Garden is situated in the Fernery. Away from the main walks, this is a lovely tranquil area to relax beside the lush green of the ferns and the sound of running water from the stream.
Pic14 A private spot in the Fernery
Kylemore Abbey & Garden is re-opening on the 3rd of July and we are very excited to welcome visitors once again. With plenty of space in our 6-acre Walled Garden, social distancing should not be any problem!
Below more garden tips for July!
Your Head Gardener
Things you can do in your garden in July:
To Sow / Propagate:
~ Take cuttings of non-flowering shoots of Santolina, Dianthus, Pelargonium, Hydrangea or Fuchsia
~ Sow more Green Manures to cover plots
~ Succession sowing of Lettuces, Radishes, Spring Onions
~ Sow spring cabbages like ‘April’ or Curley Kales for over winter
~ Plant out potted plants into borders and water well in
~ Replace summer bedding if necessary
~ Plant out more catch crops like lettuces and spring onion
~ Soft fruits like Gooseberries or Red Currants
~ Mangetouts, Peas, Broad beans
~ First Potatoes
~ Lettuce, Spinach, Leaf beet
~ Herbs for drying or for fresh herbal teas like Sage or Mint
To maintain & prune & feed:
~ Feed annuals in pots or planters on a regular base
~ Cut down Comfrey and use as mulch and feed
~ Regularly deadheading 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 Box hedges