Garden Diary

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S.T.E.P.S Thursday Evening Gardening Club

Based in Draperstown the S.T.E.P.S Group (Suicide. Talking. Educating. Preventing. Support.) aims to raise awareness of suicide and mental health, and hope people will take looking after their mental health as seriously as their physical health. To this end S.T.E.P.S. approached Community Gardening to deliver a series of recreational gardening classes in a business unit provided [...]

Spring Blooms

According to the Royal Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants the Tulipa is a "genus of about 100 species of bulbous perennials found in usually hot, dry situations" - quite something then, that they thrive in our cool, wet climate. The elegant closed goblet of the tulip is exquisitely beautiful, but when open it reveals [...]

March 2015

I was really glad to see the back of March - it seemed to come in like a lion and go out like a polar bear! A thoroughly miserable month resulted in blooms and leaf buds on trees and shrubs being delayed. But when they appeared, they appeared with style and in abundance.My Narcissus 'Thalia' [...]

Encouraging Wildlife – Competition Winners

Congratulations to the winner and five runners-up in the Community Gardening Encouraging Wildlife poster competition. Prizes included a range of wildflower seeds, bird food and bird feeders, and homes for insects. The winning entries were: First Prize: Amy Donald, Year 7, Ballinamallard Primary School, with 'Let them in!!!' Runner-up: Katie-Rose Kelly, P6, Christ the King [...]

Native or Alien?

It is getting a bit late for planting bare-root hedging, but you may still be able to fit it in before the end of the month (February's edition of Gardeners' World Magazine has a guide to planting a bare-root beech hedge on Page 79). The beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge and specimen tree are such a [...]

February 2015

Despite the cold start to the year, the rhubarb (Rheum x hybridum, Champagne) at my allotment in the Springhill House Walled Garden, has emerged around the same time as it did last year. However, I did notice that a couple of the smaller leaves are blackened, which I am assuming is frost damage. Edible rhubarb [...]

Winter Litter

January thus far would certainly not have inspired you to start to do any work in the garden! Apart from flicking through the 2015 seed catalogues, I must admit that I haven't thought about my back garden or allotment since December. Saturday, however, changed all that. There was a definite improvement in the weather and [...]