A Gardener's Musings

Alliums - An Onion Could Be So Beautiful - Who Knew?

Posted by Peter Dowdall on

To plant Alliums or any spring bulbs truly is to believe in tomorrow. I still remember, as a small child, the bulb display in what was Atkins McKenzies Garden Centre on Camden Quay in Cork city, the all-permeating, aroma of the bulbs and the sawdust in which they were packed. I recall being entranced by the sheer range of bulbs on offer, like a child in the horticultural equivalent of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Now as an adult I still delight when the bulbs arrive and, as excited as a child anticipating Christmas morning, I look forward to the promise...

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Magnolias - Stars Of The Spring Garden

Posted by Peter Dowdall on

The tulip shaped blooms of the Magnolia soulangeana types are, for me the classic Magnolias, having grown up with a stunning specimen in my parents garden.

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Grow Your Own Food with Seed Potatoes

Posted by Peter Dowdall on

The potato has been a mainstay of Irish cuisine for centuries and today this much-loved root vegetable is making a comeback in home gardens. It'e easy to grow your own food with seed potatoes. There are many different varieties of seed potato to choose from: Grow Your Own Food with Seed Potatoes early in the season using First Earlies Seed Potatoes: Arran Pilot - white fleshed, waxy tubers. It's ideal for using in salads or steamed Duke of York - Heritage variety yellow flesh and oval in shape. Floury in texture Home Guard - My favourite early potato, firm and full of...

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Raised Beds - What's all the Fuss About?

Posted by Peter Dowdall on

Over the last few years there has been a huge increase in people growing their own food. People who before may well have thought that potatoes did actually grow on the shelves in the supermarket have been amazed to discover how easy it all is . Neighbours who might otherwise never really know each other are out getting their hands dirty together and comparing the size of their rhubarb stalks. They may otherwise be cooped inside watching television, living feet from each other but not knowing each other. The benefits of this resurgene has benefits which are too intangible to...

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It's All About the Bees

Posted by Peter Dowdall on

We need to rethink our perception of beauty. We should love the wildflowers growing on our roadside verges and not accept tightly mown, or even worse, sprayed with Glyphosate, areas as beautiful. Wildflowers such as these dandelions need to be allowed to bloom as they are an essential part of the jigsaw, providing food for bees in early spring. We need to see them as life-giving and beautiful and not as a weed to have chemical poured upon them. Sowing a wildflower patch in your garden will provide a species rich resource for bees, butterflies, ladybirds and other pollinating insects....

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