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Tuesday, 12 December 2023

November December 2023 Garden Blog

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Welcome back to our last garden blog for this year. As usual, it feels only like yesterday when I wrote last year’s winter blog. It means one thing; another year has passed, a very busy year!

The garden work has not slowed down for us yet. Thousands of spring bulbs and spring bedding plants have been planted in the formal flower garden, the herbaceous border and cutflower beds. Working with and around the weather was not always easy. Heavy down pours of rain made it sometimes impossible to dig the soil. We will know by next spring how successful we were!

We also harvested the last of the carrots in November; it looks like the carrot root fly was not as successful this year, but the protection netting did work better.

We tried a few new heritage varieties, with different colours and shapes. The yellow carrot is ‘Jaune du Doubles’; it is a French heritage variety and has a bit of a different taste, more like a parsnip I think. The dark violet one is a very old breed from the orient and is called ‘Black Spanish’.

Carrot Harvest

Carrot Harvest

Colourful!

Colourful!

As part of the past Halloween event here in Kylemore, few of our very artistic staff members designed and installed slates in our wild play area with lovely drawings of wild Irish animals. These proved very popular with all visitors, especially with the Irish names on them. 

We also experienced our first frost; it went down to minus 5 during the night. The days were cold but sunny which is lovely gardening weather. The soil breaks down naturally from the frost and creates a lovely to player. Like every year, we also covered a few empty vegetable plots with black plastic to prevent the washing out of nutrients and to keep it weed free until the coming season.

A light layer of frost covering vegetable plots in the shady part of the garden.

A light layer of frost covering vegetable plots in the shady part of the garden.

The last of the pumpkins.

The last of the pumpkins.

The herbaceous plants in our Border are mostly cut back, a few more perennials like Asters or Sedums will be cut back at a later stage. They still provide a bit of interest and protection for birds in the colder months. Soon we will top dress the border with a fresh layer of our own rotted compost.

The lawn stripes in front of the border are covered in frost!

The lawn stripes in front of the border are covered in frost!

We have a few very exiting projects starting in the coming months.

We are upgrading main elements within the Walled Garden like the paths, the exhibition tool shed and bothy and our existing glasshouses.

The glasshouses will get, among other things, new ventilation vents, which will be operated manually like the original ones. The Vinery is not accessible for the visitors at the moment but a QR code on a panel beside the Vinery will provide an introduction talk and a visual tour.

The Vinery is cordoned off at the moment.

The Vinery is cordoned off at the moment.

A scaffold inside the Vinery for installing new top vents.

A scaffold inside the Vinery for installing new top vents.

That is all the news for now!

I am wishing all readers a Merry Christmas - Nollaig Shona – Schoene Weihnachten- and a bit of rest from the ongoing garden work.

Jenny, our ever-popular garden cat, is enjoying the heat and quietness in the vinery.

Jenny, our ever-popular garden cat, is enjoying the heat and quietness in the vinery.

Your Head Gardener

Anja Gohlke