This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Perennial Peek-a-boo

The perennials are starting to show growth. There's much tidying and clearing needed in the garden; leaves brushed up, moss cleared and old stems cut away. Below are photos of plants are emerging from their sleep (now photos) and what they'll look like later (then photos). 
Above (Now) - Sedum Autumn Joy showing growth.  Below (Then) - The plant will look like this in September.

Above (Now) - Aquilegia/Columbine.  Below (Then) - It'll look like this in June.

Above (Now)  -lupin begins to grow.
  Below (Then) - come May/June they'll be in full 

Above (Now) - Crocosmia pushing up from the ground.  Below (Then)  - It will look like this in Sept/October.

Above (Now) - Centaurea Montana, an old fashioned cottage type plant.  Below (Then) - It will flower in May.

On the downside, this means the weeds are coming up too! Lots to do!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Carrots Pulled

Carrots finally pulled from the veg box this week - hooray.
I've been eating them (clean) au naturale.
Only a few with slug damage.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Spring Colour

It's about a month until the official first day of Spring. 

It's nice to see more colour starting to appear in the garden. The crocuses are just starting to show colour... I keep waiting for more to appear but they seem to be lazy. Whereas the Heather shrubs and snowdrops are full of flowers and showing off a bit. 

We've more cold, frosty days forecast. And I'm secretly hoping for a little more snow before the end of February. We've really only had one decent snow in Northern Ireland this Winter (which caused a bit of havoc for a few days - but it looked lovely) and I'm ready for some more (snow, not havoc).

Here's what's in flower at the minute... 

Above and Below : Heather shrubs.

Snowdrop drifts and clumps... a great Spring bulb for the garden!

To see what's in bloom in other gardens go to May Dreams Gardens for Blogger's Bloom Day.

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

What flowers would you choose?

It's Valentine's Day!

If I could choose flowers for Valentine's Day I'd choose... 

something bright and cheerful (like daffodils), 
full of fragrance (like hyacinths)  and something a bit wild-looking with a structural shape (maybe Silverdust).

This time of year I enjoy a visit to Belfast Botanic Garden as they've a beautiful Spring flower display in their Palm House (built in 1840).

Here are a few photos of what's on display this month.

The Silverdust at the bottom of the photo is quite easy to grow from seed.
I'm amazed at how many bulbs they squeeze into an 8 inch pot. There must be about 12 bulbs in there!
This squiggly plant - no idea what it is - sets off the flowers really well along with the taller Silverdust.
Above and Below: the giant conservatory filled with plants - a guaranteed mood improver!

Happy Valentine's Day! a day for the exchange of tokens of affection. 

Enjoy your day!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Cordyline Palm Update

Photo above taken August 2010.
Back in April 2011 I started blogging about my coryline palm tree, which had been badly hit by frost during our Dec 2010 'big snow'. That year I had six burst water pipes in and outside the house!

Like many gardeners I get attached to certain plants in the garden and  the cordyline was one of these. Part of the reason I liked it, was American visitors often commented with surprise  that a 'palm tree' was growing in an Irish garden. I hated to think that the cordyline might not survive the frost... but it didn't. You can see the coryline frost damage photos on my original post - click here.

Above and Below - this is what the Cordyline Palm looks like now. I finally pulled out the rotting stumps and the growth of a new palm is showing. It will take years to reach a nice height but I'm glad there's growth and the plant isn't a total write off.
Above and Below: before and after shots. For years I left the stumps in the ground waiting for the plant to miraculously rejuvenate itself. Stumps gone (they were so rotted I gently pushed them and they came out!), I can monitor the new corydline as it grows over the years.

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Veg Remnants

It's February and there's not much veg left in my garden. It's generally very cold, windy and muddy in Northern Ireland in January and February so I don't really get out into the garden much. March is usually when I start gardening again, taking on various projects and getting the garden tidied up. However, after seeing Mark's Veg Plot's post on the last of his parsnips I thought I'd check if I had any edible carrots left. I had a look (photo left) but I'm yet to go out pulling. (It's just too cold!) 
The kale lasts well over Winter, however, I can see flowers forming in the centre of the plant so they're really past eating. I imagine they'd be bitter tasting. I'll let them flower and pull them out in March.

Other edibles in the garden at the minute (not much) - a few herbs and leeks, just. I really need to get sowing but I'll wait until March / April.

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Monday, 4 February 2013

1st Crocus and Snowdrops

Last weekend the snow all melted and underneath the Snowdrops and other bulbs were coming up. Lovely! 

Out of all the Spring bulbs, snowdrops are my favourite. They put on a good show every year and don't need much maintenance. The bulbs multiply year by year, and over time make little bouquets of flowers.

Walking around the garden over the weekend I can see the Snowdrops are really coming into their own, and the crocus are beginning to show signs of flowering too. A great time of year for Winter walks in our local forests and parks! 
Above: Planted over 10 years ago, I don't think these snowdrops have ever been divided. They make a good show every year. (Some daffodil starting to come up in the photo too.)
Below: a drift of newly planted snow drops (planted from tiny baby bulbs) - in their 2nd or 3rd year. Some day they will form nice large clumps.
And the first sign of a crocus flower!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.