June notes

The months of April and May were extremely cold, persistent northerly winds and frost. Unusually little rain; 45 mm in April, and 75 mm in May.  What a joy to feel and see the warmth of June sunshine!    The plants are duly responding, the perennials, though still small in statue, are lush, and the shrub roses, such as Alba maxima are beginning to flower.

The lack of wind and rain has benefitted the clematis and cornus,  Miss Satomi is in full pinkish blossom, and C Alabast has produced dinner sized flowers. The bearded iris have lasted for weeks, and the rows of them along the wall have been quite beautiful.

Our vegetables are slowly developing, they just do not like the cold clay ground! The greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers are thriving, and I am watching the weather forecast to see if there will be any more frosty nights, if so we shall cover the plants with horticultural fleece The low greenhouse walls have been limed, an old method that acts as a cleanser, and an added bonus of the sun reflecting  its heat unto the plants.

 We decide to see how a ‘no mow May’ would work! The lawn was a sea of yellow buttercups, so the plan was discarded, though we will persist with our continued principle of no chemicals.  I am glad to see, in the drier areas plenty of clover, plus of course the ever present daisy.

March Notes

Currently the month of March has been cold, the below average temperature for this time of year, and with little sun, hence I am delaying sowing seeds!  Hopefully I will start soon and by the end of the month the seeds trays shall be full of tiny seedlings.  However, there are wonderful signs life, increased birdsong, more solitary bees, and the occasional hatch of small flies.

It is a good time to transplant, and I have been moving Hydrangea mac. to the Dump Garden. The previous location had become too shaded; no idea of the names, labels were blown away! Hellebores also easy to move this month, and one can see with the abundant foliage where they will fit into a new location. The borders are being raked, wed, and await their annual mulch of well rotted cow manure. 

The snowdrops flowering is almost over, and the crocus and dwarf daffodil are providing a continuation of colour in these wooded areas.  Another delight of the season is LEUCOJUM VERNUM, actually grown from seeds many years ago, quite tall, and attractive dark green strap like leaves. The tips of the white petals have a delicate touch of pale green.

The vernal equinox is almost upon us, the sun then being in the northern hemisphere for the next six months, then the garden foliage will quickly emerge from is long period of dormancy.

January notes

January 2021 brought frosty clear weather and beautiful sunsets over Donegal bay. The start of new year and small green buds are starting to peep through – snowdrops and daffodils. Each morning the garden is wrapped in a white frost with sparkling cobwebs delicately hung across the box hedges. The evenings are slowly getting a little longer and mornings a little brighter.

Donegal bay, over looking Ben Bulben in Sligo, 200m from Salthill Gardens.

February Notes

Heralding spring are the emerging snowdrops. They are so welcome especially after the long dark days. These tolerant flowers withstand wind and heavy rain, provided they are protected by deciduous trees.  Varieties here include Sir Herbert Maxwell, and Galanthus rizehensis.  

In the walled garden the air is filled with the delicious fragrance of DAPHNE BOHOLUA, Jacqueline Postill. This  pink flowering shrub, with its almost evergreen leaves, is such a delight to the senses. It is underplanted with emerging Hellebores , and then when  their leaves are cut away they  will show off their purple/white speckled petaled flowers.